Thursday, November 12, 2009

When the Long Island Ducks became the Massachusetts Ducks

Goalie Guy DeNoncourt is as out of place on this shot as his Long Island Ducks teammates were in the 1973 playoffs when they became the Massachusetts Ducks. The South Yarmouth, MA based Ducks played a total of 4 Eastern Hockey League games, all losses, in the 1973 playoffs against the Cape Cod Cubs.
03-06-73 Syracuse Post-Standard, p 14

An apparent player-owner feud which resulted in Long Island Ducks owner Al Baron yanking his team out of the upcoming Walker Cup Playoffs has been settled at EHL headquarters and the Ducks will begin opening round play Friday in Cape Cod. Baron, reportedly having difficulty meeting certain bonus provisions in the contracts of several of the Long Island players, had earlier Monday announced that his team was going out of business and that it would not be able to meet its 1973 playoff obligations.
At a hastily-called meeting of EHL executives in New York City, a stop-gap arrangement was made in which the Ducks will be home-based in the same arena as their Cape Cod foes. Should they win. the opening series, the Ducks will continue to use the South Yarmouth rink as their home ice in any ensuing series. For the remainder of the playoffs they will be known as the Massachusetts Ducks.
Unstated here is the fact that the Long Island Ducks failed to win any of their last 14 games in the last 4 weeks of the season (and their existence). They still made the playoffs by one point over the Jersey Devils (Jersey would have won the tiebreaker for taking on the tougher schedule after the New England Blades dropped out of the league in November). On the final day of the regular season, the Devils beat the Ducks 9-3 at Long Island. Afterwards, Al Baron congratulated Devils coach Jim Hay and told him that the Ducks were dropping out of the playoffs and that Devils were in since they were a much more deserving team. (The fact that the Devils were only 4 points behind Long Island and Rhode Island as of January 31, and still couldn't catch them might dispute this point.)

The Massachusetts Ducks entire game history:
MAR 9, 1973 - Friday - Massachusetts Ducks 2 at Cape Cod 6 (Cape Cod leads series 1-0)
MAR 10, 1973 - Saturday - Massachusetts Ducks 1 at Cape Cod 3 (Cape Cod leads series 2-0)
MAR 13, 1973 - Tuesday - Cape Cod 2 at Massachusetts Ducks 1 (0:43 of OT) (Cape Cod leads series 3-0)
MAR 16, 1973 - Friday - Cape Cod 8 at Massachusetts Ducks 5 (Cape Cod wins series 4-0)

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