Charlotte DynamoCapJack RangersCHARLOTTE DYNAMO



SERIES PREVIEW Stanley Cup 1983-84! Rangers hope to get back to the finals (again) and maybe win one for a change. However, it will be an uphill battle.

And the battle starts with Charlotte! The Dynamo qualified for the postseason after a dramatic turnaround from their dismal start. In fact, many prognosticators saw them potentially winning the Patrick Division, but that start really hurt. But they made up for it and charged hard. However, the Dynamo struggled with 2 teams this year – New Castle, who took their season series 4-zip, and the Rangers, who won the season series 6 games to 2! So the Rangers might have the advantage in this series, or the Dynamo might work on their surge.

GAME #1 Opening game – teams on edge, this is it! And it started with both teams feeling out the opposition, but early in the 1st, Keith Crowder commits a big mistake when he gets nabbed for tripping. Dynamo gets the PP and wins the faceoff, Simmer with it, but Blomqvist hits him on the Rangers comes away with a 2 on 1 with Trottier and Sittler skating toward the Charlotte goalie. Trottier moves in, scoots past Erickson and fires it to Sittler, shoots, GOAL! beating Keans high over the glove. The Rangers are up 1-0 on the SH goal. Sittler (1) for Trottier. The Rangers manage to kill the rest of the penalty and Crowder returns to play a much-relieved fella. Spirited play continues from this point and with the Rangers making a move, Boschman is called for holding with 6 minutes left in the 1st. The Rangers are on their 1st PP. Dynamo wins the faceoff and clears it down the ice. The Rangers work it up ice with Arniel getting it to Sittler who takes it into the Charlotte zone, he sees Korab breaking in and fires it to him, and he one-times it right past Keans for the goal (1) from Sittler and Arniel. Rangers are now up 2-0 with a SH and PP goal in the 1st. 15 seconds later it was almost 3-0 as Haworth teed one up of the crossbar, but there was no more scoring in the 1st Charlotte did have 2 more scoring chances but Resch and the Ranger’s defense held firm.

Period 2 opens with Quennville and Beck squaring off a bit 18 seconds in and both going off for roughing. Rangers then get a PP 5 minutes in but Charlotte stifled it. Then Moller and Wickenheiser rough it up a bit and the Dynamo again give the Rangers a PP chance with 4 minutes to go when Gillis gets nabbed for holding. But again – nothing. And nothing was all anyone got in a tight-checking 2nd period. Playoff hockey at its best!

3rd period opens and Charlotte is facing an uphill battle. And 14 seconds into the period they catch a big break as Beck is whistled for holding! PP opens with the Rangers winning the draw and clearing the zone. Charlotte brings it back in, but Russell hits Boschman and the Rangers go on a rush but Quennville breaks it up. Off go the Dynamo, Hawerchuk, to Simmer, to Boschman, shoots (SC) but Sittler blocks it. Boshman gets it back but he’s rubbed out by a Russel hit and the Rangers are able to kill off the PP. Poulin then has a tough time going off for cross-checking 6 minutes in – PP killed off again – and then Poulin goes off AGAIN for roughing (with Ludzik) at the 9-minute mark. 6 penalty minutes for Poulin.

But the period is closing and the Dynamo are still behind 2-0. With less than 2 minutes to go, the Rangers are keeping things hot and Keans is forced to stay in. 1 minute left, Keans stops a shot and the Dynamo wins the faceoff and goes up ice where Bruce Crowder gets it and sends it to Gillis – shoots – Resch gloves the puck on the scoring chance and hangs on to it. Hawerchuk then wins the faceoff, 43 seconds left, he flips it to Simmer, to Glenn Anderson – slaps a one-timer, and GOAL!! His shot went low and Resch couldn’t move fast enough to get it and Anderson scores (1) and it’s suddenly a 2-1 game! 38 seconds left. Plenty of time! Rangers win the faceoff and clear it down to the Dynamo end giving them no time for an extra skater. But they still mount an attack, Simmer gets it up ice, to Hawerchuk – SC – shot! Saved by Resch who pounces on it. Rangers win the faceoff – and they decide the best defense here would be to take the puck up ice and try to score – and they almost did but Kean stops Keith Crowder’s shot, freezes it and the game ends. Rangers take the opener in a very stylistic Stanley Cup manner, 2-1. And their goals were a SH goal and PP goal in the first and they sat on it. Charlotte charged late and the Rangers were glad it was only a 60-minute game.

3. Resch 26 saves
2. Korab 1 goal (GWG)
1. Sittler 1 goal, 1 assist
Pretty even game with Charlotte up 27-25 in SOGs and winning 55% of the faceoffs, while the Rangers outhit them 24-16 and block 11 shots to 2 for Charlotte. But not a lot of overall shot attempts as the defenses were tight!

