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Minnesota Amateur Hockey League - 1947/48 Off Season

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17 hours ago, Goran The Man said:

Do the Twin Cities and Iron Range Hockey Leagues play each other in inter-league games and other opponents (since the W-L-T tends to add up for both leagues combined and not separately - with a total record of 169-165-26 (taking 2 wins away from Virginia to ensure each team has played 24 games))?

 

Teams only play other teams in their league. The only cross league competitions are between the winners of each league in the finals.

 

17 hours ago, Goran The Man said:

there is a small error for the Virginia Royals' W-L-T record, since it showed them playing 26 games as opposed to 24 for the rest of the league. 

 

I must have made a mistake with Virginia, every team is only supposed to play 24 games in both leagues, sorry about that.

 

17 hours ago, Goran The Man said:

It is interesting how Duluth does not have multiple hockey teams but Eveleth does, considering Duluth's much larger population. The small Iron Range town designs are still excellent - Chisholm just absorb the fire by naming the team after it! Hibbing's design is excellent - lovely!

 

It's funny you mention that, I'll just say that in a few years there will be more than one... And thank you for the kind words about the other teams.

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Prior to the 1922/23 season the Eveleth Rangers and Soudan Miners adjusted their uniforms, neither team changed logos. The Rangers just removed their E logo from the front and replaced it with the player numbers so it'd be easier for people to identify players. The Miners just moved their chest stripe down to the bottom of the jersey and shrunk their crest and put it on the upper left side of the chest. Their reasoning was "We wanted to put the team crest over our hearts as a reminder to ourselves who we are playing for. We are playing for the guys next to us, and we thought having the logo over our hearts would be a good way to show this."

 

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The 1922/23 season came and went and there were some familiar faces at the top... and bottom. The Hornets and Mavericks won their leagues back to back seasons, this is the first time that has happened in the leagues history. The Eveleth Rangers squeezed their way back into the playoffs, and the Victorias clinched a playoff birth after a 4 year absence.

 

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The playoffs came and the top 2 teams in the Twin Cities proved why they finished so high in the league, winning their opening series in 2-0 sweeps. Things were a lot closer in the Iron Range, but the top 2 seeds came out on top none the less. In the second round, the Millers continued to play their brand of physical hockey, dominating the Mavericks and sweeping them to advance to yet another finals appearance. The two teams next to Lake Superior battled one another in the Iron Range finals, and the Broncos knocked off the Hornets advancing to the finals for the second year in a row.

 

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The Millers had home ice advantage due to having a better regular season record since both teams were 2 seeds.

Game 1: The Broncos jumped out to a 1 goal lead but quickly got overpowered by the Millers heavy hitting style of play. The Millers would go on to score 3 unanswered and win despite a late goal by the Broncos.

Game 2: The Millers came out hitting and knocked Cloquet's star forward John Nelson out of the game on a clean, open ice collision. The Broncos lost the ability to keep up and lost the game 4-1.

Game 3: Still without Nelson, the Broncos simply didn't have the firepower to match Minneapolis. The Millers won the game 2-0 and clinched their first Kellogg Cup!  The Millers are the first team to go through the entire playoffs without losing a single game.

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The Millers Kellogg Cup win is their first after making the playoffs all 8 years, including 4 trips to the finals.

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Coming into the 1923/24 season there were 2 more teams set to join. Rather than join the Iron Range league, they convinced the Duluth Hornets and Cloquet Broncos to leave and create their own league as Duluth and Cloquet had a long trip for most away games. Thus the Lake Superior Hockey League was born, with the Cloquet Broncos, Duluth Hornets, Duluth Voyageurs, and Superior Lakers being the founding teams.

 

The Duluth Voyageurs are named after the french fur traders that set up a trading post in the city and helped make it the port city it has become. Their colors are blue, red and white; the colors of the french flag, and their logo is a fleur de lis. The Voyageurs are often referred to by locals as "le bleu" due to the color of their uniforms as well as the french history of the area. The Superior Lakers name is pretty straight forward, their colors are blue and white with black accents. The blue is supposed to represent Lake Superior. The Lakers are the first team in the Minnesota Amateur Hockey League to be from another state, being from Wisconsin.

