Categories Archives: Teams

The Charlottetown Islanders, hockey, 1981,1984

Front Row (left to right):

Bobby MacGuigan, Wilf MacDonald, Laurie Downe, Gerard Smith, Yves Belanger, George Brown, Jamie Kennedy, Jackie Devine (Trainer), Roy Wilson ( Trainer and Equipment Manager)

Middle Row (left to right):

Angie Carrol (Coach), Shane Carr, Kevin Murphy, Peter Williams, Mike Ready, Paul Gormley, Mike Devine, Gary Trainor,Rory Beck, Wayne Squarbriggs, Mike MacKinnon (Manager and Owner)

Back Row (left to right):

Gerry Mccarron, Mike Kennedy, Kenny Campbell, Ron Carragher, Brian Ostroski, Don MacKay

 

Charlottetown Islanders, 1981 and 1984

The Charlottetown Islanders of 1981 accomplished what no other previous provincial team had done in the very successful and distinguished history of hockey in Prince Edward Island. They became the first Island team to win a national championship, winning the Hardy Cup, emblematic of Intermediate A hockey supremacy in Canada. And the team did it in style, going undefeated in the playoffs against the Campbellton Tigers, the Fredericton Capitals, Timmons North Stars, and the Winnipeg Northend Flyers.

With 12 players from the ’81 team on its roster the 1984 Charlottetown Islanders won the Hardy Cup once again, this time on home ice against the Moose Jaw Generals.

Both teams were enshrined in the P.E.I. Sports Hall of Fame in 2013, ensuring their deserved place in the Island’s proud sport history.

While the team has been selected for inclusion in the Maritime Sports Hall of Fame based on the stellar performance of the two Hardy Cup teams above, the nomination is really for the entire franchise, which began early in the 20th Century, from the team that won the semi-pro Maritime Major Hockey title in 1950-51, lost the finals in the ACSHL in 1954-55; won two Hardy Cups in the 1980s and the Alan Cup in 1991, to today’s representative in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. There have been a few name changes over the years, but it has been this franchise that has endured and kept PEI hockey well established within the Canadian hockey landscape.

 

 

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    The Halifax Kingfishers, hockey, 1961-1962

    * Kingfisher’s Roster:

    Goal: Terry Matthews

    Defence: Bernie Bishop, Dave Cunningham, John Dean, Howie Fish, Dennis Gates

    Forwards: Don Bauld, David Boyd, Ray Kaizer, Willie Moore, Keith Blenkhorn, Ron Hanna, Joey MacNeil, John Roach, Richard Redden, Win Wright

    Coach: John (Pud)Roach, Sr.;    Manager: Al Hollingsworth

    Added players for Memorial Cup playoffs against Ottawa:

    Lyle Carter (Goal), Lloyd Gallant (D), George Croucher (F), Alfie Flannagan (F), Oscar Gaudet (F)

     

    Halifax Kingfishers Hockey Team (1961-62)

    The Maritimes, and Nova Scotia in particular, had a vibrant Junior A program with several leagues and independent teams from the 1930s through the war years until the later 1950s to the very beginning of the 1960s when both enthusiasm and resources/finances became scarce… and competition declined.

    This was true virtually everywhere in this province, as competitive leagues had formerly flourished in Cape Breton, in the Annapolis Valley, and in Halifax, along with other mainland teams in the Truro-Pictou-Antigonish corridor, but by the late fifties into 1961-62 this had began to crumble. By 1960-61, when the Dartmouth Marine Union Junior team defeated the Halifax team (both independents), hockey was down to three teams on the mainland, with only an independent team representing Cape Breton in the provincial playoffs, and three in New Brunswick. By the end of the 50s and at the cusp of the 60s, Junior Hockey in the region was “on the ropes” in this Nova Scotia … and more generally throughout the Maritimes after having as many as 20-25 teams in the three provinces in the early to mid-1950s.