Game 1 in the books, Rangers up by 1 with a tight 2-1 win. Teams are regrouping for a game 2 meeting at the Garden. Fans are happy!

GAME #2 Game 2 of the Charlotte-CapJack series, Rangers up 1 game to none after their tight 2-1 win two days ago. Both teams will send the game 1 goalies, Kean and Resch, back out there and how will the players go into this one after the tight, tight opening game…
  Well, things seem to be following the tight pace from game 1 until Russell gets nabbed for hooking 10 1/2 minutes in. This was Charlotte’s 2nd PP opportunity and they don’t squander this one as Hawerchuk (1) finally solves the Resch riddle with a slapper that Resch almost stopped – but he didn’t. The Madison Oval Garden crowd was not happy as their team falls behind 1-0 and the first deficit they’ve had in the series. But less than 3 minutes later, the Rangers are in the lead 2-1! Beck (1) scores the first Rangers goal and then Haworth (1) scores 30 seconds later. So, it’s now 2-1 CapJack with 6 minutes left in the 1st. Well, this minute of play will see its 3rd goal when Hawerchuck (2) again beats Resch and a great play set up by Anderson and Lapointe. 3 goals within a minute and with just over 5 to go, the score is 2-2! BUT WAIT – there’s more, if you respond now, you can get 2 more goals this period. Just call 1-800-MORE GOALS! Yes, Jerry Korab (2) gets one for CapJack and the Rangers regain the lead less than a minute later. However, Sittler skates off the ice favoring his right hand and he’s injured his thumb and won’t be coming back – this could be big. And the Dynamo aren’t done as Eriksson (1) beats Resch on the stick side low with a neat wrister. And that was the final 1st-period goal. 3-3 tie.

Can the 2nd approach that level of excitement? Maybe. Scoring action starts after Moller (his 1st penalty of this game, but 2nd of the series) goes off for roughing just before the 4-minute mark. Rangers capitalize when Keith Crowder (1) gets the PP goal. Rangers just controlled it until they beat Keans. So the Rangers take a 4-3 lead. Then the period gets nasty. Boschman and Silk go off together for roughing 7 minutes into the period. 20 seconds later, Moller and Beck seem to think they need to finish the Boschman/Silk issue and both go off for fighting. At the 9 1/2 point, the Dynamo send Eriksson after Silk and they both go off for roughing. No PPs in that mess, but lots of dislikes! However, when Boschman returned from the sin bin, he made the most of it scoring a game-tying goal (1) when Hedberg got control of the puck in the Ranger end and feed Boschman and he fires it under the Resch stick. Then with 2 minutes left in the period, the Dynamo are at it again. Fergus and Hunter (who rung one off the crossbar earlier in the period) work it into the Rangers’ end. Hunter gets it, sends it to Fergus, slaps it, ooohh, Hunter (1) redirects it and it flies by Resch as the poor defensive play gets the Dynamo the easy goal and a 5-4 lead. Charlotte then gets a PP opportunity as Keith Crowder is called for holding Anderson’s stick. Rangers kill it off, at least the portion in the 2nd period and the period ends with Charlotte up 5-4. The Oval Garden crowd heads for more beer, but they’re not as happy as they were before (at least not from the play). The 2nd period was a more offensive one for the Rangers and they took the SOG contest 13-8, but Keans was a HUGE factor.

So, 3rd period, game 2 of the quarterfinal, and the home team is down 5-4. The locker room was concerted but steady. However, the Dynamo locker room came up with a defensive plan that totally stifled the Rangers as the period started. Halfway through 3 and it’s still 5-4 Charlotte. Then with 9 minutes to go, Haworth hits Laidlaw in the Rangers end, and the Rangers gain control as Keith Crowder scoops it up and it’s a 3 on 1 rush, with Arniel getting it and then to Haworth (2) and he slaps a rocket that Keans couldn’t catch up with and the game is tied 5-5! 2nd of the game for Haworth and the crowd is now buzzing from way more than the beer! The enthusiasm is contagious and the Rangers quickly make it 6-5 when Trottier (1), Luzik, and Robinson get together for a great goal by Trottier! The crowd is now really, really buzzing. The period is winding down and guess what? Dave Hunter and Silk go off for roughing – for Silk it’s his 3rd roughing of the game – Charlotte doesn’t like him for some reason. And while they’re gone, Charlotte finds a way to tie the game as Moller (1) gets offensive (as in a goal) to tie things up with just less than 2 minutes to go! He scores, Charlotte calls a time-out and we have 1:56 left in regulation all tied, 6-6! (Low Scoring Game)

