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[Oct 15, 2022 - Toronto] - KING of '94 - 7 - Stories, Pictures, & Feedback


smozoma
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Well, a massive thank you to the organizers of this tournament. @halifax, @smozoma and everyone else that helped organize and keep things running smoothly, like @TecmoJon and anyone who chipped in. The tourney gets better and better every year, and without you guys, this community would be nowhere near what it is. 

For me personally, this weekend could not have gone any better. Entering three tournaments, and winning three tournaments, including the big one, is just unbelievable and completely surpasses any hopes and expectations I had. When someone asked me about my chances of winning, I said they were about 33% for Griffey, 33% for 2vs2, and 10% for King (at most). I’m no mathematician, but I think that means the likelihood of winning all three was literally 1%. I feel like I won the lottery.

Friday night was a blast. I was pumped to have a solo weekend to play retro sports games, meet a bunch of you guys I’ve only ever played online, and see the guys I already know and love. Thank you to everyone who got me a drink. @TecmoJon I still owe you one. Many laughs were had. Good times! 

For 2v2, I was very fortunate to have @annatar as my teammate. A consummate professional who weathered some storms and captained our way to the championship. Thanks bud! We may not play 2v2 the conventional way, but we score some pretty nice one-timers! Shout out to @angryjay93 and @TecmoJon who played amazing, beat us once, and gave us a good run in the championship game with a low, low score of 2-1.

Griffey was tons of fun and I wish it had a higher profile and more of a following. @Stantonator is a natural; despite not being familiar with Griffey, he gave me a scare early on with a four run lead that I had to surmount. But after that it was smooth sailing as I did not lose a game. I figured I’d meet @TheWiz84 @angryjay93 or @halifax (or maybe even @Mooney) in the semis and the finals, but I never had to play any of them! Instead I had to play the local ringers who were actually awesome players. Apparently these guys still play the game. They knew things about the game that I did not. My semis win was a walk-off double in extra innings and I think the final game was 0-0 until the last inning when I strung some hits together and won 5 or 6-0. It was nice of the venue to let us finish after hours. It was hilarious when I won and turned around and there were only like three people there! @halifax handed me the trophy and we left immediately.

As for the King tournament itself, what a rollercoaster it was. My round robin was not good. @TheProfessor and @TecmoJon both beat me and the games weren't even close. I was not feelin' it, at all. And due to my very average 4-2 record, my playoff path was set to be extremely challenging. I got matched up in round 1 with @angryjay93 one of the toughest tacticians in the game. I must have smartened up because I think I won 5-1 and 3-1. But I still feel like he subconsciously wanted to be done with SNES so he could go win another GENS trophy.

Next up was another legend, @kingraph. We always have these super tight-checking battles that go down to the wire. I was fortunate to surmount a game 3 deficit to squeak by. I feel like we had the same kind of series in Vegas. 

After that, it was @TheProfessor who was actually my slight favourite to win the whole thing if I had to pick someone pre-tourney. He has the hometurf advantage, tons of online wins, and he's always near the top of the King results. Anyway, at that point, we had to start playing on the stage/stream, which is always nerve-wracking. But again, I somehow pulled that one off and got the wins. 

Next was @dangler who just absolutely dummied me. He mercied me 8-2 TWICE in a row!! On the stream, in front of my poor family. I don’t know what happened. I just got dangled, HARD.

Then I had to play @koke_45 in the "losers" final. He took game one 5-3, but then I buckled down and only allowed one goal in the next two games. Against one of the most dangerous scorers, I consider that a major accomplishment. I think knocking Roenick out for game three might have helped me! But then again, Joe Murphy is pretty much on the same level as Roenick, right @halifax;)

The finals were a bit of a blur because at that point, I was getting delirious. Tired from a long day, and a late night Friday. But I’ve watched the stream a couple times now so I have some idea of what the heck happened. Winning three of four against @dangler is a tall task under any circumstances. Especially with that kind of pressure, and after he had just mercied me twice. But I guess I got some hot teams, I had some success/luck with the double-pad stack, and I got some timely goals. In the final game, I was losing at some point, but I didn't really panic. I think because I was already happy with my weekend, and because I have already suffered the most heartbreaking loss imaginable (see Vegas, 2017). 