    It was perhaps at its lowest point in 1961- 62 with only three independent teams in Nova Scotia and only a three in New Brunswick. However, the performance of the Halifax Kingfisher’s independent Junior A team, which put together a very strong cadre of players from the metropolitan region and beyond, including quality players from Windsor, Truro, NB, and PEI to compete for both the Maritime Junior title and Eastern Canadian Memorial Cup. Their performance in the Memorial Cup against the Ottawa Montagnards (a series in which they lost 3 games to 1, but involved three one goal games, two in double overtime) changed the hockey scene in Nova Scotia and the Maritimes dramatically for years after, a situation sustained today.

    Despite having little appropriate competition, the Kingfishers managed to play exhibition games against junior-juvenile, intermediate, senior and varsity teams wherever they could, including trips to NB and Newfoundland. They played the Trenton Scotias, another NS independent team, for the NS mainland title which was a two-game total goal series, won 8-5 by the Kingfishers. After losing game one 3-2 with superb goaltending by Trenton’s Lyle Carter, they stormed back to win the second 6-2; then handily defeated Glace Bay Miners (14-1; also a two game total goal series) before defeating the Fredericton Capitals 14-5, wining both games of a total goal series for the Maritime Championship, for a 5-1 game record, while winning all three total goal series within the Maritimes for the regional title, that earned them the right to meet the Ottawa-Quebec regional winner. All four games in that series were played at the Halifax Forum and they were classics, drawing full houses for all games, with over 20,000 in total attendance in that medium-sized arena; it was standing room only and little of that as people were literally up in the “rafters” to get a good view. The first two were evenly split as the Halifax Kingfishers and Ottawa Montagnards each won games by single goal margins in double overtime at the Forum. The Saturday game was widely televised by CBC (Halifax), with Don Goodwin doing the play-by-play – the first such event from the Nova Scotia capital. As a result, not only were the local crowds ignited and excited to witness that quality of hockey, but also many tens of thousands beyond metropolitan Halifax who watched the televised game and read the Chronicle-Herald and newswire accounts of those games, which in my view (and many others) changed the face of junior hockey in the region going forward. The final two games, one won by Ottawa by a single goal in overtime, were exciting contests as well. Perhaps with a strong competitive league in Nova Scotia, the Kingfishers would have even been stronger as they played their first-ever four game series in five days.

    Immediately following, in 1962-63, there was the formation of the four-team Twin City Junior League in the Halifax metro region, as well as the resurgence of the Cape Breton Junior League, and teams from Kentville-Windsor, Truro, Pictou County and the Antigonish Bulldogs in Nova Scotia, plus teams from Moncton, Fredericton, the Mirimichi area and Northern New Brunswick, plus Charlottetown, PEI – a total of 24 teams were operational only one year later after those numbers had previously declined to just five! The Maritimes had nearly returned to the hockey heydays of the 40s and 50s, when both junior and senior teams and leagues flourished … and continued to evolve to where they are today, with 19 Major Junior and Junior A teams, plus complete Maritime/provincial Junior B and C leagues as well.

    While there is always an ebb and flow of teams and fortunes in any sport, this event was perhaps the most dramatic recovery in a truly Canadian sport within this region, which had been in dramatic decline for some half dozen years prior to the Kingfisher’s season. That, many contend, is the great legacy of this team.

    The team had great players*, good coaching and despite the initial lack of local competition they practiced hard, traveled much, maintained great discipline and tenacity to keep improving despite those odds. They had strength throughout the team, from goal-tending to a solid defence … and a great cadre of upfront skaters; unfortunately more real-time games and a more demanding schedule against other similar teams, and not just exhibition games, may have given them more experience on special teams, as one could see those teams improving as well during the games against Ottawa. Remember, just one more power-play goal scored or one more penalty killed in three games could have given them the Eastern Canadian series win.

    And if one were to examine the roster* of that 1961-62 team, one would see a large number of individuals, some of whom went on to play hockey in professional leagues; or in the Maritime Senior A league (really semi-pro hockey); to play on top rated Maritime Varsity teams, which became competitive nationally; while others went on to coach and referee in higher level hockey leagues, including high school, varsity, minor, junior and senior hockey leagues, thus giving back to the sport they loved and to the society that allowed them to play this great game during a time of minimal dollars and dwindling sponsorships.

