The Devil Dogs beat the Revision RBK Buffalo Wings Black 4-0 in the morning game. That clinched them a spot in the single-elimination round, which starts tomorrow.
In the night game, they lost to the Detroit Mission Stars 92, 4-2. The Stars were also undefeated coming in, and by winning the game, will get a better seed than the Devil Dogs in single-elimination.
A little background on age divisions in roller hockey: The Devil Dogs play in the Bantam division. You could think of it as a 16-and-under division but in roller hockey, the season runs almost year-round and the divisions are actually based on birth year.
This year’s Bantam division, for example, includes kids born in 1992 or later. Most Bantam players are 92s (born in 1992) or 93s (born in 1993) because 94s and younger can play a division lower in the PeeWee division.
When a team has a year in the name of the team — like Detroit Mission Stars 92 — it means that all the kids on the team were born in that year. One advantage of having a team with all kids born in the same year is that the team can stay together from season to season, without having some kids “age up” to the next higher age bracket.
The Devil Dogs Bantam team has only one 92 player, mostly 93s, and a few 94s playing up a division. As a result, the Stars players were a lot bigger, a lot stronger and a lot faster, but I didn’t think they were better hockey players. The game really came down to the Stars goalie outplaying the Devil Dogs goalie, who ironically had won the goalie skills competition earlier in the day.
The Dogs have to play their best game to beat a team like that because of the physical mismatch but they can do it.
They should seed somewhere in the middle of the eight-team single-elimination round, but anything can happen in single-elimination . . .