Round of 16
Here we go, folks. Time for the rubber to hit the road. 16 teams enter, 1 team leaves (well, technically we all leave to go to home but you get the point). Let’s dive in!
1) Vertz vs 16) Gremlins
Jess: I’m just gonna leave Walker’s favorite meme here…
Russo: I’ll recuse myself from this write-up. But just putting it out there BTSH, you let the Vertz get hot ?
Glnzr: Jamie will need a MasterClass to eliminate the Vertz. It ain’t happening. But I also don’t think it will be a massacre. 4-0.
2) Mega v 15) Karma
Jess: This might be the only real wildcard of the play in winners v top 4 teams. When Karma and Mega met earlier this year, Julie had a nonexistent roster and was able to canvas for subs throughout the blacktop, somehow defeating Karma 3-1. This time around will be much harder for Mega, whose record against other d1 teams this year is 0-2. I think Karma has an all around slight edge here.
Russo: Gonna have to disagree with you on this one, Jess. Having won four one-goal games—even though it feels like many more—Mega’s defensive structure is suffocating. Karma’s forwards have to run through the girl-power gauntlet that is Shelly, Tash, Courtney, Cara, and Julie. Versus a more wheel-and-deal team, Karma has a better chance. But here, I don’t think Derek, AK, and the rest of the squad are able to generate enough offense to snag the victory.
Glnzr: I’d love to know who is playing for both. Assuming all attend. As I told Tash yesterday in our first ever private text exchange!! I think she will lose. AK/Derek are the top 2 players playing. But the real key is Kittridge. He’s relentless. I’m not sure he isn’t just a bot programmed to run and look angry. I’d pay millions to see a picture of him smiling.* Reluctantly, Friedman is a good goalie. As for Mega…
They have some good guys on the team as well. No one knows who they are but I think three of them are named Jeff. One is a Dr. Their goalie Mike has had some impressive playoff games, though they all end up in losses (Loss to FK in shootout in 2011, loss to Rehabs in 2019). And as great as their girls are, Karma’s are prob top 4-5 (Vertz/Mega both great, Hookers 3rd). So I just don’t like the matchup here for Mega. I see a tough 2-1 loss ending their historic season and a much needed rule to the playoff structure next season. Be proud Julie, you never thought you’d see the day where Mega is a contender.
*Will not pay one damn cent
Jess: Tash, if you’re reading this you can block him.
3) Fresh Kills v 14) Butchers
Russo: It took Butchers everything they had to pull off the 1-0 win on Sunday vs. Agents. Sunday, they’re playing a juggernaut in Fresh Kills who are looking to repeat as PBR Champions. Corey’s been a rock in net, George took home the crown for most goals this year, and got Hogg mid-season to add an even bigger punch. Butchers would need an early Christmas/Hanukkah miracle to win but we’ll get a true gauge of what a D1 vs D4 matchup looks like.
Jess: Actually, maybe this is the stop stop he’s already dead meme game. FK lost Louis to injury and Meg isn’t getting flown in by Big Bucks Gabe this year but like you’ve said, they’re a juggernaut.
Glnzr: Maddy is the key to this game. If she can singlehandedly stop all the great FK players, and score 9 goals herself, they have a chance not to use the meme that Jess should have waited to use on this game, and only lose by 5-6. I’d also like to take this time to say Rachel G. is very pretty. And for the love of God Chadwick, if Gabe is at your point don’t leave him open! Stop following the damn ball!
Jess: I SAID I MADE A MISTAKE WITH THE PREMATURE MEME USAGE. Also, no pressure, Maddy.
4) Lbs v 13) WTP
Russo: With Frey out for the year, that leaves a big hole on D for Lbs.. BUT, for this game, I don’t really see that being a problem—talk to me in the Elite 8. WTP has struggled to find consistent scoring this season outside of McCauley and Yehuda. They squeaked past the 20th-ranked team last week but this looks to be the end of the road for orange. I predict a hat trick for Lbs. and a shutout win for Zisser.
Jess: I think Casca is going to make this game hard for the Lbs and they’ve had some attendance troubles the past few games. As much as I love an upset I’m inclined to agree with you, but let’s hope it’s a closer game.
Glnzr: The Lbs. might let WTP hang around but they have no shot to win. Find a Yehuda meme from D5 and stick it in here bc the Lbs. cruise, 3-0.
5) Hookers vs 12) Anklebiters
Jess: The Hookers have finished 2nd in the 2nd division while Biters have maybe bit off more than they can chew this season. The two teams’ record against each other is 1-1, with a 1 goal lead in each game. I think this really comes down to who shows up. I feel like I’ve been at the courts a few times this year where the Hookers are going into OT or generally looking like they’re going to lose but manage to surmount a comeback. It seems only fitting for this game to go into OT. I still think playoffs probie is the X factor the biters need to win it.
Russo: After finishing second in D2 this season, Hookers might have been expecting an easy one going into the Round of 16. Nope, they get the Anklebiters. Not the 2021 or 2022 version of the Gougers, but still…Probie’s gonna Probie. Biters are definitely a bit more top-heavy on offense with Probie, Jared, and Mike accounting for most of their goals this season. While Hookers had 21 different goal scorers this season—but nobody with more than four. I also see this being an
ankle nail biter but Hookers pull off the W.
