Friday, 26 January 2018

How Sweet It Is

That, ladies and gentlemen, is Brandon Reid, head coach of the Danish Metal Ligaen's Aalborg Pirates, hoisting the Metal Cup after the Pirates captured the trophy a week ago on January 20 for the first time in the team's history. The Metal Cup isn't the league championship, though, but rather an in-season challenge for all the teams of the Metal Ligaen. I'll explain what the Metal Cup is below and how a team goes about winning it, but this is one of the big steps that Brandon Reid has been aiming for with his team, and he can now put that on his resumé as a head coach. With Aalborg playing well towards the end of the season and being bolstered by this Metal Cup win, the Pirates are looking to make a pile of noise in the Metal Ligaen Playoffs in March!

Originally, the Metal Cup tournament featured all ten Metal Ligaen teams plus two teams from the Danish first division. The top-four teams from the previous year used to advance automatically to the quarterfinals, and the remaining eight teams would play to see who advanced to meet those four teams. Games were an aggregate two-game series, similar to soccer, with teams being eliminated as they move forward. The winning team who outlasted everyone else won the Metal Cup.

In 2017, however, the Metal Cup format was changed when the expansion Hvidovre Fighters joined the league. The tournament would only consist of teams from the Metal Ligaen and, rather than having the two-game aggregate system, the top-four teams after 20 regular season games would be invited to a final-four tournament. The final four teams this season included the Herning Blue Fox, the Odense Bulldogs, the Rungsted Seier Capital, and the Aalborg Pirates in that order.

Obviously, the fourth-ranked team out of the four teams would have an uphill battle against Herning, but Pirates played a solid game over the entire sixty minutes in taking the 4-1 victory from Herning! With the top-ranked team in the four-team tournament ousted, the Pirates kept their eyes on the scoreboard to see who they would play between Odense and Rungsted!

It would be the third-ranked Rungsted Seier Capital who would emerge as the victors, and the Aalborg Pirates would play another incredible game against Rungsted last Saturday as they skated to the 5-2 victory at Jyske Bank Box in Herning! Henry Hardarsson, not normally known as a sniper, scored 4 goals in the two-game tournament as he earned MVP honours skating on a line with Mikkel Højbjerg and Julian Jakobsen!

To the victors go the spoils!
Congratulations to Brandon Reid and the Aalborg Pirates on their Metal Cup win as the first benchmark on their way to a Metal Ligaen championship! All of the hard work that is going into building this team by Brandon is really proving fruitful with the last couple of successful seasons! Congrats on the "pokalvinder"!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

No comments: