NoE38

North American Markball League; A Fictional Sport & A Fictional History: 1956 Offseason

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How much longer before we see Markball played globally?

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12 hours ago, neo_prankster said:

How much longer before we see Markball played globally?

It's tough to predict, but Markball has started to gain popularity in the UK and Australia, so maybe in the late 50s-early 60s they will get their own leagues. In my general storyline, I have other European countries forming leagues in the 80s-90s, and worldwide popularity rapidly rising in the 2000s.

 

I have the scores for the semifinal games, I just have to do the writeups. I'll try to finish it today or tomorrow.

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By that time would Sydney and Melbourne already be big enough to maintain multiple teams?

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2 hours ago, neo_prankster said:

By that time would Sydney and Melbourne already be big enough to maintain multiple teams?

They definitely should be, Melbourne has supported 9-10 teams in the AFL for almost 100 years, and Sydney is larger, so it could definitely support multiple teams as well. I'll probably give Australia multiple leagues that eventually merge into one, similar to the AFL.

 

1950 NAML Semifinals

(1) Michigan Bandits vs (4) Chicago Crusaders

Location: Windy Park, Detroit, MI

Even though Michigan was expected to easily storm past the Crusaders, Chicago follower John Peters noted that in 2 of the previous 3 years, the lower-seed team had moved on to the Cup. "I don't think it's a coincidence. Teams are embracing being the underdog and I feel like we can win." he said. Michigan started the game with three straight shots, but goalkeeper Sid Belmont stood tall. Veteran Crusaders forward Ben Bones opened the scoring with a close-range goal. Chicago added two more goals in the quarter, and Belmont continued to shine, giving the Crusaders a 12-0 lead. In the second quarter, Cliff Perry used his signature play, taking the ball, running up the field, and kicking a bomb past a struggling Andrew McCaig. Len Garey, who was usually optimistic and energetic, kept turning the ball over, leading to more points for Chicago. But he finally put the Bandits on the board. Banking a shot off Belmont and through for a point. Peters scored two for Chicago, and they had an unbelievable 27-1 lead at the half. At halftime, Bandits Coach Vern Herrio gave his team a motivational speech, and they responded with a goal by Garey early in the third quarter. at one point they were only down by 17 points, but the Crusaders scored three big goals including one from Peters to get their big lead back. Garey would get one back for Michigan and the score was 40-15 for Chicago after three. In the fourth, Andrew McCaig did his part by not allowing any points or goals, but despite 15 shots by Michigan in the quarter, Belmont only allowed 1 goal and three points, meaning another 1st seed had gone down in the semifinals, and the Crusaders were headed to the Urquhart Cup for the first time.

 

(2) Toronto Nationals vs (3) Washington Warriors

Location: Canada's Field, Toronto, ON

23,000 people gathered to Canada's Field to take in the first NAML semifinal on Canadian soil. The first few minuted were fairly uneventful until Lawrence Sanderson got a point for Washington. Lester Gros would get a point back, but Leo Edward would answer that with a point of his own. Sanderson would then kick a goal for Washington, giving them a 6-1 lead. Toronto would answer back and tie the game after 1 at 6-6. In the second quarter, Gros sped past 3 defenders to kick a sensational goal for Toronto. Gabriel MacDee would get another for the Nationals, and Toronto led 14-6 at the half. After another Toronto goal to open the second half, Edward would kick one from 40 yards out past goalkeeper Andy Kappert. The next few minutes consisted of both goalies making several saves and only allowing points until Sanderson potted his second to make the game 19-16 heading into the fourth. The Nationals would get an early goal again, but two quick strikes from Warriors rover Garland Kovwick would make it a one-point game. Washington struck furiously in the dying minutes, but Kappert stood tall until a weak kick from Edward deflected off his leg and past the point line, tying the game with 1 minute to go. No-one else could score, so for the first time in NAML history, there was a drawn playoff game. Officials announced a replay the following day.

fGJf1Ph.png 

 

Semifinal Replay:

