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5/20/2024 9:16 am  #161

Re: Metropolitan Hockey League: 1932 Offseason

Lets Go Ottawa!


5/31/2024 6:33 pm  #162

Re: Metropolitan Hockey League: 1932 Offseason

1931 MHL Playoffs: Semifinals

(W1) Chicago Wildcats (41-22-1) vs (W2) Ottawa Lumberjacks (36-23-5)

For the first time in 10 years, it wasn’t the Toronto Lakers facing off for a chance to go to the Abbott Cup. Instead, it was the league-leading Chicago Wildcats, and surprise 2nd seed Ottawa Lumberjacks who went head to head for that honour. Chicago is heavily favoured, but Ottawa could continue to surprise.

Game 1 at Chicago’s Lovely Arena started well for the visitors. Just 3 minutes in, a shot from Derrick Dorvilus was blocked and went right to Sam Cruciani, and the Jacks’ star forward shot it past Ted Harvey for the series’ first goal. Overall, Ottawa dominated the period, getting shots and preventing the Chicago offense from getting good looks. They did hit a post, but that was about all that tested John Gilchrist. After 1, Ottawa held a 1-0 lead. In the second, it was more even. Chicago had their best chance of the game with a netfront drive by Dan Vanderbeken, but Gilchrist stood tall. Harvey also made a good save in front on Cruciani, looking for his second of the game. It remained 1-0 through 40 minutes. In the third, the Chicago crowd finally had something to cheer about, as a failed clear let to a great pass to David Adams, who streaked in and rocketed a shot past Gilchrist. The score was tied at 1, and the building was rocking again. However, that didn’t last for long, as an Chicago penalty led to an Ottawa powerplay, which led to Cruciani delivering a beautiful cross-ice pass to John Lavigne, who beat a sprawling Harvey to make it 2-1. There wasn’t much action after that, as Ottawa closed out, and took game 1, 2-1.

Game 2 was at the Ottawa Forum, a small but deafening arena. However, just like in game 1, it was the visitors who got off to a great start. Chicago, now on the road, had the opener, with Ottawa taking an early penalty, and John Martin scoring from in close. Ottawa had a couple of chances, but those were easily dealt with by Harvey. Chicago was leading in both goals and shots after 1, and they were looking to keep it rolling in the second. However, early in the middle frame, the home team tied it up, with Jim Young getting a slot shot past Harvey. Immediately after, Walter Tieide had a beautiful chance to put Ottawa on top, but Harvey knocked it away. Ottawa had tons of great looks, but aside from their goal, the finishing was just off. Despite all the great chances in the middle frame, Ottawa’s goal was the only change to the scoresheet. It was 1-1 through 40. Early in the third, like the first two periods, there was a goal. Ottawa forward Stephen Ballard, one of the slower players on the team, got a partial breakaway and blasted a shot past Harvey. The building erupted, and Ottawa had their first lead of the game. 6 minutes later, Robert Smith deflected a shot home, and it was suddenly a multi-goal lead. Chicago had more good looks after this, but John Gilchrist did his job and stopped them all. 

Time ran out, and the Ottawa Forum was alive. The Lumberjacks were headed to their first ever Abbott Cup Final. Chicago left disappointed, going from being the league’s #1 regular season team to scoring just twice in the playoffs and losing to the perennially middling Lumberjacks. In Ottawa, the city was alive and celebrating. One of the smallest markets in the MHL was heading to their first Abbott Cup final. At a time where prize money is huge for small markets, they are hoping to win it all and get their financial situation in a more stable condition.

(E1) Brooklyn Kings (35-21-8) vs (E2) Nassau Scouts (36-24-4)

In the east, it was another battle of NY teams, but the first matchup between these two particular ones. The surprise #1 seed Brooklyn Kings took on the #2 seed Nassau Scouts, an upstart team looking for their first Abbott Cup.