When the final whistle sounded, it took a while for things to set in. I felt like there was no way that it was actually over, that I actually ended the tournament with a win. It took a while. I STILL don’t have the full perspective on what happened. To beat the two GENS giants, and three of the top five SNES players, is pretty huge. This field of competitors, even without Mikail, was outstanding. I have been wanting to win one of these badly, ever since the first was announced in 2015. This game, this hobby, is admittedly a big part of my life, as it probably is for you if you're reading all this. So, it feels GREAT to be King! I’m so fortunate to come away from the weekend fully satisfied. It’s rare in life that things work out so well so I gotta savour this.

But I think even if I finished top 12*, I still would have been very pleased with the weekend. I had so much fun. I really appreciate that everyone in this community loves this game as much as I do, and that you continue to play and travel for these tournaments! You guys all f**king rule! Cheers! 

*maybe top 8

Note : if I didn't mention you here, it's not because I didn't love seeing you. It's because you didn't fit into the narrative. 
 

Edited by Bob Kudelski
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Thanks Bahhhhhhhhhhb.

Big thanks to @halifax and @smozoma for putting this thing on. They say, "if you build it, they will come", and that's all well and good, but someone still needs to build it, and you sure do lots of the heavy lifting. I mean look at Metaverse. Their budget is basically... their entire budget more than YOUR budget, and we almost had more active users over the weekend than they did!

Arrive at Pearson airport super early, 9am Thursday, same time as Scribe. We meet up and share an Uber to a random Internet cafe because our airbnb doesn't allow entry for another 7 hours LOL. We end up paying $20 in Chinatown for an hour of internet and two sodas. We don't even use the Internet. We end up firing up my laptop and playing exis for about 2 hours. Nobody says anything to us except a non-english speaker who mumbles "you guys.... smart" as he sees us playing on our own computer. I'm still confused, but we nod and continue. Scribe won 4-3 in the BO7.

We head back to our airbnb finally, and szpak meets us there with BEER! But even better, he brings a perfectly sized CRT tv. We jam out another 20 exis as TecmoJon and KingRaph finally arrive. As an aside, moving from CPU to CRT was a shock for both scribe and I. I didn't ask others, but it felt different than online. As a plus though, it went away pretty quickly, and nearing the start of night 1, and I can say that scribe, myself, and TecmoJon were all feeling pretty good. Raph having only played a few times in the previous few months was a touch leery. But frick, he's starting from a different place than us dregs. We run out to get some minor groceries and supplies for the next few days, and then head to Waves Gaming for night 1 of 2v2 and some early group play.

I personally didn't play any round robin games that night. I was just walking around, taking it all in. Saying hi to the likes of corbett, mr. T, thrillhouse, kgman, sebspakaze, for the first time IRL was amazing. I think I hugged everyone. Maybe everyone but corbett, kgman, and sebe. They just didn't strike me as huggers. Apologies if I'm wrong, hug me twice next time if you want. Thinking that from the typically accepted list of top 10 NHL94 Sega players, the only 3 missing were schmidt/plabax/seth/tick, odds were stacked against me. But still, those guys better be there next year.

Raph and I were called to do our 2v2 matches and we were off and running. I didn't jot down any of the games, but we crushed mr. t and Thrill in the round robin, but on our way to the finals, they gave us the biggest scare. we were up a few late, and they kept coming back. with 10 seconds left, somehow mr. T gets a semi-break, flips in the PERFECT rebound try, and grabs puck....... crossbar. everyone watching couldn't believe it. whole place erupted. The finals was vs. scribe/corbett who also had a good time on the way to the finals. Sadly it was only a best of 1. It was so quick and done, we didn't have a chance to really even try new things and learn from mistakes, but was I happy to win it? OH YEAH!!! next year, I'd like it to be a blind entry process where you just enter and you're matched with an automatic partner (skill based matchmaking). It could even take up an entire half day. such a high entertainment value. have its own dedicated stream. Anyways, thanks Raph for the carry, but it was more about HIS raw skill; we had amazing chemistry and made some cool plays and saves.