So will we have Overtime? Well, not at 6-6 as the Rangers get the puck into the Dynamo end with Pettersson working it to Beck to Keith Crowder (2) – shots and beats Keans glove side high! And it’s 7-6 Rangers! Rangers call time to give their best guys some rest and try to figure out how to hold this lead for 36 seconds. Charlotte comes out with Hawerchuck as an extra attacker! CapJack gains control and Beck and Trottier work it up, Robinson works it to DeBlois and Silk is back on the ice and he gets the puck and shoots it at the open net – GOAL! 8-6 Rangers with the Silk (1) EN goal! 17 seconds left and Keans still on the bench for Charlotte – and the Rangers again gain control as Robinson and Trottier play keep away – slides it to Beck (2) and he fires it into the empty net for a 9-6 lead as the Rangers turned the 6-6 tie into a 9-6 rout with 3 goals inside the last minute (and in 23 seconds!!). That was the end of the scoring.

The Rangers pull it out with that final minute onslaught, but it was quite the exciting game! Rangers did go far more offensive in this one as they fired 39 shots and were able to control the faceoffs (57%) but it was the last-minute controls that won them the game. Charlotte was never out of it, and in fact, controlled the game most of the way!

3. Trottier 1 goal, 3 assists (also 20 of 28 faceoffs won)
2. Beck 2 goals, 1 assist
1. Keith Crowder 2 goals (GWG), 1 assist

  Series is now 2-0 CapJack and shifts to Charlotte. Based on Charlotte’s play so far, the Rangers feel real lucky to be up after the opening games. It was NOT easy!!

Win or lose, it’s been an exhilarating season for the Charlotte Dynamo as it makes the first postseason appearance in franchise history after three earlier losing campaigns. But the team finds its back against the wall as it hosts its first playoff game ever, down 2-0 to the much more experienced defending champion CapJack Rangers who have served notice they are going to defend their title with ferocity, evidenced by capturing the first two games of the series at home in tight, thrilling fashion, with both contests decided in the third period.

GAME #3 For this game three reports at Bojangles Arena, we take you five minutes into the second period: with CapJack up 2-1 and Rangers’ goalie Chico Resch looking unstoppable (stopping 16 first period shots), disaster ensues for Charlotte. A bad Dynamo line change leads to a three-on-two rush with CapJack’s Bryan Trottier absorbing a blow to the jaw (he would leave the game briefly) but not before getting a pass off to Jorgen Petterson who in turn gets the pass to Lucien DeBlois who beats Charlotte starting goalie
Andy Moog to put the Dynamo ahead 3-1.With things looking grim. Charlotte, down 3-1, calls the timeout and the message on the dry erase board has no x’s and o’s at all but instead the following message. “This is our season!”That motivation seems to ignite the Dynamo troops. Three minutes later, Charlie Simmer picks up a holding penalty providing the Rangers with the opportunity to put a nail in the series coffin. But Charlotte center Dave Poulin (in an ironic twist) hammers King Kong Korab with no penalty called, steals the puck, and goes in for the breakaway; he goes high with a stick-side shot on Resch and scores to reduce the deficit to 1! The Dynamo are facing further adversity, however, as defenseman Randy Moller hurts his thumb on the goal-scoring play (he would not return).A minute later Simmer returns to the ice leading to another odd-man rush and seemingly catching the Rangers by surprise: Charlotte defenseman Tom Laidlaw knocks Darryl Sittler off the puck and gets it to Poulin who passes off to Simmer for the game-tying goal 9:08 into the second period.The teams play scoreless the rest of the period. In the third, CapJack which fires 14 shots on Moog, has the early opportunities to break the tie. A minute and a half in DeBlois tries a wraparound where Moog makes his finest save of the game, with the hard shot deflecting and bouncing all the way to center ice.Three minutes later, Sittler skates around Poulin for a one-on-one shot against Moog who makes another dramatic save. Then, Charlotte’s Guy LaPointe picks up a tripping penalty seven minutes into the third period, giving the Rangers yet another chance to break the 3-3 tie. But the Rangers fail to get a shot off with the extra man.Following yet another CapJack chance to turn the table in their favor (a hard Barry Beck one-time shot is stopped by Moog), Charlotte exhibits its muscle in this physical contest yet again: Simmer knocks Doug Wickenheiser off the puck in the Rangers’ side of the ice and beats Resch with 7:58 left in the third, to give the Buzzards their third-unanswered goal and a 4-3 lead.Charlotte stays ahead, then following a key block by Paul Gillis on a CapJack Keith Crowder shot, followed by another big save by Moog (representing the Rangers’ two best chances to tie the game), the Dynamo have a huge chance to get insurance…with just over four minutes left in the third, Charlotte wins a neutral zone faceoff that Laurie Boschman collects, then passes to Dynamo right-winger Anders Hedberg who winds up and – it’s deflected in by Poulin at the 16:01 mark!

