Friday, May 29, 2009

Stingrays up 3 games to 1

The South Carolina Stingrays won a decisive 5-0 win over the Alaska Aces tonight to take command of the series 3 games to 1. The early buzz was that the Aces were a titan of a team that could not be stopped. Well, to win it they now have to stretch it out to 7 games, so they're not quite the juggernaut they were rumored to be.

Tonights game saw 91 minutes of penalty time on 29 infractions. Alaska seems have had the meltdown 54 minutes on 16 infractions. A lot of the Stingray penalties were incidental to the initial Aces penalty. In the third period Alaska's Stefanishion got a true goon's hat trick with a 3-fer penalty of a tripping, roughing, and misconduct all on the same whistle. Maybe they can't handle the pressure of not winning easily.

There are two schools of thought on who to root for after being eliminated in the playoffs. Some folks hate the team that eliminates their guys so they root for the oppononents. I understand that and respect it.

I lean the other way. I figure it's better to be beaten by the champions. It also eliminates the frustration of wondering if my guys would have beaten the other guys if they had advanced. And, if the Stingrays win, the Kelly Cup stays in our conference. There's a sub-plot of pride in that.

Finally, I have to say that the Stingrays guys were gentlemen, professional, and sportsmanlike while at USBA. I can't say the same for some of the other teams who came through during the past three years. It's one thing to put on the game face, be all-business, and focus on winning. But being rude and un-cool is not necessary. The Stingrays were none of that.

They were true professionals. Yeah, losing stinks. But if we had to lose, they were an OK team to lose to and I hope they take the Kelly Cup tomorrow night at home so their fans can enjoy the celebration that we know from last year is oh, so sweet.


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