The other 2v2 started going then, as well as some Sega matches. everyone was wrapped up at the moment, so being at Waves was pretty cool because I could just hop onto one of their gaming computers and play some rocket league. it felt way better on their comp, so now i'll be going through that rabbit hole to find out what's wrong with my comp. probably time for new vid card.

When we were all booted out at midnight, I screamed "HEY EVERYONE! WE HAVE A VERY SERIOUS DISCUSSION THAT NEEDS TO OCCUR. IT'S ABOUT TO CLOSE, AND WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT WHERE WE'RE ALL GOING AFTER THIS." nobody said s**t. So feeling like the dude that held up his hand for a high five and was collectively shunned by 30 hands, I said nothing more. NEXT TIME, I would like there to be a planned but optional event after each day because degenerates exist that want to get 4 hours sleep each night because we can sleep when we're dead, and we travel with the boys to PARTY!!!!!!!

A small consolation was that we headed back to our airBNB, got a few more hours of exis and conversations with scribe, tecmojon, and Raph, and had a nice decent sleep.

WAKEY WAKEY toast and bac-ey. I woke up the boys with some coffee, and some bacon/tomato sandwiches, which incidentally was quite better than day 2 breakfast of choice for Raph..... unbuttered brown toast. we hopped off BRIGHT AND EARLY to get to the vent already like 15 minutes late. haha. Sorry Halifax. and I mean it. at 1015am you could already feel his stress. I could read his eyes and face "oh man, no way I'm gonna pull this off. way too many events, not enough time". But in no time flat, we had our intros, country photos, and group brackets ready to go, and vague instructions on what to do. Being adults, we eventually found our way to a TV, found an opponent, and started to play. I do think there's an opportunity here for some of us to bring our 10+ aged children next time, and have them work each group. Making sure there's no downtime between systems. That's what caused us to go so much later. Halifax can only call so much. Downtime between games is ok, but not like 10-20 mins. Take a piss, grab a beer, 2 mins, get your next game done.

Anyway, I digress. Here's what happened to me in the round robin.

Game 1: Fella named LHX. I think I heard he was a 95 guy perhaps. He chose QUE/DAL. I picked DAL because I know how to use their unique players better, at least that's what I told myself. This guy caused havok like no other. I was down 1 early, and he just kept slapping it from all angles and checking well. It took me until midway through to find my bearings. I was able to get a couple slappers, eased up on myself, and then I think I got a pass shot, and I knew it was going to be a good day.  WIN 4-1

Game 2: Gentleman named Handzus. The name sounded very familiar. He picked LAK/DAL, and having just PLAYED as Dallas, I thought let's mix it up. So I figured I'd run standard Sandstrom at C, but after he pumped a few one timers wide, I subbed him for Robi at C, and was able to mount a comeback to win 4-2.

Game 3: Ben Fisher - He starts talking right away about how he's not good as some of the other guys, and hey, that's both the point of these things, but also can be a downer for some. I would like to see some changes on this in future to keep these things going and growing. Anyway, I'm away this time, and call STL/WSH - he picks WSH (sadly), but I figure I know enough  about STL to bring in a win. Again I go down, but this one is more high flying andback and forth. I end up winning 6-4 in a fun one.

I played Robert as well, but I messed up my notes and forgot what happened, but I won. So I was 4-0 and feeling good, but knew I had two hard matches still left.

Game 5 - don't need to say much. It was angryjay93, and probably the most hilarious thing happened. we were talking about all his games being 6 goal wins so far, so my goal was to be the first. I set a micro goal of getting the first goal. I actually DID get the first goal, and made a HUGE save near the end of P1. he yawns audibly, I chuckle, and he gets 7 in a row and we are at the 430 mark of third. he says "are we done here?" and we both laugh and I say no f**k you, we finish. I get one back, but lose 8-2. He chose the matchup of PHI/EDM. I took PHI and he Klima'd me with 6.

