|SERIES PREVIEW||The Semi-Finals are starting with the CapJack Rangers visiting Memorial Coliseum to visit the host Portland Sasquatch in game 1|
|GAME #1||The Portland fans packed Memorial Coliseum to a standing room only capacity to root on their beloved Sasquatch as they take on the CapJack Rangers in the MWOTHL Semi-finals
CapJack opened the scoring 4:47 into the first period when Crowder (7) beat the Portland defenders and deposited the puck in the upper corner. The Portland crowd was silenced when just under 9 minutes later Sittler (3) added another goal to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes
After a hard-fought 2nd period neither team was able to tally a score
Wayne Gretzky entered the locker room after 40 minutes of play and told his Sasquatch teammates to keep playing hard and he will get them back into the game. The “Great” one didn’t disappoint as he cut the deficit to 1 with a goal 6:01 into the period. CapJack never panicked though and 2:13 later Zblonqvist (1) put the lead back to 2 with a strong answer.
In moments like these, with back against the wall, is when true superstars emerge and Gretzky showed why he is arguably the greatest of all time. At the 12:46 mark, he skates through the Ranger’s defense and notches his 2nd goal of the game to draw Portland to 3-2. Four minutes later Gilbert Perreault (1), a key mid-season acquisition, evened the score with his first goal of the playoffs. Not quite finished Gretzky added goal #3 with 1:25 left and for insurance added an empty netter with 27 seconds remaining
Portland scored 4 4th period goals to win 5-3
Star #1 – Gretzky 4 goals
In addition to 4 goals, Gretzky also won 19 faceoffs while Lemelin tallied 35 saves.
Gretzky tallies 4 goals as Portland scores 4 in the 3rd period to win 5-2
|GAME #2||With Portland winning game #1 CapJack hopes to even the series in Game #2
In typical playoff hockey and a disappointing loss in Game #1 CapJack comes out with renewed energy and Cochrane lays out Ciccarelli 32 seconds into the game resulting in Foligno stepping in to protect his teammate and both players drawing 5-minute fighting majors. With 4:56 left in the first period, Gretzky (9) notches his 5th goal of the series and 9th in the playoffs to give Portland a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes
In the 2nd period, Gretzky continues his dominance as he scores his 2nd goal of the game with 3:29 left in the period and sends the Sasquatch fans into a frenzy
Portland keeps the pressure on when Hunter (2) gives them a 3-0 lead 2:34 into the 3rd period. With their backs against the wall and things looking bleak CapJack finally gets on the board when Kromm (1) scores with 4:59 remaining in the game but an empty netter by Crossman (1) ends their hopes as Portland wins 4-1
Star #1 – Gretzky 2 goals 1 assist
CapJack outshoots Portland 45-23 in the game but stellar play by Lemelin and taking advantage of their opportunities lead them to a game #2 win
|Gretzky tallies 6 goals in the first two games and Lemelin saves 79 shots as Portland takes a 2-0 series lead and we head to CapJack for games 3 and 4.
The Rangers find themselves in a big Gretzky hole as Portland flashes its muscle and scoring ability to take the two opening games in Portland. The Rangers need 2 wins, at least one to stay alive. They choose to give Resch a day off hoping it will help.
|GAME #3||Big Foot comes to town and they bring the hex with them. CapJack finds the kitchen sink and throws that at them along with 41 shots on goal – but Doug Soetaert (surprise Doug, you’re starting) stops all but one of those 41 shots! BUT – it was a shot he faced less than 2 minutes into the game from Sittler (4) and the Rangers grabbed the early lead. And held on to it! Well at least through the end of the first.
We’d like to see if we can just ignore the 2nd period… Portland came out from the locker room, not impressed with their 6 SOG performance of period 1, and more than doubled it for period 2. And they were successful on 4 of their 13 shots. McBain (3) gets one a minute and a half into the period. Then the mistakes start to happen and they pile up. DeBlois goes off for roughing at 3.42, then less than a minute later Beck goes off for interference. Well, Ciccarelli (5) and the Sasquatch can’t mess up this 5 on 3 and he scores to put Portland up 2-1. The penalty ends and then another Rangers penalty, but nothing.
