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  1. The ECL '22 Winter Lite playoffs are rapidly advancing to their Quarterfinal stage. All in all, it's been a rather straight forward run of matchups round after round, and we haven't seen that many upsets. Despite that, I'd say that Alliance HT and Hunters might be minor surprises to being seen at this stage of the season. All of the top seeded teams are still in the race for the title. Let's move on to previewing our clashes of the round: FILADELPHIA ACADEMY vs Alliance HT FILADELPHIA ACADEMY are continuing their strong playoff campaign. Apart from one loss and few tighter games along the road, FILADELPHIA ACADEMY eliminated Toxicity quite comfortably. Offensive trio @xAaro89x, @mikaasi and @TEST0-RYTZE were the biggest stars in that series. Alliance HT had an exhausting seven game series against Bellizzi, so they're coming away from that carrying some baggage, but also with some valuable experience. They eventually were able to turn the series in their favor but we'll see the price they've paid when facing an even tougher opponent in the Quarterfinals. Alliance HT are definitely in a state of flow now and are confident as they got away with the series in round 2. @Awptim and @Artyom (Zakhod_99) did great last round, so keep an eye on them for Alliance.  Prediction: 4-2 to FILADELPHIA ACADEMY Prima eSports vs Powerhouse HC Powerhouse HC eliminated the better seeded EHC TATNEFT AK BARS in the previous round in a seven game series. Despite being on the receiving end in several games, they were able to turn the tide and come away with crucial victories. @Jooonte90, @L4nnisto and @Burritokuningas scored many of the important goals in crucial moments and @Eiteam assisted on many of them. Powerhouse HC showed in that series by winning after hard moments the determination and skill that you need in the playoffs. They are now one of the serious contenders for winning the title. Prima eSports have cleared both the previous rounds with relative ease, winning 4-2. @Philip Deemus has been one of their most important players. Prima eSports must have noted Powerhouse HC's great form and are ready for it. Unless we'll see one team run away with this one early, it's looking like an extended series, possibly even game seven. Hard to say in this series but I have been impressed by the Powerhouse HC streak and will continue predicting in their favor. These teams also clashed in the regular season, where Prima won both games with a one goal margin. With improved form since then Powerhouse HC has all the tools to turn the tables in the most important moment of their season.  Prediction: 4-3 to Powerhouse HC Golden Nights vs Hunters Golden Nights is moving forward in a very convincing way. Hunters is definitely a good team and deserving of their place by reaching this far. In Golden Nights, we see an almost complete package of the parts that are essential to a good and successful team: great puck movement, skilled individuals, and excellent teamwork. These are the factors that put them ahead of so many teams in my books. Hunters dominated against Valco and all credit to them for that, it isn't an easy thing to do against an experienced squad. Now in Golden Nights, they're facing a club that is on a different level defensively which will draw away from their offensive firepower. They'll need to find new ways to play, but if they can adapt, they could challenge. Keep an eye on @xSaski_ for Golden Nights and @Laama777 for Hunters to make things happen. Prediction: 4-1 to Golden Nights Linköping HC vs Mora IK Swedish Derby! Linköping HC is one of the four top seeded teams, whereas Mora IK is arriving to challenge them. Both had tough series in round 2 and extended to a full seven games. We'll see some great goaltending on both ends of the ice, indicated by the impressive 3 shutouts for the goalies. Linköping's goalie @RaNtA is the slightly more experienced netminder and his counterpart @Jeqque44 is still looking to make his mark on the scene. This is a great chance for a success story, but due to the experience Linköping might have a minor edge in most areas. Despite that, I expect Mora to pull through and find that little bit of extra talent from their back pockets. Prediction: 4-2 to Mora IK As always, we're wishing all teams good luck! Play hard and have fun!
  2. The ECL Winter '22 Lite season is already in round 2 of the playoffs! Most of the matchups in Round 1 went in favor of the better seeded teams and very few upsets were seen in the end. This time, the teams are more evenly matched, and a lot of tough battles could be seen. We are expecting some of the teams like Powerhouse HC and Project X to continue their success stories. FILADELPHIA ACADEMY (1) vs Toxicity (25) Toxicity eliminated Tadpole in a full seven game series. That might have been exhausting while FILADELPHIA ACADEMY had a little easier series a 4-0 sweep of RoKi eSports. Toxicity had very good attacking games in their previous series against Tadpole and exploded int two 7-goal victories, but also had some tighter games, which could indicate some form fluctuation. They have capabilites for good discliplined defensive also but there is some firepower in their attack, @topetsi with 5+7=12 points in the previous round as an example. Thus far, FILADEPLHIA ACADEMY hardly have shown all they got and beat RoKi in rather tight one goal margin games, with one exception. They are a strong favorite and are expected to continue in their winning ways. Prediction: 4-2 to FILADELPHIA ACADEMY Prima eSport (2) vs Project X (22) We've got a favorite vs a minor underdog situation on our hands. In the first round, Prima had to struggle all the way to a game 6, whereas Project X managed to overgome Arkham Asylum, quite surprisingly with relative ease. In the Prima eSports vs Ace Hockey series the games were mostly very tight but in the end the difference in individual skill began to show. Project X is definitely a step up from their previous opposition, so Prima eSports need to boost their level in order to advance. Prima eSports is a minor favorite in this series but Project X should not be forgotten. @Henka0009 with 4+9=13 and @oggezed with 9+3=12 have been lethal for Prima, and Project X will need to eliminate these two, while keeping other threats in check in order to cause a minor upset in this one. This could be a tight series, definitely extending to more than four games. Prediction: 4-3 to Project X Golden Nights (3) vs Armada Hockey (19) Golden Nights are continuing quite convincingly on the path they took in the regular season, and are one of the biggest contenders in winning the jackpot. They've got so much talent on their roster and move the puck with speed unlike many other teams in the division. Especially players like @JJimbo-, @xSaski_ and @Patadevils have stuck out as their top performers to this point. Armada Hockey caused some waves in the first round by eliminating favorite Kymmenelta Baariin. They are still an underdog in this one and lightning rarely strikes twice in the same place. Despite their strong showings and history of eliminating big dogs, Armada won't be able to match the speed and talent of Golden Nights. Prediction: 4-1 to Golden Nights   Linköping HC (4) vs Spirit (17) Linköping HC was dominant in their round 1 series against Central Hockey Canucks despite the relatively close results. Linköping HC did what the favorite is expected to do and by keeping their standard level high, eliminated their opponent. Spirit eliminated The Last Line unexpectedly in four straight games although winning was not a major surprise itself. I'd say that the Swedes are still a favorite in this series, but the opposition gets considerably tougher, and Spirit might be able to challenge them. Spirit is definitely able to handle tough situations, as they extended into OT in three games out of four in round 1 and handled the situations nicely. @Toivonen_ scored the OT winning goal in two of their wins. He showed great qualities in critical moments like a star player should, something Spirit will desperately need in this series.  Prediction: 4-1 to Linköping HC   Bellizzi (5) vs Alliance HT (15) Bellizzi was one step ahead of their previous round opponent SEVERSTAL CHEREPOVETS throughout their first round matchup, which eventually pushed them through. Alliance HT, on the other hand, managed to beat Including Me for four wind required to move on. Now, the challenge is really tough for Bellizzi, who will especially need to overcome Alliance HT final lock, experienced goaltender @s_w1ld_rus, who can steal games for his team when at his best. The goalie duel will be fierce, as Bellizzi's @LT-XI_ also boasts a great 87,1 SV% and 2 shotouts. Low scoring games are a likely outcome if the goalies are in form in this series. Prediction: 4-2 to Alliance HT   Mora IK (6) vs Bastu (13) One of the most interesting pairs in round 2. Both have been in great shape this season and they have continued in good form in the playoffs. Game 7 won't be a miracle in this series. You can expect even games with two good teams with minimal difference compared to each other. Focus and the form of the night will play a massive role in these games. One moment of lack of concentration can be crucial. Mora IK has a slight advantage when it comes to mental attributes and team play, whereas I'd see that Bastu is the slightly more skilled team on an individual level. The player to watch in this bout is Bastu goaltender @Giinis, who played an excellent round 1 with an over 92 SV%. Prediction: 4-2 to Mora IK EHC TATNEFT AK BARS (7) vs Powerhouse HC (12) EHC TATNEFT AK BARS eliminated Stone Age in four games which were close ones, whereas Powerhouse HC managed to beat Baby Goons in the first round, with @L4nnisto being the dominant figure in the decisive 5-3 win. Powerhouse HC needs to be careful with @Gavrilov95, who scored several important goals for AK BARS in the first round series and now leads his team in scoring with 4+3=7 together with @Nester4343. Powerhouse HC has firepower to oppose that threat as @Burritokuningas was one of the dominant figures in the series against Baby Goons with 5+9=14, and players like Lannisto mentioned before have that X-factor to explode at any given moment. I'd expect this series to extend a bit further than four games. Prediction: 4-2 to Powerhouse HC   Valco (9) vs Hunters (10) This could be an interesting one, the established roster of Valco is going up against Hunters, who are a rather new club in the scene. @itspardytime 9+2=11 and @Teme 3+6=9 were the key figures in Valco's first round series against Ultimatum, which they took home with a sweep in brilliant fashion. Hunters had a close series against TTK with @Vale16 5+4=9 coming up big when needed the most by his team. Both goalies, @Jugi9 with 88,68 SV% for Valco and @Miettinen14 with 76,32 SV% for Hunters are in form. The experience of Valco could be what pushes them through in this series, but Hunters will pose a good challenge. Prediction: 4-2 to Valco Good luck to all teams!  
