Outliers host Roughriders in division semifinals
After a two-week break, the Utah Outliers are set to hit the ice for their first taste of playoff action this weekend as they welcome in the Superior Roughriders. Utah earned a first round bye, and will head into the Mountain Division semifinals well rested for the best of three series. Superior is coming off of a two-game sweep against the Casper Coyotes last weekend, so they have already experienced a bit of playoff action and will hope to use that to their advantage. These teams are no strangers to one another, as they have met six times this season. For the series, the Outliers hold the edge having won 5 games and dropping one. Last season the rivals also met in the first round of playoffs, with Utah taking the series in a two game sweep at the Acord Ice Center.
TALE OF THE TAPE
#1 UTAH OUTLIERS – 51GP 39W 11L 1OTL
#4 SUPERIOR ROUGHRIDERS – 51GP 25W 25L 1OTL
- GOALS FOR – UT 290 / SUP 213
- GOALS AGAINST – UT 100 / SUP 211
- PENALTY MINUTES – UT 824 / SUP 825
- POWERPLAY – UT 23% / SUP 21%
- PENALTY KILL – UT 83% / SUP 81%
The Utah Outliers come into the series as the number one seed in the Mountain Division, whereas the Superior Roughriders come in sitting as the number four seed. In most statistical categories, Utah holds an edge. The goal differential stands as the largest advantage however as the Outliers were amongst the top teams in the league for both goals for and against. Superior has been no slouch however, as they too have had a fair amount of success on special teams, as well as putting points on the board.
In the last meeting between these two teams, the competition was stiff as games two and three were decided by only one goal (Utah winning 5-4 in overtime/Superior winning 5-4). It was a huge improvement for the Roughriders after previously being beaten by the Outliers 10-2, 5-2, and 5-2 earlier in the season. The playoffs are a much different type of hockey however, and the regular season records account for nothing in a do-or-die best of three series.
All three games will take place at the Acord Ice Center this weekend. Friday and Saturday’s games are slated to begin at 7:30 PM, and if necessary, game three will start at 12:15 PM. Come out and support your Utah Outliers as they prepare their quest for the Thorne Cup!