Friday, August 2, 2013

1976 Czechoslovakia Vladimír Dzurilla Jersey

While he did not become known to hockey fans in North America until his performance in the 1976 Canada Cup, Vladimir Dzurilla's playing career began many years earlier when he first took to manning the net for HC Slovan Bratislava in his native Czechoslovakia for the 1960-61 season where Slovan finished as runners-up in the Czechoslovak Extraliga.

Two seasons later Dzurilla made his international debut for the Czechoslovakia National Team at the 1963 World Championships where he played in four of their seven games to earn his first medal, a bronze.

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In the following season of 1963-64, Dzurilla continued his career with Slovan Bratislava, finishing second for the third time in his four seasons. He then made his Olympic debut at the 1964 Games in Innsbruck, Austria, playing in two games and earning his first Olympic medal, again a bronze.

Dzurilla photo Dzurilla5.jpg

Another runner-up finish with Bratislava was followed by another appearance at the 1965 World Championships, where Dzurilla played in five games with a 1.26 goals against average and a silver medal behind the dominant Soviet Union. Dzurilla was named to the tournament All-Star Team and was recognized as the tournament's Best Goaltender.

1965-66 was another season with Slovan Bratislava, where the club came home third for the second time in his career, the other being 1962-63. He then earned a second silver medal at the 1966 World Championships in Ljubljana, Yugoslavia.

Dzurilla photo Dzurilla3.jpg

Injury curtailed his 1966-67 season, with just 9 games played in the Czechoslovakia Extraliga, but Dzurilla bounced back in fine style with a new career best goals against average of 2.47 in 1967-68 which earned him a second trip to the Olympic Games. He was limited to just one game in Grenoble, France, but the team took second place to earn the silver medal.

The 1968-69 season saw another season with Slovan and a goals against under 3.00 at 2.91 and another third place in the league. The 1969 World Championships were a politically charged affair following the Soviet Union's invasion of Czechoslovakia in August of 1968 following the Prague Spring, a period of liberalization and greater freedoms in Czechoslovakia under Alexander Dubček

Prague Spring
Soviet tanks invade Prague

The 1969 World Championships were originally scheduled to be held in Prauge, but were relocated to Stockholm, Sweden due to the ongoing invasion in Czechoslovakia.

began on March 15th, when the Czechs defeated Canada by a resounding 6-1 score. Sweden beat Finland 6-3 and the Soviet Union destroyed the United States with a 17-2 pummeling also on day one which would prove vital later in the tourament. Entering the tournament the Soviet Union had won the last six World Championships as well as the last three out of four Olympic Games.

On March 21st, the Czechs and Soviets met in day six of the tournament with the Soviets at 4-0 with a 34-6 edge in goals scored up to that point, while the Czechoslovakians were 3-1 following a 2-0 loss to Sweden.

To the Soviet team this was just another hockey game, but not to the Czechs. With 70,000 Red Army soldiers still occupying their country, it was about much more than just hockey.

“We said to ourselves, even if we have to die on the ice, we have to beat them,” said team captain Jozef Golonka many years later. “We received hundreds of telegrams from fans back home when we arrived in Stockholm. Almost all of them said: ‘Beat the Soviets. You don’t have to beat anyone else. Just beat the Soviets.’”

Following a scoreless first period, defenseman Jan Suchý scored his fifth goal of the competition at the 13 minute mark of period two to put the Czechs on top. Josef Černý added a second goal at the seven minute mark of the third period while Dzurilla held the Soviets at bay for a 2-0 shutout, sending thousands of Czechoslovakians into the streets back in Prague in celebration.

Czechs celebrate
The Czechs celebrate their win over the Soviet Union

The Czechs then wrapped up three more wins until they were matched up against the Soviets for the second time, as the tournament format was for each of the six teams to face the other five two times each. The Soviet Union meanwhile marched through their three subsequent games as expected, setting up the rematch with both teams now at 7-1.

Jiří Holík opened the scoring at 15 minutes to put the Czechs ahead 1-0 after one. Vaclav Nedomanský gave the Czechs a 2-0 lead in the first minute of the second, but Valeri Kharlamov responded for the Soviet Union two minutes later and Anatoli Firsov tied the game at the 13 minute mark.

