hawkfan89

Professional Hockey League; A Fictional History: 1995 Off-Season

2,370 posts in this topic

 1990-91 Regular Season

http://phlnetwork.blogspot.ca/

 

 

                                                       1991unis2.thumb.png.15b958d3f42282f7ebb5018047c214fd.png

 

In the fall of 1990, the eyes of the hockey world were on David Appleby as he drew closer to Skippy Cleveland for the all-time PHL points record. Entering a home-and-home series with Kansas City on November 2, Appleby sat just one point away from the record. The first game was in Kansas City and as the clock wound down, the Spirits’ captain remained without a point. Finally, with just 43 seconds left, Appleby assisted on a Niklas Ekberg goal to tie the record as St. Louis skated to a 2-0 win. Two nights later in St. Louis, Appleby was determined to surpass Cleveland in front of the home crowd. They wouldn’t have to wait long, as Appleby beat goaltender Chris Withrow just three minutes in to give St. Louis a 1-0 lead. Appleby was now officially the PHL’s all-time leading scorer. The game was stopped temporarily while Appleby was honored by commissioner Darryl Byrd and Rob Cleveland, Skippy’s oldest son, who congratulated Appleby on behalf of his late father. “My father always said records are made to be broken and I know he would be very happy to see such a great player break his record tonight” said Cleveland. Appleby finished the year with 84 points, his lowest total since the mid-1970s, but nonetheless led St. Louis to first place in the Western Conference.

 

                                            Appleby.thumb.png.836c3c415f5d7896b889bbc29883f723.png

 

In Montreal, Vincent Ducharme and the Royale enjoyed their best season yet, winning the Eastern Conference title and first place overall in the league with 108 points. Ducharme also won the scoring crown for the first time in his career with 112 points including 58 goals while Don Shelburne was named coach of the year. Boston also had their best regular season in years, winning the Atlantic Division with 107 points. The addition of star defenseman Jari Pukki paid dividends for the Bulldogs, as Pukki scored 103 points, the most for a defenseman all year while Ron Buckner enjoyed a career year, finishing as a finalist for the Whyte Trophy, awarded to the league’s best goaltender. The defending champion Concordes had another strong season, finishing third in the East as Stuart Burns once again led the team in scoring with 92 points while Pascal Renaud won his first career Whyte trophy. The Toronto Racers followed up their return to the post-season in 1990 with a big 90-point season in ’91. Defenseman Randy Fernandez became the first defenseman in franchise history to lead the Racers in scoring. With his booming slapshot, the 6’10” defenseman excelled as a powerplay quarterback. Racers freshman Tory Partridge earned rookie of the year honors with 47 goals while also proving to be a physical force playing alongside longtime enforcer Rex Hull. Elsewhere in the East, Miami endured another tough year, while Pittsburgh dropped out of the post-season picture for the first time in 14 years. The New York Civics finally returned to the playoffs for the first time since 1982 as Aaron Duplacy, Jeremy Kitchen, and Lamar Jackson all enjoyed breakout years. There was, however, one dark moment early in the season when Lamar Jackson was suspended for six games after jumping into the Pittsburgh bench to fight Stingers forward Scott Lindsay after Lindsay had crosschecked him in a scrum in front of the bench. “He’s a good kid but he’ll need to learn to control his emotions. That comes with experience and discipline” said Civics coach Bruce Irvine.

 

1990-91 was the season of the enforcer out west, as heavyweight showcases were frequent. Vancouver tough guy Cedric Thibault proved himself as one of the most feared fighters in the league after more than holding his own against seasoned pugilists like Rex Hull, Shayne Boggs, and Roy Jones. One of the most anticipated fights took place in February when Edmonton’s Dwight Ingram knocked out Bighorns’ star forward Brett Townsend with a clean but devastating hit. “I think there’s no choice but to respond” said Thibault. “This is why I’m here and when we go to Edmonton, I need to do my job and make sure they get the message.” The next meeting came on March 1 and there was not an empty seat in the house as everyone eagerly awaited the promised tilt. It finally came in the third period. With Thibault already on the ice, Edmonton coach Rick Camford tapped Ingram on the shoulder and the hulking defenseman lined up beside his rival as the crowd began to roar. Before the puck even hit the ice, Thibault and Ingram immediately dropped their gloves, removed their elbow pads as the roar from the crowd grew louder. They sized eachother up for a few seconds, then held nothing back for nearly a minute and a half. Though Ingram appeared to have the victory by a slim margin, Thibault had held his own against one of the most intimidating players in the game. While Thibault helped his Bighorns to a fifth place finish – and a first-round date with their Pacific Northwest rivals Seattle, Ingram and the Northern Lights continued to crash and bruise their way to a Pacific Division title.

