Bird Island was the first Duffer Road trip.  Frank packed his family in the car and headed north when most people head south in February.  This is the only trip that I missed, so I had to do some investigative reporting.  I asked Papa Joe, the King and Bob "The Geek" Friedlander who the Czechoslovak refugee was.  (He was mentioned in the Bird Island Star newspaper article in 1976.)

Papa wrote:  Can't remember anything about a Czech.  I do remember that I did not bring a swim suit but did obtain some kind of paper suit which
actually was OK.  (When Harvey forgot his swim suit in Hayward, he went in with his fancy underwear)  Bobka and I were roommates. It was a long drive to the rink and we had to leave early morning. The rink was almost as cold inside as it was outside.  The king was vocal about our inability to perform to expectations.
Good time overall.
Papa

Bob The Geek Fried wrote:

I think the Czech was a Russian but not going to remember his name. Funny, but just got Xmas card from my friend who set up the game and said he was just watching the film. Boy, he must have been bored. 
I drove up to the game with Wally and picked The King up at the airport. When he got off the plane, we had a camera or something and pretended to interview him. That was right at the time when the Minnesota Saints were about to fold and we acted as if Jimmy was going to be the new owner. people stopped and watched. Of course he got all pissed off when I said the arena was not far away until we drove about an hour and a half. We had to get up real early the next AM for the last game.  We also had tickets for the Rangers and North Stars on Saturday night.
We ate at a place called Websters which was known for a real party place for the players. They set me up with a waitress that was a clone of Ann Magaret but we never had time to go out.  Half the Bird Island team did not even have uniforms. They skated in blue jeans, shin pads over their pants. No jerseys.
All I remember is that the Jankowski's played. Bob Campagna, Wally, Jimmy and after that would have to dig out the film. Timmy was not even a Duffer yet. A guy with glasses played goal. Think we won one and lost one.  (It was a tie, but players don't like ties)
Will have to send Bob Bird a note and see what he remembers of the games.

 

Bird Island  Will Play Chicago Team

Two torrid paced contests were the theme for the Bird Island men's hockey squad this weekend at the Litchfield Civic Arena and when it was over the local icemen found themselves with a 7-7 tie and a well played 6-4 loss to the Chicago Duffers. 
Bird Island's Jim Nelson highlighted the weekend as the lanky left winger came up with 3 goals, While the rest of the team all contributed their best effort into a truly memorable set of games.
Saturday's contest saw the score see-sawing constantly between the two teams, with Bird Island holding its only lead at one point, 5-4.  The fast skating Duffers however, took a 7-5 lead with 12 minutes remaining, then Jerry Weinzetl and Nelson Salvaged a tie with two late

goals.  Bob Friedlander, Wally Kraft and Paul Jankowski contributed goals to the Duffer cause.  The Duffers had several players in their 40s and a Czechoslovak refugee.
Sunday's game was a near  instant replay of the previous game, except both teams tightened a bit defensively, but plenty of roaring, wide open hockey ensued. The Duffers had a lead of 5-4 with less than a minute to play, when they got a break away goal to ice the victory.  "It was as satisfying a set of games as anyone could hope to play,"said Bob Bird .  "Both squads departed with good feelings and the satisfaction that they played well.  I guess any team that travels 800 miles deserves a win."

The Bird Island Men's Team will end the season for the hockey association next February 28 and 29 when they will take on the Chicago Duffer men's team, a squad which Coach Bob Bird once played for in 1973. The games were arranged between him and Bob Friedlander of Chicago.  The two games will be played at Litchfield Civic Arena.  The Duffer squad is traveling 800 miles just to play hockey and see a North Stars game.  Bird Island plans to use 9 old timers along with 5 graduating seniors from the high school squad.*

Suburban Life January 9 1978

*******Downers Grove Reporter ******  January 7 1978

Duffers Down
Hinsdale Central High

The Central high hockey coach, Geno Cromwell, gave his team a lesson in humility Wednesday afternoon when he booked a game with the Duffers.  His team made a fatal miscalculation when they thought they could skate over the old men. The Duffers used tenacious forchecking to keep the teens in their own zone. 
Five minutes into the game, Bob Morgan cranked a waist high slapshot from the blue line, Greg Lopatka deflected the shot into the top of the net for an early lead.  Lopatka, a teacher in the inner city, had several of his students in the stands chanting "Doofas! Doofas!". Greg's 13 year old son Dan scored 5 minutes later, and Coach Cromwell added two more to propel the Duffers to an 8-3 win.                (January 1983)


The Duffers took the lead when the half ton of Beef came racing at the Decayed goalie.  Frank Presecky set up big Rick Dus for a slap shot that shook the Decayed goalie, Greg Lopatka pounced on the rebound and poked at it, just as Decayed owner Dick Glassford upended Greg.  When this furious action was over, both the Puck and the Decayed Goalie game to rest in the net.
Goalie Atchley woke up several minutes later and was declared fit to defend the Decayed net Wally Kraft M.D.(Medical Duffer).  The Decayed tried everything to get back into the game.   Decayed center Boris Pavichivich, who was acquired as a free agent from the Duffers before the game, put the puck in the net but the goal was disallowed when the referee ruled Boris threw the puck in with his hand. (You wouldn't expect that from a soccer player)
The Decayed didn't get discouraged, as they not only tied it up, but they took the lead on a power play goal., while Fred Bobka was serving the first Duffer penalty in their seven year history.
With the clock ticking down, Doug Graham  tied the game for the Duffers on a pass from Dennis Cross.
A tie is often equated to kissing your sister, this tie was more like kissing your good looking cousin.

Duffers Tie in Ice Exhibition

An exhibition hockey game fit for the movie "Slapshot" came to pass Saturday night at the Downers Grove Icearena and could even produce a new replacement for Paul Newman in the film.  The Duffers, a menagerie of Downers grove hockey coaches and old timers, tied the opposing Decayed team , 5-5.
Goals by the Duffers were notched by Greg Lopatka (2) , South High Varsity Coach Geno Cromwell and Royal Pee Wee coach Doug Graham (2).

Duffers Tie Decayed

Saturday night 30 to 40 people packed the  Downers Grove Icearena to see the Duffers collide with the Decayed.  The fans were not disappointed, not one person asked for a refund. 
The Duffer half ton line started the scoring when 235 pound Rick Dus took a centering pass from Greg Lopatka and flipped it past Decayed goalie Herb Atchley.  This goal infuriated the Decayed as they came storming back with 3 unanswered goals to end the period at 3-1.
Geno Cromwell scored an unassisted goal
early in the second period to get the Duffers close.  Dough Graham knotted the score seconds later at 3-3.

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