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Pan-American Hockey League: 1999-2000 Final Season

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The 1997-98 PAHL season had 26 teams playing 82 games each. The Kalamazoo Checkers and Markham Tigers were tied at 48-22-11 going into the final game of the season in which they were facing off. The Checkers shut out the Tigers and finished the season with the best record in the league.
The 1998 payoffs featured some exciting matchups and close series. In the Barker Division, both matchups required all seven games with the Markham Tigers beating the Windsor Ambassadors and the Gatineau Quebecois beating the Kingston Chiefs. The Quebecois went on to win the division beating the Tigers in five.
In the Thompson Division, the Bangor Bruins edged the Lansing Governors in seven and the Milwaukee Ales upset the Kalamazoo Checkers in five. The Bruins swept the Ales to win the division.
In the Roberts Division, the Austin Texans beat the San Diego Sharks in seven and the Miami Flamingos beat the Las Vegas Jacks in five. The Texans would go on to win the division in a hard-fought seven game series.
In the Washburn Division, the Regina Oilers upset the Sacramento Pines in five and the Portland Raptors edged the Kansas City Scouts in seven. The Raptors won the next round in five.
The conference finals were very competitive with the Western Conference going six games with the Texans eliminating the Raptors, and the Eastern Conference going seven with the Quebecois downing the Bruins. The 1998 Leif Erikson Cup was less competitive though with the Texans sweeping the Quebecois. It was their third Leif Erikson Cup.
The PAHL announced it would be adding another team for the 1998-99 season to be the minor-league affiliate of the NHL's expansion team.
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Uniforms:

In uniform news, the Fargo Flames unveiled new uniforms, the Huntsville Apollos changed to match their parent club, the Miami Flamingos went for a super modern look, and the Sacramento Pines got rid of their horrible skating tablecloths.

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Austin Texans Home Away
Bangor Bruins Home Away
Brooklyn Americans Home Away
Fargo Flames Home Away
Fort Drum Rangers Home Away
Gatineau Quebecois Home Away
Halifax Flyers Home Away
Hamilton Hammers Home Away
Huntsville Apollos Home Away
Kalamazoo Checkers Home Away
Kansas City Scouts Home Away
Kingston Chiefs Home Away
Lansing Governors Home Away

Las Vegas Jacks Home Away

Markham Tigers Home Away
Miami Flamingos Home Away
Milwaukee Ales Home Away
Minnesota Fighting Saints Home Away
New Orleans Jazz Home Away

Oklahoma Stars Home Away

Portland Raptors Home Away
Providence Reds Home Away
Regina Oilers Home Away
Sacramento Pines Home Away
San Diego Sharks Home Away
Windsor Ambassadors Home Away

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I like that the Pines decided to move the tablecloth pattern from the entire jersey to just the striping. Also, Milwaukee keeps getting closer and closer yet can't get to the Finals.

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I love everything about this series. Not much to add except that I think you missed a golden opportunity with the Jacks 90's jerseys. For a team called the Jacks, with a playing card motif, I was expecting something that REALLY went to town with the playing card theme. There's so much more to a typical Jack card that you could extend out over a whole jersey in the most obnoxious way possible. I want THAT, please.

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The 1998-99 PAHL season was the beginning of the end for the league. Although the league had just added a new team, the Cincinnati Predators, financial concerns led to the NHL looking elsewhere for its major developmental league. By the end of the season, the NHL moved its best talent into the AHL (which in this project was equivalent to the ECHL up until this point), essentially leaving the PAHL to fend for itself. A handful of teams still used the PAHL as their main farm teams which led to some teams jumping way ahead of others in the standings. The Oklahoma Stars finished with a respectable 51-19-12 record despite winning only 25 games the previous season. They finished the regular season atop the league.
The 1999 playoffs were a wild affair. In the Thompson Division, the first place Lansing Governors were swept by the Brooklyn Americans and the Kalamazoo Checkers edged the Fort Drum Rangers in seven. The Checkers would go on to win the division in five.
In the Barker Division, the Markham Tigers stunned the Hamilton Hammers beating them in four, and the Windsor Ambassadors beat the Gatineau Quebecois in six. The Tigers went on to sweep the Ambassadors.
In the Washburn Division, the Regina Oilers eliminated the Kansas City Scouts in six and the Sacramento Pines knocked out the Minnesota Fighting Saints in five. The Pines went on to beat the Oilers four games to one.
In the Roberts Division, the Oklahoma Stars beat the Las Vegas Jacks in six and the Austin Texans whooped on the San Diego Sharks beating them in five. The Texans also beat the Stars in five to win the division.
Both conference finals series were decided in five games with the Pines beating the Texans and the Checkers beating the Tigers.
The 1999 Leif Erikson Cup final was a legendary one with three of the games settled in overtime including game seven. The Kalamazoo Checkers scored late in double overtime to win their sixth Leif Erikson Cup, this time on home ice.
Because of the aforementioned financial issues, several teams ceased operations following the 1998-99 season including the Austin Texans, Halifax Flyers, Kansas City Scouts, Las Vegas Jacks, Minnesota Fighting Saints, and the New Orleans Jazz.

