Thursday, March 3, 2011

Payday Memorabilia: 1999 ACHA National Tournament Puck

With the ACHA National Championships getting underway Saturday, I thought it would be a perfect time for this one - a look back at the other time Delaware hosted the national championships, 1999. As I'm sure you know by now, I'll take my Payday Memorabilia with a theme, thank you very much.

Information about this tournament has gotten sparse in the ensuing 12 years (it was like three ACHA websites ago, after all), but here's what I think I know about it.
  • Ten teams participated in the tournament from March 3-7, 1999, with the bottom four teams required to play single-elimination play-in games on the first day of the tournament. Eastern Michigan and Towson defeated Illinois and Western Michigan in these games.
  • Towson and EMU advanced into group play with the top six. The groups went something like:
    • Group A: 1. Iowa State, 4. Ohio, 5. Delaware, 8. Eastern Michigan
    • Group B: 2. Penn State, 3. Michigan-Dearborn, 6. Arizona, 7. Towson
  • The format from that point: each team played everyone in their group. The winners of each group met in the championship game. That was it - no semifinals or consolation games beyond, I think, a third-place game.
  • The Icers beat Towson, Arizona and Dearborn 5-1, 4-1 and 5-2 respectively. Iowa State similarly breezed through Group A, capped by maybe the most memorable game of the tournament, a 2-1 decision over Ohio where the winning goal with about a minute left was scored on a blatantly offside play.
  • The PSU-ISU championship game seemed almost inevitable from the beginning, more so than any championship game since in my opinion. The two teams were the class of the ACHA all season long, and the final of the Nittany Lion Invitational that season (a 5-3 Cyclone win that took not only that tournament title, but the No. 1 ranking as well, away from the Icers) gave us a glimpse of what was in store.
  • And of course, there was that championship game, as well as what happened after it and a pretty awesome column about Al Murdoch...
I'll leave this post with this logo for this season's tournament. The caption gives away why.

Brilliant nod to the past or just laziness? YOU make the call.

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