(2) Toronto Nationals vs (3) Washington Warriors

Location: Canada's Field, Toronto, ON

It was once again a packed house in Toronto to watch the semifinal replay after a well-fought game by both teams the day before. No scoring occured until halfway through the first quarter, when Gros cheekily chipped the ball over Warriors keeper Ambros Gares, much to the delight of the home crowd. Washington would score a goal and a point to take a 5-4 lead, but Theo Krakowski got a point for Toronto, making it 5-5 after 1. Fans were hoping for a more entertaining second quarter, and they got just that, with Toronto scoring three points in the first minute. Krakowski would enlarge Toronto's lead with a goal, and Gros kicked another right after. Washington would add a goal and a point, and the score was 17-11 at halftime. The third quarter was defensive, with only three combined scores, but all of them were goals. Gros and George Milne scored for Toronto, while Edward potted one for Washington, making it 25-15 after three. In the fourth, saves from Kappert prevented Washington from taking the lead, making them settle for two points. the next few minutes were uneventful until Krakowski scored his second, making the score 30-14. Washington would quickly get a goal and point from Sanderson, and after a point from MacDee, Sidney Garnett scored for Washington, cutting the lead to 7. But all they could muster was a point after that, and Gros scored a point to seal the deal for Toronto, who moved on their first Urquhart Cup, meaning that a first-time Cup winner was guaranteed.

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Urquhart Cup Final Preview:

The Urquhart Cup game was awarded to Boston, since it was their first season in the NAML. Stadium officials announced that seating would be expanded by 5,000 to accomodate more supporters, bringing the capacity up to 25,000.

 

Chicago @ Toronto, at Boston, MA

Regular Season Meetings: 2

Results: Toronto 57-56 Chicago, Chicago 37-27 Toronto

The Crusaders proved that they could beat a number-one seed, and are fully capable of beating Toronto. However, the Nationals have momentum on their side after a replay win in the semifinals. This could be anyone's game, and once again, anyone could step up. John Peters had a quiet semifinal, so he should break out in this game. Lester Gros should continue his hot streak as well. 

Prediction: The Cup will head north of the border with a 53-30 win for Toronto.

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1950 Urquhart Cup

Date: September 23, 1950

Location: Boston Shore Stadium, Boston, MA

Weather: 73°F (23 °C) moderate breeze from south

Attendance: 25,739

 

Fans from near and far came to the Boston Shore Stadium to watch the 4th Urquhart Cup, contested between two teams taking part in their first cup, the Toronto Nationals and the Chicago Crusaders. Oddmakers said that this game could go either way since both teams had great momentum stemming from their semifinal victories against the top-seed Bandits for Chicago, and a replay victory for Toronto. It was a beautiful evening, with the only concern being wind.

 

The first few minutes of the game featured great defensive plays and saves from both sides until Chicago finally broke the ice, with forward Herb Bradley scoring a point. The next seven minutes would feature more defense, with no more scoring until Toronto's Lester Gros got the Nationals on the board. the next two minutes would feature a frenzy of scoring for Chicago, getting two goals from Bradley and follower John Peters, and a point from Ben Bones. Toronto would get a point back, and then get a goal from Theo Krakowski a minute later. Bradley would score his second, and Toronto would get two points to make the score 14-11 for Chicago after 1.

 

Early in the second, Krakowski scored to give Toronto the lead. After the Nationals got another point, Peters took back the lead for Chicago after his original kick took a couple of deflections. Defenseman Cliff Perry then took his signature run, getting past numerous defenders before punching it in from 10 meters. After a point from Peters, George Milne appeared to kick one past Sid Belmont, but Perry cleared the ball out before the referee could see if it was a goal.  After a lengthy discussion with other officials, He declared a goal, much to a dismay of Crusader players, and the score would be 23-20 at the half.

 

Less than a minute into the third quarter, Chicago's Cary Lux scored his first career point, giving them a 4-point lead. Toronto would then score after a shot by Krakowski deflected of Belmont and right to Gros, who buried it to tie the game. But Chicago would get the lead right back when Bones jumped over Toronto keeper Andrew Kappert to deflect a Perry shot home. After that, it would be all Toronto, scoring 13 unanswered points to finish the quarter, including two more goals by Gros, one by Krakowski, and a point by Milne, giving Toronto a huge 9-point lead heading into the fourth. 

