Wednesday, May 01, 2024


Eli 22.9s team went to the conference tournament without three of their top players.

Overmatched really doesn't begin to describe it. They were getting outshot 3-1 or 4-1 in almost every conference game with those three players.

Pool play in the conference championships consists of three one-period, run clock games. In other words, the perfect scenario for underdogs.

Their results in pool play: 1-0, 1-0, 0-0. In the first game, they only had one shot, but it went in, and they won. For the day, they were outshot 48-13.

They won their group.

I knew the odds of them making it through the elimination rounds (starting in the quarterfinals) were slim, because it was only going to take one bad bounce, and as soon as Eli gave up a goal, I figured it was over. Plus, the quarters and semis were two-periods run clock, which was going to make it considerably tougher.

That's what happened. They lost in the quarters 2-0.

Still, Eli said everyone was happy they won the group, considering they didn't expect to win a single game.

He finished the season with a .957 save percentage, and in regulation games (three periods, no run clock), he averaged over 50 shots faced.

In one of the pool play games, his last save broke the Oxford career record for saves. One of his teammates gave him the puck, and he said it's something he'll keep forever. 

He's playing next year, too. By the time he's done, it may take someone a long time to catch him.

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