Monday, March 19, 2012

Quarter Finals Update

Hello!  Thought I would give you all a little update on how playoffs are going.  Quarterfinals against Sparta were a little intense! As I said before, the first team to win 4 games, wins the series.  Most of the games were very tight! Again, the games are played every other day rotating between home and away.  Here's a quick rundown...
The first game of the series we had home ice advantage but ended up losing 1-2. 

The second game, at Sparta, was a back and forth game that went into overtime that Lillehammer won 4-3.

The third game was back at home, and LIK won 4-3.  So at this point Lillehammer was up 2-1 in the series.

 Game four,  back in Sparta, Lillehammer lost 5-2.  They didn't really play all that well, which I'm sure at this point, their bodies were getting a little worn down with playing 4 games in one week.  

Game five, back in Lillehammer, the guys pulled it together and fought hard for a big win 4-2. 

Game 6, (I honestly thought we wouldn't have to play these last few games and we would have just won the series right away but, what do I know!)  Anyways, Sparta tied up the series winning this game 4-3.  Gino said that they played well enough to win the game and almost tied it up at the end so the team was pretty confident ending the series back home for game 7. 

Game 7 was nuts....the fans came out from all over to cheer on their team.  It was extremely loud for little Kristins Hall and I wanted to kill the guy beating the drums constantly for 2 hours.  On the other hand, Sparta fans are some of the roudiest and loudest in the league and they tend to sway the refs penalty calls when playing in their arena, so it was nice to have home ice advantage for the final tie breaking game.  The guys pulled it together and looked better than I've ever seen them on the ice.  It was like watching a completely different team.  Gino said it was one of the funnest games he's played at home, there was alot of emotions and the crowd really made a difference.  Lillehammer ended up snatching the win, 3-0.  When you win a playoff series here, the fans eat it up!  Especially since up until last year, Lillehammer hadn't made it past the first round in over 12 years.  Now they've managed to do it two years in a row so it's pretty huge.  At the end of the game, the fans were calling for an encore.  So a few minutes after the guys had already left the ice to change and what not, we saw them come back out on the ice to greet the fans.  It was a special moment for Lillehammer. 
Heres a little highlight video of the final game and an interview by Gino at the end.
Lillehammer vs. Sparts Game 7 Highlight Video

Lillehammer was chosen by Stavanger (won the top seed in the league) to play the semifinals.  As you may recal, Stavanger is a good 12 hour train ride from Lillehammer and with the guys playing every other day you can imagine how crazy the travel schedule can get.  They had their first game against them in Stavanger just yesterday (Sunday) and luckily the game was early enough where they could catch a flight to Stavanger and then also catch the last flight home.  Lillehammer lost the game 3-0 including an empty net goal at the end.  They seemed to play well and had a few chances early on in the game but kind of lost it with all the penalties they were getting.  Two of the goals were scored on power plays.  Gino left the house at about 7am on Sunday morning and got back at around 2am on Monday morning.   They have practice today and game 2 is at home tomorrow!  It's going to be a pretty tough battle considering Stavanger has also had a week to relax since they won the quarter finals in 4 games.  But anything can happen. Only time will tell! 

As for everything else, the pregnancy is still going well!  I feel good but as I slide into my third trimester, I'm itching to get home and soak in this 80 degree weather I've been hearing so much about.  Although, I will say, it makes me a little nervous for this Summer...if we're having 80 degree weather in March, will we have 100's in June?  hmmm.  We can tell that Spring/Summer is approaching here in Lillehammer as well.  The snow is melting more and more each day and we're actually going to the games in daylight!  The sun has been setting around 6:40pm and getting later and later everyday.

I'll hopefully have another little update on the series and when we are heading home very soon.  Again, if you would like to follow Gino and the team, you can by clicking on the link below. You may have to switch the year on the left to 2011/2012 season.  Hope you all have a wonderful week!

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