    After 1962 we had the Twin City League locally in HRM, followed by the Junior Canadians, the Halifax Voyageur (American Hockey League professionals), and later the Twin City League became the Metro-Valley League, which has morphed into other leagues as well as with other names, and is the basis today for the Maritime Junior A League (MJAHL) with twelve current teams (including six from Nova Scotia) … then add to that a Quebec Major Junior Hockey League  (the Q league) that features seven Atlantic teams. Although the latter league draws players, not only from North America, but indeed world-wide in some cases, that brings the region to a current total of 19 high-level junior teams today, from that low of perhaps 5 to 7 between 1960-62, and is on par or better with a number of Maritime Junior A hockey teams of the 1940s-50s again. And there are thriving Junior B and C leagues/teams as well, so perhaps today is yet another Golden Age of hockey in the region akin to that of 60+ years ago; certainly the Halifax Moosehead’s followers would agree with that, but so would the coaches, fans and parents from Pee Wee to Junior regionally.

    Although the route was not direct or easy, there is little doubt that the successes of the Kingfishers of 1961-62 and the young players and older fans who were inspired by them, was the beginning of the road back to where we are today, still riding a hockey high more than a half century later.

     

     

     

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      The Vaughan Furriers, baseball, 1962

      Vaughan Furriers, Maritime Junior Baseball Champions, 1962

       

      The Vaughan Furriers Junior Baseball team was the creation of Graham Downey. Initially, he created and coached a Midget team called the Rangers, consisting almost entirely of quality  black baseball players, who for the most part lived near the Halifax commons. By 1962 the team, with additional white players, moved up to the junior division. For Graham this was the ideal time to fully integrate the best white and black players to be found into a junior team capable of winning the Maritime Junior baseball championship. Consequently, Graham scouted and recruited the very best players he could find to create this team. To obtain financial backing for the team, so as to have quality uniforms and all the other necessary equipment, Graham set out to obtain a team sponsor; and persuaded businessman Tommy Vaughan, the owner of Vaughan Furriers in Halifax to sponsor the team.

      As a coach, Graham was a brilliant strategist. He instinctively seemed to know when to employ the correct baseball strategies during games to ensure the team would win. He knew when a player should hit hard, bunt, or steal a base. As an experienced coach he knew when to move players in and out of the game to make sure that the team would have a better chance of winning. However, his greatest strength was that he knew how to motivate each player to improve, give their best and to teach them to function as a successful, unified and motivated team rather a group of isolated individual stars. Graham was responsible for creating a fantastic winning team spirit that was largely responsible for the success of the team.

      The players on the Vaughan Furriers Junior baseball team exhibited extraordinary baseball talent. That is they were recruited,from among the best one could find in the Province. Outfielders Denny Clyke and Burtie Mentis transited all the way from Truro for each game in Halifax; Denny later went on to play professional baseball and star in the NSSBL. Cecil Jackson was a superb infielder capable of fielding any ball hit in his direction and possessed a strong arm as well. Cecil drove powerful line drives through the field producing many runs for the team; he latter starred for the Dairy Queen fastball team, which represented Nova Scotia the Nationals for severalyears, winning a silver and bronze medal. Jimmy MacDonald and Denny Clyke undoubtedly held records for hitting the longest home run balls; sometimes knocking the ball right out of the commons plating fields. Additionally Jim was renowned for his “rifle arm” from right field to third or home. Lefty Ernie Simons was also an extremely versatile player: he was a talented pitcher, first baseman and fielder and could excel at virtually any position where he was needed. Dave Downey (future Canadian Middleweight Boxing Champion for 11 years) was another strong hitter and outfielder, exceptionally fleet of foot. Wayne Maxner ( Junior and NHL player and coach) played shortstop.. The team had an able and experienced catcher in George Croucher, who knew exactly how to help pitchers by selecting the right kind of pitch for each hitter. George was also an excellent hitter at the plate. He was ably supported by diminutive Joey MacNeil, also a very good hitter. Gary Furlotte was very effective left-handed pitcher as he had a series of great curve balls and numerous exotic pitches that frequently confused the batters; Furlotte would later star in the NSSBL for twenty-five years. John Dean  was a hard-throwing, durable right-handed pitcher who threw an awesome curve ball and moving fastball. Another fireballing left-hander was six-foot-four, Gord MacInnis, who lived in the North end of the city along withRight hander Ches Farwell, was a fast ball hurler who kept hitters off balance by mixing in an inside hook and occasional curve ball. Roy Keeler, with a motion that often confused batters, was the 6th pitcher among a unique combination of 3 lefties & 3 right handers. Roy who was also the team’s #1 cheer leader, always motivating his teammates And this was a team that boasted nine (9) right and nine (9) left handed batters along with two switch-hitters, Farwell and Croucher. The remainder of the team is listed below and their accomplishments, positions, batting, years with team, etc. are summarized on page 29 of the publication, The Boys of ‘62.