  3. The ECL Winter '22 Lite season has progressed to the playoff stage. You can expect the best games to be close at this stage full of drama, tough battles and hard hitting. Not to mention all the great goals and individual contributions of star players. As always, there is going to be some upsets and in fact we're very excited to see some underdogs eliminating major favorite teams. In this preview, we'll try to grasp a general view on each of the pairs and give prediction based on both teams performances thus far. FILADELPHIA ACADEMY vs RoKi Esports The best team in the regular season versus the last seeded team. FILADELPHIA ACADEMY has been dominating throughout the season with their stars and disciplined approach to their strategies. It can also be stated that they are coming into this series in great form with 9 wins out of their last 10 games. But - like it often goes - this is also a great opportunity for the underdog to perform some of their magic an pull the rug out from under FILADELPHIA's feet. Last year RoKi Esports did not redeem all their potential and they have a huge wall to climb in this series, in addition they aren't looking all that hot with 3-5-2 in their last 10 going into the playoffs. These teams played each other in the regular season, and back then FILADELPHIA ACADEMY won both clashes 4-1 and 2-1 OT. The 4-1 was closer in terms of the game events and in the 2-1 game FILADELPHIA ACADEMY dominated the whole game even though the decisive goal didn't come until in the OT periods. Similar luck and some massively disciplined defensive play is needed for RoKi Esports if they want to continue onwards from this series.  Prediction: 4-0 to FILADELPHIA Academy Golden Nights vs HC SHH Golden Nights has an impressive form with 8-1-1 in their last 10 games. After a tough season in Pro last season, they are having a nice bounce back and are now redeeming their huge potential. This team has players blessed with tremendous skill that are now playing using their own strengths, with great confidence. Playing against these players that have that surprising factor is never easy, which is why HC SHH has a very tough hill to climb in this one. With their significantly weaker record overall and worse form coming into this one, thay'll need to turn thing around immediately. They are better than their 10 game record 5-3-2, and have proven that by challenging the likes of group winner Prima eSports in the group stage. If they improve from their last games they have all the ingredients to cause an upset. Prediction: 4-1 to Golden Nights Prima eSports vs Ace Hockey In the mid-season report I highlighted Prima eSports to be playing a great season and the form has stayed great for them, with few mishaps along the way. Prima eSports also have a remarkable 8-1-1 record in their last 10 games, whereas Ace Hockey are coming into this one in a bit of poorer form. However, Ace Hockey had a very tough run to even qualify for the playoffs and have played under immense pressure already in the group stage, which could indicate a minor advantage for them in that department at least. That's basically all we can gice Ace Hockey, though, Prima looks to simply be the stronger team and is expected to bring all they've got going into the postseason, meaning they will be a tough train to stop. With a complete tight package of defensive strategy, Ace Hockey can hangi in there somehow and extend this a game or two, but I see Prima eSports advancing quite comfortably.  Prediction: 4-0 to Prima eSports Linköping HC vs Central Hockey Canucks Linköping HC have a great deal of experience and despite having a few hiccups in the group stage, they managed to course correct and win their group in the end, with great form coming into these playoffs. Central Hockey Canucks have managed to win six games in their last 10 and extend into overtime three times, which indicated their defensive strength and composure. They played close games against Golden Nights losing both 4-3 and 3-1. Although it is only two games, the two close games show that they are capable of challenging the top teams in Lite. A similar battle could be expected in this one against Linköping HC. The Swedes are the clear favorite here but I don't think this series will be over in four games. Bellizzi vs SEVERSTAL CHEREPOVETS Likely to be an even series. Although we're seeing a 2nd seed going up against a 7th seed, the base level and form difference isn't that massive between these two. Despite being a great team, Bellizzi have possibly inflated their record a bit by going on a very hot eight win streak mid-season, beating teams like Oulunsalon HT along the way. Whereas SEVERSTAL CHEREPOVETS similarly were a bit streaky and managed to go on a six win streak, beating the likes of Linköping HC. These teams have played some very close games over the course of the season and could end up doing the same in this head-to-head. Despite the difference in seeds, I expect this to be way tighter. Prediction: 4-3 to Bellizzi Mora IK vs It's a nice city Mora IK is the favorite in this series. But you should not let the placement in the standings affect the judgement of It's a nice city. They have beaten teams like Oulunsalon HT and were able to earn a point against FILADELPHIA Academy over the course of the regular season, so they are definitely able to challenge better teams in individual games, now they have to do it in a playoff series. For the part of Mora IK, they can move the puck and if they're able to keep up their tempo, they will outplay It's a nice city with relative ease. A good indication of their skill is the fact that they split points with Golden Nights earlier in the season. Prediction: 4-2 to Mora IK EHC Tatneft AK Bars vs Stone Age It could be stated that this one is a tough one to predict. Stone Age has achieved some promising results in their campaign for example beating FRÖLUNDA HC ACADEMY and Tadpole twice. In addition to that, the team is very experienced, their downside, however, is their history of folding under pressure, and they've had issues performing in the postseason before. EHC Tatneft AK Bars is still a minor favorite as they have managed to string together a very stable group stage performance and definitely don't lack individual skill. If they're able to play as a unit, this could be in the bank for them, but all the ingredients for Stone Age taking the win are there. Prediction: 4-2 to Stone Age Tadpole vs Toxicity Tadpole is the hottest team around coming into the playoffs with a clean 10-0-0 through their last ten games. In fact, their winning streak is now at 14 game, which shows how they have caught fire in the later half of the season. Toxicity has a 7-1-2 record in the last 10 games. They have beaten teams like Mora IK and Golden Nights during that 10 game span, which definitely indicates that they should be taken seriously, and that these games won't be a cakewalk for Tadpole. Tadpole are favorites but I can see Toxicity putting up a good fight. Prediction: 4-2 to Tadpole Valco vs Ultimatum Ultimatum has played and won against teams like The Last Line and Murohoki this season, with close games against group winners Linköping HC also to take account of. Valco, on the other hand are in a great run of form with a record of 8-1-1 in their last 10. They have beaten both Golden Nights and Mora IK once in the regular season and proven their skill that way. They also had an impressive six game winning streak in the end of the regular season. It's notable that out of 30 games, Valco have extended 12 games into overtime (9 wins and 3 lost). The amount of OT wins is a telling sign about the determination and good nerves in their team. That along with their great form earns them the favorite spot in this series, while Ultimatum is looking to spoil the party. Prediction: 4-2 to Valco    Hunters vs TTK These teams were in the same group in the regular season and shared points in some very close battles back then (3-2 to Hunters and 4-3 to TTK). Hunters have had many close games in general in the regular season with only four games in total extending the margin to over four goals. They are currently a strong team in good form, but are going up against a squad of very similar stature. Not much time has passed since these two clashed, so both teams have very recent knowledge of each other. Hunters have managed to string together better performances over an extended period of time, but TTK have surely gained confidence from challenging Hunters in their head-to-head. Prediction: 4-2 to Hunters Arkham Asylum vs Project X Both of these teams have played many close games in the regular season. Arkham Asylum has 10 OT games with 7 wins out of them. Project X ended the regular season with a close game against group winners Prima eSports, where despite a 4-1 loss, the possession and play was very closely matched, which proves their ability to stick up against more skilled squads. Arkham Asylum ended the regular season in four wins and are looking good going into the series. They've struggled with scoring throughout the season but seem to have overcome their issues. The experience they have should be of high importance in the playoffs. This series looks quite even and Game 7 won't be a miracle. Prediction: 4-3 to Project X   Powerhouse HC vs Baby Goons  Baby Goons started the regular season well with three wins including a 7-1 thrashing of Mora IK. They also won Golden Nights in the beginning of the season. By the end their flight has slumped a little bit, causing their record in the last 10 to stand at 5-5-0 but they are still a good team and capable of succeeding in the postseason. Powerhouse HC are minor favorites in this series and look like a team that is slowly getting stronger as they go. They've got a great foundation and are in good form right now, but in general the starting point to this series is a rather equal situation. Baby Goons have a history of causing upsets in the playoffs and have last season in fresh memory, so they could cause some waves early on. Prediction: 4-2 to Baby Goons Bastu vs EHC Biel Bienne eSports EHC Biel Bienne eSports are in great shape just before the playoffs: 5 wins out of their last 6 games and they've been able to gain some important points in big matchups throughout the season, putting them in decent position in the playoffs. Bastu has been a bit of an underperformer when looking at the roster, but some winning streaks that they've managed to go on throughout the season has put them around the middle of the pack in the postseason. I'd say that Bastu still has a lot in the tank and they could elevate their level by a few notches in the big games. EHC Biel Bienne could be able to pose a great challenge but Bastu most likely will advance to the next round. Prediction: 4-2 to Bastu   Kymmenelta Baariin vs Armada Hockey Kymmenelta Baariin had a strong start to the season with five consecutive wins including some big scoring outings early on. They also had a 9 win streak around the midway point of the season. Armada Hockey is an experienced squad that have beaten great teams in their history, and have had some runs of good form this season too. Armada Hockey have had better recent form but Kymmenelta Baariin had the better overall regular season. I wouldn't be surprised to see these two battle it out in a game 7. Kymmenelta Baariin will most likely elevate their level and it remains to be seen how Armada Hockey can maintain their recent form.   