By Brian Compton
Matt Herneisen (pictured) has waited a long time for a moment like this.
The Gilbertsville, Pa., native has been through the really rough times with the Dayton Bombers over the past few years. Gosh, to think it was only last season when the Bombers finished with the worst record in the history of the franchise at 20-46-6 — a statistic that obviously made Herneisen an unhappy camper.
These days, though, Herneisen’s smile is as wide as the Miami Valley. Gone are the days of getting on a bus and traveling hundreds of miles when his team’s fate was basically already decided. On Monday, he was aboard a chartered flight to Boise, where Game 1 of the Kelly Cup Finals against the Idaho Steelheads took place Wednesday night.
The Bombers took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series as Trevor Frischmon broke a 1-1 tie with 2:36 remaining in regulation for a 2-1 victory. Dayton is three wins away from a championship.
“It’s just unbelievable to be this far in the playoffs,” Herneisen said. “It’s just been a lot of fun watching the guys kind of pull together and kind of winning a little bit for me so I can get to play again. It’s been a great experience for me.”