Josef Horešovský delighted the Czech fans with a go-ahead goal at the nine minute mark of the third period before Jaroslav Holík sent them into rapture with another Czech score just two minutes later. Alexander Ragulin got one back for the Soviets with less than two minutes to play, but it was not enough as Czechoslovakia held on for a 4-3 win, becoming the first team to ever defeat the Soviet Union twice in a single IIHF tournament.

CSSR vs USSR 1969
Once again, the Czechs are euphoric following their
second win over the Soviet Union in 1969

Once again, a reported half a million Czechoslovakians took to the streets across the country in what was first a celebration of their hockey team's victory, but, particularly in Prague, evolved into a protest against the Soviet military which had continued their occupation of Czechoslovakia since the previous August.

From Time Magazine April 11, 1969:
Overcome by a vicarious sense of triumph, a huge and excited crowd swarmed into Prague’s Wenceslas Square. One happy hockey fan carried a poster that read BREZHNEV 3, DUBČEK 4. The crowd chanted, “We’ve beaten you this time!” Someone shouted, “The Russian coach will go to Siberia!”
Those particular protests turned violent when not only Soviet military units were attacked and their vehicles burned, but the offices of the Soviet airline Aeroflot were ransacked in what became known at the Czechoslovak Hockey Riots.

The uprising was suppressed by the Czech military, which was now under control of hardliners from the Communist Party, and the events were used as a pretext to oust the remaining leaders of the Prague Spring from power, Dubček in particular.

Heading into the final two days of the tournament, Czechoslovakia led with an 8-1 record, while the Soviet Union, thanks to their two losses to the Czechs were 7-2 and Sweden was 6-2 after a pair of losses to the Soviet Union. Sweden climbed into a tie with the Soviets thanks to taking their turn pounding the winless United States 10-4.

On March 30th, the Czechs let the gold medal slip from their grasp following a 1-0 loss to Sweden while the Soviet Union made it a three way tie atop the standings at 8-2 thanks to their 4-2 win over Canada. Since the Czechs beat the Soviets twice who beat the Swedes twice who beat the Czechs twice, the medal placings were decided by goal differential, giving the Soviet Union the gold with a +36, the Swedes silver at +26 and the Czechs bronze at +20, which mattered little to the fans back at home following their joy at beating the country of their occupying forces not once, but twice. ”You sent us tanks, we send you goals” was the celebratory cry.

For the 1969-70 season, Slovan Bratislava earned yet another second place finish in the Extraliga behind Dzurilla's career best 2.15 goals against average in 34 games played, which was his career high at the time. Later that season Dzurilla would earn his third World Championship bronze medal.

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Dzurilla in 1970

The 1970-71 season would be a limited one for Dzurilla, seeing action in just 19 games and would not compete in the World Championships for only the second time in his career, the other being 1967.

He would make up for it with a busy 1971-72 season, as he would play 29 games of Bratislava's regular season, capped off with Slovan's second place finish yet again, the fifth of his 12 years with the club.

Internationally, Dzurilla competed in his second Olympic Games in Sapporo, Japan where he earned his third Olympic medal and second bronze. 


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1972 also marked the first time that the World Championships were played separately in the same year as the Olympics, and were held in Prague for the first time since 1959, thanks to their relocation three years earlier due to the Soviet invasion.

The Czechs opened the tournament in dominating fashion, defeating Switzerland 19-1 and then scored wins against Sweden (4-1) and West Germany (8-1) before crafting a 3-3 tie against the Soviets. They then reeled off wins against Finland (5-3), Switzerland (12-2), Sweden (2-0), West Germany (8-1), the Soviet Union (3-2) and finally Finland (8-2) to not only earn the first gold medal of Dzurilla's career, but just the third the history of Czechoslovakia and first since 1949. There was also a certain level of satisfaction in being the ones to end the ten consecutive World Championship and Olympic gold medal streak of the Soviets which dated back to 1963.


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Dzurilla would play his 13th and final season for Slovan Bratislava in 1972-73, which included Slovan would traveling to Switzerland, where Dzurilla and the team would win the annual Spengler Cup tournament.

He would then move to HC Kometa Brno for the next five seasons, from 1973-74 through 1977-78. During that time period, Dzurilla would return to the World Championships for the first time since 1972's gold medal winning team. And it was a successful return as the Czechs again captured the gold in Katowice, Poland with a perfect 7-0 record for the second gold medal of Dzurilla's career.