Prediction: 4-3 to Kymmenelta Baariin Alliance HT vs Including Me Including Me has looked like they're finding their form just in time for the playoffs. Three consecutive wins at the end of the regular season and a last 10 game record 9-1-0 is comparable to some teams in much higher seeds. Alliance HT also sports a similar record 8-1-1. The Russian squad sports the more experienced roster, which could be an important factor for them in this one.  Prediction: 4-2 to Including Me The Last Line vs Spirit The Last Line is on an eight win streak just in time for the playoffs. The form of Spirit is quite the opposite. Spirit started the season with a nine win streak beating teams like Toxicity and Bastu. More recently close games against two best teams Golden Nights and Mora IK in their group are prove also what Spirit is capable of, which means you shouldn't look too much at their form from the last five games, as they've generally been against very good teams. I see The Last Line as a minor favorite, but the fact that Spirit has recent clashes against good teams could help them going into this one.  Prediction: 4-2 to The Last Line Players to watch Let's take a look at some players to keep an eye on. As always, a few will get their time in the spotlight, but there are a lot of others out there of similar talent! @Timotei97 - Bellizzi, 24GP, 47+64=111 The Bellizzi winger is having a great season for himself and was miles ahead of the competition in the regular season despite playing fewer games. Is a difference-maker on the ice every night. @xAaro89x - FILADELPHIA ACADEMY, 28 GP, 56+35=91 The talented winger is growing to be a great scorer and one to be on the lookout for in the higher leagues. 56 goals is enough for second in the regular season behind the experienced @itspardytime. @itspardytime - Valco, 30 GP, 58+32=90 The stats speak for themselves. Pardy is a pure goal scorer, but also draws a lot of penalties.  @Kusimaakari - Tadpole, 30GP, 37+43=80 A very experienced player proven at higher levels. Is a heart-and-soul player for Tadpole and can carry his team far if needed. @Awptim - Alliance HT, 30GP, 49+28=77 Also one of the more experienced players around, excels at scoring and is a very important piece on the wing for Alliance HT. @Philip Deemus - Prima eSports, 30 GP, 53+34=87 Has had a few seasons to mature and seems to have really benefited from his appearance in Pro with Lekstugan HC last season. A great scorer. @ReDMisTi - Arkham Asylum, 30 GP, 26+43=69 Perhaps the most important individual for his team in the division. Redmisti has experience from higher up and has managed to surround himself with talented players that need guidance, and mental strength to be able to take the next step. @Giinis - Bastu, 30 GP, 82,29 SV%, 1,7 GAA, 7 SO Could be the best goaltender of the regular season. Despite Bastu struggling a bit from time to time, the team has a lot of potential and Giinis could improve a great deal in the postseason.
  4. Thanks for the feedback to those commented so far and possibly later! I appreciate it. You have some good points. Definitely should be going deeper but going there needs more hours to be used in writing process which I don´t currently have. Hopefully being able to write more deeper (than this at least) article next time on just before playoffs.
  5. We're past the midway point in ECL Lite, and it's time to go through some of the phenomenons of the season so far. One has been above all others, and that is Prima eSport, who are on another level completely. Who will rise to the occasion and challenge them? As in the very beginning of the season it looked like the season will be very exciting and new teams are about to make their mark in the Lite division, this season it has already been evident. Let's briefly look through each of the groups what they look like and some of the few players that have made a significant contribution towards their team's success. We'll also highlight some games that look interesting for the later part of the regular season. As usual, most of the teams in the division certainly deserve their time in the spotlight, but due to the size of the division, we won't be able to highlight them all. Group 1 The most unexpected result is that Powerhouse HC has stuck down below the playoff line and is most likely to battle for the last spot in the postseason with Project X - another favorite in the group. Prima eSport was one contender candidate in the beginning of the season and has performed above all expectations. They were a potential team to have success but leading their group with a remarkable record at this stage is more than expected.  EHC Biel Bienne eSports was before the season considered to be one of the teams of the season. At this point, they lie below the playoff line, but nothing has been lost yet. A lot of good teams are on the hunt for those last playoff spots, so I'm sure we'll see a tough and hard fought battle in the later half of the season. Tadpole is one of the many teams with Core experience that have made the step up this. So far they have achieved good results and have chances of finishing in the top 4 of the regular season. There's a minimal margin between positions 2-8 so in this very even regular season anything is still possible. Except for the top spot solidified for Prima eSport, all other positions are still up for grabs. Group 2 Arkham Asylum has started well like expected. They are capitalizing on their potential now and are one of the strongest teams in the league at the moment, only looking better as time goes. Linköping HC has also been strong like in previous seasons and their experience really shows. It remains to be seen if they can keep up the form towards the end of the group stage too. At the moment they are leading the group quite comfortably but EHC TATNEFT AK BARS and Ace Hockey are trailing with some games in hand.  We'll also see a tough race for the last playoff positions as several teams lie within a few points margin in the middle of the standings. Lutunilkat, Murohoki, The Last Line and Hyperion are likely to have fierce battles in the last rounds for positions 7-8. Murohoki, The Last Line and Hyperion have less games and Lutunilkat. Upcoming games between the four of them will hold some big points up for grabs, possibly determining the outcome of the season for some teams.  Group 3 Golden Nights and IK Oskarshamn are among the teams who should fight for the top spot of the group, although IKO have quite a few games played more than others at this point. There are a few teams like Spirit, Baby Goons and Bastu pursuing top 4 positions and could end up making a convincing case for themselves. there's still a lot of hockey to be played and the mid-table spots are up for grabs for teams like Punakala, Thunder United and Toxicity. Unexpectedly Rusty Bulls has had a slow start. They need to improve in order to keep their postseason dreams alive. In favor of them, they have some games in hand at the moment, so if they can be effective there's time to turn the ship around. Group 4 FILADELPHIA ACADEMY has taken their place at the top in this group as expected, they are continuing with a close to perfect record. Bellizi and It's a nice city are trailing and both could be considered to be mild surprises that high in the standings at this point. Oulunsalo HT and TTK are also the teams that are in hot pursuit of top 4 placement.  Kymmenelta Baariin, RoKi Esports, Including Me and 5th Line Heroes are some of the teams that are playing for the last remaining playoff spots. Both Including Me and Roki will still meet group leader FILADELPHIA ACADEMY for a true test of their form, and they could possibly have a say in the race for #1 within the group too if all goes well. Players to watch @Philip Deemus (PHDeemus) Prima eSports    GP 26 48+32=80 One of the phenomenons of the season so far in Prima eSports has this weapon up front, who combines for a dangerous duo with eBasstian. @eBasstian Prima eSports GP 24 25+41=66 Same goes as for his teammate, both of these players must be in shape to secure success for Prima eSports to continue their tremendous season. @xAaro89x FILADELPHIA ACADEMY GP 14 38+14=52 Remarkable record: 52 points in 14 games. Is definitely one of the biggest ingredients of FILADEPHIA ACADEMY in competing for the title this season. @iSvamp Prima eSports GP 26 11+41=52 +55 Leads defensemen in almost all statistics and is in great form. Also has contributed a huge deal to Prima eSport's great season. @RaNtA (Ranta83) Linköping HC GP 18 W 14 84,42 SV% 1,33 GAA 7 SO Statistically one of the best goalies in the league right now. Can steal games for his team and if he stays hot, could take LHC far. @denkaan_ Prima eSport GP 26 W 23 79,29 SV% 2,23 GAA 3 SO Leads all goalies in wins, but is playing on a slightly more dominant team than for example Ranta83 for LHC. An interesting statistical comparison. Games to watch FILADELPHIA Academy vs Including Me Tuesday January 18th Group 4 Timrå IK vs Tadpole Wednesday January 19th Group 1 IK Oskarsham vs Spirit Tuesday January 25th Group 3 FILADELPHIA ACADEMY vs RoKi Esports Tuesday January 25th Group 4 Linköping HC vs Ace Hockey Sunday January 30th Group 2 EHC Biel Bienne eSports vs Project X  Tuesday February 1st Group 1 In general most of the groups look like they could be very open in terms of both the #1 spot and the last playoff spots. In fact, Prima eSport is the only current group leader with a clear margin to their competitors. Linköping HC is close to gaining a good lead, but with some games more played than the competition. Overall, we can expect a very exciting end to the regular season, and a lot of tough battles as we move closer to the last rounds.