 

Milne would score his second early in the fourth, and Al Jaysay collected a point to give the Nationals a 14-point lead, and bring their unanswered points to 18, leaving the Crusaders stunned. But they would recover, and starting playing a desperate style, which actually helped them get back in the game. Bradley would pot his third and add a point, then Bones and Peters would strike, bringing Chicago within one. Right after the bounce, Perry would take the ball, and kick a bomb to Bradley, who was in alone against Kappert, who came out to challenge. Bradley kicked the ball past Kappert, but a diving Gabriel MacDee deflected the ball off the post, saving Toronto's lead. MacDee would then quickly kick the ball to half, where Krakowski would catch it and pass it to Gros, who did the rest, punching it past Belmont, and giving Toronto a 5-point advantage. Radio commentator Rufus Low's reaction was perfect. "What a turn of events! I can't believe my eyes! Toronto by 5!" After play resumed, Kappert had another key save on Perry, reaching high to deflect it past the point line, cutting the lead to four. Time was running out for Chicago, who sent all of their men forward in hopes of tying it. After MacDee intercepted a pass by Peters, he again kicked the ball to half, where Toronto bench forward Feidhlim Bhaltair was all alone facing an empty net. He ran the distance and scored, sealing the win for the Nationals, and sending Toronto into celebration, becoming the third team to win the Urquhart Cup.

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Following the game, the MVP award was given to MacDee, and after lifting the cup, Gros announced that he would he retiring after 10 years of playing, effective immediately. "I've loved playing this wonderful game, and my dream is now a reality. I can't thank everyone enough for their support, and now I look forward to starting a new chapter in my life" He said in an emotional interview with Canadian National TV after the game. Commisioner Urquhart awarded Gros with the NAML Sportsmanship award after the announcement. During his career, Gros had never argued a foul against him, nor been ejected from a game.

 

Next up will the the first Offseason post, and once again, thanks for reading!

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With Toronto winning the marbles for 1950, does that help generate interest in the game among Canadian sports fans?

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16 hours ago, neo_prankster said:

With Toronto winning the marbles for 1950, does that help generate interest in the game among Canadian sports fans?

Markball is actually quite popular in Eastern Canada. Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City and St. John's are among the best attended Markball teams in North America. Commissioner Urquhart has stated that Canada will get at least one expansion team no matter what next time the league expands. 

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1950 NAML Offseason

The Offseason officially started after Toronto won the Urquhart Cup, with Lester Gros announcing his retirement. Following the announcement, the city of Toronto announced that new street would be named in his honour, and his hometown of Winnipeg announced that their field would be renamed in his honour. Gros later announced that he would like to become an author, and was planning on releasing a book about his time in the NAML. 

 

the NAML also announced that its trading rules would be changed to be less strict, allowing for more trades throughout the season. Right away, a major deal happened, with Chicago sending goalkeeper Sid Belmont and cash to New York for forward Ramiro Rodriguez, follower Eugene DeGarmo, and defenseman Basil Goddard. New York's goalkeeper Michael Hawk had been struggling, so they acquired Belmont to help him grow and for more consistent goalkeeping. Rodriguez was a solid bench forward with an above-average mindset, DeGarmo was looking better every year in midfield with his tackling, and Goddard was an underrated defenseman who rarely made mistakes. Chicago also sent cash to New York, who were struggling to get fans, but were confident there would be more.

 

Many big signings occured as well, especially for St. Louis, who resigned Arnold Lejoscasa for 5 years at $46,250. one of the biggest contracts in the league. Washington also resigned James Doctor for one year, at $19,000.

 

Teams also signed players looking to make the NAML, such as New York signing Earl Paulson, the EML's league leader in goals and tackles in 1950. St. Louis also signed two amateur players from Providence and Burlington, ON, who were absolutely dominating their leagues. Howard Tremble had scored 77 goals in 12 games in Providence, and Walter Thompson was a solid defender who helped his team only allow an average of 10 points per game in Burlington. Other notable signings were Warren Saureighaney of the WML signing in New York, and Philadelphia signing 6'4" follower Franklin Rostiston, of Hartford of the EML.

 

Thanks for reading, the 1951 season will be up soon!

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Interesting.

 

With regard to television, would the CBC in Canada be the first to televise Markball, or will it be NBC, ABC, CBS or DuMont in the US?

