By Debbie Juniewicz
Dayton Daily News
DAYTON, Ohio – His paycheck had bounced, the ice rink was locked, and his work visa was about to expire. The phone call from the Dayton Bombers could not have come at a better time for goaltender Terry Denike.
Denike’s stint with the Florida Seals ended in January when the Southern Professional Hockey League team folded.
“I was going to have to go back to Canada and start my real life,” Denike said.
That meant no more hockey and, most likely, a job as a firefighter.
But it wasn’t simply Denike who needed the Bombers; the Bombers needed Denike. With Dan LaCosta spending more time in Syracuse than Dayton and the recent call-up of Adam Berkhoel to Rochester, the Bombers needed someone reliable in net.
Denike’s equipment wasn’t ECHL regulation, so he borrowed pads from Berkhoel and started his first game for the Bombers at Reading on Feb. 24. Dayton lost 4-2, the Bombers’ third consecutive loss.
But Denike bounced back on Feb. 27 in a 6-2 win over Toledo, stopping 29 shots.
“He kept us in it early,” Bombers head coach Don MacAdam said. “And he kept them from getting back into it late.”
The Burlington, Ontario, native posted his second win on Feb. 28, 4-1 at Johnstown, to help the Bombers move into fourth place in the North Division and improve to 26-20-4 with 56 points.
While Denike is new to Dayton, there were some familiar faces on the Bombers’ bench. Denike played with defenseman Ryan Reid at Lake Superior State University and for associate head coach Derek Clancey in Reading.