      Overall, the team had perhaps the most powerful pitching, hitting and fielding rosters ever seen in a junior league baseball team. It is no wonder that they captured the Maritime Junior Baseball Championship in 1962 with an 11-1 record, losing only a single game 3-2 to perennial rivals, Halifax Orphans, then went undefeated against all NS, PEI and New Brunswick junior teams to sweep the Nova Scotia and Maritime titles.

       

      The team was selected for the Nova Scotia Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005 and inaugurated into the Maritime Sports Hall of Fame in 2015.

      The team was also recognized in 2008 by the mayor and City of Halifax; became the first senior (Classic) team to represent Nova Scotia at the Roy Hobbs World Series; and were awarded certificates for their contribution to human rights by the Lt. Governor of Nova Scotia in 2009. The team was also the subject of an Atlantic best-selling book, The Boys of ’62; transcending the racial divide in 2008, and a second updated edition in 2009. All of the ream’s records and accomplishments are detailed in this publication.

       

      Team members included:

       

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        The Moncton Beavers, hockey, 1960-1961

        Team Members (1960-61):  

        Back Row (L-R): Ron Gaudet, Nick Nicolle, Doug Hillman, Lloyd ‘Toy Toy’ Gallant, Buddy MacIntyre, Darryl Pollack, John Warden, John Lorden

        Front Row (L-R): Alfie Flanagan, Phil Doiron, Gene Gaudet, Emery ‘The Cat’ Goguen. Oscar Gaudet, Delphis Legacy

        Missing from Photo: Vince Mulligan, Billy Mulligan, Bernie Keating, Keith Blenkhorn

        Moncton Junior Beavers 1960-61

        There were three Junior A teams in New Brunswick during the 1960-61 hockey season: Newcastle, Fredericton and Moncton. The Beavers defeated Newcastle in three straight games for the right to meet the Fredericton Caps for the New Brunswick title. Then they defeated Fredericton in straight games, outscoring the Capitals 29-10 in the series.

        The Beavers then won the Maritime Junior A championship in 1961, defeating the Nova Scotia winners, the Dartmouth Industrial Marine Union Juniors from Dartmouth, NS two games to one. After losing game one 4-3 in Halifax, the Beavers fired over 120 shots at the Dartmouth net in two games, outscoring their opponents 21-6 in Moncton.

        They went on to play the Quebec Junior winner, the Trois Riviére Reds, who had defeated Pembroke to get into the Eastern semi-finals. It was a hard fought five game series, won by Moncton in game five by a score of 5-1. The first four games saw the series tied at two games apiece, with the goal total evenly split at 20 for each club.

        The Eastern finals were played against the Father David Bauer coached Saint Michael’s Majors, who had dominated the OHA for the entire season. Although they lost in three straight games to the St. Mike’s team, the Beavers played well in the early going during all three games at Maple Leaf Gardens, the largest ice surface on which the Beavers had played, before succumbing to the powerhouse squad from Toronto, who would go on to win the Memorial Cup against Edmonton 4 games to 2. That Memorial Cup winning team boasted two future NHL goalkeepers in Gerry Cheevers and Dave Dryden, as well as several other future NHL skaters. Over time, they simply wore the Beavers down.

