On Wednesday evening, the Eastside Tobacco Kings defeated the defending league champion (Linden Lanes Knuckles) to claim the Olde English Road Hockey League championship for 2021. The Kings swept the best of three series, winning by identical scores of 5-4.
Tobacco Kings GM Jesse Linner said it was a hard fought battle between two evenly matched teams. “I’m obviously pleased with how things turned out at the end” said Linner. “Hearing that final buzzer…it was such an exciting feeling” added Linner. “I haven’t been this happy since I heard Brandon was getting a Popeyes restaurant”.
Tobacco Kings’ goalie Riley Feser was named the MVP for the championship series. “Individual honors and awards are great, but my #1 goal each summer is to win the OERHL championship”. “As a kid, my dream always was to win the Stanley Cup. As I got older and my junior career was winding down, I began to understand the importance of winning the OERHL Championship”.
For Knuckles GM, Cole McCaig, the loss was a bitter pill to swallow for a number of reasons. “We should have been more disciplined. We took one penalty and in the end it cost us. This is really humbling for us as an organization. After wining the title last season, we got brought down to earth hard”.
Tuesdays loss also signalled the end of the playing career of the Knuckles Derek Sobkow. Several weeks ago, Sobkow announced this playoff run with the Knucles would be his last. An emotional Sobkow had difficulty coming to terms that his playing days were over. “I’ve been fortunate to be on very strong teams and make some very good friends over the years. I think that is what I may miss most..the friendships I’ve developed and the bonding that took place on the court and on the road trips to away games.”