  6. ECL along with Lite division are back finally in the NHL22 version. You can expect to see exciting drama throughout the season with skilful players, tactical prowess, lots of fierce, physical battles in all games and much more. NHL22 with a new game engine provides teams with a great tool for a super enjoyable 6vs6 experience. In this preview you'll read briefly about the outlook for the upcoming season, what to expect from some interesting teams and players participating. Several new teams are entering from either a higher Pro level or from Core, will some of these squads challenge for the title? Season information To find out about everything that's new with ECL '22, check out our earlier season information article. Notable dates for the ECL '22: Winter Lite season: Regular season: 2.1.- 6.2. Transfer deadline: 16.1. 23:59 CET. Playoffs (BO7): 8.2.- 14.3. You can access the rulebook, schedule, standings, statistics and full rosters from the ECL ‘22: Winter Lite league page. Social media Here's an update to the social media instructions. Our sponsors this season are Kouvolan Lakritsi, Wilhelm & St Hockey. Twitter: When posting tweets of your lineups, matchups, recaps, clips, articles - or any other content you might want to create - please make sure to tag the following accounts and hashtag: @SportsGamerGG #ECL22Winter #NHL22 #esports #kouvolanlakritsi #MukanaWilhelm Instagram: When posting on Instagram, please make sure to tag the following accounts and hashtag: @SportsGamerGG #ECL22Winter #NHL22 #esports #kouvolanlakritsi #MukanaWilhelm Note: It is very helpful and critical for us to succeed in getting our partners tagged, so they get the necessary mentions and interaction to validate their participation in the future. That being said, it is understandable that there may be circumstances due to your other partners where you are unable to tag competition etc. Your support is appreciated. As there are quite a few hashtags by now, especially from a Twitter perspective with limited characters, we recommend using at least #ECL22Winter in the text part of the tweet and leave the sponsor tags for the end. If you need to cut out tags, remove #esports and #NHL22. For Instagram this shouldn't be an issue. Groups and schedules were released just December 31st and games will begin already today, on January 2nd. Due to the extremely tight schedule before the start it's not possible to go through every team in detail, but I'm briefly highlighting some interesting teams and players that might be making a great impact this season and with concluding words describing my views on the what season could look like overall. Group 1 Powerhouse HC and Project X played well last season but did not achieve the biggest triumph back then. Powerhouse HC advanced to the semifinals and eventually faltered in the bronze match against Lulea Hockey. Project X was eliminated in the quarterfinal stage. Lemmenvelhot and Resurrection who played last season in Core are also some interesting names that could be worth following. Their level is definitely enough for Lite and they should be ready to challenge every team at this level. Prima eSport participated in the Lite qualifiers and was impressive there. They have some Pro and Elite experience on their roster so although they are in for their first season in Lite, they are a team to consider as one of the favorites to have some success right away. EHC Biel Bienne eSports was eliminated last season in Round 2, but they have an experienced roster and are not to be left out in speculations on the contenders of the season. This group you might call "The group of death" because there are so many teams to consider in the favorite category. Frölunda HC Academy is one of them. They made their debut in ECL Winter Lite and Core warm up and showed potential by reaching the playoffs right away. Despite the toughness of this group, they should not be forgotten as one of the squads who could rise above and take it all. Also being the academy of a prestigious team, they are one team to watch this season. Games to watch in Group 1 Resurrection vs Powerhouse HC (scheduled January 2nd) EHC Biel Bienne eSports vs Lemmenvelhot (scheduled January 4th) Powerhouse HC vs Project X (scheduled January 11th) Prima eSport vs Resurrection (scheduled January 5th) Frölunda HC Academy vs Prima eSport (scheduled January 2nd) Group 2 The Last Line, Murohoki and Sjukstugan are among the best teams in this group. All are strong contenders to win the Lite title. Sjukstugan participated in Pro last season but didn't quite find their stride there. Arkham Asylum is also one of the teams from Core last season, who have strengthened a lot over the past few months. They lost to Tohtorit in the quarterfinals after a strong regular season. The Last Line was eliminated in round 1 against noRex Gaming last Lite season, but are now back to challenge anyone who might step in their way. Murohoki is one of the longest standing teams around and had a disappointing last season, so they're back for redemption too. Games to watch in group 2 The Last Line vs Arkham Asylum (scheduled January 2nd) Sjukstugan vs The Last Line (scheduled January 4th) Group 3 In this group there are some underdogs to this season in Lite. Golden Nights participated in Pro last season and the season before performed well in Lite. Back then, they advanced to round 3, only to be eliminated by eventual champions Björlöven Esports, who have since seen success in Pro. BIK Karlskoga Esport advanced to round 2 last season, losing to champions Reality Check HC. They are expected to improve this season and are definitely capable of challenging the favorites. Toxicity is former Syndrome, whose Experienced ECL players have the potential to be better than in their last ECL 12 Lite season. Rusty Bulls with RCL experience and also previous ECL Lite background are also one of many interesting teams to watch. Bastu qualified through the Lite qualifier tournament and earned their place in Lite. They have players with Lite, Pro and even Elite background in their roster and definitely could be one of the success stories to follow. Games to watch in group 3 Bastu vs Golden Nights (scheduled January 2nd) Toxicity vs Rusty Bulls (scheduled January 2nd) Group 4 FILADELPHIA ACADEMY, despite not having their big brother in name in Elite anymore, are still affiliated with one of the all time greatest teams and with that have some pressure to their name. Last season they lost to Project X in the very first playoff round and after that disappointment they surely have a lot to prove. If they end up facing Frölunda Academy at some point, we could be in for some rivalry action. I expect them to perform better this season and be one of the contenders. Some other potential teams in this group are RoKi Esports, Oulunsalon HT and TTK, who all have ECL experience they are likely to capitalize in the near future. Games to watch in group 4 FILADELPHIA ACADEMY vs Oulunsalo HT (scheduled January 2nd) RoKi Esports vs TTK (scheduled February 1st) Players to watch @L4nnisto Powerhouse HC ECL 22 Winter Pro qualifier GP 8, 1+4=5 New player in Powerhouse HC. Played for Tic Tac Toes for several seasons in Lite and is very skilled individually. @Bugimir Lemmenvelhot ECL 22 Winter Lite qualifier GP 6, 6+4=10 Experienced player previously in Core. Has some merit to his name from the European top from several years back. @sannteri Arkham Asylum ECL 12 Elite Regular season GP 30, 23+17=40 Has experience with IQUE/Enigma in Elite from recent seasons and is a very strong player at the Lite level. A strong contender for player of the season. @Khemnos Rusty Bulls ECL 22 Winter Lite qualifier Stage 1 regular season GP 6, 2+6=8 Played previously for Alliance HT. Experienced player in RCL and ECL at various levels. Joined Rusty Bulls for this season in Lite. Is a leading player for his team and a centerman to rally around. @juusto18 Bastu ECL 22 Winter Lite qualifier Stage 1 regular season GP 8, 6+12=18 Pro experience from recent seasons. Some teams like Bastu might be relatively new but on the rosters of these teams there is an enormous amount of experience and skill. @juusto18 is one of these players who might make big impact on this season in Lite. @Mrantonn Frölunda Academy ECL 22 Winter Lite & Core warm up regular season GP 16, 76,07 SV%, 2,44 GAA, 1 SO Goalie with ECL Pro experience. Not the best statistics in warm up tournament but expected to improve and to provide a solid base for his team to build on this ECL Lite season. In general, this ECL '22 Winter Lite season looks very tough to predict. So many great teams will take the ice. We've got many quality teams in each group and I'm predicting the playoff race to go down to the wire for many of them. It's also great to see new teams from Core taking the step up and with the potential to make a positive impact right away. All in all, we've got an extraordinarily interesting season ahead in the Lite division. PS: We would love for you to follow our social channels, as they are an integral part of the ECL season. Discord Instagram Facebook Twitch Twitter
  7. There was few technical issues in the beginning of the week but they seemed to have been fixed - at least in my games there were no more too long synchronizing in the screen between the game stoppages or the application did not unexpectedly shut down like it did few times in the beginning. Gameplay seems to be smoother in terms of passing, shooting etc. so the playing is more enjoyable in terms of player control. I liked the new animations on the penalty box and during the face-offs. Matchmaking was not easy like it was expected because two different versions. There will be some problems with that in actual released version although many will buy X-factor edition but not all. In ECL those problems with two different versions necessarily won´t be obvious but in regular EASHL will - at least in the beginning of the game in October and November. I think crossplay should have been EA´s nro 1 priority in this new game. eFootball (former PES) will have wide crossplay between next-gen and different platforms so EA should have done the same thing with NHL22. Even in FIFA with larger player base have had some problems with two versions without crossplay so smaller player base NHL will too. But I think those problems will be temporary but could have been avoided with crossplay. But in terms of gameplay I was impressed on NHL22. Too bad you could not try other modes like online versus but it is possible to try those in EA Play 10 hour trial relatively soon. I am quite sure to move on to NHL22 but that will possible be confirmed after the EA Play 10 hour trial.
