Round 2 of Flowering Branch Cup: Matchups and Predictions
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Week 7 of the Borschland Hockey League

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It just got tighter at the top: league leaders Bevinlunz and Rjaward both went down to defeat on opponents’ ice, while Wrischer, at home, improved to 5-1-1. Matexipar was frustrated, Te Staff relieved, and surprising Atterische still has only one loss. Traveling Meechen also got a valuable 3 points from a top team. Look out for Tarlunz, which have enormous momentum going into Week 8.

2 Lojren v. Bevinlunz 1: Lojren was turtling late in the third period, settling for a tie against a powerful team, when second-line winger Sander Glossamer broke out of his own end and swooped in on Bevinlunz’ netminder Heiko Moordfors. Moordfors stopped his initial shot, but Glossamer swept the rebound into the top right corner of the net. “So fast you almost couldn’t see it happen,” said a jubilant Kai Ganesmund after the game. Bevinlunz were already unhappy with their performance and will take a chip on their shoulder into the big matchup with Matexipar in Week 8. “We must atone for this,” said Moorfors, “and I will. Look for it.”

3 Atterische v. Sichebach 2: “You don’t always have to have a parade,” coach Paulus Angewejrt said after Atterische’s listless but successful performance against Sichebach. Espen van Rivujr, little-heralded third-line winger, had the game-winner with 1:32 left in the third. “Espen saved our hindquarters,” said captain and winger Markus Tooreent. “Good on him. We’ll raise a glass to him.”

9 Holtzlund v. Sajbell 3: Holtzlund humbled a team that has rarely been worse. The Axe Men’s 9-goal performance was the highest score for them in a regular season game since the memorable 10-1 win over Gottwrischer in 319, before Gottwrischer was placed in the second division. No trinities in this game but four players got two goals, including Zimrothian defender Ithak Lornak. Borschic defensemen typically score few goals because they take fewer shots than their North American counterparts; Lornak said through a translator he was “mostly trying to send the puck into the crease for the boys to clean up and two managed to slip in. That’s hockey.”

1 Matexipar v. Te Staff 1: Matex’s famously demanding fans were loud and accusatory after a game in which the Iron Sticks put 41 shots on goal but only one found the net. To be fair, Te Staff’s defense, led by captain Gerrit “Castle” te Rook, has been decent, giving up only 1.86 goals per game, and solid play has come from their first-team goaltender, who goes by the single name Korka and is the first Loflin to start in goal for the City. Matex will be a glowing furnace when they meet Bevinlunz next week and ready to forge a big win.

5 Meenesanne v. Dohmatische 2: Dohmatische’s half-Loflin coach Azofer Teekeetl said that the Swamp Hawks were “the best team in the league but without the best record.” One game after shutting out Te Staff with disciplined defense, Dohmatische again took needless penalties and Meenesanne went 3 out of 5 on power plays. Some on the Dohmatische side have argued that there are two many bears in the defense and that they do not skate fast enough to compete in Borschland’s top league, but Teekeetl said of the bears, “They are young. We will improve.” Meanwhile, Meenesanne’s embattled goaltender Erick Ritsche made 24 saves on the day as efforts were ongoing to fetch Zimrothian youngster Gareth Velnath back to the team.

6 Wrischer v. Rjaward 4: Wrischer exposed a weakness of Rjaward, defense, that had not been an issue up to that point because of its excellent offense. Wrischer’s first line again had a hand in this win, scoring 3 goals, while distributing the rest among the other lines. Center Beenz Grechtlin now has 7 goals on the season and is up with the leaders, but he declined to take credit, saying “the boys get me the puck and it finds its way into the net.” Rjaward's Gerd Zijterwoode scored a goal to bring his season total to 5.

0 Onatten v. Tarlunz 3: Onatten was shut out at home for the first time in four years. Thank Tarlunz netminder Maxime ter Aarte, who is now splitting netminding duties with August Hoock. Hoock was plucked from second-division Limpael this year for a transfer fee of 1,000 schillings, which is looking like a bargain at this point. Habel Baarda had an assist but no goals as Onatten struggled at home to mount any kind of attack.

1 Bjaward v. Meechen 2: In a classic defensive struggle, the Roaring Lions clamped down on the Bulls of Bjaward, weathering a furious final flurry of shots in the third period. Meechen’s venerable defenseman Barteel van Abeele blocked 11 shots, 4 in the last :47, to emerge as first star of the game.


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