Need a new topic here

February 1, 2006

This one comes from Ronn, who wants to know who everybody thinks was the best fighter(s) the Komets have had, and who they have fought against. Now it’s easy for everybody to say Fletch, and who could argue, but try to think of specific incidents maybe that stood out for you. Think of opponents as well.

I’ll start. Though I didn’t see it, Bob Fitchner challenging the entire Flint team in 1973 should have been something, especially when no one had the guts to immediately accept the challenge. Now that’s tough.

The other one was seeing Shawn Cronin take on about three Indy Ice players after Prokopec hit McBain in Indy. I have NEVER seen a great show of strength than seeing Cronin the barbarian throwing Jeff Buchanan around. The whole place got eerily quiet. Funny thing was, I’m guessing word must have gotten around pretty quick, because no one came near Shawn in the remaining games he was able to play. What a warrior. And a class act.

As for opponents, Mark Major was by far the classiest of a class bunch. Enrico Ciccone was always a favorite to despise.

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58 Responses to “Need a new topic here”

  1. JR Says:

    The guys I remember from early on were Steve Salvucci and Tony Cammazola. I always loved it when Vuc got real mad he would skate by the other teams bench and bang his stick on the boards just under those guys when they were leaning over. I remember the Cronin incident; but I cant remember anyone more scary than “The Rock” when he lost it….Robin Bawa especially early in his career was nasty. John Hillworth never fought much but when ya pushed the right button he would chase ya down and leave ya behind the wood shed…cryin….Mike Natyshak and Scott Shaunessy were a couple of my favorites…just a few off the top of my head…

  2. JR Says:

    The guys I remember from early on were Steve Salvucci and Tony Cammazola. I always loved it when Vuc got real mad he would skate by the other teams bench and bang his stick on the boards just under those guys when they were leaning over. I remember the Cronin incident; but I cant remember anyone more scary than “The Rock” when he lost it….Robin Bawa especially early in his career was nasty. John Hillworth never fought much but when ya pushed the right button he would chase ya down and leave ya behind the wood shed…cryin….Mike Natyshak and Scott Shaunessy were a couple of my favorites…just a few off the top of my head…

  3. doug Says:

    Chris Mcrae as far as I remember never lost
    a fight as a komet
    Fletch is the all time top notch
    never from behind always face to face
    only going when you were ready! his battles
    with Major are some of the all time best,
    clean and with respect for each other and the game
    Bawa was as tough as they came
    but number 2 on my list captain Dale Baldwin
    not a heavyweight in size but nobody tougher!

    as for other foes
    John Craighead seemed to always come out on top very skilled at his trade
    and for KOMETS that I did not like the two worst
    Carl Mokosak
    Andy Bezau
    cheap and dirty from behind
    no respect for either of them

  4. Hit Somebody!!! Says:

    The most surprising and enjoyable of recent years had to be Kevin Schmidt holding his own in front of the net against the “Jerk of Jerks” Brad Wingfield. I never expected Kevin to drop them with Wingfield, but he did, and he got some pretty good licks in. I hate Brad Wingfield, he is a dirty player.

  5. Skate Says:

    The Calvinator in the 60’s. Teddy Wright after he put on a little weight and moved back to defense. I don’t think I ever saw D’Arcy Keating lose a fight. Fitchner always liked to throw ’em. Rodney Cox was the guy who came off the Flint Bench and when he returned, he was bleeding from his eye.

    Flint’s announcers later said that “the only reason Fitchner challenged the Flint bench was because he knew that Doug Kerslake — Flint’s bad guy — wasn’t dressed.” The next game, in Flint (which I went to) Fitchner pointed tp center ice, challenging Kerslake. Kerslake skated to center ice, threw one right hand which hit Fitchner in the side of the head. Fitchner grabbed Kerslake behind the neck, pulled his head down and nailed him with 3 quick uppercuts, breaking Kerslake’s nose and ending the fight right then. A thing of beauty.

  6. smitty Says:

    pound for pound think robbie was good as we have ever had, and a little porker name IEN Mcfee for the golddiggers, had some of the fastest hands i have ever seen.

