TV Time-Out: Taking a break in "Sweet Sixteen" HOCKEY BLAST action, Rick Lawes (left) coaching the Blues against Matt Dante's Devils.
In honor of the start of another hockey season, we're getting everthing lined up for our Fifth Annual "Commissioner's Surprise" HOCKEY BLAST Tournament—where EVERY team has a chance to win it all! THIS year, the action happens in the great hockey town of Boston, MA. Join us Saturday, October 26th at Battleground Games and Hobbies, 175 Mansfield Ave, Norton, MA 02766! This is our second visit to Battleground Games, which was host to the 2014 HISTORY MAKER BASEBALL Fall Classic Pre-PLAAY! We had an AWESOME time at Battleground Games five years ago, and we can't wait to meet up there again with New England-area PLAAY Gamers!
EVERY pro team from the HOCKEY BLAST 2018-19 Pro Season card set will be included in the tournament. It's single-elimination, and the match-ups will be completely random—we will literally drew them out of a hat in a LIVE PLAAY Games Facebook webcast on Tuesday, October 1st! The previous year's real-life championship series teams always get a first round bye for this tournament, that'll be Boston and St. Louis. The pro league's expansion to Las Vegas a couple years ago gives us an un-even number of teams (31), so we've altered our format just a little bit for the event. We kicked off the tournament with a "PLAAY-in" game between the bottom two pro teams from the 2018-19 season, Los Angeles and Ottawa, streamed live on the PLAAY Games YouTube Channel Thursday night, October 3rd. The winner of that game--Los Angeles--joined the other 27 first-round teams (see pairings and results below).
Everything from the "Commissioner's Surprise Sweet Sixteen" right down to the championship game will be played entirely on-location in Boston. You can follow along with the progress the tournament's preliminary rounds below. After the tournament concludes in Boston, those of us who are able to extend the day will grab some dinner at a local dining spot! It'll be a memorable day of tabletop hockey fun—you won't want to miss it!
As always, it's absolutely FREE to take part, whether as a coach or spectator, and no RSVP is needed--just show up and have fun! That said, it always helps to know about how many people to expect. So if you're thinking about participating, let us know! We'll keep you in the e-mail loop as the event planning moves along!
Hockey Day Part II: Taking in the Penguins game at PPG Paints Arena, November 11, 2018. (from left, background) Eric Minor, Mark Russell, Tom Cline, David Rubinstein. Penguins won 4-0 over Arizona!
2018-19 "Commissioner's Surprise" HOCKEY BLAST Tournament Updates
The tournament pairings will be announced Monday night, October 7th in a live webcast from the PLAAY Games Facebook Page. Tournament play began Thursday night, October 10th, with results posted below. Teams in blue advance to next round, person(s) who played game in [brackets]...
- Game ONE, Carolina 1, at Toronto 4 [Derek Jones]: The 'Canes were no match for the Leafs, as Toronto outshot Carolina 38-9 in the final two periods to easily skate away with the win.Two goals from Marner, one each from Johnsson and Matthews.
- Game TWO, Detroit 5 at Calgary 4 (OT) [Jamie Watkins]: Athanasiou with the Hat Trick, the third goal coming in the first minute of OT to win a 5-4 back and forth game for the Red Wings. Larkin for the Wings has a four-assist game, four different goal scorers for the Flames: Monahan, Frolik, Bennett, and—in the final minute of regulation—Gaudreau, to send it to OT!
- Game THREE, New York Islanders 5 at Florida 3 [Giorgio Salvadego]:The Isles exploded in the third period with four goals to dispose of the Panthers. Lee got the game winner at 12:29 of the third period. Lehner overcame a shaky start in the net to finish strong.
- Game FOUR, Winnipeg 4, at Vegas 3 (OT) [Michael Owens]: The Jets had three goals in the net just seven minutes into the first period! Then Fleury started making spectacular saves to keep Vegas in the game. Late in the second period, Vegas scored on a goal by Carrier to make it 3-1. The third period was all Vegas. Alex Tuch scored with 3:06 left and seconds later, Marchessault pounced on a rebound to tie the game at 3-3! Things got even more gloomy for Winnipeg when Kulikov got a penalty with 1:18 left in regulation. But the Jets survived, and the game went to OT. On the first action of OT, Wheeler scored on a 2-on-1 after a great pass from Scheifele to send the Jets to the "Sweet Sixteen!"
- Game FIVE, Anaheim 4, at Chicago 3 (OT) [Giorgio Salvadego]: Chicago rallied in the third period to tie the game but a questionable call from the referee at 18:51 of the third against the Hawks' Jokiharju, gave the Ducks the power play chance they needed to get over with with Ryan Getzlaf 39 seconds in the the overtime period.
- Game SIX, Columbus 6, at New Jersey 1 [Steve Heller]: New Jersey slowed the game down and it worked for almost two periods. But Matt Duchene scored on a power play late in the 2nd to put Columbus up 1-0. Then they poured it on in the 3rd, scoring 5 times on 17 shots! Duchene added another goal (plus 2 assists) and Werenski scored twice. Panarin had 3 assists.