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Uniforms:

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Austin Texans Home Away
Bangor Bruins Home Away
Brooklyn Americans Home Away

Cincinnati Predators Home Away

Fargo Flames Home Away
Fort Drum Rangers Home Away
Gatineau Quebecois Home Away
Halifax Flyers Home Away
Hamilton Hammers Home Away
Huntsville Apollos Home Away
Kalamazoo Checkers Home Away
Kansas City Scouts Home Away
Kingston Chiefs Home Away
Lansing Governors Home Away

Las Vegas Jacks Home Away

Markham Tigers Home Away
Miami Flamingos Home Away
Milwaukee Ales Home Away
Minnesota Fighting Saints Home Away
New Orleans Jazz Home Away

Oklahoma Stars Home Away

Portland Raptors Home Away
Providence Reds Home Away
Regina Oilers Home Away
Sacramento Pines Home Away
San Diego Sharks Home Away
Windsor Ambassadors Home Away

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Let's take a look back at some of the PAHL franchises that closed their doors after the 1998-99 season.

Las Vegas Jacks

Founded: 1993

Division: Roberts

Home Arena: Thomas and Mack Center

City: Las Vegas, Nevada

NHL Affiliation: Anaheim Mighty Ducks (1993-96) Phoenix Coyotes (1996-99)

Legacy Points: 9 (T-41st/44)

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Logos:

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Uniforms:

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Kansas City Scouts

Founded: 1991

Division: Roberts (1991-93) Washburn (1993-99)

Home Arena: Kemper Arena

City: Kansas City, Missouri

NHL Affiliation: Buffalo Sabres

Legacy Points: 14 (34th/44)

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Logos:

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Uniforms:

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New Orleans Jazz

Founded: 1986

Division: Roberts

Home Arena: Jackson Ice Arena

City: New Orleans, Louisiana

NHL Affiliation: St. Louis Blues (1986-93) Florida Panthers (1993-99)

Legacy Points: 18 (T-26th/44)

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Logos:

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Uniforms:

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Halifax Flyers

Founded: 1983

Division: Thompson (1983-86) Barker (1987-99)

Home Arena: Halifax Metro Centre

City: Halifax, Nova Scotia

Leif Erikson Cup Runner-Up: 1 - 1989

NHL Affiliation: Philadelphia Flyers

Legacy Points: 26 (24th/44)

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Logos:

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Uniforms:

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Minnesota Fighting Saints

Founded: 1979

Division: Roberts (1979-93) Washburn (1993-99)

Home Arena: St. Paul Civic Center

City: St. Paul, Minnesota

Leif Erikson Cup Champions: 2 - 1984, 1996

Leif Erikson Cup Runner-Up: 3 - 1981, 1982, 1992

NHL Affiliation: Minnesota North Stars (1983-93) St. Louis Blues (1993-99)

Legacy Points: 55 (13th/44)

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Logos:

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Uniforms:

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Austin Texans

Founded: 1979

Division: Washburn (1970-73, 1981-93) Barker (1973-76) Roberts (1979-81, 1993-99)

Home Arena: Lamar Stadium

City: Austin, Texas

Leif Erikson Cup Champions: 3 - 1973, 1995, 1998

Leif Erikson Cup Runner-Up: 1 - 1986

NHL Affiliation: St. Louis Blues (1983-86) Pittsburgh Penguins (1986-99)

Legacy Points: 61 (12th/44)

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Logos:

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Uniforms:

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Such a shame to see six teams fold in the same year.

