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Claimed: Seattle Set For New York


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Bears/Americans Matchup

 

With the first round of the S53 VHL Playoffs concluded, the second round has been set in stone. Over in the European Conference, the Helsinki Titans are slated to face off against the Stockholm Vikings after coming back from down 3-1 in their series against the Cologne Express. Over in North America, New York took out Quebec City in just five games, only losing Game 1 in overtime. Now they are due to play against the Seattle Bears, who were the  best team in the entire VHL.

 

The Seattle Bears and New York Americans regular season games against each other were extremely even. The Bears took the series 4-3-1, and three separate games went to extra time. New York scored 16 goals in the series, whereas Seattle scored 17, not including shootout winners. Although notably, the Seattle Bears consecutively shutout New York twice, albeit early in the season. You cannot exactly put any gauge on who would be winning right now, however. No team has had any recent streak against one another, as the whole season was even. New York took the first two games, Seattle the next two, New York in overtime, Seattle in a shootout then overtime the next, and then the most recent game New York won in regulation.

 

For the rest of this article, I'll be taking a look at the most recent games between these two teams.

 

Bears vs Americans: Game 339

In Seattle's fourth last game of the season, the most recent one against New York heading into the post-season, it was a game in which the Americans won 2-1. Unassisted scored his 53rd of the season in the first period, while the Americans outshot the Bears 13-8 in the frame. In the second, Essian Ravenwing's 28th of the season was scored late at the 19:24 mark, assisted by Tom Lincoln and Phil Shankly, giving New York the 2-0 lead heading into the third. New York outshot Seattle again 9-5. The third period was the only one where Seattle outshot New York, and the only period where they scored a goal. Bogdan Podarok's 50th goal of the season, assisted by Jeff Hamilton and Pietro Maximoff, came at the 16:25 mark of the period. A little late to be finally scoring in this game for the Bears. M.T. Power saved 22 of 23 shots faced in the game with a 95.7 save percentage, winning first star. Jakab Holik saved 27 of 29, but ultimately it wasn't enough for the win.

 

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Americans vs Bears: Game 295

This was another close game between these teams, one in which Seattle won in OT. Diana Maxwell scored her 51st for New York in the first period, assisted by Unassisted and Joel Jarvi. That goal would hold off for the rest of the period where the shots were 10-9 for the Bears. In the second, Seattle brought it on heavily. They outshot New York 12-9, and Bobby Digital's late period slashing penalty gave Seattle the opportunity to tie the game. Pietro Maximoff's 42nd goal of the season assisted by Felipe Rodriguez on the powerplay at 16:56 tied the game 1-1 heading into the third. At 6:04 of the final frame, Grigory Kopralkov scored his fourth goal, assisted by Zach Parechkin. This goal held off for awhile, but the Americans outshot the Bears 10-7 in the third, and tied the game late. With only three seconds left, a 45th goal of the season by Unassisted tied it up, with passes from Tom Lincoln and Bobby Digital. Digital somewhat making up for his penalty in the earlier period. Seattle got right back to it however in overtime, outshooting New York 3-0 and scoring 41 seconds into it. Kopralkov and Maximoff made passes to Bogdan Podarok, who sealed the deal and won the game for the Seattle Bears, 3-2. Unassisted was the first star of the game in a loss, with 9 shots and 2 points.

 

Bears vs Americans: Game 252

In this game, the play very much favoured New York, but Jakab Holik pulled through with the victory for Seattle. The Americans came flying out of the gates in this one, and outshot the Bears 20-8 in the first frame. Although, one minute into it at 1:02, Felipe Rodriguez scored a goal off a pass from Zach Parechkin. Ten seconds after that though, Sir William Covington III with his 25th goal of the season tied it up on a pass from Essian Ravenwing. Then at the 6:17 mark, Diana Maxwell gave New York the lead heading into the second period, with passes from Phil Shankly and Unassisted. Seattle was lucky to get out of that period down only 2-1. The second was a more even affair, with shots at 7-6 in favour of Seattle, but those 20 minutes went scoreless. The teams swapped penalties as well. In the third period, New York turned on the jets, but Jakab Holik held the door shut for Seattle. The shots were 12-5 in favour of New York, yet Seattle was the team with the lone goal in the period. Bogdan Podarok tied the game off passes from Maximoff and Hamilton, and the game was sent to overtime. In OT, the shots were two a piece, but ultimately it went to a shootout where Jeff Hamilton was the hero. Holik saved 38 of 40 shots, with a 95 save percentage, basically carrying the team throughout the game.

 

As you can see by just these three games, the Seattle Bears and New York Americans are likely in for quite a series.

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