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Adirondack Hockey Hall of Fame

Adirondack Hockey Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame

The Adirondack Hockey Hall of Fame will induct the 1985-86 Adirondack Red Wings, Jamie Pushor (Adirondack Red Wings Alumni, 1993-96) and the Adirondack Youth Hockey Association Pioneers on Saturday, February 24 against the Reading Royals. 

A year after missing the Calder Cup Playoffs for what turned out to be the only time in franchise history, coach Bill Dineen’s rebuilt Adirondack team won the Northern Division title and a second post-season crown.

The addition of veterans Glenn Merkosky, Geordie Robertson and Basil McRae to a lineup that included Greg Joly, Eddie Johnstone, Pierre Aubry, Barry Melrose, Larry Trader and Rick Zombo provided a strong core. Mark Laforest emerged as a very capable goaltender and young players like Claude Loiselle, Adam Oates, Tim Friday and Dale Krentz made significant contributions.

The Wings clinched the division title by one point when Maine faltered in the stretch. They were having problems with Fredericton in the first round of the playoffs until Probert caused a firestorm in the fourth game by running over goaltender Frank Caprice. Adirondack beat Moncton in five games in the second round to earn a berth in the finals versus Southern Division champion Hershey.

The matchup of the teams with the best records in the league lived up to the hype. It was intense and physical. Probert made his presence felt late in the first period of the opener when he completely overwhelmed Don Nachbaur in a fight in front of the Bears’ bench. Hershey pounced on a weak clearing attempt to score the tying goal with three seconds left in the third period and picked up the winner early in the second overtime. Adirondack won the second game at Hershey, 5-4, with third-period goals by Oates and Ray Staszak. Adirondack dominated play and won the third game, 5-2. Game 4 was epic. Once again, Hershey scored late in the third period. Johnstone ended things at 15:50 of the third OT, some five hours after the game started.

The Bears stayed alive the next evening in Hershey, killing nine power plays, to win, 2-1. Three nights later, the Wings scored five times on the power play – three of them by Trader – to win, 7-3, in front of a home crowd of 6,401 and wrap up the series.

Although hockey had been played on an informal basis in the Glens Falls region for decades, organized leagues for youth began in 1974, five years before the arrival of the Adirondack Red Wings.

Thanks to the work of the people who laid the foundation, some 50 years later, the Adirondack Youth Hockey Association (AYHA) has grown and flourished. With 550 skaters and a total of 700 members, counting coaches and volunteers, it is the fifth-largest youth hockey program in New York state. Last winter, the AYHA’s Adirondack Northstars girls team won an under-14 age group national title. Glens Falls High School won state division boys championships in 1990 and 1991 and was the runner-up in 2000. Queensbury finished second in 2010 and 2019.

The Glens Falls Recreation Department, managed by Doug Neely, ran a league for one winter before the non-profit Glens Falls Hockey Club, Inc. was formed in Oct. 1975. Its officers were Tom Keen, president; Jerry Corbett, vice president; Jim Hughes, treasurer; and Ed Fane, secretary. Joe Vogel, Tom Vogel, Dave McDonnell, John McDonnell, Pete Whitten, Keith Coe, Ed Petrush, Bob Wood, Ralph Knickerbocker, Tim Badger, Dave Krogmann, and Lou Dufresne were actively involved in the birth of the youth hockey program, which in the early years, operated on an outdoor rink at Crandall Park. Joe Vogel later served as the club as president, scheduler and coach and was an off-ice official for the Red Wings.

On the advice of Glens Falls Civic Center director, Ned Harkness, who brought the Red Wings from Kansas City, the youth hockey group took a more regional approach by renaming itself the Adirondack Youth Hockey Association. The AYHA moved inside when the Glens Falls Civic Center was opened and has been based at the Glens Falls Recreation Center on Fire Rink for decades. 

A steady defensive defenseman, Jamie Pushor launched his professional career as a player, scout and now as a Tampa Bay Lightning administrator with the 1993-94 Adirondack Red Wings.

Thirty years after his debut in Glens Falls, Pushor and his family are year-round residents of the region with a home on Glen Lake.

Pushor – a contributor to three Stanley Cups – was drafted in the second round, 32nd overall, by the Detroit Red Wings in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft. He was a regular as rookie on the 1993-94 Adirondack team that won the Northern Division title with a 45-27-8 record. 

Following two more seasons with Adirondack – playing in a total of 215 games – Pushor moved up to Detroit where he was a member of the 1996-97 team that secured Detroit’s first Stanley Cup championship in 42 years. During his 521-game NHL career, he also played for the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, Dallas Stars, Columbus Blue Jackets, Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers. He retired during the 2006-2007 season after playing in a total of 980 games in the NHL and AHL.

Pushor began his scouting career in 2010 with the Atlanta Thrashers. Tampa Bay GM Steve Yzerman, his teammate in Detroit, hired him to scout for the Lightning in 2011. He was promoted to Director of Scouting in 2018 and in 2019 became Tampa’s Assistant General Manager/Director of Player Personnel. In 2020 and 2021, the Lightning won the Stanley Cup.

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