Rocky Mountain Division

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Rocky Mountain Roundup - Week 10

The 2011-12 Rocky Mountain Division season ended in fitting fashion, with a doubleheader between the top two clubs.  After 2 postponements, the league leading Blizzard finally were able to play the Dynamite at their new home in Arvada.

Game one saw the Dynamite jump out to an early and impressive 2-0 lead.  This served as a wake up call for the Blizzard, who bounced back to tie the match by halftime 2-2, and dominated the second half to win 6-2.  Eric Goldberg would lead the Blizzard with two goals.

The now 7-0 Blizzard and 3-3-1 Dynamite would play one more time, and this time it would also count as the Division championship, due to financial and time issues preventing a separate final.  The Blizzard would prove yet again why they are the Division's best, picking up where they left off in game one and storming to a 3-0 lead.  The clubs would trade goals to go into the final break at 4-1.   The Blizzard would continue the onslaught in the second half, extending the lead to 7-1.  The Dynamite would have two nice goals to bring the final score to 7-3 Blizzard.  It was an impressive performance by Odobong Obetette, who had 3 goals and 2 assists, and a total of 4 goals and 3 assists on the night. 

The Blizzard are the first club to go undefeated and win the Rocky Mountain Division Title.  (The Colorado Predators went undefeated in the regular season in 2007-08, but were upset by Albuquerque in the Championship Final) 

A pleased Coach Wells had this to say, after the season ending performance:  "We came up here tonight expecting a battle, and the way the Dynamite came out with 2 quick goals it looked like we were in for a long night. As shifts were coming in and out of the bench, I was making my rounds telling each shift to calm down and play our game, work the patterns, read what they are giving you. It was our 3rd shift that calmed everything down and began to pressure as a group, and the 1st and 2nd shift followed by example. As soon as we started playing collectively as a group you could see the shift in momentum, and the guys started connecting passes that lead to goals. Once we took control of the game you could see the confidence building in the players and it was obvious they were focused from that point on. I'm very proud of the players and the effort they put forth over the course of the season, and we look forward to representing the Rocky Mountain Division in San Diego in March at Nationals. An 8-0 season is really tough with the quality of teams we have in the Rocky Mountain Division, and I hope that we can carry this momentum and good form into Nationals. Thanks to all the Teams in our Division."


The Final Standings look like this......


Rocky Mountain Division GP W L T Pts
Colorado Blizzard  880024

Undefeated and headed to San Diego





Denver Dynamite 834110

With a strong core of players the future is bright.....






Ft. Collins Fury    834110

Add some depth, and the Fury will be back among the Division elite...





Edwards Freedom   80622

Perhaps the best winless team in PASL-Premier?





The domination by the Blizzard also showed in individual statistics.  In goalkeeping, Justin Dzuba led the Division with a 2.25 GAA in 4 starts, while his teammate Michael Archuleta had the second lowest GAA with 3.86 in 3 starts.  Eric Goldberg was the Division's goal leader, with 11 on the season.   Odobong Obetette tied Zach Speed of Fort Collins for second with 10 goals, but Obetette also led the Division with 12 assists.  Duane Pelz of Edwards came in 4th with 7 goals, and Tony Avery of Denver finished 5th with 6.  Jay Hamilton of the Dynamite finished 2nd in the Division in assists, with 8. 


The Blizzard will take the next 2 weekends off as they prepare for the PASL-Premier Nationals, March 9-10 in San Diego.  The Blizzard have depth at all positions, including two solid goalkeepers in Dzuba and Archuleta.  The defense (as well as goalkeeping) has always been a strong point for the Blizzard, with  players like Jimmy Wade, Kelly Robinson, and John Molet.  The five previously mentioned players all have PASL-Pro experience with the Dynamite, or the Colorado Lightning in the case of Archuleta.  If Obetette and Goldberg continue to produce on offense, this club will be a contender in San Diego.  Of course anything can happen at the PASL Nationals, but the Blizzard's depth should have them well prepared for a tournament where you could play as many as 6 games in 2 days. 


