So this week is more than just a “Week 4 Recap” as it is an important message for everyone in the league as well. I want to address everyone at once and throw out a bunch of information and explain as much as I can, the best that I can. Before we get to the real important parts, I want to recap on Sunday’s games which, for the first time all season, were streamed on Twitch for EVERYONE to watch! It was a great moment for the League and we all look forward to streaming games the rest of the season! But lets get to those awesome recaps!
First game of the day was the #2 Rocket Hawks (9-6) vs the #4 RL Elite (7-8)! This is their 1st and only meeting this season and man was it a doozy! Game 1 came down to the wire with the Hawks leading 5-4. As the clock was making its way to 0:00 the Elite had a chance to tie the game but their shot went wide right and the Hawks took a 1 game lead. Game 2 saw the Elite fight on and push to a 3-1 victory tying the 5 game series at 1 a piece. Game 3 was the lowest scoring game of the 5 as the Hawks once again held a 1 goal lead over the Elite with the clock running out. The Elite for the second time in 3 games had a chance to tie the game at the end but whiffed the shot and the Hawks captured a 2-1 series lead. Game 4 was BIG because the Hawks were going to take a 3-1 series lead or the Elite was going to tie it all up 2-2 and make for a epic game 5. Game 4 was almost a mirror image of Game 2 as the tight contest lead to a 3-1 victory for the Elite. Game 5 with the series on the line, what could be better than that?! This would only make the second 2-2 Game 5 in MLD history, with the previous one coming 2 weeks ago when the Dodgers and Elite played a 2-2 Game 5 and the Dodgers hit a tie breaking goal to win with 17 seconds left on the clock. Would the Elite suffer another heartbreaking Game 5 loss? Well with a strong start the Elite road to a 4-1 victory completing their 1st series win of the season! (0-5, 2-3, 5-0 due to NCP, 3-2). It was one hell of a series and I only wish these 2 teams were going to play again.
The last match of the day was the rematch from week 3 #1 Dodgers (12-3) vs #6 Aerial Attack (2-13)! Last week the Dodgers took a 4-1 series victory over Aerial Attack with dominant fashion in games 2 through 5 and many were wondering if we would see the same thing here in week 4. Game 1 started much like Game 1 of week 3 did, very close, very competitive but the Dodgers would be the team to take Game 1 this time. Getting a 3-1 victory and a 1 game series lead was exactly the way the Dodgers wanted to start off! It was Game 2 last week were the Aerial Attack fell apart, but not this week! The Aerial Attack came back swinging and took a 3-2 win to tie the series up at 1 a piece! Game 3 was tight until the final minutes when the Dodgers took control and sealed the win 4-1. In Game 5 the Dodgers seem to have control over the series as they popped open a 5-1, 2 game series lead over the Aerial Attack. With a 3-1 lead the Dodger were looking to repeat a 4-1 series but the Attack played real tough! However in the end the Dodgers would take the game and the series 4-1. The Aerial Attack may have lost a 4-1 series BUT they played the best 5 games I have seen them play all season long! They are really coming together as a team and they improve each week in the MLD! I am truly excited to see how great they become in seasons ahead.
Now as you may have noticed this is the 2nd straight week where there has been 2 games instead of 3. Well for those of you who don’t know, the players from the Wings missed their game against the Elite last week resulting in a NPC (Non Compete Penalty) where they were given 5 loses and then they also disbanded as a team. The MLD has been hard at work trying to find players to join the League and take over the Wings for the rest of the season and we announced earlier in the week that we might have the Wings filled again! Two players filled out the FAA (Free Agency Application) forms with obvious interest in joining the league. However after multiple failed attempts to communicate with the 2 players we had to move on from the potential replacements.
While the League will still continue to find new players (especially for the Summer Season), we have to start preparing for the worst. If we do not receive any FAA forms with players interested in taking over the Wings, we will unfortunately have to move on to a 5 team league. I know the MLD Committee was talking about removing the stats and W/L records from those teams that played the Wings so that it would be as if the Wings never played, which seemed like a great idea at first, but after going over that plan I realized that the league would be unbalanced! Some teams would have more games played and more stats then others which would screw up the Standings and the MVP race. For instance the Flames will have “played” the Wings twice in these first 4 weeks. Once in the 1st week and then set to play against them here in week 4. If we got rid of all the stats and W/L records that included the Wings games, the Flames would be out 10 games, compared to the Dodgers who would not miss out a single game because they have not played the Wings this season.
So removing stats and W/L records is unfortunately not an option. However I do think I have the answer, instead of removing the stats and W/L records, the Wings will receive another NPC giving the flames a 5-0 week (and their stats will be doubled for Week 5’s game to make up for their missed week, like the Elite did this week) and the
league schedule will be changed to make up for the Wings being out of the league. This is the best case scenario as there will be no drastic change to any team’s or players progress. Being as there is 5 teams, not every team can play every week which leads us to having 1 bye week for each team for the last 5 weeks of the season. Below will be the NEW schedule for the remaining weeks of the season, with 1 team having a bye at one point in the next 5 weeks.
FLA – DOD, HAW, AER, ELI, BYE
HAW – BYE, FLA, DOD, AER, DOD
AER – ELI, BYE, FLA, HAW, ELI
ELI – AER, DOD, BYE, FLA, AER
DOD – FLA, ELI, HAW, BYE, HAW
The TOP 3 teams are still Playoff bound, Top team from the Orange Conf, Top team from the Blue Conference and the next best team. For example, in the 5 team league, if it were to end today the #1 Dodgers would get a playoff bye and be placed in the MLDSSC as the #1 team in the Orange Conference and in the League. The #2 Hawks would take the crown in the Blue Conference and be placed in the playoff match up against the #3 Flames. The winner would then go on to play the Dodgers for the Spring Series Championship.
The Frozen Classic will go as stated before, the #4 & #5 teams will play to see who plays the #1 team and the #2 team will play #3. #1 v #4/#5 & #2 v #3 = #1/#4 v #2/#3 for the Frozen Classic Championship. So as the current Standing sit, #4 Elite vs #5 Aerial Attack! Winner of the 1 game knockout will play the #1 Dodgers. The #2 Hawks vs #3 Flames and the winners of those 1 game knockouts will play in a 1 game knockout for the Frozen Classic Championship. Just a reminder, W/L records and stats in the Frozen Classic do not count towards teams and players regular season stats. This is a side event for FUN!
Going forward into the Summer Season we hope to gain more Free Agents to fill ALL 8 teams. We apologize to all of our players and fans for the rough start we have had finding players for our teams. We did however go through 5 or 6 Free Agents during the first 3 weeks of the season because players were not responding, breaking rules and so on which really hurt us when the players from the Wings left because we had already used up our current FA pool.
I hope everyone is okay with the changes going forward and I look forward to having fun the rest of the season!