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The Chicago Crusaders uniform looks too much like Finland's flag.  A different shape would be nice (a triangle at the bottom would look cool.)

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23 hours ago, neo_prankster said:

Interesting.

 

With regard to television, would the CBC in Canada be the first to televise Markball, or will it be NBC, ABC, CBS or DuMont in the US?

In Canada, CBC will televise all Toronto and playoff games until the 1990s, and in the USA, There isn't a deal in place yet, so all 4 of those channels will televise games until around the 70s.

 

17 minutes ago, Luingus221 said:

The Chicago Crusaders uniform looks too much like Finland's flag.  A different shape would be nice (a triangle at the bottom would look cool.)

While I respect your point, I think the resemblance won't matter too much for now. Multiple teams have used designs featuring flag striping patterns, so I'll keep the uniform as is for now, But I can change the design (invert it) if it really is an issue. What do you mean by a triangle at the bottom?

 

I'm working on the 1951 season now, I will try to have it up tonight.

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1 minute ago, NoE38 said:

What do you mean by a triangle at the bottom?

Like this:▲ 

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1 hour ago, Luingus221 said:

Like this:▲ 

I tried that out, and it's a unique design, so I'll consider it once teams add second jerseys to their collections, starting next year (Spoiler!)

 

1951 NAML Season

 

The NAML started its fifth season with a rematch of the first Urquhart Cup, with Washington hosting Philadelphia. The hosts would emerge victorious with a 55-26 victory in front of 45,500 fans.

 

The big question going into 1951 was if the Nationals could continue their strong play without Lester Gros. They didn't look good in their first game, a 20 point loss in Michigan. To make matters worse, Theo Krakowski tore his Achilles in week 2, making him out for the season. Toronto was able to get a 48-27 win against St. Louis in week three, but that would be it for the season. They struggled the rest of the way, not winning another game all year, and only getting points from two draws, both against Boston. The Nationals went from Urquhart Cup champions to posting the worst record in NAML history, at 1-17-2, only getting 7 points. In Washington, the Warriors were looking to get back into the Urquhart Cup, with newly resigned James Doctor playing his best markball of his career. The rest of the Warriors however couldn't get their act together, not playing like they had in previous years. Leo Edward and Ambrose Gares both had off-years, and Washington missed the playoffs for the first time in their NAML history, at 8-12.

 

In Philadelphia, the Falcons were slowly getting better in their second season without Grad Rox. Cecil Bonnom scored a career-high 40 goals, and Patrick MacKenzie played solid. Despite this, they couldn't hold on to leads, and led the league in fouls and ejections, which didn't help their cause. This led to another disappointing year and a 7th place finish at 8-12. In New York, the Knights were just looking to get out of the basement, and with the acquisition of Sid Belmont, players knew that they had to get their act together. The season didn't start great with 3 straight losses, but after half the season, led by Belmont's strong goalkeeping, the Knights were at 5-5, which tied their franchise record for wins in a season. Leonard James was finally playing to his potential, leading New York up front, and defenseman Alan Victor was a force in the backfield. The Knights stormed through the second half of the season, improving to 9-6, and securing a playoff spot for the first time in franchise history after a Boston loss. But in the last quarter of the season, the Knights stumbled, only winning one more game, and finishing at 10-10. In Boston, before the season, Grad Rox was named the franchise's first captain. "It's a dream come true, being the captain of my hometown team. I never could have imagined this in my life, and I still can't believe it." he said after receiving the honour. The Wolfhounds started the season expected to finish near the bottom. After starting the season 2-2, they would lose 5 of the next 6. Rox would pick up his play in the second half, and defenseman Bob Lynn would help out at the back. Due to their performances, Boston would end up in the running for a playoff spot against the odds, but unfortunately couldn't get past New York. The season was deemed a success for them though, the Wolfhounds were quickly becoming the most popular team in Boston, with fans coming from all over to see them.

