24/7 Road to the Fall Classic Gens 'C' Final (CHI vs BUF)

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After the many heated regular season battles with some great returnees, and a few new coaches - the real battle began back in November. The match-ups were determined and '94 Classic play-off hockey was back.

EPISODE 1: The Semis

Chicago (coached by redbonzai), with the league's best regular season record, took top seed and matched up against the 8th seeded Leafs (coached by etownbio). A 4 game sweep was posted, with Toronto keeping the score close only in game 3.

Buffalo (coached by jer_33) matched up against Philadelphia (coached by Culls17) in the 2/7 seed match-up. The Flyers were no match for Mogilny and company, as Buffalo finished the series in 4 games, including 2 shut-outs and an incredible 18-0 shot game 4.

The top 2 seeds then waited to see who they'd be facing in their conference finals. Detroit (coached by methodm3n) took Vancouver (coached by jagr68) to 5 games, but could not mount a comeback after losing games 2, 3 and 4. Boston (coached by BROC4232) emerged from a 6 game battle with Montreal (coached by replacement coach Meaneyac) with the turning point appearing to be a 5-4OT win in game 5.

EPISODE 2: The Conference Finals

With the Conference match-ups set, Buffalo and Boston lined up for a shot at a Finals birth. Splitting both match-ups in the first four games, the winner would be decided in what was a best of 3. Buffalo came out on top with a solid 2-0 Grant Fuhr shut-out at home in game 5. Boston fired back with a 6-2 win, featuring a 4 goal effort from Adam Oates at home in game 6. Game 7 was a back and forth affair through the first 2 periods, with Buffalo holding a 3-2 lead heading into the 3rd frame. But home-ice would prove to be the advantage Buffalo needed as Mogilny would complete his hat-trick in the 3rd and Grant Fuhr would shut the door en route to a 6-2 win.

Chicago and Vancouver lined up next, with the teams mirroring the Western Conference Finals with a 2-2 series tie after 4 games. The coaches took a break after those games and completed the series that weekend. Jagr68 was clearly holding his own against the regular season champ, including an 11 goal burst in game 4. Chicago was able to hold Pavel Bure to a single goal on 10 shots in game 5, and emerged with a 4-2 win on the back of a 4 goal game by Jeremy Roenick. Game 6 was back in Vancouver and Bure put up a 4 goal effort of his own, to lead his team to a game 7 with a lop-sided 6-2 victory. Game 7 in Chicago, was all tied up (2-2) after 2 periods with both Roenick and Bure scoring for their teams, but Christian Ruutu would emerge as the game 7 hero with a go-ahead tally just 9 seconds into the 3rd period. That goal would hold up as the winner (4-2 final), sending Chicago to a Finals birth against Buffalo.

EPISODE 3: The Finals

After both gruelling game 7 battles, both Chicago and Buffalo were feeling both battle tested, but also perhaps a bit vulnerable. Buffalo particularly, entered the series with an 0-4 record vs. Chicago in the regular season albeit with 2 over-time losses and low-scoring games.

Game 1 remained scoreless until the 3:35 mark when Pat Lafontaine potted a goal to break the donuts. Alex Mogilny unleashed a powerplay marker near the periods end with Chris Chelios off for cross-checking. Mogilny's first period goal would prove to be the winner with Christian Ruutu scoring a powerplay marker for Chicago mid-frame of the 3rd period to make it a 3-1 game. Winner Buffalo.

Game 2 was a close 1-0 game after the first period off another Mogilny powerplay marker. Buffalo held a tenuous 2-1 lead after 2 periods and looked to be surging with a goal from Petr Svoboda early in the 3rd period. However, play-off hero Christian Ruutu would mount a Chicago come-back finished off by Jeremy Roenick at 3:33 in the 3rd period to tie the game at threes. Ruutu would again play hero just 11 seconds into overtime, scoring the winner for Chicago and tying the series 1-1. Winner Chicago.

Game 3 in Buffalo was just what the home crowd wanted, a dominant win at home. The Buffalo forward trio combined for 6 goals on 26 shots, and held the Chicago stars to a single goal on 10 shots. Chicago's game was clearly upset by 2 penalties in the first period. Final score 6-1. Winner Buffalo.