        However, the Moncton Beavers squad was the first Maritime team to make it to the Eastern Memorial Cup finals in 27 years … a tremendous feat in itself and one that would bode well for the future of junior hockey, indeed all competitive hockey within the Maritimes. Up to the late 1950s, there were between 20-25 Junior A calibre teams in the three provinces … but by 1960-62, the total number of leagues in the three provinces was zero and the number of teams was down to six, most operating as independents. After the success of Moncton in reaching the Memorial Cup Eastern finals, interest in junior hockey improved, although it would not be until two years later, in 1963-64, after a subsequent series between the Maritime and Quebec champions involving the Halifax Kingfishers and Ottawa Montagnards, one game of which was televised by CBC, that hockey would rebound to the situation we have today with seven Maritime teams in the QMJHL, plus another dozen in Junior A (MJAHL), as well as junior B and C leagues, actually surpassing the heyday of junior and senior of the 1940s-50s. The performance of the 60-61 Beavers in Memorial Cup play was exceptional and that was the very beginning of the resurgence in Maritime Junior hockey.

        In fact, three players from the 60-61 Moncton team: Oscar Gaudet, Alfie Flanagan and Lloyd “Toy Toy” Gallant, were among those added to the 61-62 Kingfishers team for the Eastern Canadian Memorial Cup playoffs … and after those two successive, and very successful years, interest in junior hockey in the region never looked back, with two Maritime teams (and three from the Q league) winning the Memorial Cup in the last five years. Thus the 60-61 Beavers team have been inducted into the Maritime Sport Hall of Fame; and all four players who performed on both teams from 60-62 would become double inductees for the 2014-15 inaugural class of the Maritime Sport Hall of Fame.

         

         

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          The New Waterford Giants, baseball, 1959

          Team Members: Back Row (L-R):

          Harold  MacEachern (Manager), James (Sonny) Lever, Dale Kearney, MIke Roberts, Clare Larade,Gordie MacDougall, Karl Marsh, Joe Burns, Stan Eksal, Michael (Spike) MacKinnon, Ken Timmons (Asst. coach)

          Front Row (L-R):

          Bernie MacKinnon (Coach), Art (Hot Dog) MacLean, Tim Nearing, Bernie Cameron, Raymond (Bozo) Steele, William (Buckle) Walzak, Dan Willie MacKinnon

           

          New Waterford Giants, 1959

          Many long-time baseball enthusiasts proclaim the 1959 New Waterford Giants, among the greatest of senior baseball clubs this region has ever seen. The home-grown Giants dominated play in the competitive Cape Breton Colliery League that year with 20 wins and 4 losses. With the regular season completed, the Giants started their journey towards the Maritime Senior Baseball Championship. And what a run they had!

           

          The team went nearly undefeated in five playoffs series, racking up an incredible record of 17-1-3, with the three ties due to postponements. They defeated the Sydney Steel Kings and the Sydney Mines Ramblers in league playoffs, then defeated the Stellarton Albions, just out of the formidable H & D League, before defeating the powerful Canning Habs in the provincial championship series.

           

          The Woodstock Elks, the 1958 Maritime champs, were next on their journey. The Giants defeated the import-laden Elks 2-0, the deciding game a 15-inning, 4-1 win before 6,000 elated fans in the New Waterford Park.

           

           

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            The Shearwater Flyers, football, 1950’s

             

            1957 Canadian Intermediate Football Champions (undefeated)

             

            Shearwater Flyers, 1957;  Franchise: 1949-1979

             

            The Shearwater Flyers football team won the Canadian Intermediate Football title twice, but in 1957 they went undefeated and was the first Maritime team to win the national title. That team is being honoured in this induction.

             

            But they, like a few other teams in this inaugural legacy induction, were a premiere franchise organization in Nova Scotia, winning seven Purdy Cups (as NS Champs), three Maritime Football titles and two national titles during the years from 1947-1967. The Shearwater Flyers name was adopted in 1949.

             

            In 1957 they defeated the St. F.X. X-Men for NS title; the Mt. Allison Mounties 40-18 for the Maritime title; the Brantford Tiger Cats 12-7 for the Eastern Canadian title; and a come-from-behind victory over the Fort William Redskins 27-21 in Halifax for an undefeated season, claiming the Robinson Memorial Trophy as Canadian champions.

