NA3EHL Championship Finals preview
March 24, 2016
The 2016 NA3EHL Championship Finals are set to begin it what will be the battle for the final NA3EHL Championship. Next season, all the teams from the NA3EHL will be joining the NA3HL for the 2016-17 season and beyond.
The Finals will be a battle of #1 seeds and East Division regular season and playoff Champion Cape Cod Islanders will travel to New Jersey for a best of three series against the West Division regular season and playoff Champion Jersey Shore Wildcats. The first club to win two games will be crowned the 2016 NA3EHL Champion.
All three games will be played at the Jersey Shore Arena
All games can be seen live on FASTHockey
2016 NA3EHL Championship Finals (best of 3 series, all times Eastern)
Game 1: Thursday, March 24, 6:00pm
Game 2: Friday, March 25, 7:30pm
Game 3: Saturday, March 26, 11:15am*
Cape Cod advanced after sweeping the L/A Fighting Spirit in the East Finals, while Jersey Shore defeated the New York Aviators in the West Finals, 2-1.
The two teams only met one time during the regular season, which came back on January 31st during the second NA3EHL Showcase in Lockport as Jersey Shore came away with a 5-3 win.
Offense: Jersey Shore was the highest scoring team in the league during the regular season, averaging 5.86 goals per game, while Cape Cod was 3rd with 4.89. The two clubs also had the two best power plays in the league as both were at 25% or better, which may therein lies the key to the series… staying out of the penalty box. Both teams can score and both are good on the power play, so playing 5 on 5 hockey is to both team’s advantage. Cape Cod has to put a eye out on Wildcats forward Travis Valvo, who had five goals in the final two games in the series against New York. Cape Cod also needs to look out for Dylan Plsek and Frederic Ampleman. Four different players have scored the game-winners in the four Islanders wins in the playoffs, as they have yet to drop a game. Chris O’Donnell and Maxime Dordet are leading the way, but look out for Mike Jessman and Aaron Deady.
Defense: The league’s two top point-producing defensemen are in this series in the form of Eric Szeker (Cape Cod) and Scott Hansen (Jersey Shore). Szeker is averaging a point per game in the playoffs and is a team best +8, while Hansen leads all Jersey Shore players with nine points in their five playoff games. It should be a great match-up to watch.
Goaltending: Scott Albertoni will be in goal for the Wildcats, as he has started the last nine straight games, including all five in the playoffs. The Islanders went with Steven Schmitt in the series against the Fighting Spirit. Since joining the Islanders in January, Schmitt has yet to lose a game, going 6-0 in the regular season and 3-0 in the playoffs. Anton Zemba is the other goalie who has seen time in the playoffs and led the team during the regular season.