Game 6 - szpakman rolls on over to play my final round robin game. We normally go pretty even online. I call the "bait" matchup for TOR/CGY, thinking I know how to neutralize him with TOR, but I was just wrong. he rolls me over 4-1.

I finish the round robin at 4-2 and I'm on my way to the upper bracket. What I'm NOT expecting is for them to say  "first round playoff matchup is danTML vs. kgman". my stomach dropped. the kgman that went 6-0 and +31 gdif? I REALLY wanted this to be on stream, but they kept saying we were behind, so we had to just play. I tried to stream and record, but the TV we were on was so tiny, that the phone had to be too close and just got in the way. I thought he was getting antsy to play, so I just said f**k it.

Game 1 – I pick WSH/HFD, he goes WSH and wins 4-2. It was close, nice plays all around, but I thought I was in it still. I realized I needed a little something extra by this point, so I head outside and have a quick hit of my cannabis vape. Heartrate slows, focus intensifies. I run back in.

Game 2 – he picks WPG/LAK. I chose WPG for the speed. He played McSorley which was odd to me (weight bug), and I think I was able to overwhelm the team with speed. Still, I'm up 1 with a minute left, and ice it twice. Then, 15 seconds left with goalie pulled and Gretzky at C, Gretzky floats the slowest one timer over Essenza to send us to OT. Early in OT, I do a rebound goal with Davydov who was on fire, and he pots it for the win. I run outside for another hit.

Game 3 – I pick EDM/PHI. He picks EDM. It’s clear from the get-go that Klima isn’t functioning well. For anyone who knows Edmonton sans Klima, they are akin to maybe like a SJ or OTT. Anywho, then Klima takes a penalty, misses the net… It’s 1-0 for me after 1. Early in 2nd period, Klima gets injured for game. Lights out. Pot a third one late, but kgman had trouble figuring out what to do against a speedy Eklund. With nothing working, the game coasts to an anti-climactic 3-0 win.

A few came to thank me for sending him to the losers bracket, making their upper bracket path a touch easier.

Next up was Sebe. It was a glorious overtime loss, to send me to the loser’s bracket. I suggest you watch it here though. You can speed through the breaks. I took a cannabis break after game 1, but I was gone so long because I thought someone stole my phone (hint: it was streaming our game the whole time LOL) https://www.twitch.tv/videos/1626263850

After losing that, it was time for Smozoma in the loser’s bracket. This time, I wanted to do a reverse Toronto bait, choosing PHI vs. TOR, but Smoz screwed it up and took PHI. Another intense overtime loss, and the sad reality that my day was done finally set in. This was on the KO94 stream on that day around the 5 hour mark. The best part was like 7mins into OT, and yet another crazy save or miss, I hear someone in the crowd say "WHAT IS THIS GAME EVEN?!?" and I lol'd so hard.

After the loss, I was feeling pretty down. I put my headphones on and played rocket league for a couple hours to calm down, and then it dawned on me that I can play rocket at anytime, but this was my only chance to make some more connections and watch some amazing 94 action. So that’s what I did. I went around challenging ppl to exis, watching some streams, commenting, cheering, and having a grand old time. I gained a ton of respect for @Bob Kudelski this tourney. I care about SNES bud. It's a worse game, but because I like you and all the others who play it, I care too! :D

I tried again to get everyone to go to a bar or out for sushi, and nobody spoke up, so I figured everyone was tired. By the time we got back to our Airbnb, it was nearly 2am. I warmed up some bacon, and brought out the ketchup chips and all-dressed chips, and we stayed up another hour just talking about our nhl94 theories, while raph jotted down ideas for his podcast. That might have been my favourite hour of the entire weekend tbh. All in all, most of the NHL94 guys seem like very mature and well-adjusted men, but also very fun-loving and polite. And I offered tons of free weed to everyone I met, but only @Stantonator responded positively by offering me some of his in return haha. I order my weed by asking what will put me to sleep. He asks for the strongest. 

