Game of the Week: Celtic Green upsets Mes Que FC in Blue semifinals  

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Celtic Green (white/green) plays in a corner against Mes Que FC (black). Picture by Franklin Heinzmann.

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. – The Men’s Soccer Blue playoffs got underway last Tuesday night. The second-seeded Mes Que FC took on third-seeded Celtic Green in the second of two semifinal matchups. The winner would go on to face fourth-seeded Santos FC, who upset first-seeded Mad Lads United in the other semifinal matchup. Santos FC’s upset as a foreshadowing of this game, as Celtic Green defeated Mes Que FC, winning by a score of 3-2.

It was a tightly contested game, to say the least. Members of a BDSL team were taking on esteemed soccer coaches, fans were expecting nothing short of a great game. Mes Que’s Sean Mullen scored the first goal of the game by scoring a videogame-esque goal that prompted one player to yell “Is this FIFA 19!?”

Celtic Green tied up the game when Tommy M. scored off of a cross with 11:03 left in the first half. The score remained as the first half concluded.

Throughout the first half Celtic Green kept peppering shots from outside the 18-yard box, but only some of them were being put on frame. If total shots were being counted, they would have had a lot more than their first half total (8) indicated. Mes Que FC had just four shots on target in the first half.

To open the second half, Mes Que FC came out swinging and swung momentum in their favor. Mes Que FC’s Lloyd Miller scored with 19:10 left in the second half after his team shut down a Celtic Green three on one. Unfortunately, Mes Que’s momentum was taken out from under them when they scored an own goal just over five minutes later.

For the remaining ten minutes, the two teams played opposite styles of soccer. Celtic Green were meticulous in their efforts to get a goal, trying to make the right passes to get up the field. On the other hand, Mes Que FC was bombing balls down the field, sending Hail Mary’s, over everyone’s head down the field, hoping to outrun Celtic Green’ defenders.

With 4:04 left in the game, Celtic Green’s Luke L. broke the 2-2 tie when he scored what would be the game winning goal. Despite a couple of near misses from Mes Que FC, Celtic Green’s defense did a good job of locking down the game dwon for the last four minutes to secure a spot in the Men’s Soccer Blue Championship.

Final Score: Celtic Green 3 Mes Que FC 2

Shots On Goal: Celtic Green 17 Mes Que FC 14

The Championship is set for next Tuesday Jan. 15 at 9 P.M. As I like to say, t-shirts are on the line!

 If a player doesn’t have a player pass or directly gives an Epic Center staff employee their name, last name, or last initial, then they’re identity will remaim protected on Epic Center Sports Report. These aren’t professional athletes, just people who play a recreational sport at the Epic Center.

To see standings, stats, and more head to epic-center.com.

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Game of the Week: Bolts jolt Red Machine

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WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. – Last Tuesday the Queen City Bolts took on the Red Machine. Coming into the game the Bolts had the league’s highest scoring offense, and the Red Machine had the league’s best defense only giving up 17 goals. This, on paper, was predicted by multiple Epic Center employees to be the best hockey game on Tuesday night’s slate. Well it was far from it, as the Bolts destroyed the Red Machine, winning by a score of 12-2.

Before the game, I told Queen City Bolts captain Brian Faraci that his team is playing in the Game of the Week. After responding with ‘Nice!’ he promptly told his team. It must have had quite an effect on the Bolts, as they played one of the best halves of hockey that I’ve seen at the Epic Center.

To start the Bolts first half domination, forward Joe Plevniak scored by going five-hole making it 1-0. Red Machine’s Chris Becken scored in retaliation with a nice deke cutting in from the left wing and shooting left side, but that was the last of Red Machine in the first half.

In the span of five minutes the Bolts scored five goals. In their 5-0 run Plevniak scored two of them, Chris Cartone and Bolts leading scorer Ed Sudik scored one each, and Charles Smith scored the other. Smith also threw in a couple of really nice in between the legs passes, none of which were put away for goals, but they were fun to watch nonetheless.

With a 6-1 lead, the Bolts drew a powerplay that lasted for the last two minutes of the first half. Sudik was able to convert on the powerplay to give the Bolts a 7-1 lead going into halftime. The Bolts also led in the SOG category, 17-6.

