Saturday April 22 is Super Saturday: finals of three leagues will be played on that day. The Swiss NLA will reach its conclusion in the evening and a couple of hours before that the Swedish SSL will crown a winner. The Finnish finals can already be named a Classic as that’s the name of the first team that entered the finals. Classic will face powerhouse EräViikingit – a team that didn’t exist at the end of last season.
Road to final – Classic
In the competition Classic was at 2nd place for a long, long time. However, in the end phase they moved up to first place – at the expense of EräViikingit. The team only lost twice during the competition (out of 26 games). By reaching the playoffs as #1 Classic played the quarterfinals vs. #8 Westend Indians. At first the series was close, with a 1-0 lead for Indians after winning game 1 8-9 followed by Classic’s equalizing 7-6 victory – but Classic won the remaining three games relatively easily. Each time they won with at least three goals ahead: 9-4, 7-4, 5-1.
In the semifinals Classic had to deal with #5 Happee, the last team they faced in the competition phase. During that game Classic won with the smallest margin: 7-6 in overtime. However, Classic found their playoff power and crushed Happee: 4-0 (9-6, 8-2, 9-7, 6-4). What a way to move on to the final!
Road to final – EräViikingit
As said EräViikingit played a strong season and headed towards becoming competition winners. On the last day they only had to win vs. #11 Koovee to stay at 1st place – but they failed: 4-5. Despite winning 21/26 games, they ended up at 2nd spot and met #7 Nokian KrP in the playoffs. Just like Classic EräViikingit also lost its first game, as Nokian KrP was too strong in overtime: 5-6. EräViikingit didn’t panic and won the following four games, one even with huge numbers: 14-5!
Moving on to the semifinals, where EräViikingit met SPV (3rd), who defeated Oilers in the previous round. What a thrilling series this became! EräViikingit started the first game at home, but SPV took the victory (2-5). Game 2 was the other way around, as SPV couldn’t profit from their home advantage: 5-9, making the SF score 1-1. EräViikingit took the lead after a big 11-4 victory, but SPV fought back into game 4, winning it 7-5. Game 5 (9-0 victory EräViikingit) and 6 (8-6 victory SPV) led to a 3-3 score, meaning a 7th SF would have to be played. As if the tension wasn’t high enough, this game went into overtime and was only then decided: EräViikingit won 6-5, thus making it to the final!
Previous games this season
EräViikingit – Classic 2-5 (September 23)
Classic – EräViikingit 9-5 (January 10)