1960 – Jack Allen
In the mid-1960s, I was temporarily the goal Judge at the far end of the Clinton Arena for Clinton Comet games. I believe that the following story happened during a particularly important playoff game with a long-term foe of the Comets. The Arena was full to overflowing with a crowd that wanted to win, and nothing else would satisfy them. They were noisy, and showed the effect of what they had been drinking. It was during the second period, I believe, when we were behind by one goal, and suddenly there was a flurry of action around the goal net at my end, guarded by their goalie. I lost sight of the puck, but quite quickly it was covered by their goalie’s glove. I did not push the button that would’ve signified a goal. The crowd went crazy as did the Comets team. Our players raced up to confront me through the protective fencing. I believe it was Howie Dietrich who was hanging onto the fence and screaming at me, “Jack, push the button for a goal!” I hollered back, “Howie I couldn’t see the puck.” He responded back to me, “That doesn’t matter! Let the referee make that decision. That’s what they do to us in their arena!”
At that point it appeared that everybody in the arena had learned my name, and had plans for my body. During the second period Intermission, there was a commotion behind me as someone three rows up threw a paper cup full of beer designed to hit me. The beer got the man behind me, who promptly stood up and punched the man behind him.
The good news is that we won the game in the third period, but I was still on the spectators’ minds. At that point, the rink rats said, “Mr. Allen! Quick, Mr. Allen—run right in front of us and jump into the Zamboni pit and go out the back door!” Which I did. I stayed off the main roads and sidewalks as I walked home.
– Jack Allen