Gene Peacosh

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Gene Peacosh (born September 28, 1948 in Sherridon, Manitoba) is a retired professional ice hockey player who played 367 games in the World Hockey Association. He played with the New York Golden Blades, New York Raiders, New Jersey Knights, San Diego Mariners, Edmonton Oilers, Vancouver Canucks, and Indianapolis Racers.

Gene Peacosh was one of the best hockey players to come out of British Columbia during the late 1960s and early 70s. Despite being born in Manitoba, he grew up in the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, and that is where his hockey career began. As a junior, Gene quickly established himself as a prolific goal scorer. He was drafted into major junior hockey and continued to top team and league scoring statistics. Gene eventually ended up playing for the infamous Johnstown Jets in the EHL. Of course Gene had no way of knowing that the team he was playing for would one day be used as a model for the Hollywood blockbuster movie Slap Shot, starring Paul Newman. In four seasons Gene scored almost 200 goals and accumulated over 400 points, and served as the team's captain. It should go without saying that the Hollywood version of the team had little resemblance to the real Jets, except in as much as hockey was a much rougher, nastier sport in those days, and a talented player like Gene had to keep his head up at all times if he was interested in keeping it on his shoulders. Of course he did receive help from a man named "Dick Paradise", who would pummel anybody that crossed any lines with one of their star players (or was unwise enough to make fun of his name) and later the infamous tough-guy Ted Scharf. In the movie Slap Shot a character is featured by the name of Olgie Ogelthorpe, which was a kind of sloppy anagram for a goon Gene encountered only too often by the name of Bill "Goldie" Goldthorpe. After turning down a contract from the Montreal Canadiens franchise, Gene decided instead to play in the now defunct World Hockey Association (a professional hockey league designed as direct competition to the NHL, which featured such stars as Bobby Hull, Gordie Howe, Mark Howe, Derek Sanderson, and many more). Gene's scoring touch remained constant as a pro, averaging approximately a goal every other game. He occupies a high position in the WHA record books.

Career Achievements: 1967 Won the BCHL (BCJHL) scoring championship with 94 points, while playing for the Penticton Broncos. Gene led the team to win both the regular season championship and Fred Page post-season championship as well.

Wherever he went he scored goals. Frequently players moving from junior to pro are unable to continue scoring, but Gene did not miss a beat scoring 37 goals as a rookie in the WHA. He did suffer from the dreaded sophomore jinx, scoring only 21 goals the following season, but then registered two very impressive seasons with the San Diego Mariners scoring 43 and 37 goals respectively. Gene was still putting the puck into the net in 76-77, despite being moved from San Diego to the Edmonton Oilers, and finally to the Indianapolis Racers (the two latter teams would shortly see Wayne Gretzky added to their roster).

Teams:

1966-67, Penticton Broncos, BCHL, 51g, 43a, 94pts.

1967-68, Swift Current Broncos,WCJHL, 52g, 48a, 100p.

1968-69, Johnstown Jets, EHL, 44g, 43a, 87p.

1969-70, Johnstown Jets, EHL, 49g, 66a, 115p.

1970-71, Johnstown Jets, EHL, 51g, 66a, 117p.

1971-72, Johnstown Jets, EHL, 43g, 64a, 107p.

1972-73, New York Raiders, WHA, 37g, 34a, 71p.

1973-74, New York Golden Blades/New Jersey Knights, WHA, 21g, 32a, 53p.

1974-75, San Diego Mariners, WHA, 43g, 36a, 79p.

1975-76, San Diego Mariners, WHA, 37g, 33a, 70p.

1976-77, Edmonton Oilers/Indianapolis Racers, WHA, 27g, 30a, 57p.

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