We wake up the next day to a message from Raph saying he left to airport and wished us well. The rest of us chatted another 2 hours while we waited for Airbnb checkout time. We had to leave szpak’s CRT TV in the garage. I figured they wouldn’t notice until we were ready to grab it. Instead, they nearly immediately text me a picture of the TV and leftover beers LOL. Oh well.

I went to the airport early and started writing this. Only funny things there were running into Halifax at a nearby gate, and Scribe randomly giving me the edibles he didn’t eat, and I took them without considering travel limits. So I walk up to the security screening and say “I’m concerned about the amount of cannabis I have on me.” Ended well though, but really it's just hilarious from like 3+ years ago where I'd be in jail right now.

All in all, I had a great time and I learned SO MUCH that I want to use forward and hopefully join the team of Halifax and smozoma to help provide some needed administration and acceleration. I have SO many ideas, but I want to wait until everyone does their write-up, and everyone does their survey, and then incorporate my event and marketing ideas into things, and see what I can do. Had a wonderful experience meeting everyone and playing some games with NO LAG!!!!!!

I'm in for every event from now on. Nothing will keep me away, except the cold cold hand of the specter of DEATH (knock on wood). 

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I wanted to write up a bit of a recap here of my SNES tournament while I still remember some of what happened, it might be boring but thanks for humoring me. :lol:

If I don't mention someone, I probably just forgot to but it was genuinely nice to talk to everyone I did interact with over the weekend, and I'm sorry I didn't get to talk to everyone! 

Overall, it was a great weekend. Have to say big thanks to @halifax for everything he does - I can't overstate how much the community is in debt to you for putting together these live events and bringing so many of us together. It's also always a personal pleasure to see you and hang out, even though you're usually busy organizing or playing. I'm just happy I've been able to attend so many of these tournaments. Kudos to @smozoma as well who I can tell you spent a lot of time loading up his car with consoles, cables and TVs - along with doing lots of other stuff over the course of the event - to help make this thing happen.

This was my second time at Waves and it is (was :() a super venue, we had all the space we needed, great setups to play and stream, and it was nice to be able to grab a beer or a bite without venturing out.

Great to run into some of the old guard like @IAmFleury'sHipCheck who also seems determined to attend as many live events as possible. Love to see it and always amazing to chat even though we didn't have a ton of time to hang out. Likewise @kingraphwho is a fixture at these things and always has a smile on his face. Also wanted to shout out some of the folks who came from afar like @Stantonator who has a great attendance record representing the west coast, as well as some of my nWo buddies @TecmoJon @angryjay93 @Gambi and @koke_45 (too sweet).

There was a good showing from the Maritimes too with folks like @dangler @Mooney and @slipperypete making the trip, great to meet dangler again after KO94 2 and put faces to names for the others. Mooney also showed he can put away the beers like a champ, I know you are doing the east coast proud.

The community right now is just a great bunch of guys and like I said, there's too many others to mention so I'll just say it was great to meet everyone, whether it was SNES or gens people.

I drove in on Friday and we did the 2v2 and it was a ton of fun. Nice to bring home some hardware with @Bob Kudelski. I don't really remember too much about our games except for the final where we sqeaked out a 2-1 win over angryjay and Tecmo with a nice passing play. I don't think it was very attractive 2v2 but we got the job done. 

Saturday was a fairly late start for me as I didn't sign up for Sega so I slept in and got over to the venue around noon to play some exis with @dangler and @koke_45, unfortunately those ended up being some of my best games of the day, should have saved those for when it counted!

I started my tournament off with a loss to @McMarkis who always plays me tough. I can't remember the teams but I think it was a one goal game. I then got a much needed result against angryjay who is never an easy out in SNES. I won the rest but we had some bumps along the way, I was losing to The Professor's son who has come a long way with his game but managed to turn it around. I also had a 2-1 win over Yepster where he called EDM-SJ and I only barely won, lol. I think group D was a tough bunch of players, or maybe the overall quality was just really high!