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I just looked at this entire thread for the first time today, and overall, fine job. One comment/criticism I can contribute is for the past and present Lansing Governors. Good name and logos, EXCEPT that the Upper Peninsula in the Michigan map seems to be left out! I can't see that being acceptable in the capital.

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The Jazz's (Is that correct use of an 's' after an apostrophe?) final jerseys looked like the Avs' jerseys from that era. Will this league go into the 2010's and get the Edge treatment?

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The Jazz's (Is that correct use of an 's' after an apostrophe?) final jerseys looked like the Avs' jerseys from that era. Will this league go into the 2010's and get the Edge treatment?

Kudos for the proper use of the possessive apostrophe!

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The 1999-2000 PAHL season was the final season for the league with 21 teams playing 80 games each. Because the NHL had mostly parted ways with the PAHL, the league could no longer afford to continue after the season. The Portland Raptors were the final regular season champions with a record of 49-23-8.
The final installment of the PAHL playoffs saw some surprising results. In the Washburn Division, the Fargo Flames upset the Protland Raptors in six games and the Regina Oilers beat the Sacramento Pines in five. The Flames would go on to beat the Oilers in five to win the division.
In the Roberts Division, the Cincinnati Predators shocked everyone by sweeping the first place San Diego Sharks while the Oklahoma Stars swept the Huntsville Apollos. The Predators beat the Stars in five games in the division finals.
In the Thompson Division, the Fort Drum Rangers beat the Lansing Governors in six, and the Brooklyn Americans swept the defending champion Kalamazoo Checkers. The Rangers would go on to win the division in five.
In the Barker Division, the Gatineau Quebeois swept the Bangor Bruins and the Windsor Ambassadors edged the Kingston Chiefs in seven. The Quebecois went on to win the division in six.
In the Western Conference final, the Predators once again shocked everyone beating the Flames in five games. In the East, the Gatineau Quebecois defeated the Fort Drum Rangers in six.
The 50th and final Leif Erikson Cup was certainly no dissapointment, and many felt a good final series for the league. The Gatineau Quebecois jumped to a two game lead before the Cincinnati Predators won two of their own. The Quebecois won the next game on home ice and tried to close out the series in Cincinnati. The Predators rallied after giving up a two goal lead and forced a game seven in Gatineau. The game was tied at zero going into the closing minutes of the third when the Predators scored two goals and looked like they had everything wrapped up. The Quebecois pulled their goalie with 47 seconds left. At 35 seconds, the Quebecois beat Chris Mason from the point to close the gap to one goal. The crowd went wild and helped cheer the Quebecois on to a tying goal with only 9 seconds left. The atmosphere in Gatineau was absolutely electric when the Quebecois retook the ice for the final period. It only took two minutes of overtime for Yuri Babenko of the Quebecois to score the final goal in the PAHL to win the Quebecois' only Leif Erikson Cup.
The day after the championship, the league announced that it was shutting down after 50 years.
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Uniforms:

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Austin Texans Home Away
Bangor Bruins Home Away
Brooklyn Americans Home Away

Cincinnati Predators Home Away

Fargo Flames Home Away
Fort Drum Rangers Home Away
Gatineau Quebecois Home Away
Halifax Flyers Home Away
Hamilton Hammers Home Away
Huntsville Apollos Home Away
Kalamazoo Checkers Home Away
Kansas City Scouts Home Away
Kingston Chiefs Home Away
Lansing Governors Home Away

Las Vegas Jacks Home Away

Markham Tigers Home Away
Miami Flamingos Home Away
Milwaukee Ales Home Away
Minnesota Fighting Saints Home Away
New Orleans Jazz Home Away

Oklahoma Stars Home Away

Portland Raptors Home Away
Providence Reds Home Away
Regina Oilers Home Away
Sacramento Pines Home Away
San Diego Sharks Home Away
Windsor Ambassadors Home Away

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Sad to see the PAHL fold after 50 years. Probably my two favorite teams were Windsor and Fort Drum

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Noooooo! I wish the PAHL kept on going!! I really wanted to see it battle the AHL!

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Sad. I really wanted to see if Markham could put up another constantly competitive team.

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