  7. Unit Says:

    Gotta agree with JR on Scott Shaunessy(sp?). I remember one time in particular when he fought someone from Peoria. They dropped gloves on face-off, dropped hats and circled for about ten seconds. Out of nowhere Scott cut loose a hook and the dude went down like a lump of potatoes and had to be helped off. That was by far the coolest hockey fight I have ever seen. Outside of him(not mentioning the obvious)Andre Roy comes to mind. Of course our biggest waste of a fighter Rhett Trombley. Do a google search and see how many fight links for him come up. Watch them and see how many he loses. I’ll give you a spoiler. None. Of course we only gave him about 2 weeks and then cut him loose. Sorry, didn’t mean to go off on a tangent. But, while I’m on it Jorde is absolutely THE best fighter we have right now bar none. I won’t get off on a huge rant about how he doesn’t use his skill nearly as often as he should blah blah blah. The dude knows how to throw down though.

  8. Skate Says:

    Shane Kenny dropping Lawmaster last year was lovely.

    If someone would have done it to him in the playoffs before he ran both of our goalies maybe the outcome would have been different.

  9. Mark Says:

    Danny Stewert dropping Jeff Ewasko of Rockford..I think Ewasko was a full foot taller than Stewert..He took a pounding right at the Komets bench…

  10. scoops Says:

    I’ll leave the prehistoric fighters to Blake and the old timers.

    IHL guys who stood out were Robin Bawa, Steve Fletcher, Shawn Cronin, and one that I think was the best which is Andre Roy. You just didn’t see him lose. Andy Bezeau, dirty player later in his career or not, was relentless and had balls. Didn’t matter who you were or how big you were, he would throw down with some of the best of the all time greats.

    UHL fighter that stood out the most for me was Steve Parsons. Guys who put on the best fights I thought were Michel Massie and Jimmy Logan. Both took a punch to give a punch. I like that. Rhett Trombley could of been something special if he got a refill on his cup of coffee he had here.

  11. blake Says:

    Oldtimers? Why you young whippersnipper, I ought to…

    I believe that’s a five-minute major for unsportsmanlike conduct there, scoops.

  12. DL Says:

    I would say Andre Roy or Steve Parsons. I never saw Parsons lose a fight. Also, does anyone remember Rhett Trombley? He played about half a season in the UHL and then we released him. I thought he was pretty good too.

  13. Ron Says:

    Let’s classify the fighters in 3 groups to make things easier. Group 1 will be the best of the best and not in any particular order
    1 Sean Gagnon
    2 Steve Parsons
    3 Shawn Cronin
    4 John Ferguson
    5 Rhett Trombly

    Group 2 (This group is big and I’m sure I’ll
    miss a few)

    1 Steve Fletcher 2 Bob Fitchner 3 Ted Wright 4 Andre Roy 5 Shane Kenny 6 Connie Madigan 7 Cal Puriton 8 John Hilworth 9 Mark Salvucci (Steve’s brother) 10 Mark Major. 11 Tony Camazolla 12 Mike Butters

    Group 3 (Warrior Group)
    These guys could throw’em, but can’t be considered heavyweghts. 1. Robbie Laird 2. Davey Norris 3 Chris McRae 4 Andy Beezue 5 Robin Bawa 6 Steve Salvucci 7 Dale Baldwin 8 Michel Massie 9 Jim Logan

    The best fighter of them all to ever play in the Colisium and possibly in all of hockey at any level was Link Gates who played for K-zoo before is was suspended. He later went on to play in the NHL, but drugs and booze got him the boot. He has been suspended for life from 5 or 6 leagues. As of last year he was playing in the Ontario Senior Professional League,a goon league famous for hockey enforcers.Some teams there have as many as 5-7 enforcers on a team. Most games are sell outs.

    In a classic Sat. nite Komet/K-zoo game a full scale brawl erupted. Link Gates was involved. Three Komets challenged Gates in sucession, Robin Bawa, Mike Butters, can’t recall the third player. Gates destroyed all three and I mean DESTROYED 1,2 3 He was called “The Missing Link”

  14. Komets PA Says:

    One guy I remember as being underrated but always a battler was Mike Lekun. After Keith Miller got jumped here in Fort Wayne, the next game was in Indy and we brought Lekun back from the senior leagues. No one wanted a piece of him.
    Steve Parsons was a kid who should have been able to make the jump to the NHL but just fell a little short. If he only could have stayed away from all the suspensions, he might have actually gotten to show his talent.
    Milt Mastad was another of the big guys people tend to forget. Dave Norris was another all time favorite. Dale Baldwin could still play if the K’s ever needed him. Byron Lomow was about as tough as they come as well. He was a pain as an opponent but a great asset as a Komet.

