Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Memorial Cup: A history . . . 1980

Regina Pats, Peterborough Petes and Cornwall Royals
at Brandon (Keystone Centre) and Regina (Agridome)

The 1980 Memorial Cup tournament would be split between Brandon and Regina, opening in the Wheat City and closing in the Queen City.
By the time it ended, the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association had egg all over its face, as did major junior hockey, and there were egg shells all over the Regina Agridome.
In 1978-79, the Wheat Kings had made it to the Memorial Cup's final game, while the Pats were abysmal; in fact, they had the second-worst season in franchise history.
In 1979-80, the shoe was on the other foot. While the Wheat Kings struggled, the Pats won it all.
Organizers were fortunate that the Pats won the 1980 title, because this was in the days prior to a host team being allowed into the tournament.
Anyway, the Peterborough Petes were in the Memorial Cup tournament for a third consecutive season as the Ontario Major Junior Hockey League's representative. The Petes were the first Ontario team to make three straight appearances since Toronto's St. Michael's Majors qualified in 1945, '46 and '47.
Only this time Gary Green, the Petes' head coach in each of the past two tournaments, wasn't with them.
Green, by now, was head coach of the NHL's Washington Capitals. At 26 years of age, he had become the youngest head coach in NHL history.
In Peterborough, the coach was 30-year-old Mike Keenan and then, like today, he was his own man. And he had his own ideas.
When a team got scored on during a scrimmage in practice, players had to lay down on the ice and roll over.
"This is all part of Mike's direct approach with the players,” Dick Todd, the Petes' trainer, told The Globe and Mail's Marty York. "Mike isn't going to win any popularity contests with the players because of his strictness but this team has done well, and the players realize that is largely because of Mike.”
(Todd also served as business manager, scout and assistant coach. He would go on to coach the Petes himself and also would coach Canada to a world junior gold medal in 1991.)
Keenan joined the Petes from the Oshawa Legionnaires of the Metro Junior B League. Oshawa won back-to-back championships under Keenan.
The Petes responded to Keenan by winning 47 regular-season games, a franchise record. They brushed aside the Sudbury Wolves in a quarterfinal series and then swept a semifinal from the Ottawa 67's, the team generally seen as the OMJHL's other powerhouse that season.
In the championship final, the Petes took care of the Windsor Spitfires in four games. And so it was that Peterborough rode an 11-game winning streak into Brandon.
The Petes counted on solid goaltending from 5-foot-9, 165-pound Rick Laferriere. The defence featured Larry Murphy, Stuart Smith and Dave Fenyves, all of whom had played on the 1979 Memorial Cup-championship team, and Andy Schliebener. Up front, the Petes were again led by Bill Gardner, who was making his third straight appearance in the tournament and who was already under contract to the NHL's Chicago Blackhawks. Gardner had a strong supporting cast, including Andre Hidi, Mark Reeds, Jim Wiemer, Terry Bovair, Larry Floyd, Carmen Cirella (who was coming off a case of chicken pox), Dave Beckon and Brad Ryder.
As a rule, Keenan used Beckon, Wiemer and Ryder against the other team's top-scoring line.
The key players, however, were Gardner and Murphy, two players the Petes acquired with draft choices given to them as compensation when defenceman Paul Reinhart refused to report after being drafted by Peterborough.
Gardner was the Petes' scoring leader, with 43 goals and 63 assists in 59 games, but that was only good for 17th in the league's scoring derby. Murphy was second on the Petes with 89 points, including 68 assists, in 69 games.
Still, it was on defence where the Petes excelled. They gave up just 41 goals in 14 playoff games, a goals-against average of 2.93. That was simply a continuation of a regular season in which they allowed 238 goals (3.50 GAA), 37 fewer than anyone else.
The Cornwall Royals represented the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Yes, Cornwall is in Ontario, and every player on the roster was from Ontario. In fact, only Gilles Crepeau could speak French.
But that didn't keep the Royals from playing in the QMJHL.
The Royals originally had been in the Central Ontario Junior A League but moved in the late 1960s to the Montreal Metropolitan League in search of stiffer competition.
A year after the Royals moved, officials in the Montreal league, citing poor attendance, merged with the QMJHL.
"The Montreal league supported us,” Paul Emard, the club's president in the mid-1970s, said. "But the QMJHL tried to get us out until we proved ourselves by winning the Memorial Cup in 1971 and 1972.”
