Ray Miron Presidents' Cup Finals Preview

#1 Fort Wayne Komets (40-19-7, 87 pts) @ #1 Wichita Thunder (44-19-3, 91 pts)


“Great moments come from great opportunities.” – Herb Brooks

The Presidents’ Cup Finals are all about star players stepping up, as well as surprise players making a name for themselves. This is exactly what these two squads see ahead of them as the 2012 Playoffs come to the final series matchup.

Fort Wayne ended the year in first place in the Turner Conference and had to battle their way through Rapid City (6 games) and Missouri (7 games) to end up where they are at now. The Komets now have a post season record of 8-5.

Wichita also ended the year in first place in the Berry Conference, as well as first place in the league winning the Bud Poile Governor’s Cup. The Thunder matched up against Rio Grande Valley (5 games) and Texas (6 games) to get where they are at today with a record of 8-3.

2012 Ray Miron Presidents’ Cup Finals Schedule

Game 1 – Sat., Apr. 28 – Fort Wayne at Wichita, 7:05 PM
Game 2 – Sun., Apr. 29 – Fort Wayne at Wichita, 5:05 PM
Game 3 – Thu., May 3 – Wichita at Fort Wayne, 7:30 PM
Game 4 – Sat., May 5 – Wichita at Fort Wayne, 8:15 PM
*Game 5 – Mon., May 7 – Wichita at Fort Wayne, 7:30 PM
*Game 6 – Fri., May 11 – Fort Wayne at Wichita, 7:05 PM
*Game 7 – Sat., May 12 – Fort Wayne at Wichita, 7:05 PM

* if necessary
**all times local (Fort Wayne is EST and Wichita is CST)


Fort Wayne’s top line of Chris Auger-Colin Chaulk-Mike Vaskivuo have found chemistry together in this post season and have combined for a total of 15 goals and 23 assists. Auger has been the go-to guy on this line and leads the entire league with 15 points (6g, 9a) in 13 games played. Vaskivuo is right behind him with 14 points (6g, 8a) and leads the league with 3 game-winning goals.

A key for the Komets in the series could be the line of Leo Thomas-Brett Smith-Bobby Chaumont who have been slowed a bit in the post-season from their regular season production.  Chaumont led the Komets in scoring during the regular season and has scored goals in each of the last two games of the conference finals.  Smith is looking to win back-to-back Presidents’ Cup titles as he was a member of the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs last season.

Wichita’s top line of Alex Bourret-Thomas Beauregard-R.G. Flath have also been consistent in these playoffs and total 17 goals and 17 assists. Beauregard leads the team with 13 points (4g, 9a) in 11 games played and sits in a tie for fourth in the league leaders. Bourret has recorded 12 points (5g 7a) which includes 4 points while shorthanded. Lastly, Flath has 9 points (8g, 1a) and is tied for the league lead with his 8 goals.

Other players to watch for the Thunder are Chris Chappell and Chris Greene.  Chappell has four goals and eight assists so far in the playoffs and Greene has three goals and five assists.


Wichita’s defenseman Jarred Mohr has really taken charge in these playoffs and is emerging as one of the top blue liners on the Thunder. Mohr leads the entire league with his plus/minus rating of +12 and has recorded 4 assists so far.

Veteran Daniel Tetrault could also be key, he has three goals and three assists in the post-season. 

The two defenseman on Fort Wayne that have stood out are Frankie DeAngelis and Jamie Milam who both are tied for the league leaders between all defensemen. DeAngelis has notched 10 points in 13 games played and is tied for the league lead with 3 goals. Milam is right behind him with 10 points as well, and his 8 assists are a league-best. This dynamic duo brings experience and offensive production that will help the Komets in the long run.

In his own end, Jamie Lovell is one of the better players for the Komets.  Offensively, he has three goals and five assists.


This series offers up a matchup between two of the best goalies in the league, both during the regular season and post season.

Wichita’s Adam Russo has played in every game for the Thunder and has a record of 8-3 with a league-best 1.98 G.A.A. and a .922 SV% (3rd). Russo is tied for the lead with 8 wins and is third with 235 saves.

Fort Wayne’s Nick Boucher has also played in every outing except for one game for the Komets earning an 8-4 record. He has a 2.85 G.A.A. with a .907 SV%. He is tied for the league lead with 8 wins and leads the league with 759:11 minutes played. He is second with 353 saves.

Head Coaches

Wichita is led by Kevin McClelland, the CHL Coach of the Year.  McClelland has coached in one previous Finals when he was the coach of the Colorado Eagles (2009, lost to Texas).

Fort Wayne is coached by Al Sims who has led the Komets to four titles including three straight in the IHL (2008, 2009 and 2010).

Special Teams

The special teams will have a huge impact on this series and it is up to both teams to remain disciplined. Fort Wayne leads the entire league with Penalty Minors (85) and Penalty Minutes (215) and because of this, also have the leagues’ highest total for Powerplay Goals Allowed (14).

The Komets penalty kill is the worst in the league at 75.9% (14/58) and need to focus on staying out of the box. Brent Henley leads his team with 26 penalty minutes and sits in third in the entire league. However, Fort Wayne does happen to have the best HOME powerplay in the league at 25%, scoring 6 goals on 24 chances.

Wichita sits in second with their penalty kill at 88.6% (5/44) but have one of the worst power plays this post season. The Thunder struggle both home and away, and sit in 7th in the league with their overall powerplay at 7.1%, only scoring 3 times on 42 opportunities.

**Wichita has more shorthanded goals (6) than powerplay goals (3).

Deciding Factor

Fort Wayne will need to keep receiving scoring production from all their players; 14 different skaters have notched a goal in this post season, and 12 of those players have at least 2 goals. Auger and Vaskivuo lead the bunch with 6 goals apiece.

The deciding factor for Wichita will be their ability to keep winning at home. Right now the Thunder are 6-0 this post season at home and will look to keep their undefeated streak going, especially since they have home ice advantage in these finals. Even during the regular season Wichita had the best home record (24-8-1).

Search Archive »

Browse by Month »

October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002
January 2002
December 2001
October 2001
September 2001
July 2001
May 2001
February 2000