  15. Tim Says:

    Opponents?

    Kevin Evans…

    …but I’m biased 😉

  16. Greg Says:

    I always got excited when Fletcher was on the ice. One person not mentioned so far for opponent is Rick Hayward. I still remember the play-off series wiht Cincy when after Fletcher ran Pokey, and yes Flecther ran Pokey, Hayward started with Fletcher, after that was broken up went after Kevin Mcdonald who was standing around the K’s bench and then to finish it off decied to get into with Peter Sidorkiewicz. After Sid beat Hayward in the head a few times with his blocker he finally had enough.

  17. blake Says:

    How about best individual fights?

  18. chuckitt Says:

    how about the night bob phillips took on the whole world after getting his contacts gouged out of his eyes? and for tough how about greg tebutt who took on anybody , including the ft wayne police dept.

  19. Skate Says:

    The only guy I ever saw who gave Gagnon a battle was Cote from K-Zoo one night here. Always liked to see Lekun vs. Indy. He’d fight their big fighter, Marc Magnan. Lekun would head butt him every fight. Once, when there were several fights going on at one time lekun had Magnan up against the boards and head butted him so many times Magnan was wobbly going back to his bench.

  20. Skate Says:

    Individual? How about Robbie Laird and G-G-G-Gordie Lane at center ice when Laird broke Lane’s nose.

    Lane had a severe stuttering problem and the Komets would line up across form him on faceoffs and just say “G-G-G-Gordie.” He’d go beserk.

  21. Komets PA Says:

    One of my favorite memories since the name Marc Magnan was brought us was all the run ins he had with Derek Ray. I know of at least 3 occasions that D Ray hip-checked Magnan into either the Checkers bench or the Komets. I have never seen anything like that since. D Ray knew just how to take him out. As for the Phillips-Jeff Leverman fight, I was a young lad sitting right behind the visitors penalty box that night and got in the picture with Dennis Schebig trying to keep Leverman from jumping off the dasher onto Phillips. That was one of the wildest scenes I can remember along with the Komets and Checkers bench clearer on Christmas Day many years ago. I even have a bunch of pictures from that night I’ll have to scan for old times sake.

  22. doug Says:

    mcbain vs prokopec wow !!
    stewart vs ewasko
    baldwin vs yakichuck
    hilworth vs lorne molleken goalie for toledo
    i beleive hilworth broke his goalie mask with his bare hand,he wore a chris osgood style mask and the cage was half off after
    the pummeling

  23. doug Says:

    how about mad max middendorf vs sergei krivokrosav of the ice
    when he decided to start a stick fight with
    mad max and hit him in the shoulder
    well max lost it and split his head open whith a mighty sherwood swing

  24. rick Says:

    yah – Out of all of them – the toe-to-toe fights where both guys stand up against each other – McBain vs. Prokepec. Everyone knew it was going to happen and they lined up, talked a bit and went at it. Both guys had to get in at least 10 good ones.

  25. Unit Says:

    The most exciting one I can remember recently was right around the time of the Muhammed Ali and 1-0 Joe night. Don’t even remember the opponent but everybody on both teams were going at it. Lawson skated out to center ice and motioned for the other goalie to meet him there. He promptly thrashed him if I remember correctly. What a season that was!

  26. David Says:

    I would have to say some of my favorites would be Fletcher, Baldwin, Norris, Laird, Hilworth, the Sal Brothers, and Roy. Everyone would agree over the years we have had some good fighters. One of the best brawls I say was when I was a youngster when K’s played Grand Rapids and Robbie Irons started it when Rick Hartman slashed him at end of game. That brawl lasted for at least 30 min. One of the best fights I saw was last year when Shane Kenny and Trevor Senn danced 3 times. The 3rd time Kenny and Senn traded rights at center ice before Kenny buckled Senn with a right cross. The 3 fights were long and very good fights.

  27. Laurie Says:

    I’m with Unit on that one! That particular night was easily one of the craziest I’ve ever seen. Lawson was wicked! LOL

  28. blake Says:

    Gee, it’s too bad you guys don’t have anything to say on this subject. LOL.

