|1967-68 Regular Season|
Flags vs. Dayton Gems
Maxfield's Flags just missed the playoffs in 1967, finishing three points behind fourth-place Des Moines. Toppazzini's Flags fared much worse in 1968, finishing in sixth place (out of seven) with a 25-36-11 record. Their 61 points were twelve points behind the fourth-place Fort Wayne Komets and 37 behind the league-leading Muskegon Mohawks.
The Flags owned the third worst offense (269 goals scored) and the worst defense (343 allowed) in the IHL in 1967-68. Randy Prior led the team in scoring, with 56 goals and 90 points. Marty Reynolds (38), Ken Gribbons (28) and Frank Golembrosky (22) were the other Flags with over 20 goals on the season. Coach Toppazzini had 37 points in 37 games (11 goals).
Ray Reeson played in 54 games for Port Huron in his first full professional season. He would go on to play several seasons in the CHL and AHL. His backup was Norm Jacques, an original Flags player. Jacques would play in 27 games in his final pro season (though he did suit up for one game as an emergency fill-in for the Flags in 1980-81). Gaye Cooley made it into one game, and became the main netminder for the team in 1968-69.
This program is from a Saturday, March 16th game against the Dayton Gems. The
This is a 19-page program, all in black-and-white. Both road and home schedules are included, as well as a team photo from last season's team. Local advertisements include Sperry's (then a department store, now a movie theater), Port Huron Paper Company, Sport Shop Toys, Little Pigs Barbecue, and Port Huron TV Cable Company.
No playoffs for the second straight season for the Flags, and Coach Toppazzini would be shown the door after only one season. The Muskegon Mohawks would cruise through the Turner Cup Playoffs, downing both the Columbus Checkers and Dayton Gems to win the Turner Cup.
Aftermath: The Flags would replace Toppazzini with Sarnia native Ted Garvin. Garvin would guide the Flags (later Wings) to their greatest era. The team would reach the Turner Cup Finals four times in the next five years, winning it all in 1970-71 and 1971-72. The franchise would remain in Port Huron until ceasing operations after the 1980-81 season due to financial losses reaching over $250,000 in the final year.
International Hockey League Statistics: 1967-68 (from hockeydb.com)