Game seven

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A game seven is the final game of a best of seven series. This game can occur in the postseasons for Major League Baseball (League Championship Series and World Series), the National Basketball Association (all rounds of the NBA Playoffs), and the National Hockey League (all rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs).

The game is generally played at the site of the team holding the home advantage across the series.

The nature of a best-of-seven series requires that the series be tied at 3 games apiece going into Game Seven, such that either team can take the series (advancing further in the playoffs or winning the championship) by winning the game. Because of this decisive nature, games seven add an element of drama to their sports.

Aside from North American sports leagues, games seven are also a fixture in many other sports around the world, mostly in baseball, basketball, and ice hockey leagues. Most codes of football do not employ a best-of-seven series (or any best-of-x series in general), hence games seven are not played in those leagues.

Some playoff rounds (such as MLB's current Division Series) are played in a best of five format, such that Game Five has similar qualities to those described above, though the suspense and drama have less time to build in a shorter series. Furthermore, the World Series of 1903, 1919, 1920, and 1921 were played in a best of nine format, though none of the four went to a decisive Game Nine.

The game seven is comparable to a final or to a single game in a single-elimination tournament or to a one-game playoff.

Examples[edit]

Chinese Professional Baseball League[1][edit]

Taiwan Series that were decided on a game seven:

Year Winning team Losing team Score Site Notes
1991 Uni-President Lions Wei Chuan Dragons 13–5 Taipei City
1998 Wei Chuan Dragons Sinon Bulls 5–2 Taichung City Capacity audience.
2000 Uni-President Lions Sinon Bulls 4–1 Taichung City Capacity audience. Lo Min-ching homered the fifth time and then the sixth in the series.
2001 Brother Elephants Uni-President Lions 7–5 Tainan City Capacity audience. Yofu Tetsu saved the Elephants.
2004 Sinon Bulls Uni-President Lions 8–6 Tainan City Capacity audience. Chang Chia-hao hit the winning triple in the ninth inning.
2007 Uni-President Lions La New Bears 4–2 Kaohsiung County Capacity audience. Nelson Figueroa became the first player taking 3 starting wins in CPBL playoff history.
2008 Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions Brother Elephants 4–0 Tainan City Capacity audience. Luther Hackman closed the game.
2009 Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions Brother Elephants 5–2 Tainan City Capacity audience. Lions wins 3 streak champions.

Major League Baseball[edit]

In the MLB postseason, Game 7 can occur in the League Championship Series and the World Series (the divisional series are best of five). In the World Series, there have only been 36 decisive Games Seven (of the four World Series that were contested on a best-of-nine basis, none went to a Game Nine, though all four included a non-decisive Game Seven).[2]

World Series[edit]

World Series that were decided on a game seven:

