The Bulls are out of the playoffs, but there are a handful of other teams left fighting for the dwindling spots available.
Here are the results for the Quarterfinal games:
Florida Everblades advance, winning their series over Elmira Jackals 4-2 games
Reading Royals advance, winning their series over Greenville Road Warriors 4-1 games
Cincinnati Cyclones advance, winning their series over Toledo Walleye 4-2 games
Gwinnett Gladiators advance, winning their series over South Carolina Stingrays 4-0 games
Ontario Reign advance, winning their series over Utah Grizzlies 4-0 games
Idaho Steelheads advance, winning their series over Colorado Eagles 4-2 games
Stockton Thunder advance, winning their series over Las Vegas Wranglers 4-3 games
Alaska Aces advance, winning their series over San Francisco Bulls 4-1 games
Most of the wins in the First Round were predictable, but there were a couple surprises. One of them was Stockton’s ability to overtake the Wranglers coming from two games behind and win the series. That was some battle of a First Round for them; one the Thunder fans won’t soon forget.
San Francisco fought hard and surprised Aces fans who may have thought the games would be easy wins.
The Utah Grizzlies battled but in the end were overtaken by the stronger Reign, my favorite to win the west.
Gwinnett swept South Carolina. I expected them to win, but sweeping the Stingrays surprised me a little.
Reading won their series, even with a major change in team ownership and switch over NHL affiliation (they’re now affiliated with the Washington Capitals). I’m impressed with their ability to maintain their focus to get the job done.
Toledo kept up with Cincy as much as they could, but the Cyclones won in overtime in the Sixth game.
The Semifinals start Friday night:
Florida Everblades vs Reading Royals in Reading
Gwinnett Gladiators vs Cincinnati Cyclones in Gwinnett
Stockton Thunder vs Alaska Aces in Anchorage
Idaho Steelheads vs Ontario Reign in Ontario
My favorites to win this round are Ontario, Alaska, Florida and Gwinnett, but anything can happen! This is hockey at its best. Every team, every player, every coach deserves to be there. They’ve worked hard for their place and I commend them for it. Good luck to all! Hockey is the greatest team sport there is. Thank you for making it even better!