Seemingly defeated, CapJack loses the faceoff and Charlotte rushes in. Tom Fergus fires a shot that deflects off Resch’s skate, hard enough to knock him out of position. The puck returns right back to Fergus who fires a shot into an open net and ices the game for Charlotte, 6-3. Fergus’ goal came just 20 seconds after Poulin’s as the floodgates open late for the Dynamo to give them life in this series.

Three stars:
1. CHD Poulin 2 G, 3 Points
2. CAP Trottier, 2 G 3 points
3. CHD Simmer, 2 G 3 points and the game0winner

Notable: Dale Hawerchuk wins 16 faceoffs for the Dynamo who have a 47-25 edge in FOW and the Dynamo had a narrow edge in shots, 34-30. Trottier had accounted for CapJack’s first two goals in the first 17 minutes of the contest to put the Rangers ahead 2-0; a goal by Hawerchuk narrowed the deficit to 2-1 with 1:31 left in the first period.

Charlotte salvages its season (for now anyway), with five unanswered goals to erase a 3-1 deficit in game three and avert what would almost certainly be an insurmountable three games to zero deficit against this fierce Rangers squad. The Dynamo will start yet their third goalie of this playoffs when Alan Bester takes the net in game four. All three of these games have been decided in the third period and this 6-3 Charlotte win hardly came easy, with the final score quite deceiving.

  Charlotte trails CapJack, 2-1, in the quarterfinals but has given itself a fighting chance entering a pivotal game four at home, following a 6-3 win in the third game of the series. Win or lose, the Dynamo have proved themselves a worthy playoff team at this point against the defending champions – and there is a relief squad has not wasted an opportunity with eight 20-goal scorers among its 12 starting forwards — players including Dale Hawerchuk, Glenn Anderson and Charlie Simmer in their primes.

Charlotte will start its third goalie of the series, Alan Bester, in the nets. Bester clearly outshined the other two goalies during the regular season but the Dynamo will be employing a hot-hand approach in this second season where everything is reset.

GAME #4 Once again, the Dynamo demonstrated there was no quit – and once again in spectacular fashion rallied down from three goals (as in game 3) – this time tying the game in dramatic fashion at 4-4 with an even-strength goal by Dale Hawerchuk with just 38 seconds left in regulation.

This game moved into extended sudden-death overtime, where after several great opportunities by Charlotte to win the game and knot the series at 2-2, the game was decided by Keith Crowder and the Rangers. Crowder’s wraparound just shy of nine minutes into the extra period (8:58), beat Bester and sent the Bojangles Coliseum crowd home dejectedly.

Rangers goalie Chico Resch was an unsung hero for the Rangers with 46 saves, including four in overtime. Prior to Crowder’s game-winning goal, he prevented three legitimate scoring chances from slipping past him, saving two back-to-back hard shots by Charlotte forward Laurie Boschman and another by right-winger Anders Hedberg, leading to Crowder’s heroics.

Crowder’s game-winning goal after Bester failed to control a slapshot off the stick of CapJack defender Phill Russell, completed a hat trick. After both teams played through a scoreless first period (Resch in heroic fashion stopped 19 shots during the opening frame for Cap Jack), Crowder followed up a Dave Silk goal 4:12 into the second period with two of his own which put the Rangers ahead 3-0 midway through the game.

Charlotte’s Thomas Erikkson got the Dynamo on the scoreboard 16:04 into the contest but that was followed instantaneously, just 14 seconds later, by a Rangers goal that put them back up by three, 4-1. Jorgen Petterson won the face-off and after passes to Crowder and Russell gained the zone, Petterson deflected Crowder’s shot past Bester who had no chance.

But Charlotte picked up a goal by Hedberg with 2:32 left to play in the second to narrow the deficit to 4-2. After Resch (12 saves in the third) kept the Dynamo scoreless through most of the third period, Charlotte finally broke through again on an even strength goal by Charlie Simmer with 3:12 left in regulation that gave the Dynamo hope and closed the gap to one.

Hawerchuk’s desperation goal to tie the game came with Bester (just 21 saves against five goals on a night more was clearly needed) pulled from the nets and no less than four 30 goal scorers during the regular season on the ice, including Hawerchuk, Boschman, Glenn Anderson and Simmer. Simmer and Anderson assisted on the 3 on two rush that Hawerchuk dramatically converted.

After Crowder’s OT goal settled things, Charlotte players skated off wondering if this may be a game that ultimately decides the Stanley Cup champion, with convictions they had a team this season capable of winning the entire crapshoot. If this is indeed the last home game, Charlotte management will try to reload this offseason with four draft picks in the first two rounds after trading away two cap-prohibitive players during this Dynamo season to remember.