Year Winning team Losing team Score Site Notes
1909[3] Pittsburgh Pirates Detroit Tigers 8–0 Bennett Park, Detroit, Michigan
1912[4] Boston Red Sox New York Giants 3-2 F/10 Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts This decisive contest was actually Game Eight, as Game Two had ended in a tie.
1924[5] Washington Senators New York Giants 4–3 F/12 Griffith Stadium, Washington, D.C. In the 12th inning, Muddy Ruel doubled after a dropped foul popfly by Giants catcher Hank Gowdy. Ruel scored on a walk-off RBI double by Earl McNeely.
1925[6] Pittsburgh Pirates Washington Senators 9–7 Forbes Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1926[7] St. Louis Cardinals New York Yankees 3–2 Yankee Stadium, New York City, New York
1931[8] St. Louis Cardinals Philadelphia Athletics 4-2 St. Louis, Missouri
1934[9] St. Louis Cardinals Detroit Tigers 11–0 Navin Field, Detroit, Michigan
1940[10] Cincinnati Reds Detroit Tigers 2–1 Crosley Field, Cincinnati, Ohio
1945[11] Detroit Tigers Chicago Cubs 9–3 Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois Cubs most recent World Series appearance.
1946[12] St. Louis Cardinals Boston Red Sox 4–3 Sportsman's Park III, St. Louis, Missouri
1947[13] New York Yankees Brooklyn Dodgers 5–2 Yankee Stadium, New York City, New York
1952[14] New York Yankees Brooklyn Dodgers 4–2 Ebbets Field, New York City, New York
1955[15] Brooklyn Dodgers New York Yankees 2–0 Yankee Stadium, New York City, New York Dodgers' only championship in Brooklyn. The home team won all games of the series, except for Game 7.
1956[16] New York Yankees Brooklyn Dodgers 9–0 Ebbets Field, New York City, New York Jackie Robinson's final Major League game. Last postseason game at Ebbets Field and Dodgers' last postseason game before moving to Los Angeles. The home team won all games of the series, except for Game 7.
1957[17] Milwaukee Braves New York Yankees 5–0 Yankee Stadium, New York City, New York
1958[18] New York Yankees Milwaukee Braves 6–2 County Stadium, Milwaukee, Wisconsin Braves' last postseason game in Milwaukee.
1960[19] Pittsburgh Pirates New York Yankees 10–9 Forbes Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Bill Mazeroski hit the walk-off home run to win the Pirates the championship. Last postseason game in Forbes Field.
1962[20] New York Yankees San Francisco Giants 1–0 Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California Willie McCovey's line drive to Bobby Richardson ended the game. First game 7 that ended with a 1-0 score.
1964[21] St. Louis Cardinals New York Yankees 7–5 Busch Stadium I, St. Louis, Missouri The Yankees' last World Series appearance until 1976. Last postseason game at Busch Stadium I.
1965[22] Los Angeles Dodgers Minnesota Twins 2–0 Metropolitan Stadium, Bloomington, Minnesota The home team won all games of the series, except for Game 7.
1967[23] St. Louis Cardinals Boston Red Sox 7–2 Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts
1968[24] Detroit Tigers St. Louis Cardinals 4–1 Busch Stadium II, St. Louis, Missouri
1971[25] Pittsburgh Pirates Baltimore Orioles 2–1 Memorial Stadium, Baltimore, Maryland The home team won all games of the series, except for Game 7.
1972[26] Oakland Athletics Cincinnati Reds 3–2 Riverfront Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio
1973[27] Oakland Athletics New York Mets 5–2 Oakland- Alameda County Coliseum, Oakland, California
1975[28] Cincinnati Reds Boston Red Sox 4–3 Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts
1979[29] Pittsburgh Pirates Baltimore Orioles 4–1 Memorial Stadium, Baltimore, Maryland Last World Series Game 7 won by the road team
1982[30] St. Louis Cardinals Milwaukee Brewers 6–3 Busch Stadium II, St. Louis, Missouri
1985[31] Kansas City Royals St. Louis Cardinals 11–0 Royals Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri World Series held entirely in the state of Missouri. The Royals also won the 1985 American League Championship Series in seven games. Royals became first team to win the World Series after losing the first two games at home.
1986[32] New York Mets Boston Red Sox 8–5 Shea Stadium, New York City, New York Mets become the first team to be one strike away from elimination and come back to win the series.
1987[33] Minnesota Twins St. Louis Cardinals 4–2 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, Minneapolis, Minnesota The home team won all games of the series.
1991[34] Minnesota Twins Atlanta Braves 1–0 F/10 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, Minneapolis, Minnesota The home team won all games of the series. The Twins won in the bottom of the 10th on a walk off single by Gene Larkin after 9 12 scoreless innings of play.
1997[35] Florida Marlins Cleveland Indians 3–2 F/11 Pro Player Stadium, Lake Lucerne, Florida Florida becomes the first wild card team to win the World Series. The Marlins rallied for 1 run in the bottom of the 9th to tie and won in the 11th on an Edgar Renteria RBI single off Charles Nagy.
2001[36] Arizona Diamondbacks New York Yankees 3–2 Bank One Ballpark, Phoenix, Arizona Arizona becomes the fastest expansion team to win the World Series, rallying for 2 runs in the bottom of the 9th for a come-from-behind win, capped off by Luis Gonzalez hitting the winning RBI single off closer Mariano Rivera. This play meant the home team won all games of the series.
2002[37] Anaheim Angels San Francisco Giants 4–1 Edison International Field, Anaheim, California Both World Series teams were wild card entrants into the playoffs.
2011[38] St. Louis Cardinals Texas Rangers 6–2 Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri Cardinals become the second team to be one strike away from elimination and come back to win the series, in fact they did it twice.

League Championship Series[edit]

The League Championship Series were originally decided best of five from 1969 until 1984. Since 1985 when both were expanded to best of seven contests, 15 series (6 American, 9 National) were decided in game seven.