Dzurilla 1976 photo Dzurilla1976.jpg
Dzurilla celebrating the gold medal at the 1976 World Championships

Later that year he gained his first real exposure to North Americans when he competed in the 1976 Canada Cup tournament with a strong performance, posting a 2.36 goals against playing in all five games for the Czechs, which saw them open with a 5-3 win over the Soviet Union followed by an 8-0 pounding of Finland. A 4-4 tie with a scrappy United States was followed by a stunning 1-0 shutout over Canada in front of a sold out Forum in Montreal and millions watching on television, which cemented Dzurilla's legacy as a stellar international goaltender in what many immediately called one of the greatest games of all time.


Dzurilla Clarke 1976 photo DzurillaClarke1976.jpg
Dzurilla standing guard against Bobby Clarke of Canada in 1976

While the Czechs lost to Sweden 2-1 in their final round robin game, they still advanced to the best-of-two final against Canada, where the Canadians chased him from the nets with four goals in the first period of Game 1. After Jiří Holeček let in two goals in the first 3:09, Dzurilla came in and held the Canadians to one power play goal as the Czechs stormed back to take the lead 4-3 with four minutes remaining only to see Canada tie the game with just 2:12 left in regulation when Dzurilla sent a clearing attempt right to Canada's Bill Barber, who buried the puck into the unattended goal.

The game would then go to overtime with both Dzurilla and Rogie Vachon making great saves at either end before Canada would take the title with a goal 11:33 into overtime with Dzurilla recording 29 saves in over 68 minutes of relief.

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Darryl Sittler, Maurice Richard and Dzurilla following the 1976 Canada Cup

Following the 1976-77 regular season, Dzurilla would close out his international career in fine style, playing seven of the Czechs ten games with a 2.70 goals against average. The Czechs would defeat the Soviet Union and Sweden in the Final Round to defend their championship from the previous year thanks to a 7-2-1 record, one point better than Sweden and the Soviet Union at 7-3 thanks to their 3-3 tie against Canada earlier in the competition.

Dzurilla photo Dzurilla4.jpg

Dzurilla would play one final season in Czechoslovakia for Brno, which included traveling to North America to backstop the Czechs during their games against teams from the World Hockey Association which unusually counted in the WHA regular season standings.

From there, Dzurilla would spend the final four seasons of his 22 year career in Germany, first for Augsburger EV (Augsburger Panthers) in 1978-79 and then three seasons with SC Riessersee, which saw him named Germany's Best Goaltender in both 1980  and 1981.

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Jaroslav Halak pays tribute to Dzurilla on his mask at the 2010 Olympics

Following his career, Dzurilla was named the Czech Hockey Hall of Fame and in 1998, the IIHF Hall of Fame. His final medal total was three gold, three silver and four bronze at the World Championships and one silver and two bronze at the Olympics.

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A collection of Dzurilla's medals from the World Championships

Today's featured jersey is a 1976 Czechoslovakia Vladimír Dzurilla jersey as worn in the 1976 Canada Cup when Dzurilla shutout Canada in Montreal in a dramatic 1-0 win, considered one of hockey's greatest games.

This particular jersey wound up in the possess of Canada's goaltender Vachon when the teams traded jerseys after the contest in the European tradition.

Dzurilla Vachon 1976 photo DzurillaVachon1976.jpg
Vachon and Dzurilla sharing a moment after
swapping sweaters after the 1976 Canada Cup

This striking jersey is an all-time classic, with the simplicity of the striping, lace up collar, heraldic main crest as well as the unique font for the numbers, which are then drop shadowed and outlined, a treatment which is also carried over to the lettering on the back, which is then radially arched.

Czechoslovakia 1976 jersey photo Czechoslovakia1976jersey.jpg

Bonus Jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a late 1960's/early 1970's Czechoslovakia Valdimir Dzruilla jerseyWhile many would expect Czechoslovakia to wear red, they have in fact, worn blue off an on during their history, including periods of use in the 1930's, 40's and 50's as well as from 1965 to 1974 before a permanent change to red jerseys in 1975.

Czechoslovakia 1970 jersey photo Czechoslovakia1970jersey.jpg
photos courtesy of Classic Auctions

Here is a special treat, footage of Czechoslovakia beating the Soviet Union at the 1969 World Championships, showing footage from the game as well as the heroes welcome they received when they returned home.