  8. The ECL 12 Lite season ended in a Reality Check HC victory. It is time to look back briefly at the exciting season: phenomenons, upsets, star players and so much more, not forgetting the final series which offered huge drama and truly acted as prime PR for virtual hockey and the ECL leagues in general.   Finals game by game Game 1: noRex Gaming vs Reality Check HC 2-4 noRex Gaming started very strongly. The longer the game went, Reality Check HC got better and mounted the start of a comeback from 2-0 in the second period. Reality Check HC went to victory after convincingly improving their game over the course of the first clash. Game 2: Reality Check HC vs noRex Gaming OT 1-2 Reality Check HC continued basically from where they left off in Game 1. In the first period they took the lead. However, in the second period noRex came back with a goal on the follow up of great passing plays and movement of the whole line. Game 2 was a relatively even battle with rather few shots on goal and no penalties in the first two periods. In the third period, however, there were three penalties but no goals on those opportunities. noRex grabbed the vital win in OT just about 30 seconds in scoring the winner. Reality Check headed into OT shorthanded so they had that going against them. Game 3: noRex Gaming vs Reality Check HC OT 2-3 Reality Check HC took the lead in the first period. In the second period noRex Gaming came back and took the lead. In the third period Reality Check HC scored the equalizer with tremendous skill in front of the net at the later half of the period. Reality Check HC eventually scored the winner in OT. Just like in Game 2, the winner was a 5-on-3 PP-goal. Game 4: Reality Check HC vs noRex Gaming 0-3 noRex Gaming came into this fight with a tremendous defending approach and it paid off. Two great goals in the first period gave a huge advantage moving forward since the defence was tight. In the first period noRex Gaming was truly in flames and an 8-0 shot advantage after the first 20 tells that story. In the second period the same disciplined defending continued but no goals in either direction. noRex Gaming was a little ahead of Reality Check HC in every area of the game especially through 40 minutes. In the third period Reality Check HC mounted a bit more pressure than in the first two periods but they couldn't find the back of the net. Game 5: noRex Gaming vs Reality Check HC 3-4 Before Game 5, wins were 2-2 and both teams knew the win in this game would take them one win away from the title. Unlike some of these kind of important games the game did not commence securely, instead both teams attacked bravely and it paid off in the form of three goals - two for Reality Check HC and one for noRex Gaming. There were plenty of events in the second period too but only one goal. Reality Check HC scored just seconds before the end. Reality Check HC opened the scoring in the 3rd period with a huge breakaway. noRex Gaming fought and came back to 3-4 but couldn't get closer than that. A massive cornerstone on the road to the title for Reality Check HC. Game 6: Reality Check HC vs noRex Gaming 1-3 Before Game 6, noRex Gaming was at breaking point. Reality Check HC had the match point to secure the title and started off quick by scoring the first goal in under a minute. No more goals in the first period but some entertaining play like in Game 5. noRex Gaming started the second period with a Power Play, ending up unable to score and determined to get an equalizer, consequently without success. After the second period noRex Gaming has one last chance to keep their hopes alive.  Shots were 7-3 in their favour but their good play hadn't yielded any success to this point. At the beginning of the third period noRex Gaming played shorthanded and scored the equalizer with a great combination and shot from the blue line and quickly after, noRex took the lead with a very effective counter-attack goal. Reality Check HC probably were in a bit of a too secure mindset after their opening goal and noRex realized that, running away with the keys to victory in the third period.  Game 7: noRex Gaming vs Reality Check HC 2-5 At this point, both teams had accomplished success in the series. It was real hard to see which team had the edge in this situation. Reality Check HC took the lead in the first period although seconds before their goal noRex had a huge opportunity to take the lead. After the first period the score was 1-0 to Reality Check HC. In the first six minutes of the second period, noRex finally got their reward with a beautiful one-timer goal. No more goals in the second period were seen although noRex had more opportunities and shots were in favor of them 10-3 at the end of the second period. The situation could not have been more thrilling as the teams ended the 2nd period at an even 1-1 score. In the third period, however, a strange blackout occurred to noRex Gaming. In under five minutes Reality Check scored three goals and although NoRex got one back the title slipped through their fingers during these five minutes. The whole series was incredibly tough but this last five minutes ended up being the turning point. Congratulations to the champions! Notable players of the season It is always appropriate to highlight players of the title-winning teams in the season recap along with some from the runner-up team because successor teams have always performed well individually as well. But there were of course some players that made major contributions in the teams eliminated in previous rounds. Here is just a glimpse of the good players in the Lite season and these choices are - like always - purely subjective ones. @Mister (linuseliel) Reality Check HC GP 28 30+34=64 Regular Season / GP 31 22+22=44 Playoffs @jezbaru Reality Check HC GP 28 7+28=35 +39 Regular Season / GP 31 6+34=40 +11 Playoffs @TheArska Reality Check HC GP 28 24+36=60 +42 Regular Season / GP 31 26+24=50 +11 Playoffs @GERxVillain noRex Gaming GP 28 14+27=41 +38 Regular season / GP 28 12+27=39 +32 Playoffs @IDangledYouOut noRex Gaming GP 28 26+24=50 Regular Season / GP 28 26+31=57 Playoffs @Paddyy1903 noRex Gaming GP 28 6+20=26 +39 Regular Season / GP 28 3+27=30 +32 Playoffs  @Fightlocke3 noRex Gaming GP 28 W 21 L 1 OL 6 SV% 83,71 GAA 1,29 SO 8 Regular Season / GP 28 W 19 L 8 OL 1 SV% 80,93 GAA 1,46 SO 7 Playoffs @Kauppias4 Reality Check HC GP 16 W 14 L 1 OL 1 SV% 88 GAA 1,31 SO 5 Regular Season / GP 31 W 20 L 8 OL 3 SV% 80,34 GAA 1,84 SO 6 Playoffs @egoapina Grilli Tulille GP 12 7+14=21 Regular season / GP 2 1+3=4 Playoffs @Valdoboii Grilli Tulille GP 15 10  4 1 SV% 86,21 GAA 1,87 Regular season / GP GP 2 W 0 L 2 OTL 0 SV% 82,35 GAA 3 SO 0 Playoffs @KG12PK88 EHC Biel Bienne eSports GP 20 2+12=14 Regular Season / GP 10 2+7=9 Playoffs -3 @Red09Dragon08 EHC Biel Bienne eSports GP 24 22+31=53 Regular Season / GP 10 6+6=12 Playoffs @Tumpp1A Royal HT GP 30 5+27=32 +66 Regular Season @Jarvinder Lulea Hockey GP 28 33+31=64 Regular Season / GP 32 32+15=47 Playoffs @ESSRV Hokurit GP 6 5+3=8 Regular Season / GP 21 10+13=23 Playoffs @rize1988 Södertälje SK GP 28 15+27=42 Regular Season / GP 20 8+11=19 Playoffs   Concluding words of the season Lite season offered numerous great games as well as numerous players that made great contributions like previously mentioned. Every season there are always great teams writing new, interesting stories even though only one can win and only few can succeed in the very brightest of lights in the end. Teams that made great impressions during the season were for example Grilli Tulille, who proved that established players are able to make an impact across multiple games. EHC Biel Bienne was also one of the teams that made a great effort. Royal HT was good in the regular series but did not do their best in the playoffs. Hokurit and Södertälje SK were among the teams that did well and performed close to the level that was expected from them. On a more general level, it was evident throughout the season that top tier virtual hockey exists not only on the highest level in Elite but also in Pro and Lite. In Lite there are numerous players and teams that would challenge opponents in Pro and some even posses the skill to play in Elite and have the experience from these divisions higher up. Like always, it has been a pleasure to follow along over the course of the season, and we're already excited to see who will be coming back next season. 
