The First games


Port Huron, Michigan was the site of the very first official Saginaw Gears hockey game. After a string of pre-season victories, the team faced off against the Port Huron Wings on the October evening of Friday the 13th. The first goal ever scored by a Saginaw Gear in an official IHL game was popped in by Mike Hornby at 16:13 of the first period. By late in the third period, the Gears were ahead by a score of four to three, when two minor penalties, one to Raynald Tessier for interference followed by another to Russ Friesen for delay of game gave the Wings a five on three advantage. Two Port Huron goals followed and the Gears lost by a score of five to four. It was a pattern that would repeat itself through the entire first season of Saginaw Gears hockey.

Just two days later, on Sunday, October 15, 1972 the Saginaw Gears played their first home game at the Wendler Arena. The Des Moines Capitals faced off against the gears in this home opener and for the first time the folks of the Tri Cities saw their brand new hockey team! By the way... the Gears lost. In fact, the Gears did not have a home victory until October 20th.

The early hockey games in Saginaw were a bit awkward. Most of the folks in the area were strangers to hockey as well as to all of these forigeners who were coming here from Canada to play the sport. Of course you had your true sports fans whe were happy to any professional sport come to town. Yet with the failure of a pro-football team to take hold, many were skeptical abot the Gears and if they would survive. Among those true sports fans were some heart and soul hockey fans. They were delighted to see the Gears come to town.

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