Inductees Coached by Pat Kelly, the 1984-85 Peoria Rivermen were the class of the International Hockey League. The team produced 105 points, best in the IHL, while compiling a 48-25-9 record.
The game that gave the Rivermen the Turner Cup was one of the most tumultuous nights in Peoria sports history. In the final game of the best of seven Championship series, the team whipped Muskegon 4-1 before a jam-packed Carver Arena crowd of over 9,000. For many in attendance, it was their first hockey game ever. As the seconds ticked down, the highly emotional fans were on their feet cheering. The noise was almost deafening as their Rivermen heroes circled the rink holding the Turner Cup high.
The season was quite a turn-a-round from the 1983-84 Peoria Prancers team that didn't even make the playoffs. In addition to winning the coveted Cup, the team received many honors. Pat Kelly was named the IHL Co-Coach of the year; Lee Norwood, now a National Hockey League Veteran with Detroit, won the Governor's Trophy as the league's top defenseman; and goaltender Rick Heinz won the James Norris Trophy. Harold Hansen, then Governor of the team, was voted Co-Executive of the year. Nor-wood and Heinz were IHL first team All-Star selections and Perry Ganchar was on the second team. Dennis Cyr was MVP in the playoffs.
The team won the Huber Trophy as regular season champions, and the Ullyot Trophy as Western Division Champions. Doug Evans was named Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player; Bob Flemming was voted most popular player.
A new name - a new era! Peoria was getting its taste of big-time hockey. The new kids on the block -The Peoria Rivermen!
Coached by Pat Kelly, the 1984-85 Peoria Rivermen were the class of the International Hockey League. The team produced 105 points, best in the IHL, while compiling a 48-25-9 record.
Tom is not one of the modern coaches who coach only one sport. After graduating from Knox College he started his career in coaching and 38 years later he had 611 career wins. He has coached at Greenview, Bushnell Prairie City, Jerseyville and the last 26 years at Farmington High School where he had 520 wins.