 

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The regular season came to an end and not much changed. The Royals stayed atop the Iron Range, the Broncos and Hornets continued to be dominant in their new league, and the only change in the Cities was the Millers and Vulcans swapping places. Due to there now being 3 leagues the playoffs will be altered quite a bit with each team still sending 4 teams (yes I know that means all the teams in the Superior League will automatically advance) making it a 12 team playoff.

 

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The new playoff format works as follows:

  • Top seeded teams from each league get first round byes
  • The team with the best regular season record who did not finish first in their league will get the 4th bye
  • The first 2 rounds are divided so 3 out of the 4 brackets are all teams from the same league
  • The fourth or "Wildcard" bracket is made up of the team with the best record that didn't win their league and the third place teams from the other two leagues.
  • The league with the top seeded team with the worst record is in the same side of the bracket as the wildcards, but they will home ice in the semi finals
  • The league with the top seeded team with the best record will be at the top of the bracket and have home ice advantage in the semi finals
  • The first round is single elimination
  • Second and third rounds are both best of 3 series
  • The Finals are still best of 5

The playoffs came around and for the first time ever teams from different leagues can play each other in a game other than the finals. The knockout round had no surprises with the higher seed winning every time. There were a couple upsets in the second round however, with the Millers knocking out the Black Bears, and the Vulcans taking down the heavy favorites from South St. Paul. In the semi finals the Virginia Royals cruised past the Vulcans to advance to the finals. The Millers continued to upset as they beat the Cloquet Broncos in a rematch of last years final. Will the Royals be the kings of the league, or will the Millers go back to back?

 

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I hope the new format makes sense, feedback is appreciated.

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Game 1: The Royals came out with a fire under them in game one and were just too much for the Millers defense to handle, Virginia put up 4 and won game one.

Game 2: The second game looked as if it was going to be just lake the first when the Royals were up 2-0 after the first period. Millers coach Bobby Smith gave the team a harsh talking to between periods, rumor has it he was so enraged with his teams play he actually broke a stick over his knee, whatever he said/did it worked as his men completed the comeback and took game 2.

Game 3: With the series moving to Minneapolis, the Millers hoped to build on their last comeback win; the Royals had other plans. The blue and gold held the Millers to just 11 shots on target and didn't allow a goal and taking the series lead 2-1.

Game 4: The Royals could almost taste victory before the game even began, the team was ready in uniform 30 minutes before the refs even showed up. They were ready to go, and go they did, scoring early and often. They buried the Millers who just couldn't keep up with the onslaught of offence the Royals were delivering. And just like that the Virginia Royals are your 1924 Kellogg Cup Champions! This is their first Kellogg Cup victory.

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There were no changes to any teams before the season so lets just jump into things. The regular season ended with a few story lines. In the Iron Range, the Black Bears reminded everyone of the teams that went back to back as they dominated the regular season, finishing above the defending champs. In the Lake Superior League, the Voyageurs came out much better than in their rookie season, finishing above their big brothers. And finally, down in the Cities the Vulcans did their best Ely impersonation and came out hard, winning their league. 

 

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The playoffs arrived and there were quite a few upsets.

Knockout Round:

  • The Superior Lakers upset the Voyageurs to advance to the second round.
  • The reigning champs advance past the lowly Greyhounds.
  • Ever-dominant Minneapolis easily advances past the Victorias.
  • The Duluth Hornets beat the Rangers in the wildcard bracket

Second Round:

  • The Lakers Cinderella run continues as they defeat the powerful Broncos 2 games to 1.
  • The Black Bears are able to fight off the champs and advance to the semi finals.
  • The Vulcans continued their excellent season by sweeping the rival Millers.
  • South St. Paul knocks out the Hornets and advances to the semi finals yet again.

Semi Finals:

  • The Ely Black Bears end the incredible run from the Lakers and advance to the finals.
  • A very hard fought series sees the Vulcans getting the better of the Mavericks 2-1.

The finals will feature two very familiar teams, will the Black Bears win their third Kellogg Cup or will the Vulcans stay hot and win their second?

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Game 1: The Black Bears veteran core stayed calm under the pressure of game one and led the team to an easy 4-1 victory.

Game 2: Ely continued to roll, shutting down Tscheda and the Vulcans and winning game 2.

Game 3: Feeling their shot at a championship slip, the Vulcans gave it everything they had and were able to squeak out a 4-3 win and stay alive.\

Game 4: The Vulcans fed off the momentum from their previous win and yet again squeaked out a win against the Black Bears.

