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Former Mercurys player John McGrath gets Toledo Hockey Hall of Fame nod

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John McGrath, left, cools down after a 1949 game.

THE BLADE
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John McGrath, a pioneer of professional hockey in the city, will be inducted into the Toledo Hockey Hall of Fame next year.

McGrath played five seasons with Toledo's first pro hockey team, the Mercurys, from 1947-49 and from 1950-53. He was a member of International Hockey League Turner Cup championship teams in 1948, 1951, and 1952.

McGrath is one of five of the city’s hockey greats that will be inducted into the hall in January. The newest members will be honored during the ECHL's all-star weekend that will be hosted by the Toledo Walleye at the Huntington Center.

The organization will announce one member of the 2019 class each day this week.

McGrath earned the IHL’s James Gatschene Memorial Trophy in 1951 as the league’s most valuable player. He also served as captain for the Mercurys.

The defenseman/forward from Hibbing, Minn., played in 239 regular-season games with the Mercurys, tallying 97 goals with 116 assists. In 41 playoff games, he scored 16 goals and had 14 assists.

McGrath also played with the Toledo Buckeyes of the Eastern Hockey League during the 1949-50 season, scoring 13 goals with 16 assists in 37 games.

The Toledo Hockey Hall of Fame was created to honor individuals who shaped the city’s hockey heritage. The nomination of the candidates is determined by the Toledo Hockey Hall of Fame committee, made up of former coaches, players, team historians, and media. Fans also have input during the voting phase.

All-star weekend is Jan. 18-21, and the Hall of Fame luncheon Jan. 20.

KELLY CUP PLAYOFFS: The ECHL levied stiff penalties on the Fort Wayne Komets and Colorado Eagles for a fight that broke out before the start of Game 2 of the Western Conference final series Sunday in Loveland, Colo.

The league announced on Monday that Fort Wayne’s Dennis Kravchenko was suspended for five games and Daniel Maggio was suspended for three games. Colorado’s Gabriel Verpaelst was suspended for five games and Joey Ratelle was suspended for three games.

Fort Wayne coach Gary Graham and Colorado coach Aaron Schneekloth also were fined an undisclosed amount.

The fines and suspensions were issued as a result of an altercation before the game when pushing and shoving that took place during pre-game warmups led to several fights.

Colorado won the first game 3-2 on Saturday but Fort Wayne tied the series at one game apiece with a 3-2 victory Sunday. The best-of-7 series now shifts to Fort Wayne for the next three games.

Contact Mark Monroe at: mmonroe@theblade.com419-724-6354, or on Twitter @MonroeBlade.

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