My other games were against Johnzors and StreetMage and I did manage to get a mercy in the last game which really helped my goal difference. But it wasn't enough, I finished 5-1 along with angryjay and McMarkis and I had the worst goal difference of the three of us. That put me on the top half of the bracket with dangler who was coming in as #1 seed.

First I had to get through sickfish who had also gone 5-1 so I knew I couldn't take him lightly. He won the first game 4-3, I can't remember the matchup, but now I was definitely sitting up and taking notice. I was able to get some momentum going after that and I won 7-1 and 6-2 to ease through, but I was sweating after game 1!

That meant last 8 in the winner's bracket and I had to face dangler in a 1 vs. 8 matchup. I normally play dangler pretty close but he can be so deadly if he gets hot, so I knew I'd have to be playing at my best. I wanted to call mid tier teams against him (the Mikail treatment) to try to slow the game down and we went NYI-PHI (I think) with him picking the Flyers. There wasn't much between us in the game and it went to OT and then almost to the end of OT after I couldn't bury a couple chances. He scored with 4 seconds left to take game 1, brutal.

Real tough to get back in the right mindset after that but no choice. I'm already forgetting the matchups but I think it was something like MTL-WPG and I want to say I took the Habs. If you have a better memory than me please correct me. But I managed to get hot and it was a pretty easy win, 7-3 in the end to set up a decider. I went against my better judgement here and didn't pick another lower tier matchup, going for WSH-LA. I still think that's a good matchup, but he took the Kings and definitely got the most out of them. It was never really close, I lost 8-4 and got knocked down to loser's.

My first elimination game was against @TheWiz84 (another guy I was happy to meet, a great new addition to the community and a solid bud) and I don't remember the teams but we both put some goals up on the board and I ended up making it 10-4 to move on.

That set me up for a grudge match against my good buddy Tecmo who got the better of me in the last online King. He was actually higher seed after killing it in the RR, so I had to pick a matchup and again I don't know what teams I picked (he probably does, since he is way better than me at remembering these things). I had to play pretty tight and take my chances, it ended 4-1 and I was happy to inform him after that our lifetime record in King games was now 1-1.

Now I had to wait to see who was going to be knocked down from winner's, and it ended up being The Professor who always manages to be a gentleman as well as a super tough opponent. We played on stream but unfortunately it wasn't a great game for the neutral. I picked a NJ-STL matchup, something I felt pretty confident about. I guess I expected him to give me NJ, but he didn't, and I ran into a red hot Claude Lemieux as well as Prof's usual precise play. I kept trying to get behind the net with Janney to feed someone out front and he kept reading the play perfectly. 4-2 loss and my day was done.

All that remained was to see how things were going to unfold for the last 4 of Prof, dangler, koke and Bob Kudelski. Not exactly a shocking group to make it to the end, although I had hoped to knock one of them out. Dangler was on a heater and ended up mercying Bob in both games in winner's final, and probably thought he had one hand on the trophy.

Bob really had to dig deep to then come from behind to beat koke in a best of 3 before playing some of the best 94 I've seen him play when the chips were down. A bunch of us got up on stage to watch the last couple games and both guys were giving it their all. Really impressive stuff. Ultimately it was Bob who edged it with some super clutch goaltending and I was happy for him. Felt like redemption for that famous Vegas final.

Dangler played great and will probably win another one of these if he wants to, I know what second place feels like though bud.

Was a pretty relaxing end to the night as we were about to get kicked out of the venue and I had a long drive back on Sunday so nothing much else went down.

I was hoping to be top four going into the weekend and I ended T5 so I guess that's close - it doesn't feel like a total success but I also can't really complain as the top guys are just so good now and we had 7 out of the 9 guys in A league at the event.

I'll be back!

