Flexjet (Melissa Ganzi, Juan Bollini, Tom de Bruin and Wes Finlayson) earned a berth in the final of the 2016 Power Horse Invitational Thursday afternoon in a qualifying round-robin but it wasn’t easy.
Flexjet team captain Melissa Ganzi scored the first goal of the game against Seacap (Mike Davis, Kris Kampsen, Brandon Philips and J.J. Celis) at the 4:57 mark followed by a pair of goals (one on a 30-yard penalty conversion) from South African 7-goaler, Tom de Bruin. An aggressive Flexjet defense kept SeaCap off of the scoreboard as they took a 3-0 lead.
The two teams traded goals in the second period with J.J. Celis finally getting SeaCap on the scoreboard, 3-1, and Flexjet’s Wes Finlayson converting on a pass from teammate Juan Bollini, 4-1. Brandon Phillips scored SeaCap’s second goal of the game midway through the chukker, 4-2. Flexjet scored the final goal of the period with a shot from the field from de Bruin for the three-goal 5-2 advantage.
A regrouped SeaCap team took control of the game in the third chukker. Phillips opened the scoring with a pair of penalty goals that cut the Flexjet lead down with a goal from the field in the first twenty seconds of play and followed it up with a penalty goal that brought SeaCap to within a goal of the lead, 5-4. Kris Kampsen tied the game at 5-5 with his first goal of the game and scored the winning goal, 6-5, with 1:37 on the game clock.
A triumphant SeaCap team sat down for the next three chukkers with Flexjet remaining on the field to face a 13-goal Dutta Corp. entry (Tim Dutta, Piki Alberdi, Timmy Dutta and Jason Crowder).
The Dutta Corp. received one goal by handicap from Flexjet but sat idly by as Flexjet got back-to-back goals from Finlayson in the opening chukker and a goal from Juan Bollini in the second period for a 3-1 lead.
Crowder and de Bruin traded goals in the third and final chukker with Crowder’s goals coming on 30 and 40-yard penalty shots while both of de Bruin’s goals came from the field in the 5-3 Flexjet victory. The win leveled Flexjet’s record at 1-1 but was no assured ticket to the tournament final.
The final leg of the round-robin featured SeaCap (1-0) and The Dutta Corp (0-1) in a must win situation for both teams. A victory by SeaCap would give them two wins and an automatic trip to Sunday’s final while The Dutta Corp would have to beat SeaCap by three goals to earn the trip to the final.
Once again the 13-goal Dutta Corp. team received one goal by handicap from the 15-goal SeaCap lineup, but tied it at 1-1 after three scoreless minutes of play on a goal from the field from J.J. Celis. Piki Alberdi scored the final goal of the period from the field in the final minute of play, giving The Dutta Corp. the 2-1 lead.
Timmy Dutta extended the lead to 3-1 with a goal from the field at the 6:49 mark. Phillips converted a 60-yard penalty shot to close out the chukker with The Dutta Corp. in front by a goal, 3-2.
SeaCap struggled to take the momentum away from The Dutta Corp., finally getting the tying goal from Phillips with 4:37 left in the chukker. The Dutta Corp. fought back, with Crowder scoring the winning goal, 4-3, with less than two minutes left in the game.
The Dutta Corp. win had all three teams tied with 1-1 records. With Flexjet earning the call to the final on the strength of net goals.
By Alex Webbe