League Championship Series that were decided on a game seven:

Year Series Winning team Losing team Score Site Notes
1985[39] ALCS Kansas City Royals Toronto Blue Jays 6–2 Exhibition Stadium, Toronto, Ontario The Royals would go onto win the 1985 World Series in seven games.
1986[40] ALCS Boston Red Sox California Angels 8–1 Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts
1987[41] NLCS St. Louis Cardinals San Francisco Giants 6–0 Busch Stadium (II), St. Louis, Missouri
1988[42] NLCS Los Angeles Dodgers New York Mets 6–0 Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California
1991[43] NLCS Atlanta Braves Pittsburgh Pirates 4–0 Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1992[44] NLCS Atlanta Braves Pittsburgh Pirates 3–2 Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia Atlanta scored all three runs in the bottom of the ninth. Pinch hitter Francisco Cabrera drove in two with a two-out single with the bases loaded.
1996[45] NLCS Atlanta Braves St. Louis Cardinals 15–0 Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia Highest run differential for a Game Seven.
2003[46] ALCS New York Yankees Boston Red Sox 6–5 F/11 Yankee Stadium, New York City, New York Leading off for the Yankees in the bottom of the 11th, Aaron Boone hit a walk-off home run to win the series. Last time a Game 7 went into extra innings.
2003[47] NLCS Florida Marlins Chicago Cubs 9–6 Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois
2004[48] ALCS Boston Red Sox New York Yankees 10–3 Yankee Stadium, New York City, New York Boston rallied from an 0–3 deficit to win the American League pennant, the only time in Major League Baseball history that this has happened in a best of seven series.
2004[49] NLCS St. Louis Cardinals Houston Astros 5–2 Busch Stadium (II), St. Louis, Missouri The home team won all games of the series. Last time both LCS went to a Game 7.
2006[50] NLCS St. Louis Cardinals New York Mets 3–1 Shea Stadium, Queens, New York Most recent Game Seven to be won by the road team. Last postseason game at Shea Stadium.
2007[51] ALCS Boston Red Sox Cleveland Indians 11–2 Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts
2008[52] ALCS Tampa Bay Rays Boston Red Sox 3–1 Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida
2012[53] NLCS San Francisco Giants St. Louis Cardinals 9–0 AT&T Park, San Francisco, California First Game Seven win by the Giants.

National Hockey League[edit]

In the NHL playoffs, Game 7 can occur in all playoff series.[54] In the Stanley Cup Finals, the NHL gained complete control of the Cup in 1926, and the league instituted the best-of-seven series starting in the 1938–39 season.

The games seven where the Cup was awarded are:

Year Winning team Losing team Score Site Notes
1942[55] Toronto Maple Leafs Detroit Red Wings 3–1 Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario Toronto came back down 0–3 in the series to win the Cup.
1945[56] Toronto Maple Leafs Detroit Red Wings 2–1 Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan Detroit was down 0–3 in the series and rallied to force Game 7 before losing.
1950[57] Detroit Red Wings New York Rangers 4–3 (2OT) Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan Longest Game 7 Stanley Cup Finals.
1954[58] Detroit Red Wings Montreal Canadiens 2–1 (OT) Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan Most recent Game 7 Stanley Cup Finals to be decided in overtime.
1955[59] Detroit Red Wings Montreal Canadiens 3–1 Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan Red Wings last Stanley Cup until 1997. The home team won all games of the series.
1964[60] Toronto Maple Leafs Detroit Red Wings 4–0 Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario
1965[61] Montreal Canadiens Chicago Blackhawks 4–0 Montreal Forum, Montreal, Quebec The home team won all games of the series.
1971[62] Montreal Canadiens Chicago Black Hawks 3–2 Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois The home team won all games of the series, except for Game 7. Chicago led 2–0 in the deciding game at home before allowing three unanswered goals and losing the game.
1987[63] Edmonton Oilers Philadelphia Flyers 3–1 Northlands Coliseum, Edmonton, Alberta Flyers rallied from a 3–1 series deficit to force a decisive game.
1994[64] New York Rangers Vancouver Canucks 3–2 Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York Canucks represented Canada's last Stanley Cup Finals appearance until 2004 Calgary Flames. Rangers first Stanley Cup since 1940. This was the last NHL game before a 100 day lockout that reduced the 1994–95 season to 48 games per team.
2001[65] Colorado Avalanche New Jersey Devils 3–1 Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado After 22 years, Ray Bourque won his Stanley Cup.
2003[66] New Jersey Devils Mighty Ducks of Anaheim 3–0 Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford, New Jersey The home team won all games of the series.
2004[67] Tampa Bay Lightning Calgary Flames 2–1 St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa, Florida Lightning Captain Dave Andreychuk won his Stanley Cup after 22 seasons. This was the last NHL game before the lockout that cancelled the entire 2004-05 season.
2006[68] Carolina Hurricanes Edmonton Oilers 3–1 RBC Center, Raleigh, North Carolina First Stanley Cup Finals featuring two former World Hockey Association teams. Also, the Hurricanes made history when they won the championship in 2006, and didn't make it to the playoffs the following year. In the second year since the Hurricanes won the championship, they didn't make it to the playoffs again. Most recent Game 7 to be won by the home team.
2009[69] Pittsburgh Penguins Detroit Red Wings 2–1 Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan The home team won all games of the series, except for Game 7.
2011[70] Boston Bruins Vancouver Canucks 4–0 Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia The home team won all games of the series, except for Game 7. Vancouver failed to be the 3rd Canadian city to win the championship a year after hosting an Olympics. Boston became the first city to win all four major sports championships in the 21st century and third millennium.

