Saturday, May 10, 2014

HSLL Recap and HSLL/Northern Nevada Playoffs

Following a rough trip to California that saw the varsity team score eight goals to the opposing team's 25, the Grizzlies returned home to begin a long slate of league games. The Month of March was nice for the Grizzlies as they enjoyed four home games and two road games against local opponents. Each contest resulted in a Galena victory as the team began to hit their stride.
April was the opposite as the team played four road games and two home games. The first home game coming out of Spring Break was a close match against a worthy North Tahoe team. North Tahoe had been playing games and practicing while Galena enjoyed an extended Spring Break and time off. North Tahoe nearly caught the Grizzlies off-guard as the Grizzlies came back into the season a little cold. The game was close throughout and tied in the last two minutes of the fourth quarter. A North Tahoe slash and offsides on the same play put the Grizzlies man-up with very little time left. Galena spun the ball, melted the clock, and Ryan Leuty (Sr., M) netted the game-winner for a 10-9 victory. Galena rattled off five more victories after that game to head into May at the top of the league standings.

May brought two more league games before the start of the HSLL playoffs. The fist game in May pitted the Grizzlies against Bishop Manogue, another top team in the league. The game was an exciting back and forth event that saw multiple lead changes in the first half. Galena opened the game 3-0, but the advantage slowly diminished as the Miners clawed back into the second half to take a 6-5 lead into halftime. The third quarter was relatively quiet as Manogue scored the only goal. The Grizzlies came out on fire in the fourth scoring five goals, but Manogue answered with four of their own, ultimately winning the game 11-10. Despite Wyatt Katich's (Jr. A) six-goal effort, the game marked Galena's fist loss against a league team since May 16th, 2011. Ultimately, the loss had no bearing on the standings and Galena would rattle off another victory against Northwest to secure a 1-seed for the HSLL playoffs.

Galena faced the 4-seed North Tahoe in the fist semi-final game. North Tahoe limped into the semi-final after playing several games in a very short stretch of time. Galena controlled the game from the opening whistle and walked away with a 9-2 victory. The 3-seed Reno handled Manogue in the other semi-final 10-8 to ink a repeat of the 2012 and 2013 finals. The Finals started with Galena wining the first quarter 4-1. Galena added four more tallies in the second quarter to go into halftime up 8-1. Galena added three more goals in the third and Reno answered with three goals of their own. The score was 11-4 in Galena's favor going into the fourth. Several younger players got some time in the fourth quarter to get some experience and work on preserving the lead. However, Reno added two more goals to keep things lively. When time expired, Galena had coasted to a 11-6 victory and a third straight HSLL/Northern Nevada title.


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