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The Hockey Hall Of Fame

Fort Wayne News-Sentinel April 20, 1963

By Bud Gallmeier

Two Little Changes Help Chuck, Komets

1964 65 adamsonMINNEAPOLIS- Sometimes it's the littlethings in sports which are resposible for the most significant developments.
A batter may alterhis hitting stance a fraction of an inch and add 100 points to his average. A slight change in pitching motion - or on the grip of the ball - may make a 20-game winner out of a tired bullpen pitcher.

 

A fundamental rule in golf is to keep your head down. That seems like a little and simple thing to do. But how many Sunday hackers do it?

The Komets have reaped some big dividends of late because of a few little changes in Chuck Adamson's goaltending procedure. It could be that a Turner Cup Championship will be the end result.

Remember the opening game of the Muskegon series? The Zephyrs waltzed off with an easy victory and it seemed as if the Komet hopes for thier first Cup championship had been dashed before the series had a good start.

The Zephyrs won that first game 7-4. Three of their goals- the ultimate margin of victory - rwsulted from long angle shots. Chuck has been beaten only once since on an angle shot. Why?

It's a little thing really. Following that loss, the entire next practice was devoted to Chuck's angles. The problem a goalie has in such situation is finding out just how far out he has to come to close the holes on rushing forwards. Coach Ken Ullyot told Chuck to try and find a spot on the boards to use as a guide, a spot which, when he was in direct line of that spot , the angle would be cut. Apperantly Chuck has the right spots picked.

Another weakness cropped up after Chuck solved his angle difficulties. The Zephyrs started to score on shots dirrectly in front of Chuck at distances vryying from 15 to 30 feet. Once again a practce session was devoted exclusively to finding a solution.

"You know," commented Ullyot, "it's hard for anybody who has never played goal to tell somebody else how to play it. There are few guys around who have ever played goal. All you can do is watch how the goalie moves and maybe make suggestions."

Ullyot noticed one thing when Chuck was facing his mates in that practice session. "They were getting too many shots past him and I couldn't understand why. His hand was was comming up just a little too late. His reflexes have always been excellent but he was missing the puck by that fraction of a second."

Then Ullyot saw it. " He was holding his glove hand with with the palm closed over his knee. He was losing that fraction of a second when he had to turn the palm around to make the catch. I told him about it and he said, 'Maybe thats it. I never thought about it.' "

We've watched Chuck since. And, sure enough, he now has the palm open. All he has to do now is raise the hand and the glove does the rest. He hasn't let in any from in front lately, either.

Just a couple of little changes but it has made a big difference in Chuck's play - and in the fortunes of the Komets.

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