 

After a disappointing Urquhart Cup loss, the Chicago Crusaders were back, and stronger than ever. Joining John Peters and Cliff Perry was up-and-coming defenseman Basil Goddard, making Chicago's back end one of the toughest in the league. This showed during the season, with the Crusaders only giving up an average of 26 points per game, 4 points lower than the second-best team. Few teams could get anything going against this powerful defense. This made the job easy for the forwards, and helped Chicago to their first-ever first place finish, at 15-4-1. Peters had a career year, leading the league in tackles by far and scoring a career-high 35 goals, getting the Chester Harland award as league MVP. 4 hours to the east, in Michigan, the Bandits were also looking tougher than ever, with seemingly every player on their roster improving over the off-season. Len Garey continued lighting it up out front, again leading the league in goals, with 54. Andrew McCaig had another stellar season in nets, and Harry Keener was exceptional in the back, and Michigan got another playoff berth, finishing 2nd at 14-6. In St. Louis, the resigning of Arnold Lejoscasa energized the team after an off year before. Al Sokker had a breakout year playing together with Lejoscasa, and amateur signings Howard Tremble and Walter Thompson did as hoped, scoring consistently and being a force at the back, the trio of Lejoscasa, Sokker, and Tremble scored a combined 129 goals, helping St. Louis rebound and clinch a playoff berth, finishing third at 13-6-1.

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The 1951 NAML awards were given to:

Chester Harland Award (League MVP): John Peters, Chicago

Leading Goalkicker Award: Len Garey, Michigan

Benjamin Legrand Award: Andrew McCaig, Washington

 

Notable Events:

  • John Peters set a league record in tackles in a game, with 25 in a win against Michigan.
  • Len Garey, who is usually calm and composed, was ejected in week 20 after punching Washington player Sidney Garnett, suspending Garey for the semifinals.

 

Playoff Preview:

(1) Chicago Crusaders vs (4) New York Knights

Regular Season Meetings: 3

Results: New York 51-42 Chicago, Chicago 52-51 New York, Chicago 53-39 New York

The Knights are a Cinderella story this year, doubling their previous franchise record for wins in their third season. The Crusaders are hungry for a Cup after a disappointing appearance last year.You don't have to be smart to know who wins this one. The only thing working in New York's favour is that 3 of the 4 4th seed teams have moved on to the cup, but that trend should end this year. Watch for a big game by John Peters, who is feeling it right now.

Prediction: Chicago will head back to the cup with a 50-40 victory.

 

(2) Michigan Bandits vs (3) St. Louis Gatekeepers

We smell an upset here, since St. Louis has got a new trio up front, and Len Garey will be suspended after an incident in week 20. Arnold Lejoscasa and Al Sokker were both part of St. Louis' run (falling just short) to the cup in 1949, and they are looking great together. these gents should be too much for Andrew McCaig, but anything can happen. Look for a big game for Harry Keener of Michigan, who has quietly become an elite player at the back.

Prediction: St. Louis will move on with a close 44-39 victory.

 

Thanks for reading!

 

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Some absolutely fast risers in those Expansion sides. One made the playoffs, the next one getting mighty close to it as well.

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Something tells me something special is gonna happen for the Wolfhounds next season.

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6 hours ago, Darknes said:

Some absolutely fast risers in those Expansion sides. One made the playoffs, the next one getting mighty close to it as well.

This was an odd year for simulation, so I don't expect this to last. New York should go back to 6th or 7th next year. For Boston, they're rapidly improving, so they might even make the playoffs next year.

6 hours ago, neo_prankster said:

Something tells me something special is gonna happen for the Wolfhounds next season.

Maybe not next year, but they definitely could make the playoffs under Rox's guidance. Their team is improving quickly, and if they make a couple of moves, they could be able to contend for a cup in 3-5 years.

