NoE38

North American Markball League; A Fictional Sport & A Fictional History: 1965 NAML Season

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Okay, so I miss out on Gardenar..but I get Tremble...I'm okay with this.

LA looks solid!

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A team in Washington acquiring a generational prospect? I'm sure the team won't have any trouble quickly converting that into a title!

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1962 NAML Season

Just like they had with all the previous expansion teams, the 1962 season was kicked off at the LAMC, against the New York Knights. Team captain Harry Marback would do the honours of raising the team's flag to fly along with all the others already there. The Guardians won the game, defeating the Knights by three goals, 47-35.

 

Prior to the year, the general consensus was that either the Bandits or Crusaders would end up winning the division, and Michigan would end up taking it with relative ease, winning the league for the first time in 11 years, with a 17-4-1 record. Hugh Westbrook and Daniel Thorn led a strong frontline, giving the Bandits the highest-scoring offense in the league. In second was the Chicago Crusaders, but they didn't have as great a record as expected. Despite Bud Mahoney's spectacular play earning him the Chester Harland Award, Chicago only managed to win 12 games and 38 points, but it was enough to give them home-field advantage in round one. In third was the St. Louis Gatekeepers. Even with the departure of Howard Tremble, Christopher Patton gave the 'Keepers some much-needed defensive support. Arnold Lejoscasa did what he was best at up front, scoring his most goals since 1958, while Patton manned the midfield, and was very effective at stopping rushes and getting the defense organized. The 'Keepers finished 2 points behind Chicago, with a 12-10 record. In fourth and missing the playoffs yet again were the Milwaukee Dragons. They were expected to be right in the basement with Minnesota and LA, but some breakout seasons, most notably from defender Hugh Pettas, kept them in contention for a playoff spot for most of the year. the Dragons finished with a 10-12-0 record, 6 points out of a playoff spot. Tied for last in the division were the expansion bros, the Minnesota Walleye and LA Guardians. The Walleye played really well once again, and even gave the Bandits their only loss at home, but they couldn't keep up with the other teams in the division. Calvin Black continued improving on the backline, and even got some votes for the Chester Harland Award. In LA, The Guardians were able to get victories, but they were few and far in between until the final three weeks, where they looked solid in a east-coast road trip, winning all three games. Both teams finished with 7-15-0 records, and Minnesota held the point-differential advantage, giving LA the 6th-place spot.

 

In the east, the Toronto Nationals once again would take first place, but their decline in performance was starting to be noticed. Theo Krakowski was getting slower and kicking less goals, and it seemed that the team would grow hot and cold with him. Despite this, the Nats managed to get a 15-7-0 record and win the tiebreaker to get a first-round bye yet again. James Jogi was a noticeable improvement during the year, and supporters wondered if he could be the one to fill Krakowski's cleats. In second was a huge surprise, the Washington Warriors. Right from the start, the arrival of Jim Gardenar seemed to rejuvenate and motivate the whole team. The Wing Forward made contributions right away, scoring a goal with his first kick and setting up another with his second. Gardenar finished the year with 23 goals, a record for a teenager in the league. Washington finished 15-7-0, but just lost out on the tiebreaker for first place. In third were the high-flying Boston Wolfhounds, whose offense became feared league-wide with the arrival of Howard Tremble. Playing with Ridley Robinson, he scored 39 goals, tying a career-high. Vinnie McClelland was having a crazy year until an unfortunate injury in week 10, which kept the Hounds from contending for first place. Boston finished with a 13-9-0 record. In fourth place was a huge surprise, the Philadelphia Falcons, missing the playoffs for the first time in 10 years. There were many factors leading to the disappointing year, including injuries to Jeremy Markson and Patrick MacKenzie, Washington and Boston improving their play, and bad breaks against them. Despite all these, the P's still achieved a decent record, at 10-11-1. In fifth place were the Montreal Évêques. Without Denis Girard, it was up to Denis De Félix and Nicolas Bartosh to lead the team. While they both had decent seasons individually, the rest of the team couldn't keep up in the tough division. They did well against the weaker teams, but seemed to fall apart against the stronger ones. They played better near the end of the year, but it wasn't enough as they finished 7-14-1. In last once again were the New York Knights. Despite implementing a new system of play during the offseason, it didn't seem to do any work, as New York still sat in the basement. Leonard James and Carmelo Dunn had good years up front, but other than that, there weren't any glimmers of hope for the Knights, as they finished 5-17-0. After the season, coach/owner George Small relieved himself of the coaching duties and hired former Knights goalkeeper Sid Belmont as the new head coach.

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The 1962 NAML Awards were given to:

Chester Harland Award (League MVP): Bud Mahoney, W, CHI

Leading Goalkicker Award: Hugh Westbrook, FF, MIC (43 goals)

Benjamin Legrand Award (Best Goalkeeper): Phillip Owens, STL

 

Rivalry Cup Winners:

Colonial Trophy: Washington (Split series with Philadelphia, outscored them 73-60)

St. Laurent Cup: Montreal (Split series with Toronto, outscored them 50-45)

I-94 Series: Milwaukee (won both games against Chicago)

 

Notable Events:

  • The Walleye won their second consecutive consolation series, this time defeating Philadelphia in the final.
  • The NAML increased the amount of games televised per week to three. Still on CBS in the USA and CBC in Canada.
  • The league hosted its first all-star game, played in Chicago between the defending champion Crusaders and a team made up of stars from the rest of the league. The league All-Stars went on to win 40-33 in front of a packed house.
  • The NAML started building an 45,000 capacity private stadium for league-sanctioned events such as all-star games, as well as potential Canada-USA matches.

Playoff Preview:

(W2) Chicago Crusaders vs (W3) St. Louis Gatekeepers

Previous Playoff Game: 1961 Semifinals

Result: Chicago 32-25 St. Louis

This is a Western matchup we should see plenty more times in the following decades, so there's almost guaranteed to be a rivalry in the works between these two. In this matchup an all-around solid team will meet a top-heavy team with an improving defense. The Crusaders will try to take the upper hand in this one, using their home field to their advantage. Expect some rough stuff from both this one.