  9. The ECL 12 Lite season has reached its very last stage. The two best teams are battling for glory. This best-of-seven series will determine this season's crown with all the excitement, fierce battle, goals, body checks, tremendous individual prowess and all you can ever ask for in the season finale. (1)  Reality Check HC vs noRex Gaming  (2) Road to the finals Reality Check HC vs Grilli Tulille 4-1 vs BIK Karlskoga Esport 4-1 vs Hokurit 4-3 vs Lulea Hockey 4-3 noRex Gaming vs The Last Line 4-1 vs United Front 4-0 vs Södertälje SK 4-3 vs Powerhouse HC 4-1 Both of the finalists have been relatively dominant in the previous rounds. Reality Check HC haven't been able to sweep any rounds, whereas noRex have made quick work of United Front in round 2. There are minimal differences in the key players for each team. Goaltending is one of the important areas when you are playing for the title. In that area noRex Gaming has had a small edge in terms of GAA but surprisingly even more of an advantage in SV% although both of the goalies have played more or less an equal amount of games so far in these playoffs. Both netminders are even in shutouts, but Reality Check goalie @Kauppias4 have accrued that number in fewer games. Prediction: noRex Gaming has a slight edge in defending and goaltending - the key areas in this kind of tight series - and their scorers have also succeeded well. That minimal edge in defending and goaltending is likely to be crucial. noRex Gaming will grab the Lite title with a 4-2 series win.   Comments from the team captains @Pursuitti, Reality Check HC: “Our team are very excited about the finals of course. Although some of our players have already had some success in upper Pro, we put a lot of value on the Lite finals. For the finals, we are attempting to improve our level even more and enjoy this opportunity without too much stress. As a team playing on the Central European servers, we are not too familiar with noRex Gaming. However, when you look at their stats you instantly notice that noRex Gaming is a real well defending squad with a top goalie. They have scored a lot of goals in the playoffs so they have the firepower on attack too. Probably noRex Gaming has a slight advantage playing their home games on the Central European servers which might be difficult for opponents but I don't think it is a big issue in the finals. I'm expecting an even series with low goal scoring. We are firmly believing that we are able to beat noRex Gaming if we're able to maintain our basic level." @Keuschemisch, noRex Gaming: “We are looking forward to a tight final series in this ECL Lite season. After having played a very successful and consistent season so far, we aren’t finished yet and want to win the last game of the season as well. Our goal before the season was to get back in Pro; after failing in the qualifier we were even more determined to get the spot and now we want to even top it. It will be some tough games against a former top Pro team with a great NHLGamer history and a highly skilled and experienced roster. We’ll have to focus on controlling their offensive power to beat them in this series, as well as being efficient on the offensive ourselves. We‘re ready for this challenge and want to wish Reality Check and everyone watching the games having fun playing and watching the finals!” The Finals will be played tonight, the 20th of July and tomorrow, the 21st of July and you can follow the broadcasts at www.twitch.tv/NHLGamer!  
  10. Also big thanks to @ProfaneKissfor the great constructive feedback!! I think in some previous final previews in past seasons I have included the roads to the finals at least mentioned the previous round results. I might develop that more in final preview!! Also good point of the statements of the final teams captains. Lots of good ideas in that feedback. This means a lot to me!!
  11. Thanks for the feedback @JLopatko I appreciate it. It might be good to write more on each pair. Sometimes the tight schedule determines how detailed these can be - at least in my case (and most other´s too) because this is not only thing I do so the time used in this has it´s limits. But I am trying my best to give the best possible preview in compact fashion but more on each pair is good feedback. Let´s see what I can do in final preview. In some other preview also you can have more to say on certain teams or series than in others. That comeback might have happened but I am not sure if those games are reported in order they were played. Sometimes in various serieses the games were reported in different order they were actually played. But again, thanks for the feedback which is real valuable!!!
  12. ECL 12 Lite has now reached the semifinals and with that the last four teams remain. There are now two teams from each of the two groups: Groups 2 and 4. They are facing their own groups teams so it makes for an interesting setup where one can look back at the regular season matches. Also the finals are guaranteed to be between a team from each group. Both pairs were 1-1 wins in the regular season in very tight and minimal goal scoring games. These playoff series are expected to follow that very same format: tight defending, a minimal amount of goals, great goaltending and in the end, the team with the better nerves will prevail.   (1)  Reality Check HC vs Lulea Hockey  (11) Reality Check HC is a clear favorite in this series although the games in the regular season between these teams were tight. Reality Check HC has looked dominant during the whole season and is the  team with more experience and therefore more stability in their performance level. This can give them a crucial edge in this series. Lulea Hockey does have the skillset to surprise strong teams and have done so previously this season, they have a solid defense, which has been the recipe for their success so far. Prediction: Reality Check wins 4-2   (2)  noRex Gaming vs Powerhouse HC  (9) This is a series with no clear favorite. noRex has been on a mission to get back to the Pro level all season, but Powerhouse HC is a team of rather unknown players that have polished their skill and taken down team after team. Both have played very balanced seasons with good routine levels. Game 7 would not be a surprise - in fact very expected.  Prediction: Powerhouse HC wins 4-3   Players to watch Like always there are many players appropriate to be highlighted but you can only pick some of them. Due to the low scoring nature of the playoffs, goaltending is one of the crucial elements in these series to determine which team wins. Therefore I highlighted all the semifinalist goalies. Some of them are higher in wins stats and some have better SV% or GAA or SO stats than others. All those components of the goaltending game will have an effect on how these series turn out in the end. Similarily, due to scoring being so tough, the skaters and defenders I have included here must succeed in scoring. In small margin games and series, every small detail goes a long way towards securing your team the win.   @Pursuitti Reality Check HC GP 28 35+54=78 Regular Season / GP 17 9+29=38 Playoffs @GERxVillain noRex Gaming GP 28 14+27=41 +38 Regular season / GP 16 5+17=22 +30 Playoffs @IDangledYouOut noRex Gaming GP 28 26+24=50 Regular Season / GP 16 17+21=38 Playoffs @Jarvinder Lulea Hockey GP 28 33+31=64 Regular Season / GP 19 19+12=31 Playoffs @Paddyy1903 noRex Gaming GP 28 6+20=26 +39 Regular Season / GP 16 1+13=14 +30 Playoffs  @Tsikago (Jiibada_) Powerhouse HC GP 28 20+33=53 Regular Season / GP 17 10+18=28 Playoffs @Keuschemisch noRex Gaming GP 28 14+32=46 Regular Season / GP 16 14+24=38 Playoffs @Fightlocke3 noRex Gaming GP 28 W 21 L 1 OL 6 SV% 83,71 GAA 1,29 SO 8 Regular Season / GP 16 W 12 L 4 OL 0 SV% 83,67 GAA 1 SO 6 Playoffs @Tizjeflen Lulea Hockey GP 28 W 20 L 6 OL 2 SV% 78,87 GAA 2 SO 3 Regular Season / GP 19 W 12 L 6 OL 1 SV% 76,67 GAA 1,84 SO 2 Playoffs  @Xx_Zetterberg40 (zetteri-) Powerhouse HC GP 26 W 20 L 6 OL 0 SV% 82,51 GAA 1,50 SO 6 Regular Season / GP 15 W 10 L 4 OL 1 SV% 81,46 GAA 1,87 SO 2 Playoffs @Kauppias4 Reality Check HC GP 16 W 14 L 1 OL 1 SV% 88 GAA 1,31 SO 5 Regular Season / GP 17 W 12 L 4 OL 1 SV% 78,40 GAA 1,59 SO 5 Playoffs  