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1951 NAML Semifinals

(1) Chicago Crusaders vs (4) New York Knights

Location: Columbus Stadium, Chicago, IL

Coming in, oddmakers gave the Knights no chance at winning this game, but a fair amount people were expecting another upset where the fourth seed advances. Off the bounce, New York controlled the play, but Chicago's brick wall defense didn't let them score. There was no score for the first 6 minutes until John Peters squeaked a point past former Crusader keeper Sid Belmont. After 8 minutes, The Crusaders would score, making it 5-0. But in the final minute of the quarter, Leonard James would score twice for New York, giving them the 8-5 lead after 1. But this didn't faze the Crusaders, who went back to playing solid defensively, and their offence started generating chance after chance after a goal and point in the first minute from forward Matthew Grey. The Knights would get a point, but that was it from them in the quarter. Chicago would score one more goal and 3 more points to get a good lead at the half, 17-9. The offence would settle down in the third, with no scoring until Basil Goddard kicked one past his former team. The Knights would get some momentum, but Chicago's defense continued playing solid, but the Knights would break through with two consecutive goals from James and Thomas Daley, putting New York within a goal of tying it. The rest of the quarter would feature more great defensive plays and missed chances offensively from both teams, and the score would hold after 3. In the fourth quarter, New York began to solve the Crusader defense in the 4th, scoring a goal and a point in the first two minutes, giving them the lead. After a brief spell of slowed-down play, New York went back to the attack, scoring another goal and point, giving themselves a 27-21 lead with 15 minutes to play. After Chicago couldn't get anything going for the next few minutes, fans started to get nervous, and it appeared that another first seed was going to lose, until Cliff Perry kicked a bullet right to forward Russell Smith, who deflected one off of Belmont past the point line. It didn't seem like much, but that moment fired up Crusader players. In the next minute, they would score, putting them within one. After the bounce, bench forward and former Knight Ramiro Rodriguez, who had seen little playing time in the game, would then come on, take a pass from Peters, and finish it off, giving Chicago the lead. A late point from Peters would seal the victory and Chicago was headed back to the Urquhart Cup.

 

(2) Michigan Bandits vs (3) St. Louis Gatekeepers

Location: Windy Park, Detroit, MI

In the second semifinal, this game was expected to be fairly close, with the All-around strong Bandits taking on the Gatekeepers and their dynamic forward trio of Arnold Lejoscasa, Al Sokker, and Howard Tremble. However, the 'Keepers defense wasn't too strong, and Michigan took advantage of that in the first quarter, putting up the first 13 points of the game. Sokker would get two points back for St. Louis, But Michigan would respond with two points of their own. However, the 'Keepers would gain some hope after Tremble kicked a bullet past Andrew McCaig late in the quarter, putting St. Louis within 9. The second quarter started off with a point from Len Garey, and Michigan would catch a break after Sokker missed a wide open net, scoring a point instead of a huge goal. After a few minutes of failed rushes, Garey would kick a goal for the Bandits, extending their lead to 14. A late point from Michigan's Christopher Patton made the score 21-6 at the half. Early in the third. Tremble had a great chance, but a sensational save from McCaig gave St. Louis another point. A few minutes Later, Garey potted his second home, making the Bandits' lead even larger. Lejocasa would have a chance to get a big goal off of a penalty shot, but he had a rare miss, hitting the post and giving the 'Keepers yet another point. The Bandits would finish the quarter scoring a goal and two points, making the score 31-9. In the fourth, the 'Keepers finally found their offence, scoring a goal and two points early on. Later, Sokker would finally score, making the score 31-19. However, it was too little too late for St. Louis. Patton would score for Michigan, putting it away. Lejoscasa would score a consolation goal for St. Louis, and Michigan would head back to the Urquhart Cup and attempt to win it for the second time.

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Urquhart Cup Final Preview:

The Urquhart Cup Final game was awarded to Toronto, marking the first time the game will be played north of the border.

 

Michigan @ Chicago, at Toronto, ON

Regular Season Meetings: 3

Results: Chicago 38-33 Michigan, Michigan 32-23 Chicago, Chicago 38-19 Michigan

This is another game that could go either way. Chicago was the first-place team in the league and hungry for the cup after losing last year, while the Bandits have experience winning the cup and are the better team on paper. Expect a defensive battle between both teams. Chicago's defense is the best in the league, while Andrew McCaig is arguably the greatest goaltender to have played the game. Cliff Perry and Basil Goddard should shine in the spotlight, and Harry Keener should be big for Michigan.

Prediction: Michigan will win their second cup, 34-28.

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1951 Urquhart Cup

Date: September 29, 1951

Location: Canada's Field, Toronto, ON

Weather: 64°F (18 °C) light showers, light breeze from SE

Attendance: 60,511

 

Despite being the first Urquhart Cup to feature rain, 60,000 people came to Canada's field to watch the Chicago Crusaders and their bolstering defense take on the Michigan Bandits and their all-around strong team. Right off the bounce, fans could tell that this game would be close.