Game 4 started as the first three, with an opening goal from Buffalo. This time with Mogilny punching a goal past Ed Belfour. Roenick would respond at the period end to tie the game at singles. Hawerchuk and Lafontaine would combine for a pair of goals to put the home team ahead 3-1 halfway through regulation. After Jeremy Roenick scored an unassisted goal to close the gap, special Teams would decide this affair in the 2nd half of the game. Christian Ruutu would convert on a Richard Smehlik hooking penalty to tie the game at three a piece. With 15 seconds remaining in the 2nd frame, Chris Chelios was tagged for tripping putting the home team on their first powerplay of the game. They were unable to convert before the end of the period, but did manage to draw a penalty from Jeremy Roenick at the periods end. With a 5-3 powerplay to start the 3rd period, things were looking rosey for the home team, but the Chicago penalty-killers were up to the task and drew a penalty of their own only a minute into the frame to make it a 4-on-3. The score remained knotted all through the 3rd period with a total of 10 shots being stopped by Fuhr and Belfour. The adrenaline of overtime was too much for Pat Lafontaine, who took a roughing call 30 seconds into extra time. This would prove to be a poor choice, as Roenick reeled in an over-time powerplay marker just 15 seconds into the penalty to complete a hard fought comeback victory for the visitors. Winner Chicago.

Game 5 back in Chicago, was scoreless after 3:26 until Grant Fuhr alley-ooped a pass up to Mogilny for the games opening marker. Lafontaine would add to the lead just 30 seconds later on a great individual effort. It was a 2-0 game well into the second period before Roenick made his presence known with a goal to open the scoring for Chicago. 20 seconds later, Lafointaine would add another to reclaim the 2 goal cushion. the 3rd period was a spirited affair with 4 minutes in penalties for both sides, though only a single powerplay goal was scored. In the final minute of play, seldom-used Bob Erry (on during a delayed penalty) would take a cross-crease pass from Alex Mogilny to put the game out of reach. Winner Buffalo.

Game 6 was a series clincher for Buffalo, and a must-win for Chicago. For 9:28, the teams played solid defensive hockey limiting chances and keeping the goal judges from doing their jobs. The intensity was too much for Richard Smehlik who only had to sit for half of his two minute penatly when Jeremy Roenick converted a Steve Larmer pass into the first goal of the game. This marked the first time in the series, that Chicago was the first to score. Mere moments into the 2nd period, Buffalo fans witnessed a shocking injury to star forward Pat Lafontaine who was viciously hit into the boards by Chicago's Chris Chelios. Chicago would kill the ensuing powerplay, and hold onto their one goal lead until 2:14 into the 3rd period when Alex Mogilny managed to break Belfour's shutout attempt. 17 seconds later, #89 would sneak another goal past Belfour to put the home team ahead. At 3:14, with his team leading game 7 by a score of 2-1, Petr Svoboda was penalized for hooking. Mogilny won the face-off to Richard Smehlik who managed to sneak a pass to the streaking Mogilny who scored a beauty short-handed goal to complete the natural hat-trick and put Buffalo up 3-1 with a minute and a half in regulation. With less than 10 seconds in the penalty to Svoboda, Steve Larmer took a pass from Chris Chelios and scored a powerplay goal to pull Chicago within one. In the final minute of the game, and within seconds of skating out of the box, Petr Svoboda was again tagged for a penalty (this time for slashing). Alex Mogilny and his Buffalo team-mates would kill the final minutes of the period and hold Chicago off the scoreboard. Winner Buffalo.

Buffalo would win the series in 6 games, on home ice.

Alex Mogilny would be named Buffalo's playoff MVP.

Final stats:


Buffalo 4

Chicago 2


Buffalo 22

Chicago 13

Top Players:

Alex Mogilny 10gls-11pts

Jeremy Roenick 7gls-9pts


Grant Fuhr (2.15, .817)

Ed Belfour (3.64, .775)

Edited by jer_33
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Another barn-burner finals series!....I'm sure this one will come down to the last game also

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