Sunday, November 29, 2015

Star League Season 8

I've been cranking through games and have finished season 8. I made one big change; I extended the season to 20 games per team. To simplify the schedule I play 2 game series, otherwise the schedule works the same as prior seasons.

Galactic Division
The defending champion Blitz started off slow. After 8 games, they posted a losing record. Meanwhile, the Knights rode a 4 game winning streak to take a 7-3 record and the division lead. The Dynamos were also in the hunt and were tied for 1st place after 14 games. Then the wheels fell off for the division leaders. The Knights went 2-4 and the Dynamos went 1-5 to finish the season. This opened the door for the Blitz, who won their last 6 games to take the division crown.

Stellar Division
The Electrons were the talk of the division. After starting 7-1, speculation arose whether they could be the best team ever (could they tie the 9-1 record of the season 1 Canopans and season 8 Knights). They fell in game 9 then lost 2 games in week 7, allowing the Helix to draw closer. A loss in week 9 allowed the Helix to tie the division with 13-5 records. The rivals played each other in the final week. Because the Electrons held the head-to-head advantage, the Helix needed to sweep the series to win the division.

In the first game, the Helix took an early 1-0 lead. In the waning seconds of the half, the Electrons scored to tie the game. They added another goal early in the 2nd period and then held the ball for most of the half. With time running out, the Helix gained possession, pushed up court, and shot. Blocked! The save preserved the Electron victory and clinched the division. The Electrons won the next game in overtime to finish the season 15-5.

Star Cup
The Star Cup featured a rematch of last season - the Blitz (13-7) vs. the Electrons (15-5). This time, the Blitz were the underdogs. They looked it in the first half as the Electrons jumped out to a quick 3-0 first half lead en route to a 3-1 victory.

The Blitz fortunes changed in game 2. They scored twice before the Electrons answered with a goal to close the margin to 2-1 at the half. The Blitz played tough defense for the 2nd half. With time running out the Electrons managed a shot. SCORE! The game went into overtime but the Blitz scored early to tie the series at 1 game each.

In the final game, the Blitz again took the lead. The score stood 1-0 at the half. Early in the 2nd, the Electrons scored. A few minutes later, the Blitz set up a shot. Goal! They now had a 1 goal lead. The Electrons pressed but the Blitz stole the ball, rushed down court, and shot. Goal! Now up 3-1, the Blitz defense tightened and the Electrons could not respond. The game and series went to the Blitz, who avenged their upset from the previous year.

Historical Notes

  • After winning the first 3 Star Cups, the favorite has now lost 4 of the last 5.
  • Although the Electrons set a record for wins (15) in the regular season (due to the longer season) they are only 8th in winning percentage.
  • The Blitz have now tied the Knights for most division titles (3) and are second in Star Cup championships (2 vs. the Knights' 3).
  • Despite their recent success, the Blitz still have the worst all-time record with a .406 winning percentage, The Knights lead with a .694 winning percentage. The Dynamos (.550) and the Helix (.506) are also over .500.

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