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Chagnon, Morgal Lead Calgary to Victory in Inaugural ECAC-SIDA NHL ’94 Tourney

Flames rally for four straight elimination wins, including overtime victory in finals

VALLEY FORGE, Pa. – Vassar’s Jamie Chagnon and Shippensburg’s Bill Morgal rallied the Calgary Flames from a seeding-round setback with four straight elimination game victories, including a 1-0 overtime win in the title game, to claim the inaugural ECAC-SIDA NHL ’94 Tournament held in Room 1417 at the Valley Forge Casino Resort.

Calgary began the 10-team tournament in ominous fashion, suffering a 3-1 loss to Stretch Internet’s Ross Dunham and Ben Gabrielson in the seed round that resulted in the No. 8 seed. Undaunted, the pairing switched controller positions (Chagnon assuming the lead) and started a comeback – shutting out Carnegie Mellon’s Mark Fisher and East Stroudsburg’s Greg Knowlden (Chicago) 3-0 in a loser’s bracket play-in to reach the quarterfinals.

The Flames played in the only two overtime games of the tournament – with the first being a 2-1 victory over top-seeded Detroit (PSAC’s Chris Parker and Army’s Stephen Waldman) that culminated with a brutal own-goal from the Red Wings. Detroit had entered as the top seed after a 5-1 thumping of Fisher and Knowlden that included a pair of empty-net goals that completely threw off the seeds.

Calgary stunned Vancouver (Slippery Rock’s Jon Holtz and RPI’s Perry Laskaris) in the semifinals, getting a pair of goals from Theo Fleury in a three-goal second period that keyed a 5-2 victory. The Canucks, the No. 5 seed, had dispatched Philadelphia (Rowan’s Rob Cunningham and Arcadia’s Joe Wydner) in the quarterfinals by a 5-0 score – what proved to be the most lopsided game of the tournament.

Fleury, the inaugural Tournament MVP, worked an overtime dangle in the championship game to score the deciding tally in a 1-0 overtime win over Pittsburgh (W&J’s Sean King and a guy named Woody). The performance by Fleury was somewhat unexpected, as he entered the game as “COLD” while Penguin wunderkind Mario Lemieux entered the game as “HOT.”

The Penguins were arguably the most impressive team of the tournament, crushing the opposition by a 10-1 margin entering the championship game. In an entertaining, physical quarterfinal matchup against the New York Rangers (Saint Michael’s’ Josh Kessler and Sidearm’s Joe D), the Penguins got a pair of goals from Ron Francis after Mario Lemieux was knocked out of the game in the first period with a crushing injury. Francis was also knocked out for the second period, causing a brief appearance by Shawn McEachern.

In the semifinals, Lemieux scored twice and was seemingly healthy despite convulsing on the ice in the previous matchup. Goaltender Tom Barrasso was outstanding, pitching a shutout and also bodychecking a Toronto player into the boards – which caused much excitement from the sellout crowd in Room 1417.

The championship game proved to be one of high tension and drama, as Calgary’s Al MacInnis slapped the puck over the glass more than six times to result in a sluggish pace that seemed to benefit the Flames. Despite entering the finals with a 10-1 scoring margin, Pittsburgh struggled with button control and at times skated lethargically.

The tournament-clinching goal came approximately four minutes into the extra session, with Fleury maneuvering around a defender to sneak a wrist shot into the right side of the net – just the second goal of the tournament yielded by Barrasso. Calgary celebrated in muted fashion, as it was 2:45 AM and everyone was tired and trying not to make noise.

Preliminary games were well attended on Thursday

Preliminary games were well attended on Thursday

2017 NHL ’94 TOURNAMENT RESULTS

Seed Round

Tyler McIntosh (SRU)/Matt (SRU) 2, Jon Holtz (SRU)/Perry Laskaris (RPI) 2

Rob Cunningham (Rowan)/Joe Wydner (Arcadia) 2, Ryan Sargent (Mans)/Anthony Renz (Ship) 1 (OT)

Sean King (W&J)/Woody (?) 3, Josh Kessler (St. Mike’s)/Joe DeBenedictis (Sidearm) 1

Chris Parker (PSAC)/Stephen Waldman (Army) 5, Mark Fisher (CarnMell)/Greg Knowlden (ESU) 1

Ross Dunham (Stretch)/Ben Gabrielson (Stretch) 3, Jamie Chagnon (Vassar)/Bill Morgal (Ship) 1

Loser Play-Ins

#8 Calgary (Chagnon/Morgal) 3, #10 Chicago (Fisher/Knowlden) 0

#9 NY Rangers (DeBenedictis/Kessler) 2, #7 Los Angeles (Sargent/Renz) 1

Quarterfinals

#6 Toronto (McIntosh/Matt) 3, #3 Montreal (Dunham/Gabrielson) 1

#5 Vancouver (Holtz/Laskaris) 5, #4 Philadelphia (Cunningham/Wydner) 0

#2 Pittsburgh (King/Woody) 4, #9 NY Rangers (DeBenedictis/Kessler) 0

#8 Calgary (Chagnon/Morgal) 2, #1 Detroit (Parker/Waldman) 1 (OT)

Semifinals

#2 Pittsburgh (King/Woody) 3, #6 Toronto (McIntosh/Matt) 0

#8 Calgary (Chagnon/Morgal) 5, #5 Vancouver (Holtz/Laskaris) 2

Finals

#8 Calgary (Chagnon/Morgal) 1, #2 Pittsburgh (King/Woody) 0 (OT)

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Excellent!  I love the picture of them playing with the crowd in the back.  Doesn't get better!

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Gotta love the real life comradery  around our favorite game.  Always more fun to play to a crowd, or even just to see your opponent so you can psychologically torment them (and vice versa).

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