New Castle DucksMackinac Island MooseNEW CASTLE DUCKS


SERIES PREVIEW Game 1 of the Western Conf. Finals. A rematch between New Castle and Mackinac Island. Last year the Ducks took the series 4-2. New Castle is well rested after a 4-0 series win. The Moose was a bit tired after a 7 game series which included 2 overtime games.
GAME #1 Good even back and forth early, but the Moose get on the board in the 6th minute, when MacLean blasts one from the blue line. A few minutes later the only penalty of the period when Williams checks from behind. Moose jump on the opportunity and Quinn scores on the wraparound. Moose control play the rest of the period, ending with a 14-8 SOG advantage. Melanson perfects in goal, and we go to break 2-0 Moose.

Donnelly was injured early has the Moose juggling lines to cover. Early in the period, a Hardy minor puts the Moose on PP, but they struggle to organize offensively, only getting 1 shot off. 6 minutes in, off an icing call, a faceoff in the Ducks zone sees Eaves find Kurri with an opening and he cashes in. Now 3-0 Moose. Ducks keep the puck on the Moose side most of the period, with a 13-6 SOG edge. Near the end, the Moose takes the puck from end to end, and Beers scores with 21 seconds left on the clock to push the lead to 4 as we head to the 3rd.

Moose trying to finish this one off with no errors, not terribly aggressive. Able to keep themselves between the Ducks and the net all period. The Ducks get off 11 shots to only 4 for the Moose, but Quinn finds Propp in scoring position on one, and he gets the 5th goal of the game. Moose milk the clock down to empty and happily ends this one with a W. Group hug for Melanson and his 32 save shutout.

Final – Moose 5, Ducks 0

1st star – Melanson 32 saves
2nd – Propp 1G 3pts
3rd – Quinn 1G 3pts

GAME #2 Moose survive the Donnelly injury and escape with the 1st game win. Now we wait to see what changes the Ducks will bring in game 2.   

The Moose is up 1 game to 0. Ducks regroup and come in energized for game 2. Sell-out crowd. Fun times.

The first mistake of the game, a boarding penalty by Williams, results in no damage on the scoreboard. Near the midway point, a Pederson minor gives the Moose an advantage, but once again the Ducks PK unit is up to the task, and we remain scoreless. As Pederson comes back on the ice, puck still in the Duck zone, a few passes & finds Lysiak who penetrates, gets around Hardy and flips the puck in the net. 1-0 Moose. A Cote minor put the Ducks in a PP, but the Moose PK is up to the task and the lead holds. Shand with a minor late in the period sees another PP chance die, via the Duck PK unit. As the horn sounds, it’s 1-0 Moose. Ducks get 14 SOG but nothing in the net.

2nd period sees a Moose possession push down the ice, and a 2 on 2, Terrion, Rogers, and Price with some nifty passing ends up with Terrion a one-timer into the net, and Moose are up 2-0, 5 minutes into the period. A minute later, a questionable charging call puts the Moose on the PP. One minute in a shot by O’Connell leaves a rebound and Eaves pokes it in to push the lead to 3. After that, back-to-back skirmishes, the 2nd one a lot more fun to watch, puts Boutette and Price in the box with their teammates, and we have some 4-on-4 action, but no damage. As the period winds down, the Ducks finally breakthrough with a goal when Pederson gets open at mid-range. It’s 3-1 with 4 minutes to go, and are the Ducks finding some magic? 2 minutes later the Moose answer with a feed from Propp to MacLean, his 7th of the playoffs. Moose are up 4-1 and we go to intermission.

Early in the 3rd, a Campbell penalty, getting him up to 19 minutes already, opens the door for the Ducks. A number of blocked shots and saves by Beaupre however, kill the advantage, and we skate on at 4-1. No more penalties and the Moose once again play safe. Another 14 SOG by the Ducks, but the Moose absorb the punches and hang on for the win.

