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Under 250: The VHLM Review (S73 #4)


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Hello, and welcome to the first edition of a new season of Under 250: The VHLM Report. In these series, we will be taking a look at the trends and topics from the past week in the VHLM. What twists and turns will our minor league hold? Stay tuned to find out!


Speaking of other VSN content, make sure to check out the other great work from the greater VSN family! Here are a few handy links to check out, from our weekly podcasts to in-depth history articles, scouting reports, and more! 

Deep Rewind | VHL Weekly | VSN Australia | Ringless


The Review


The story of the week has been the Philadelphia Reapers resurgence to a playoff position, something we will cover in more depth later in the Highlights. Our playoff teams have been finalized, though the exact seeding is yet to be determined, with almost every playoff team having something left to fight for. With most teams having 4 games left to play, the final game days may have some surprises for us yet!



The Miami Marauders maintain top position with 108 points, followed by their bogey team, the Minnesota Storm. After the Storm comes up the Ottawa Lynx, trailing by just two points. Next, with almost half the points, comes the aforementioned Reapers whose fantastic run of form has earned them a place in the postseason; an impressive feat considering their prior points total. Missing out on the playoffs from the East will be the Mississauga Hounds and the Halifax 21st, with the Hounds at 38 points, and Halifax at 13. Fun fact, the 21st have a decent shot at some league record positions, with fewest goals in one year top ten being gated at 96, and they have 79 currently. They have a shot at tying for second in most losses in a year if they lose all four of their final games. Good luck Halifax!


Moving on to the Western Conference we have the Houston Bulls leading the pack with 103 points, currently second overall in the league. Next is the San Diego Marlins with 98, and then the Las Vegas Aces with 91 points. Finally, we have the last playoff team in the Saskatoon Wild whose 84 points put them clear of the Mexico City Kings, who sit fifth in the West with 35 points. Just a point below them is our final team, the Yukon Rush, who have a total of 34 points through 67 games played. 

This rounds out our review of the standings. Let’s take a look at our ELO charts to see how our rankings shake out:




The Houston Bulls maintain their first ranked ELO position with some truly fantastic team play coming from the Lone Star state. The big ELO story at the top is the decline of the Marauders, despite having been near even with the Bulls and the Storm around their 56th game, a few losses against the lower-ranked Saskatoon Wild and Mississauga Hounds (check out Game 386 for a fantastic 2-1 victory from the Hounds over the Marauders that saw Vsevolod Askarov make 42 saves on 43 shots to seal the game for Mississauga). The Saskatoon Wild made some moves, and despite dropping in the recent batch of games, for a time they were just about tied with the Marauders on ELO. The Marlins have been up and down over the past week, along with other contenders like the Lynx and the Aces, all of which bring up our final teams in the upper section of the ELO chart. 


Down in the lower section, we see that the Reapers were making a steady climb over the past 15 games as evidenced by their fantastic record as of late, and they have just about evened up with the Kings on ELO. For the other teams at the bottom, they have more or less evened out their descent as they wait for a chance next year to take back the throne. 

The Highlights


The Playoff Push


Going into the final stretch of the season at the last weekly review, the Philadelphia Reapers were trailing the Mississauga Hounds for the final playoff position by just four points with a game in hand. Since then? They have gone on a 9-4-1 run, compared to the Hound’s league-worst 1-10-0, bypassing the Hounds and securing the final playoff position for their own. Last week we talked about their goaltender John Poremba a good deal, and while we may try to spread the love a little with these highlights, it has all been thanks to him. Boasting an astounding .94 save percentage over the past 14 games, including a league-best 4 shutouts over that time period with a 1.50 GAA. He has had some help from defenseman Jacoby Buckfast, with 2 goals and 11 assists, and Ernie King with 7 goals and 6 assists, but without the fantastic play of the defending Benoit Devereux Trophy winner, the Reapers may not have been able to make it to the postseason. 


The Roaring Twenties


I’m going to now take a look at three players who have scored over 20 points in their last 13 games. These players are on fire going into the playoffs and are leaving it all on the line in search of the best final position. Two of our featured trio come from the Houston Bulls, a relatively surprising upstart team this season who has been impressive all year, now sitting top of their conference and second overall. Their depth and commitment have been key in their run, and this is evidenced in no better way by the play of Venus Thightrap and Markus Schauer over the last dozen of games. The dangerous and electrifying Thightrap has recorded 12 goals and 16 assists in the past 13 games and has been the catalyst for the Bull’s attempt to gain the first seed late in the season. Helping her in the team’s pursuit of glory is the Bull’s fantastic Schauer, whose 4 goals and 18 assists, good for 22 points, is ranked second over the last section of games. This defenseman has been lighting it up alongside potential MVP candidate Riley Knight Gee and has showcased some exceptional talent that VHL GMs will be sure to take note of in the upcoming draft. 


Finally, we get to our third player in the last stretch of play to have reached 20 points, doing so exactly with 7 goals and 13 assists, the San Diego Marlin’s Pietro Angellini. The centre is the top-scoring forward in points over the whole season with 119 and looks to be a key part of the Marlin’s offence heading into the postseason. Angellini will be moving up to the VHL next season as a part of the Moscow Menace organization, and will certainly be looking to make his mark on the VHLM on his way to the big leagues. Will he be able to carry the underdogs in San Diego to postseason glory? Time will certainly tell. 



That’s all for this edition of Under 250: The VHLM Review. Thank you all for reading, and stay tuned next week for the inside scoop on all that’s going on in the league. Until next time!



Players Mentioned: @Gooningitup, @CrlineDijohn14, @AnthonyOuellet, @Greg Ernest, @BladeMaiden, @Plate, @KnightRiley, @okifenoki



VSN Writer Mr_Hatter

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