             

            The star running backs and dominant point gatherers included Bob Hayes, Bruce Walker and Buck Taylor; Don Lilly was the quarterback. Still it was team effort with great defence and sterling two-way efforts by several players.

             

            The 1957 team is in the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame (1987) as well as the Canadian Forces Sports Hall of Fame.

             

            The Shearwater Aviation Museum also has a splendid display of the Shearwater Flyers teams, their history and photos from 1949-1969. The featured photograph used in this web site is courtesy of the Aviation Museum and the list of 1957 players was compiled by  Rollie West, a former players for many years (1950-55) with the Flyers, but he was posted elsewhere for the 1957 year, returning to play agin in the early to later 60s. Rollie was the quarterback during his tenure with the early Flyers, with Don Lilly taking over in 1956.

             

            Team names are to be added. (TO BE ADDED)

             

             

             

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              The Halifax Zwickers, fastball, 1946-1947

              Halifax Zwicker’s: 1946, 1947 Maritime Senior A Softball Champions

               

              The Halifax Zwicker’s Men’s Wear team was a consistently strong, even dominant team, at a time when competition within Maritime softball (today called fastball) was at its pinnacle, with the Halifax Commercial League involving especially stiff competition with a minimum of eleven teams annually competing for the crown in the city, just for the right to enter regional, provincial and Maritime playoffs, a road that would be long and highly competitive to attain even a single Maritime title.

              To win one year was a feat in itself; to win two in a row was very special; with some sports followers suggesting it was actually three, as the Keith’s Stags team included more than half of the former Zwickers team in winning a third consecutive Maritime title.

              The trek to these titles actually began in 1945 with People’s Jewelers defeating Zwickers in the Halifax finals and going on to win the provincial crown. The City Commercial League consisted of at least ten or more teams in any one year between 1945-49, including Peoples, Simpsons, Normans, Cordons, Army, Navy (Stadacona), Mounties (RCMP), Conners, Coolen’s, Cousins, Mike’s Outfitters, United Taxi, the Rangers, Keith’s and, of course, Zwickers. At times there was also a Fraternal League in Halifax, as well as one from the South End; and sometimes the military teams played in a separate division, but also played interlocking games with the Commercial League. The structure of the Halifax City Championship varied as well, with three or four playoff series being required to win in any given year.

              In 1946, Zwickers beat People’s Jewelers in the semis, then Army for the Halifax title, followed by the Dartmouth North Stars, going undefeated 7-0-1 in that stretch, in what is known today as HRM. They then defeated Springhill 2-0 and Liverpool 2-1 before defeating the Sydney Sunbeams, 2-1, with a fourth game in that three game series won by Halifax, as the second game won 8-7 by Zwickers, was thrown out after a successful protest of an umpire’s decision. The final game was a real battle, with Halifax Zwickers winning the provincial title over the Sunbeams by a score of 3-2 in eleven innings. In the Maritime title they lost the opening game 7-2 after a 12-hour road trip to Saint John, but Zwickers won the final two games against Saint John’s McAvity World’s. Both teams scored 16 runs in that three game series. That level of elevated competition would steel the Zwickers team for competition in the years that followed.

              In 1947, after placing first in the Commercial league, Zwickers would defeat the Rangers in straight games in the quarter finals, while Normans beat Cordons; then it was Zwickers over Normans in the semi-final, also in straight games. Then they defeated United Taxi three games to none, in what was a 7-0 playoff run for the league title. Then it was Stadacona and Zwickers for the City title, a “knock ‘em down, drag ‘em out” series in which the Men’s Wear sponsored team outlasted the Navy squad in five games, with the final game being a 4-1 victory won by Zwickers on outstanding pitching and defense.

              The provincials began with Dartmouth losing to Zwickers in three games, while Glace Bay defeated Stellerton. Glace Bay would lose in two straight games, with Zwicker’s outscoring them 18-5. The Maritime title would be almost a repeat of 1946, except it would be the Saint John Main Brace who won game one, then fell 5-1 and 7-0 on outstanding pitching by Freddy Cuvelier and Leo Woods, along with a nearly flawless Zwickers infield. Clary Nicolle, the team’s batting leader, Ed Mitchell and Leo Woods led the attack at the plate.