Final Moose 4, Ducks 1

1st star – Beaupre 35 saves
2nd – Lysiak 1G
3rd – Terrion 1G

  Moose hold serve at home. Great performance by Beaupre and his defenders.
Moose travel to New Castle where I am sure, the Ducks will have some new wrinkles to throw at us.The defending Stanley Cup Champion New Castle Ducks trail Mackinac Island 2-0 in the Conference Finals. The Ducks were routed at Mac Island by scores of 5-0 and 4-1. But now they are home at The Duck Pond where their noisy, quacking, fans should give them the inspiration they need to get back into contention and a shot at a second Stanley Cup. The Moose, however, won the President’s Trophy as the league’s best team so it will be no easy task for the New Castle squad
GAME #3 A tight checking in the first period and its scoreless past the 10-minute mark. Then at 13:37 John MacLean scores his 8th of the playoffs and it’s 1-0 Moose. Less than two minutes later the great Jari Kurri gets his TENTH of the playoffs and it’s 2-0 Moose, as the game looks awfully like the first two on the Island. Then, as the clock winds down on the period, New Castle’s top scorer, Rick Middleton, comes through with his 7th of the playoffs to make it 2-1 after one.

Second period and 1:10 in, the Ducks get a huge opportunity when Moose defenseman Wade Campbell gets a five-minute major for roughing. The Ducks storm the zone but it’s the Moose who get a 2-on-1 rush the other way as Ruskowski sends it over to O’Connell who is stopped by Billy Smith! Still, 2-1 and the Ducks keep pressing. SEVEN shots on goal during the five-minute power play but none get past Rollie Melanson and it’s still 2-1 Moose as Campbell returns to the ice. At 6:44 MacLean and Tiger Williams go at it with both players getting 5 for fighting. Then comes the turning point of the game – at 9:55- when Brian Propp takes a pass from Curt Giles and puts it past Smith to make it 3-1. A huge insurance goal for the Moose. And less than two minutes later Alain Cote makes it 4-2 with his third of the playoffs. 4-1 Moose after two periods.

Third period – and the Ducks pick up the tempo. They outshoot MIM 11-4 in the period but Melanson is unbeatable in net for the Moose. With a little under 3 minutes to go, the Ducks pull the goalie for the extra attacker but it is for naught and finally with 36 seconds left Cote puts one into the empty net to make the final Moose 5 Ducks 1

1. MIM- Cote 2G
2. MIM – Melanson 35 saves
3. MIM- Propp 1G 1 A

New Castle had a 36-24 edge in shots on goal as Melanson’s great goaltending was the difference. New Castle won over 60% of the faceoffs and had 20 scoring chances to 13 for MIM but what counts is goals scored and there it wasn’t even close as the Moose take a 3-0 series lead.

The Ducks trail in the series 3-0. Last year in the Stanley Cup Finals the Ducks trailed CapJack 3-0 and came back to win four in a row and win the Cup. Can the resilient Ducks repeat that performance against a very tough Moose squad? Stay tuned for Game 4…

GAME #4 New Castle is down 3-0, facing elimination. Last year’s team came back from a 3-0 deficit in the Finals to win the Cup. Can they repeat that magic this season? Last year, they beat the Moose in the Conference Finals 4-2 but this is a Moose team that is even better than last year’s tremendous squad. The Ducks may catch a break in Game 4 as Don Beaupre will start in goal, rather than the red hot Rollie Melanson. But Beaupre came up huge in his start on the Island so nothing will come easy for the Ducks in Game 4.

The game gets underway and at 2:30 Propp goes off for holding giving the Ducks a golden opportunity early. The Ducks fans are quacking loudly before Bothwell of MIM silences the crowd with a SHORTHANDED goal – assisted by Ruskowski and Giles. 1-0 Moose before the fans have even settled into their seats. Forty-eight seconds later more fireworks as the great Rick Middleton beats Beaupre, assisted by Hardy and Pederson and the game is tied at 1-1! Then at 8:33 Mark Osborne takes a pass from Tony Currie and puts it in the net – as the Ducks take their first lead of the series, 2-1. At 16:48, Bob Manno goes off for interference and MIM has a chance to tie but Smith comes up big stopping Lysiak on a 2-on-1 before the Ducks almost get a shorthanded goal when Beaupre stops Boutette on a 2 on 1 for NCD. The first period ends with NCD ahead 2-1.