The Bolts domination continued in the second half. Plevinak clinched a hat trick by scoring with 16:17 left in the game. Just 59 seconds later, Elliott Smith scored to make it 9-1. He scored again with 12:38 left to earn the Bolts second hat trick of the night to make it 10-1.

Smith got the Bolts into double-digit-lead territory when he scored his second of the night with 9:22 left in the second half. Red Machine got into more-than-one territory when Eric Tuchols scored to make it 11-2. The game ended, but it was brought to our attention that we missed a goal (we apologize again), so Brian Faraci’s second-half goal was added to the statistics, but wasn’t added in real time.

Final Score: Queen City Bolts 12 Red Machine 2 

Shots on Goal: Queen City Bolts 28 Red Machine 18

To see standings, stats, and more head to epic-center.com.

If a player doesn’t have a player pass or directly gives an Epic Center staff employee their name, last name, or last initial, then they’re identity will remains protected on Epic Center Sports Report. These aren’t professional athletes, just people who play a recreational sport at the Epic Center.

 

 

Game of the Week: BCC beats Jamokes in thrilling comeback

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A Jamokes (red) free kick against BCC Soccer (blue). Picture by Franklin Heinzmann.

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. – Two weeks ago I covered a Tuesday Men’s Soccer Blue game that featured two mainstays of the Epic Center. Last Tuesday, two of the newer teams to the Epic Center faced off in a Tuesday Men’s Soccer Green matchup in Jamokes and Buffalo Church of Christ Soccer, a.k.a. BCC Soccer. After a very entertaining game of soccer, BCC beat Jamokes by a score of 8-7.

The Jamokes got off to a fast start as Jay Hughes sored just over three minutes into the game. The Jamokes were firing on all cylinders defensively as well, holding BCC shot-less through the first 14 minutes of the game. With 10:30 left in the game BCC’s Ajibola scored with the team’s second shot on target to make it 1-1. Then within the span of 30 seconds Jamokes took a 3-1 lead thanks to a goal from Hughes and a rocket from Jaime Salcedo.

The score held into halftime. Shots at halftime were 10-3 in favor of Jamokes. While doing my duty as the timekeeper I happened to interrupt BCC’s halftime pep talk. In the few seconds that I was standing there, BCC’s pep talk made me want to run through a wall for them. Jamokes on the other hand were very celebratory, preaching consistency for the second half.

After breaking out a huddle by yelling ‘Together!’, BCC came out scorching hot in the second half. Manny scored 90 seconds in, and Ajibola scored his second of the night by chipping Jamokes’ keeper to tie the game at three apiece.

Salcedo regained Jamokes lead by scoring his second of the night after a layoff on a free kick to make it 4-3 with 20:08 left in the second half. Shortly after, Jamokes forward Dan scored a goal by going post-in to extend his team’s lead to two. Ajibola clinched a hat trick by scoring with just over 11 minutes to go in the game.

It was at this point that BCC started to rely on their speed and exploit the middle of the defense with long through balls. It was this that ultimately helped them come back. BCC’s Yande Chabala scored using this strategy twice to first tie the game at five apiece, then tie the game at six apiece. Sandwiched in between Cahabala’s goals was a great penalty kick scored by Jamokes leading scorer, Andy T. with 7:59 left in the game.

With 3:53 left in the game, BCC took the lead for the first time when Manny slotted home his second of the game to give BCC a 7-6 lead. Ajibola scored his fourth of the night just a minute later, and capped it off with a boisterous fist pump. Jamokes’ Vinnie scored with 84 seconds left, but it was ironically too little too late as the final buzzer sounded at 8-7 BCC.

Final Score: BCC Soccer 8 Jamokes 7

Shots on Goal: BCC Soccer 15 Jamokes 22

If a player doesn’t have a player pass or directly give me their last name or last initial, then they’re identity will remain protected. These aren’t professional athletes, just people who play a recreational sport at the Epic Center.

To see standings, stats, and more head to epic-center.com.

Game of the Week: Reynolds hat trick lifts Helltwigs over Regulation Hair Loss

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WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. – Regulation Hair Loss took on Helltwigs in a Tuesday Roller Hockey Blue matchup this past Tuesday. Helltwigs went into the game with the goal of holding the top spot in the standings with a win, while Regulation Hair Loss were aiming to leapfrog Spartans for second place with a win.

