EMAIL mj.morris@live.ca


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Thanks for hockey memories from back in the day and best wishes to all for Christmas and holiday season

MJM at Cocoa Beach FL By Michael Pelzer

It's amazing the things one thinks about while relaxing in a lawn chair at Cocoa Beach, Florida, watching the sun set on the Atlantic Ocean as the last of the surfers ride the waves, a cruise ship passes by slowly, couples walk along the beach, and I end up thinking about hockey in Chapleau from 40 plus years ago.

Only I could start out intending to come up with my last Chapleau Moments column for 2012, with a focus on Christmas and the holiday season, and end up on hockey.

Anyway, my thoughts turned  to an email from Henry Byce about a "blast" from his hockey past, and a follow up from Mark Dillon, about a tournament in Senneterre, Quebec, and later "The Chiefs" hockey team on which both of them played.

In his email, Henry advised that he couldn't recall how they did in the tournament, but "I know we had fun." He also included a photo of the team, noting that I had coached and taught "most of us" in the team photo. And I had at Chapleau High School.

He added: "As a kid watching the (Chapleau Intermediate 'A') Huskies was one of the greatest memories I have, and to have two great players as our coaches was awesome".  The coaches to whom Henry refers are Pat Swanson and Paul McDonald, both of whom as he says were "great players" on the Chapleau Intermediate A Huskies of the Northland Intermediate Hockey League from 1975 to 1979, a team I also coached and managed, sharing those duties over the years with Doug Prusky who was mainly responsible for the team's on ice success.

Senneterre team See names below
In a message Mark Dillon clarified that in the Senneterre tournament "we were in the 'B' Division, which was above us,( I think we were 'C' back home) and we lost in the final to Val D'or before a packed house. We were a contact team and unaware that Quebec wasn't. After a few (french term)  'Placage' penalties we took the contact out of our game lol. Great showing by all made it very memorable for me."

Mark also commented on the 1982-83 Midget Chiefs who also played in the local town league.  "I was lucky to play with you guys since there was no midget team in minor hockey to play for that year."

Referring to a team photo, Mark added"  "I always  laugh at the picture. Jamie (Doyle) is holding my hair back after my mom complaining about the bangs in my eyes. I believe we won the regular season but lost to Swanson and the guys in the playoffs." Yes, we lost in the playoffs to a team composed mainly of former Intermediate 'A' Huskies.

Midget Chiefs 1982-83 names below
I felt really honoured that they named the team with my nickname. Let me explain for those who don't know how I came to be called Chief. It's not a name I heard too much since moving to British Columbia but at the Chapleau High School reunion, it was commonly used by those who knew me back in the day so to speak.

I got the name from the 1970-71 Chapleau Midgets with Garry Prusky as manager, who was also starring at the time as a player with the Chapleau Junior 'B' Huskies of the International Junior 'B' Hockey League with Earle Freeborn as the coach.

One day at practice, Keith McAdam called me "MJ", and having become "Mr. Morris" by virtue of now being a  teacher at Chapleau High School, I appropriately lost my temper, letting the team know I was Mr. Morris to them, and I stormed from the dressing room downstairs in the old Chapleau Memorial Community Arena. I was not a Mr. Morris during my years as a daily newspaper reporter.

Through the door I could hear the players discussing the situation when suddenly Lionel Corston spoke up. 

"I have it,"Lionel said, "we will call him the Chief. We are the Indians and he is the Chief." (I use the word Indians in the context of this anecdote.)

The players agreed, and led by team captain Jamie Doyle, they came through the dressing room door and each one in turn with a smile on his face, said "Hi Chief". What could I do? The kids had won a big one and they knew it. The name stuck.

So, sitting on the beach, with the help of Henry and Mark's messages which I looked up later for this column, out of the mothballs of memory came  memories of those most enjoyable years I spent in hockey, all thanks to Garth 'Tee' Chambers and L.D. "Don Card in the 1950s who knew I loved the game but didn't play it very well, so with their help I became a referee.

I became a coach in 1970-71 when those wonderful kids led by Jamie Doyle reached out and "hired' me which is a story for another day, but for which I shall always be grateful. 

Thanks guys for the memories that all happened years ago now in the cold winters of Northern Ontario, far from Cocoa Beach at Cape Canaveral, Florida.

And thanks to all of you who have been in touch and contributed to Chapleau Moments, and for your kind comments when I was home for the CHS reunion. My very best wishes to all for Christmas and the holiday season.  My email is mj.morris@live.ca

The 1982-83 Chiefs:  MJM, Gary Murphy, Doug Hong, David Freeborn, Jamie Doyle, Mike Payette, Jean Marie Besnier, Rory Foran, David McAdam playing out, Donald Omer Landry, Armand  Bellevance. Kneeling Shawn Russell, Mark Dillon, Shane Gilham, Barry Hong. Missing is Billy Scheer. Note Jamie and Mark's bangs. Armand was team sponsor

The Senneterre Team:  Back row (l-r)  P.Swanson(coach), D. Desbois, D. Morrison, D. Dionne, D. Lafreniere, C. Vezina, T. Broomhead, J. Rioux, A. Barsalou Middle row M. Dillon, K. Dillon, M. Houle, P. McDonald(coach) Front row A. Madore, R. Martel, M. Lingenfelter, T. Sawyer, H.Byce, J. Castonguay, D. Vandal

This post will also appear in the Chapleau Express on December 22, 2012.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Henry and Mark's recollections are spot on. Our team spent much time in the penalty box due to "Placage". A couple of other anectdotes from that trip:
-While exiting the ice after one of the games (both teams walked down the same corridor), one of the opposition uttered something less than complementary about us in FRENCH; i can only assume they didn't realize that half our team or more spoke french. The end result was our goalie, Dave Vandal, chasing the entire team down the corridor and into their dressing room. Dave was a bit of a madman, but always entertaining.
-I was told that either Pat (Swanson) or RP (McDonald) confused the waitstaff in a Senneterre restaurant by asking for "pomme frites" (literal translation: fried apples), when trying to order fries. This is a perfectly acceptable term for fries, but was apparently not a part of the local vernacular. There were a few other examples of the coaches putting their "french" to good use, with sometimes hilarious results.

Michael J Morris

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


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