The Ducks fans are roaring as New Castle takes the ice for the second period and the Ducks come out flying. Bobby Clarke takes a pass from Currie and scores his first of the playoffs at 3:59 to make it 3-1 Ducks. Clarke, the team captain, is playing in what could be his final MWOTHL game as he is expected to retire after the playoffs. Shortly after Clarke’s goal, Denis Potvin leaves the ice with an arm injury. The Duck’s star defenseman, who leads all D-Men in scoring in the regular season, will not return. A HUGE blow to the Duck’s chances as they not only are without the dangerous Potvin but will have to play most of the game with only five defensemen. Ryan Walter goes off for hooking at 4:17 and the Moose now have a huge opportunity. And they capitalize as Dan Quinn takes a pass from Propp and beats Smith at 5:16. It’s a POWER PLAY goal and it’s now 3-2 Ducks. At 8:05 Lanny McDonald goes off for tripping and MIM has another power play – and again they take advantage as this time Maclean SCORES (9th of the playoffs) to TIE THE GAME with 9:55 left in the second period. Three minutes later, the Moose #1 line strikes as Lysiak scores, assisted by Kurri and Eaves – and the Moose have scored THREE STRAIGHT GOALS TO TAKE A 4-3 lead. The second period ends without any further scoring and a now quieter Ducks crowd is nervous as the Ducks are 20 minutes away from elimination.

The third period is underway. And at the 19-second mark NCD’s defenseman Dave Shand goes off for cross-checking. This time the Ducks kill the penalty and there is hope at the Duck Pond. MacLean and Hardy go off for roughing at 5:23 as the tight play gets a little tighter. Still 4-3 Moose. The Ducks are on a rush and Tony Currie again finds Clarke and Clarke DOES IT AGAIN – his SECOND goal of the game and of the playoffs and the game is TIED AGAIN NOW AT 4-4 with 10:01 left in regulation. Up and down action for the rest of the period with the Ducks dominating play slightly but there is no more scoring and this one will go to SUDDEN DEATH OVERTIME!

On to the OT and it is truly Sudden Death for the Ducks who will be eliminated by a MIM score. Yet a Ducks score will send the series back to the Island with the Ducks having a chance to repeat last year’s magic. And it’s the Ducks who get the first big opportunity in OT when Tony Currie – in the midst of a great game – gets ahead of the field. Pat Price tries to catch him and hooks him from behind pulling him down – its a PENALTY SHOT! Wow. 4-4 in OT and Currie will have a penalty shot with a chance to give the Ducks their first win of the series. Currie takes the puck and moves in on Beaupre -he dekes he shoots and it is SAVED BY BEAUPRE! The Moose breathe a sigh of relief and the Ducks realize that they have missed a golden opportunity. Play continues and the Moose now seem to be outhustling the Ducks. Ryan Walter has it in center ice for New Castle. LaDouceur checks him off the puck and it’s a TWO ON ONE FOR MIM -as Propp and MacLean go in with only Schoenfeld between them and goalie Smith. Propp zooms in from the right side and passes it over to MacLean who SHOOTS AND SCOOOOOOREEEESSS! John MacLean – his second of the game and TENTH of the playoffs. THE MOOSE WIN IT 5-4 IN OT TO ELIMINATE THE DUCKS AND ADVANCE TO THE STANLEY CUP FINALS

1- MIM- MacLean 2 G
2- NCD- Clarke 2 G
3- MIM- Quinn 1G 1 A

Tony Currie had 3 assists, giving him 8 for the playoffs. The Ducks won nearly 70% of the faceoffs with Barry Pederson winning 21 of 28. Billy Smith made 30 saves as MIM outshot the Ducks 35-31.

SERIES SUMMARY CONGRATULATIONS TO MIKE AND HIS MACKINAC ISLAND MOOSE AS THEY MOVE ON TO THE STANLEY CUP FINALS. They will play the winner of the Portland-CapJack series. For the Ducks, it is a disappointing end to the season. After making big moves during the season to trade for Lanny McDonald, Denis Potvin, and Dan Bouchard – in an effort to repeat as Cup Champions – the end was sudden and surprising in that they were swept by the Moose, who they did well against during the regular season. With salary cap issues,d some aging veterans, and draft picks traded away, the Ducks are not likely to contend in 1984-85. The core of Middleton, Potvin, and Smith could be back, however, so there will always be hope for New Castle and their loyal quacking fans