The [ppm] eyrie

August 3, 2009

Golden friendlies

Filed under: GVE chronicles — glanvalleyeaglets @ 10:13 am

Why do folks play friendly games? There are many reasons. You get some money from selling tickets, your players gain experience and team chemistry. If you win, you also get rating points. On another line, friendlies is an ideal terrain for trying out different lineups and tactical schemes. I can see no downsides for playing friendlies – unless you want to play on high importance, that is.

For the sake of fun friendly tournaments were invented. While the German speaking ppm community is still on its way to arrange the first friendly cup, the Latvians can prouldy look back on a long history of running such tournaments in the Beta phase of the game. My Eaglets had taken part in the first two seasons of the Challenge Cup and later changed to the oldest Latvian ppm cup – the Libertadores Cup.

The cup started with 28 teams (27 of them representing Latvia). In the group stage we had 4 groups, each with 7 teams playing two rounds against each other. This is the final standings in group D after 12 games. To put things in the right perspective, the Eaglets played all games on low importance. (There were some problems with arranging some of the games and because of this two teams were placed back in the final standings).

1. Glan Valley Eaglets – 31, 45:27
2. Lion Team – 22, 50:40
3. Etalons – 17 – 43:44
4. Apbedīšanas birojs 0.7 – 9, 35:46
5. Dullīši – 8, 35:48
6. Arsenich TM – 17, 31:40
7. Whitetigers – 11, 28:43

Three best teams from each group and 4 best of the rest qualified for the round of last 16. Our first opponent was
HK Valmet. Already the first game showed that there is no use of low importance in play-offs. Luckily, the Eaglets managed to win both of the remaining games. Here are the the results of the 1/8 final round:

HC KronosAndels 1:2 (0:5, 5:1, 2:4)
Glan Valley EagletsHK Valmet 2:1 (2:3, 6:4,5:4)
Latvian Tigersmildronats 1:2 (6:3, 2:7, 3:4)
kāmīšiJust do it!!! 2:0 (5:3, 10:6)
Rēzeknes dināmoEtalons 2:1 (2:3, 5:3, 3:2)
Aizkraukles MežoņiHC passatwind 1:2 (1:6, 5:4, 2:4)
RTM TigersRiga Mad Dogs 2:1 (6:2, 2:3 OT, 2:1)
Lion Teamvilkspiži 2:0 (5:0, 5:2)

In the quarterfinals, the Eaglets faced noone less than the team that would later win the first Latvian National Cup, the great RTM Tigers! Against all odds, the Eaglets did not lose this match. Here is what happened:

Andels – Lion Team 0:2 (1:2, 4:6)
Glan Valley Eaglets – RTM Tigers 2:0 (4:2, 6:5OT)
Mildronats – HC passatwind 1:2 (5:3, 1:4, 5:6SO)
Kāmīši – Rēzeknes dināmo 1:2 (2:1, 1:5, 1:3)

Who would stop us now? Lion Team hadn’t lost a single game in the playoffs, until… Here is what happened in the semi-finals:

HC Passatwind – Reezeknes dinaamo 2:0 (6:2, 6:3)
Glan Valley Eaglets – Lion Team 2:0 (3:1, 9:3)

The last part of the impossible mission was sailing vs HC passatwind and it ended with the first, albeit inofficial, title for my Glan Valley Eaglets. Just for the record:

HC Passatwind – Glan Valley Eaglets 0:2 (1:4, 1:6).

Here is how the winners of the first Libertadores Cup of the (pre-)final PPM hockey version played in the last game of the cup:

Glan Valley Eaglets: Florin (Nock); Zellweger-Plate, Ihle-Schirmer(C)-Grundmann; Emmerich-Buhs, Nikolaus-Umbeck-Jacobsen; Brinkies-Karsten, Doerr-Vavra-Clasen; Spaeth-Pestalozzi; Schellbach-Mosler-Niederwipper.

Goals: 0:1 Ihle (Zellweger); 0:2 Emmerich (Buhs); 0:3 Ihle (Schirmer, Zellweger); 1:3 Spulbergs(Vaivods); 1:4 Schirmer; 1:5 Schirmer; 1:6 Nikolaus (Buhs).

And so the Eaglets qualified for the inofficial Cup of Latvian Cup Winners along with other great Champions of the first season. The stellar field of participants:

Winner of the Latvian National Cup: RTM Tigers
Winner of the Libertadores Cup: Glan Valley Eaglets
Winner of the Challenge Cup: HK DINAMO RIiGA
Winner of the LHC (Latvian Hockey Cup): HK Murggs.

The round robin tournament was played in three days – an overtime or shootout victory bringing two points.

On the first day Eaglets faced Dinamo and lost, so Murggs and Dinamo took the lead:
RTM Tigers – HK Murggs 1:4
Glan Valley Eaglets – HK DINAMO RIiGA 3:5

The next round made the things more complicated – both winners of the first day lost their games…
RTM Tigers – HK DINAMO RIiGA 5:4 OT
HK Murggs – Glan Valley Eaglets 3:4

Now Dinamo were leading with four points, but the last round came with another surprises:
HK DINAMO RIiGA – HK Murggs 1:5
RTM Tigers – Glan Valley Eaglets 3:4

Now two teams were in front with 6 points, but Eaglets had won the game between the tied teams, so the winner is…
1. Glan Valley Eaglets 6
2. HK Murggs 6
3. HK DINAMO RIiGA 4
4. RTM Tigers 2

This was our lineup for the deciding game:

HK Murggs vs Glan Valley Eaglets 3:4 (0:1, 1:1, 2:2)

Eaglets: Florin (Nock); Zellweger-Plate, Ihle-Schirmer(C)-Grundmann; Schürrle-Buhs, Vīļums-Umbeck-Jacobsen; Brinkies-Karsten, Doerr-Vavra-Clasen; Schiebler-Pestalozzi, Schellbach-Mosler-Ortel.

Goals: 0:1 Schiebler, 1:1 Dreilings (Lauva), 1:2 Zellweger (Grundmann, Plate), 1:3 Clasen (Vávra), 2:3 Pūpols (Bērziņš), 2:4 Buhs (Umbeck, Vīļums), 3:4 Lauva (Barovskis, Grundulis)

So our Captain Jonathan Schirmer has had a good training in weightlifting, the two cups can be pretty heavy 🙂 It is hard to put this title in the right perspective – of course, it was just friendlies and it is nothing like winning a National Cup (sweet dreams…). On the other hand, all the Latvian teams participated in the National Cup and many of the greatest ones were represented in the cups, so it is hard to digest, how much luck we have had in this season, the season of golden friendlies 🙂 No time for Champagne, promotion games lie ahead!

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