The Elite League has once again provided some thrilling games this season, especially between the top 4. Plenty of awesome goals, great saves and outrageous plays makes for great hockey and that's what you are guaranteed to get this Saturday.
Semi Final 1 - Perkele Pelicans vs Dublin Rebels
Once again a near perfect season from the Pelicans saw them crowned league champions once again. However, the gap is closing with some close encounters and a defeat this season. The Pelicans ended the season in a very structured manner so expect more of the same this Saturday as they look to make it difficult for the Rebels.
The Rebels have been consistently good all season long and certainly know how to put the puck in the net. The Rebels have struggled defensively at times but we're sure they will at the top of their game on Saturday. The Rebels need to take confidence that they have had a couple close games with the Pelicans over the last couple of years and grow into the game to make the most of their opportunities.
Players to Watch
Perkele Pelicans - Richard Kovac
Matej gets most of the attention but we can't underestimate the rest of the Pelicans. Richard has proved his worth going forward throughout the season and is a difficult player to beat 1 on 1.
Dublin Rebels - Vladimir Polacek
Vlad has led the Rebels in scoring all season long and will be looked to produce more of the same this Saturday. He has the ability to create a goal out of nothing.
What they say
Matej Radusovsky, Perkele Pelicans Captain
"We want to win of course. But we will look have fun and enjoy hockey with friends. We need to control the game, avoid stupid penalties and not over pass play. For success we need to score few quick goals on beginning of match."
Patrik Buda, Dublin Rebels Team Manager
"Rebels like to see a good atmosphere which it should be in playoffs games. We are looking forward to competitive but fair play and respect from opposition, as usual."
30th September 2017 - Rebels 2 - 17 Pelicans
15th October 2017 - Pelicans 14 - 6 Rebels
Semi Final 2 - Bangor Chiefs vs Cork Wolfpack
The Chiefs became the first team to defeat the Pelicans in the Elite League and will rue dropped points earlier in the season that ruined their title hopes. The Chiefs enter Saturday as the team in form with 9 wins on the bounce and will look to make it 11. Team depth and controlled play will be key for the Chiefs come Saturday.
The Wolfpack looked to be the team to challenge the Pelicans all the way at the mid-season point. However, they dropped off in the closing rounds and slipped to 3rd. Cork can not be taken lightly as they have a number of superb forward, are solid defensively and have a great goalie.
These 2 teams have exchanged some epic battles over recent year so expect more of the same this weekend.
Players to Watch
Bangor Chiefs - David Sally
David has been on tremendous form since returning to the Chiefs part way through the season. David's a dynamic threat going forward and is a work horse on the hustle.
Cork Wolfpack - Ken Moussat
Ken may be the fastest skater in the league and more often than not he uses his speed to his advantage. If he's on form on Saturday he will cause many problems for the Chiefs.
What they say
Darren Snel, Bangor Chiefs Captain
"I feel this year’s playoffs are more open than the previous years as in the past the Pelicans have always been strong favourites. Cork Wolfpack and the Dublin Rebels are both very dangerous teams and have the capability of beating anyone on their day.
As a team we feel ready to play and look forward to our first match against Cork Wolfpack. During the season we’ve had extremely close encounters and have had to battle hard to win by only one goal both games this season and so this will by a very exciting contest.
I feel our team’s chances of winning will heavily depend on playing together as a unit, whether it be attacking or defending."
Derek Mullin, Cork Wolfpack Captain
"We are looking forward to a day of consistent high level games and competition. We hope to overcome the Chiefs and get to a final and hopefully going on to win it."
5th November 2017 - Chiefs 7 - 6 Wolfpack
11th February 2018 - Wolfpack 6 - 7 Chiefs (AOT)