Fort Wayne Komets Win 2012 CHL Championship
Komets Capture Ninth Championship; Mike Vaskivuo Named Playoff MVP
GLENDALE, AZ (May 7, 2012) – The Central Hockey League’s (CHL) Ray Miron Presidents’ Cup Finals concluded on Monday night at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Indiana with the Fort Wayne Komets earning a 6-3 victory in Game 5 over the Wichita Thunder winning their ninth title as a franchise.
2012 Ray Miron Presidents’ Cup Finals (best-of-7)
Fort Wayne Komets vs. Wichita Thunder
Game 1 – Sat., Apr. 28 – Komets 5, THUNDER 3
Game 2 – Sun., Apr. 29 – Komets 6, THUNDER 3
Game 3 – Thu., May 3 – KOMETS 7, Thunder 3
Game 4 – Sat., May 5 – Thunder 4, KOMETS 3
Game 5 – Mon., May 7 – KOMETS 6, Thunder 3
Fort Wayne, playing in their 60th season, won their fourth championship in the last five years and their first CHL title. The Komets won the International Hockey League’s top honor in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
The series was rarely in doubt as the Komets controlled much of the play with their four wins coming by a combined 12 goals. Fort Wayne faced a 3-2 deficit in the Turner Conference Finals before winning the last two games of that series over the Missouri Mavericks and captured victories in four of the five games in the Finals finishing the season with six wins in their final seven games.
Led by head coach Al Sims, the Komets finished the regular season with the best record in the Turner Conference and won the conference’s top seed in the playoffs and then proceeded to win the Turner Trophy as the conference’s playoff champion thanks to an Opening Round six-game win over the Rapid City Rush and the conference finals seven-game win over the Mavericks. The title marks the fifth for Sims with the Komets (1993, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012).
The trip to the Finals was the fourth in the 20-year history of the Wichita Thunder who were looking to become the first CHL franchise to win three CHL titles (1994, 1995).
Fort Wayne forward Mike Vaskivuo was named the 2012 CHL Playoff Most Valuable Player after leading all skaters with 24 points (10 goals, 14 assists) in the post-season. Vaskivuo, picked up off waivers by the Komets in early March, led the league in assists (14) and game winning goals (4) during the playoffs and was tied with teammate Chris Auger for the most goals (10).
Some of the highlights for the forward during the post-season include scoring the game winning goal in overtime of Game 6 to push the Komets past the Rapid City Rush in the Opening Round, a three-point night (1-2=3) while facing elimination in the Komets 4-1 win over Missouri in Game 6 of the conference finals and a league-best five-game goal scoring streak during the playoffs (Apr. 4-13), a penalty shot goal in Game 4 of the Finals and ending the post-season with a seven-game point streak (five goals and nine assists during his streak).
Other top performers for the Komets include Colin Chaulk who scored six goals with 13 assists and a +12 plus/minus rating and goaltender Nick Boucher who finished with all 12 wins for the Komets. Chaulk wins his fifth Cup with the Komets (2003, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012) and Boucher wins his fourth (2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012).
CHL Ray Miron Presidents’ Cup Champions
2012 – Fort Wayne Komets
2011 – Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs
2010 – Rapid City Rush
2009 – Texas Brahmas
2008 – Arizona Sundogs
2007 – Colorado Eagles
2006 – Laredo Bucks
2005 – Colorado Eagles
2004 – Laredo Bucks
2003 – Memphis RiverKings
2002 – Memphis RiverKings
2001 – Oklahoma City Blazers (WPHL – Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs)
2000 – Indianapolis Ice (WPHL – Shreveport Mudbugs)
1999 – Huntsville Channel Cats (WPHL – Shreveport Mudbugs)
1998 – Columbus Cottonmouths (WPHL – El Paso Buzzards)
1997 – Fort Worth Fire (WPHL – El Paso Buzzards)
1996 – Oklahoma City Blazers
1995 – Wichita Thunder
1994 – Wichita Thunder
1993 – Tulsa Oilers
CHL Playoff Most Valuable Player
2012 – Mike Vaskivuo, Fort Wayne Komets
2011 – Jeff Kyrzakos, Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs
2010 – Les Reaney, Rapid City Rush
2009 – Jason Deitsch, Texas Brahmas
2008 – Rob McVicar, Arizona Sundogs
2007 – Greg Pankewicz, Colorado Eagles
2006 – Jeff Bes, Laredo Bucks
2005 – Chris Hartsburg, Colorado Eagles
2004 – David Guerrera, Laredo Bucks
2003 – Kahlil Thomas, Memphis RiverKings
2002 – Don Parsons, Memphis RiverKings
2001 – Rod Branch, Oklahoma City Blazers (WPHL – Jason Campbell, Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs)
2000 – Jamie Morris, Indianapolis Ice (WPHL – Hugo Hamelin, Shreveport Mudbugs)
1999 – Derek Puppa, Huntsville Channel Cats (WPHL – John Vecchiarelli, Shreveport Mudbugs)
1998 – Mike Martens, Columbus Cottonmouths (WPHL – Billy Trew, El Paso Buzzards)
1997 – Steve Plouffe, Fort Worth Fire (WPHL – Chris MacKenzie, El Paso Buzzards)
1996 – Jean-Ian Filiatrault, Oklahoma City Blazers
1995 – Ron Handy, Wichita Thunder
1994 – Ron Handy, Wichita Thunder
1993 – Tony Fiore, Tulsa Oilers