2. Duck! The press box puck, March 29, 1992. This date in local hockey infamy included a one-sided Cincinnati Cyclones rout of the Chiefs in a best-of-3 playoff series. Throughout the game, Chiefs players expressed their displeasure with many calls.
But the protests reached another level in the third period. Back in ’92, my lead paragraph for this game story began, “There was chaos, finger-pointing and verbal assaults. A puck was thrown into the press box with the league commissioner as its apparent target.”
What else needs to be said?
Chiefs forward Brian Ferreira scooped a puck off the ice during a break in the action and in one motion side-armed a toss into the press box. The puck came nowhere near its apparent target, Commissioner Pat Kelly, who sat in the auxiliary press box. Instead, it nearly hit me in the head. I ducked just in time as the disc caromed off the wall, leaving a scuff mark that still was visible years later. Ferreira, typically one of the Chiefs most productive and respected players, then scaled the steps, wearing skate guards, in an attempt to confront Kelly. Matt Glennon, who had been thrown out earlier in the game, joined Ferreira. Statisticians prevented the pair from crossing the small metal bridge to the box where Kelly sat, staring at them. Both players were suspended for 30 games the next season. The incident is believed to have cost coach Steve Carlson his job, despite his leading Johnstown to 36 wins and a playoff series win while finishing runner-up in the league coach of the year vote.
3. The playoff comeback against Peoria, April 9, 2002. The Chiefs dropped a pair of one-goal games to highly regarded Peoria at Carver Arena. Winning the best-of-5 first-round playoff series seemed unlikely. But coach Scott Allen guaranteed the team would return to Peoria for Game 5.
The Chiefs responded with resounding wins, 6-1 and 3-1 at home. Once back in Peoria, Freddie Deschenes shut out the Rivermen 4-0 as the Chiefs won the series.