The Royals, at that point, weren't allowed to take part in the QMJHL midget draft but were allowed to trade within the league. Things got ugly when the Ontario Hockey Association ruled that Cornwall couldn't take players from Ontario.
But that was eventually sorted out and the Royals took part in the Ontario midget draft after refusing a QMJHL offer to take part in its draft.
Cornwall's executive sometimes pondered moving over to the Ontario league, but felt there was too much travel involved there.
As the 1980 Memorial Cup tournament approached, the Royals were the last QMJHL team to have won the championship, having accomplished that in 1972.
They won the QMJHL's 1979-80 championship under second-year head coach Doug Carpenter, and they won it by beating the Sherbrooke Castors in six games in the championship final.
The Royals, who went 41-25-6 in the regular season, won the sixth game 5-3, with centre Dale Hawerchuk, at just 16 years of age, scoring two goals and adding three assists.
The Royals started slowly along the playoff trail, taking seven games to eliminate the Shawinigan Cataractes. They followed that up by ousting the Chicoutimi Sagueneens, the QMJHL's highest-scoring team, in five games.
Then they finished off the Castors, who had the QMJHL's best regular-season record (45-20-7) that season.
Yes, Hawerchuk was the key to this team. Ironically, he had played for Keenan the previous season in Oshawa. Hawerchuk played between future NHL head coach Mark Crawford and Mike Corrigan and totaled 103 points, including 66 assists. In 18 playoff games, Hawerchuk led the QMJHL in all three major offensive categories, with 20 goals, 26 assists and 46 points.
Corrigan had 13 goals and 18 assists in the postseason, while Crawford, who had suffered a broken jaw early in the regular season, had eight goals and 20 assists.
While Hawerchuk may have been the key individual, this was a team with some offensive balance -- each of the nine top forwards had scored at least 20 regular-season goals.
Team captain Dan Daoust, who had 102 points, played between Rod Willard and Crepeau (he led the team with 48 goals), with the third line featuring Newell Brown, Scott Arniel and Pat Haramis.
Also on the Royals was right-winger Bobby Hull Jr., who had played the previous season with the WHL's Lethbridge Broncos. He scored 13 goals for the Royals. His brother Blake is pictured in the Royals' 1979-80 guide as a 17-year-old left wing-centre. Blake spent most of the season with a junior B team but practised regularly with the Royals.
The Royals had two excellent defencemen in Dave Ezard and Fred Arthur.
Ezard actually led the Royals in regular-season points, with 105, and his 45 goals set a QMJHL single-season record for defencemen.
Arthur led the Royals in assists, setting up 70 goals in 67 games. And, at 6-foot-4 and 200 pounds, he was highly rated by NHL scouts.
No one in this tournament, however, was rated any higher than Regina centre Doug Wickenheiser.
He was the centrepiece of the Pats rebuilding program, one that had them in the Memorial Cup just one year after they posted an 18-47-7 record.
During the offseason, team ownership changed hands, going from a group of local businessmen to the Saskatoon-based Pinder family.
Bob Strumm, a Saskatoon native who had been running the WHL's Billings Bighorns, was hired as the Pats' general manager and he brought in Bryan Murray as head coach. Murray had plenty of coaching experience, but none at the major junior level. (Ironically, Carpenter and Murray were the best of friends, having been in the same physical education class at McGill University and roommates at Montreal's Macdonald College.)
Strumm and Murray put together a team that won the WHL's East Division, with 95 points, an increase of 52 points over the previous season. The Pats went on to win the WHL championship in 18 games.
First to fall was Lethbridge, in four games. Then, the Medicine Hat Tigers (3-1) and Regina (2-2) advanced from a round-robin series that left Brandon (1-3) on the outside looking in.
The Pats then ousted the Tigers in five games and followed that up by winning the championship from the Victoria Cougars in five games.
Wickenheiser was the postseason leader in assists (28) and points (40), while teammate Mike Blaisdell was No. 1 in goals (16).
The Pats could boast of five players who had broken the century mark during the regular season. Wickenheiser won the scoring title with 170 points, including a league-high 89 goals. Also over 100 points were centre Ron Flockhart (130), defenceman Darren Veitch (122), who would play 40 minutes a game, left-winger Brian Varga (118) and Blaisdell, a right winger who had 71 goals and 109 points in 63 games.
Those five players, all of whom were featured on the first power-play unit, scored 282 goals, accounting for 65.8 per cent of the Pats' 429 regular-season goals.
