Barring a miracle, it looks like the Heli-Riggen Flyers of the Howe Sound Men's Hockey League will take the 2004 playoff championships.
The Flyers and Lil' Enzos Red Wings play the fifth and final game of their series tonight (April 23) and the Red Wings need a huge offensive effort to pull off a series win.
The first game in the series on Friday (April 16) was a 6-6 tie. The Wings bounced back the next night with a 5-3 win Saturday (April 17) but the tables turned Sunday (April 18) when the Flyers blanked the Wings 5-0.
With the series tied at one win each the teams clashed again on Tuesday (April 20). The Wings hit the ice with a huge disadvantage, as only seven skaters were able to make the game. Paul Savage substituted in goal for Graham Roberge in a game that ended 7-2 in favour of the Flyers.
Roberge was forced to sit out the game along with teammate Scott Sherk. Both were issued one-game suspensions. Red Wings coach Tony Bortolotto said he was disappointed his team had so few players at the game.
"We need a full bench against these guys if we are going to do well," he said.
The series sits at two wins for the Flyers and one for the Red Wings heading into the final game of the series. Because the first game was a tie, the Wings have a shot at the series. In order for the Wings to pull the playoff championship out from under their opponents the Wings have to win by nine goals.
A Flyers' victory will give the team a season sweep of the league championship and the playoffs unlike last year when the Flyers took the league but lost the playoffs.
The Wings put in a strong effort during the 2003 playoffs and came away with a 3-2 series win after taking the first two games in the series and storming back in the final game to score a 6-3 victory. With nine goals separating the two teams, the Wings will need a full bunch and top performances from each member of the team.
The puck will drop to start the final game of the men's league season at 10 p.m. tonight (April 23).