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Deep Dive #1 - Atlanta's Cup Run - Printable Version

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Deep Dive #1 - Atlanta's Cup Run - Jepox - 09-11-2023

Season 64 is a bittersweet one for the Atlanta Inferno. A fairly dominant, yet somewhat unexpected run through the playoffs saw them make their first ever finals appearance. Unfortunately, the Chicago Syndicate played spoiler to this Cinderella story, beating them in five games to secure the Challenge Cup for themselves. Things did not go to plan the next season either, with the Inferno bowing out in game seven of the second round to the Tampa Bay Barracuda. Season 66 however, a decade after they were founded as an expansion team in the SHL, once again gave them another shot at glory. This time they made no mistake, defeating their expansion rivals Seattle in six games in the challenge cup finals. Let’s take a look at how they made this happen.

Round 1:
The first round saw the Inferno face off against the Hamilton Steelhawks. Hamilton were trending down by this point, no longer the dominant force that they had been in the past. A staple of the Atlanta brand of hockey during these playoffs was high scoring games and this series certainly set the tone. 37 goals were scored in only four games as Atlanta completed the sweep, never scoring less than five goals in a game.

Round 2:
The second round was a familiar opponent for Atlanta in the Tampa Bay Barracuda. The division rivals had been the ones to knock them out the previous season and the Inferno were raring to get revenge. Scoring came in bunches throughout this series and the games were tightly contested. Games 3 and 4 pushed Tampa to the brink, sending Atlanta up 3-1 in the series after an overtime goal from Pavel Jeziak sealed a very close game four. Tampa proved that they would not go away quietly and took game five in an 8-6 win that had 8 total goals scored in the third period. A complete team performance in game six would give Atlanta the series win and send them on to the third round.

Round 3:
The conference final matchup against the Buffalo Stampede was a flashback all the way to season 60 where Buffalo swept Atlanta in this very same round. Atlanta were out to show that they were a different team now however, and took a 2-0 series lead early. The Stampede grabbed game three with a 3-1 victory, but a narrow victory for the Inferno in game four set the stage for a commanding 6-0 win that won them the series and gave them a second chance for their first cup.

Challenge Cup Finals:
This brings us to the finals. The Seattle Argonauts stood between the Inferno and their first cup in franchise history. The first three games were close affairs and Atlanta managed to win two, but Seattle would rebound and win game four 7-3. One might expect that to rattle a team and shake their resolve, but they used that as motivation and took a 3-2 series lead after scoring NINE goals in game five. A 4-2 win in game six would match the series, and Atlanta were able to raise the cup. A high-powered offense that saw 5 players hit a point per game in the playoffs let the Atlanta Inferno dictate most games throughout their run to the cup. If not for cap issues that didn’t let the team stay intact, one can only imagine how they may have found themselves in a rematch of this series in the coming seasons.

RE: Deep Dive #1 - Atlanta's Cup Run - CptSquall - 09-11-2023

Approved, Check Portal for the +5 TPE @Jepox

RE: Deep Dive #1 - Atlanta's Cup Run - micool132 - 09-11-2023

this is when i won the cup