No. 4 Armena Axemen (02-05) vs. No. 8 Bardo A’s (06, 08)
The Armena Axemen squeaked by the Ryley Rebels powerhouse in extra innings in the last round due to their higher seed. In this round they’ll take on the Cinderella story Bardo Athletics. Both of these franchises knocked each other off in separate series.
First, in 2004, the Axemen knocked off the A’s when the Bardo curse was in full swing. Just a couple years later, the curse was broken as the A’s upset the Axemen in the final, ending their dynasty in hindsight and beginning a Bardo run, that if not for the Camrose Roadrunners, could have produced back-to-back-to-back Bardo titles.
So after 2007, the A’s revenged their loss in three wild games vs. the Roadrunners and cemented themselves as contenders rather than cursed pretenders.
The Axemen fizzled during the Bardo birth, and finally decided to part ways with the league in 2008. Bardo hasn’t been able to find that extra ounce of magic to defeat the new dynsty from Leduc since. This should make for some interesting fodder heading into the new year.
No. 2 Camrose Colts/Roadrunners (05, 07) vs. No. 3 Leduc Milleteers (09-12)
I pegged the 2005 Camrose Colts as THE best team for a season in the league that I’d ever seen. Comparable to Leduc, they had a double-barrel duo of Colorado Rockies draft pick Jeff MacDonald and Rene Brisson who mowed down everyone when they wanted to. The team even included the Ofrims some nights as well as some former PBL all stars. Couple that with some ridiculous offence when the regulars showed up, and they were almost untouchable.
It would be an absolute pleasure to see them face off against the Leduc Milleteers in a series. The Colts/Roadrunners offence used metal bats so it’s hard to know how they’d fare in the wood bat era where Leduc has produced the runs needed to partner with their solid defense and depth of pitchers they can go to in any inning.
It’s hard to compare the 2008 and 2009 versions of the Roadrunners who didn’t have any of the “Cops” and had many of the all stars move on before the Milleteers entered the league. Steve Ofrim and Hans Haugen kept things together somehow but the 2009 team was on its last legs. What a job they did to win a regular season title that year. Another great matchup as we near the end of this venture in January.