DRAMATICS AND THE STANLEY CUP
The Titans' season started with Sophomore Goalie Ricky Dundae giving management an ultimatum: Give the young Goaltender the starting position he felt he deserved or send him to a team that would. A hard decision for the GM of the Titans to make, but one he did oblige and thank goodness he did. Ricky stepped up to the challenge and battled all year, looking more comfortable every game.
Flash forward. It’s game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Dundae and the Titans battled back from a 3-1 deficit in the series. What seemed impossible after game 4 is now within grasp. Two minutes left in the first frame, Zach Werenski releases a huge slap shot from the right faceoff dot, breaking Dundae’s 98-minute shutout streak and giving Shanghai the 1-0 lead heading into the second.
Not to be outdone, Captain Drew Doughty answers with a quick wrister that finds a bar and then twine, just five minutes in the second, all while shorthanded. The teams then have a goalie battle for the rest of the period with neither goalie wanting to make their second mistake, which leads to a dramatic final frame.
Three minutes into the third and yet another defenseman gets on the score sheet as Muzzin pots the first lead of the game for the Titans. Patrick Kane then extends the lead halfway through the period 3 to 1 on the power play. Just 22 seconds later, Dubois on mission answers and scores his 6th of the playoffs and shift the momentum in the Shanghai's favor. Sophomore GHL forward Spencer Splex (who potted 14 points in the playoffs for the Sting) tips in a shot that finds a way through Dundae and completes the comeback with 4 minutes left, and forces overtime.
The goalie battle begins again, 18 solid minutes of big scoring chances and even bigger saves. The increased pressure from the Titans, toward the end of the first OT period, leads to Dubinsky of the Sting to take a hooking call. The Titans special teams, who have been on full display in game 7, make it a very costly mistake. Just 13 seconds into the power play, Tyler Toffoli shovels a rebound into a yawning net, and with that, the Titans become the league’s second Stanley Cup Champions.
The dramatic game seven perfectly encapsulated the series and in turn, the season for the Seattle Titans. A team who took a big risk on a young goaltender, who then stepped up to the challenge and brought the team a Stanley Cup and himself a Conn Smythe for being the most valuable player in the playoffs.
Sean Lewdenski is the Head Analyst and insider for The GHL. Originally from Warsaw, Poland, he has moved to the states to pursue the American Dream.