#11…Quad City Mallards @ Fort Wayne Komets
United Hockey League Colonial Cup Finals, Game 2…May 2003
This game is probably the most exciting game start to finish I’ve ever witnessed. In fact, if I were to say how many Komets games were truly a great game to watch, many of them were indeed Komet losses. This game was no exception to that rule.
After a huge win the previous night in game one of the Colonial Cup Finals, the Quad City Mallards returned to Memorial Coliseum ice to try and tie up the series. They were out for blood and they got it both figuratively and literally.
The action was intense, the atmosphere as great as I’ve ever seen it at the Coliseum and the traveling fans who came from the Quad Cities made their presence felt too.
I tried to do some research and find box scores of some of these games, but I could find very little so please know this is from memory alone.
I remember how intense every hit was. It’s like anytime there was a check from either side, every ounce of energy was put into the hit. What really got the crowd and both teams into a frenzy was a flying elbow by one of the Mallards on Komet defenseman Troy Neumeier. Neumeier lay near motionless on the ground as he was clearly in the face as a melee ensued.
Komets star forward Bobby Stewart already had a pair of goals in this game, but they trailed by 1 with less than 10 minutes to go. Stewart was hit hard by a high stick and was bleeding pretty bad on his face. A 4 minute penalty was doled out and the Komets had a power play. The crowd rose to their feet when Stewart came out on the power play, refusing to get his face looked at. It didn’t take long for Stewart to score and the MC crowd exploded as hats reigned down from all over.
I was sitting behind the penalty box and could see Stewart pointing to his face while skating past the box. He said something to the nature of “thank you” while looking at the player who was serving the high sticking infraction. After numerous chances, the game eventually went to overtime.
The hitting and scoring chances didn’t stop there either. This was easily the most thrilling overtime period I’d ever been a part of. There were penalties called and all sorts of power play chances. After 80 minutes of play, the score remained tied.
As the 2nd OT began, I began to wonder if a stupid penalty would decide the game. I honestly can’t remember for sure if the winner was on a power play, but I do know it was Tom Menicci putting one home from about 50 feet past Komet goalie Tom Lawson. Like most goals Lawson gave up, this one was high above his shoulders just under the bar. I was honestly never big on Lawson as he struggled mightily with high shots and he had at the time the best defense the UHL had ever seen in front of him. We’ve had better goalies.
Anyway, it was a tough way to lose but it really made me happy to have witnessed such a great hockey game that had everything in it. In fact, it really set up what we make another top moment later on.
Game 2 of the UHL Finals vs. Quad City, a double OT loss is #11 on my Top 15 Sports Moments.