Prediction: Chicago will advance to Michigan with a 44-32 victory.

 

(E2) Washington Warriors vs (E3) Boston Wolfhounds

Previous Playoff Game: 1954 First Round

Result: Boston 33-16 Washington

A surprise team takes on an improving high-flying offensive team in this one. It'll be Jimmy Gardenar's first playoff game, so it will be interesting to see how he performs under the bright lights. Boston will hope that Tremble and Robinson can get them past the first round for the first time since their 1955 Cup victory. Expect some high scoring in this one.

Prediction: Boston will get past the Warriors and take on the Nationals.

 

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There were some surprises here, mostly Washington's great performance. I didn't think Gardenar would be that big a boost for them. Also interesting seeing the Falcons fall out of the playoffs, but they have been on the decline for a while now.

 

Any C&C and feedback on this series is appreciated!

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On 8/28/2018 at 10:51 PM, NoE38 said:

1961 NAML Offseason

 

Los Angeles Guardians Reveal Identity

The NAML's first team on the West Coast, the Los Angeles Guardians, unveiled their look to the public for the first time in early November, in front of a packed house at team headquarters. The logo features an LAG monogram with the G making an outline of a ball, and angel wings on either side of it. The home jersey features alternating gold and black stripes on both sides of the shirt, as well as the socks. The Away jersey is different, with a large yellow yoke over a black base, and the team's logo below. The flag is inspired by the away jersey, but incorporating the jagged stripes of the city's flag.

51KnUgP.png

 

Expansion draft held for Guardians

The league's newest team also chose their inaugural team through the expansion draft. Notable picks included big centre Harry Marback from Toronto, and speedy flank Ryan Antonu from Boston. Marback is an underrated performer, using his size to his advantage at jump-balls, and Antonu, when uninjured, is one of the fastest players in the league, and has great agility.

 

Teenage Phenom Gardenar signs with Warriors

17-year old touted generational superstar Jim Gardenar announced which team he signed with in January. "I would like to thanks all the scouts and teams that I met with during this time. This decision was the most difficult I've ever made, but I feel like Washington is the best place for me to develop my talents effectively. I am very excited to be a Warrior, and hope to bring the Urquhart Cup back to its rightful place." Washington was predicted as a possible destination for Gardenar, but they weren't expected to take him in the end. 

 

Several Notable Players hang up cleats
Many players who had successful careers in the NAML called it quits after the year, including Montreal's hometown hero Simon Girard, Milwaukee's first star Willy Trenhue, and Legendary Washington goalkeeper Ambrose Gares. Girard played 12 seasons for St. Louis and Montreal, but couldn't win the Urquhart Cup in thre appearance in the game. Trenhue came out as a surprise star in Michigan, leading them to back-to-back wins in '51 and '52. He signed in Milwaukee, hoping to lead them to success, but it didn't pan out. Gares was the Warriors' first-choice goalie for 14 years, helping them win it all in 1949. He is arguably the best keeper the league has seen, along with Michigan's Andrew McCaig.

 

Hounds, 'Keepers pull off massive one-for-one deal

A huge, surprising deal was announced late in the offseason, going between Boston and St. Louis. The Hounds sent midfielder Christopher Patton to the 'Keepers in exchange for Daunting Duo member Howard Tremble. Patton will look to help sort out the 'Keepers defensive issues by being a strong force in the midfield, while the addition of the high-scoring Tremble to the Hounds lineup will make their offense go from above-average to almost unstoppable. The deal was unpopular with 'Keepers supporters, as Tremble was a fan-favourite during his time there. Many reporters were unsure about the deal for St. Louis, but believed that Patton will greatly improved their defensive situation.

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Thoughts on the Guardians look are appreciated. I had a hard time thinking of what to do, but I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.

 

Any other C&C and feedback on this series is appreciated as well.

LA looks awesome! I'm getting a real Richmond FC vibe from them.

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Since New York continues to be New York, I guess I'll root for Toronto in the playoffs, even though I have a funny feeling they won't get that far, but one can hope. Also, are there any teams in danger of relocation (Assuming that's allowed in the NAML)? I'm looking forward to the playoffs, and LA looks pretty cool too!

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LA should have gotten Gardenar (assuming he was available in some kind of draft anyways). Still, kinda surprised to see Minny do so bad in year 2

 

Also, who's the more disdapointing franchise: Milwaukee or New York

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Personally I'd say Milwaukee. The Knights have only made playoffs twice and never reached beyond the semi-finals. Milwaukee have made playoffs once and never reached beyond the quarter-finals. The Knights have been there for 14 seasons, the Dragons 9. So the mathematics declare Milwaukee to be more disappointing.

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10 hours ago, BengalSteve said:

are there any teams in danger of relocation (Assuming that's allowed in the NAML)?

Milwaukee has the highest chance right now. They aren't guaranteed to, but if they don't get their act together in the next few years, it's a real possibility that they move. All the other teams are fairly well off, so it would take a Sens-like disaster for them to consider leaving.

 

7 hours ago, TargetToad said:

Also, who's the more disdapointing franchise: Milwaukee or New York

It's close, both teams have finished last in the league 3 times, and only made the playoffs a combined three times, but the Knights have had expectations of being a decent team, and almost always have failed miserably, while the Dragons haven't really had high expectations to begin with, so mathematically, it would be the Dragons, but the Knights aren't that far behind.

 

The playoff post would have been up tonight if it the text file didn't randomly corrupt. :( 

I'll have it up tomorrow. Small spoiler, there were some upsets this year.