The goaltender was none other than Bart Hunter, who had spent 1978-79 with the Portland Winter Hawks and then was added to Brandon's roster for the 1979 Memorial Cup tournament, where he wound up being selected the most valuable player. He knew all about the pressure of this event.
The Pats' foot soldiers included three players who had been with the Royals the previous season -- defencemen John McMillan and Mike Rainville, and right-winger Darren Galley, all of whom had moved west with Murray.
The tournament opened on May 4 in Brandon with the Petes beating the Pats 5-4 in overtime. The game was won when Mark Reeds scored at 3:52 of overtime in front of 4,055 fans.
Gardner, who scored one goal and set up three others, including the winner, was easily the best player on the ice.
The game was won off a faceoff in the Pats zone, one that provided some insight into Keenan the strategist.
With Wickenheiser poised to take the draw for Regina, Keenan chose, at the last minute, to send on the line of Gardner, Hidi and Reeds.
"Gardner's line had been productive all night,” Keenan explained, "and it was an opportunity in the offensive zone in sudden-death overtime. And Wickenheiser hadn't faced Gardner all night, so it was a change.”
Gardner won the draw, pulling it back to Reeds. Veitch failed to move out and block Reeds, whose quick wrist shot beat Hunter.
The Petes had come out looking as though they were going to blow away the Pats. Floyd, Reeds (he had two shots and scored on both of them) and Gardner gave Peterborough a 3-0 first-period lead. And it could have been worse, as the Pats generated only five shots on goal against a tight-checking Petes team. Surprisingly, Hunter was beaten on three of six shots he faced.
"We played so poorly in the first period,” Murray said. "We were definitely tight. I think it was quite simply a lack of experience at this level.”
Murray admitted the Petes gave his club some problems.
"Their forechecking bothered us at times,” he said. "But our wingers didn't really help out much. Our guys were terribly slow in setting up. I thought that three of our four defencemen played very well, but they certainly didn't get much help.”
The Pats got second-period goals from Darren Bobyck and Blaisdell to go into the third trailing 3-2.
Regina's most effective line on this night featured Glen Sorenson, Jock Callander and Barry Ziegler, and it was this threesome that forged a tie when Sorenson scored at 2:47 of the third period.
But 48 seconds later it was tied, as Hidi banged a rebound past Hunter.
The Pats forced overtime when Varga tipped in a shot by Veitch with just 1:24 left to play.
"After we got up 3-0,” Keenan said, "perhaps we got off our game a little. Give the Pats credit, though. They showed a lot of intensity in coming back.”
Gardner felt "we played really well in the first period, but we relaxed after that. And Regina has too much offence to relax.”
Everyone was waiting for the Pats' offence to explode, but it didn't happen the next night when they were beaten 5-3 by Cornwall in front of 3,540 Brandon fans.
"I don't know if we're pressing and that's hurting us,” Murray said. "We didn't do the things we normally do. You know the kids want to win but this isn't the Regina Pats team I'm accustomed to.
"It looks like the year is over for them. Some of our stars aren't doing a thing out there. They've got no intensity at all.
"Hawerchuk played our stars right into the ground.”
This one, too, could have been worse as the Royals outshot the Pats, 54-27.
"I thought we played exceptionally well,” Carpenter said. "We played very disciplined. We took the middle away from Regina's centremen.”
The Royals led 2-1 after the first period and Murray said it was only Hunter's play -- he stopped 20 shots -- that kept it from being 5-1.
Defenceman Fred Boimistruck scored both those goals for Cornwall, sandwiching them around a Regina score by Veitch.
Veitch then tied the score early in the second period, but Ezard put the Royals out front at 12:16 when he scored on one of his booming slapshots.
Ezard later left the ice on a stretcher after being checked by Bill Ansell. The preliminary diagnosis was an Achilles tendon injury.
Brown and Crawford added goals for Cornwall, with Varga scoring Regina's final goal.
All five of Cornwall's goals were scored from well out -- actually, from above the circles -- and Carpenter credited scouting for that.
"I watched Regina and Peterborough in the first game,” Carpenter said, "and the Petes' first goal was a bad one. I didn't think (Hunter) played the angle very well, so I said we'd work on that.”
The third game of the tournament -- before 3,273 fans in Brandon on May 6 -- featured two supposedly disciplined teams who tried to destroy their reputations inside of three hours.
The Petes ended up with an 8-6 victory -- their 13th straight triumph -- that left them 2-0 as the tournament shifted to Regina. The Royals now were 1-1, with the Pats at 0-2.