Next is Milan Novy scoring the go ahead goal with five minutes remaining in Czechoslovakia's 1-0 win over Canada in the 1976 Canada Cup, the game that put Dzurilla on the map in North America.



For those of you with additional time, here is the complete game between Czechoslovakia and Canada from the 1976 Canada Cup.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

1996-97 Milwaukee Admirals Danny Lorenz Jersey

July by the Numbers concludes with a stop on the shores of Lake Michigan for jerseys #31.

The Milwaukee Admirals were founded as an amateur club in 1970 known as the Milwaukee Wings. The next season the team was sold to a group of investors, one of whom owned an appliance store and renamed the team the "Admirals" after a brand of appliances sold in his store. Thankfully the club adopted the naval aspect of the Admirals name and did not use a washing machine for their logo!

For the 1973-74 season the team joined the United States Hockey League (USHL), which at the time was a senior league. They won the USHL championship in 1976 and continued to play in the league for one more season prior to the league evolving into an amateur junior hockey league.

For the 1977-78 season, the Admirals joined the International Hockey League where they would play for 24 seasons. It would take five seasons for the Admirals to post a winning record and six for them to win their first division title in 1982-83.

While they would finish second in 1983-84, they would set a new team record with their first 100 point season with 101 with a 46-30-6 record. After a last place finish in the then nine team IHL in 1984-85, the Admirals would rebound immediately with a team record 102 point season. Their roller coaster ride up and down the standings continued with a 32 point drop in the standings and a further 19 less in 1987-88, leaving the club with a mere 49 points from 82 games and a distant last place in the IHL. The Admirals again rocketed up the standings with a 64 point increase in 1988-89 to set another new club record of 113 points, which still stands today.

During the remainder of their time in the IHL, which rapidly grew from 10 teams in 1991-92 to 19 teams in 1995-96, the Admirals won division titles in 1993, 1995 and 1996. Playoff success eluded Milwaukee though, as, while they qualified for the playoffs in 22 out of 24 seasons, they only made it past the first round of the playoffs just five times and won only two of those series. Their second round playoff victory in 1983 propelled them into their only appearance in the Turner Cup Finals, where they fell in six games to Toledo.

With the IHL now falling on hard times, having shrunk from 19 teams in 1996-97 down to just 11 four seasons later, the league eventually ceased operations altogether, and the Admirals were one of six clubs to join the American Hockey League in 2001.

After two seasons of finding their way in the AHL (which already had a member club named the Admirals!), Milwaukee reached 100 points for the first time in 11 seasons during 2003-04 with 102 to gain their first AHL division title. In the Calder Cup playoffs, they outlasted Cincinnati in seven games, downed Chicago in six, ousted Rochester in five and continued their string of playing one less game each round by sweeping Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in four to capture the franchise's first Calder Cup and their first championship of any kind since 1976, a 28 year wait.

A 103 point season preceded a 108 point campaign in 2005-06, the Admirals best so far while in the AHL, and a second trip to the Calder Cup Finals in 2006, although Milwaukee fell in six games to Hershey. The Admirals are currently riding a eight season playoff streak through 2009-10 and have three division titles in their nine AHL seasons.

The Admirals have retired five numbers throughout their history, those of #9 for Phil Wittliff, #14 for both Mike McNeill and Fred Berry (the Admirals all-time assists leader with 379), #26 for Tony Hrkac, #27 of Danny Lecours (whose nine seasons are a club record, as are his 360 goals and 642 points) and #44 for Gino Cavallini and Kevin Willison.

Today's featured jerseys show the evolution of the Milwaukee Admirals from the early 1980's to their modernization in the late 90's and move to the AHL and finally their recent redesign in the early 2000's.

Milwaukee Admirals logo history

First up is a 1996-97 Milwaukee Admirals Danny Lorenz jersey. This simple style is a solid blue jersey with a single red waist stripe trimmed in white with white anchors repeating around the waist. It's decorated with the cartoonish skating Admiral logo and has no secondary logos and just a basic block font for the name and numbers. This classic Admirals jersey can be traced back to the 1970's and remained in use until 1998.