 

 

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1961 NAML Playoffs

First Round

 

(W2) Chicago Crusaders vs (W3) St. Louis Gatekeepers

The Crusaders made Columbus Stadium a rocking place early, taking a 5-0 lead two minutes in, including a goal from Bud Mahoney. However, the 'Keepers didn't seem fazed, and quickly tied the game, and eventually scored another goal and two points to take an 11-5 lead halfway through the quarter. The Crusaders would pick away at the lead for the rest of the quarter, getting two points and ending the first with two goals from Andy Bonsaigh to take a 15-11 lead. The offense started slow in the second, with teams exchanging points five minutes in. The 'Keepers couldn't bury their chances for the rest of the quarter, and Chicago took advantage, getting two quick goals from John Hoggard and Mahoney and two late points to take a commanding 26-12 lead into halftime. The Crusaders continued their dominance in the second half, getting two more points and another Bonsaigh goal less than two minutes in. St. Louis still wouldn't back down, despite being down by 21 points, and they would get a goal from Arnold Lejoscasa and three points to cut the lead down to 14 with time to play. Elvin Narvaez would score for Chicago, but St. Louis still wouldn't back down, getting two more goals from Lejoscasa and a point to cut the lead even further, down to 9. Mahoney would add a point to make it a 10-point game heading into the fourth, which saw little offense. The quarter started with slow play, and even once the teams started getting chances, they weren't any good. Joe Register and Phillip Owens stood tall in their respective nets, with neither allowing any scoring until Hoggard squeaked one past Owens to get Chicago to 42 points. A little later, Mahoney would get another point, and that would be all the scoring in the game, as the Crusaders easily got past the 'Keepers and moved on to face the first-place Bandits.

 

(E2) Washington Warriors vs (E3) Boston Wolfhounds

President's Park was buzzing as the hometown Warriors prepared host the high-flying Boston Wolfhounds. Even though the Warriors offense was strong as well, it was nonexistent to start the game, as the Hounds took a 3-0 halfway through the quarter. Lawrence Sanderson got a point back for Washington, but Howard Tremble would get a point almost right after, restoring the three-point lead. Soon after, Tremble would get the game's first goal, shooting a rocket past Gerard Watro. Ridley Robinson would increase the lead with a goal of his own, and the Hounds led 12-1. Sanderson got another point before the quarter ended, but things still weren't looking good for Washington heading into the second, down 10. However, early on, the offense finally started clicking, with Jimmy Gardenar and Sanderson each scoring to cut the lead to 2. Boston would storm back, with Vinnie McClelland getting in on the scoring action, and Robinson scoring another, increasing Boston's lead back to 9. Tremble kicked another point, and eventually found the back of the net again, this time with a cheeky chip shot over Watro. The Warriors offense, which looked great to start, faded away again and only scored two more points for the rest of the quarter. The third quarter had another quick start for Washington, as Gardenar scored his second. The Hounds got another point, but Cliff Jegou found the next right after. Later on in the quarter, Tremble would score again, but the Warriors responded quickly, as Jegou scored again to cut the lead to 5. Tremble kicked another point before the end of the quarter, and Boston led 31-25 heading into the fourth. Robinson scored early on, and 7 minutes later, he found the back on the net, and it looked like the Hounds were in control. However, the Warriors weren't giving up, as Gardenar scored two great goals to cut the lead back to 6. Realizing they had to hold their lead, the Hounds tightened up their defense, and it worked, as the Warriors wouldn't get any more points for the rest of the game. Peter Britton scored twice for Boston as they sealed the victory and advanced to the semifinals for the first time since 1955.

aBIbhYo.png

 

Semifinals

 

(W1) Michigan Bandits vs (W2) Chicago Crusaders

Bandits supporters flocked to Windy Park to see their heroes hopefully make their grand return to the Urquhart Cup and win it all for the first time since 1952. However, it wasn't a good start for the Bandits, as Chicago dominated the first part of the quarter, building a 9-0 lead. The Bandits would eventually get moving and Hugh Westbrook was able to get a point and goal back, but the Crusaders would get a goal and point of their own, making it a 9-point game again. Daniel Thorn kicked a point late, but the Bandits had work to do if they wanted to win, down 8 after 1. In the second, Chicago never gave Michigan a chance to get going, Mahoney would score and Bonsaigh would kick two points, making it 20-6 for Chicago and shocking the crowd at Windy Park. Thorn was able to score later on, but a Hoggard goal would cancel it out. Just like the first, the Bandits would get a chance late in the quarter, but were only able to manage a point, and Chicago led 24-11 at the half. In the third, Michigan was finally able to consistently get past the Crusader defense, getting two goals and a point within the first three minutes, making it a one-goal game. However, the Crusaders would start dominating possession for the rest of the quarter, first getting a point and goal from Bonsaigh halfway through, then in the later stages, they would get two more goals from Hoggard and Mahoney and a point from Narvaez, making it 38-21 for Chicago at the end of the third. Another Mahoney goal early in the fourth caused some Bandits supporters to leave early, with no hope of them recovering. Thorn would get a goal and point from penalty kicks. With 7 minutes to go, Westbrook and Gilbert Dexter would both score and Thorn added a point, making it an 8-point game. Michigan continued pressing, but Joe Register stood tall, and the Crusaders would get two late goals from Bonsaigh and Narvaez to seal the deal. Chicago pulled off the upset with a 51-35 victory, and were heading back to the Urquhart Cup for a chance to defend their title.

