Lillehammer started their first series of playoffs last week and I wanted to give everyone an update and a little explanation on how playoffs are run in Norway.
Out of the 10 teams in the Norwegian League the top 8 teams at the end of the regular season move onto playoffs. The team in 1st place gets to pick between the 7th and 8th place team to play in the 1st round of playoffs, the 2nd place gets to pick whoever's left over between the 1st place pick and then the number 6th seed, and so on. Lillehammer finished in 5th place and the team that they were picked to play was Hamar (their big rival) which finished in 4th place. There are 3 series in playoffs and each series they play best of 7 games. First team to win 4 games wins the series and moves onto the 2nd series. They play a game everyother day, which is alot but makes for an exciting and busy couple of weeks!
The 1st game of the series was in Hamar. The girls and I decided to skip it and just watch the highlights/live score on line...and I'm glad we stayed home. Turns out Lillehammer lost 1-9!! Here is an article from that game.
Article- Lillehammer vs. Storhamar March 1st, 2011
The 2nd game was back in Lillehammer. I went to that one and knew that it would be a nail bitter. You could tell the the guys were fighting for their lives and weren't going to back down. They played full force almost 4 periods (went into a sudden death period because they were tied up 1-1 after the 3rd). Lillehammer ended up scoring and man were the fans excited. It was so great to see the team work unbelievably hard and out score their rival who beat them so bad the game before. Let's just say, I was chewing my gum so vigorously that I left the arena that night with a headache and a sore jaw! Here's the highlight video. Click on the blue writing in the middle of the article "Video....." Watch for Gino's goal in the 1st period.
Video- Lillehammer vs. Storhamer March 3rd, 2011
As of right now, Lillehammer just finished game #3 lastnight and won 5-2, making the series score 2-1! I stayed home for this game so I was suprised to see Gino limping into the apartment that night. He blocked a shot with his skate in the 1st period. He was able to play the rest of the game and the doctors don't think its broken because he can bend and walk on it a bit. He's on some anti inflammatory pills and just icing it for now. He went into the arena early this morning and had a little electro pulse something or other done on his foot. It basically sends fluid into your muscles and has some sort of vibration that is supposed to reduce swelling. He's going to have the chiropractor work on it tonight and hopefully he will be playing in tomorrows game.
We picked up a newspaper this morning that had a picture of Gino on the cover after he scored the 5th goal of last nights game on an empty net. The article talked about how Lillehammer hasn't won a game in the Hamar arena since 2005. So this was a very big win for the team, coach, and town. The guys who have played on the team for a while have almost been spooked out of playing in that arena and sort of thought there was a curse on them...well the curse has been lifted!
Here's a link to the highlight video from lastnight. Gino is #8 and no longer wearing the gold helmet. Points start over again in playoffs. You can see him scoring the final goal towards the end of the video.
Video-Lillehammer vs. Storhammer March 6th, 2011 BIG WIN!
Game 4 of the series starts tomorrow at home. It should be another nail bitter! I will send out an update at the end of the series. Fingers crossed they make it to the second round!