The more time passes from May 21, 1993, the more unlikely and yet remarkable the Fort Wayne Komets' 12-0 playoff run seems. The three-series sweep has become almost mythical.
The San Diego Gulls were swept 4-0, losing 6-1 in Game 4 before a standing-room-only crowd of 8,154 at Memorial Coliseum. After 20 years, the Fort Wayne Komets had won the Turner Cup, shocking the hockey world.
Only two other teams – the 1988 Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League and the 1984 Edmonton Oilers – ever won 12 straight playoff games and it had never happened before in the International Hockey League.
No team in any playoffs anywhere has given up only 18 goals in 12 games. Pokey Reddick stopped 95% of the shots against him in the playoffs, allowing only 1.49 goals against per game – despite never posting a shutout.
“They say the cream rises to the top, but Pokey was definitely the mist above the cream,'' Komets coach Al Sims said.
To make the feat even more amazing, the IHL was dominated by teams with National Hockey League affiliations, but the Komets were the first independent franchise in 10 years to win the Turner Cup. These were the players considered not good enough to make NHL farm clubs.
The Komets finished the season on a 27-2-1 run.
“What's funny is that Bobby Jay, Jean-Marc Richard and I went to dinner in Cleveland the night before the playoffs started, and we talked about how we thought it was possible that we could win 12 in a row,” defenseman Grant Richison said.
“We even talked about how it could happen even if we played San Diego. Who could ever have dreamed it would come true?”
The Komets swept the Cleveland Lumberjacks, Atlanta Knights and the Gulls. This was also the little guy going against the major cities, and San Diego was the best regular-season team in minor league hockey history, starting 20-0-3, entering the new year at 32-1-4 and finishing 62-12-8 for an unheard-of 132 points.
The Gulls also dominated the Komets, outscoring them 22-10 in five easy early-season victories. San Diego's roster during the finals included 5,540 games and 1,264 goals of National Hockey League experience.
An additional 1,200 games of NHL experience had already moved back to the NHL or to the injured list off the Gulls' roster.
The Komets had only 202 games and 10 goals of NHL experience, but 130 of those games came from Reddick.
The Fort Wayne forward lines were Colin Chin, Scott Gruhl and Joel Savage; Paul Willett, Igor Chibirev and Kelly Hurd; and Lee Davidson, Peter Hankinson and Ian Boyce.
Dave Smith was the 10th forward, and Steve Fletcher, Bob Lakso and Kory Kocur were in reserve.
The defensive pairings were Carey Lucyk and Richard, Richison and Jay, and Bob Wilkie and Kevin MacDonald with Guy Dupuis and Steve Wilson in reserve.
Center Sylvain Couturier was a late addition to the playoff roster and filled in when Chin was injured.
About This Series
Ever wonder what a Northeast Indiana Sports Hall of Fame might include? During a time when it may be difficult to look ahead to great sporting events, The Journal Gazette is going to offer you a look into Fort Wayne and Northeast Indiana's fantastic athletic past. Over the next few weeks, we'll offer some suggestions on the people and events which could be featured in such a facility.