After "sealing the deal" with the Toronto Young Nationals, the Marlboro 2001 team was prepared to move into the semi-finals against the Vaughan Kings. Eager to get the job done, the team amped up their practice routine in order to be in optimum condition to take on their opponent.
Game one brought the team to neutral territory; Iceland Arena. The Toronto Marlboros game plan was to set the pace high right from the get go to show the Kings they were here to win another series. "Setting the pace high" was a gross understatement. The Marlboros shut them down with a 5-1 win over the Kings and a real feeling of victory.
Games 2 and 3 felt a little like deja vu resulting in identical scores of 5-1 over the Kings. The Toronto Marlboros knew that another win in game four would complete the semi-final round and advance them to the finals.
Game four was played at the Pavilion, home of the Kings. The Marlboros remembered that their one season loss against the Kings was played at this very rink. Setting superstition aside, the team rallied together and were determined to finish the semis this evening. Coach Gialedakis gave the team a pre-game pep talk and pat on each helmet. He was proud of his team for their efforts thus far. "Let's get the job done tonight boys and move on to the finals! We came to their barn and we're not going to let them push us around in their barn." That's exactly what they did. With a slight tweak in the score, the Marlboros won 5-2 over the Kings and wrapped up the semi's. Way to go Marlies.
On to the finals!!!! Two very determined teams would challenge one another to the bitter end. It was a Toronto Marlboro, Mississauga Rebels final. As the saying goes, "let the games begin." Game 1 was something to behold. The Marlboros were hungry for the puck. They challenged the Rebels on every inch of the ice and capitalized on every opportunity. With a 3-0 win over the Rebels the feeling of being one step closer was felt all around.
Game 2 didn't quite flow the way the team had anticipated. Although both teams played hard and battled with more tenacity than ever before, the Rebels squeaked by with a 2-1 win over the Marlboros.
Games 3 and 4 were much of the same back and forth. You couldn't help but get the feeling that these two teams wanted this win badly!!! With two ties against the Rebels and even points in the series, the finals would continue for at least two more games. This was as intense as a series could be. This was real "edge of your seat" hockey and great hockey at that.
Stay tuned as the Marlboros wrap up the 2013 season.