There are 5 other divisions in the PASL-Premier, and the Northwest, Southwest, Midwest, and Great Lakes will decide their championships this coming weekend, punching 4 more tickets to the finals.  The South Central Division will play through the final weekend before Nationals.  The San Diego Sockers Reserves will likely be in as hosts, plus a few at large berths.  Stay tuned for a special PASL-Premier finals preview edition of the Roundup, where we will take a look at not only the Blizzard's group opponents, but the tournament in general.

Monday, February 20, 2012

At 8-0, the Blizzard Have the Rocky Mountain Division Covered

The Colorado Blizzard traveled to the Apex Field House Friday night with one thing on their minds and that was to finish an undefeated season and be one of the only teams (circa 2007-08 Colorado Predators) to ever accomplish this from the Rocky Mountain Division. They knew it would not be an easy task with the Dynamite expecting to be at full strength and ready for the challenge. 

The night started off with the Dynamite coming out strong in game one - finding the net twice in the opening 5 minutes of play just to see the Blizzard come storming back with 2 of their own to tie the game up by halftime. 

As the second half got underway the Blizzard began to find their form and began a barrage of scoring opportunities that saw them go up by 2 goals with under 5 minutes to play, the Dynamite came out after a timeout going into their 6th attacker formation with Jay Hamilton as their 6th attacker. After a brief discussion during the timeout the Blizzard made some adjustments and came out with high pressure all over the field which created a errand pass by a Dynamite player and Captain Brian Contreras was able to find the back of the open net from mid-field and put the game out of reach.   With 2 minutes left, the Blizzard were able to find the net one more time before the end of regulation to end the 1st of 2 games 6-2. 

At 7-0 on the season the Blizzard could only concentrate on the fact that they were 2/20 minute halves from a perfect 8-0 season as they carried game one's momentum into the 2nd match.  The Blizzard wasted no time in finding the net as the second game began and jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. 

Finally as the score dwindled down to just 5 minutes left and a 6-1 bulge for the Blizzard. The Dynamite stepped it up and were able to find 2 quick goals to pull to within 3 at 6-3 but the pressure of the Blizzard was to much as the Blizzard found the net 1 final time to end the game at 7-3, thus completing their perfect season at 8-0.

Coach Wells, " We came up here tonight expecting a battle and the way the Dynamite came out with 2 quick goals it looked like we were in for a long night. As shifts were coming in and out of the bench I was making my rounds telling each shift to calm down and play our game, work the patterns read what they are giving you. It was our 3rd shift that calmed everything down and began to pressure as a group and the 1st and 2nd shift followed by example. As soon as we started playing collectively as a group you could see the shift in momentum and the guys started connecting passes that lead to goals. Once we took control of the game you could see the confidence building in the players and it was obvious they were focused from that point on. I'm very proud of the players and the effort they put forth over the course of the season and we look forward to representing the Rocky Mountain Division in San Diego in March at Nationals. An 8-0 season is really tough with the quality of teams we have in the Rocky Mountain Division and I hope that we can carry this momentum and good form into Nationals. Thanks to all the Teams in our Division."

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Rocky Mountain Roundup - Week 9

On the biggest weekend in the Rocky Mountain Division, only 2 teams were left standing by the end.

Friday night opened the action as the Dynamite hosted a Fort Collins Fury Club traveling with only 7 players.  An evenly played first half saw the Dynamite lead 4-3 at the break.  A three line attack by the Dynamite would eventually wear the Fury down, in a very clean and well played match by both squads.  The Dynamite won the match 11-5.  Tony Avery led the Dynamite with 3 goals while Jay Hamilton led with 4 assists.  Taylor Kendal, Travis Carey, and Jason Boyle each had 2 goals for the Dynamite; while Zach Cousins and Mark Kupter each had 2 goals for the Fury.  