- Game SEVEN, Minnesota 2, at Buffalo 0 [Kevin Albertina]:Dumba scores on a breakaway chance 3 minutes into the game. Staal adds a goal early in the 2nd period. Minnesota dominated faceoffs all game, and Buffalo's third-period power play chance and late game goalie pull both went for naught.
- Game EIGHT, Philadelphia 4 at Nashville 8, [Chris Hoffman]: The wildest game of the first round! It was 3-0 Nashville after just four minutes! Philly turnovers, and breakaway plays, and rebounds led to the first two, then Nashville got a play/rebound of their own for the third goal. Another breakaway play/rebound in 9th minute, 4-0 Nashville after one period. In the second, Philly got a breakaway play/rebound off a Nashville turnover to get on the board. Next minute, an unusual result on the faceoff roll: Nashville's Irwin got a major penalty, and shoved the ref, earning a match penalty! Five minute Power Play to the Flyers! They promptly cashed in with two goals, trimming the lead to 4-3. Opening minute of the third, the Flyers get an immediate play off the faceoff, and a goal from Giroux to tie it 4-4! The last fifteen minutes, though, was all Nashville. Goals by Forsberg (two), Arvidsson, and Josi.
- Game NINE, New York Rangers 0, at San Jose 5 [Rob Gallamore]: The Hertl-Donskoi-Labanc line had a great night chipping in three goals as the Sharks blow out the Rangers. The San Jose powerplay was also very good going 2-5. Thomas Hertl had a goal and two assists to lead the Shark attack.
- Game TEN, Edmonton 1, at Montreal 3 [Derek Jones]: The Canadiens move on to the sweet sixteen thanks to a three-goal second period. The Oilers' defense was weakened when Darnell Nurse uncharacteristically stormed into the stands midway through the second period to go after an unruly Canadiens fan who allegedly threw a set of car keys at him. Things got testy at the end when a Montreal cheap shot led to fisticuffs between Zack Kassian and Phillip Danault.
- Game ELEVEN, Colorado 4, at Pittsburgh 3 (OT/SO) [Chris Hoffman]:In the final minute, with the empty net and Colorado leading 3-2, Pit had scoring chance. Kessel was stopped, rebound to Kessel, stopped, then, rebound to Zach Aston-Reese, who scored to tie it! No scoring in OT, so it went to a shootout. Sven Andrighetto with the game-winner on the tenth shot!
- Game TWELVE, Dallas 3, at Vancouver 2 (OT) [Rob Gallamore]: Radulov opens the second period for Dallas with a powerplay goal, and the Stars extend their lead when Seguin takes a Klingberg pass and beats Markstrom high glove. Vancouver cuts the lead to one with a powerplay goal of their own at 17:24 of the second, Boeser scores from Edler and Baertschi. Vancouver ties it early in the third, Baertschi gets sent in alone from Elias Pettersson and he beats Bishop. In OT, Dallas finds an unlikely hero in Comeau, who scores on a spectacular save shot at 5:39 of the extra period.
- Game THIRTEEN, Washington 1 at Tampa Bay 3 [Jamie Watkins]: Kucherov nets the game winner late in the 3rd and then an ENG leads to a 3-1 win for the Lightning. Ovechkin was kept off the scoreboard and in check while Vasilevskiy makes big saves toward the end of the game.
- Game FOURTEEN, Los Angeles 1, at Arizona 3 [Kevin Albertina]:Arizona got on the board four minutes in with a goal by Christian Fischer. Late second period, Sean Walker drew a double minor for high sticking. Los Angeles managed to kill of that penalty thanks to a couple of big saves by Jack Campbell. But soon afterward, both Alec Martinez and Drew Doughty drew minor penalties, leaving the Kings two men short. They killed the first penalty, but Richard Panik scored before they could kill off the second penalty to give Arizona a 2-0 lead. Los Angeles got one back midway through the 3rd on a goal by Carl Grundstrom. Right after that, Kyle Clifford and Lawson Crouse dropped the gloves. Crouse got the first punch in, but then Clifford dropped him giving Los Angeles some much needed momentum. Unfortunately, it didn't help. The Kings pulled their goalie late, but Jordan Oesterle scored the empty netter to seal the win for the Coyotes.
SECOND ROUND, "Sweet Sixteen"
- Game FIFTEEN, Winnipeg at New York Islanders: [game summary].
- Game SIXTEEN, Colorado at Columbus: [game summary].
- Game SEVENTEEN,Nashville at Tampa Bay: [game summary].
- Game EIGHTEEN, Montreal at San Jose: [game summary].
- Game NINETEEN, St. Louis at Minnesota: [game summary].
- Game TWENTY, Detroit at Toronto: [game summary].
- Game TWENTY-ONE, Arizona at Boston: [game summary].
- Game TWENTY-TWO, Anaheim at Dallas: [game summary].
THIRD ROUND, "Elite Eight"
- Game TWENTY-THREE, TBA
- Game TWENTY-FOUR, TBA
- Game TWENTY-FIVE,TBA
- Game TWENTY-SIX, TBA
SEMI-FINAL ROUND, "Final Four"
- Game TWENTY-SEVEN, TBA
- Game TWENTY-EIGHT, TBA