I spoke too soon. 3+ minutes into the 3rd and the Great One scores to make it 5-1. His 11th of the postseason. He has saved his best for the end of the season and beyond (he’s looking for the Cup!). To add injury to insult, Korab draws a hooking penalty midway through the 3rd (or he was trying to escape) – but no matter, and Perreault (2) puts one past Week. And the fans of the Rangers were lucky that was the end of the Portland scoring, but by now it was 6-1 and that’s your final. Sasquatch up 3-0!!
Stars (needless to say they are all Portland)
|GAME #4||So, Madison Oval Garden is still decked out and the faithful are still hoping against hope that the Rangers can pull off 4 straight wins against the Big Feet – it’s always possible, but it has to start with this game. Chico Resch is back after a game off – Reggie Lemelin is also back in the net for Portland (not that Soetaert was a slouch or anything).
Whoa – stop the presses. The Rangers come out and dominate – not the shot categories, but they win 62% of the faceoffs, outhit 26 to18, out block 9 to 2, and in the big category – GOALS, well for two periods they outscore the Sasquatch 6 to 0. Yes, SIX to ZERO. And that’s a good thing because the 3rd period has been horrendous for the Rangers – and will it be again? (YES)
1st period – penalties and power plays favor Portland, but the Rangers PK kills off both of them. But the Ranger’s offense had Lemelin in a tizzy. In fact, he only lasted 18 minutes and 11 seconds of the game! Why?
BUT – 2nd period
WRONG – 3rd period opens and for 12 minutes it’s looking good and then those Big Feet guys found their skates (darn, we needed to hide them better). And first Hunter scores (4) at 12:25. Then McKenna (1) puts one past Resch at 14:59. Ok, 6-2, 5 minutes to go, we got this. Then Carbonneau (4) scores at 18:14. The crowd is crying as it’s 6-3. Then a few seconds later Portland gets the puck behind their own net, and Hunter carries it down the left side, to McKenna – oh, he’s open, he shoots – GOAL!! His 2nd of the game and 2nd of the playoffs and at 18:41 it’s now 6-4. And Soetaert is done and Portland brings in their own kitchen sink – but finally – the tide turns toward CapJack and Pettersson gets a pass from Trottier and slides it down the ice into the empty net to make it 7-4 Rangers and even they can hold that lead for the final minute and 6 seconds!!
STARS for this one:
|Rangers aren’t out of it yet, not by a long shot – ok, maybe it is a long shot. But they aren’t giving up yet. They will head to Portland for game 5 hoping beyond hope, to bring things back here for a game 6.
After a game 4 win by CapJack the series moves back to Portland for Game #5 and the Sasquatch looking to end the series
|GAME #5||The game starts with Portland’s Hunter (5) scoring 1:03 into the game and the Sasquatch fans were in a frenzy. The deafening crowd noise was silenced when CapJack got a goal to even the score from Trottier at the 3:39 mark and took the lead when Trottier scored again at the 7:00 minute mark to give the Rangers a 2-1 1st period lead
The 2nd period was controlled by Portland as they outshot the Rangers 9-3 but were unable to even the score
With 20 minutes remaining and the Rangers looking to head back to CapJack for Game #6, Portland responded when Gretzky (12) evened the score 4:39 into the period. At the 8″02 mark of the period, the Sasquatch took their first lead of the game at 3-2 when Hunter (6) tallied his 2nd goal of the game.
With 4:44 left Howe was called for a hooking penalty and the Rangers went on the power play hoping to even the score. Portland’s defense held tough though to deny the opportunities and with 1:19 CapJack pulled the goalie in desperation. Reggie Lemelin seemed to block or save every shot that went his way and with 9 seconds remaining Sailtanen (1) got an empty netter to ice the game for Portland 4-2
Star #1 – Hunter 2 goals
Lemelin had 32 saves for the win
|Portland wins the series 4-1 as Gretzky tallied 8 goals and 3 assists and Lemelin won 3 games giving up 13 goals in 4 games (7 in game 4)|
- 1984 PRINCE OF WALES CONFERENCE SEMI-FINAL
- 1983-1984 STANLEY CUP FINALS