Three stars:
1. CAP Crowder, 3 goals and an assist after his shot was tipped in
2. CHD Simmer 1 G, 4 Pts
3. CAP Dave Silk, the opening goal that ended a scoreless deadlock in the second and put the Rangers ahead 1-0.

Notable: Resch failed to crack the three-star selection despite his 42 saves (.913 save percentage). Simmer had three assists. In defeat, Charlotte outshot CapJack 46-26.

  Charlotte now trails this quarterfinal series 3-1 and may have played its last game at home for the season unless it can survive in a game 5. While playing admirably against CapJack, this team may spend the offseason lamenting how it failed to win one of three games that were clearly within its reach – all of them decided in the third period or beyond.
GAME #5 Rangers can close it out and move to the next round; Charlotte can play for their lives. So far, all games have featured 3rd period (or later) goals for wins and some serious gutting it out.

Moog vs. Resch and Moog looks like he’s got stardom in his eyes (or skates or pads). But the Rangers seek to take that down a peg or two. In fact, it’s 2 – as the Rangers score not once but twice in the opening 12 minutes of the game. Keith Crowder connects on his 6th goal when his wrist shot 4 1/2 minutes into the game beats Moog top shelf. Then Phil Russell gets his 1st goal of the series when he takes advantage of loose Dynamo play and fires a wrister past Moog. But the Rangers lose Blomqvist to a knee injury for the rest of the game. The Rangers have missed 2 PP chances to boost their lead and then as the period wanes, they return the favor – in a BIG WAY! First Crawford and Korab go off together with a minute left for roughing and 8 seconds later Beck goes off for interference. This is what Charlotte needed Poulin makes it count as he takes a Hawerchuk pass and fires it past Resch to cut the score to 2-1 as the 1st period ends. CapJack tried hard to end it in the first firing 13 SOG on Moog, but he settled down.

2nd period starts and the teams seem to be playing it a lot tighter. Shots are down, 8-6 for CapJack, and the Rangers keep the big edge on faceoffs (63.5% for the game). However, the Dynamo took the tactic of fighting with Crowder to get him off the ice. And while he and Perry Anderson were gone, Kotsopoulus gives Charlotte the PP when he is sent off checking from behind. And just as the PP is ending Glenn Anderson gets run over (no call). He gets up, the puck is in the Ranger end, Hedberg has it, to Glenn Anderson, he flips it toward the net – and it GOES IN FOR THE GOAL! Tie game! And that’s how the 2nd period ends, 2-2.

OK – 3rd period, Rangers got the jump, Dynamo got the comeback, what will happen in the 3rd. Hawerchuk goes off 34 seconds in for charging – they kill it off. CapJack gets called for too many men on the ice 13 minutes in – they kill it off. 3 minutes to go, will it go to OT? Charlotte hopes not. But a faceoff outside their end goes the Rangers’ way. Sittler to Crowder but the puck bounces over his stick. Hwerchuk walks it over the line, to Laidlaw, back to Hawerchuk, he sends it to Simmer – fires it – GOAL!! And with 1:37 the Dynamo grad a 3-2 lead. Rangers try hard as the clock ticks down, but can’t get enough control to get much of an extra attacker on the ice and Charlotte holds them off for the win at the Garden and send the series back to Charlotte for game 6!

Charlotte hogged all the Stars of this game (as they should)
3. Simmer 1 goal (GWG)
2. Glenn Anderson 1 goal
and the #1 Star of the game: Poulin 1 goal

Moog was pretty sweet between the pipes with 30 big saves.

  So, we head back to Charlotte for a game 6 – the Dynamo are fighting tough. Might be a few adjustments for the Rangers! Will it end on the road, or will we be back for game 7 at the Garden?

If this season has demonstrated anything, it is that this Charlotte Dynamo team will not go away quietly. Not after coming back from the darkness of a 6-15-4 start to the regular season (and yes, that’s six measly wins in the first 25 folks) or after deficits of 3-1 and 2-0 to a powerhouse CapJack Rangers team proudly defending its title in the MWOTHL quarterfinals. It seems like having eight 20-goal forwards in your lineup, which is what the Dynamo boasts, will at least assure that you have a fighting chance and baseline provide hope with every game you play in.

The Dynamo journey now takes us to game six of the quarterfinals on Charlotte’s home ice after a game 5 3-2 win in the oval confines of the Rangers. This is as tight as it gets with the Rangers outscoring the Dynamo in the series overall 22-21, the difference in its one game 3-2 edge. Will this be the end of the line for Charlotte or the continuation of a special run since that atrocious start when management finally jettisoned a couple of key cap-prohibitive players, hit reset as it thought it was rebuilding (but then a funny thing happened along the way – it started winning all the way to a postseason berth). That Charlotte comeback journey takes us here, game six at the Bojangles Arena:

GAME #6 And there is joy in the Queen City of Charlotte as in another tight and tension-filled game where the final score once again belied a game not decided until late, the Dynamo held onto a 3-2 lead by the end of the second contest and ultimately prevailed for a 5-2 victory — a final score aided by a last-second empty-net goal – to force a game 7 at the prestigious Madison Oval Garden.

