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    ECL '24: Spring - Pro Playoffs: Round 1 Preview

    Once again the regular season comes to an end and the most exciting time of the year is upon us. I couldn't be more than happy with the teams that pushed through to the playoffs and once again proved this writer wrong. In this article, we’ll go through all the matchups in round 1, see what the teams have accomplished so far and then get into the predictions of each series. 


    ECL_8_Pro_logo_350x350.png ECL Pro - Round 1 official scheduled dates*:

    • Monday 27.5
    • Tuesday 28.5
    • Thursday 30.5

    *Teams can agree to play games earlier, many series are expected to start early.

    Falun%20Coal%20Miners_20220319-185041_20Falun Coal Miners (1) vs Vizio (8)Vizio_20230516-113355.png

    With the number one seed always comes big expectations. This year is no exception with Falun beating Deadly Phantoms and TIKI TALK for that number one seed and the “Presidents' trophy”, thus gaining home advantage for the entirety of the playoffs. With a record of 20-4-1-5 and 69 points, spearheading the Falun offense this season was @STRANDMANNEN11, relatively new to the scene and scoring 32 goals in his first season is impressive, to say the least. But with the bright playoffs lights, can he do it against a team that has played together for a long time, can @Artuzio and @Jetsu28 carry this team to round 2 after barely making the playoffs? Only time will tell.



    @hifk_FANI: 4-0 Falun Falun%20Coal%20Miners_20220319-185041_20

    @yrjoo: 2-4 VizioVizio_20230516-113355.png



    Deadly_Phantoms.pngDeadly Phantoms (1) vs Cheeky Grinders (8) cheekygrinders_20230220-164117.png

    Phantoms boast quite a long history of making the playoffs, everybody knows how frustrating it is to play against this team, right? Many of us Nordic players blame the Central European servers for that, but the Phantoms' style of play has once again proven effective: they won their group and proved that server choice does not matter as much as some think, edging out a few teams who could have taken that spot.

    For the Phantoms their excellent defensive play stood out this season, boasting 1.67 goals allowed per game, with the goalie @RPH_31 taking a stand (SV% 84.38 and 1.79 GAA). This will be a good test for a Cheeky Grinders team that plays well against teams who are higher in the standings - they did indeed steal some points this season from difficult opponents, which is why they are in the playoffs right now. Let’s see how they match against an incredibly experienced playoff team.



    @hifk_FANI: 4-2 DPH Deadly_Phantoms.png

    @yrjoo: 4-1 DPH Deadly_Phantoms.png


    TIKI%20TALK_20210406-095605.pngTIKI TALK (2) vs Herlev Eagles (7) Herlev_Eagles_500x500.png


    Someone could have maybe predicted this series at the start of the season, but maybe the other way? Herlev had a lot of ups and downs, and TIKI TALK had an impressive regular season. This should be an interesting series - both have lots of individual talent, @itspardytime, @NuariJamal, @vibholm10, and @Spearzz_, just to name a few. But as both teams look to advance to the next round, the team who can play the more compact defense will surely advance?



    @hifk_FANI: 3-4 Herlev Herlev_Eagles_500x500.png

    @yrjoo: 3-4 Herlev Herlev_Eagles_500x500.png


    FR_20201111-082956.png Finnish Roosters (2) vs Golden Sticks (7) IMG_1471_20240421-215355.png

    The Finnish Roosters was definitely on my personal list of teams who deserved a mention in that “could’ve been” ECL Pro mid-season report that sadly never came to fruition. The team boasts a lot of players who have been around the scene for a while, and now they are entering the playoffs with momentum against a team that was assembled not long ago. This will be an interesting series to follow for a number of reasons, but the number one thing to look out for should definitely be the offense of Golden Sticks vs the defense of Finnish Roosters.