Ezard dressed but lasted just 10 seconds before that Achilles tendon injury forced him out of the game.
That forced Carpenter to give Pat O'Kane and Dan Zavarise, two 17-year-old defencemen, more playing time than they would normally get.
The Petes outshot the Royals 7-0 only to have Boimistruck give Cornwall a 1-0 lead on his team's first shot.
Boimistruck would score again before the first period was up, and the Royals also got a goal from Crepeau. Steve Smith and Floyd replied for the Petes.
Crepeau sent the Royals out front 4-2 just 24 seconds into the second period.
Cornwall seemed to have things pretty much under control when the roof fell in and the Petes, a team not known for its offensive firepower, struck for five goals in a span of five minutes 37 seconds.
It started with Ryder's goal at 12:45. Then Tom Fergus scored. Then it was Floyd's turn, and he gave the Petes a 5-4 lead. Gardner made it 6-4 at 16:06 and Floyd closed the outburst with his third of the game at 18:22.
Just like that it was 7-4.
"That was not really very typical of us,” Keenan said. "It's not often we get exchanging goals like that with another team.”
Cornwall cut the lead to 7-5 in the third period when Brown scored in the midst of three consecutive Peterborough minor penalties. And the Royals made it 7-6 when Crepeau rounded out his hat trick at 14:06.
Beckon finished off the night's scoring at 15:10.
"We still played fairly good hockey,” Keenan said, "but we do need a bit more consistency.”
The teams headed for Regina and the remainder of the tournament.
In the first game in Regina, on May 7, the Petes overcame a 3-0 deficit to begin the third period and edged the Pats 4-3 before 6,008 fans, the largest crowd in the history of the Agridome.
The Petes, who clinched a spot in the final with the victory, scored four goals early in the third, with Bill Gardner getting the winner at 7:56.
After a scoreless first period, Regina got second-period goals from Veitch, Ziegler and Flockhart.
But it came apart in the third period as the Petes won it on goals from Fenyves, Murphy, Cirella and Gardner.
"I felt we could work a lot harder than we had,” Keenan said. "We had poor distribution, as far as ice time, among our four lines for the first two periods. As a result, we had a lot left for that third period.
"It didn't surprise me that the team came back. We've developed somewhat of a character in that respect.”
Keenan spent part of the game attempting to play mind games with Wickenheiser and the Pats. He repeatedly had Gardner, an alternate captain, ask referee Glen Agar to examine one of Wickenheiser's gloves.
Initially, Agar chose to ignore the request. Then, when Keenan called his players to the bench, Agar hit the Petes with a bench minor. Agar then chose to examine the glove and penalized Wickenheiser for using illegal equipment. The glove apparently had a hole in its palm.
"That,” seethed Murray, "is the cheapest thing a coach could call at this level of play. It shows what kind of class he has. We're in it to have a group of kids play and have the best team win. If that means calling stick or goalpad or glove measurements, then I think it's cheap.
"The glove was worn through, not cut out. It's obvious that will happen to equipment after 90 games.
"It riled our players. Some of them were obviously upset and between periods the others were all standing around taping the little holes in their gloves. I guess you forget what the whole game is about and try to win any way.
"Keenan showed his class and it upset our kids.”
Unfortunately, this was mild compared with what was to come.
On May 8, in front of 5,884 fans, the Pats finally got their offence untracked. And they used it to blow out the Royals 11-2.
Blaisdell had three goals and three assists, with Flockhart totaling two goals and four assists. Their six-point outings tied the single-game Memorial Cup record already shared by Joe Contini and Ric Seiling, teammates with the Hamilton Fincups in the 1976 tournament.
Galley, the left winger with Blaisdell and Flockhart, had two goals and an assist, giving the line 15 points on the night.
Wickenheiser, Callander, Ansell and Bobyck also scored for Regina.
Brown had both Cornwall goals.
"We had been playing too cautiously,” Blaisdell said, "concerned mainly with sticking with our man. But tonight we didn't worry as much about the defensive thing.
"When you look at the last Peterborough game (a 4-3 Petes' victory), we went out trying to run and intimidate them. Going down their roster, man for man, I feel we have a better skating team. Perhaps we should have been skating and let them try to run us.
"Maybe this game is too little too late but Peterborough looks like a team with a lot of pride. There's no way they should lose (in the next game against Cornwall). The Petes and the Pats are the two best teams in the tournament and I hope Peterborough shows its class by playing a strong game.”