Charlie Simmer continued to star for Charlotte with his fifth goal of the series, a game-changer 17 seconds into the third period that was attained after top-line mate Dale Hawerchuk won the faceoff, which put the Dynamo ahead 4-2.

CapJack fired 14 of its 34 shots in the third period (doubling Charlotte) but Doug Keans, the loser of two tough draws on the road in games 1 and games 2 of this season, returned to the nets and justified the team’s decision to draft him in the second round of the latest MWOTHL draft – just for this precise type of moment – with 32 saves. In shutting out the Rangers in the third period Keans made two acrobatic saves in the first part of the period to help the Dynamo preserve its cushion (a stop of a Timo Blomqvist wrist shot with 17:27 left to play in the period, followed up by an athletic save on a Bryan Trottier shot in close with 13:50 remaining in the third). The Rangers, trailing 4-2, finally pulled Chico Resch with 1:20 left in the third, but Hawerchuk found the empty net with nine ticks on the clock.

Another player who justified his being drafted in the second round by Charlotte with some game six heroics was defenseman Randy Moller. His, shorthanded goal 3:42 in the first period, following a Dave Poulin penalty, gave Charlotte a 1-0 lead and the team never trailed. The defenseman was drafted two years ago one spot ahead of Tony Tanti, who has emerged as one of the league’s top scorers (with Ohio) – and in an agonizing decision Dynamo management elected to draft Moller instead of Tanti to rebuild a depleted defense, especially with Simmer, Hawerchuk and Glenn Anderson in tow.

After Moller scored on the 2-1 rush assisted by Dave Hunter, neither team cracked the scoreboard until Darryl Sittler beat Kean’s top shelf on the power play with just a scant two seconds left in the first, to tie the contest at 1-1.

The Dynamo recovered from that challenging setback and gathered itself with goals from Tom Fergus and Anderson 5:24 and 6:34 into the second period, with Anderson’s goal proving to be the game-winner. The Rangers struck again late, this time in the second period with 1:45 left, on a Glen Cochrane wrist shot goal as both teams were exchanging lines to narrow the deficit to 3-2 before Simmer’s goal opened the third.

Neither team excelled on the power play (a combined one for eight) but the special team’s woes of the Rangers seemed to hurt them more (one for five through the first two periods including surrendering the Moller shorthanded goal). CapJack was also hindered by the loss of Keith Crowder 10:23 in (finger injury that kept him out the remainder of the game).

Three stars all Charlotte:
1. Anderson, 1 GWG 2 points
2. Hawerchuk 1 G, 2 points
3. Moller 1 G, 2 points

Trottier won 19 faceoffs as the Rangers won the faceoff battle 29-28 but losing the opening third-period faceoff as Simmer scored to put Charlotte ahead 4-2 proved to be costly. Charlotte had more scoring chances 22-12.

  A series that seemed destined for CapJack to cruise onward to the defense of its championship (with early series leads of 2-0 and 3-1) has instead turned into an instant MWOTHL classic where both teams will now duke it out in a Game 7 quarterfinal matchup that will almost certainly be as hard fought and tightly contested – and entertaining — as the prior six contests.

This series will probably be decided by a Hall of Famer – CapJack boasting Trottier and Sittler, and Charlotte with forwards Glenn Anderson and Dale Hawerchuk on its top line. Two legendary goalies will be suiting up too in Chico Resch for the Rangers, Andy Moog for the Dynamo. Bring it on!

Stanley Cup – Quarter Finals – Upstart Charlotte Dynamo have stretched this series to 7 games behind some relentless goal keeping by Andy Moog during the late charge back from down 3-1 and dogged and determined play by Charlie Simmer (5 goals, 5 assists in the 6 games), Dale Hawerchuk (5 goals, 6 assists in 6 games) and Glenn Anderson. No longer are they alone with their backs against the wall.

Game 7 – Madison Oval Garden, crowds are standing in the aisles and throughout the arena and out on to 8thth Avenue and Pennsylvania Square. No where to park, no where to run, no where to hide. It’s all or nothing in tonight’s final game of the series and Moog and Chico Resch have been given the nod.

GAME #7 If I told you a game 7 would have 28 Scoring Chances you’d never believe me, but both teams came to play and work over the defenses, both teams with more than 20 chances each. Yet, with that many chances, the goalies worked very hard, very hard!