MIlwaukee Admirals jersey
MIlwaukee Admirals jersey

While still members of the IHL, the Admirals jerseys underwent a much needed modernization in 1998, which led to our second featured style, a 1999-00 Milwaukee Admirals Mike Buzak jersey. This jersey was much more in-your-face, with it's overly dramatic wave treatment of the waist striping and more tempered sleeve waves. The new main logo was an iron-jawed, very stern looking Admiral head with a giant chin and an enormous drop shadow on the left. The overall effect was a quite mean looking character who was difficult to embrace. The jerseys received secondary logos in the form of a saber appearing on each shoulder and a new stylized number font which was reminiscent of the sabers on the shoulders.

All of this was rendered in a new color scheme, with the basic blue and red evolving into a classier navy blue and dark red with copper and silver accents.

Milwaukee Admirals jersey
Milwaukee Admirals jersey

The jersey remained the same through the Admiral's move to the AHL, save for the league logo on the rear hem, as seen on this 2002-03 Milwaukee Admirals Brian Finley jersey.

Milwaukee Admirals jersey
Milwaukee Admirals jersey

This jersey style lasted until 2006, when the Admirals underwent a complete redesign, changing their team colors once again and introducing an all new, more juvenile skeleton pirate theme clearly aimed at moving more merchandise to younger fans.

This jersey introduced a new light blue, grey and black color scheme and all new, modern fonts for the names and numbers. After one season with a standard jersey cut, the AHL changed over to the new Reebok Edge System of jerseys, resulting in a slightly new jersey with the "apron strings" piping cutting across the chest of the jersey as shown in this 2008-09 Milwaukee Admirals Mark Dekanich jersey.

The Admirals also went against convention with their unconventional grey road jersey, a choice perhaps influenced by their recent ownership change, led by the owner of the Milwaukee Brewers baseball club, Mark Attanasio, as baseball teams historically wear grey on the road, a color seldom, if ever, used for hockey jerseys, especially in the professional ranks.

Milwaukee Admirals jersey
Milwaukee Admirals jersey

Today's video segment begins with the Milwaukee Admirals winning the 2004 Calder Cup while wearing their "second generation" jerseys.



Here, Brewers announcer Bob Uecker shows his love for the Admirals.


Finally, a look at the Admirals light blue alternate jerseys in some typical minor league fisticuffs.



Tuesday, July 30, 2013

1994 NHLPA Martin Brodeur Jersey

July by the Numbers shows it's solidarity with jersey #30.

Back in 1994 the National Hockey League Players Association (NHLPA) was locked out by the club owners due to labor issues regarding the implementation of a salary cap, which the players opposed. The lockout began on October 1, 1994 and lasted until January 11, 1995.

As the lockout continued, the NHLPA organized a tournament called the "4-on-4 Challenge" over three days from November 10th to 12th, 1994 at the Copps Coliseum in Hamilton, Ontario.

Four teams took part in the event, Team Ontario, Team USA, Team Western Canada and Team Quebec with the tournament won by Team Ontario. The tournament had many NHL stars in attendance, with Patrick Roy, Luc Robitaille, Brett Hull, Joe Sakic, Doug Gilmour, Rob Blake and Mike Richter among those competing. In total, over a half a million dollars was raised in support of the Ronald McDonald Children's Charities of Canada and minor hockey associations throughout North America.

Today's featured jersey is a 1994 NHLPA Team Ontario Martin Brodeur jersey. During the tournament players born in Western Canada wore yellow jerseys, players born in the United States wore red jerseys, players born in the Quebec wore blue jerseys and the players born in the Ontario wore white jerseys.

NHLPA jersey
NHLPA jersey

About now we can hear you saying "But Martin Brodeur was born in Quebec. Why is his name on a white Ontario jersey?"

That's because the owner of this jersey did not do his proper research before committing Brodeur's name to this white Team Ontario jersey, as Brodeur actually wore the blue of Team Quebec in the 4-on-4 Challenge!