Glnzr: This is going to be a great game. Top talent and goalie goes to the Biters, while women and depth are big W’s for the Hookers. The Hookers deserve to win, they have been the more consistent team, but I think the Biters are going to pull this one out 4-3.
6) Sky Fighters vs 11) Filthier
Russo: This one should be fun. It’s not dissimilar to Hookers/Biters where you have a more balanced team (Sky Fighters) vs. a more offensively top-heavy team (Filthier). For me, this comes down to attendance. If Filthier have a full lineup, we’re gonna see a very tired Mo and Jake huffing oxygen on the sidelines. I’m calling an upset here and giving the edge to Filither, 5-3 (EN).
Also shoutout Cam for his league-leading 6 shutouts this season for Sky Fighters (+ 3 more as a FA for 9 total!!)
Jess: Sky F’s have had a continual glowup over the years and I don’t see Filthier putting a stop to a decent playoffs run. They have a great combo of newer ladies and gents who can score but the vets like Hopper, Greg, and Mia know how to get it done. While their offense might be evenly matched, I think Filthier is lacking in the defense department compared to Sky Fighters. I think Sky Fighters win this by 1 in regulation.
Glnzr: Having just played and reffed Filthier, I have to say they are an underrated team. I didn’t notice any weak links and I think they are just more balanced than SF. If everyone shows for the SF, that’s disastrous as Wes and Stern need to play every other shift. My brain says Filthier but my gut says SF. Sadly for Richie…I haven’t been doing my crunches so I’m going to go with my gut and say 3-2 SF.
7) Poutine vs 10) Fuzz
Jess: presented without comment, this southpark character. If you know his name, great. If not, you’re missing out on a good joke. Suuuuper random reminder to be nice to the refs! Anyways. This is a tough one but since Poutine let me mercilessly troll them with the ‘f*ck’ addition to Simon’s poutine tattoo earlier this year, I will root for them.
Russo: I’d like to name this game the Sleeveless Bowl. Poutine—whose jerseys are generally being tank tops vs. Rich “Hero” Glnzr and his refusal to wear sleeves in any situation.
Probably the biggest critique of Fuzz this year has been their inconsistency in net. Channeling the 2019 Philadelphia Flyers (obscure NHL goalie stat here), Fuzz have used six different goalies this season. But they’ve gotta pick one for playoffs and Dave GDR gets the call. I have personally been victimized by a GDR Playoff Robbery at Moffo (RIP) and it is a sight to see. But Captain Mikey has Poutine firing on all cylinders heading into playoffs and I expect them to get a quick jump on Fuzz and not look back. Prediction: Poutine 3, Fuzz 2. Sorry Rich.
Glnzr: Jess, Scott won’t be there but let me quote the Bible, “Scottih made a mistake but is actually a really good guy when you get to know him. Let’s go Mets, Let’s go Elves, Let’s go America.” Also…Jess rooting against Fuzz. How new. I wish I had the video…in the 2018 finals I made a video of the one goal CK scored against us. As Meredith Brooks was singing her iconic song “Bitch” I slowly panned the crowd celebrating their goal and stopped on future ROY Jess, going nuts rooting against us. I’m fairly certain she would root for ISIS against Fuzz. To her credit she took the joke from the old creepy guy in the league well and we are better friends for it. But since she continually roots against me I may have to root for Yehuda in their arm wrestling rematch next year in OC.
Jess: Let the record show Yehuda cheated. Also that video is iconic and I wish I could find it.
8) Rainbows vs 9) Cobra Kai
Jess: Well, given the fact the last time we played the dojo our goalie slept through his alarm and one of our defenseman played in net wearing a backpack [see photo] and Russ’ ice hockey pads (thx btw Russ) – I think this is going to go a little bit better for us. With Emma in Sweden and Liam out with a broken wrist (feel better!) CK has been weakened but it won’t be an easy game by any means. Unless of course we accidentally get Campbell too drunk the night before at his best friend Henry’s 30th birthday party!!! #goodvibes. Of course I am going to predict my own team to win it in OT, game winner by birthday boy Henry.
Russo: Seems like absolutely no favoritism at play here. Let’s get real Jess, while Rainbows have definitely come a long way from “Let’s pop champagne, we won a game!!”, this is still a D1 vs D4 matchup. In your scenario, a hungover Campbell plays well below his average self. Fine, point for Rainbows. But are you saying Henry—Mr. 30th Birthday Boy himself—isn’t also gonna be pushing the can lady out of the way on his way to hurl? You sure about that? Cobra Kai win, bring out the dancing lobsters.
Glnzr: Really impressive season by the Rainbows and it sucked there was no media this year to celebrate it. I’m legitimately happy for you but sad that you had to play CK. They’ve made the semis four straight seasons and while we are all sick of seeing them in the semis, their def making it to the QF’s by cruising to a 3-0 win. But hey…cover anyone named Tom’s forehand and don’t worry if they go on their backhand and you may have a chance.