2022 brought on an entirely new Western Conference to the GPBLL, now known as the Mountain West. With high expectations for these teams to come out and compete against our legacy teams, the Colorado Roughnecks and Denver Beefing Bears did not disappoint. Battling their way through the playoff bracket the two teams found themselves in a heated showdown in the semifinals. Prior to this the 5th seed Denver Beefing Bears had a hard fought win against the 4th seeded Milwaukee Muskies in the first round winning 7-5. The Colorado Roughnecks as the #1 seed, proved to be too tough for the 8th seeded Kansas City Smoke winning their first round game 17-4. This brought on yet another game between the Roughnecks vs Beefing Bears . The two teams have been long time foes in Denver and were no strangers prior to this game. The Roughnecks have never lost to the Beefing Bears, but were tested all the way until the final whistle in the semi-final game, narrowly escaping with the 8-7 win in a back and forth box battle. This set the stage for the showdown between the #1 seed Roughnecks vs the #2 seed Mastodons.
The Missouri Mastodons had their own challenges to overcome to make it to the Championship. In the first round the #2 seed Mastodons weathered the storm 23-3 against the 7th seeded Salt Lake City Storm. In the second round the Dons met the #3 seed Chicago Portagers, who in their first round matchup paddled past the 6th seeded Omaha Rebels 18-5. The Portagers were looking for revenge after suffering a close regular season loss to the Mastodons., and this semi-final game sure did not disappoint! Both teams were trading goals back and forth up until the final seconds of the game when the Mastodons tied it and pushed the game into an overtime shootout. The Mastodons would end up winning in the shootout propelling them into the championship game.
The Harvest Classic Third Place Game was played on Sunday October 2nd at 10:00AM CST between the Chicago Portagers beat and the Denver Beefing Bears. The Chicago Portagers held on to beat the Denver Beefing Bears 8-7, and thus securing 3rd place and their credit towards their 2023 season.
The Harvest Classic Championship was played on Sunday October 2nd at 2:00PM CST between the Colorado Roughnecks and Missouri Mastodons. The Mastodons scored first to set the tone, but at the end of the first quarter, the score was tied at 2 goals a piece. The Mastodons took charge in the second quarter putting up 3 goals to the Roughneck’s loan goal, but the script was flipped in the third quarter with the Roughnecks scoring 3 goals and holding the Dons to only 1 goal. Tied at 8 goals a piece going into the 4th quarter, both teams were determined to finish the game with everything they had. In the end the superb goaltending from the Roughnecks Darius Miller (Harvest Classic MVP) was too much for the Dons sharp shooters and the Roughnecks won the 2022 Harvest Classic Cup and Championship in their inaugural season!