Broduer NHLPA Quebec
Martin Broduer 94-95 Be A Player #R58 trading card
showing Brodeur in a blue Quebec jersey

Things brings up a point we'd like to stress. One of the things we enjoy the most about collecting jerseys is doing our research. It's often a challenge, particularly when collecting international jerseys when trying to determine:
  • During which seasons was a particular style worn?
  • Can any additional patches be added to the jersey based on when it was used?
  • Who wore the jersey during those years?
  • What jersey numbers did the players wear?
  • Did he wear a "C" or an "A"?
  • What fonts were used for the names and numbers with a jersey style?
Additionally,
  • Is any additional patch even available?
  • Where can I obtain the patch?
  • What was accomplished while wearing the jersey? A championship or personal milestone?
  • Is the brand of jersey correct for the year I'd like to replicate?
  • Where on Earth can I find photos of the player I've chosen wearing the jersey to confirm any of the above questions?
One place to start is on this very page, where in the right side column you will find "Our Favorite Hockey Links", which contain links to some of the most critical, informative and dependable sources for our research.

There's probably not a day that goes by that we don't find ourselves at the essential NHLUniforms.com. Every NHL jersey is illustrated, with additional patches, since the dawn of the league in 1917. What more can you ask for? Speaking of patches, NHLPatches.info is another excellent resource for all things NHL patch related.

The Internet Hockey Database is where you will find rosters for nearly every team ever, and what you can't find there usually be found at EuroHockey.net. We also rely on the past tournaments section of the IIHF website.

When it comes time for photos, other than a basic Google Image SearchGetty Images is the place to go. Sure the images are all watermarked, but for our purposes you simply cannot beat the wealth of visual information contained there.

And if you can't find what you need on your own, check out one of the forums we have linked to and conduct a search of their archives, Gameworn.net in particular, or join one of the communities and ask.

It's one thing to buy a jersey already customized, as long as you are comfortable that it's been done correctly, but there's a real pride in ownership we get from buying a blank jersey and conducting our own research into all the factors listed above, choosing a customizer to letter it for us and finally getting the completed jersey back done precisely to our specifications that buying a fully completed jersey just can't touch.

Monday, July 29, 2013

1997-98 Long Beach Ice Dogs Steve Finn Jersey

July by the Numbers once more crosses the continent, this time to California for jersey #29.

The Long Beach Ice Dogs came to be when the San Diego Gulls of the International Hockey League moved to Los Angeles for the 1995-96 IHL season and changed their name to the Ice Dogs after five years in San Diego where they made the Turner Cup Finals once following a stellar 62-12-8 regular season record.

After one season playing at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, the club moved 22 miles south to the Long Beach Sports Arena and altered their name to the Long Beach Ice Dogs. After missing the playoffs their previous season up the road in Los Angeles, the 1996-97 Ice Dogs had a great debut season in Long Beach, going 54-19-9 in the regular season led by Patrik Augusta's 87 points in 82 games and Stephane Morin's 82 points in 65 games after arriving from the Manitoba Moose.

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The Ice Dogs during their first season in Long Beach

In the playoffs the Ice Dogs defeated Milwaukee in three straight and sweeping the Utah Grizzlies in four. After knocking out the Houston Aeros in five, the Ice Dogs advanced to the finals where they faced the Detroit Vipers, who downed Long Beach in six games.

Their next regular season was a near carbon copy of the previous one when they posted a 53-20 -9 record to again win their division. Augusta again led the club with 41 goals and 81 points followed by Dan Lambert's 78 points. Their quest for the Turner Cup started out well with a defeat of Las Vegas 3-1 before outlasting Kansas City by winning in overtime of Game 7 as the teams alternated victories throughout the series. The Ice Dogs run came to an end when they lost out to the eventual champion Chicago Wolves in six games.


Patrik Augusta Ice Dogs photo PatrikAugustaIceDogs.jpg
Patrik Augusta

Augusta once more led the team in scoring in 1998-99 with 59 points, his drop in points due to being limited to 68 games that season. Long Beach advance past the first round of the playoffs by knocking out Kansas City once again 2-1 but had their season ended by division champion Houston Aeros in five games.

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The 1999-00 Long Beach Ice Dogs, their final season in the IHL

The Ice Dogs final season in the IHL of 1999-00 saw them led in scoring by Pavel Rosa with 53 points with future Stanley Cup winner Nikolai Khabibulin getting the majority of starts in goal. In 33 starts he went 21-11-1 with an excellent goals against average of 1.83. In the playoffs Long Beach quickly eliminated Manitoba 2-0 but were swept by Chicago in four to end their time in the IHL.

