Thursday, March 5, 2009

50 Years ago this week - Clinton Comets Finish First in EHL

From today's Utica Observer-Dispatch, This Week In History ....
The Clinton Comets win the Eastern Hockey League pennant. Last year, the team finished in last place. Players include Fern Bernaquez (5), Norm Defelice (1) (league’s leading goalie), Tim Hook (6), Dick Wray (league’s top scorer)(9), Leon Bouchard (3), Angie Defelice (8), Gordon “Spider” Brown (12), Jerry Stringle (14), Mike Kardask 2), Ed Calhoun(5), Rudy Balone (4), Doug MacPhee (11) and Willie Pawchuk (10). They’re coached by Bill Watson (7).

The Comets went on to win the 1959 EHL Championship, beating the Johnstown Jets in the finals.

An article in the April 8, 1959 Oneonta Star states:
Except for the use of 'Al "Nipper" O'Hearn and John Lehner as temporary subslitutes for ailing regulars, the Cornets closed the season with the same 14 players they started with last October.
The March 1, 1959 Utica Observer states that it was actually Ed Giacomin, Washington's 19-year-old backup goalie, who played for the Comets in a 2-1 loss against the Lions, who had O'Hearn in net.

Also, the 1959 EHL All-Star Teams were announced on Mar 9 :

First Team:
Dick Wray - LW - Clinton
Billy Watson - C - Clinton
Dick Roberge - RW - Johnstown
Gordon Tottle - D - Charlotte Clippers
Moose Lallo - D - Washington Presidents (tie)
Steve Brklacich - D - Johnstown (tie)
Leon Bouchard - D - Clinton (tie)
Norm DeFelice - G - Clinton

Second Team:
Don Hall - LW - Johnstown
Don Davidson - C - New Haven
Doug Adam - RW - Philadelphia
(Since there were 4 1st team Defensemen, the 2nd team was considered filled.)
Jim Shirley - G - Johnstown