Image: the winter sun turns evergreens gold in Meenesanne.
2 Tarlunz v. Te Staff 3: In the end, Tarlunz couldn’t overcome the “Stafflischeflok,” or the Curse of Te Staff, to win an outright championship, but they will share it with Meechen and Rjaward and it counts. Most years, Tarlunz is a distant also-ran to the perennial championship contenders. This year, a 5-7-3 first half sunk Te Staff’s chances, and Tarlunz came on in the second half, with a chance to win the championship. Sherm Reinhardt scored goal number 11 on the season to put the game on ice for Te Staff with 5:14 left in the third period.
3 Sichebach v. Holtzlund 8: Holtzlund took out its championship frustrations on hapless Sichebach and won the goal-scoring title if not the championship itself. 113 goals is the most it has ever scored in any season in its 62-year history in the top league. In the second division they once scored 128 goals in 34 games. Lourens Noordhall had 16 goals and 32 points to lead the club, but 4 players on Holtzlund had 25 points or better on the season, including top defenseman Klaes Dievenhoven. The others were Dujtrick de Jong (13/31) and Kaameron Luudjeron (15/26).
0 Rjaward v. Bjaward 1: Impossible as it seems, Rjaward was shut out for the first time this season. Bjaward decided to play defensively from the beginning, checking and hitting and counterattacking when given the opportunity. They struck at 1:09 left in the first on Pascal Nuessli’s shot from the right circle in traffic. Then netminder Breet van Hejgl and the defense played as sparkling a game as you’ll find in Borschic hockey. “We depend on Breet,” Bjaward coach Conraad Ujdellin said of van Hejgl afterwards. “It hasn’t been a perfect season for us, but we know he’s there and with our defense we can go out and half a chance to win against anyone.” Bjaward has a solid young nucleus of skaters to go along with Nuessli (20 goals, 26 points) and they will be contenders again 337.
0 Meenesanne v. Meechen 4: Meechen put an offensive display, scoring 4 goals in a game for the first time since Week 24 and only the fifth time all season. Star forward Henk de Wilde scored his 21st of the season to go along with 9 assists and bring him to the coveted 30-point plateau. Welneth Ungarth got his sixth shutout of the season. This off-season will bring up discussions of whether Meenesanne should be relegated to the second division and champion Alma promoted. Meenesanne has a proud history in the top league, although it has spent time in the second division, most recently from 283-294. The last time a team was demoted to the second division was Gottwrischer in 332, but that was when the league decided to shrink in size from 17 to 16. The last time a second division team was promoted was Wrischer in 300. The old Rachenz-Lassefball team was relegated.
4 Wrischer v. Matexipar 1: Wrischer’s interim coach Dierk Knapp made his record 2-0-0 at the end of the season as Wrischer thrashed the spiritless Iron Sticks and their backup goalie, Nicholas Untergrujn. No announcement has been made about a deal with Knapp for 337; there are definite differences in approach and philosophy between top brass at Wrischer, who want to innovate, skate fast, and score, and Knapp, who is a student of the old-school, patience-first approach.
2 Sajbell v. Bevinlunz 2: Sajbell capped off an excellent second half with a well-played draw, equalizing in the second period and then taking it to the Merchantmen in the third period. Only several excellent saves from Heiko Moordfors stopped Sajbell’s winning the game outright. Man Grizzlyfaith capped off a stellar 15-game campaign with the Sea Gods, scoring 3 and assisting on 13. He is a free agent this year and has not said where his destination will be, but it is not likely he will be returning to Bearland hockey now that he has tasted top competition in the BHL.
2 Atterische v. Dohmatische 2: The spirited Lowland Derby is always a fan favorite at the end of the year as the peat country rivals face off to conclude the season. After the tie, as is customary in the derby, the teams competed in a friendly shootout to determine bragging rights for the summer. The shootout was won by Atterische 2-1, with Quentin van Vleet marking for the Peat Men.
1 Lojren v. Onatten 1: Onatten will officially end its season after playing its makeup games with the worst point total ever in a 30-game season. Even if it wins both its last two games, Onatten will end with only 27 points. The worst it ever had was in 297 with 28.