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Rat Race


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:vhlmlogo:Rat Race:vhlmlogo:

 

All but two of the Minor league teams in the Victory Hockey League have all played in fifty-three games at the time of writing this article. This of course means that there are only nineteen games remaining in the regular season, something that should have VHLM fans around the world excited for what is about to come. The Miami Marauders are currently sitting in first place in the VHLM with a record of 42-9-2, good enough for eight-six points, and a one-point lead for first over the Houston Bulls. While Miami is currently sitting in first place in the league, we wouldn’t say they are sitting comfortably with only a one points lead with lots of hockey remaining, especially with the way the standings have been fluctuating this season. Currently only eight points separate the first place team from the first place team in the VHLM, so the next two weeks should be fun to watch in the minors. Today we will look at some of the teams that are currently vying for the top spot in the VHLMs Seventy-Third season.

 

Miami (42-9-2- 86 Points; Currently 1st Place)

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Miami currently has nine players on their roster (6 Forwards, 3 Defenseman) that have capped out on their practice hours while in the VHLM (250 Practice Hours). While they have 6 forwards currently on their roster that have capped out on practice hours, it is the team’s defense and goalie position that are currently carrying the team, especially on this thirteen game win streak they are currently on. The team currently has allowed on 102 goals against, which is comes in as an amazing 1.92 goals per game. The teams number one netminder, Bacon, has been playing some amazing hockey for the Marauders over the past week. Currently Bacon finds himself in fifth in the VHLM in save percentage (.895), and first in goals against average with that nice 1.92 GAA. Miami is also currently being led in points by one of their defenseman in Matty Socks. The Fifth Overall draft choice in the Season Seventy—Three VHLM Dispersal Draft currently leads the roster with twenty-seven goals and fifty assist, good enough for seventy-seven points and a six-point lead ahead of centerman Dakota Lamb. With a strong past thirteen games, placing them back in First Place, fans around the VHLM and in the state of Florida are wondering, will Miami be able to hold the lead as we enter the stretch run before the playoffs.

 

Houston Bulls (42-10-1- 85 Points; Currently 2nd Place)

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Houston has been one of the most consistent teams in the VHLM this season, but despite that they still find themselves currently sitting in second place in the VHLM so far. Houston has had winning streaks of seven games, six games and sixteen games this season, something that would normally put a VHLM well ahead of other teams in the standings, but not this year.  Another abnormally from the season with the Bulls, also has to be the play of their top defenseman Riley Knight Gee, who is currently leading the Bulls and the entire VHLM in points. Gee is currently playing in his second full season with the Bulls, exploding so far with 112 points in the fifty-three games the Bulls have played. Although Gee currently has a fifteen-point lead over Michael Hall from Minnesota in the race for the Ethan Osborne Trophy. With nineteen games remaining, Gee will need to continue to put this best foot forward to take home the award come seasons’ end. Outside the amazing season from Gee, potential First Overall Draft choice in the upcoming VHL Entry Draft, Venus Thightrap, has put together a decent season with the Bulls, with thirty-two goals and fifty-four assists for the season to date. Goaltender Drew Minott has also been doing this best in net for the Bulls, as he is currently tied for first with forty-two wins on the season. Will the Bulls be able to put together another winning streak to knock Miami off the top spot, the next few weeks in the VHLM will let us know.

 

Ottawa (40-11-2- 82 Points; Currently 3rd Place)

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After a seventy-eight-point performance in Season Seventy-Two, the Lynx are looking to make a bit more noise this season, having already passed the point plateau from last season. The Lynx are currently led offensively by centerman Arthur Dayne, who they picked up in a trade with the Mexico City Kings prior to the beginning of Season Seventy-Three. Dayne currently finds himself in seventh with thirty-eights goals and fourth in the VHLM with points, putting up ninety-one points in the Lynxs’ fifty-three games so far. While the secondary scoring behind Dayne is not where they would like it to be, the Lynx management are pleasantly surprised by the great play by their defenseman and second year goaltender Ajay Krishna. Krishna currently sits in third in the VHLM in wins with forty, third in the VHLM in save percentage with a.900 and second in the league in goals against average with a 2.13. With a second best in the VHLM with 115 goals against this season, the Lynx are banking on Krishna continuing this great play down the stretch and into the playoffs.

Minnesota (39-12-2-80 Points; Currently 4th Place)

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The pre-season favourites of many that follow the VHLM, the Minnesota Storm currently find themselves in fourth place in the VHLM in Season Seventy-Three. While they are currently in fourth place at this point in the season, they are just six points out of first place, something that is very attainable with nineteen games remaining of the season. Minnesota has been a powerhouse offensively this season as they currently sit second in the league with 228 goals for. Season Seventy-Two draftee Michael Hall has been the best player for the Storm this season, putting up a team and VHLM leading forty-nine goals, alongside his forty-eight assists, good enough for ninety-seven points in the Storms’ fifty-three games this season.  While Hall has been the grease for the Stoms squeaky wheel this season, fellow Season Seventy-Two Draftee Turner McHugh has been a huge cog in the Storm machine as well. McHugh currently finds himself third on the team in points with eighty-one, but his sixty-one assists on the season are good enough for second behind the once in a lifetime season of Riley Knight Gees’, who sits in first in the leagues assist race with eighty-one. With the one-two punch of Hall and McHugh leading the way in Minnesota this season, fans are left pondering if it will be enough to take home the franchises second Founders Cup in four seasons.

San Diego (38-13-2-78 Points, Currently 5th Place)

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The San Diego Marlins are the last team on our list of potential Founders Cup hopefuls. The Marlins are currently eight points out of first place, finding themselves current in fifth place in the VHLM. The Marlins have had an up and down season for far in Season Seventy-Three, often finding themselves on the right side of games against the other top competitors in the VHLM this season, including recent wins against Minnesota and Houston, but also finding themselves on the wrong side on the scoresheet against teams they should have no problem beating, like the recent 3-2 loss at the hands of the three win Halifax 21sts. San Diego is led offensively by the two headed monster or Pietro Angellini and John Merrick, the teams’ top two centerman. Angellini leads the team in both assists (58) and points (95), while Merrick currently leads the Marlins in goals with forty-two, and sits second to Angellini in points with eighty-eight. After that is where some of the problem lie for the Marlins, as the next closest forward to Merrick in points is VHLM journeyman winger Roadkill Steve, whose sixty-four points puts him fifth on the team in scoring. While the Marlins are not the top scoring team in the VHLM and are having trouble finding secondary scoring, the tandem of Angellini and Merrick have put the Marlins in fourth in the VHLM for goals for. Turning our attention to the blue paint for the Marlins, you will notice that Doug Dimmadome isn’t having quite the year neither himself or the team expected. Dimmadome currently sits seventh in the league in save percentage with a .893 and fourth in the league in goals against average with a 2.41 mark. While neither of the numbers are nothing to write home about, one thing the numbers doesn’t show is the quality of changes his defenseman is giving up in front of him. While the Marlins are giving up just over twenty-two shots a game, many of those shots are coming very high quality areas for the opposing team, leading to high percentage shots. With a lot of work ahead of them in the next nineteen games, fans in San Diego are hoping for the best in the remainder of the regular season, but also as they embark on the road for their first ever Founders Cup Championship.

 

1,508 Words. MS For Aug 17-23, 24-30, Aug 31-Sept 6th

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