Senior Citizen Denies Flying Farangs Third Crown in Five Years
The Bangkok Flying Farangs were trying to win their third City of Angels crown in five years; all that was stopping them was a 62-year-old goalie - and he did. The keeper for the all-Finnish team, Ukkometsot, Mika Rantanen, which had flown in from Helsinki, stoned the Farangs in the final match as the visiting Finns won the first tournament to be played at the new arena, The Rink, located on the 7th floor of the Central Grand Rama IX shopping mall.
Flying Farang goalie Jason Cotsmire had a brilliant tourney except for a brief 5-minute span at the start of the final game when Ukkometsot scored three quick goals on him. It was erringly similar to the 5-minute breakdown the New Jersey Devils suffered in period one of game 6 of the Stanley Cup final when Steve Bernier took a five minute major boarding penalty and the LA Kings scored three power-play goals. The Farangs did call a time out after the Finns’ three quick goals, but like the Devils were never able to gain the momentum, losing the final by the same score the Devils did, 6-1.
The highest-profile player in the tourney was Jay North, who had flown in from Texas to play for the Singapore Hawkers (Singapore like Bangkok, entered three teams in the tourney). North, a Minnesota high-school stand-out, was selected 63rd overall by the Buffalo Sabres in the 1980 entry draft, ahead of future NHL stars like Jari Kurri, Bernie Nicholls, Steve Larmer, Steve Kasper, Hakan Loob & Andy Moog. His NHL career never did pan out, but people still talk about the way he dazzled the crowd in his high school days.