Game 1 at the Brooklyn Aud saw some action in the stands before the puck had even dropped, with rival fans bickering at each other. When the game started though, Brooklyn almost scored in the opening seconds, but Mike Whitlow made a nice early save. Whitlow was called into action more times, and continued having a strong opening period. Nassau was going shotless until a powerplay marker from Harold Henderson gave them the first goal of the series. That would be their only shot of the period, as they led 1-0 after 1. In the second, Brooklyn continued dominating the shot counter. Hugh Mathieu had a chance on a breakaway, but Whitlow came out and bodychecked him, leading to a bit of a scrum between the two teams. Brooklyn kept on humming, but Whitlow kept on stopping. The Kings were tripling the Scouts’ shots through 40, but they were still trailing 1-0. In the third, Nassau went up 2-0 thanks to Daniel Robertson, who had some good looks prior to burying one. Nassau was starting to make the play more even, but Brooklyn turned it on in the dying minutes, dominating the shots again. Captain Paul Anderson finally got them on the board with a blast with 2:29 to play. The building was cheering them on, and the players fed off of it. Now in the final minute of play, George MacKenzie fired home another shot to tie it back up. The building was rocking even more now. Upon the faceoff after the goal, Nassau got control, and had the puck in Brooklyn’s zone, however, a pass to the point couldn’t be handled by them, and Isaiah Ryan collected the puck, streaked down the ice, and buried it with 12 seconds to play. The Auditorium was the loudest it had ever been. in just 2:17, the Kings had gone from down 0-2 to up 3-2. They ran out the remaining seconds, and celebrated their historic comeback in Game 1.

Game 2 at the Nassau Memorial Arena was rowdy. The home fans didn’t take to kindly to the few Kings fans there who were rubbing the game 1 win in their faces. After everything had calmed down, The first period started. There was a decent amount of chances both ways, but no memorable plays. The goalies did well with their chances against, and nobody could find the back of the net through 20. In the second, forward Hugh Mathieu, who had been robbed multiple times by Whitlow in Game 1, fired a shot past him to give Brooklyn a 1-0 lead. It was a dominant period shots-wise for the Kings, but Whitlow did what he’d been doing all series (aside from the end of game 1) and kept their lead to just 1. Through 40, the Kings led by 1, and were 20 minutes away from their second Abbott Cup Final. In the third, Brooklyn added to their lead early on, with a beautiful pass from Michael Sutherland finding Mathieu for his second of the game. Whitlow had no chance, and the home crowd was starting to quiet down a little. However, soon after, Nassau would finally get on the board, with a shot Eric Fox being partially saved by Andrew Williams, and Harold Henderson put home the loose puck in the crease. Nassau was down by 1, and the crowd was behind them. However, 8 minutes later, Hugh Mathieu would complete his hattrick, beating Whitlow blocker-side. There were 7 minutes left to play, and Nassau were down 2. Unlike Brooklyn in game 1, they couldn’t get the needed comeback, and the Kings ran out the clock.

For the second straight year, the Scouts were swept in the semifinals, while the Kings advanced to their second Abbott Cup Final. It’s their second appearance in 4 years, where they beat Toronto to claim their maiden victory.

Abbott Cup Final Preview:

(E1) Brooklyn Kings vs (W2) Ottawa Lumberjacks
Previous Meeting: None
Result: N/A
Series Record: N/A

For the fourth straight year, we have a first-time Abbott Cup matchup, and it’s a battle between a big-market and a small-market team. Brooklyn is the surprise team of the season with how they won the East after a couple of middling years, while Ottawa is another surprise, beating out Toronto for the playoffs and beating the league-leading Wildcats to claim their first appearance in the championship series.

Brooklyn won 3 out of the 6 meetings between the two teams in the regular season. Ottawa won 1, while the other 2 were ties. It’s a battle of each conference’s best defensive team, so that will be the focus here. Ottawa had done very well limiting offense so far, especially with Holding Chicago to just 2 goals in their series. On the other hand, Brooklyn has more playoff experience, and home-ice advantage, which are both going to be huge in this series.

My Pick: Ottawa gives Brooklyn a fight, but the Kings take it in 3 games and win their second Abbott Cup.

     Thread Starter

6/01/2024 10:11 pm  #163

Re: Metropolitan Hockey League: 1932 Offseason

Alright Ottawa, now finish the job! 


6/03/2024 8:40 am  #164

Re: Metropolitan Hockey League: 1932 Offseason

Lets Go Jacks!


6/04/2024 12:09 pm  #165

Re: Metropolitan Hockey League: 1932 Offseason

Had a lot of catching up to do. Was a fan of Montreal for about 5 pages, but then they got rid of their pinstripes. I think I'll lend my support to the perpetual losers in Indianapolis. 