 

(E1) Toronto Nationals vs (E3) Boston Wolfhounds

The Hounds looked to get off to a quick start in Toronto, and that's exactly what they did, as Tremble kicked a long bomb past Kappert a minute in, giving Boston a quick one-goal lead. There was a long period of dead play that took up most of the quarter, but eventually, McClelland kicked a point and Boston found themselves up 5. Toronto tried responding with several rushes, but could only come up with a point from Ciril Vlasic. With the final play of the quarter, Robinson would have a penalty kick, but a save from Kappert resulted in a point for the Hounds forward, and Boston had a 6-1 lead after 1. The second quarter saw lots of offense early, starting with a point from James Jogi, then a Boston counterattack goal from Tremble. Theo Krakowski would finally get Toronto's first goal, but Robinson would reply for the Hounds almost right after. The Nats had two great chances to get within a goal or even tie the game, but John Portelli wasn't letting a ball get past him, instead allowing two points to make the score 14-8. Boston got a goal to get their lead to 10. However, the Stallions closed the quarter with strong offensive play, as Jogi and Krakowsi both managed to beat Portelli before the whistle, making it a 2-point game at the half. With the first play of the third quarter, Tremble made sure the Hounds were up by more than a goal by kicking a laser bar-down. Toronto would reply though, getting a goal from Oliver Thomas and a point from Jogi, getting them within 1 point. Boston would desperately try to get a comfortable lead, and while they didn't kick a goal, they managed to get two points so it could at least be close if Toronto took the lead. fortunately for them, Jogi missed a penalty and got a point instead. Boston would come back and Robinson buried a chance in front, putting Boston up 6. For the remaining 9 minutes, there was no score, and the lead remained heading into the fourth. Early on, Tremble and Robinson combined for a goal and point, giving Boston a comfortable 11-point lead so that they could focus on defense for the rest of the game. With the crowd at Canada's field starting to get antsy, the Nats tried doing anything to score, and despite the pressure from Boston, Vlasic was able to beat Portelli, and Krakowski got a point a while later, but that would be all the scoring for the game, as the Boston Wolfhounds advanced to their first Urquhart Cup since 1955 with a 33-27 victory.

9jRpblm.png

 

Urquhart Cup Final Preview:

As a welcome to the league, Los Angeles' Memorial Coliseum will be the host of this year's Urquhart Cup. Next year's host was decided to be Montreal's Stade Centre-Ville, hosting it for the first time since 1954.

 

Chicago @ Boston, at Los Angeles, CA

The Crusaders will attempt to win back-to-back for the first time in their history, but the high-flying Boston Wolfhounds will be in their way, and will not go down without a fight till the end. The Hounds are a top-heavy team, but still have great skill on defense, while the Crusaders are an all-around team with no superstars in any position. Expect some rough play, since these players are fighting for their dream. This should go down as a classic for whoever wins.

Prediction: Boston will stop the Crusaders' hot playoff streak with a tight 33-31 victory.

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Not the matchup I expected, but it should still be a great game. I personally feel that the Hounds will win, but when the Crusaders bring their game, they're virtually unstoppable. We'll see what happens.

 

Any C&C on the series is still appreciated!

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We're gonna be treated to a gorgeous game if they both wear their regular jerseys.

Let's go Hounds bring the Cup back to Boston!

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1962 Urquhart Cup Final

Date: September 22, 1962

Location: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA

Weather: 70°F (21°C), Light Air

Attendance: 99,563

 

Despite the two teams competing in the 16th Urquhart Cup being a combined 4000 miles away from LA, the Coliseum was full and buzzing prior to the game. Most of the crowd consisted of Guardians supporters of neutrals, but there were still supporter groups for both teams at their respective ends.

 

Chicago made their presence felt early, winning the jump-ball and testing John Portelli early. After a mad scramble in front, Bud Mahoney would hit in the rebound, breaking the ice and giving Chicago the early one-goal lead. Not long after, Mahoney would extend the lead by kicking a point. Boston would started getting more of the ball in the following minutes, and Vinnie McClelland would get Boston's first chance of the game 5 minutes in. Unfortunately for the Hounds, Chicago goalkeeper Joe Register stood tall, deflecting it past the pointline. The Crusaders would control the ball for most of the remainder of the quarter, but they couldn't generate good chances. Andy Bonsaigh and Elvin Narvaez would both manage to score points before the end of the quarter, but that would be all Chicago's offense could muster as they led by 6 after the first 21 minutes.

After 1: Boston 1, Chicago 7

 

Boston would get the chances to start the second, but couldn't put them away. Within the first 4 minutes, Len Donaldson and McClelland would both have good looks, but Register stood tall, putting the shots aside for points instead. A little later, Mahoney would continue being dominant up front by potting his second of the game. Less than two minutes later, the onslaught started, with John Hoggard punching one in, and Bonsaigh extending the lead to 16 soon after. Howard Tremble would have another great chance to give Boston some momentum, but he couldn't get any luck as his shot deflected off the post and past the pointline. There was a period of slow play, then Mahoney completed his hat-trick with a great kick from 15 yards out. Within the final 30 seconds, the Hounds would finally get a stroke of luck after a botched clearing attempt by Michael Freeman landed right in the hands of Ridley Robinson. He would quickly kick the ball, catching Register off guard and getting Boston the hope they needed heading into the second half.

At the half: Boston 8, Chicago 23

 

Boston looked like a different team in the second half, controlling the ball for the first part of the quarter and getting chances, but Register wasn't allowing anything get past him, even points. After one save, the Crusaders would get the ball and run all the way downfield for a chance, which was finished by Hoggard, putting Chicago's lead back at 19 points. Len Donaldson would get the Hounds their first point of the quarter, but at this point, Boston needed a goal if they wanted any chance to win. Fortunately for them, they got it 6 minutes later, when Tremble converted a penalty to get the lead down to 14. The Hounds would try to get more chances, but Chicago would play a tight defense for the remainder of the quarter, not letting anything else past them. The Crusaders would have two great chances to put the game almost out of reach, but a whiffed shot and great save by Portelli made sure that Boston still had a chance heading into the final quarter, down 16 with 21 minutes to go.

After 3: Boston 13, Chicago 29

 

Chicago started the final quarter almost perfectly, with Bonsaigh finding Hoggard all alone in great position to score, but Portelli saved the initial shot, and Mahoney put the rebound just wide. The Hounds took advantage of the situation, getting the ball quickly downfield to Tremble, who kicked a bullet that Register had no chance on, getting to within 13 points. Both defenses were tight for the next 10 minutes, rendering no score and barely any chances for both teams. Finally, Donaldson would break through for Boston, finishing with a chip shot and getting them within 9. Unfortunately for Boston, the Crusaders appeared kill all the momentum they had when Mahoney took the jump-ball and never looked back, kicking it past Portelli and putting Chicago back up by 13. Amazingly, the Hounds didn't seem fazed by this, and they won the jump-ball, brought it downfield, and gave it to McClelland, who buried it, making it a 9-point game once again with 9 minutes to go. However, the Chicago defense would be tight to finish the game, not letting the Hounds get any more points, and giving the Crusaders their fourth Urquhart Cup victory and first back-to-back title in franchise history.