Within the span of one minute, Helltwigs forward Brandon Reynolds scored two out of his three goals on the night. It was 2-0 Helltiwgs, when Regulation Hair Loss forward Aaron Crane had two great chances to get his team on the board, but he hit the post twice in a matter of seconds. Regulation Hair Loss were able to convert when Sean Tate got his team on the board with a wrister from the slot to make the score 2-1 with 12:21 left.

After a nice glove save made by Regulation Hair Loss goalie Jacob Szyczak, the team took the ensuing faceoff in from own zone down the ice for a two-on-one and converted. It was Crane who made up for his past two clunkers by tying the score with 8:45 left in the first half. Reynolds responded by completing his first half hat trick with 3:32 left to give Helltwigs a 3-2 lead. That was the score at halftime.

Five minutes into the second half, Helltwigs’ Chris Kreuger scroed his first off the night after a nice drop back pass from Reynolds. With 9:31 left, the Kreguer-Reynolds connection flashed again to give Helltwigs a commanding 5-2 lead. Helltwigs held their dominating lead for most of the second half. Crane broke through Helltwigs’ stranglehold of the game when he scored with 3:34 left to make it 5-3.

Crane’s goal warranted Regulation Hair Loss to pull their goalie with just under two minutes left in the game, but with 49 seconds left Helltwigs iced the game with an empty net goal.

Final Score: Helltwigs 6 Regulation Hair Loss 3

Shots on Goal: Helltwigs 27 Regualation Hair Loss 20

To see standings, stats, and more head to epic-center.com.

 

 

Game of the Week: Mad Lads blank Mes Que

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Mad Lads United (orange) and Mes Que FC (black) shake hands after the game. Picture by Franklin Heinzmann.

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. – I’ve been working at the Epic Center for a year and a half. Back when I started timekeeping and covering games for ECSR, GPS would roll over Manchesthair United seemingly every time. Now you’re asking yourself, ‘who are those teams?’ They are previous reincarnations of Mes Que FC and Mad Lads United respectively. Well things have changed in a year and a half and it showed on Tuesday as Mad Lads defeated Mes Que by a score of 4-0.

Mad Lads United forward Lucas Metzger got things started with a goal with 16:14 left Throughout the first half, Mes Que’s gameplan, including an unconventional 2-3-1 formation, was canceled out by Mad Lads’ 3-1-2 formation. The defense and midfielders of Mad Lads did a great job of clogging the midfield and preventing the Mes Que defense getting it to their midfielders. With 5:30 left, Matt Kruszewski scored Mad Lads’ second goal. His goal was the last goal scored before the halftime buzzer.

With the score 2-0 at halftime, each team took their halftime preparations differently. Mad Lads stressed that they couldn’t ease up because they were aware of how good Mes Que had been in the past. Mes Que was very quiet and tense in their game planning.

Ostap Tkalich scored Mad Lads’ third goal in in the opening moments of the second half. With about 16 minutes left, Mad Lads switched to a five-at-the-back formation, inviting pressure form Mes Que. Mes Que took advantage and put more shots on goal, but none of them got past the goalkeeper. Through the first half of the second half (or in the third quarter of the game if you want to think of it that way) alone, shots were 5-2 Mes Que, but they couldn’t convert.

To put the nail in the coffin, Kevin O’ Sullivan scored his first goal of the session with 5:44 left to make the score 4-0 Mad Lads United. Mes Que were playing with only seven total players, and their collective fatigue really showed on the last goal and for the rest of the game.

Final Score: Mad Lads United 4 Mes Que FC 0

Shots on Goal: Mes Que 13 Mad Lads United 12

To see standings, stats, and more head to epic-center.com.

Game of the Week: Bolts blitz past Crystal Palace

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A Crystal Palace defender (black) attempts to clear the puck past a Queen City Bolts forward (white). Picture by Franklin Heinzmann.

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. – Before heading off to see relatives for Thanksgiving, I covered Crystal Palace vs the defending Tuesday Roller Hockey Green champions, the Queen City Bolts. The Bolts dominated in all three phases of the game: offense, defense and goaltending. Their persistent control of the game was what gave them an 8-3 win to open up the session. 

