Monday, July 27, 2015

Excelsiors clinch playoff berth with last-minute win over Kodiaks

Going into the season, many MSL observers expected five teams to be competitive this season. The team that most figured faced too many questions to challenge for a playoff spot was Brampton. Well, apparently nobody told the Excelsiors, who have worked hard all year and on Sunday night in Kitchener-Waterloo won their seventh game to clinch a playoff berth.

Brampton had to go right to the wire to earn the win; the margin of victory in the 10-9 victory came on Mike Burke's goal with 35 seconds to play. Burke had 2 goals and 3 assists to lead the Excels while defender Robert Koger chipped in a pair of first-period goals.

Brampton led 6-3 after one period but the Kodiaks fought back with a  3-1 second period then took an 8-7 lead when they scored the first two goals of the third. Brampton moved back in front with a pair, Sandy Chapman converting in transition then Brandon Benn scoring on the power play at 16:35.

The lead was short-lived, though, as Joey Cupido scored his second of the game (to go with 2 assists) just 22 second later. That tied the game and ultimately set the stage for Burke's heroics, which ensure the Excelsiors a spot in the playoffs while officially eliminating the Kodiaks from postseason contention.