  29. JR Says:

    How about the night when Kaminski took on both Mark Peluso and Stu Grimson with Indy…Both up and coming Chicago enforcers…Or the Fletcher/Toporowski battles…and it seemed like anytime Gagnon anr Roy were patroling the ice together it was gonna get interesting…aaahhhhh fun times…

  30. TOM Says:

    DAVID:on the Grand Rapids and Robbie Irons fight wasn’t that RICK DORMAN? that was when he beat him with his blocker.not only that he beat the wrong guy.someone else hit him with a stick. it was pretty cool.

  31. Eric Says:

    Memorable fights and fighters? Are you “…puttin’ on the foil…” Blake?

    Since we’re talking “ol’ time hockey”, I’ll agree with Skate about D’Arcy Keating. Never saw him fight much, but never saw him lose. I remember one night in the early 80s against Dayton when he and a big defenseman from the Gems (Dwight somebody? who’s going to help me?) stood in the faceoff circle in front of old section 11. They held each other’s collar with their left hand and traded right hooks for what seemed close to five minutes before the linesmen could get in to break it up.

  32. Eric Says:

    Memorable fights and fighters? Are you “…puttin’ on the foil…” Blake?

    Since we’re talking “ol’ time hockey”, I’ll agree with Skate about D’Arcy Keating. Never saw him fight much, but never saw him lose. I remember one night in the early 80s against Dayton when he and a big defenseman from the Gems (Dwight somebody? who’s going to help me?) stood in the faceoff circle in front of old section 11. They held each other’s collar with their left hand and traded right hooks for what seemed close to five minutes before the linesmen could get in to break it up.

  33. Greg Says:

    Don’t know if this qualifies but, the night Larry DePalma sucker punched Robin Bawa then a 12 man maylay took place with Kaminski, Butters, Karalis, Fletcher going at it with the K-Zoo guys.

  34. Jeff Says:

    This is in response to Eric:
    The Dwight you want is Dwight Schofield – that was the year Dayton wore the Houston Astros rainbow jerseys (See Drop the Pucks website – IHL page for an idea). Schofield also played for Kalamazoo and for a brief time with Fort Wayne if I remember correctly.
    Jeff

  35. Jeff Says:

    While we’re talking old-time fights, does anybody remember the stick fight between Dave Norris and Kalamazoo’s Jerry Rollins? This was the first home game of the 1977-78 season – it happened near the penalty boxes and both players were suspended from playing against each other for several games after that one. That was the first stick fight I’ve ever seen, and I’ve never forgotten that.

  36. smitty Says:

    JEFF: I was there, the most sicking thing that i have ever seen in hockey, i din’t like it at all

  37. Unit Says:

    Another one from the season I mentioned earlier was also one of the most electric fights I have seen. That would be Fletcher’s fight in his one game comeback.(If you can call that pummeling a fight) Once I found out it was a work it kind of ruined it, but at the time it was magic.

  38. David Says:

    I stand corrected that was Rick Dorman not Hartman…Their was a Hartman in the league, but he was with Saginaw. I can still see Irons pounding him with his blocker….

  39. David Says:

    Another thing that comes to mind this is such a hot topic because these guys are the ones that made Komet hockey, KOMET HOCKEY…That is what is sad about this years team because we do not have anyone close to the guys described above. Not all these guys were great goal scorers and had a lot of points. Some of them did, but most did not. We have lost that here in Fort Wayne with this year’s squad. With all these post man it brings back some exciting memories. Yes the good old days of Komet hockey!!!

  40. David Says:

    Another thing that comes to mind this is such a hot topic because these guys are the ones that made Komet hockey, KOMET HOCKEY…That is what is sad about this years team because we do not have anyone close to the guys described above. Not all these guys were great goal scorers and had a lot of points. Some of them did, but most did not. We have lost that here in Fort Wayne with this year’s squad. With all these post man it brings back some exciting memories. Yes the good old days of Komet hockey!!!

  41. JR Says:

    I think the most horrid display of stick work I saw was between Kevin Kerr and I believe Jim Playfair of Indy. Kerr was goin behind the Indy net with Playfair behind him and it looked like Playfair speared Kerr from behind and Kerr turned and swung his stick about head high with everything he had. They then proceeded to swing their sticks back and forth at each other for awhile before the gloves came off….that was ugly. Then there was the fight that I am convinced got Kotyluk traded…Virag had just laid a huge hit on a Rockford player and Eric Labelle was gonna jump dustin but Kotyluk got to Labelle first and whipped him pretty good by virtue of surprise. Kevin got 2, 5, and a 10 and you could see him and Pulhalski screaming at each other when Kevin was in thew box….about a week later Kotyluk was traded to K-zoo…..

