After dropping the first Playoff Game to the Flint Jr Generals 6-1, the Jr Penguins stretched Game two out as far as they could. In that first game, it was all Generals. The older, more experienced Flint team showed why they were the top team in the standings at the conclusion of the regular season. Although the Jr Penguins came out on top in three of their regular season games against Flint, they didn’t match up well at all in Game one of the Playoffs.
In game two, after taking a single goal lead midway in the first period by Reed Gregory (from Muncie & Berardinelli), the Pens and Jr Generals played stalemate hockey well into the 3rd period before Warren Carter tied the game up. Then, once again, the more experienced General team took charge in the overtime frame outshouting the Jr Penguins 12-8 before scoring the OT winner about 6 minutes in. Stepke was outstanding in net throughout the game allowing just 2 on 45 shots.
For the Jr Penguins, loosing was heartbreaking for the 25 player squad. However, as the youngest team in the League, they proved that they were a good match against any of the 3HL teams. They finished the regular season 8th overall, with the least penalty minutes, 7th in goals for and 4th in power play goals.
The team clearly improved as the season went on. Although the team took a sub 500 record into the Christmas break, they finished strong playing at a .737 pace to finish the season.
From the staff’s perspective, the season was exciting and challenging which resulted in true development of the players. Measuring success by how far the team has advanced in their development both on and off the ice, the Club is very satisfied in the performance of every player that contributed. Having a couple players receive NAHL Tenders and others that will surely be considered in the upcoming NAHL Draft just adds icing and we hope demonstrates to the rest of the 3HL teams that younger is better. For all the players that contributed to a very successful season, the Club wishes them the best.