Elmira Enforcers

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Elmira Enforcers
ElmiraEnforcersLogo.svg
CityElmira, New York
LeagueFederal Prospects Hockey League
Founded2018
Home arenaFirst Arena
Owner(s)Robbie and Nellie Nichols
General managerMarc Witt
Head coachBrent Clarke
Websiteelmiraenforcers.com
Franchise history
2018–presentElmira Enforcers

The Elmira Enforcers are a minor professional ice hockey team located in Elmira, New York, and play in the Federal Prospects Hockey League. Their home games are played at First Arena.

History[edit]

On July 17, 2018, Robbie Nichols announced he had acquired an expansion team in Elmira, New York, one year after the Elmira Jackals had ceased operations.[1] On August 2, Nichols revealed the team name as the Enforcers and introduced the team's inaugural head coach as Brent Clarke, who had previously been the head coach of the Danville Dashers and Watertown Wolves.[2]

The Enforcers played their first game October 26, 2018, and played their first six games on the road with a 2–4 record. On November 16, the team played their first home game and set a league record with 4,310 announced attendance, beating the previous record set by the Williamsport Outlaws in 2012 of 3,447.[3] The team continued to set single-season FHL attendance records,[4] but also saw its share of controversies. On December 17, 2018, several Enforcers were arrested after getting into a bar fight, sending a man to the hospital, although the charges would later be dropped.[5][6] On March 10, 2019, owner Nichols accosted a referee as the official was coming off the ice following the first period of a game against the Carolina Thunderbirds. The game was immediately cancelled by the officials, and subsequently led the FHL's officiating supervisor to resign and pull all referees from the FHL citing the need to protect his personnel.[7][8] Nichols was issued the league-maximum fine of $25,000.[9] The team, or someone using the Enforcers' name, posted a GoFundMe fundraiser for the fine, but was pulled down in about an hour.[10]

The team continued its inaugural season and finished second overall at the end of the regular season. They swept the third place Watertown Wolves in two game to set up a championship series against Carolina. The Enforcers lost the first game in Carolina 7–3.[11] Game two went to overtime and the game-winning goal was scored by landing on the back of the outstretched Enforcers' goaltender Troy Passingham and fell across the goal line when he went to get back up.[12] The Enforcers heavily contested the call, with team-leading scorer Ahmed Mahfouz verbally confronting the officials and leading to a physical altercation between head coach Brent Clarke and a linesman. Mahfouz then broke his stick over the goalpost and tossed it over the glass into the stands before leaving the ice. Finally, goaltender Passingham was still disputing the goal with the official before leaving for the visitor's locker room, with the walkway passing directly next the fans, and a fan threw a filled cup at Passingham. Passingham then attacked the fan before they were eventually separated.[13] Clarke, Mahfouz, and Passingham were all suspended by the league: Mahfouz for one game, Passingham for two, and Clarke for five games.[14] The Enforcers then won the next game at home 7–2 with former Elmira Jackals' player Nick Niedert in goal, but lost the championship in an overtime loss in game four.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Professional hockey returns to Elmira's First Arena". Star Gazette. July 17, 2018.
  2. ^ "Elmira hockey team chooses Enforcers as nickname, Brent Clarke as head coach". Star-Gazette. August 2, 2018.
  3. ^ "Legare: Pro hockey gets a fresh start in Elmira". Star-Gazette. November 17, 2018.
  4. ^ "ENFORCERS BREAK FHL SINGLE SEASON ATTENDANCE RECORD". FHL. March 5, 2019.
  5. ^ "UPDATE: District Attorney reviewing potential charges against Elmira Enforcers players". MyTwinTiers.com. December 18, 2018.
  6. ^ "DA will not pursue charges against Enforcers hockey players after December incident". Star-Gazette. January 12, 2019.
  7. ^ "Officials pull referees from all FHL games following alleged altercation between Enforcers owner, refs". WENY-TV. March 11, 2019.
  8. ^ "REPORT: Officiating supervisor pulls refs from all remaining FHL games". Bus League Hockey. March 10, 2019.
  9. ^ "Elmira Enforcers fined $25,000 for owner Robbie Nichols pushing a ref". BusLeagueHockey.com. March 12, 2019.
  10. ^ "Short-lived Go Fund Me aimed at paying off Elmira Enforcers $25,000 fine raises $45". BusLeagueHockey.com. March 12, 2019.
  11. ^ "THUNDERBIRDS TAKE GAME 1 IN DOMINANT FASHION". FHL. April 19, 2019.
  12. ^ "DRAMATIC OVERTIME WIN GIVES CAROLINA 2-0 SERIES LEAD". FHL. April 20, 2019.
  13. ^ "'Controversial Goal' in Carolina results in chaos following classic game". Bus League Hockey. April 21, 2019.
  14. ^ "UPDATE: 3 Enforcers Suspended Amid Commissioners Cup Controversy". WENY. April 23, 2019.

External links[edit]