Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Fort Wayne Komets (1973-74, IHL)

1973-74 Regular Season: Komets vs. Des Moines Capitols
          The Fort Wayne Komets started their 22nd year of play in the International Hockey League (IHL) in the 1973-74 season. The Komets were coming off a Turner Cup championship, as they swept aside the defending champion Port Huron Wings in four straight. The Komets were part of the Pittsburgh Penguins farm system, and were affiliated with the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League.
     Marc Boileau returned behind the bench, but would be promoted to the Pittsburgh Penguins at midseason. Ted Wright took over for the remainder of the season.
     The Komets followed up their Turner Cup season by missing the playoffs in 1973-74. In fact, both finalists from the previous year missed the postseason. The Komets' 31-45-0 record was one point ahead of the Port Huron Wings' 29-44-3 mark. Strange to see two teams in the finals one year and dead last the next.
     Fort Wayne struggled on defense this year, allowing a league-worst 345 goals on the year. Komets legend Robbie Irons seemed to have a good year, playing in 47 games and compiling a 3.29 GAA and two shutouts. Irons had two backups that year, Don Atchison and Guy DeNoncourt.
     Offense was a letdown for the Komets, as they scored just 245 goals, only ahead of Port Huron in that category. Wayne Ego led the Komets with 79 points, on the strength of 64 assists. Jeff Abbot led the team in goals with 31.
     No chance for the Komets to defend their title. That night's opponent, the Des Moines Capitols, would go on to win the Turner Cup in six games over the Saginaw Gears.
     This program is 38 pages long, all in black-and-white. Page 29 has a seating chart of the Memorial Coliseum, and tickets ranged from $2.00-$4.50. Season tickets ranged from $99.00 (Upper level) to $148.50 (Rinkside). A team photo from last year's Komets team is featured on Page 8. Local advertisements include Viking Sauna, Ted and Tom's Restaurant, DeHaven Chevrolet and Don Ayres Pontiac.

Reference:

International Hockey League Statistics: 1973-74 (from hockeydb.com)


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