Sunday, January 1, 2017

Ray Adduono: Syracuse Blazers Star and Softest Hands in the EHL

ray adduono san diego mariners world hockey association
His time in the North American Hockey League wasn't long. But, that was the case for most of the great players that passed through the league. Ray Adduono had simply dominated the EHL from 1967-68 to 1972-73. His offensive numbers looked like something out of the 1970's QMJHL or from the back of Wayne Gretzky hockey card.

Adduono appeared in just 20 regular season games with the Syracuse Blazers in 1973-74. He went on to dominate in the playoffs, leading the team in scoring and helping the Blazers to a Lockhart Cup championship.

Ray Adduono – NAHL

Over his 20 regular season games with the Syracuse Blazers in 1973-74, Ray scored seven and assisted on 20 for 27 points. These were tame numbers compared with what Adduono had put up over the past half decade. He had also played 40 games for the Macon Whoopees that year in the Southern Hockey League.

The Blazers finished first overall in that first season of the North American Hockey League. The team then marched to the finals where they swept the Long Island Cougars for the title. Over 15 playoff games, Ray Adduono scored eight and assisted on 20 for 28 points, just short of two points per game.

His performance was enough to get him a full time job in the World Hockey Association for the following season and Adduono never returned to the NAHL.

The 1973-74 Syracuse Blazers were coached by Ron Ingram. Adduono's career would often see Ingram standing behind him on the bench. Ron coached the EHL Blazers in 1971-72 and 1972-73. He then coached Ray with the WHA's San Diego Mariners in 1975-76 and 1976-77. They were also together for Ray's short stint with the Indianapolis Racers in 1977-78. For an encore, the two teamed up with the San Diego Hawks in the PHL for 1978-79.

Ray Adduono – Junior

Adduono played five years of junior hockey in the TBJHL (Thunder Bay Junior Hockey League) from 1962-63 to 1966-67. His first three years were with the Port Arthur North Stars and the final two were with the Port Arthur Marrs.

In 1962-63, Ray was TBJHL rookie of the year. The following year, he was named a First Team All-Star and honoured as the league's most valuable player. Over the five years, he scored 131 and assisted on 169 for 300 points in just 138 regular season games.

Ray Adduono – Minor Pro

Ray Adduono played for the Syracuse Blazers of the Eastern Hockey League from 1967-68 to 1972-73, with exception of the 1968-69 season. That year, he split between the Amarillo Wranglers of the CHL and the Hershey Bears of the AHL.

In his rookie season, 1967-68, Ray finished second in the league with 101 assists and second with 146 points. Despite the offensive contributions, Syracuse finished last overall in the 12 team league.

He returned to the Blazers in 1969-70 and led the league with 92 assists and 134 points over 74 games. Adduono won the scoring title for the for the first of three times, earning the John Carlin Trophy. Syracuse was improved, reaching the post season but falling in the opening round.

The following year, the numbers were down with Ray scoring 31 and assisting on 70 for 101 points but playing just 63 games. He still finished third in the EHL for assists and tied for ninth in the overall scoring race. The team was coaching by hockey semi-legend Phil Watson.

1971-72 saw Addono explode offensively, mostly as a playmaker. Ray assisted on an amazing 122 goals and scored 43 himself for 165 points over 75 games. His goal total tied him for seventh but he led the league in assists by 52 over second place and won the scoring title with 36 more points than the next challenger. 
Syracuse finished first in the Northern Division in 1971-72 and reached the finals before losing to the Charlotte Checkers. Ray added 28 points in 17 playoff games.

Goal scoring took on a bigger role in 1972-73 with Adduono scoring 54, the fifth most in the EHL. He assisted on 116 for a total of 170 points, the most in the league by a 38 point margin. Ray was honoured also as the league's most valuable player. 
In 1972-73, Syracuse finished first overall with 63 wins and 130 points over 76 games. The won the championship, beating the Roanoke Valley Rebels in the finals. Over six games in the series, the Blazers outscored Roanoke Valley 51 to 18. Adduono put up nine goals along with 26 assists for 35 playoff points in just 14 games.

Ray Adduono returned to the minors for 1978-79, playing with the San Diego Hawks of the PHL. He finished tied for second with 61 assists and placed fourth with 75 points.

Ray Adduono – WHA

Between 1973-74 and 1977-78, Ray Adduono played in 221 regular season World Hockey Association games with the San Diego Mariners, Minnesota Fighting Saints and Indianapolis Racers. Over that time, he scored 45 and assisted on 152 for 197 points. In 28 playoff games, he added 30 points.

In 1974-75 with the Mariners, Ray finished ninth in the WHA with 59 assists. The Harry Howell coached San Diego squad finished fourth in the 14 team league. In the playoffs, the Mariners lost in the semi-finals, swept by the Houston Aeros.

The following year, 1975-76, Ray placed tenth in the league with 67 assists. Ron Ingram was now coaching the team and the Mariners had a mediocre regular season with 78 points in 80 games. They lost again in the playoffs to the Houston Aeros, this time in the quarter-finals.

On September 1, 1976, Adduono was traded to the Minnesota Fighting Saints with Bob Wall for Gerry Pinder and Paul Shmyr. He returned to San Diego during the 1976-77 season after the Fighting Saints folded 42 games into the campaign. He finished out 1976-77 with the Mariners and played just eight more WHA games in 1977-78 with the Indianapolis Racers.

Ray Adduono Career Stats

Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM
1967-68 Syracuse Blazers EHL 72 45 101 146 43
1967-68 Oklahoma City Blazers CPHL 1 0 1 1 0
1968-69 Amarillo Wranglers CHL 59 16 41 57 41
1968-69 Hershey Bears AHL 12 1 2 3 4
1969-70 Syracuse Blazers EHL 74 42 92 134 55
1970-71 Syracuse Blazers EHL 62 31 70 101 50
1971-72 Syracuse Blazers EHL 75 43 122 165 133
1972-73 Syracuse Blazers EHL 76 54 116 170 138
1973-74 Syracuse Blazers NAHL 20 7 20 27 10
1973-74 Macon Whoopees SHL 40 14 38 52 95
1973-74 Cleveland Crusaders WHA 2 0 0 0 0
1974-75 San Diego Mariners WHA 78 15 59 74 23
1975-76 San Diego Mariners WHA 80 23 67 90 22
1976-77 Minnesota Fighting Saints WHA 40 4 19 23 17
1976-77 San Diego Mariners WHA 13 2 5 7 5
1977-78 Indianapolis Racers WHA 8 1 2 3 0
1978-79 San Diego Hawks PHL 56 14 61 75 73

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