Features

CAHL: Playoff competition adds a special touch to the holiday season

December brings playoff hockey to one of the largest adult hockey leagues in the country

Wednesday, 12.05.2012 / 9:00 AM / Features
By Staci Pawlak  - BlueJackets.com




For many adult hockey players across Columbus, the month of December is synonymous with one thing: playoff hockey.

The Chiller Adult Hockey League playoffs, that is.

The CAHL is one of the largest adult hockey leagues in the country with 171 teams and more than 3,000 players. Consisting of three 15-week sessions held in the fall, winter, the league is divided into B, C, D, and E divisions based on the skill level of the player. The divisions are further subdivided into East, West, and occasionally South segments to encompass the size and popularity of the league.

The CAHL playoffs consist of two rounds and a championship game for each subdivision. The top eight teams in each subdivision have the opportunity to compete in the playoffs.  However, there are no seven-game series in this league – once they lose, teams are eliminated from the competition and must wait until next session to redeem themselves.

Starting last week, teams in each division have begun that treacherous journey to greatness that defines every playoff run. The prize for winning it all? Well, that depends, said CAHL Commissioner Martin Spanhel.

“It varies among sessions,” Spanhel said. “Sometimes, we give them CAHL hoodies, polos if it’s the summer session, or hats.”

For CAHL players, the competition is the most satisfying part of the playoffs. Joe Barnhouse, an E-league adult player on the BDubs team (named after their sponsor, Buffalo Wild Wings) said the CAHL playoff experience is unique and special. Last session, BDubs made it to the Chiller Championship game but lost in the final minute of regulation.

“It was fun and exciting, even though we lost,” Barnhouse said. “It was so close! I wanted my championship hat.”

For the players on the BDubs team, that dream has been carried over to this session. They won their first-round game 7-0 against The Crue.

Still, Spanhel said that the chance to win a championship is just a small part of the motivation for CAHL players. After all, these men and women show up to the rink every week, sometimes as late as 10:30 on a Monday night, to play hockey.

“They come to the rink from [their daily lives] and just forget about everything,” said Spanhel.

“They just forget about everything but the game.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Johansen 82 33 30 3 63
J. Wisniewski 75 7 44 0 51
B. Dubinsky 76 16 34 5 50
C. Atkinson 79 21 19 -4 40
A. Anisimov 81 22 17 -2 39
N. Foligno 70 18 21 5 39
R. Umberger 74 18 16 -3 34
M. Letestu 82 12 22 1 34
J. Johnson 82 5 28 -7 33
B. Jenner 72 16 13 6 29
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Bobrovsky 32 20 5 .923 2.38
C. McElhinney 10 11 1 .909 2.70
 
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