TORONTO - The Wheatfield Souldiers edged the Jokers and Gas Station Islanders by the narrowest of margins on Saturday night, maintaining a spot in the Upper Bracket of the 2011 UUHA Playoffs in the process.
The Souldiers advanced over their round-robin rivals by a goals differential of +2. GSI, who defeated the Souldiers 5-2 in the second match of the night, finished second with a +1 differential. The Jokers, meanwhile, finished the night with a win over GSI, but were unable to muster enough firepower to pull themselves out of the 7-2 chasm opened up by the Souldiers in the night's first game.
The Jokers, who lead the league over the course of the regular season, were likely hindered by having the shortest bench that night with just nine players dressed for a pair of games. That bench got even shorter midway through the team's second game when veteran defenceman Duncan Fremlin was ejected after receiving his third minor penalty (none of which were particularly egregious) of the game.
The Souldiers will now face the Parkdale Lads in a back-to-back, two-game aggregate series this coming Saturday, the winner of which will advance to the Gold Medal final a fortnight later. The loser will play in the similarly scheduled Bronze Medal game.
The Jokers and GSI will take to the ice along with the Humiliation for a three-team, round-robin series to be played out on Saturday, April 9. The winner of that series will advance to Gold Medal game, while the team finishing second on the night earns a berth in the Bronze Medal game. The third place team will not qualify for the Medal Round and will have played their final game of the 2010/11 UUHA campaign.