Detroit Chaos
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Mission Accomplished !
Classic Quotes:
#1 -  Brad:  Get back in your locker room.
         Guy:  Why?
         Brad:  Because I said so.
 #2 - Brad (after guy starts pushing him): 
You don't want to do that.  I'm your worst nightmare.
 JOEY:  I don't believe in black-outs.  I believe in time travel.

May 1, 2005

Toronto, ON - The Detroit Chaos won their third Hockey North America Toronto Tournament this weekend with an exciting 4-3 win over the Detroit Firecats. After winning back to back titles in 2000 and 2001 the Chaos had struggled through subsequent years to regain their championship form. Four years later the Chaos rekindled the dynasty debate. The critics can begin the debate with the fact that the Chaos have won three championships in six Hockey North America (HNA) Toronto Tournament appearances.

To understand the full impact of this weekends championship requires a look back at the history of this proud franchise. The Detroit Chaos was the brainchild of Captain Steve Benninger and General Manager Brian Kappler in 2000. Born out of frustration from many losing trips to the Toronto tournament on the now defunct Detroit Bombers, Benninger and Kappler decided they would form their own team. In their first ever HNA Toronto Tournament in 2000 the Chaos took home the Division 5 title. In 2001 they repeated by defeating the Detroit Bombers. The franchise looked like a dynasty in the making. But looks can be deceiving.

Greatness in sports can't simply be declared. It must be earned on the field of play. The Chaos stumbled through the 2002, 2003, and 2004 Toronto campaign. They had 2 second place trophies to show for their effort. The core of the roster had stayed intact since the beginning. Names that will go down in Chaos history like McDonald, Belding, the "Cousins Line", and JOEY had been there since the championship days. But the fans were growing restless and some were even calling for roster shakeups. Toronto 2005 offered the chance to reclaim the glory days. But if the Chaos were to win they would have to play their finest hockey. To win the championship they would have to play 5 games in 40 hours. It would prove to be their most grueling championship run.

The tournament opened with a rematch of last years Toronto Tournament Final. The Dayton Frickers had used questionable tactics to win the Division 3 title over the Chaos in 2004. HNA tournament officials could not be reached to comment on whether the scheduling had been intentional, but the Chaos were ready for the early test. Captain Chaos led the way with a hat trick and Detroit was never threatened winning in convincing fashion, 4-0.

Saturday in Toronto separates the pretenders from the contenders. After a Friday night strategy session sponsored by The Glenlivet and the emotional return of star forward Jason Totzke from China, Captain Benninger and goalie, Joey Krizek, seemed properly motivated. With a late start on Saturday the rest of the team would also rise to the occasion. The Chaos beat a quick skating Detroit Wings team 6-1 in their first game of the day. The second game of the day pitted the Chaos against the Detroit Lightning. This was a chippy affair, but again the Chaos answered the bell. The Lightning were disposed of by a score of 4-1. The Chaos were all but assured a spot in the finals. All that was left was a matchup with the Detroit Firecats. It would be the beginning of their biggest test.

Regardless of the outcome of game 4 on Sunday morning the Chaos were guaranteed of a spot in the final later that day. On the other hand, the Firecats needed a win or a tie to play in the championship. The Chaos looked sluggish early and the Firecats controlled play for most of the game. The first gut check moment of the tournament occurred in the third period with the Chaos down 3-1. Lesser teams would've packed it up and saved their energy for the championship. But, this is the Chaos. They fought back for the tie and sent a message in the process. Buckle up for the Final.

All the planning, traveling, duty free shopping, over/under point wagering, hospitality suite "strategizing", luggage cart ferrying, and parking lot vandalism came down to one play in the final. One play defined the trip. One play defined all the hard work this "vacation" called the Toronto Tournament can be. With the score tied at 3-3 and less than ten seconds left the Cousins line had one last rush left in them. Terry Fidler put a perfect pass on Totzke's stick with less than 8 seconds on the clock. And Totzke shot the puck past the shocked Firecat's goalie. The scoreboard read 4-3 with 7.4 seconds left in the game. And just like that it was over. Mission Accomplished.

The curtain call on this championship run is a lengthy one, but it would be a crime if it didn't start with the defense. Brad Lipskie, Eric Sandstrom, Peter Kinlin, and newcomer Ryan Thorne put the lockdown on opposing forwards. And JOEY put on his usual goalie clinic. Best Defense Award. Best Goalie Award. That says it all. Everyone on the roster came through. Not bad for a bunch of guys that only play together once a year playing against teams that play together year round.

So, for one cold spring weekend in Toronto the game was on. No lockouts or strikes. No replacement players. Just back to basics hockey. Pass the puck. Shoot the puck. Stop the puck from going in your net. And it was back to basics for the Chaos. The basics of championships.

Over Under results:  Captain's Comments: 

Four Chaos managed a "+" rating this year in TO. Totzke, back from a year off of ZERO skating and hanging out in China, managed the game winner and to join the "A" line with a plus rating.  However, the "shooter" managed just one over his +/- rating.  

The entire "A" line not only beat their "+/- rating", but each one of us smashed it! Again, you boys were awesome and a huge reason for our successful championship this year in TO. This one will have many memories that I will never forget. Near the very top of the list will be my memories of going to war with the two of you, our "chemistry", and our 22 POINTS!