 

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My turn to talk about the weekend :lol:

I spent 14 years of my life running a yearly retro game tournament; I have the benefit of an inkling of what @halifaxand @smozomawent through over the course of the weekend. The tournament, with big help from @UltraMagnusand the generally polite and accommodating members of the community, went off without any major issues. That can only happen from hard work, dedication, and a love of doing something right for a huge group of people. Big thanks and appreciation for the work those guys put in to make the tournament a huge success. 

On to the boring part.....
I flew in on Air Canada on Thursday and managed to get to the AirBnB in enough time to get some games in with @Scribe99 @danTML7 and Szpakman just as a nice welcome to the weekend. The Friday events were awesome and well run, due to a family issue my original partner @DanKcould not make the tournament, so I was saddled with this @angryjay93guy for Super Nintendo 2 v 2. By staying out of his way, we managed to snag a 2nd place finish in the tournament which was a nice bonus. 

Saturday dawned with us in the AirBnB running behind for the morning, though we made it in time for the tournament's start. I hit my goal in the Genesis tournament, sneaking into the backdoor of the King Bracket before bowing out almost immediately. But as a bonus, I got to play Smoz which was incredibly fun. 

In the Super Nintendo tournament, I managed to surprisingly cruise through group play taking a single loss to @TheProfessorand Bob Essensa's skate blades 4-3. I upset the future champ @Bob Kudelskiin a Rangers/Kings game that - unfortunately for the rest of the field - I was never in any danger of losing and led him to refocus his efforts. 

Bracket play opened against @Stantonatorand this is where I wish we had the series on stream. First game he called Boston/Pitt - I grabbed Pitt, both teams were equally matched, and I managed to pull out the game 1 win. I called Washington/St Louis for game 2 (a personal favorite of mine and @annatar) and Stanton grabbed the Caps. For most of the game, he kept me out of reach, scoring timely goals, securing his defensive zone, and playing well. I managed to claw back to a one goal deficit with 40ish seconds to go and a center circle faceoff. Stanton won it, got the puck to Bondra, and decided to (and I agree with this decision) use Bondra to just play keep away from the center of my zone and run out the clock. Somehow, Jeff Brown and Garth Butcher managed to catch that little guy and check the puck away from him. A pass to little Nelson Emerson kick started a race toward his goal. Ridley failed to square up Emerson, Hatcher and Iafrate were just out of position, and Stanton was caught between trying to hit Emerson and take Beaupre. I managed to sneak a short side deke just inside the post and hit the game tying goal with 3 seconds left on the clock. I personally thought Stanton was going to either a. have a heart attack, b. break a chair, or c. kill me :) . Fortunately, he refocused and won the game in overtime. Game 3 was a Rangers/Kings call, I grabbed the Rangers as I did against BobK and managed to see out the series win. 

That moved me on to play @koke_45 one of the more scary players to face in any setting. While I gave a good account of myself in a Montreal/Toronto matchup, I just didn't have the chops to keep up in his preferred Quebec/Edmonton matchup. I'll get him one of these days. 


That knocked me down into the loser's side where I won my first game against Rooster in a Winnipeg/Toronto matchup before having to face Annatar. As he said above, he has a small score to settle with me and chose a Winnipeg/St Louis matchup. My run of using big, slow-ish, skilful-ish teams ended with a 4-1 defeat to a good friend. 

And that is really what this tournament was about meeting all of the people I have known only as names and the occasional face/voice behind a screen. It was an amazing experience meeting Szpak, Kaze, Sebe, Scribe, Mr T, Thrillhouse, KingRaph, DanTML, Corbett, AngryJay, Annatar, BobK, Koke, Dangler, TheProfessor, Gambi, Mooney, SlipperyPete, Stantonator, Skankhunt, Halifax, and Smoz. I know I missed out on meeting some other people, but I know I will see them at the next one and the one after that and the one after that.....

(Oh, and I finished 4th in the Genesis 95 tournament with UltraMagnus and Segathon pointing out who I should play next over and over again until I was done)

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