 

It was a tough season in Winnipeg, the lowlight being when star defenseman Dwayne Gibbons was arrested for a DUI in November. Gibbons, who had battled addiction throughout his career was forced to check into rehab and he would not return to the club until March. Just weeks after Gibbons’ arrest, winger Mike Wheeler was sidelined with a knee injury and also missed most of the season. The Pioneers fell all the way to last place in the PHL with a horrific 23 wins. “This was a year I think we’d all like to forget” said head coach Bruce Winter. In Calgary, the Wranglers received a big surprise in January, when Sergei Krayev snuck away from the Soviet National team while playing in a tour across the United States. Krayev quickly signed with the Wranglers and was in their lineup by mid-February. The Soviet superstar gave Calgary a huge boost, taking them from the league basement into a neck-and-neck battle with LA for the final playoff spot. After playing their final game of the season, Calgary held the final seed. A California win over LA would ensure the Wranglers would stay in eighth place. However, the Wizards, who had reaped the benefits of a 109 point season from Viktor Skogg, returned to the post-season after a decisive 7-0 win to close out an eventful regular season for themselves and the PHL.

 

      standings.thumb.png.0d5dffe0e41808d377f75d23062e6bf5.png

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I notice we have a first round match up with an old rival, the back and forth battles between the Mustangs and the Bulldogs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, NeoAC said:

I was bracing for the loss of the Claymores, but please don't send them to Dallas. Anywhere but Dallas. I followed the Nordiques to Colorado, but I don't know if I can do that with Texas...

 

A Claymores move to Texas is unlikely as they will be staying in Halifax at least until their lease expires in 1994. By then Dallas could very well have an expansion team on the way. Cleveland is also a front-runner for expansion so the most likely cities to get the Claymores would be Atlanta, Houston, Cincinnati (unlikely if Cleveland gets a team) and New Orleans, who's interest in the PHL developed when Miami got their team.

 

This is a tough one for me as a Halifax native and lifelong resident. I'd love to keep the Claymores alive but I also know it would've been economically impossible for a major league team to survive here in the 90s. There is a possibility of the team returning someday, along with whichever other Canadian team(s) is forced to relocate.

 

8 minutes ago, Darknes said:

I notice we have a first round match up with an old rival, the back and forth battles between the Mustangs and the Bulldogs

 

Yes it should be a classic, those teams had some great series against eachother in the past and this one promises to be no different. Boston probably has their best chance to win the Lewis Cup in two decades while Detroit is determined to return to greatness again as well. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Krayev...is now...in the States. Ummmmmm.

But was there a moment in the season where Gaganov and Krayev finally met again? If so, how did that go down?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, RedfieldNick said:

Krayev...is now...in the States. Ummmmmm.

But was there a moment in the season where Gaganov and Krayev finally met again? If so, how did that go down.

 

He defected to the US but he's now playing in Canada. Krayev and Gaganov did meet towards the end of the season and each registered a point. It was actually their first-ever meeting on the ice as Krayev was only 13 when Gaganov defected. There promises to be many more battles between the two as Krayev is every bit as dangerous with the puck as Gaganov.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good god a 6"10 offensively gifted defenseman, man the leafs could use that, makes Chara look short

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

See you in round 1 Nova Scotia! Lets begin the title deffense!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just finished binge-reading this forum, I guess I am caught up now. Let's go 'Stangs!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

 Ignore this

Edited by Darknes
Wrong Forum

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, PackMan said:

I just finished binge-reading this forum, I guess I am caught up now. Let's go 'Stangs!

