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ADIRONDACK HOCKEY HALL OF FAME TO INDUCT THREE ON SATURDAY!

Tuesday, February 20th
ADIRONDACK HOCKEY HALL OF FAME TO INDUCT THREE ON SATURDAY!

GLENS FALLS – The Adirondack Hockey Hall of Fame will welcome its 10th class of inductees on Feb. 24 at the Cool Insuring Arena in a Celebration of the Legacy of Adirondack Hockey.

Former Adirondack Red Wings player Jamie Pushor, whose name is inscribed on the Stanley Cup three times; the 1986 Adirondack Red Wings, champions of the American Hockey League’s Calder Cup Playoffs; and the pioneers of youth hockey in the Glens Falls area will be honored.

The newest members of the Hall of Fame, which was inaugurated in 2010, will be introduced in an event at 5:30 p.m. in Heritage Hall that precedes the 7 p.m. Adirondack Thunder’s ECHL game against the Reading Royals. Pushor, and representatives of the 1986 team, Claude Loiselle and Lane Lambert, and the founders of what grew into the Adirondack Youth Hockey Association, will take part in a ceremony on the ice following the first period.

With the addition of the Class of 2024, the Adirondack Hockey Hall of Fame includes 29 individuals, two champion teams and one organization. 

The pre-game reception is open to all ticket holders for the Thunder-Royals game. The doors to the arena will open at 5 p.m. Complimentary snacks and a cash bar will be available. Longtime Adirondack announcer, Hall of Fame member, Dan Miner will again be the host of the Heritage Hall festivities. Memorabilia and photos from the 1986 Red Wings championship run, the second of the franchise’s four Calder Cup titles, will be on display.  

Beginning in 1979 in the new downtown civic center, Glens Falls has been the home to six professional Adirondack-named hockey teams in three leagues in 41 seasons: Red Wings, IceHawks, Frostbite, Phantoms, Flames and Thunder. As part of the Celebration of the Legacy of Adirondack Hockey, fans are encouraged to wear the jerseys of any of the Adirondack teams to the game.

“We know that there are hundreds, probably thousands, of Adirondack jerseys hanging in closets or sitting in drawers in this region and thought it would be fun to see people bring them to the arena,” said Dave Casey, chairman of the Adirondack Hockey Hall of Fame committee. “We have a proud hockey history here, established over parts of six decades, and we can make that point in a very visible way with an arena filled with fans wearing every type of Adirondack jerseys, from the Wings to the Thunder.”

A steady, defensive defenseman, Pushor launched his professional career with the 1993-94 Adirondack Red Wings. He went on to play 521 games in the NHL and was a member of the Stanley Cup-winning Detroit Red Wings team in 1996-97. As an administrator with the Tampa Bay Lightning, he was a key contributor to the Stanley Cup champions in 2020 and 2021. 
Thirty years after his debut in Glens Falls, Pushor and his family have remained year-round residents of the region with a home on Glen Lake.

Pushor was drafted in the second round, 32nd overall, by the Detroit Red Wings in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft. He was a regular as a rookie on the 1993-94 Adirondack team that won the Northern Division title. Following two more seasons with Adirondack – playing in a total of 215 games – he moved up to Detroit. He also played for the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, Dallas Stars, Columbus Blue Jackets, Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers. 

In 2010, Pushor became a scout with the Atlanta Thrashers. He was hired by Tampa Bay a year later, was named the Lightning’s Director of Scouting in 2018 and the Assistant General Manager/Director of Player Personnel in 2019.

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. In 2023-24, with 550 skaters and a total of 700 members, counting coaches and volunteers, it was the fifth-largest youth hockey program in New York state. Dozens of AYHA grads have gone on to play on high school and college teams and some have become pro players and coaches. Adirondack Hockey Hall of Fame member Erin Whitten Hamlen, the women’s hockey coach at Merrimack College, played high school and collegiate hockey and was a top goaltender for the U.S. National Team in three Women’s World Championship tournaments.

In 2023, 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, Lou Dufresne, Dave Krogmann, Tim Badger and Ed Foster were actively involved in the birth of the youth hockey program.

In the early years it operated on an outdoor rink at Crandall Park. 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 Road.

A year after missing the Calder Cup Playoffs for what turned out to be the only time in franchise history, coach Bill Dineen and new GM Neil Smith rebuilt the Adirondack team that won the Northern Division title and another post-season crown.
The addition of veterans Glenn Merkosky, Geordie Robertson, Gary Yaremchuk, Bruce Eakin 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, Lane Lambert, Bob Probert, 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. The Wings prevailed in six games. 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 to tie the score. 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 converted five times on the power play – three of them by Trader – to win, 7-3, in front of a still-standing record home crowd of 6,401 on May 21 to wrap up the series.

The Thunder return home next Friday and Saturday against the Reading Royals. Enjoy $3 Labatt Blue Light on Friday and Saturday is Hall of Fame Night and $4 Bud Light. 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 in a special 5:30 p.m. ceremony in Heritage Hall.

The 2023-24 regular season schedule is HERE.

Single game tickets and season tickets for the 2023-24 season are on sale now! For more information on ticket packages, call the front office at 518-480-3355 or visit www.echlthunder.com/tickets. For all the latest Adirondack Thunder news, follow the team on all social media @ECHLThunder.

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