6/06/2024 9:30 pm  #166

Re: Metropolitan Hockey League: 1932 Offseason

1931 MHL Playoffs: Abbott Cup Final

(E1) Brooklyn Kings (35-21-8) vs (W2) Ottawa Lumberjacks (36-23-5)

This was an Abbott Cup that probably wasn’t on anyone’s bingo cards at the start of the year. Brooklyn had been disappointing the past few years, while Ottawa only had one playoff appearance prior to this year. However, that doesn’t matter now, it’s time to see which surprise wins it all.

There was a bit of a dilemma heading into the series, as both teams wore predominantly black jerseys, and no aways. While the league had allowed this matchup to happen as is in the regular season, commissioner James Burris demanded that Ottawa, the lower seed, wear something different. The team frantically turned to local amateur leagues for help, and they found a helper in the Ottawa Bohemian Hockey Club, who wear plain red sweaters, with the Bohemian coat of arms. The club had extra jerseys left over, so the Lumberjacks took them, and added numbers. As a thank you to the club, Ottawa promised that the Bohemian crests would not be removed or replaced with the Lumberjacks’ own crest.

Game 1 at the Brooklyn Auditorium saw an electric atmosphere. The building almost exploded early on when Kings D Paul Anderson had a great rush, deked past a defender, but couldn’t beat John Gilchrist. Despite that chance, it was a visitors that opened the series, with a beautiful slap shot from Sam Cruciani beating Andrew Williams. Brooklyn would get a rare chance in the dying minutes, and Michael Sutherland somehow beat Gilchrist from an impossible angle, tying the game and igniting the crowd. While it was tied after 1, Ottawa had control of the flow of play through 20.

In the second, the flow of play was flipped on its head, and it was Brooklyn now controlling everything. They got chance after chance through on Gilchrist, but the Ottawa goalie stood tall, and let none of them past him. On the other end, Ottawa’s offense was being suffocated, with Brooklyn’s tactical adjustments really helping. However, in the dying seconds, Ottawa’s Jean Leclerc got a partial breakaway, but couldn’t get a shot off. The puck eventually found Cody Trice, who fired it home, giving Ottawa a 2-1 lead heading into the third.

In the third, it was tense. Few chances were had between the two, and it was mostly cautious. Brooklyn tried for a tying goal, and got chances on multiple power plays, but Gilchrist continued to stand tall. With around 3 minutes to go, Trice scored his second of the game, putting Ottawa up 2. The Kings stayed in the game, and with 1:20 to play, Hugh Mathieu’s 4th of the playoffs put them back within 1. However, they couldn’t find that late tying goal, and Ottawa held on to take game 1, 3-2.

Game 1: Ottawa 3, Brooklyn 2 (Ottawa leads series 1-0)

Hoping to inspire their fans and players, the Kings had a mini orchestra out front of the Auditorium for Game 2. It seemed to help the atmosphere, as the buildling was noticeably loud as the second game started.

The game had a controversial start, as Ottawa’s Jim Young blatantly held Isaiah Ryan back of a rebound tap-in. Fans clamored for a penalty shot, but instead it was a power play for the Kings. On that power play, Richard McGrath sniped one against his former team, giving them their first lead of the series, and igniting the building with cheering. The period overall was very even, but that power play goal was the only marker of the opening frame.

In the second, Ottawa was all over Brooklyn. The Kings took a penalty of their own early on, and Sam Cruciani capitalized for Ottawa, tying it back up. The rest of the period saw Ottawa get more chances, but Andrew Williams, who was a little shaky in game 1, was doing well to keep it tied, and he held on to the end of the period. In a pivotal game 2, it was 1-1 through 40, and the next goal would likely be the winner.

The third period was incredibly boring. The two teams took “shut it down” too seriously, because some fans were shutting down in the stands because of how little action there was. That being said, it was also incredibly tense. The two teams knew it was a defensive affair, and didn’t want to make the mistake that led to a goal. With 8:11 to play, Ottawa got a rush, and the puck found Robert Smith, who sniped one home. The Lumberjacks were now up 2-1. Brooklyn would get a couple of chances later on, but just like game 1, Gilchrist shut the door. Time ran out, and somehow the Lumberjacks were a win away from their first ever Abbott Cup.