 

Welcome aboard! you're just in time, the '91 playoffs are on the way

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1991 Playoffs

http://phlnetwork.blogspot.ca/

 

 

Almost a year after their surprising trip to the finals in the spring of 1990, the Minnesota Lumberjacks were determined to make up for a mediocre regular season with another deep run in the playoffs. Facing Edmonton in the first round was a daunting challenge and the Northern Lights wasted no time taking a 3-1 series lead. Game four got nasty when Dwight Ingram violently threw Pavel Vana into the glass. A line brawl ensued with Clint Allen and Jason Crowley both trying to reach Ingram. Vana had a concussion and would miss game five, as would Ingram, who was suspended for two games. The hit seemed to spark the Lumberjacks, who won game five in overtime on a goal from Jacob Lundholm. Despite missing Vana once again for game six, the ‘Jacks managed a 2-0 win to force game seven. Both Vana and Ingram returned for game seven in Edmonton, which also went to overtime. Eight minutes into the extra period, Gary Clayton scored for Edmonton, putting an end to Minnesota’s comeback bid.

In other Western Conference action, the LA Wizards gave the St. Louis Spirits quite a scare, taking a 3-2 series lead before the Spirits stormed back to win in seven with David Appleby and Adam Lawless leading the way. Milwaukee dispatched the Chicago Shamrocks in six games, while Vancouver upset their Pacific Northwest rivals Seattle in a four-game sweep.

 

In the Eastern Conference, Boston played from behind early in their series against the Detroit Mustangs, losing game one at home then falling behind 2-1. Desperately needing a win in game four, Jason Luna provided the overtime winner as the Bulldogs tied the series. The would not look back, winning game five 4-0 and taking game six 4-1 to take the series. Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Redshirts faced a tough series of their own against the Toronto Racers. The teams were tied 2-2 heading into game five with the home team winning every game. Game five would be tight, with the teams tied 3-3 heading towards what appeared to be a sure overtime when suddenly, Magnus Swedberg beat Tom Branson to give Philly a stunning 4-3 lead with 21 seconds left. The lead would hold as the Redshirts won game five to take a 3-2 series lead. Game six did go to overtime, where Gary Johnson’s point shot found the back of the net to send the Redshirts to the second round. In other action New York’s return to the post-season proved to be short-lived, as Vincent Ducharme and the Montreal Royale ousted the Civics in five games, while the defending champion Concordes swept the Nova Scotia Claymores in four straight.

 

        RD1.thumb.png.e26646ea8d13e21c3192490555950d3f.png

 

For the fifth time in six season the Long Island Concordes would face the Boston Bulldogs in a playoff series. Boston had won three of the four matchups with Long Island winning the latest series a year earlier. The Concordes’ chances of beating their increasingly bitter rivals again looked very good when they found themselves ahead three games to two in what turned out to be an extremely physical series. Game six would be no different, as Long Island had an opportunity to close out the series at home. After the Concordes opened the scoring in game six, Boston went on to score four unanswered goals to send the series to a seventh and deciding game. As game six wound down, several fights broke out as tension between the two rivals finally boiled over. “We just wanted to play the right way and they insisted on mugging our guys every chance they got. It’s disappointing a team is allowed to play that way” said Long Island coach Cam Norton. Boston coach Gary Shantz was quick to respond; “If they were playing the ‘right’ way you’d think they would’ve won.” Game seven was close, tied 3-3 through two periods. Early in the third, Craig Bush gave Boston the lead with a scrappy goal in front of the net. Pascal Renaud protested, along with Norton and the rest of the Concordes, claiming he was interfered with. Nevertheless, the goal stood and minutes later, Kyle Boone added another one to give Boston a 5-3 win, sending them to the Eastern Conference finals. “I’m very disappointed” said Norton after game seven. “I guess this league just really didn’t want another repeat. It amazes me that we get officiating like this at this level.” Shantz once again responded; “I can’t believe that idiot’s name is on the cup.”

 

Montreal continued to roll, sweeping Philadelphia in four straight. Vincent Durcharme once again led the way, scoring six goals in the series including a hat-trick in game four. St. Louis defeated Vancouver in five games with Adam Lawless continuing his strong play, playing on a line with Appleby and Grant Millen.