  13. NHLGamers, NOTE: This article was written on Sunday, July 4th and reflects the starting situation of each series, by now some series have already started. The ECL 12 Lite season has reached it's quarterfinal stage. It is time to look briefly at all four exciting quarterfinal matchups and speculate around them and highlight some of the players in these series. Quite exceptional is the fact that four of these eight best teams are from group 4, whereas three are from Group 2- only one squad from outside of these two.     (1)  Reality Check HC vs Hokurit  (27) The number one seed Reality Check HC is facing one of the phenomenons of the season in Hokurit. Hokurit are about to face their biggest challenge yet but they are used to being in that underdog status and have gone up against the odds twice already in these playoffs. Will the streak continue? Reality Check HC is in top form and it won't be easy. The success of Hokurit has been based on high-class defending. They haven't scored much but neither have their opponents. That trend must continue in order to have any hopes of eliminating Reality Check HC.  Prediction: Reality Check HC wins 4-2   (2)  noRex Gaming vs Södertälje SK  (23)  noRex Gaming is one the biggest contenders to win the Lite title. They have been very impressive on their campaign so far in both of the previous rounds with only one loss in 9 games. Their opponents have also been rather skilled teams, so noRex should be in great form. Södertälje SK have had a much longer road to quarterfinals but might be a team that warms up when the really big games start. noRex Gaming is a favorite in this series too. Prediction: noRex Gaming wins 4-2   (9)  Powerhouse HC vs Project X  (14) Both of the teams were ranked as potential success teams before the start of the season. Both have also redeemed the expectations so far pretty well. They will most likely have a fierce battle in this series for place in the semifinals. Game 7 would not be a surprise at all. Prediction: Powerhouse HC wins 4-3   (11)  Lulea Hockey vs Unwanted  (13) This is a pretty even pair in advance. Both have had one game 7 series so far and one easier series. Seems both have had to struggle similarly in previous rounds. Game 7 won't be out of reach in this series also. The lookout is very similar for each side as both are relying on one forward to provide primary scoring and the team to win the series will need support from their second and third man. The team that can take the edge away from their opponent will have the advantage in this series.  Prediction: Unwanted wins 4-2   Players to watch Like always there are many players appropriate to be highlighted but you can only pick so many. All of these players I have highlighted are more or less key players of their teams. It is appropriate to mention the contribution of Unwanted and Hokurit goalies @KASINELONEN and @wilinhoo - Both have hugely improved their SV% from the regular season and especially KASIINELONEN has a notable 5 SO in the playoffs and has improved in that stat also since the regular season.  @Pursuitti Reality Check HC GP 28 35+54=78 Regular Season / GP 10 7+18=25 Playoffs @GERxVillain noRex Gaming GP 28 14+27=41 +38 Regular season / GP 9 2+14=16 +28 Playoffs @IDangledYouOut noRex Gaming GP 28 26+24=50 Regular Season / GP 9 14+19=33 Playoffs @Easygame20 (Torvelajr_) Project X GP 28 W 21 L 7 OTL 0 SV% 76,99 GAA 1,96 Regular Season / GP 11 W 8 L 1 OTL 2 SV% 88,29 GAA 1,18 Playoffs @Jarvinder Lulea Hockey GP 28 33+31=64 Regular Season / GP 12 15+7=22 Playoffs @Bollas_2 Unwanted GP 20 21+25=46 Regular Season / GP 11 12+8=20 Playoffs @Paddyy1903 noRex Gaming GP 28 6+20=26 +39 Regular Season / GP 9 1+9=10 +28 Playoffs  @Tsikago (Jiibada_) Powerhouse HC GP 28 20+33=53 Regular Season / GP 11 4+13=17 Playoffs @ESSRV  Hokurit GP 6 5+3=8 Regular Season / GP 13 7+9=16 Playoffs @rize1988 Södertälje SK GP 28 15+27=42 Regular Season / GP 13 7+8=15 Playoffs @KASINELONEN Unwanted GP26 W 18 L 5 OL 3 SV% 81,85 GAA 1,96 SO 4 Regular Season / GP 11 W 8 L 3 OL 0 SV% 86,32 GAA 1,18 SO 5 Playoffs @wilinhoo Hokurit GP 14 W 6 L 4 OL 4 SV% 77,19 % GAA 1,86 SO 2 Regular Season / GP 13 W 8 L 3 OL 2 SV% 86,44 GAA 1,23 SO 1 Playoffs  
  14. NHLGamers, We're happy to admit our shortcomings and with that it's great to see several upsets in the first round of ECL 12 Lite Playoffs. On the other hand, three of the top seeded teams are still in the race. In this preview, brief speculation on each of the fixtures lies ahead.   (1)  Reality Check HC vs BIK Karlskoga Esport  (29) The #1 seed facing the bottom seed is always an interesting setup. Underdog BIK Karlskoga Esport had their day in round 1. Will history be able to repeat itself in round 2 as they are now definitely facing their toughest challenge yet? Reality Check HC quite comfortably won 4-1 in Round 1 even though Grilli Tulille gave good opposition in that series for example winning once and in the other games keeping it close. The black and yellow are in a good form and hard it's to imagine lightning strikes twice in the same place for Karlskoga. BIK Karlskoga Esports were underdogs against Royal HT but won that series and this can have an impact in this series against Reality Check HC by boosting their confidence. Prediction: Reality Check wins 4-2   (2)  noRex Gaming vs United Front  (28) This is also the case of a heavy favorite facing a true underdog. Similarly to before, it is tough to imagine United Front being able to cause another consecutive upset. In my opinion, however, United Front has better chances to repeat the surprise when compared to Karlskoga because they are on paper a slightly stronger team with a more playoff-friendly style of play. noRex Gaming lost one game to The Last Line but in general took home the series win in convincing fashion. United Front eventually beat Barys eSports in a tough game 7 series.  Prediction: noRex Gaming wins 4-2   (3)  GIFU Hockey vs Hokurit  (27) GIFU Hockey advanced quite easily from Round 1 and their matchup against VANHAT KYLJYKSET. This time it most likely won't be that easy. Hokurit is in great form and are coming off of a tough seven game series against UNI Gaming which has surely put them in that winning mentality. This could be the chance that is there for the taking for Hokurit, if they keep their strong play going, this could be a legendary run. Prediction: Hokurit wins 4-1 (9)  Powerhouse HC vs Almost Retired  (26) Powerhouse HC in, as their name suggests, powerful form and with that one of the serious contenders for winning the Lite title this season. Powerhouse HC defeated experienced Tic Tac Toes in a very tight, low scoring series 4-2. Almost Retired pushed through against all odds by beating IK Oskarshamn in a tough series as an underdog. The question is: did their fuel run out in that series or could there still be some left in the tank? Powerhouse HC might be too tough of an obstacle in this series. Prediction: Powerhouse HC wins 4-2   (11)  Lulea Hockey vs Baby Goons  (25) Baby Goons' good form from the regular seasons continues and a fierce battle in this series is to be expected. Lulea Hockey had a huge and tough series but won it in a game 7 against Hyperion. Baby Goons also won their series against TuTo Esports in Game 7 so both squads are now in playoff mode for sure. Baby Goons are most likely at their peak in terms of confidence. Their glory is likely to continue in this series but it won't be easy getting past Lulea Hockey.  Prediction: Baby Goons wins 4-3   (12)  Spirit vs Södertälje SK  (23)  Spirit won Ducktales BK 4-1. Notable in that series was that all games went to OT which is quite extraordinary. Södertälje BK had two OT's in their seven game series against Central Hockey Canucks. Both have experience in tough and tight battles, but spirit should be the ones advancing. Prediction: Spirit wins 4-1   (13)  Unwanted vs EHC Biel Bienne eSports  (18) EHC Biel Bienne Esports have been in good form this season so far and have continued that run into the playoffs by beating AiKnown in a tight round 1 series. Unwanted extended into a seven game series against RoKi Esports and managed to advance. They are a mentally strong team that also possesses tremendous amounts of skill, but EHC Biel Bienne eSports are great in the underdog position, and their form will not stop yet. Prediction: EHC Biel Bienne wins 4-2   (14)  Project X vs AfroDunk  (16) Along with Powerhouse HC, Project X is one of the black horses to grab the title in my books and now they're continuing their road to glory. AfroDunk is a good team that beat TTK with relative ease in the first round, however they lack the toolset to overcome a team as strong as Project X. Prediction: Project X wins 4-2   Players to watch In the players to watch-section we'll take a look at players that had a great contribution to their teams already in the regular season and further continued their form in the first round of playoffs. One of the most notable stars so far in the playoffs have been Project X goaltender @Easygame20(Torvelajr_) with a SV% above 90% and a very low GAA to go with that. Two EHC Biel Bienne Esports players @KG12PK88and @Red09Dragon08 have made remarkable contributions to their team in the playoffs. Both are among the top 10 in scoring stats for their position. @Pursuitti Reality Check HC GP 28 35+54=78 Regular Season / GP 5 4+4=8 Playoffs @Toivonen_ Spirit GP 29 40+44_84 Regular season / GP 5 3+5=8 Playoffs @Burtsi980H Baby Goons GP 28 48+38=86 Regular Season / GP 6 8+4=12 Playoffs @GERxVillain noRex Gaming GP 28 14+27=41 +38 Regular season / GP 5 1+6=7 Playoffs @samppa1995(xTuhlaajapoika) Baby Goons GP 26 36+37=73 Regular Season / GP 6 6+10=16 Playoffs @IDangledYouOut noRex Gaming GP 28 26+24=50 Regular Season / GP 5 6+9=15 Playoffs @Easygame20 (Torvelajr_) Project X GP 28 W 21 L 7 OTL 0 SV% 76,99 GAA 1,96 Regular Season / GP 5 W 4 L 1 OTL 0 SV% 93,75 GAA 0,6 Playoffs @KG12PK88 EHC Biel Bienne eSports GP 20 2+12=14 Regular Season / GP 6 2+6=8 Playoffs @Red09Dragon08 EHC Biel Bienne eSports GP 24 22+31=53 Regular Season / GP 6 6+6=12 Playoffs
