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Professional Hockey League; A Fictional History: Atlantic Division Uniforms, Stingers New Look Unveiled

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2003 Lewis Cup Finals

 

 

ClQaoBP.png

 

In a series filled with history, “Canada’s Team”, the Toronto Racers, faced off against “America’s Team”, the Chicago Shamrocks in the 2003 Lewis Cup Finals. The two teams had met just once before in the championship round, in 1942, the first time the Lewis Cup was awarded. Chicago won in ’42 then went on to become one of the most successful teams in PHL history, claiming six titles and appearing in the playoffs an unprecedented 34 consecutive seasons and counting. Meanwhile, the Racers struggled after the PHL/GHL merger, failing to win the Lewis Cup and appearing in the final only once. But Racers fans were filled with hope after a strong year in 2002-03, as Joe Murdock set playoff scoring records, Randy Fernandez returned to his old form, and Rex Hull proved to be a brilliant motivator behind the bench.

 

The series was fairly high-scoring early on, with each team winning two games. Both Tom Branson and Jake Borman struggled at different times during the first four games, while Murdock and Shamrocks’ rookie Jonathan Wheatley each made a strong case for playoff MVP with three points each.

 

The series was a best-of-three heading into game five. Once again, it was a high-scoring affair. The lead flipped back-and-forth three different times until the third period, when it seemed to settle at a 4-4 tie. Gustav Mattsen nearly put Chicago ahead late but his shot rang off the post. Moments later, Sean MacDonald of the Racers was given a boarding penalty, giving Chicago a powerplay. What followed was perhaps the most spectacular two minutes of Jake Borman’s career, as the 33-year-old stopped 12 shots to preserve the tie. Just as it looked like the game would go to overtime, Andrew Cox beat Branson to give Toronto the lead. As the clock ticked down, the Shamrocks pushed but the lead held up, the Racers now led the series 3-2 with an opportunity to claim the cup in Chicago.

 

At the Garfield Center for game six, Chicago knew they needed a big performance from their top players to keep the series alive, but it would be an unexpected hero that would step up in the end. Unlike the rest of the games, game six was tight, with Borman and Branson both shutting the door in net. A Chris Falkner goal early in the third gave Toronto the lead but it was short-lived. Sergei Krayev tied it and the game went into overtime. Overtime didn’t last long, as Shamrocks’ enforcer Cedric Thibault scored with just a minute left in the first OT to send the series to game seven in Toronto.

 

The Queen Elizabeth Arena was packed on June 10, 2003, as 17000 fans crammed into the 47-year-old building, hoping to see their team end its 39-year drought. Game seven was the closest in the series, as once again, the two goaltenders turned in a solid effort to keep the game scoreless through two periods. In the third, powerplays for each team only resulted in more spectacular play in net. With just 20 seconds left, it appeared that the game would go to overtime when a hard point shot from Randy Fernandez was deflected by Branson high into the air. The puck fell in front of Joe Murdock, who batted it into the net out of mid-air with just 13 seconds left to play. The Racers jumped over the boards and mobbed Murdock as if they forgot there was still time left on the clock.

 

The referee ordered the players back to the bench to drop the puck for the final seconds. The building shook as the crowd remained on their feet, then it went silent for a second when Wheatley had a wide open net but just missed. Ty McInnis cleared it for the Racers and the team once again charged off their bench and mobbed Jake Borman. Joe Murdock was named playoff MVP and then Darryl Byrd handed the Lewis Cup to Randy Fernandez, who had waited 17 seasons to lift it. For the first time since 1964, the Racers were the Lewis Cup Champions.

 

                       

                     Un5Uxlf.png

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Wow, an exciting series! Definitely some good ones in recent years.

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Dang, there's anyway a next year. Good job racers.

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What a Lewis Cup Final! Congratulations for winning it all, Toronto! What are some new uniforms or logos we can expect this offseason? Any other subplots of importance? Can't wait to see what you have in store next!

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16 hours ago, BengalSteve said:

What a Lewis Cup Final! Congratulations for winning it all, Toronto! What are some new uniforms or logos we can expect this offseason? Any other subplots of importance? Can't wait to see what you have in store next!

 

LA will have a new look, Long Island will have a new alternate jersey, and the league will announce a new uniform deal. There will also be an update on the New Orleans situation, and the host of the 2004 World Hockey Challenge will be named among other things. I'm still having a tough time getting the Wizards' new logo right though so it'll probably come after the off-season post.

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35 minutes ago, hawkfan89 said:

There will also be an update on the New Orleans situation,

Potentially a relocation to Houston? I sure hope so. Can't wait to see what the new uniform deal brings about.

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1 hour ago, Jbadger9 said:

Potentially a relocation to Houston? I sure hope so. Can't wait to see what the new uniform deal brings about.