 

The first quarter started off very defensively and aggressive, with no shots on goal for the first 12 minutes of play, until Len Garey finally shot one, but Chicago goalkeeper Julian Crisp made a great save look easy. In the 14th minute, Chicago would break through with a point from John Peters. Defense would take over again after that, with no real chances generated for the rest of the quarter. The score after one would be 1-0, and become the lowest-scoring quarter in NAML history. 

 

The second would feature much more scoring, with Chicago testing Andrew McCaig early and getting two points out of it. However, that would be for nothing, as Len Garey punched the ball over Crisp, giving Michigan a 4-3 lead. After another bout of defensive play, Duke Shepard scored into a wide-open net off a pass from Peters, giving back the lead to Chicago. Russell Smith would hit one through McCaig's legs, giving Chicago a 7 point lead. Michigan would get a couple of points, but couldn't get anything past Crisp, who was playing superbly. Shots came in at all angles and speeds, but he stood tall for the Crusaders, and had 17 saves at the half, close to an NAML record. Stephen Snider would increase Chicago's lead late in the quarter, making it 15-6 at the half.

 

Michigan would again come out flying in the third, but Crisp seemed unbeatable. radio commentator Rufus Low summed up his performance. "Replace that man with a brick wall and nobody would be able to tell the difference." The pressure would eventually pay off with an extremely lucky break when a Harry Keener shot deflected off the post, off of Cliff Perry, and just squeaked past Crisp. That was the goal the Bandits needed, and they seemed enegized and more confident after the goal. Quickly after, Donnie Faulkner would close the lead to one. A couple of points later, Michigan had the lead. But Chicago would strike back with a point and a goal from Smith. Late in the quarter, Garey would get a point, and it was still anyone's game heading into the fourth, with Chicago holding a slim 20-17 lead.

 

Early in the fourth, Peters got another point with a towering shot McCaig couldn't do anything about. Chicago then went all-out defensive, doing anything to protect their lead. Michigan would counter with quick, accurate passing. the ball would eventually get to William Osborne, who was known more for starting trouble than scoring. He would run past a defender, give it to Garey, who would give it back to him, and he would finish, scoring bar-down and tying the game. The next minute, Bandit forward David Belanger was forced to leave the game after an awkward tackle, sending in Willy Trenhue, who had only played 6 minutes in the regular season. He would make an immediate impact, scoring to give the Bandits the lead after a Chicago point. Chicago wouldn't quit, with Cliff Perry scoring his signature goal, giving them the lead back. Shepard would follow that up quickly with another, giving the Crusaders a 5 point lead with 4 minutes to play. Those next 4 minutes would be among the craziest in NAMP history. Trenhue scored his second, pulling Michigan within one. Chicago would strike back with a point from Basil Goddard. Chicago again played defensive and it help them not allow any points until the 90-second mark, when Garey, knowing this would make or break the season, unleashed a shot from 45 yards. Time seemed to go slower as everyone watched the ball sail through the air, just past Crisp's fingertips and into the net, giving Michigan a 33-31 lead. in the last minute, Chicago would start a furious rush, and it eventually led to one final corner kick, taken by Crisp. The ball would end up in Smith's hands. He quickly kicked it, but McCaig's fingertips deflected it past the pointline, ending the game and giving Michigan their second cup title.

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The Cup MVP award was controversially given to Trenhue, with some people arguing that the award should be for the full game. Commisioner Urquhart Stood by his decision, saying "He changed the game when he came on. That determination is fully deserving of an MVP honour."

 

The big news for the league was announced following the game, with Urquhart saying "With a growing amount of teams in the league and surely more to follow, all teams will be required to have a secondary jersey of a different colour, effective immediately."

 

Look out for the new jerseys, and once again, thanks for reading!

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Michigan is really shaping up to be the first real dynasty in this series.

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On 3/5/2018 at 6:16 PM, neo_prankster said:

Michigan is really shaping up to be the first real dynasty in this series.

Yes. they definitely are getting better and better and should be the favorites heading into next year. Garey and McCaig still have plenty of seasons left in them, so if they don't win another with them, that would be astonishing.

 

Apologies for the inactivity, there's been too many things going on in life to keep up. Things are settling down now, so the offseason post should be up today or tomorrow.

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