Final Score: Boston 25, Chicago 34 

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Final Bracket:

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For the second straight year, Bud Mahoney took home the Urquhart Cup MVP award, for his 4 goals in the game. "Give Boston credit. They had a strong defense that was tough to beat, but we were able to get past them and take it home" we said after the game.

 

In the annual commisioner's post-game conference, Thomas Urquhart talked about the league's financial situation. "I am pleased to announce that the addition of our two newest teams has brought in record profits. Professional Markball is going strong, and I am sure it will continue to grow over the coming years."

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I'll admit that coming into the 60's, I expected the Crusaders to be a fringe playoff team, not back-to-back champions. It'll be cool to see how they do next year.

 

Since school's starting up again soon, posts are gonna start to have more time between them as I shift my focus. I'll try to have the offseason post up tomorrow.

 

Once again, any feedback on this series is appreciated!

 

 

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1962 NAML Offseason

 

More Notable Retirements as NAML ushers in New Era

Even after all the notable retirements from the 1962 offseason, 1963 saw even more players hang up their cleats for the last time. 'Keepers scoring phenom Arnold Lejoscasa, Toronto forward Theo Krakowski, and Bandits MVP defenseman Harry Keener were among the players who retired during the offseason. Lejoscasa retired as the NAML's leading goalscorer, with 533 goals, after spending all 13 years of his career with St. Louis. Krakowski is Toronto's all-time leading goalscorer, and will be a huge blow to the Nats. Harry Keener is a 2-time Chester Harland Award winner, as well as Urquhart Cup MVP, and is recognized as the greatest defenseman to play in the NAML.

 

Three teams make jersey changes

The Milwaukee Dragons, Michigan Bandits, and Chicago Crusaders all changed up their jersey rotation during the summer, first with the Dragons switching their home and away jerseys. The Black jersey is now primarily going to be used at home, while the yellow will be worn when necessary on the road.

 

In Michigan, the Bandits tweaked their away jersey, adding the sock stripes to the chest, surrounding the logo. Other than that, the jersey remains the same as it did before.

 

In Chicago, the two-time defending champion Crusaders surprisingly ditched the powder blue they had been wearing since 1951, in favour of a blue jersey with a white yoke. The move was met with some criticism, especially from supporters who loved the powder blue cross jersey.

pTvevs4.png

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Even with school starting up again, I should have time to get the 1963 season post in by the weekend.

 

Any C&C on this series is appreciated.

 

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Sorry for the inactivity lately, I haven't forgot about this, I just I haven't had much time to work on this with school and other events being my main focus right now. On the bright side, I have the 1963 regular season all simulated, just need to get the write-up done, so hopefully I can have the whole thing up sometime this week. Sorry for the inactivity once again, Hopefully I can get this rolling again soon.

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1963 NAML Season

The NAML kicked off its 17th season of operation with two tripleheaders on the first Saturday and Sunday of March 1963. The first day saw the Paulies edge Boston 43-41, Milwaukee demolish the 'Keepers 51-21 and Los Angeles outlast the Knights 47-39. The second day would see the Warriors defeat the Walleye in a 57-46 barnburner, Chicago defeat Philly 48-39, and Toronto upset the Bandits 52-44.

 

In the West, the Crusaders and Bandits were once again expected to fight to the end for first place, but surprisingly, two other teams would come seemingly out of nowhere and make things tough. In the end, it was a huge surprise as the Milwaukee Dragons came out on top with the best record in the league. Hugh Pettas emerged as a star in the backfield, and breakout years from the struggling forward core helped the Dragons to this unlikely success. Milwaukee finished the year 17-5. Right second in second were the Michigan Bandits. Hugh Westbrook and Daniel Thorn led their ferocious offense throughout the year, and the formerly highly-touted Dominic Abrams showed signs of improvement in the midfield. The Bandits played on another level at home, remaining unbeaten at Windy Park all year, However they weren't the best away from home, and they finished 16-6. In third and grabbing the final playoff spot was the second surprise team, the Minnesota Walleye. Calvin Black played on another level on defense, and garnered attention from all around, including former superstar Leo Edward. "He's insanely good, especially in the little things. In the coming years, I am confident he can lead Minnesota to the Urquhart Cup." Several other players performed well as the Walleye won the point differential tiebreaker against Chicago in the final week of the year, finishing 14-7-1. In Chicago the quest for a three-peat was a failure, despite an all-around great year. Bud Mahoney led the offense while Andy Bonsaigh helped stabilize the midfield, but in the end, they lost the tiebreaker against the Walleye in heartbreaking fashion, finishing with a point differential 2 points lower than Minnesota. To add insult to injury, had the Crusaders been in the Eastern Division, they would have finished in second place instead of fourth. Rounding out the west were the LA Guardians and St. Louis Gatekeepers. Without retired superstar Arnold Lejoscasa, the 'Keepers struggled mightily, especially a 13-game losing streak halfway through the year. heir lone bright spot was midfielder John Peterson, who emerged as the team's leader in the transition year St. Louis finished 4-17-1. In LA, the Guardians appeared to go under a sophomore jinx as they lost several winnable and close games throughout the year. Lucky breaks were few and far in between as LA only managed three wins all year, finishing with a 3-18-1 record and 11 points.