  42. Skate Says:

    Probably the dirtiest play I ever saw was when a big guy (for that era) Duane Bray of Des Moines blindsided Ivan Belise and hit im in the left eye area with a downward-chopping buttend. Terry Pembroke, then an aging vet, dropped the gloves and challenged Bray as a Captain should.

    Bray then proceded to pound Pembroke. Too bad. Terry did what he was supposed to do.

  43. Hit Somebody!!! Says:

    Blake, this is an absolute riot. I mean with so much written lately about how fighting is a thing of the past and how the game has moved past it. Seems like there are more than plenty examples of what fans enjoy and remember the most. I’m right there with them. I am thoroughly enjoying everyone’s comments.

    Whoever in Hockey decides to try and remove fighting from this beloved game, should get a lifetime game misconduct, that’s for sure. Maybe we could deport them to Europe where they belong. Mess with our game, and we will send out the GOONS!

  44. Neal Says:

    The one brawl I’m suprised none of the other oldtimers has mentioned is Game 5 of the 1966 series with Dayton. It was so out of control that Jack Loos played the National Anthem to try and get it stopped. He did not succeed.

  45. scoops Says:

    European leagues is where alot of goons are now playing.

  46. fred farkle Says:

    name a few

  47. JR Says:

    And the reason the Goons are in Europe right now is that they are tryin to get better at the finesse side of the game cause the rough and tumble part of the game is goin bye bye….And who knows maybe those goons will transform the euro fan and young players and in ten years we will be thanking euro players for bringing toughness back into the game….lol

  48. Komets PA Says:

    Hey, speaking of fighting,

    I’m fighting mad that Channel 33 would rather show college basketball or Country music infomercials instead of the NHL like we have all been waiting on. Blake, How about finding out why the NHL keeps getting bumped by what was once Fort Wayne’s finest television station?

  49. scoops Says:

    LNAH has plenty. Just pick a team and you’ll see.

  50. blake Says:

    Has anyone called 33 to complain? Myself, I could pretty much care less. The lockout blew it for me.

  51. tim Says:

    im with you k”s pa,, you have got to be kidding me??? ohio st and minnesota basketball? c”mon 33 we want to see some hockey!!!!!!!

  52. Laurie Says:

    I am totally behind you on that, Larry. I’ve missed two Rangers games because of college basketball! (That’s why I ended up buying the Center Ice package on DirecTV)

    And you’re right: 33 was definitely the best station before it was bought-out.

  53. PS Says:

    All this talk about Rhett Trombley, let me tell you something the only thing that guy was good for was a fight…just ask his wife and last girlfriend! it’s a good thing we cut the tough guy after only 2 weeks.

  54. Bob Koorsen Says:

    The scariest opponent I ever remember seeing was that nutjob Andy Ristau. He DECIMATED Bezeau one night and was later bared by a couple of leagues before nerly being killed in a PREGAME riot/brawl.

    As for “oltimers”…the night Rory Cava beat the snot out of Paul Tantardini! Also remembering Mel Hewitt, Tony Horvath, and Boris Fistric.

  55. anonimous Says:

    Anyone know what ever happened to Byron Lomow and his brother, Boyd?

  56. blake Says:

    Byron is in town, and his son is an awesome junior player. Don’t know about his brother, though.

  57. Charlie Says:

    Pound for pound Robbie laird was one of the toughest Komets ever. I remember he fought Dale Yakachuck and because of the height difference Robbie had to use one hand to pull himself up onto Yakachuck and with the other hand he was throwing jack hammers. I remember waiting for autograpgs one night and Robbie was late getting out beacuse he had to soak his hands in ice. It was like he had a jack hammer motor in his arms. Toughest oponent was Len Ircandia of Kalamazoo. Ugliest incedent was when Mel Hewwit beat the tar out of Danny Lecours during a bench clear, which lead to Milwaulkee forfeiting the series to Saginaw.

  58. Shelley Says:

    I went to high school with both Boyd and Byron Lomow. Boyd isnt too far away from his brother. He works for La Porte County Park Board.

    If anyone sees either one of them sometime, tell them that weird chick with the short chubby friend from high school says hi!


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