On Saturday the Dynamite traveled up to Edwards for a very important doubleheader, against a Freedom squad with only pride to play for.  The Freedom would defend their home field well, holding the Dynamite to a 5-5 tie in what amounted to a high scoring affair in the first of 2 shortened games.   The Dynamite jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first half, only to be outscored by the Freedom 5-2 in the second half.  Alex Zelaya led the Freedom with 2 goals, and Beto Hernandez led the the Dynamite with 2 goals and 2 assists. 


The teams settled down defensively in the second game.  The Freedom led 2-1 halfway through the second game, but the Dynamite would rally with 2 goals in the second half, capped off by Travis Carey's game winner to earn a huge 3-2 victory, collecting 4 points on the night and 7 points on the weekend.  Jay Hamilton assisted on 2 of the 3 Dynamite goals in game two, while no individual player scored more than one goal. 



For the last match of the night and weekend, the Division leading Colorado Blizzard hosted a Fort Collins Fury club who were fighting to stay in contention.  Because the Dynamite tied their first match in Edwards, the Blizzard could clinch first in the regular season with a victory.  Similar to the night before, the Fury had only 8 players travel, allowing for only 2 substitutes.  The Blizzard roared to a 4-0 lead by the end of the 1st quarter, only to see the Fury come back in the 2nd quarter to make it 4-3 at halftime.  The Blizzard would start to pull away in the second half, leading 6-3 after 3 quarters, and eventually winning 8-4.  It was truly a team effort for the Blizzard, with 8 different goalscorers.  One of the goal scorers, Odobong Obetette, led the Blizzard with 3 assists.  Cole Dudley led the Fury with two goals, while Devon Koncar had 27 saves in goal for the Fury.  Micheal Archuleta got the start in goal for the Blizzard, picking up the win and earning 20 saves.  


After Week 9, the standings look like this......


Rocky Mountain Division GP W L T Pts
Colorado Blizzard  660018

The regular season champs....





Denver Dynamite 632110

7 points in one weekend, and the Dynamite pass the Fury!






Ft. Collins Fury    834110

The Fury are out as the Dynamite hold the tiebreaker....





Edwards Freedom   80622

The Freedom will now look to next season.....



All that remains in the regular season are two matches between the top two clubs, the Denver Dynamite and Colorado Blizzard.  Technically the Dynamite could fall into a tie with the Fury if they lost both regular season matches.  However, the Dynamite own the tiebreaker for second over the Fury whom they have a 1-1 record against, as they outscored the Fury 14-12 in those two matches.  The Dynamite host the Blizzard this Friday night in a Doubleheader that starts at 9:45pm.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Rocky Mountain Roundup - Week 8

Week 8 in the Rocky Mountain Division saw no action as the Dynamite home opener on Friday was postponed yet again, this time due to a snowstorm.  The Blizzard-Dynamite match will be moved to a later date, not yet announced. 


After Week 8, the standings still look like this......

Rocky Mountain Division GP W L T Pts
Colorado Blizzard  550015

Still one win away from clinching first





Ft. Collins Fury   632110

The Fury can clinch a playoff spot this weekend if they win 2






Denver Dynamite   31203

3 games in a huge weekend for the Dynamite





Edwards Freedom   60511

A doubleheader on Saturday to end the season

     The upcoming weekend is huge, with 4 games.  Friday night at 9:30pm, The Denver Dynamite will finally host their league home opener against the second place Fort Collins Fury.  This match could very well decide who finishes second in the Division, although both clubs are still mathematically alive for first. 

     On Saturday night at 7pm in Edwards, the Freedom close their season with a home doubleheader vs. the Dynamite.  The two matches pose a huge opportunity for Denver, with the possibility of collecting 6 points in one night.  If Edwards earn a sweep, it could end the Dynamite's playoff hopes!  Both matches will be shorter than regulation, with the second match slated for approximately 7:45 pm. 


     On Saturday night at 8pm in Monument, the Colorado Blizzard host the Fort Collins Fury in another huge match.  This match will no doubt be important for the Fury's playoff hopes, while the Blizzard hope to clinch first place in their final home match.  


     After the smoke clears from this weekend we should have a much clearer playoff picture, with only two matches remaining between the Dynamite and Blizzard.