By Joshua Boyd / USPHL.com
New England Division
Springfield Pics (4) vs. Bridgewater Bandits (5)
All Games at Olympia Ice Center
Friday, March 3, 8:30 p.m. EST
Saturday, March 4, 6:40 p.m. EST
Sunday, March 5, 4:10 p.m. EST
The Pics and Bandits finished just three points (and three wins apart), so this series draws the “Most Likely To” card for potentially going three games. Adding to the evidence for this possibility/probability is that the Bandits went 3-1-1-0 during the regular season against the Pics, who went 2-2-0-1, and their last three games were decided by either one goal (both won by the Pics) or two goals (won by the Bandits).
“Our team strength is our depth, where we have the ability to play all forward lines and all the defense. All players have been contributing in their own way. We have a good group that plays for each other,” said Bandits Head Coach Scott Drevitch, whose team finished 20-19-5-0.
Saint Anselm recruit Chris Cordeiro led a team that saw 28 different point-scorers, by putting up 37 points in 34 contests.
On the Springfield side, Dominic Balboni and Jacob Trowt finished with a combined 114 points, separated by just two.
Drevitch knows his team will have their hands full with the home team.
“Over the years, our teams have had great battles and this year was no different. Both teams are built similarly and play a similar style,” Drevitch added.
The respect definitely goes both ways, as Pics Head Coach Rob Bonneau is ready for a hard-grinding two or very possibly three games.
“The Bandits are a very tough team. We have seen them a lot over the course of the season and it’s always a tough game. They are well coached and never give up. It should be a battle this weekend,” Bonneau added.
The Pics went 23-19-1-2, so like the Bandits they rode just above the .500 razor wire all year. They hope home ice will be an asset, as the Pics won twice as much as they lost at the Olympia (or at showcases as the home team), going 14-7-0-1. Similar to the Bandits, it may all come down to scoring by committee.
“Our depth will be our strength going into playoffs we have many players who can step up. Hopefully we can get a new guy to step up each game,” Bonneau added.