  15. NHLGamers, The ECL 12 Lite regular season has finished and we are ready for the playoffs. It is time to speculate briefly on the fixtures and predict the outcome of those exciting series. There are many very even matchups ahead and some with a bit more of favorites but like we have seen in previous ECL seasons, the playoffs are full of surprises and there are many competitive teams so anything can truly happen. Note: At the time of writing this GIFU Hockey vs VANHAT KYLJYKSET series has already begun so it is left out in this preview for that reason. (1)  Reality Check HC vs Grilli Tulille  (32) Number one seed with lots to prove Reality Check HC faces the very multi-talented team Grilli Tulille, consisting of several players merited on the virtual football pitch. Grilli Tulille had a very tight situation to even reach the playoffs with both Thunder United and them being tied in all tie-breakers. The two completed a best-of-three series, ending in Grili Tulille claiming the last Playoff spot. In this game, we've got the top seeded team versus the bottom seeded team. Reality Check HC had a huge regular season as expected and Grilli Tulille barely managed to squeak into the playoffs by the narrowest possible margin. Grilli Tulille is already accustomed to playoff style hockey, but they are unlikely to beat a team as talented as Reality Check. Prediction: Reality Check  HC wins 4-2.   (2)  noRex Gaming vs The Last Line  (31) Two teams from the same group in the regular season will face off. noRex Gaming won both regular season games. Both squads are in good form to start the playoffs - The Last Line beat Powerhouse HC in the last game and had an impressive 6-3-1 record in their last 10 games, whereas noRex finished their regular season campaign with a 7-1-2 record in their last 10. Quite an interesting point is that The Last Line beat Powerhouse HC in the last game and noRex Gaming lost to the same team in their last game. Despite that, noRex Gaming is without a doubt the favorite in this clash. Prediction: noRex Gaming wins 4-2 (3)  GIFU Hockey vs VANHAT KYLJYKSET  (30) This series has already started and is even at 1-1. (4) Royal HT vs BIK Karlskoga Esport  (29) Both teams were in same group. Royal HT won the group and BIK Karlskoga Esport barely reached the playoffs. Royal HT won both their games between each other quite comfortably so there is a clear favorite in this series. BIK Karlskoga Esports needs all going exactly as planned and lots of luck to advance from this series as their opposition has already proven their skill against their system in the groupstage. Goaltending must be on top and BIK would need to convert on any chance they get, although unlikely, anything could theoretically happen. Prediction: Royal HT wins 4-0   (5)  Barys eSports vs United Front  (28) Barys eSports have been quite impressive in their debut season in the ECL. They finished second after noRex Gaming in their group and with that reached a favorable position in the postseason. United Front finished 7th in their group after a decent regular season. They had quite the roller-coaster form throughout but overcame teams like FILADELPHIA Academy and in the last matches played rather tight games against group winners GIFU Hockey. Barys eSports seems to be a slight favorite but this series is likely to be tighter than you might expect.  Prediction: Barys eSports wins 4-2   (6)  UNI Gaming vs Hokurit  (27) UNI Gaming finished 2nd in their group and Hokurit 7th respectively. Hokurit had a fluctuating regular season but beat teams like Powerhouse HC so they have the caliber to challenge UNI Gaming for sure. On the other hand, UNI Gaming has been strong throughout and possess quality and experience from Pro last season, they also beat their group winner GIFU Hockey an both occasions in the regular season, which is a show of strength. UNI Gaming is the favorite but Hokurit is capable of challenging well in this series. Prediction: Hokurit wins 4-2   (7)  IK Oskarshamn vs Almost Retired  (26) Two teams that were in the same group. Both games between these teams went the way of IK Oskarshamn, but one of them did take overtime. IK Oskarshamn is a favorite no doubt. We could restate the same mantra as in many other series, we've got a heavy favorite going up against an underdog that needs all the hockey gods on their side in order to overcome the big obstacle and move on. Prediction: IK Oskarshamn wins 4-0   (8)  TuTo Esports vs Baby Goons  (25) Again we've got two Finnish squads who already clashed in the groupstage. TuTo won both tight games, out of which one extended to OT. This series is likely to be tight even though TuTo finished second and Baby Goons 7th in the group. Baby Goons have underachieved and could fulfil their potential come playoffs. Prediction: TuTo Esports wins 4-2   (9)  Powerhouse HC vs Tic Tac Toes  (24) Both of these squads were in the same group and if we looked at it ahead of the season, the seeds should perhaps be inverted. Powerhouse came through this season, though and won both games between the two with two goal margins. Tic Tac Toes is a team with tremendous talent and has challenged the likes of noRex Gaming very well.  Prediction: Powerhouse HC wins 4-3   (10)  Central Hockey Canucks vs Södertälje SK  (23)  Central Hockey Canucks has put forth impressive efforts against top teams like Project X and GIFU Hockey throughout the season. Södertälje SK has also in their own group had some good games against top teams like IK Oskarshamn. Therefore, there isn't any major favorite in this series and it could eventually swing either way. Prediction: Central Hockey Canucks wins 4-2   (11)  Lulea Hockey vs Hyperion  (22) Lulea Hockey did pretty well in their group, which included some high seeded teams like IK Oskarshamn and Reality Check HC. They played tight games against both, winning once in each matchup. Hyperion finished 6th in a tough group as well, beating teams like GIFU Hockey and Project X both once along their way. Hyperion has potential although Lulea is a favorite in this series. Prediction: Lulea Hockey wins 4-1   (12)  Spirit vs Ducktales BK  (21) Spirit ended their regular season in good form: 10 games and 8 wins (1 OT win) and 2 losses (one in OT), which pushed them into 3rd place in their group. Ducktales BK also had similar form at the end of the regular season (8 wins/3 OT and 2 losses/1 OT). Both were in the same group and played two even games against each other. Spirit won both times but with narrow goal margins on both occasions. We're expecting a tight series with lots of drama, especially as both clubs come into the clash in good form. Prediction: Ducktales BK wins 4-3 (13)  Unwanted vs RoKi Esports  (20) Unwanted finished 4th and RoKi Esports 5th in the same group. The two played each other just before the end of the regular season and shared wins, but Unwanted walked away with a point more through an OT loss. RoKi Esports had a disappointing last season so they have a lot to play for. Game 7 is most likely a very good guess in this series. Prediction: RoKi Esports wins 4-3   (14)  Project X vs FILADELPHIA Academy  (19) These teams were in positions 4th and 5th in the same group. Project X won both their tight regular season games so FILADELPHIA Academy has it out for them in the form of revenge on their minds. FILADELPHIA Academy has the reputation and integrity of their mother club to play for alone, but also has the backing of FILA-fans alike behind them going into this bout. A lot of pressure for success in Lite this season. We're in for an exciting and tight series with potential to extend into a game 7. Prediction: Project X wins 4-3   (15)  AiKnown vs EHC Biel Bienne eSports  (18) These teams finished 4th and 5th in their groups respectively. AiKnown has the skill and experience in their roster and has showcased it by beating a strong squad like Royal HT which is an achievement in itself. HC Biel Bienne eSports beat IK Oskarshamn 4-2 and lost only in OT so you could say they've done exactly the same on their own part.  Prediction: HC Biel Bienne eSports wins 4-2   (16)  AfroDunk vs TTK  (17) TTK started the regular season in their group with 7 consecutive wins, but later on their form has cooled off a bit. There is potential for the better, however. AfroDunk challenged teams like Reality Check and IK Oskarshamn in their group and won once each without conceding a goal and just before playoffs. AfroDunk finished 4th in their group and TTK 5th. Expecting a 7 game series. Prediction: AfroDunk wins 4-3   Players to watch As usual, Lite has showcased some exceptional skill this season and with that, here are just few players to follow in the playoffs. Grilli Tulille is an exceptional team due to their multi-game talent and their goaltender has also done well against tough opponent - if the mechanical skill isn't there, the mental strength definitely should be. It'll be exciting to see new names rise to stardom in the crucial moments of these series. Here we are trying to highlight top players for their teams that are expected to shine in these big games of the season too.  some defensemen have also been highlighted, and for these guys the +/- stat is something that was looked at besides point production. The +/- is a decent measure of individual defensive skill but even more than that, team defensive skill. A high production paired with a good +/- is a sign of a winning team.   @egoapina Grilli Tulille GP 12 7+14=21  @Valdoboii Grilli Tulille GP 15 10  4 1 SV% 86,21 GAA 1,87  @Pursuitti Reality Check HC GP 28 35+54=78  @Toivonen_ Spirit GP 29 40+44_84  @Oliverigood TuTo Esports GP 30 29+47=76  @s_w1ld_rus Barys eSports GP 28 22 4 2 SV % 82,05 GAA 1,75  @Burtsi980H Baby Goons GP 28 48+38=86  @GERxVillain noRex Gaming GP 28 14+27=41 +38  @Tumpp1A Royal HT GP 30 5+27=32 +66  @Fightlocke3 noRex Gaming GP 28 21 1 6 SV % 83,71 GAA 1,29  @PSchibra Barys eSports GP 28 9+32 =41  @JLopatko noRex Gaming GP 28 27+27=54   
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