The stage was set, but for the better part of the 1st period, neither team could establish prolonged dominance. Then, 7:20 into the game, and after multiple denials by Blackbird goalie, Hubert Nunes (1), Whitebird defenseman, Luca Bauer (10), from his defensive blue line, spotted center, Theo Espagnol (11). Luca threaded a pass between two lunging blackbird defenders; in stride, Theo received the puck and unleashed a whizzing wrister from the mid-slot. 1-0, Whitebirds.
With just 30 seconds remaining in the period, Whitebird forward, William Sjostrom (7) took a smart pass from fellow forward and countryman, Viggo Keden (19), and punched in goal number two. End of period. Whitebirds 2-0.
Just 10 seconds into period 2, Blackbird defenseman, Eero Eronen (5), powered his way through the slot and found upper nylon with a nifty backhander from just below the right faceoff circle. Assist from forward, Julius Antilla (36). 2-1, Whitebirds.
Both teams became energized by Eronen's goal and the game's pace quickened to a fury. Thanks to relentless back-checking by Viggo Keden and Theo Espagnol, and physical Whitebird defenseman - notably, Luca Bauer, Sutton Shelly (6), and Chris Lau (12) - who made rubble of any Blackbird forays into their zone, the Whitebirds got the better of the ensuing action. 8:40 into the period, Whitebird forward, Theo Espagnol, intercepted an outbound pass in the slot and fired in his second high wrister to give his squad a 3-1 lead.
At 11:30 of the 2nd period, Whitebird forward, William Sjostrom, reaped the bounty of his own forecheck by stealing a pass and backhanding in a thigh-high shot off of his own rebound.
Facing a 4-1 deficit and the clock ticking past the game's mid-point, the Blackbirds fought back furiously. But, Coach Lijim Lau's Whitebirds gave as good as they got - and then some. In a nervous showdown that could have tipped the momentum back into the Blackbird's favor, Whitebird goalie, Herman Thalen (81), slammed the door on Blackbird defenseman, Eero Eronen's, dizzying breakaway deke.
Moments later, Blackbird center, David Sanabria (13), took an errant Whitebird shot to his neck and, for a long minute, lay motionless on the ice. David recovered and exited the ice under his own power, only to later be rewarded for his show of resilience by a boarding from an overzealous Whitebird defenseman. The period ended in a flurry of attempts on both goals, with each goalie making several highlight-reel saves.
Just 40 seconds into the 3rd period, Whitebird center, Theo Espagnol, tapped in the last of three shots on goal, to give his team a 5-1 lead. Assist to defenseman, Chris Lau. One minute and 20 seconds later, Whitebird forward, Brad Larson (95), lifted in a rebound after his first shot ricocheted off of Blackbird goalie, Hubert Nunes', thigh pad.
12:55 into the final period, Blackbird forward, Julius Antilla capitalized with only seconds left on a power play and netted his second goal of the day on an assist from fellow forward, Christopher Gargano (3).
Theo Espagnol and his Whitebirds were not done, however. With 55 seconds remaining in the game and racing from his own blue line deep into the slot, Theo, unassisted, added goal number four to his tally for the day. And, with 5 seconds remaining, a hustling Viggo Keden dashed a puck between Hubert Nunes' legs and added an exclamation point to the Whitebird's 8-2 victory and 2-1 series lead.