Edmonton faced another uphill climb facing Milwaukee in round two. After Edmonton won game one, the Choppers won the next three straight to take a commanding 3-1 series lead. Facing elimination in game five, Edmonton needed a big game from their best players. Glen Childs, Dwight Ingram, and Gary Clayton each scored in a 3-2 win, extending the series. The Choppers were on their heels in game six, not wanting to return to Edmonton for a seventh game. Despite a two-goal effort from Travis Curry, the game went into overtime, tied 4-4. After Northern Lights’ goaltender Wes Simmons made several big saves to maintain the tie before rookie winger Joey Hamilton scored the winner to force the series to game seven. Edmonton won game seven 4-2 to complete the comeback and advance to the Western Conference Finals to face St. Louis.

 

                                                                          RD2.thumb.png.91cb4b3a7e64c47bab717797d92ced4b.png

 

The Northern Lights’ magic seemed to have finally run out in the Western Conference Finals, where they quickly found themselves down 3-1 to the St. Louis Spirits. In a must-win game five, former Washington General Tommy McGuire scored twice while Neil Nichols added another as Edmonton jumped to a 3-0 lead. In the third period, however, David Appleby showed yet another glimpse of his greatness, scoring a hat-trick to single-handedly bring the Spirits back and tie the game. Victory seemed certain for the Spirits heading into overtime, until Joey Hamilton struck again just two minutes into the extra frame to salvage the win for Edmonton. The thrilling win would prove to be too little too late, as a four-point effort from Adam Lawless in game six would help the Spirits to a decisive 5-2 win, and a trip to the Lewis Cup Finals for the fifth time in ten seasons.

 

 

The Spirits would have to wait until the following day to find out who they would face in their quest for number five, as the Montreal Royale led the Boston Bulldogs three games to two. Boston was in a similar position to Edmonton, coming off a big win in game five to prolong the series after facing a 3-1 deficit. Game six would be a wild one. Jari Pukki opened the scoring for Boston, rushing from end-to-end and beating almost everyone on the ice before flipping the puck over Victor Malmsten’s glove. Toward the end of the first period, Montreal responded with two quick goals from Ducharme and Trevor Ramsey to take the lead. That lead would only last until halfway through the second, when Jason Luna tied it with a beautiful backhand shot that went top shelf. Just over a minute into the third period, young enforcer Kyle Boone tipped a Dale Knight point shot to give Boston their second lead of the game. The Bulldogs valiantly held on to the lead entering the final moments of the game, with Ron Buckner making several spectacular stops, mostly with his glove. With just 23 seconds left, JC Girard finally beat Buckner with a hard wrist shot to tie the game and send it to overtime, where Ducharme quickly ended the contest with a wrister of his own. It was a coming-of-age moment for Ducharme and the Royale, as they jumped off the bench and mobbed their veteran goalie Malmsten in celebration. Five years after drafting Ducharme and six years after hiring Don Shelburne, the Royale would finally play for their first Lewis Cup in 23 years.

 

                            RD3.thumb.png.2ccc1fbac35992ac99be1f9837748dc9.png

 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rooting for the Royale to go win this one...I imagine it could parallel the Habs' 1993 Cup win (still the last time a Canadian team has won it)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, there goes Detroit... I'm all for Montreal on this one because don't we think we've had enough of the St. Louis dynasty?

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Never wrote here but now I really had to because hell I'm a long time MTL fan and HERE WE GO TO THE FINALS! GO ROYALE!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Darn it, Jacks! Oh well, at least we get to see Ducharme and Appleby battle it out for the cup. Someone grab the popcorn.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well no back 2 back for LI...figures

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great officiating. Well 2 in 3 years isn't bad either..

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1991 Lewis Cup Finals

http://phlnetwork.blogspot.ca/

 

 

LCF2.png.d465833aaf36bb7b212174e2b7728219.pngThe PHL’s past met its future in the 1991 Lewis Cup Finals. The St. Louis Spirits, led by David Appleby, now statistically the greatest player in PHL history, were seeking their fifth Lewis Cup in a decade. The Montreal Royale, led by young superstar Vincent Ducharme, were seeking the third championship in their history and the first since 1968.