Sort of a typical first period – CapJack comes out for bear (not blood) and fires 16 shoots that made it through to Andy Moog. The period is marked by solid hitting by the defense and as noted some very strong goal tending. And finally the ice was broken 6 minutes in. During a line change the Dynamo dump it into the CapJack end – and Resch decides to cover it and fires a long pass out to Blomqvist. He sees Ludzik slipping behind the Dynamo players as they finish their change. He gains the zone, waists no time slaps one that zings into the back of the net for Rangers goal and a 1-0 lead. For Ludzik, his 1st goal of the playoffs – and for RESCH, he gets an assist on the play. A couple of minutes later, Heberg gets called for tripping and the Rangers get a PP – but those pesky Dynamos first block two shots and Moog stops a slapper and one right out front and they kill off the penalty. Midway through the period Perry Anderson and Barry Beck get into a bit of a tussle and both go off for roughing. But nothing happens. Rangers keep pressing however but Charlotte takes control as the period is drawing to a close. About a minute and a half left, Lapointe separates Sittler from the puck and Fergus gets it into the Rangers end. Crawford, to Quenneville to Hunter – slap shot – oooh, Resch with the save! Trottier then wins the faceoff in the Rangers end and DeBlois works it out and dumps it into the Dynamo end as we hear the 1 minute left in the period call. Pettersson is feed the puck by Trottier for the one-timer – ooh again – this time Moog makes a big save and holds on. Gillis and Trottier faceoff – CapJack gets it (they again control the faceoff stats in this one). DeBlois to Trottier – shots and Pettersson redirects – GOAL! Wow that was a nifty deflection, Pettersson with his 2nd goal of the series and the Rangers are up 2-0. And that’s how the 1st period ends.

HOWEVER – this is a very familiar scene in these playoffs, Rangers up early and the Dynamo just getting ramped up. SOG in the 1st: 16 for CapJack 8 for Charlotte!

Word came out of the Dynamo locker room that the coach again held up the clip board that read “This is our season.”

Funny how little things like that can have a big affect. My cousin used a baseball bat duirng halftime to get the Tennessee Lady Vols back on track during the NCAA championship run in 2006-7 (as one or the assistant coaches). So, could a clip board be the catalyst for a big upset?

WELL … the period starts chippy as Hawerchuk and Pettersson go off for roughing as the puck drops to open the period (is this ‘Slapshot’?). But that seems to just be the warm up of what was to come for Charlotte. They keep pressure on the Rangers and when the Rangers fire one into the Dynamo end, Silk goes after it but it pressured and he mishandles it and Fergus and his line come on and bring it up ice. Fergus fires to Laidlaw – he shovels it to Crawford, to Fergus – FORE – he tees it up and slaps it right past a stunned Resch and the score is now 2-1 Rangers. That took all of 3 minutes, 16 seconds. But doggone it, those Dynamo weren’t finished. CapJack wins the center ice faceoff, but Poulin hits Blomqvist and the Dynamo take control. Heberg in, crosses the line, to Erickson streaking in, he winds up, shoots!!!! Ahh, glove save. Fergus then wins the faceoff – to Hunter, oh, he shoots a rocket – NO SAVE on this one, what a shot. Hunter (2) the goal and Fergus gets the save and sports fans, we are tied 2-2. Garden fans are suddenly quiet. Seems like they been through this before. But then we go through a period of up and down, back and forth, tight defense and we’re down to the final 5 minutes in the 2nd and then the pressures and tempers get uppity again and Gillis and Silk go off together (to separate penalty boxes) for roughing with 4:06 to go. Rangers win the faceoff and Sittler takes it up ice, across the line, he sees Blomqvist pass, pass back to Sittler, to Russell – oh, he’s got a play, a chance a shot – it’s IN, GOAL and the Rangers go back in front 3-2 on Russell’s 2nd goal. But there’s still 3 1/2 go go and the Dynamo are still coming on strong. After the Ranger goal, they win the faceoff and immediately go on the offense and Hedberg is in the zone – scoring chance, slap shot – Resch snares it and hangs on. Then the Rangers take control and fire a couple that Moogs saves, then another, and finally in the final two minutes of play the Rangers get a PP with a chance to get some insurance. Laidlaw was nabbed for holding trying to quell the Rangers energy. Rangers power play is starting to come alive, DeBlois with a great scoring chance – but Hawerchuk gives up the body to stop the puck. Silk a hard one-timer, Moog stops it, Kotsopoulus gets the rebound, slaps it, Moog AGAIN stops it. And as Laidlaws penalty comes to an end, Charlotte is clearing and Hawerchuck dumps it to the corner – Simmer gets to it first, to Hawerchuk, to Glenn Anderson – SHOOTS – nice save by Resch, and the period ends and it’s 3-2 CapJack. But there are still at least 20 minutes to go!! Rangers didn’t let up on the offense as they fire 15 SOGs – the Dynamo picked up their game and fired home 11 shots.