              In 1948 there would again be eleven teams in Halifax, and the first games ever played under lights on the Halifax North Commons. However after two consecutive Maritime titles, the Zwickers team was essentially split into two teams, with half of the previous team members joining the Keith’s Stags; the rest remaining with the original team. In the Commercial League finals Keith’s edged Zwickers three games to two in mostly low scoring games, dominated by pitching and defense, again led by Woods and Cuvelier. Woods would play few games during the 1948 regular season, as he was a leading hitter/outfielder in the H&D League (professional baseball), with significant travel commitments. The mainstays of the Keith’s team during the playoffs were Jim and Fred Cuvelier, Frank Neihley, Nicolle, Mitchell and Woods. That is why many regard this championship as their third consecutive Maritime title, despite the sponsor/name change.

              It was a truly remarkable and resilient team during the heyday of fastball in the region.

              Footnote: In 1949 it was Zwickers who would defeat Keith’s for the Commercial League and the City championships, as well as winning the Nova Scotia title for a third time in four years. However, it was the Saint John Main Brace team who would finally win the Maritime title after a number Saint John’s teams being the New Brunswick Champions for several consecutive years.

               

              Team roster, 1946-47:

               

               

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                The Moncton Hawks, hockey, 1933-1934

                The team members:

                Sylvester “Daddy” Bubar, Len Burrage, Bert Connolly, James Foster, William Gill, Charles Irvine, Dud James, Eddie Kervin; Frank LeBlanc, Duke MacDonald, Sammy McManus, William Miller, Monty Muckle, Percy Nicklen, Horace Smith, Aubrey Webster, Ambrose Wheeler and William Walker.

                 

                Moncton Hawks, 1933; 1934

                The Moncton Hawks were the first Maritime team to win the Allan Cup, emblematic of the Canadian amateur hockey champions in both 1933 and 1934.

                In 1933 they won the Allan Cup by defeating the Saskatchewan Quakers in Vancouver: and in 1934 they conquered the Fort William (Ontario) Thundering Herd in Toronto: they were the first team to win successive Allan Cup titles with the same roster.

                Over 15,000 fans welcomed the team when they returned to Moncton following their 1934 win.

                A little known fact about the team is that the Hawks also won the North American amateur hockey championship in 1934 defeating an American team from Detroit in a three game series.

                 

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                  The Sydney Millionaires, hockey, 1912-1914

                  TEAM ROSTER:

                   

                   

                  Sydney Millionaires, 1912-14 plus Century long franchise …

                   

                  When the Sydney Millionaires hockey club was established in 1912, it began the historical franchise name that became synonomous with hockey in Sydney, N.S. The team began play in the Maritime Hockey League, one of the first early recognized professional hockey leagues, with the Millionaires winning the championship in 1913: (11 wins, 5 losses) and 1914: (16 wins, 8 losses).

                   

                  The 1913 Millionaires challenged the Quebec Bulldogs for the Stanley Cup at a time when the cup was considered a “challenge trophy”, prior to the formation of the NHL in 1917. The two-game total goal series was played at the Quebec Skating Rink with the Quebec team winning both games decisively, although the second game was much closer than the first, as the team had better “legs” after travelling so far.

                   

                  Of particular note in this challenge series was the scoring exploits of the Bulldogs’ Joe Malone who scored 8 goals in the first game. Malone was selected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1950 after scoring 143 goals in 126 NHL games. He is also a member of the Montreal Canadiens’ Hall of Fame. Ticket prices for the games ranged from .25 cents to $1.50 with “smoking prohibited”.

                   

                  The Sydney Millionaires, although inducted on the strength of their unique Stanley Cup challenge, this induction into the Maritime Sports Hall of Fame is also a recognition of the Millionaires as a franchise team, being the face of hockey in Sydney and on Cape Breton Island for over 100 years, and having played in several Cape Breton and Maritime leagues, including the Maritime Major/Big Four, from the 1930s to the mid-1960s, placing first nine times and winning nine (9) Cape Breton titles.

