My "other" favorite pro hockey team won the International Hockey League(IHL) championship last night. When the family moved from Venice, Florida, to Celina, Ohio, back in the fall of 1962 I had a small interest in ice hockey. Growing up in south Florida, I liked to roller skate, but even though I had not been on ice since before I was 4, I maintained a rooting interest in the sport of Ice Hockey....the old 6 team NHL and minor league IHL...I could pick up games on my AM radio back 50 years ago, and one team was the Fort Wayne Komets, out of that Indiana city. WOWO Radio 1190 was a 50,000 watt clear channel blow tourch back then, and you could pick up the Komets games late at night....and I would listen to them, on my transistor radio many evenings before falling asleep.
When the family moved to Ohio, some 50 miles from Fort Wayne, I became a big fan of the Komets and their on-air voice Bob Chase. Even though this minor league franchise has evolved both up and down the food chain of Hockey for the past 60 years, two things have remained constant. The team, year in and year out, sells the most tickets in the sub leagues(this season averaging almost 8000 fans a game, compared with the second most attended team in the IHL averaging around 3300), and Bob Chase....Chase has been the play-by-play announcer for the K's since they began....last night he was on the call again, Bob is now in his mid 80s, and I'm sure it was another thrill when he got the chance to lift the "Turner Cup" over his head for the Komets 6 championship in their history.
Down 3-1 in games, Fort Wayne, (who dominated the league in not only attendance, they defeated the second place team, Port Huron, by over 30 points during the regular season) was on the brink of seeing their record setting season end short of their goal. After winning at home, the K's pulled out a hard fought road win in Port Huron on Saturday to bring the series back home for a 7th and deciding game. Fort Wayne jumped out to a 2-0 lead midway through peroid 2...PH got a quick goal back and the 2-1 score held until the Icehawks pulled their goalie with about a minute left in regulation. Port Huron worked their magic and tied the game with 52 seconds left....the game then went into 1, then through 2 overtimes....the score still tied at 2....Fort Wayne ended the series and seaon 23 seconds into OT #3.....a 19 year old rookie scores the winner, and at 1 o'clock this morning, the Komets had their Turner Cup(the IHL version of the Stanley Cup).
For more details on the Komets season and cup win here is the link to the team Web Site:
Great season for the K's and their fans...another sell out of 10, 468 fans celebrated a Monday night win.
On to the NHL Playoffs:
I will miss most of tonight's Philadelphia Flyers game...Philly, down 2 games to none vs Pittsburgh, face a must win situation...meanwhile Detroit, no doubt the best team remaining, went up 3-0 over Dallas with a 5-2 road win last night, in the Western Finals.
Sam and I have a Sectional Baseball Division 4 Tournament Championship game at the town of Bascom, Ohio, tonight....not even sure who is in the final which is being played at Hopewll-Loudon High School.....I do know we will be leaving about 2:30...Bascom is 100 miles north and east of Celina, could be a late night this evening, before we get home.