The Bolts scored most of their goals in pairs. Two quick goals by Ed Sudik and #8 propelled Queen City to a 2-0 lead right out of the gates. With 12:20 left in the first half, they earned their first powerplay, but it was Crystal Palace who took advantage. Jason Fullone scored his first of the game shorthanded to make it 2-1. From there on it was all Bolts for the rest of the half.

Charles Smith scored with 9:39 left, and off the ensuing faceoff he assisted Elliott Smith for Queen City’s fourth goal of the half. After a nice save by Crystal Palace goalie Mike Sante, Brian Faraci scored with 2:34 left. Off the ensuing faceoff he scored again to make it 6-1 Bolts (remember, they mostly scored in pairs). Ed Sudik added his second of the night just before the halftime buzzer.

The score at halftime was 7-1. The Bolts had 13 shots on net to Crystal Palace’s four.

To open up the second half, Charles Smith added his second of the game to bring the Bolts goal total up to eight. As the game wore on things got chippy between both teams. A total of three penalties were handed out amongst both teams in the second half, including a bench minor assessed to Queen City for taunting.

In an effort to drain the clock and not blow a 7 goal lead, Queen City dominated possession throughout the half. That didn’t stop James R. and Kevin Cook of Crystal Palace from making their mark on the box score late in the game. However, their two goals weren’t enough to surmount Queen City.

Final Score: Queen City Bolts 8 Crystal Palace 3

Shots on Goal: Queen City Bolts 29 Crystal Palace 13

Next week, Crystal Palace plays Puckin’ Monkeys and Queen City plays Team Wheels.

If a player doesn’t directly give me their last name or last initial, then they’re identity is protected on Epic Center Sports Report. These aren’t professional athletes, just people who play a recreational sport at the Epic Center.

To see the standings, stats, and more head to epic-center.com.

Game of the Week: Queen City Bolts win inaugural Epic Cup

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Queen City Bolts, the first Tuesday Roller Hockey Green Epic Cup champions with the Epic Cup. Picture by Franklin Heinzmann..

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. – In the first ever Epic Cup matchup, #1 Queen City Bolts and #2 Don Bombs, the top two teams of Tuesday Roller Hockey Green, faced off. In the end it was The Bolts that were hoisting the Epic Cup at the end of the night after defeating Don Bombs 5-3.

Just four minutes in, both teams traded penalties, but no one was able to capitalize. Justin Liberty scored the team’s first goal by beating a Don Bombs defender and sneaking the puck five-hole. That was the only goal that Don Bombs goalie Abram Thompson conceded in the first fifteen minutes. He stopped six out of a possible seven in that time frame.

Bolts forward Jacob Borgenich and Don Bombs’ Jeffery Bull traded goals in the last two minutes of the first half to make the score 2-1 at halftime. Shots at halftime were in favor of the Bolts, 10-5.

Just 90 seconds into the second half, Eddy (no last name given) gave Queen City Bolts a 3-1 lead. In retaliation, Blazing Nuggets leading scorer Roy Wasiewic scored shortly after, after taking a center-ice (or center-rink rather) turnover and converting on a breakaway to make it 3-2.

For the majority of the second half the Bolts were inviting Don Bombs to put on pressure in their own zone, hoping for a turnover and to subsequently break out with speed. At 10:01 left in the second half the Bolts got a two-on-none because of this, but Thompson came up with a clutch glove save to keep it a one-goal game.

With 7:21 left, Wasiewic scored his second of the game to tie the score a three each. At this point the Bolts stopped playing around and put the pedal to the metal. With 3:09 left, Bolts forwards Ryan Lee and Joe Plezniak linked up on a give and go for their team’s fourth, and what would the game-winning, goal. Off the ensuing faceoff, Liberty added another goal for his second of the game. Despite calling a timeout and pulling the goalie, Don Bombs were not able to come back from the Bolts two quick goals.

Final Score: Queen City Bolts 5 Don Bombs 3

Shots on Goal: Queen City Bolts 25 Don Bombs 22

Queen City Bolts and Don Bombs will both be returning for next session, so it’s possible these two team will meet once again with the Epic Cup on the line.

 

To see standings, stats, and more head to epic-center.com.