Already there were ominous thoughts about what might lay ahead.
The Petes, you see, were guaranteed a spot in the tournament final. But . . . yes, there was a big but.
The Pats were 1-3 and finished with the round-robin portion. The Petes, at 3-0, had yet to play the 1-2 Royals. A Peterborough victory, meaning a Cornwall loss, would put the Pats into the final against the Petes.
And for a while on May 9 it looked as though that might happen.
The Petes, who now were riding a 14-game postseason winning streak, held a 4-1 lead over the Royals in the second period.
But, with 5,823 fans looking on, the Royals scored four goals and posted a 5-4 victory, thus getting the other spot in the final.
The ugliness began with 1:26 to play. Fans now realized their Pats weren't going to be in the final and began chanting "Throw the game” and "Petes, go home.”
Soon, the fans began throwing things -- toilet paper, programs, soft drinks -- at the Petes. There was a 15-minute delay before play could be resumed and that only happened with the arrival of some Regina city policemen.
Dave Senick, in the Regina Leader-Post, wrote:
"(The Petes) finally left amidst a shower of drinks and debris and remained locked in their dressing room for an hour. When they did leave, they silently walked out single file, stoically looking straight ahead and not stopping to talk to anyone.”
The Petes took a 2-1 lead into the second period. But there were already ominous signs. Peterborough had a five-minute power play in the first period and managed but three routine shots on the Cornwall goal.
By the end of the second, the Royals had cut the deficit to 4-2. They then scored three times in the third, twice on the power play, to take the victory.
Corrigan scored at 4:51 of the third to start the Cornwall comeback. Ezard tied it at 6:00 and Willard got the winner at 9:48, scoring with a backhand from the slot after he had been allowed to stand, unmolested, in front of LaFerriere.
Fenyves, Reeds, Hidi and Floyd scored for Peterborough.
The fix, Regina said, was in.
"This is a real disappointing day to be involved in junior hockey,” Murray said. "It wasn't a hockey game. Peterborough made sure they didn't win . . . It was a mistake that Peterborough was ahead by the third period but they soon corrected it. They avoided moving the puck out of their own zone.
"It's just a shame that people paid good money to see something like this. I didn't believe this would happen.”
Murray continued:
"What do we, as adults, tell the kids who were exposed to this? You talk to them and try to instil in them things like discipline and pride, but how will you ever get their confidence after something like this?”
Murray revealed that he had been interested in the Peterborough coaching job.
"It was between myself and Mike for the coaching job in Peterborough and I just told their owner that he had made the right choice,” Murray said, his voice dripping in sarcasm. "Maybe this is what you have to do to win.”
Strumm, as competitive an individual as ever lived, was stunned.
"I never expected something like this to happen,” he said. "When I play checkers with my nine-year-old nephew, I play to win.
"They've got quite a tradition in Peterborough with people like Scotty Bowman, Roger Neilson and Gary Green coaching there in the past. But this has put a black mark on the Petes.”
Keenan was asked if his team had thrown the game.
He replied: "I have no comment about tonight's game. We're preparing for Sunday's game.”
Keenan was then asked "about your team's third-period collapse.”
He replied: "I have no comment about tonight's game. We're preparing for Sunday's game.”
Across the way, the Royals were all but forgotten. And all they cared about was being in the final.
"I don't know if the Petes gave an effort or not,” Carpenter said. "We got in the final and that's what we're here for.
"But when you've got to rely on another team to get you into the final, you have no one to blame but yourself. Regina was playing this tournament in its own backyard and only won one out of four games. Who do they have to blame but themselves?”
Cornwall goaltender Ron Scott added: "I think Peterborough came into this game with nothing to work for. They were already in the final. I don't think they gave it their best effort, but they gave it some effort, at least.”
As for the Canadian Major Junior Hockey League and its executives, well, the reaction was mixed.
CMJHL president Ed Chynoweth, who was finishing up one season as general manager of the WHL's Calgary Wranglers, refused to comment.
Roland Mercier, chairman of the Memorial Cup committee, was asked if he thought the Petes had thrown the game. He responded: "No.”
"All teams had bad games in this series,” Mercier explained. "All teams should play to win on the ice, not expect anybody to help them.”
QMJHL president Marcel Robert offered: "Personally, I feel it was a fair game.”
And OMJHL commissioner David Branch said: "There's no question in my mind (the Petes) played to their full potential. They're a top-notch organization. If they weren't due for a loss, I don't know who would be.”
