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By Joe Sindoni - Broadcaster/Writer, 03/14/23, 12:00PM EDT



After the grind of the regular season for the Pennsylvania Huntsmen, it was time to turn the page to the playoffs. The Huntsmen would take on the New Jersey Renegades in a best of 3 series, a team they battled with all season.

Game 1

It was a slow start for both teams. A couple of scoring chances would come here and there but no sustained pressure from either team. Early in the 2nd period Carpenter took a shot from the point and Max Finkeldey would score on the rebound for the 1-0 lead. About 5 minutes later the Renegades would tie the game 1-1. PA would get into penalty trouble and the Renegades would take the lead with a powerplay goal 2-1. Late in the 2nd, Arendes and Gilmore were working hard behind the net, and Arendes would send the feed to Justin Kratz, and he goes bar down tying the game 2-2. Near the midway point of  the 3rd, New Jersey would respond again with a rebound goal taking a 3-2 lead. Late in the game the Huntsmen would send (G) Jones to the bench but the Renegades would score 2 empty net goals and take game 1 5-2.

Game 2

The Huntsmen looked like they were shot out of a cannon from opening puck drop.  In the 1st period, Henne forced the turnover in the offensive zone and Arendes would perfectly setup Max Finkeldey for the one timer and a 1-0 lead. Just a few minutes later, Arendes would steal the puck in the offensive zone and create a breakaway chance and he gave the Huntsmen a 2-0 lead. Less than a minute left in the period, Wilson fired a slapshot (G) Chominsky made the save and he blocked the rebound by Latshaw but on the third try Jacob Chow would score to make it 3-0. In the 2nd period, the Huntsmen would score two late goals less that 2 minutes apart as Luca Palachik and Max Finkeldey extended the lead to 5-0. (G) Serbin finished the game for the Renegades and the Huntsmen gave him plenty of action. Cody Draves with a shorthanded goal and Mason Henne would cap off the scoring fest and the Huntsmen took game 2 7-0. Baradgie picked up the shut out in net for the Huntsmen.

Game 3

The Renegades would score just 5 minutes into the game. At the end of the 1st period the Huntsmen would be called for a penalty and it would carryover to the 2nd. PA would fight off the Renegades and Smith would sent a perfect breakout pass to Ryan Debro and he would score shorthanded tying the game 1-1. Near the end of the 2nd, the Huntsmen would have the powerplay and Max Finkeldey would give PA the lead 2-1. In the 3rd, Finkeldey would score his second of the game and a big insurance goal as the Huntsmen took a 3-1 lead. The Huntsmen were able to hold off the Renegades for the remainder of the game and take the series. Ty Jones would pick up the win in goal.

The inaugural season continues for the Huntsmen as they defeat the NJ Renegades 2-1 in the series. It was certainly a roller coaster.

“It was nerve wracking, and we got our jitters out in the first game and we kept moving our feet, but we were shaky. Its playoff hockey, it’s tough and everybody plays desperate, and they (Renegades) battled a lot. It was exciting and we’ll celebrate it only for a short time and come back and get ready to work even harder.” Draves

“The nerves and jitters were there but it’s something I've experienced before in Europe. It was a rough start losing game one, but it woke us up. We knew we were the better team.” Finkeldey  

“Coming into playoffs we were feeling pretty good. It took us the first game, but when we lost game 1 we realized its do or die now and the whole team rallied together and we came out flying and got the job done over the next two games.” Arendes

Despite being six months into the season, the Huntsmen are still experiencing “Teams Firsts.” Stepping away from the players for a moment, this is still Coach Kilroy’s first season as a head coach and even he's caught up in all the excitement. “I wanted to stress that this isn’t the regular season,” says Kilroy. “They (Renegades) have guys that played juniors before and they will be ready to go. I think that’s one of the reasons why we dropped the first game, we just weren’t ready. Once we realized this is playoffs and how we have to play, we took over the series. They battled us hard all season long and this series was no different. Kudos to them and their guys because they didn't go down without a fight, but we were the better team.”

Next up, the Mid Atlantic Division Finals. The Huntsmen will take on the New Jersey 87s. These teams really had some crazy games throughout the season. The 87s finished ahead of the Huntsmen in the regular season 30-8-4 with 64 points, while PA went 25-14-3 with 53 points. The New Jersey 87s swept the Philadelphia Little Flyers in the first round. Later this week, we’ll have a full preview of the series between the 87s and the Huntsmen.


Game 1           Friday March 17th                    Huntsmen at 87s                     7:30pm

Game 2            Saturday March 18th               87s at Huntsmen                    8:35pm

Game 3 If Necessary   Sunday March 19th      Huntsmen at 87s                     4:30pm

By: Joe Sindoni

Staff Writer

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