Chelsea Challenge 2006 was quite a success this weekend, and provided such a thrilling twist as the semifinals and finals brought upsets. Six teams, randomly put together based on player strength, each got three games in the run up to the playoffs.

My team, Shamrocks, got eliminated ahead of the playoffs unfortunately. But it was a great team to play with, a good mix of people I know (and ones that I played with before, and many that I hadn’t) and people I didn’t. All of our games were high energy and well played. I never had to discuss hockey 101 with these players, just mostly a discussion of keeping the game play simple and not getting too complicated. I really enjoyed the three games with this team and it was great how fast we came together and felt like a team, even though most people met for the first time about 30 minutes before game one started.

We played the Rays first and tied that game across the board. In the scheme of the tournament, points were given based on winning the periods and winning the game. So with the Rays we won a period, lost a period, tied a period and tied the game, which gave us 4 points. Our second game was against the Ravens, which gave us three points as we only won a period and tied a period. The last game was a blow out for us though. Against the flames we didn’t pick up any points and that was our death. We simply couldn’t stop their goal scorer, despite trying everything we could. The Flames had also blown out the Frost in the first game of the Challenge, so it wasn’t too much of a surprise that they could do that again.

The upsets started in Saturday afternoon. The Avalanche had quite the comeback story, getting only two points in the first two games, they came back in their third game to eliminate the Rays. Their comeback picked up momentum Sunday morning as they beat the Ravens in overtime to go on to the finals. Their momentum continued right into the finals as they destroyed the Flames in the same way the Flames had done to Frost and Shamrocks (it was great to see having been taken out by the Flames).

Next up, of course, Montreal and the Outgames…just 6 weeks away.