 

This year it will just be an announcement of which company gets the deal but next year (2004) the new uniform system will be unveiled and used for the all-star game. Teams will all have new uniforms in time for 2005-06.

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2 hours ago, hawkfan89 said:

 

LA will have a new look, Long Island will have a new alternate jersey, and the league will announce a new uniform deal. There will also be an update on the New Orleans situation, and the host of the 2004 World Hockey Challenge will be named among other things. I'm still having a tough time getting the Wizards' new logo right though so it'll probably come after the off-season post.

The old Wizards logo is a classic, but the current set has grown on me. As we enter more recent time, will we see some throwbacks? This series still isn’t really close to catching up to the current year, but I think throwbacks were becoming popular around this time. Maybe a Nuggets throwback? A Bulls throwback (Christmas Colors!!!)? A gorgeous, Metros inspired Choppers “throwback”? Lots of options!

2 hours ago, Jbadger9 said:

Potentially a relocation to Houston? I sure hope so. Can't wait to see what the new uniform deal brings about.

Glad to see someone else pulling for “The H” to get a team. Katrina should be rolling in soon...extremely sad as a real life event obviously but maybe, MAYBE it sends the Sound to Houston. If they were to make the move to Houston, I would like to see a full rebrand. New name, colors, logos. The current name needs to remain in Louisiana. 

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How much do you want to bet Byrd needed a step stool to hand the trophy to the 6'10" Fernandez?

For some reason, I imagine Byrd being around 5'4".

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On 4/11/2018 at 7:34 PM, Cardsblues02 said:

The old Wizards logo is a classic, but the current set has grown on me. As we enter more recent time, will we see some throwbacks? This series still isn’t really close to catching up to the current year, but I think throwbacks were becoming popular around this time. Maybe a Nuggets throwback? A Bulls throwback (Christmas Colors!!!)? A gorgeous, Metros inspired Choppers “throwback”? Lots of options!

Glad to see someone else pulling for “The H” to get a team. Katrina should be rolling in soon...extremely sad as a real life event obviously but maybe, MAYBE it sends the Sound to Houston. If they were to make the move to Houston, I would like to see a full rebrand. New name, colors, logos. The current name needs to remain in Louisiana. 

 

LA's new look is not entirely throwback, but elements of it will be. Purple and Orange will be the dominant colours again with black removed from the identity. I think the Bulls will be returning to their old colours fairly soon as well. The Nuggets have a pretty strong identity I think right now but they may introduce a retro third jersey at some point.

 

As for New Orleans, they won't be on the move just yet, but there have been new developments. They may make it to Katrina but likely not far beyond that.

 

On 4/11/2018 at 9:53 PM, ChicagoOakland said:

How much do you want to bet Byrd needed a step stool to hand the trophy to the 6'10" Fernandez?

For some reason, I imagine Byrd being around 5'4".

 

Yeah Byrd seems like the kind of guy who wears really high boots so he looks taller. Maybe he asked Fernandez to remove his skates so the pics looked better :P

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Im probably in the minor but I really like the bulls current identity, my personal favorite jerseys and one of the best logos, you really knocked it out of the park. I’d hope they rather bring it back as a cool alternate, or throwback jersey

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Congrats to the Racers on breaking their curse!

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17 hours ago, Goldengoose05 said:

Just joined.  Looks like I have a lot of history to catch up on.

It may take a week or two to read it all, but trust me, it's worth it.

Just try not to become a Vancouver fan, all they know is misery.

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1 hour ago, ChicagoOakland said:

It may take a week or two to read it all, but trust me, it's worth it.

Just try not to become a Vancouver fan, all they know is misery.

 

The unofficial fight song for the Vancouver Bighorns

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I was wondering which teams happen to play in suburbs of the city they represent. Like a good example would be what boroughs the New York teams represent or which suburb LA plays in.

Edited by RightGuard

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4 hours ago, RightGuard said:

I was wondering which teams happen to play in suburbs of the city they represent. Like a good example would be what boroughs the New York teams represent or which suburb LA plays in.

 

I think it's already been established that the Concordes play in Nassau County, the Civics in Manhattan, and the Wizards in Inglewood. Aside from that, I don't think having hockey arenas in the suburbs makes a whole lot of sense compared to football stadiums or even ballparks.

 

4 hours ago, Red Comet said:

The unofficial fight song for the Vancouver Bighorns

[insert Heartaches by the Number here]

 

Ooh, ooh, do the Wranglers get Big Iron?

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4 hours ago, Jimmy Lethal said:

Ooh, ooh, do the Wranglers get Big Iron?

 

They certainly do. And the New Orleans Sound is almost wishing for a nuclear winter. Hey, if you have cold weather all year round, that'll increase the number of people playing hockey and thus attendance.

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