BURTON HAS FOUND HIS HOME IN FORT WAYNE
by Gina Jones
At four years of age, Jimmy Burton played his first hockey game, and at 25 he's returned for his sixth season with the Komets. He evidently hasn't tired of the game yet. "I'm real happy to be back. It's kinda like home now. I was looking forward to the new season," said Burton.
At the end of last year, Burton had decided he was going to return to Fort Wayne this fall if he could get his contract with Buffalo worked out. He was released from his contract this past summer. Is the light shining at the end of the N.H.L. tunnel still? "Yeah, you never know. Hockey's a funny sport. When you think you're done, something comes along. I'm happy here though. I'm happy playing with the Komets," states Burton.
35 YEARS OF EXCELLENCE ON ICE
by Jim Clark
The Fort Wayne Komets are celebrating their 35th consecutive season of exciting hockey in the International Hockey League. There have been many exciting moments during this time and long-lasting memories have been created for thousands of people. We want to highlight the 31/2 decades of hockey action in Fort Wayne and honor those who have had a part of this successful hockey franchise. The Komets entered the league for the 1952-53 season with Alex Wood as the first head coach.
by Brad Pepple
Saskatoon, Prince Albert and Fort Wayne - these cities are just the start for Indianapolis General Manager and Coach, Ron Ullyot. He was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan - lived for five years in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan where his father (Ken Ullyot) was General Manager and Coach of the Prince Albert Mintos - moved to Fort Wayne in the summer of 1958. Ron has had coaching jobs in Fort Worth, Texas - Columbus, Ohio - Port Huron, Michigan - Fort Wayne, Indiana and he is now in Indianapolis. How does someone cope with that type of lifestyle? "I love it," says Ron. "Moving and uprooting is a drastic change in life, but, for me, it is an opportunity for excitement. I really love the challenge of a new city, developing friendships and also the task of building hockey players into a team."
ROD MATECHUK - Hard work has paid off!
by Brad Pepple
Hockey is a game that requires great athletic ability, exceptional skating, the agility to maneuver the puck, and determined physical toughness. It is no secret when evaluating these qualities that Rod Matechuk is this type of a hockey player. At 5'9", 185 pounds and 21 years of age, opponents may think this youngster will be nothing but a pushover, but the play of the game quickly evaporates such possibilities. "The checking and physical aspect of hockey never has bothered me because I have always told myself that you have to work for what you get in hockey, and if you want to get anywhere you have to be physical".
Bob Essensa: Determination topped with an excellent attitude
by Gina Jones
Twenty-four year old goalie Bob Essensa has had 17 years to perfect the art of netminding. His rise near the top of perfection in the International Hockey League was rewarded when Essensa was named Player of the Month in the month of December.
Essensa, a rookie, tallied a 3.03 goals against average in eight games played in December. "Personally, I'd like to end the season with a respectable GAA. Between 3.00 and 3.50 and a good save percentage. I'd like to just play well around play-off time," Essensa stated in a recent interview.