National Basketball Association[edit]

All playoff rounds in the NBA are now in a best-of-seven series format so all rounds can have games seven. The NBA Finals has been consistently played in a best-of-seven series format since its inception.

The games seven where the champions were awarded are:

Year Winning team Losing team Score Site Notes
1951[71] Rochester Royals New York Knicks 79–75 Edgerton Park Arena, Rochester, New York New York forced a game 7 after trailing 0–3 in the series.
1952[72] Minneapolis Lakers New York Knicks 82–65 Minneapolis Auditorium, Minneapolis, Minnesota
1954[73] Minneapolis Lakers Syracuse Nationals 87–70 Minneapolis Auditorium, Minneapolis, Minnesota
1955[74] Syracuse Nationals Fort Wayne Pistons 92–91 Onondaga County War Memorial, Syracuse, New York
1957[75] Boston Celtics St. Louis Hawks 125–123 (OT) Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
1960[76] Boston Celtics St. Louis Hawks 122–103 Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
1962[77] Boston Celtics Los Angeles Lakers 110-107 (OT) Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
1966[78] Boston Celtics Los Angeles Lakers 95–93 Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
1969[79] Boston Celtics Los Angeles Lakers 108–106 The Forum, Inglewood, California Final game for Celtics Bill Russell and Sam Jones (basketball)
1970[80] New York Knicks Los Angeles Lakers 113–99 Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York Notable for Willis Reed's return from injury.
1974[81] Boston Celtics Milwaukee Bucks 102–87 MECCA Arena, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
1978[82] Washington Bullets Seattle SuperSonics 105–99 Kingdome, Seattle, Washington Last NBA Finals Game 7 won by the road team
1984[83] Boston Celtics Los Angeles Lakers 111–102 Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
1988[84] Los Angeles Lakers Detroit Pistons 108–105 The Forum, Inglewood, California
1994[85] Houston Rockets New York Knicks 90–84 The Summit, Houston, Texas
2005[86] San Antonio Spurs Detroit Pistons 81–74 SBC Center, San Antonio, Texas
2010[87] Los Angeles Lakers Boston Celtics 83–79 Staples Center, Los Angeles, California Fifth time that Boston and LA meet in a game seven. Kobe Bryant won his second consecutive Finals MVP award, scoring 10 of his game high 23 points in the fourth quarter, as well as grabbing 15 rebounds to clinch the victory for LA.
2013[88] Miami Heat San Antonio Spurs 95–88 American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida Last time the NBA finals was a 2-3-2 format.

Comebacks[edit]

Only in five instances has a team been able to come back from being down 0–3 to win a series:

Mike Richards and Jeff Carter are the only players to have been a part of two come backs from being down 0-3, having played for both the 2010 Philadelphia Flyers and the 2014 Los Angeles Kings.

Additionally, the following eight teams were able to force a seventh game in a series after being down 0–3, subsequently losing it:

References[edit]

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