EMAIL mj.morris@live.ca


Thursday, June 29, 2017

Chapleau Junior 'B' Huskies win league and NOHA championships in Canada's Centennial Year of 1967

names below
I took a course in twentieth century European history from Dr Jacques Goutor, back in the 1960s and the first thing I learned from him was that hockey kept Canada together. Well, he didn't actually come out and say that exactly, but on the first day of class he told us about his arrival in Canada from France.

Dr Goutor told us that upon arriving in Toronto, he went out and bought the newspapers and the headlines were LEAFS WIN STANLEY CUP! It was 1967, our Centennial year as a nation, and the Toronto Maple Leafs had defeated their arch rivals the Montreal Canadiens in six games. It was to be the last time the Leafs would win Lord Stanley's mug.

Dr Goutor, who at the time had little knowledge of hockey and its importance to Canadians, said he decided to stay here because it had to be a safe place if the headlines were about a sporting event. He was raised in France and lived through the horrors of World  War II and its aftermath. Dr Goutor became a Professor of History at the University of Western Ontario. He retired in 1996, and died a couple of years ago. 

Meanwhile, in 1967, as Canada was marking 100 years as a nation, in Chapleau, the headlines could have been CHAPLEAU JUNIOR 'B' HUSKIES WIN LEAGUE AND NOHA CHAMPIONSHIPS, although I don't have a copy of the Chapleau Sentinel to confirm it.

As our nation marks its 150th anniversary in 2017, I have been looking back at the community's history, and the amazing success of the Junior 'B' Huskies in their first year in the International Junior 'B' Hockey League in 1966-67, stood out as an outstanding moment in sports.

In 1965, artificial ice was installed in the Chapleau Memorial Community Arena, largely because of the efforts of Mrs. A.W. 'Hockey' Moore, after whom the present arena is named, raised most of the funds to accomplish it.
Mrs Moore

In the summer of 1966, according to an article by Keith 'Buddy' Swanson, a "chance meeting" on a golf course between Tom Welch, publisher of the Chapleau Sentinel, and a director of the Wawa Travellers, led to the founding of the Chapleau Junior 'B' team, and its entry into the International Junior 'B' Hockey League for the 1966-67 season.

Buddy, Tom and Lorne Riley founded the team. Buddy and Lorne had coached a pretty good Midget team the previous year, and Buddy coached the Intermediate 'B' Huskies to the Northern Ontario Hockey Association title, winning the Max Silverman Trophy.

Off Buddy and Lorne went to Wawa for a league meeting where they received tentative approval to become part of the league for the 1966-67 season. However, back in Chapleau, the response was not all that enthusiastic, as only J.M. 'Jack' Shoup,  showed up, other than the founders, at three different meetings. Tom Welch urged them to continue anyway, and they did.

They went out into the community and recruited an executive with Tom as the first president. The executive included Arthur Grout, Earle Freeborn, Albert Tremblay, Jack Shoup, Ken Stevenson, with Roger Mizuguchi responsible for advertising and public relations. Sonia Vaughan became treasurer.

Lorne became the coach with Buddy as manager, while Andre Rioux was trainer. Richard Morin was named the team captain.  

The roster included Merrick Goldstein, Reg Bouillon, Ted Swanson, George Swanson, J.C. Cyr, Corky Bucci, Greg Vaughan, Robert Morin, John Babin, Gerry Boucher, Bruce Pellow, Ray Larcher, John Laframboise, Jamie Broomhead, John Loyst and Mickey Jurynec. 

Unfortunately, Lorne became ill and was unable to complete the season as coach so Buddy took over bench duties, and Lorne attended all the games and they discussed strategy between periods.

They finished the season in third place with 14 wins, eight losses and two ties which meant they met Wawa Travellers the first place team in round one of the playoffs. They had not enjoyed much success against the Travellers in regular season play --- and it looked like the Huskies would be eliminated quickly.

The Travellers took a 3-0 game lead in the best of seven playoff round, and then ...

The Huskies bounced back to tie the series at 3-3. In the final game, the Travellers had completely collapsed losing 13-3 to the Huskies.

In the finals against the Sault Michigan Indians, the Huskies won it in seven games and were the winners of the Mac Nicholson Trophy as league champions.

But their season wasn't over. Two weeks later they played Kapuskasing for the Northern Ontario Hockey Association Junior 'B' title and the Colin Campbell Trophy in a two game total goals series. The Huskies won 13-5.

And now, as Canada marks its 150th anniversary as a nation I believe it is good to reflect on those moments  in our history that brought us together, rather than divided us. Fifty years ago, Buddy Swanson, Lorne Riley and Tom Welch, the players and the executive of the Chapleau Junior 'B' Huskies made it happen in Chapleau  Dr. Goutor was right about Canada.
Huskies at 40th anniversary reunion 2007

I based this column on excerpts from the two articles that Buddy wrote about the team in 2009. He wanted to tell the story of that remarkable year. HAPPY CANADA DAY!  My email is mj.morris@live.ca

Names TOP PHOTO  1966-67 Huskies Back from l: Andre Rioux, Lorne Riley, Merrick Goldstein, John Babin, Ray Larcher, Mickey Jurynec, Greg Vaughan, Robert Morin, Reg Bouillon, Gerry Boucher, Jamie Broomhead; Front: Corky Bucci, Jean- Claude Cyr, George Swanson, Richard Morin, John Loyst, John Laframboise, Ted Swanson, Bud Swanson and missing Bruce Pellow, Bruce Fortin. 

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Michael J Morris

Michael J Morris
MJ with Buckwheat (1989-2009) Photo by Leo Ouimet


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