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Sunday, February 21, 2010
Chapleau Jr B Huskies of 66-67 win championships (Part two of Buddy Swanson story)
Continuing the story of the champion 1966-67 Chapleau Junior "B" Huskies, Keith "Buddy" Swanson told me that the team's "40th reunion in 2007 was very nostalgic for all of us and clearly showed that the bonds we made will never be broken." And so it should be Buddy. You, Lorne Riley, Tom Welch, the executive, the Chapleau hockey fans, and most importantly the players are all part of a great moment, not only in hockey but in the history of Chapleau.
The Wawa Travellers had won four of the six regular season games against us, and we had not beaten them in Wawa. True to form, the Travellers took the first two matches at home and took a commanding 3-0 series lead in Game 3 in Chapleau. The Huskies scraped through to win game 4 at home and headed to Wawa for Game 5 where the never-say-die Huskies upset them for their first win on Wawa ice, then came right back the next day and tied the series at home before a huge crowd. That set the stage for the 7th and deciding game in Wawa on Thursday, March 23rd in front of raucous 1,406 screaming fans, including hundreds from Chapleau.
The deciding game turned out to be a rout after the first period and the Huskies, led by right winger George Swanson’s five goals, won 13-3! There was no time for gloating as we began the final series against the Sault Michigan Indians on Saturday at home and lost 9-5 but came right back in game two and won 8-2. The following week proved to be the most pivotal of all. The Indians won game 3 in overtime. Game 4 was a barn burner that included the Huskies playing with only 3 defencemen (Goldstein,
Laframboise and Ted Swanson) due to injury to Gerry Boucher.
Huskies tied the game with the goalie out in regulation time and then fell behind by two goals in the 10 minute overtime period but again clawed back into it and with the goalie removed a second time and with seconds remaining tied the game 7-7, on a goal by Mickey Jurynec.
There was no provision for sudden-death overtime in the NOHA rules adopted by the League unless it was the deciding match of the series. So we went home down two games to one with one tie. Huskies tied the series at home and back in Pullar Stadium, in front of 1,400 fans, John Loyst completely frustrated the Indians in a spectacular 3-0 shutout win.
The 7th game was set for Saturday, April 15. The NOHA and League Executive stipulated there would be no 8th game and if the Indians won game7 in regular time or 10-minutes overtime, the two teams were to play a 20-minute sudden-death overtime period for the championship. Supported by an arena jam-packed with the largest crowd ever, 1,026 fans, the Huskies never faltered and won 5-2 to capture the series 4-2-1 and earn the Mac Nicholson trophy emblematic of the League champions.
But the job wasn’t done. After a couple of weeks off the Huskies then entertained Kapuskasing in a two game goals-to-count series on April 22 and 23. The rust showed in the first game Huskies won in overtime followed by a 7-2 win in game 2 for an aggregate total of 11-5 to capture the Colin Campbell trophy.
In all, the Huskies played 39 games in ’66-67, winning 23, losing 13 and tying 3. They were a high scoring team with 248 goals to their credit and Mickey Jurynec, George Swanson, Richard Morin and Raymond Larcher finishing in the top 10 in league scoring. It was a fabulous season indeed!
At the closing banquet the popular NHLer Eddie Shack was the guest speaker thanks to Gord Wilson of Richmond Hill and former Chapleau boy and well known businessman Roy Steed. Corky Bucci won the Most Valuable Player award.
I asked Buddy if he could pick the player who highlighted the season. Here is his reply:
In closing Michael I can’t pick one player who highlighted the season. They were all so dedicated and hard working and a pleasure to work with. However like a lot of teams that are only as good as their goalie, John Loyst was the most important player acquisition. We also had to overcome several injuries including those to Reg Bouillon, Greg Vaughan, Bruce Fortin and Gerry Boucher. During the year MVP Corky Bucci moved to North Bay, John Babin to Toronto and Bruce Pellow to Sudbury but Bucci never missed a game and Pellow and Babin made the effort and got back when we really needed them.
Trainer Andre Rioux drove John Loyst back to Timmins after every game. The executive did a marvellous job on the financial aspect of it and finished with a small profit for the future. Most of all the Chapleau fans were fantastic right from the start.
Buddy's final comment: "The Huskies tradition must never be lost."
Thanks Buddy for being the person you have been in the life of Chapleau, and for sharing your memories of the first year of the Junior "B" Huskies.
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