1994-95 Turner Cup

1995 Eastern Conference Playoff Champions
Public Relations Director of the Year: Bob Kaser

Record: 35-40-6, 76 points
Home: 19-19-3, 41 points
Road: 16-21-3, 35 points
Lost in Finals against Denver Grizzlies

Team members
Andrei Buschan, Viacheslav Butsayev, Ilya Byakin, Jan Caloun, Alexander Cherbayev, Shean Donovan, Larry Dyck, Gary Emmons, Kevin Evans, Pat Ferschweiler, Dean Grillo, Ken Hammond, Ken Hodge, Jim Hrivnak, Duane Joyce, Viktor Kozlov, Vlastimil Kroupa, Fredrick Nilsson, Ron Pascucci, Jean-Francois Quintin, Claudio Scremin, Dody Wood, Kevin Wortman, Russ and Diane Parker (owners), Doug Soetaert (GM and Vice President), Jim Wiley (head coach), Mark Kaufman (assistant coach), Les Lundberg (trainer), Mike Aldrich (equipment manager)

January 11, 1995Blades postpone a game due to fog. Milwaukee Admirals couldn't fly into Kansas City in time for the game.
April 5, 1995Blades clinch a playoff berth.
April 25, 1995Dody Wood's hat trick against Detroit Vipers propels Blades to 4-3 win and 3-2 series win to move to second round of playoffs.
April 30, 1995Blades defeat Peoria Rivermen, 1-0, in double overtime in Peoria, Illinois. It's the longest 1-0 playoff game in IHL history.
May 7, 1995Blades eliminate Peoria Rivermen 4-1, the largest playoff upset in IHL history.
May 24, 1995Blades eliminate Kalamazoo Wings to reach Turner Cup Finals.
June 2, 1995Denver Grizzlies win Turner Cup, 4 games to none in KC, against Blades.

The Blades had a less than stellar 1994-95 season, they barely qualified for the playoffs. They finished the season five games below .500. For the 1994-95 playoffs, the league allowed 16 teams to participate. By virtue of having more points the the Indianapolis Ice, the Blades slipped into the Eastern Conference for their playoff run.

During the playoffs, the Blades would do the unthinkable, they racked up three of the top ten playoff upsets in the league's fifty year history.

The first test was the Detroit Vipers. The Blades and the Vipers were separated by 26 points in the regular season standings. Game 1 was a 3-1 loss at the Palace of Auburn Hills. But, soon things would take a turn for the better. The Blades got two of their big defensive guns back, goaltender Larry Dyck and defenseman Claudio Scremin. The Blades won game 2 with an overtime goal by Gary Emmons. Back in KC, the team lost a close one 2-1. They came back big time in game 4, outshooting the Vipers 41-19, and winning 5-1. Then, game 5 was the Dody Wood show. Wood had a hat trick in the game, scoring the game winner with 6:33 left in the game. This series tied for the 6th biggest playoff upset. The team moved on to face their next test.
Next up was the Peoria Rivermen. The Blades and Rivermen were separated by 37 points in the regular season. The Blades won the series in five games. Three of those five were overtime games, 2 of them were one by the Blades. The other overtime game played in the series featured a big comeback by the Blades, who were down 5-0, and came back to send it to overtime with less than a minute left. While they did lose the game, they came back the next night to win the series. This became the biggest upset in the fifty year history of the International Hockey League.
Next up was the Kalamazoo Wings. The Blades and Wings were separated by 24 points in the regular season standings. The Blades won the first three games of the series. This left most Blades fans to believe that a sweep was imminent, but the Wings would not go away so easily, winning the next three games. This set up the dramatic game 7 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The Blades proved to be too much for the Wings, winning 7-3. This series tied for the 9th biggest playoff upset in league history.
The Kansas City Blades were moving on to the Turner Cup Finals, giving the team their second shot at the title in five years. The Blades were to face their Western Conference rivals, the Denver Grizzlies. The Grizzlies dominated the Blades during the season series, and did so in the Turner Cup Finals. The Grizzlies, with former Blades Jeff Madill and Kip Miller, swept KC in four games.

But Blades fans still had much to cheer about: the team made history, provided excitement, and gave the fans 51 extra days of hockey.

Last updated October 13, 2015