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Nikolai Khabibulin

It was at this point that the team owner withdrew the club from the IHL and dropped the club down to the West Coast Hockey League for the 2000-01 season, where they played three seasons before entering the East Coast Hockey League following the demise of the WCHL.

The Ice Dogs completed in the ECHL for another four seasons before ownership shut down the club due to ongoing financial losses due to poor attendance after 17 seasons, three cities and three different leagues, somewhat representative of life in the often unsettled and unstable minor leagues.

Notable players to have skated for the Ice Dogs include goalies Manny Legace, Khabibulin and Jaroslav Halak and defenseman Jaroslav Modry.

Today's featured jersey is a 1997-98 Long Beach Ice Dogs Steve Finn jersey. This jersey is a prime example of the humor found in some minor league jerseys allowed by the dye-sublimation process. The clever dog chain across the bottom in place of a traditional stripe is a fun and effective way to gain attention and establish the team's visual identity on the ice.

The sleeves are less successful though, with the intent being that the white of the jersey has been torn away to reveal not the players arms, but the front legs of a bulldog, which just comes across as silly and not very well executed, as the legs on the front and the paws on the back of the arms are rendered so flatly and without much detail.

A wraparound "3-D" effort may have been more effective, but would have been better executed if the legs would have had a printed fur pattern and the sleeve color outside the arms being black or dark blue in order to be a different, more contrasting color than the dogs legs themselves.

We can see what they were trying to attempt, but it's execution was not very effective in action and they may have just been better off repeating the chain motif around the wrists for a less silly, more dignified look.

Long Beach Ice Dogs jersey

While this video isn't admittedly the greatest quality, you can see the torn sleeves effect, but just try to find the rendering of the legs and paws on the jerseys.



Sunday, July 28, 2013

2001-02 Chicoutimi Saguenéens Alexandre Blackburn Jersey

Juillet par les Numéros retour à Québec pour de maillot n°28.

The Chicoutimi Saguenéens (pronounced Sheh-ku-ta-me Sa-gwa-nay-ens) were founded in 1973 and their name means "the people from Saguenay", which is a region in central Quebec.

The "Sags" have twice won the President's Cup as the QMJHL's playoff championship, first in 1991 and again in 1994. By winning the league's playoff title, they advanced to the Memorial Cup playoffs. They also participated in the Memorial Cup in 1997 as runners up in the QMJHL when the winners from Hull were hosts of the tournament, but the ultimate prize in Canadian junior hockey has so far eluded Chicoutimi.

Four times in their history the Saguenéens have won division titles, those coming in 1988, 1991, 1994 and 2002. Their record for most points in a season came in 2005-06 when they racked up 51 wins and 106 points, made possible by a strong team defense which allowed a team record low 185 goals against.

Many former Saguenéens have gone onto play in the NHL, with Marc Bergevin, Marc Bureau, Guy Carbonneau, Gord Donnelly, Gilles Hamel, Alan Haworth, Stephane Richer and Andre Roy have all played over 500 NHL games in addition to goaltenders Marc Denis and Felix Potvin to continue the tradition of goaltenders from Chicoutimi, started by legendary native Georges Vezina.

Numbers retired by Chicoutimi include Alain Cote's #14, Normand Leveille's #16, Sylvain Locas' #18, Marc Fortier's #20 and #21 for Carbonneau and #29 for Potvin.

Guy Carbonneau Sagueneens
Guy Carbonneau 1979-80

Today's featured jersey is a 2001-02 Chicoutimi Saguenéens Alexandre Blackburn jersey. We have always found jerseys done in sky blue and navy blue with white trim to be among some of the most attractive jerseys and this one is no exception. It's unique striped shoulder yoke gives the jersey an shot of adrenaline even when sitting still. It's also a hint of a classic turn of the century barberpole style without the dizzying full body effect. The choice of drop shadowed numbers also adds to the classic appeal of this very attractive jersey with is classy main crest topped with a regal crown.

The jersey also has a small #21 on the upper right chest that many will assume is a memorial to a fallen player, but it is in fact a tribute to the very much alive and well Guy Carbonneau, whose jersey #21 was retired by the club that season. In a departure from the expected, the #21 is not sewn on with twill, but embroidered directly into the team's jerseys.

Chicoutimi Sagueneens jersey
Chicoutimi Sagueneens jersey

 

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