The following morning, the CMJHL executive committee held an emergency meeting.
"It was unanimous there has to be a modification,” Branch said. "No team should be put in the position Peterborough was Friday night.”
Brian Shaw, the WHL's chairman of the board, added: "We, as adults, have put the youngsters in a precarious position because there is a loophole or two in the formula as we know it.
"The format, as it stands, is all right as long we put in a modification to prevent a recurrence of what happened Friday night. This formula is the best to bring together competitors from across Canada.
"There was a suggestion to go back to an East-West final, but we're involved with the education of our players. We don't want them out of class for the length of time it would take. With the present round-robin taking exactly one week, they don't miss too much school.”
The executive now was considering altering the format, allowing the round-robin winner to move into the final with the other two teams playing off for the other berth.
"We were lucky for eight years under this system,” Chynoweth said. "There's no sense moaning over what's happened now. Everybody coming into this knew the rules, knew the pitfalls and whatever. It's just unfortunate that this had to happen in our league's turn as host and in the host team's own city.
"Still, we (in junior hockey) do recognize that we do get ourselves into some great holes with the way we conduct ourselves at times.”
A change aimed at avoiding this situation would be implemented prior to the 1981 tournament. But the biggest change would come in 1984 when the CMJHL turned it into a four-team tournament by allowing a host team to have an automatic berth.
After all that, it was somewhat anticlimactic when the Royals won the final May 11, beating the Petes 3-2 on Robert Savard's only goal of the tournament, at 1:28 of overtime, in front of 3,500 fans.
Savard had scored just five goals all season before he went the length of the ice to win the championship.
"This was the most important goal in my life,” he said. "I told everybody back home, wait 'til we get into the championship game, I'll score the winner. But to actually do it is just incredible.”
Savard's goal was also the signal for some of the fans to unleash their frustrations. They did so by subjecting the Peterborough bench to a barrage of eggs, tomatoes, garbage and debris.
The Petes were not a pretty sight as they took part in the traditional postgame ceremonies, their uniforms and Keenan's suit splattered and stained.
The game had been interrupted on 16 occasions as fans threw eggs onto the ice. Someone even went so far as to throw a live chicken in the direction of the Petes' bench.
"Certainly, the crowd affected our play,” Keenan said. "There's no question about it. These are people who are only 18 and 19 years old and there's only so much you can expect from them.”
Daoust and Ezard also scored for the Royals, with Smith and Bovair counting for the Petes.
All of which set the stage for Savard, who took the puck from his zone into a Peterborough corner, cut toward the net and beat LaFerriere for the winner.
"I started to skate up over the red line,” Savard said. "I was thinking of dumping the puck in but their defencemen were backing up. I decided to go to the corner and look for someone high in the slot to pass to but nobody came after me.
"I looked up and saw a lot of ice so I went in and shot the puck right between his legs. It was a dream come true, the biggest and best goal of my career.”
Keenan and the Petes were left to defend themselves from charges emanating from their prior loss to the Royals.
Murphy pointed out that that game "was the first game in a long, long time that wasn't a matter of life or death for us. We weren't prepared for it.”
Keenan offered: "I'm fed up with the nonsense that is going on here. We never, ever threw a hockey game. It's been insinuated time and time again. We did not throw the game, we never had the intention of throwing the game. It was never in my mind. It was never a direction given any of our players. It was complete nonsense, garbage.”
He said he chose not to discuss the matter after that game because of the reception he received.
"I'm thoroughly disgusted with the irresponsible reporting of the reporters, their outright attacking me after the last game,” he said. "In terms of their questioning, they were fans with microphones rather than responsible reporters.”
As for the fans' behaviour in the final, he blamed that on the media, too.
"I'm sure the media prompted it, the talk shows and so on,” Keenan said. "It's just unbelievable that you people would act that way.”
And he took time to fire a volley at, well, at just about everyone:
"This whole ugly scene that's been created in the last three days has put an awful tarnish mark on the City of Regina and on hockey. With national television, all of Canada, I'm sure, is thoroughly disgusted with this city, with Regina Pats' fans, with the complete atmosphere that's been created out here.
"It wasn't just a small group of individuals who were abusing us tonight. It was most of the arena and that's a great reflection on the people from this city . . . The conduct of people in Regina is deplorable, disgraceful to their city and to their province. I feel very, very sorry for the representation they gave the western part of Canada.”

NEXT: 1981 (Victoria Cougars, Kitchener Rangers and Cornwall Royals)

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