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Friday, November 6, 2015

Priceless hockey moments in Chapleau provided by Charlie Purich

Knowing that I would be in Florida when my Chapleau Moments deadline approached, I decided to do hockey and contacted Charlie Purich for some hockey memories.

I also have heard from Jennifer Harvey-Cyr telling me about the recent Chapleau Atom champions, so as hockey season gets underway, I wanted to encourage everyone to go to the arena and show support. 

Having coached Midget and Intermediate hockey in Chapleau, I know the great feeling when there were big crowds on hand, and also disappointment when we had to play in a largely empty arena.

When Charlie played hockey in Chapleau, he was known as "the catalyst" of the Chapleau High School hockey team in the 1960s when Dr Karl A Hackstetter was the school's principal.

Charlie went on to play at Laurentian University, and has been playing ever since. And, he continues to be interested in Chapleau. Here are some of his memories. I have made some comments in  brackets.
Charlie circa 1964

"Defeating Terrace Bay on their ice to win the North Shore trophy in the second game of a two,game total goal series. Tied 9-9 in Chapleau. Won next game  9-8 after being down 8-4 on their ice, with 12 minutes to play."
"The many games vs Wawa. Fans loved the action. At times, brutal games so good skating trumped the nastiness. Playing in Wawa could be intimidating."
Junior B Reunion
"A particular game in Blind River where Eddy Bignucolo stopped 54,shots. I think it was a tie. I was playing for Laurentian and drove over to join the team. (Eddy's brothers Albert and Ernest (Sonny) were also great Chapleau golatenders. Sonny was killed while on active service in Canada's armed forces and his friends donated a trophy in his memory. It was played for at winter carnivals).

 "As a kid, watching the Huskies skate onto the ice during the Winter Carnival.Recall one time when a bagpiper led the team around the rink in the pre game. Earle Freeborn led the players. A vision locked in my head - every young hockey player couldn't wait to play for the Intermediate club." (I am older than Charlie and I too recall the thrill of watching the Intermediates skate onto the ice going back to just after World War II in the old old rink.
The late Garth 'Tee' Chambers was my hockey hero and still is).
 "Leading 3-2 in a game in town. I had the puck and was skating down the ice and turned to skate back to,our end.Method in my madness was to kill time. Buddy later asked me what ta hell I was doing. Earle (Freeborn) and I laugh about that to this day." (Buddy of course is the late Keith J 'Buddy' Swanson, hockey coach extraordinaire who with Lorne Riley and Tom Welch founded the Chapleau Junior 'B' Huskies)
Junior/Intermediat Reunion 2001
"A scene in the Sudbury Arena one weekend. Looked up into the stands to see Earle and Buddy sitting there.. Big thrill just to see them. (Charlie was playing for Laurentian)


And this one: "Being so proud to have played hockey in my hometown of Chapleau-Priceless!"


My sincere thanks to Charlie for taking time to provide some memories and to Jennifer for contacting me. I hope all will support minor hockey. Charlie I am sure speaks for all of us who played and/or were involved in hockey  --- PRICELESS!!!  Maybe time for a reunion!


Note: I didn't have all the names for the reunion photos so hope you know them all... That happens when I am travelling and forget to get names. I will add them when I get home/
My email is mj.morris@live.ca

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Michael J Morris

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

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