                   

                  The Millionaires also won the Maritime Hockey Championship four times, played for the Alexander Cup once and came close twice in the Allan Cup, losing the Canadian championship to the Regina Rangers in that cup final in 1941 in 6 games (in a 5 game series); and the Eastern Allan Cup finals to the Toronto Marlies in 1948 in five games, with three games played in overtime, with the Marlies outscoring Sydney 19-15 in that 5-game series for the Eastern Alan Cup finals.

                   

                  A total of 22 Millionaire’s franchise players played in the NHL.

                   

                   

                   

                   

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                    The Black Ice Hockey League, 1895-1930

                     Featured Picture: Truro Sheiks

                     

                    Coloured Hockey League (1895-1930)

                     In terms of sports history, the Colored Hockey League of the Maritimes changed the way hockey was seen and played in early Canada.

                    The Colored Hockey League of the Maritimes is one of hockey’s best-kept secrets. The existence of the Colored Hockey League was essentially brought to light by historians George and Darril Fosty’s book, Black Ice: The Lost History of the Colored Hockey League of the Maritimes, 1895 -1925.1,2

                    If Nova Scotia is considered the birthplace of hockey, then on the large number of frozen ponds and lakes, it was the local aboriginals (the Mi’Kmaq) version of the game and the style of play and innovations of the early segregated black hockey players that helped to shape the sport of Canadian hockey forever.

                    The Colored Hockey League produced players and athletes comparable to any in Canada. These Black Nova Scotians changed this winter game from the accustomed “gentleman’s past-time” of the nineteenth century to the modern fast moving game of today. Led by skilled and educated leadership, the Coloured League emerged as a premier force in Canadian hockey and supplied the resilience necessary to preserve a unique sports culture that still exists.

                    The CHL was formed 22 years before the National Hockey League, and 25 years before the Negro Baseball Leagues in the USA. The league was organized by local African United Baptist Churches, which essentially used the Bible as their rulebook. The players were the sons of runaway American Slaves and Freemen, with their Game Book being derived from the struggles and experiences of the Underground Railroad and the Christian Bible. For decades it had been the practice of these Black Church leaders to codify their language to aid runaway slaves to escape to Canada and freedom. These codes and duality were used in the naming of the CHL teams, such as the Halifax Eurekas, Africville Sea-Sides, Truro Sheiks 3, Truro Victorias,  Africville Brown Bombers, Amherst Royals, Dartmouth Jubilees, Halifax Stanley’s, Hammond’s Plains Moss Backs, and Charlottetown West-End Rangers. There were as many as seven black-ice hockey teams at any one time within the Maritimes, the majority within Nova Scotia.The Fosty brothers 4 have named almost 200 black players, but reasonable estimates put the number at a minimum of 400 over the years.

                    Unfortunately, there were few records kept of the Colored Hockey League of the Maritimes, with few references to the innovations that the players brought to the early game of hockey, such as their aggressive style of play that included the slap shot (purportedly by Eddie Martin in 1906) , the goalie going down on the ice to stop and cover up the puck (Henry Braces Franklyn) as well as leaving their nets to participate in scoring (Fred Borden)both circa 1900practices not adopted by the NHL until 1917. Most, if not all, of these innovations would be copied by other players and teams in later years, but it would be the latter who were primarily credited with these innovations.

                    The advent of World War One, the 1917 Halifax Explosion, dramatic changes in Nova Scotia’s economy, the loss of indoor ice time, and racism, all played a role in the demise of the Colored Hockey League of the Maritimes. Nonetheless the Coloured Hockey League of the Maritimes changed the way hockey was seen and played in early Canada.

                    1. The Black Ice Hockey and Sports Hall of Fame Society (2009) carry on the legacy of the 1895 Colored Hockey League and hold commemorative games featuring today’s local Black hockey players.
                    2. The Black Ice Hockey and Sports Hall of Fame has a new home at the Black Cultural Centre in Cherry Brook, NS as of March, 2015
                    3.  The featured photo is of the Truro Sheiks team in the Coloured Hockey League. (Others will be added as the site progresses and is updated).
                    4. Black Ice: The Lost History of the Colored Hockey League of the Maritimes (1895–1925), co-authored by George and Darril Fosty.
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