After holding the Las Vegas Knights to only one goal to win their first game 2-1, the Blizzard took on the San Diego Sockers Reserves, who were fresh off a loss to the NW Division Champion WSA Rapids. The Blizzard took the early lead in this match, and things were looking good. An errant pass allowed the Sockers to tie up the match, but the Blizzard would retake the lead 2-1. The Sockers would re-tie the match on a strange ball that bounced off the back wall and over Goalkeeper Dzuba's head, only to be headed in by a Socker. The Sockers Reserves had Chris Toth in goal - not only did Chris play for the pro Sockers for a good chunk of this season while number one goaltender Riley Swift was out (winning all the games he started at the pro level), he is the son of legend Zoltan Toth. The Blizzard pounded Toth in the last 3 minutes, but could not break the tie. After day 1 the Blizzard led Group A at 1-1-1.
Coach Wells had this to say after day 1: "Wow what a day for the Blizzard, we came here knowing we had a tough road ahead of us with the group we were put in. We knew we had to come out hard and fast since we were only playing two18 minute halves instead of our normal four 15 minute Quarters. Drawing the Las Vegas Knights first was actually nice, since we wanted a piece of them anyway from last years finals where they beat us in the first round at their home rink. We were knocking the ball around very well and had a good rhythm to the game. Its really hard for the players to adapt to a shorter game and knowing you have to get a result quickly isn't easy, the other teams come out playing aggressive from the start and it was a very physical game from the first whistle. Getting that win was huge for us and set an early tone around the complex. What a day to now have to turn our focus on the Sockers Reserve team, the host team. This game got even more physical and had added pressure with the crowd that had come to watch the home town team. The players settled in quickly and we looked like we were going to get the result we needed to advance to the semi final round until an errand pass out of the arch cost us the one goal, and then the really weird ball that bounced up and over Dzuba onto the head of one of the Sockers Players to tie things up. As a whole the day went well, we are on top of the group of death in 1st place so I'm happy and now we need to prepare for tomorrows game, we need a tie or a win to advance. We are all looking forward to watching the PASL - PRO semi-finals and then head back to the hotel for some rest."
The Blizzard needed a win or tie against the Northwest Champion WSA Rapids going into day 2. After dominating the Sockers Reserves 3-0, WSA blew a 3 goal lead against Las Vegas, coming into Saturday's match at 1-1. The Blizzard came out flat in the first half as the Rapids would jump out to a 4-0 lead. The Blizzard would regroup in the second half for 3 quick goals, and then the game settled down for the next ten minutes. After a 6th foul penalty on WSA, Odobong Obetette would score a power play goal to even things up at 4 apiece. The game pace picked up at this point, going end to end with numerous scoring opportunities for both teams. With 37 seconds left WSA called a timeout - while the Blizzard only needed a tie to advance, the Rapids had to win. The Rapids would bring in a 6th attacker, who was able to slip past a Blizzard player and pass the ball deep into the corner where another Rapids player was able to send the ball across the goal mouth, and the ball hit someone and ended up in the back of the net, giving the Rapids a 5-4 lead. With 15 seconds remaining it was the Blizzard's turn to call time out and set up the 6th attacker. The Blizzard got off several shots with one hitting the post, but the Rapids survived the onslaught to win the game. The Blizzard finished behind both WSA and Las Vegas in the group, ending their season.
Coach Wells on the loss: "Not the result we were looking for, we just forgot to play the first half and it cost us dearly. It is hard enough playing from behind which is something we are not accustom to this year, but giving up 4 goals is bad form. The players showed some heart the second half coming back from being 4 goals down to tie it up. 37 seconds, wow, not sure what really happened in that span of time, it was almost like everything was moving in slow motion until the ball hit the back of the net, there was so much chaos in the Arch I don't even know who scored the winning goal, bottom line we shouldn't have tried to win the ball from the 6th attacker and just sit back and let them pass it around and run the clock out. I don't remember who it was nor do I care, this is a very special group of players, more like brothers and they play for each other so we win together and we lose together. It is sad to see such a great season end this way but the team is deserving of the #1 team in the PASL Premier League for the regular season at 8-0. At 9-1-1 it would be nice to be hoisting the trophy but hey, hopefully we will be back next year and make another run at the National Title. I'm proud of the team for what they have accomplished this year and I look forward to next season"
The Final Group Standings:
|Las Vegas Knights||3||2||1||0||6||The Knights almost pulled off a repeat...|
|Colorado Blizzard||3||1||1||1||4||One bad half eliminated the Blizzard....|
|Sockers Reserves||3||0||2||1||1||Someone had to finish last in the group of death|
|Vitesse Dallas||3||3||0||0||9||The team of death?|
|Louisville Rayo||3||0||2||1||1||Two respectable losses for the newcomer.|
|CF Revolucion||3||0||2||1||1||Two bad losses, but a tie to finish.....|
In the Semifinals, Las Vegas and Deft Touch battled to a 3-3 tie, and the game went to shootouts. The Knights prevailed in the shootout, 3-2. The second Semifinal was not as close - Vitesse Dallas showed their superiority, beating the WSA Rapids 4-1. In a match up of two former champions, Vitesse Dallas would win their second National Championship, 5-3 over Las Vegas.