Bombers Charter Plane For Finals

By Debbie Juniewicz
Contributing Writer
Dayton Daily News

FAIRBORN, Ohio — After weighing their options, including what would have been a 32-hour bus trip, the Dayton Bombers have decided to charter a plane to Boise, Idaho, for the start of the Kelly Cup Finals.

“We literally just got it done,” Costa Papista, co-owner of the minor-league hockey team, said late Saturday.

The Bombers, who clinched the American Conference championship Friday by winning Game 7 against the Florida Everblades, open the best-of-seven ECHL championship series Wednesday night at Qwest Arena against the Idaho Steelheads.

“It turned out the best way for us to get there and give (the players) every opportunity to be fresh was to charter our own plane because flights were so limited to Boise from anywhere,” Papista said.

It’s a 50-seat plane, which leaves room for perhaps 20-25 passengers besides the team. The flight leaves Monday and returns Friday.

Meanwhile, the home playoff schedule continues to be a source of irritation. Games 3, 4 and 5 (if necessary) are scheduled for the Nutter Center, but the Bombers won’t play at home on Friday or Saturday for the third time in four playoff series.

The Nutter Center is unavailable Friday, June 1, because — get this — the Gem City Rollergirls have a bout against the Minnesota Dagger Dolls. The Rollergirls switched times with the Bombers on May 12 but have no intention of doing it again. “It destroyed our fan base,” Rollergirls bout coordinator Roger Shivadecker said.

“We would love to see the Rollergirls succeed,” Bombers coach/co-owner Don MacAdam said. “But we live and die on good dates.”

The Bombers did not have a weekend home date in their playoff series with either Trenton or Cincinnati. They had one in the Florida series.