    @hifk_FANI: 4-0 Roosters FR_20201111-082956.png

    @yrjoo: 4-2 Roosters.FR_20201111-082956.png


    Poggers_20231105-102007.pngPOGGERS (3) vs NOVA (6) nova500x500_20230321-174942.png

    It's been an interesting story for both teams this season, with POGGERS having a slightly disappointing Pro regular season after being relegated and NOVA building on last season, improving their record. NOVA can only hope to beat a strong POGGERS team, who have played for a long time together and they certainly know how to win hockey games. As always the creative center @JaKurrii is a hard player to contain, with 67 points (23+44), playing with @Ghettomasi who had a great season, scoring an impressive 37 goals. Can NOVA's defense and recently acquired @PyroNiko cause an upset?



    @hifk_FANI: 2-4 Nova nova500x500_20230321-174942.png

    @yrjoo: 4-2 Poggers Poggers_20231105-102007.png


    ryhticlogo-png_20240326-184030.pngRYHTIC (3) vs Södertälje SK (6) Sodertalje_SK.png.13664e3d93be108bd46c18

    Both teams have had their fair share of games played in the Pro division, and now we’ll see who has more ice in their veins. With a tough season, Södertälje is looking to prove to everyone and themselves that they are better than most in this division. With the help of a couple of really great players, @amadee21 can really step up in the playoffs - a player to watch for this series!

    RYHTIC can surprise a lot of teams with their style of play, taking down far more skilled teams with great defense and @yrjoo always steps up in the playoffs. @JussinSisko has to be a top 3 goalie in Pro this season, with absolute monster saves, and keeping RYHTIC alive in a lot of games. Can Södertälje beat the defense of RYHTIC?



    @hifk_FANI: 4-1 Ryhtic ryhticlogo-png_20240326-184030.png

    @yrjoo: Plays for Ryhtic


    OTUKSET_20230316-215750_20240303-092212_Otukset (4) vs Mustaa Kultaa (5) C5BB6820-755E-436F-9555-9AE6F5CE3DA0_202

    For the first round of these playoffs, this matchup has to be the one to watch. Both teams have exceptional talent in their roster, and know the game in and out. This will be a battle of Offense vs Offense - expect a lot of goals to be scored.

    Mustaa Kultaa couldn't quite make Elite, and didn’t really have the regular season everyone expected, but playoffs are always a different beast. Can the king of the Lite division @Allupekkaz step up and show everyone he belongs in the Pro division - or even higher? Shoutout goes to the best goalie in the regular season @LatveX boasting a save percentage of 90%! Who knew you could even do that in an NHL video game

    It seems Otukset have always had roller-coaster-type seasons. Their game varies from day to day, which can be a dangerous thing in the playoffs. Will we see an improved Otukset in this series? You can always rely on @Hazard-laser when the games get tough, but will it be enough?



    @hifk_FANI: 2-4 Mustaa Kultaa C5BB6820-755E-436F-9555-9AE6F5CE3DA0_202

    @yrjoo: 3-4 Mustaa Kultaa C5BB6820-755E-436F-9555-9AE6F5CE3DA0_202


    Almost_Famous.png Almost Famous (4) vs Supernatural (5) ECL8%20Pro%20-%20Supernatural_20210418-1


    This series could go either way - both teams have the ability to beat the other. Supernatural showed us that they know how to take faceoffs, with an impressive 55,63% faceoff percentage in the regular season, which could give them the edge in this series with @TackleControl in the faceoff circle.

    Making an impressive run in the Lite playoffs last ECL, Almost Famous now immediately made the playoffs in Pro with a good record. They can build on this momentum in these playoffs and go on a similar run this year. @Ikavalko will surely be the center of attention of the Supernatural defense. if you enjoy tight games, this will be the series for you.



    @hifk_FANI: 4-2 Almost Famous Almost_Famous.png

    @yrjoo: 2-4 Supernatural ECL8%20Pro%20-%20Supernatural_20210418-1



    Who do you think will win each series? Are there any key points or factors that we may have not covered? Let us know in the comments!



    You can watch live coverage of the Pro Division playoffs on Twitch, YouTube and X. Coverage starts on Tuesday, May 28th.

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