Game 2: Ottawa 2, Brooklyn 1 (Ottawa leads series 2-0)

The series shifted to the Ottawa Forum for game 3 (and game 4 if necessary). The Ottawa fanbase, while in a small city, was one of the loudest in the league, and they showed out. James Burris, who attended in case the Lumberjacks won it all, was astounded, later saying that the crowd was “louder than a freight train at full steam”.

The first period of game 3 was easily the most action-packed of the series so far. The two teams traded chances back and forth, and it was Brooklyn who opened the scoring, with a blistering power play slap shot from Hugh Mathieu giving the Kings the lead 6:36 in. Ottawa would get tons and tons of chances, but Williams stood tall. Later, with Brooklyn on another power play, Edward Nicholson took a shot that squeaked through Gilchrist, a rarity for him. Brooklyn took their first multi-goal lead of the series. However, in the final minute, a rush from Cody Trice resulted in Ottawa’s first goal of the game, putting them within 1 through 20. 

The second period was a lot more boring than the first. It was even, and there were fewer chances between the two teams. Brooklyn had more grade-A chances, but Gilchrist rebounded after the weak second goal, making sure nothing got past him. Ottawa would hit a post and crossbar, but that would be the extent of their offense in the middle frame. Brooklyn’s 2-1 lead remained through 40 minutes of play. 

In the third, it was even more boring, which was quite disappointing after the crazy opening period. The Kings were content to park the bus, as they knew Ottawa could strike at any given time. Their (boring) plan was a success however, as the Lumberjacks couldn’t find that tying goal. Time ran out, and while the Ottawa crowd left disappointed, they still had a chance to see their team win it all in 2 days. Brooklyn knew that another win wouldn’t come easy, but a game 4 victory would give them all the momentum heading home.

Game 3: Brooklyn 2, Ottawa 1 (Ottawa leads series 2-1)

Game 4 saw the same loud and proud Ottawa crowd (triple rhyme). The players were extra motivated for this one, as they knew this game was their last chance to win it all in front of their home fans. Brooklyn was also motivated, so it was going to be the most intense game of the series so far.

The first period saw a good amount of action on both sides. Brooklyn had some high shots that Gilchrist fought off, while Ottawa hit their 3rd and 4th posts of their last 4 periods of play. Despite the chances, the opening period of game 4 saw no goals. Through 20 minutes, it was the same scoreless deadlock as it was when the game started.

In the second, the game finally got its icebreaker. Sam Cruciani got the puck in the corner, made a move, and backhanded a puck through Andrew Williams. It seemed like the puck was in his glove, but somehow it ended up through his 5-hole in the back of the net. The home crowd erupted, and Ottawa just ahd to hold their lead. They tightened down defensively, and Brooklyn had little chance to tie the game through 40. The Lumberjacks were 20 minutes away from the Abbott Cup.

The third period is what many people would call a defensive masterclass. Ottawa managed to suffocate the desperate Brooklyn offense, while at the same time getting lots of good chances. Unfortunately for them, Andrew Williams stood tall in net, and made sure their lead wouldn’t be extended. On the other end, Brooklyn mustered up 3 shots on Gilchrist. A couple were legitimate threats, but that didn’t matter to him. He stopped them all. Time ran out, and the building could be heard for miles. Ottawa, One of the smallest markets in the MHL, were champions for the first time in their history. Players celebrated, and fans celebrated by going onto the ice.

It was a little hard for Burris to get through to present the Cup to Ottawa, but despite all the people on the surface, he handed it off, and the players were practically carried out of the building and onto the streets. The party was only just beginning.

Game 4: Ottawa 1, Brooklyn 0 (Ottawa wins series 3-1)

     Thread Starter

6/06/2024 10:35 pm  #167

Re: Metropolitan Hockey League: 1932 Offseason

love the story about ottawa having to borrow jerseys and then winning a cup in them. I have to imagine we'll be seeing some bohemian lumberjacks well into the future. congrats to the jacks!


6/07/2024 8:34 am  #168

Re: Metropolitan Hockey League: 1932 Offseason

Hell yeah, way to go Ottawa!

I wouldn't be shocked if the Jacks switched to red primary jerseys in the future after this. Shoutout to the Bohemians.


6/07/2024 11:27 am  #169

Re: Metropolitan Hockey League: 1932 Offseason

Way to go Bohemian Lumberjacks!


6/07/2024 4:48 pm  #170

Re: Metropolitan Hockey League: 1932 Offseason

Congrats, Ottawa. You guys deserve it!


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