Back in the 1950’s when Troy’s Hobart Arena was new, it was home to the Troy Bruins of the International Hockey League. The Bruins operated from 1951-59 and went 223-226-27 overall in eight regular seasons.
In 1954-55 they came within a game of raising the Turner Cup as playoff champions. The biggest obstacle in many of those years was the dominant Cincinnati Mohawks who developed talent for the powerful Montreal Canadiens of the NHL.
The Bruins received frequent writing and pictorial coverage from Zack Crusey and the Sidney Daily News. Zack often attended Sunday afternoon home games as did many folks from Shelby County.
The Bruins legacy extended well beyond 1959 as a number of their Canadian born players stayed in the Troy area to work, raise families, and become United States citizens after their playing days. Some worked in the Hobart businesses, a former player-coach ran a paint store, and the most visible became a well known local auto dealer. At least one is still living. Remember, the team folded 61 years ago.
Pro hockey resumed in the Miami Valley when the Dayton Gems were born in 1964. They enjoyed a successful run for over a decade. Others followed but didn’t endure.
Miracle on ice 1980
It’s been 40 years since the United States Olympic hockey team upset the Soviet Union in the semifinals on the way to winning the gold medal over Finland at Lake Placid NY. A Friday loss to Russia was such a foregone conclusion that the game wasn’t even shown on “live” TV.
However, the Sunday afternoon title game was embraced by the nation including Sidney as I watched at the Moose Lodge. Most of the large and enthusiastic crowd knew little about hockey but that didn’t matter. The conquest was still a hot topic on a local radio call-in the next day.
Loramie football update
Last week I detailed Fort Loramie HS football’s battles with conference affiliation and scheduling including finding ten opponents for 2021 and possibly beyond. They had five vacancies and that quickly has been reduced to three with Columbus Academy and Newark Catholic coming on board.
Next week: My high school finally won a team state title and it feels great.
Sports Extra appears each Friday. Dave Ross has been hooked on hockey since seeing his first game, a Dayton Gems 12-6 win over the Muskegon Zephyrs in March 1965 at brand new and vibrant Hara Arena.