 

In the East, the Warriors established themselves as a powerhouse again, with Lawrence Sanderson and Jim Gardenar leading a high-powered offense all year long. Sanderson played exceptionally well for his age, scoring 23, and Gardenar's first full year was stellar as he scored 25 and set up countless other goals. His play was so impressive that he won the Chester Harland Award at 18, the youngest ever to do so. Washington finished at 15-7. In second were the pesky Toronto Nationals, who despite being predicted to fall out of the eastern playoff picture, continued playing well without Theo Krakowski. James Jogi and Ciril Vlasic were the team's leaders, helping guide and teach the rest of the relatively young Nats team. Good, consistent play by Toronto all year helped them get home-field advantage in round one, finishing at 13-9. Rounding out the eastern playoff teams were the surprising Montreal Évêques. Denis De Félix patrolled the midfield as before, but Nicolas Bartosh had a career year up front, leading the league in goals, with 48. Another bright spot was goalkeeper Marcel Marille, who made several great saves throughout the year. Montreal finished with a 10-11-1 record. In fourth place were the Philadelphia Falcons, who despite having one of the league's best offences, couldn't get things together on defense. Jeremy Markson and Patrick MacKenzie both played well, but at the back, they couldn't get things together. Philly was the only team that ranked in the top 5 for points scored and points against, leading to many high-scoring matches. The Falcons finished at 9-13. In fifth were the reigning eastern champions, the Boston Wolfhounds. It was one of those years for Boston where almost everything went wrong and little went right. Howard Tremble, RIdley Robinson, and Vinnie McClelland all missed significant times with injuries, and the Hounds' accuracy percentage was worst in the league. Things were looking hopeful however, as when the Hounds were healthy, their team play was a huge weapon. The Hounds finished with a 7-14-1 record. Once again, in last place were the New York Knights. It was a typical year for them, not being able to put things together during the year and losing games as a result. Owner George Small, known for his crazy actions, made the Knights the first professional North American team in history to have two head coaches, hiring Audley Quincy to lead the team along with Sid Belmont. The move didn't seem to make much of a difference as the Knights finished at 7-15-0.

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The 1963 NAML Awards were given to:

Chester Harland Award (League MVP): Jim Gardenar, WF, WAS

Leading Goalkicker Award: Nicolas Bartosh, FF, MTL (48 goals)

Benjamin Legrand Award (Best Goalkeeper): Rudy Nicholas, MIC

 

Rivalry Cup Winners:

Colonial Trophy: Philadelphia (Split series with Washington, outscored them 68-65)

St. Laurent Cup: Toronto (Won both games against Montreal)

I-94 Series: Milwaukee (won both games against Chicago)

 

 

Notable Events:

  • Boston would win the consolation series by defeating Chicago in the final.
  • For the first time in league history, both teams that played in the previous Urquhart Cup missed the playoffs the following year.
  • Philadelphia became the first team in 11 years to score 60+ points against Toronto in a 61-25 blowout.
  • Surprisingly, the Guardians were one of only two teams that defeated the Dragons in Milwaukee.

Playoff Preview:

(W2) Michigan Bandits vs (W3) Minnesota Walleye

Previous Playoff Game: N/A

This is a matchup of two very different teams, the perennial contender Bandits taking on the playoff newcomer Walleye. Michigan's offense is sure to be high-flying, but in their way in budding superstar Calvin Black, who should shine in the spotlight. The one problem for Minnesota is that if Michigan can find a way past Black, it will be incredibly tough for the Walleye to counter with their offense. This will be very interesting to watch.

Prediction: The Walleye will win their postseason debut, 37-25.

 

(E2) Toronto Nationals vs (E3) Montreal Évêques

Previous Playoff Game: N/A

A rivalry cup matchup in the playoffs is always fun, and this is no different. These two teams have never faced each other in the postseason before, so lots is up for grabs on the field. James Jogi and Ciril Vlasic will have 60,000 strong behind them, but it may not be enough to get past Denis De Félix and Nicolas Bartosh. The one things for sure in this game is that the winner will have lots of momentum heading into the semifinals.

Prediction: The Nats will continue being pesky and advance with a 40-28 win.

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So there's the 1963 season finally up, hopefully the playoff post will be up quicker than the time between these last two posts. The West was really surprising, especially seeing Chicago and Boston both miss out. I'm really interested to see how the Walleye fare in their playoff debut as well against a strong team like Michigan.

 

Any feedback on this is appreciated!

 

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Congrats Milwaukee on the one seed, hopefully this isn’t much of a fluke and you guys prove to the league you guys are a worthy franchise. Also go walleye, upset everyone!

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1963 NAML Playoffs

First Round

 

(W2) Michigan Bandits vs (W3) Minnesota Walleye

Windy Park was loud as players from both the Bandits and Walleye took the field for the first game of the 1963 playoffs. Michigan would use the crowd to their advantage right away, winning the opening bounce and kicking a goal on the first rush of the game only 24 seconds in. After the poor start, the Walleye defense would strengthen up and looked good until Daniel Thorn scored twice in 2 minutes halfway through. Minnesota would get some chances near the end of the quarter, but only managed two points before time expired, trailing 13-2. Michigan continued their offensive domination in the second, with Hugh Westbrook potting one two minutes in. Fortunately for the Walleye, they would finally be able to beat Rudy Nicholas 7 minutes later when Bill Forcier buried a rebound top corner. Less than a minute later, Clyde Stephens would squeak one through, putting Minnesota within two goals. the Bandits would get a point, but Chris Garafalo would kick another for the Walleye, and they the momentum heading into the second half, with the score being 18-14 for Michigan. Early on in the third quarter, Stephens had a glorious chance to tie it, but a reaction save from Nicholas would score a point instead. The rest of the quarter saw few chances for either team, and no goals. Westbrook would miss two great opportunities to increase the lead, and Dominic Adams would miss wide on a penalty. Garafalo would be denied by Nicholas, and halfway through the quarter, it was 19-16. The second part of the third would see only one chance, a corner deflection punched out by Julius Utimma at the last second. After 3, Michigan led by 4 and were looking to seal the deal for their fans. The Bandits would once again use the rocking crowd to their advantage in the early stages of the quarter, getting a goal from Westbrook. The Bandits would have more rushes, but Calvin Black did an excellent job manning the backfield for Minnesota, keeping the Bandits from getting any more points. Around halfway through the quarter, the Walleye started getting through to goal, and got a goal and point from Garafalo, getting within 3 with 9 minutes left. Play was dead until the final couple of minutes, when Forcier came out of nowhere to deflect a corner in, giving Minnesota a 1-point lead. Michigan furiously tried to respond, and Thorn had a great chance to win the game with 20 seconds left, but Utimma sort of saved the day, deflecting it past the pointline as time expired, Ending the match in a draw. Everyone was shocked, including commentator Rufus Low. "This is unbelievable! For the second time in NAML history, there has been a draw in the playoffs!" The match was the first playoff draw in 11 years, when the Nationals and Warriors drew their semifinal match. The league announced that a rematch would be held two days later, at Windy Park.