 

Game one in Montreal was close. St. Louis gained the lead early and despite the Royale continuously tying the game, the Spirits always retook the lead. St. Louis held a 4-3 lead with only 13 seconds left in the game when Sylvain Landry tied it once again. Goaltenders Victor Malmsten and Jaroslav Danek then put on the performance of a lifetime, forcing the game into triple overtime. With only 33 seconds left in the third OT, Adam Lawless scored to give St. Louis the win and a 1-0 series lead. Game two was another close one, with Montreal once again pressing for the tying goal in the final minutes down a goal. With just 19 seconds left, Ducharme was sprung on a breakaway. The Montreal crowd rose to their feet and began to roar as Ducharme got closer to the net. He deked Danek, attempting to squeeze the puck past him on the far left side. Somehow, Danek stretched out his pad and stopped Ducharme cold. Seconds later, Grant Millen put the puck in the empty net to seal the win for St. Louis and give them a 2-0 lead in the series.

 

Heading to St. Louis for game three, things did not look good for Montreal. After losing the first two games at home, the Royale now had to win at least two in St. Louis. Game three looked good, as Montreal jumped to a 3-0 lead on the strength of a Ducharme hat-trick. As the second period began, the Spirits began to push. David Appleby scored twice in 28 seconds to bring the Spirits within one. Ducharme completed the hat-trick to give Montreal a 4-2 lead late in the second period, before Niklas Ekberg responded quickly to once again make it a one-goal game. Montreal pressed hard to regain their two-goal lead, but Danek met every challenge. Finally, with less than two minutes left, 20-year veteran defenseman Toby Griffin scored to tie the game. Five minutes into overtime, Appleby completed a hat-trick of his own to give St. Louis a commanding 3-0 series lead. The showdown everyone had been anticipating between Appleby and Ducharme had arrived and the veteran Appleby clearly had the upper hand.

 

With the Cup in the arena for game four, Montreal was in pure survival mode. St. Louis opened the scoring on a goal from Lawless, before Montreal responded with a goal from JC Girard. Just moments later, Grant Millen gave St. Louis a 2-1 lead before Appleby made it 3-1. It appeared the Spirits had the Cup in their grasp. Late in the second period, Roy Jones took a roughing penalty, giving Montreal a powerplay. The Royale wasted no time, with Ducharme scoring to bring the game within one. Back in the game, Montreal was not prepared to give up. Trevor Ramsey scored his first goal of the series to tie the game. It looked like the game would go to OT once again. With just 1:18 left in the third period, Montreal defenseman Hannes Rehnquist gave Montreal the lead with a hard shot from the point. St. Louis pushed for the tying goal but Sylvain Landry scored the empty-netter to secure the win for Montreal and push the series to a game five back home. The Royale now had a chance to get back into the series with a win on home ice. Ducharme opened the scoring. Just three minutes later, Girard made it 2-0. It looked like the series was headed to a sixth game as the first period closed and the second began. Suddenly, Appleby hit Lawless with a long pass, springing him on a breakaway. Lawless deked Malmsten and scored. The crowd was silent, as if they knew what was about to happen. Appleby and Ekberg each scored just minutes later to give the Spirits a 3-2 lead. In the third period, things finally unraveled for Montreal, as Appleby scored his second of the game, Kevin Cummins scored his first of the playoffs, and Grant Millen scored what would ultimately be his final PHL goal. The aging Spirits took home their fifth Lewis Cup in less than a decade with a 6-3 win. Grant Millen and Terry Wolfe both announced their retirement during the celebration, while Toby Griffin stated he too was unsure if he would be back. For Montreal, the loss was disappointing, but there was no question the Royale had a very special player in Ducharme, who had scored some huge goals for the team and was a valuable leader throughout the post-season. Ducharme and Appleby had indeed provided a battle for the ages and though Ducharme and the Royale were clearly the better team on paper, Appleby and the veteran Spirits simply knew how to win, even against an arguably superior opponent. Despite the loss, Don Shelburne felt the Royale had made some important strides and learned some valuable lessons during the run. “Our team really grew up this spring” said Shelburne. “Sometimes you have to lose to learn how to win. I have full confidence this is a championship team, the next step is to finish the job.”

 

                        LCF.thumb.png.64e2fad0e77bc36b5e296aed05c89eea.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, STL wins again...bring on next year and the shakeups to come! (In particular how the dissolution of the USSR will lead to more players from its nations coming on board here)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now