Game 5: With the series back in Ely, the city was buzzing and hoping for another Cup win. The sell out crowd was not let down as their Black Bears dominated the game from start to finish, winning the game 2-1 as well as their third Kellogg Cup!

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Before the 1925/26 season only one team made adjustments to their look. The Chisholm Flames dropped their text only "logo" for a flaming C. (This was hard for me, trying to make a flaming C that wasn't like Calgary, but I think it turned out pretty good). They also added a maroon jersey to match their gold, as well as adjusting the striping to fit the new logo.

 

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Let me know what you think, CC is appreciated.

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After the 1925/26 season there were a couple of surprises, but overall things stayed mostly the same. There were no changes at all in the Lake Superior League. In the Iron Range, the story was all about the surprise run from the Reds, a team who has been a bottom dweller the last few years but jumped to finish third in the league this season. Down in the Cities there wasn't much that changed, the main takeaways would be the rise of a young Victorias teams, and the decline of the Mighty Millers.

 

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Knockout Round:

  • The playoff experience of the Rangers helped them win and advance against a young Reds team.
  • The Mavericks easily defeat the aging Millers on their way to playing the hated Vulcans.
  • The Voyageurs learned from last year and didn't allow back to back upsets from Superior.
  • An up and coming Victorias team beat the Hornets in the wildcard bracket.

Second Round:

  • Ely looks determined to go back to back yet again as they beat the Rangers 2 games to 1.
  • The Vulcans easily sweep the South St. Paul Mavericks to meet Ely in the next round in a rematch of last years finals.
  • Cloquet shows they are a force to be dealt with as they sweep Duluth.
  • Virginia leans on their experience and edges out a series win against the St. Paul Victorias.

Semi Finals:

  • The Ely Black Bears remind the Vulcans why they won last year by completely dominating the series and advancing to another finals.
  • The Cloquet Broncos keep proving they are the real deal after beating the Royals, they now have a date with Ely in the Kellogg Cup Finals.

The finals will feature the defending champs from Ely, and the challengers from Cloquet. Will the Black Bears go back to back yet again, or will the Broncos get their first Kellogg Cup?

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Game 1: Cloquet came out aggressive, firing everything on net. This tactic worked as they won the game 3-2 on the road.

Game 2: Ely needed to win this game to stay alive, and they did just that. Scoring the one goal of the game 6 minutes into the second period and playing shut down D allowed the Black Bears to tie the series up and 1 apiece.

Game 3: At home in front of a packed house, the Broncos overwhelmed Ely with their offensive attack, putting up 4 goals to take back the series lead.

Game 4: The atmosphere for game 4 was crazy, you could feel how much Bronco fans wanted the cup. Luckily for them their boys did just that. Winning the game 2-0 and clinching their first Kellogg Cup on home ice.

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That Chisholm uniform is a piece of beauty! I can see it even surviving to the present-day with that design!

And in the first round of the playoffs, that Eveleth derby would have been significant!

Poor Soudan and Stillwater - they can't catch a break with so many disappointing and uncompetitive seasons...

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23 hours ago, Goran The Man said:

That Chisholm uniform is a piece of beauty! I can see it even surviving to the present-day with that design!

 

The Flames are a team that will likely stay mostly the same throughout this history, but will adjust their look slightly throughout

 

23 hours ago, Goran The Man said:

And in the first round of the playoffs, that Eveleth derby would have been significant!

 

With the Rangers becoming a force yet again, along with a strong young core of Reds, I would expect a few more meetings between these two to increase the rivalry.

 

23 hours ago, Goran The Man said:

Poor Soudan and Stillwater - they can't catch a break with so many disappointing and uncompetitive seasons...

 

I wish I could say that there is a light at the end of the tunnel for both teams, but that just isn't the case. The Miners have a chance at improving in the Iron Range in the next few years with the mining industry improving in Soudan, it also helps that safety regulations will be getting better so less players will be lost to work related injuries. However, the Miners are not likely to become a dominant team just because of how small the team is compared to some of the other teams in their league. The Athletics on the other hand, are not likely to improve at all. Being the smallest city in the Twin Cities Hockey League, with a steeply declining population, the A's are likely to be a bottom dweller for quite a while.

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