 

(E2) Toronto Nationals vs (E3) Montreal Évêques

The other first round match started off on an odd note as word of the draw between the Bandits and Walleye crept its way into Canada's Field. It didn't seem to effect the players at all, as the rivalry game was fast-paced from the start. James Jogi kicked as early point for Toronto, but the Paulies came right back and Nicolas Bartosh would beat Andy Kappert a minute later. The back-and-forth action continued as the Stallions would get another great chance, but only came back with a point. Toronto would catch a break a few minutes later when a weak Ciril Vlasic shot was fobbled by Marcel Marille and converted for a goal. Jogi would score soon after, and the rest of the quarter saw no further chances as Toronto led 10-4 after 1. Montreal dominated the first half of the second quarter, getting 4 great chances to take a lead and run. Unfortunately, they missed all four times, and were still down by 2 11 minutes in. There would be no further scoring until 4 minutes remaining, when Sam Davicko potted one for Toronto, putting them up by 6. The Paulies would storm back for all the remaining time, and managed to get to within a point by halftime, down 14-13. The first four minutes of the third quarter were insane, with the Stallions first getting a goal and point from Jogi, but the Paulies would come back with a goal and point of their own, from Bartosh. This fast-play would see several shoving matches and a few punches thrown, but no ejections. 5 minutes later, Denis De Félix kicked a point, tying the game. Soon after, Vlasic scored to retake the lead, but Mark Nixon replied right after for Montreal, tying it back up. Toronto ended the quarter with a point and goal from Nixon, giving them a 28-23 lead heading into the final quarter. In the fourth, the Paulies came flying out of the gates, getting a quick point, then 3 consecutive goals from Bartosh, De Félix and Nixon, and taking an 8-point lead. Toronto would then have a period of good play, getting a goal from Jogi, three points, and another goal and point from Vlasic ro retake the lead with 8 minutes to go. Nixon would score to tie the game at 40, and for a period, there would be no score. Tensions would increase near the end, and shoving matches were occuring all over the field. Eventually, the Nats would have a corner, and the kick from Jogi went right to Davicko, whose shot was saved by Marille, but deflected past the pointline. The Paulies couldn't recover, and Toronto would move on with a 41-40 victory. Right after, the game was labelled as a classic by several reporters.

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(W2) Michigan Bandits vs (W3) Minnesota Walleye (Replay)

Two days after the draw, both the Bandits and Walleye returned to Windy Park for the replay. Just like the first game, the Bandits got a great chance on the first rush of the game, put only got a point out of it. 2 minute later, the Walleye would get two points in quick succession, taking a 2-1 lead. Both teams had several chances for the rest of the quarter, including each team having a penalty awarded to them, but despite this, there would be no more scoring in the quarter as the Walleye led after a quarter for the first time. In the second, there were no real chances until 11 minutes in, when another Walleye penalty was deflected for a point by Nicolas. Right after, Garafalo would miss a chance and got yet another point for Minnesota. Michigan would then get some chances, but they too followed the motif, missing both of them and getting points instead. In the dying minutes, Forcier would have a breakaway for Minnesota, but he missed yet again, making it 5-3 with 2 minutes until halftime. In the final minutes, Thorn finally broke the ice, slotting home a perfect shot into the bottom corner, giving the Bandits a 7-5 lead at the half. In the third, both teams offenses exploded. It all started with both teams exchanging points within the first minute. Westbrook would then score for the Bandits 4 minutes in. The Walleye would kick their 7th(!) consecutive point of the game, and Michigan made them pay with two quick goals, making it 20-7. 8 minutes into the quarter, the Walleye would finally kick their opening goal, with Forcier converting a corner. The relief of finally scoring seemed to ignite the Minnesota offense, as they themselves scored twice more in quick succession, getting within 1. However, after this, the Bandits defense tightened up, allowing their forwards to get good chances. Michigan scored a goal and 4 more points before the end of the third, while the Walleye only managed one more point from Garafalo. After 3, the Bandits led 28-20. The 36 combined points between the two teams that quarter tied the NAML record, originally set in 1953. In the fourth, it looked like both teams had used up all their scoring ability, as all the players looked sluggish trying to create and stop rushes. Eventually, Forcier scored for Minnesota, putting them within a goal. The Walleye tried to get another goal to tie the game again, but the tight Bandits defense prevented from from getting any more good chances. with 5 minutes left in the quarter, Thorn would kick a point, effectively sealing the deal for Michigan. There would be no more scoring in the quarter, and the Bandits advanced to Milwaukee to take on the Dragons.

