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Devise

Toronto vs Helsinki, A Tale of Two Underdogs?

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With how close competition is in the VHL these days, you'd be hard pressed to say any of the competing teams were really underdogs heading into the season. Still, the VHL has always paid a certain attention to regular season standings, and on paper team strength as a general rule of thumb when it comes to deciding who the better teams are. You can look no further than the yearly predictions, where with the exception of biased members of each team, a large majority of people would not of predicted a Toronto Legion vs Helsinki Titans Continental Cup Finals. Because of that, and the relative strength of Seattle and Riga both of whom were top dogs in the regular season by a decent margin over the other three teams, you could very well say that this seasons Continental Cup final is a tale of two underdogs.

 

Interestingly enough, both teams had quite different paths to these finals, and different challenges throughout the season. Helsinki actually struggled out of the gate, but turned it on late in the season to lock in the 3rd spot in the conference. They wanted to avoid a wildcard series, especially in hindsight considering had they of been involved both Helsinki and Quebec would of had to play their back up goalie. They did avoid it though, and their reward was the Riga Reign in the semi-finals, who just barely lost the Victory Cup race to the Seattle Bears.

 

Toronto found their way to the semi-finals after a strong start, specifically on the stat sheet for their star players lead to some back and forth battles and some struggles with consistency pushing them to fourth. After Stopko stood on his head against Quebec, they wound up facing the Seattle Bears in the semi's. 

 

While both Helsinki and Toronto did wind up having leads in their respective series, Helsinki barely finished off Riga in 7, losing two back to back 4-1 games before finally finding the offense in a 4-2 Game 7 win. Seattle and Toronto had a wild series trading offensive outbursts early, before several close games barely edged out by the Legion finally sealed the deal. They took the series 5-4 in OT in Game Six. Nonetheless, the two teams heading into the finals have both faced their share of adversity, and have shown to have some clutch players when the chips are down. Who will be the hero in these finals, and who will be the ultimate underdog story of Season 64? We'll have to see to find out. 

 

 

Edited by Devise

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First Toronto trip to the finals since the near-fourpeat of S51. Could have been a rematch of that year's final if Riga made it, instead it's against the S48 finalists when it all kicked off (Clegane on the losing side at both ends 😢 )

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