20 minutes between moving on or playing golf. Rangers GM likes to do both – but he’ll take the moving on. Dynamo coach, already called out a few times during this game for calls he doesn’t like, has gotten past the awe of just being here to the big desire to move on. Both coaches are trying to do their best inspirational magic in the locker room. Charlotte needs to score, CapJack would like to score but also not give up any goals – and that’s a tough assignment.

Period starts and inside the opening minute DeBlois and Trottier team up for a great scoring chance – but it goes wide. A minute later, they get another but Moog deflects Trottier’s shot out of play. Things settle a bit but then the Dynamo get a break as the Poulin line presses the attack. After a Langevin shot goes wide, Hunter and crew come on and Hunter takes the slap shot – but it goes over the glass. The Rangers are still controlling play and with 4 1/2 gone, Arniel fires one in that Crowder deflects – and Moog makes a nice save. Ensuing faceoff leads to a Pettersson wrap around – ohh, Moog saves it AGAIN! Now past the halfway point – still 3-2 Rangers and the Rangers get another scoring chance when Silk fires in one for close range, again, Moog with the save. 8 minutes to go, Resch stops a Langevin slap shot, then with 7 to go another line change and Charlotte comes flying over the blue line. Hawerchuk to Simmer – he drives one through traffic – but wide! Oh, that looked good, that side of the net was clear. 6 to go, Langevin again shoots one that Resch stops as it was rising toward the top of the net. Oh and Hawerchuk gets leveled – no call. Behind the bench, Cole is having some words for the refs!!

Just over 4 to go, still 3-2, Rangers Trottier moves it across the Blue Line to DeBlois – slap shot – saved by Moog but loose in the crease. DeBlois gains it, works it back, Pettersson shoots – its a great opportunity and Moog with the stick save. Rangers keep pressing, puck goes back to Trottier – he shoots low – GOAL!! Trottier finds the open side of the net as Moog was not able to get back. #4 for Trottier and goal 4 for the Rangers as they take a nice 4-2 lead with 3:57 to go!
BUT – this is the Cup playoffs and Charlotte is not ready to give up and go home – no sir! Dynamo win the faceoff and take it into the Rangers end. for the next 2 minutes they control play but can’t get a good setup. 1:30 to go, Moog goes to the bench, Boschman on. Hwaerchuk and Simmer work it around, Hawerchuk has it, puck gets into the Ranger end, Boschman with it, he fires a slap shot – oh man it’s IN for a GOAL and Charlotte scores to pull within 1 at 4-3 with 71 BIG SECONDS left to go. TIMEOUT – magic clipboard time. Faceoff – Charlotte in control, to Boschman – another chance, slap shot – WIDE. Beck clears it, but Simmer gets it, moves in, he’s got a chance – Slap shot, RESCH denies him and he’s trying to clear it. Boschman gains the puck, to Hawerchuk, but he loses the puck crossing the line and Pettersson in possession to DeBlois, to Trottier for the Empty netter, but Charlotte blocks it 30 seconds left, fresh skaters on the ice. And it’s Hawerchuck, Boschman, Eriksson – Erikson with a good shot – but DeBlois slides in front of it to block it. Simmer gets it – to Glenn Anderson – a shot – oh Resch stops it, rebound, Boschman has it, Rangers can’t get control, 13 seconds left, Charlotte digging hard – Boschman with it, he has a chance, Slap Shot – Resch stops it again, but the rebound is in front of him. Big scrum, Hawerchuck, and Beck fighting for it – Beck wins, to Trottier and the HORN SOUNDS – Game over, Rangers win 4-3 and take the series. Whew!! Elation and fatigue all at the same time.

Something about the Dynamo that they were able to hang despite being outshot 41-25 and winning only 40% of the faceoffs. Credit Andy Moog (37 saves) as they made this a game (and series). And the Rangers finally didn’t totally give up the late-game lead! They made it happen when it totally mattered.
STARS of the GAME (and there can only be 3):
# 3 – Charlotte’s Keith Fergus with 1 goal and 1 assist
# 2 – CapJack’s Jorgen Pettersson with 1 goal and 1 assist
and star #1 – CapJack’s captain – Bryan Trottier with a goal and assist and 17 faceoff wins!

And how about that Chico Resch getting an assist in this game on the opening goal!!

SERIES SUMMARY Wow-what a final and what a series. Rangers’ pundits were not at all surprised to be fighting for their lives. Mike Cole did an amazing job rebounding from the sad start (Rangers scouts actually thought the division would be Charlotte 1st and CapJack 2nd). Feigning a rebuild, what Cole did was adjust the chemistry and shape the Dynamo into a big winner – and yes, it was also a rebuild, so expect to see them here again next year and probably more than just the first round. Congratulations Mike Cole and the Charlotte Dynamo.