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Semifinals

(W1) Milwaukee Dragons vs (W2) Michigan Bandits

"Arnold Shannon Stadium is as loud as ever for the Dragons tonight!" said Gerald Styles on ABC prior to the first semifinal, and he was right. The Stadium was expected to be at 130% capacity as Dragons supporters hoped to the their idols advance to their first Urquhart Cup. Unfortunately, the Dragons didn't have a great start, Just like their 2 prior games, the Bandits would kick a point on their first rush of the game, quickly silencing the 70,000 strong Milwaukee supporters. 4 minutes later, Westbrook kicked a goal, making it 5-0. This didn't seem to faze the Dragons so much as ignite them, because for the next 7 minutes, the Bandits had almost no time possessing the ball. Thomas Vetulonia scored twice and Patrick York once as the Dragons took a commanding 12-5 lead. The Bandits had no response, and the teams exchanged points to end the quarter. Milwaukee led after 1 13-6, to the delight of their supporters. In the second, there was no scoring until almost 10 minutes in, when Vetulonia kicked a point for the Dragons. From that point on, it was the opposite of the first, as Michigan controlled the ball, and got some luck to go with it, as both Dominic Abrams and Thorn scored goals after hitting the post. The Dragons desperately tried to get just one rush, but the Bandits wouldn't budge. Their insane possession continued to pay off, as Westbrook would score twice to close out the second, once again silencing Arnold Shannon Stadium at the half. Michigan would lead 22-14, and had all the momentum in their favour heading into the third. In the third quarter, Milwaukee's only goal was to slow down the Bandit offense. It appeared to work, but they also couldn't capitalize offensively, so play was slow for the first part of the quarter. Halfway through, Michigan would get the first score of the quarter, a point from Thorn. Play was even slower after that, and the crowd started to grow restless. Suddenly, York had the perfect chance to potentially change the game, but Nicolas just got a fingertip to the ball, deflecting it out of play. In the final minute, Westbrook would score once again, making the score 27-14 for the Bandits. The atmosphere turned tense, but there was still a belief amongst Dragons supporters that they could pull off the victory. 5 minutes into the final quarter, the Dragons would get the spark they needed, first getting a point from Darrell Colen, then a goal from Vetulonia, the Dragons' first major since halfway through the first quarter. Michigan responded with a goal of their own, but Milwaukee wasn't backing down, as York scored right after, then kicked a point, putting the Dragons within 7. In the last couple of minutes, The Dragons couldn't get any good chances, and two points by Abrams would seal the W for Michigan, as they won the game 33-24, advancing to their 6th Urquhart Cup with a chance to win it all for the first time in 11 years.

 

(E1) Washington Warriors vs (E2) Toronto Nationals

The second semifinal had a similar start to the first one, with the away team starting strong despite a loud crowd. There was no score for the first nine minutes, until Jogi kicked the opening point for the Nats. Two minutes later, he would kick a goal, and President's Park was near silent. With 6 minutes to go, Vlasic would kick a perfect shot past Gerard Watro, making it 9-0 Toronto, and they weren't done yet, as he unleashed another laser past Watro less than a minute later. The Warriors went to the sideline to a chorus of boos, as the fans voiced their disappointment in their team's performance. Unfortunately, this didn't seem to do much to start the second, as Davicko kicked a point in the first minute. There was a long period of dead-ball play, then Jogi kicked another goal to make it 18-0, and Vlasic made it 19-0 with another point. Disgusted by his team's performance, coach Clarence Hummel made a rare goalie change, showing the Warriors that they needed to step up their game. Finally, the message seemed to get through. 18-year old MVP Jim Gardenar would walk past the Stallion defense, and kicked the Warriors first point 35 minutes into the game. Not long after, he would kick a goal, and the crowd was starting to get back into the game. The quarter finished with teams exchanging points, and the Nats looked in control with a 20-6 lead at halftime. Lawrence Sanderson kicked an early point to start the third, and despite a Toronto point soon after, the Warriors would come right back and a Gardenar shot was deflected for a point. Despite only having 8 points, the Warriors were finding their groove and getting better with each minute passing. 10 minutes in, Cliff Jegou would get the Warriors within three goals by kicking one past Kappert, and Sanderson followed it up with another point, making it 21-13. Gardenar kicked another point, and with 4 minutes to go, Arnold Taylor would get Washington within three points. On the ensuing jump-ball, Jegou took the ball into the penalty area, and was fouled hard, giving him a penalty and a chance to give Washington the lead after previously being down by as many as 19 points. He buried his opportunity, and Gardenar jumped onto his back in celebration. A picture of the moment was taken, and it was immediately labeled as iconic. The fourth quarter was surprisingly slow, with no real chances happening until Jogi was awarded a penalty after a high tackle in the area. The shot appeared to be going in, but substitute goalie Raymond Forrest would make the save, and was given a standing ovation for his heroics. around 9 minutes in, Gardenar had a good look at the net, but his shot missed wide, making it 23-21. in the final 4 minutes, Vlasic attempted to volley a corner kick, but the shot would miss wide, and the score was 23-22. Despite some desperate attempts to get anything past Forrest, they weren't able to do it. As time expired, President's park erupted in cheering as the Warriors had completed one of the largest playoff comeback victories in NAML history, and advanced to their first Urquhart Cup since 1957.

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Urquhart Cup Final Preview:

This year's championship game was given to Montreal's Stade Centre-Ville. The league announced that next year's game would be awarded to Canada's Field, home of the Nationals.

 

Washington Michigan, at Montreal, QC

Previous Playoff Game: 1959 Semifinals

Result: Michigan 29-28 Washington

Two of the teams with the longest Cup droughts taking each other on will be fun to watch. Both teams are top-heavy, and have average defense cores, so it should be an even game. Both times these two teams played each other, the games were decided by 2 points. Jim Gardenar will be very interesting to watch, as it will be his first time in the biggest spotlight of all, the Urquhart Cup.

Prediction: Michigan will win it all for the first time since 1952 with a 37-35 victory.

 

 

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I have to admit that this was one of the craziest playoffs I've simulated. No game was won by more than 9 points, and 2 games were decided by 1 point. I honestly think any team could've made it to the Urquhart Cup. I'm saying Michigan will win here, but with Gardenar, Washington also has a great chance to win it all as well.

 

I'll try to have the final up sometime this week, I'm sure it will be a great one.

 

Any C&C is welcome!

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