Tuesday, April 4, 2017

1990 Lewis Cup Finals

The 1990 Lewis Cup Finals featured the first overall Long Island Concordes, and the Cinderella Minnesota Lumberjacks. Long Island was making their third appearance in the championship round after proving unsuccessful in their previous two visits. For the young Lumberjacks, this was the first trip to the finals. Only one player, defenseman Clint Allen, had experienced Minnesota’s last Lewis Cup victory in 1979.

Game one on Long Island turned out to be closer than expected. After Long Island took a 3-0 lead early on thanks to goals from Stuart Burns, Craig Davidson, and Don Taylor. Minnesota scored twice before surrendering another goal, this time from Alan Chadwick. It appeared that Long Island had control already. Suddenly, halfway through the third period, the “Cardiac ‘Jacks” struck once again, scoring two quick goals from Jason Crowley and Jacob Lundholm to tie the game at 4-4. The game would go into overtime, where Doug Macintyre would be the hero for Long Island as the Concordes won 5-4.

Game two would also go into overtime, where goaltenders Pascal Renaud and Jeff Brackley both turned in a stellar performance as one extra period turned into two, then three. About halfway through the third overtime, Theo Sprouse’s point shot beat Brackley to give Long Island a 2-0 series lead. Game three in Minnesota was unofficially a must-win game for the Lumberjacks as another loss would put them in a 3-0 hole. “We know what we need to do and we’re confident we can get it done at home” said Jeff Winslow. Minnesota opened the scoring on a goal from Matt Cunningham, and the ‘Jacks held on through to the end of the second period, when two quick goals from Burns and Davidson gave the Concordes the lead. Minnesota made a desperate push in the third period to tie the game, pulling Brackley for the extra attacker. Brian Reese slid the puck into the empty net and the Concordes hung on for a 3-1 victory and a commanding 3-0 series lead.

Now playing for pride, the Lumberjacks were determined to get at least one win in game four. The game was tied after two periods, before Pavel Vana broke the tie with a breakway goal. Jason Crowley would score late in the game to extend the lead to 4-2 as the Minnesota crowd gave their team a standing ovation. Heading back to the Island for game five, the Concordes had an opportunity to win their first Lewis Cup on home ice, and they would not disappoint the 18150 fans in attendance. Stuart Burns, who would ultimately be named playoff MVP, would score two goals while Sprouse and Macintyre each added goals as well in a 4-1 win as the Concordes won their first Lewis Cup in franchise history. In his final act as PHL Commissioner, Alan Garcia handed the Lewis Cup, which now had a new section added to hold more names, to Stuart Burns. It was a fitting end to Garcia’s tenure, as the Commissioner had pushed for a second New York franchise since taking over in 1966. Darryl Byrd would now officially take over as head of the PHL as the league embarked on a new era.

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