The Chapleau Intermediate "A" Huskies seemed to have established themselves as a top contender as they opened their 1977-78 season on the road with two wins.
It was the start of their third season in the Northland intermediate Hockey League, and with a new coach, new captain, several new players and the excellent play of team stalwarts from the previous season, they dumped the Hearst Lumberkings and Calvert GMs in convincing fashion -- 11-4 and 6-2 respectively.
The Chapleau Sentinel reported that the season openers were "a fine beginning" for coach Doug Prusky as the team had never won their first games since entering the league for the 1975-76 season.
Jean Claude Cyr had been named captain and played "sparkling hockey in both games and was rewarded for his efforts with a five goal performance."
Glen Cappellani was in goal for the locals in both games having been the backbone of the Junior "B" Huskies for several years followed by a stint in the United States Hockey League. The Sentinel reported that Cappellani's "semi-pro experience was most evident as he came up with scintillating saves" in both games. Danny Law of the Midgets was back up goaltender as David McAdam was unable to make the trip.
Steve Prusky was back in the lineup after three years in the USHL and demonstrated the experience he had gained since leaving Chapleau where he was a star defenceman.
"Prusky has the ability to control a hockey game from the blueline", the article noted.
|Ron Larcher, Bill Scheer|
Other new faces in the Chapleau lineup were Ron Larcher and Gary Legros from the Junior "B" ranks; Paul Scheer who had moved to Chapleau from Burlington; Rick Walker, a solid defenceman from Brampton and Danny Homerodean a winger who had played for the Burlington Junior "B" Mohawks.
Ron Larcher, the speedy forward was on a line with his brother Raymond and team captain Cyr. The plan may have been to use them as checking line but they came up with nine points in the two games. Raymond and Jean Claude had been with the team since its beginning
Paul Scheer made his first appearances on a line with brother Bill, who had joined the Huskies for the 1976-77 season, and Pat Swanson. Paul came up with a goal and three assists.
By the end of the weekend Pat Swanson, another veteran from first game in the Northland league was off to a fast start with two goals and four assists led the team's point parade.
Danny Homorodean played right wing for Dave McMillan and Jamie Doyle, both veterans, and this line came up with excellent performances accumulating 10 points over the weekend.
The Sentinel commented that "McMillan is a class centre always calculating his moves while Doyle is one hockey player who skates faster coming back down the ice to his zone than he moves offensively." (As an aside the comment about Jamie was so true and a hallmark of all his playing days but he was a great two way player.)
Legros and Walker were both on the blueline and came up with very solid performances with Legros a tough player who in his first two games gave every indication he will become a valuable addition to the roster. Walker is a thinking defenceman with an excellent shot.
|Bill Scheer, Pat Swanson, Trainer Graham Bertrand. Donkey baseball|
Ted Swanson was back in the lineup for another year and his experience helped the newcomers. Ted had two excellent games sliding in fronts and setting up plays in great fashion. Ted never missed a game in the four years the team was in the Northland league.
In the Short Shots section of the article, the writer took a "shot" at me, commenting that "Players and fans on the trip are unable to decide if Mike Morris, now the manager, is more excitable now than when he was coaching." I had coached the team since it was founded in 1974-75 season the for two years in the Northland League. Within one week, thirty-six years later, I really don't know.
|Dave McMillan, Danny Vaughan, Paul McDonald|
John Theriault took photos of the team on the ice and while involved in other community activities. Thanks for making them available John. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org