Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Memorial Cup: A history . . . 1960

Edmonton Oil Kings vs. St. Catharines Teepees
at St. Catharines (Garden City Arena) and Toronto (Maple Leaf Gardens)

Leo LeClerc, the manager of the Edmonton Oil Kings, was concerned from the outset.
"You've got to be 25 per cent better than the opposition in order to win out here and we just haven't got it,” he said.
LeClerc's Oil Kings were preparing to meet the St. Catharines Teepees in the best-of-seven Memorial Cup final.
The series would open in St. Catharines and then shift to Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens.
"In order to win at the other end of the country you've got to have a powerhouse,” LeClerc continued. "I figure we have to be 25 per cent better, at least, and after watching that St. Catharines club in action I'm very doubtful.”
Was he blowing smoke? Only time would tell.
The Teepees, who were in last place in their league at Christmas and went on to finish fourth, had taken eight games to sideline the Brockville Canadians in the eastern final. The Oil Kings ousted the Flin Flon Bombers in six games and then took seven games to sideline the Brandon Wheat Kings.
Coached by Max Kaminsky, the Teepees featured the likes of goaltender Roger Crozier, captain Chico Maki, Vic Hadfield and Ray Cullen.
The Teepees got their name from their sponsor -- Thompson Products, a firm that manufactured automotive and aircraft parts.
The Oil Kings, of coach Harry Allen, were led by Ed Joyal, Cliff Pennington, Bruce MacGregor and Dunc McCallum, an addition from Brandon. Rookie Larry Lund, an 18-year-old sensation, wouldn't play due to a damaged knee.
Pennington, a pickup from Flin Flon, paid dividends in the opener on April 27. He got the winning goal at 11:40 of the third period as Edmonton won the first game, 5-3.
The hero, however, was Oil Kings' goaltender Russ Gillow. Cut for eight stitches over the left eye early in the game, Gillow returned to turn in a sparkling 35-save performance.
"This guy Gillow is the best goalkeeper the Teepees have faced all season,” offered Chicago Blackhawks coach Rudy Pilous, who owned and managed the Teepees.
The teams were tied 1-1 after one period, with Edmonton taking a 2-1 lead into the third.
MacGregor, with two, Joyal, and Bob Cox scored for Edmonton. St. Catharines got goals from Terry McGuire, Cullen and Maki.
The series moved to Toronto with the Teepees evening it up with a 6-2 victory in Maple Leaf Gardens on April 29.
The Oil Kings had to start goaltender Dale Gaume, who had hardly played in the last month, when Gillow experienced swelling around his left eye.
Defenceman Bill Speer scored twice for the Teepees, with singles coming from Duke Harris, Cullen, Bill Ives and Doug Robinson. Joyal had both Edmonton goals.
Gaume made 32 saves and was steady but the Teepees controlled the play. Crozier blocked 30 shots in front of 5,833 fans as his mates skated to period leads of 3-1 and 6-1.
"We played better in St. Catharines and lost,” offered Kaminsky after Game 2.
Two nights later, on May 1, there were 10,666 fans in Maple Leaf Gardens as the Teepees buried the Oil Kings, 9-1.
This was the largest crowd to see a Memorial Cup game since the Toronto St. Michael's Majors and Winnipeg Monarchs played a seven-game series in 1946.
"Too many things went wrong out there for us,” Allen said. "Our club has been up and down all year and I think we're at the bottom right now.
"But before this thing ends, St. Catharines will know they were in a series.”
The Teepees fired 54 shots at Gillow, scoring their first goal 42 seconds into the game and taking a 3-0 lead into the second period. They led 7-1 after two.
"I could hardly see out of my eye,” Gillow said. "Only two of those St. Catharines goals were good. The others were flukes.”
Cullen scored twice and set up two others, while Murray Hall also had two goals. Defenceman Pat Stapleton had a goal and two assists. Speer, Harris, Maki and John Brenneman also scored.
Left-winger Bobby Goebel, plagued by a groin injury in recent weeks, scored Edmonton's goal.
The Oil Kings roared back on May 3 to hammer the Teepees 9-3 before 2,344 fans in a game that featured plenty of rough play and fighting.
"When players try to maim other players there's something wrong with the management or the coach,” Allen said. "I can't believe Max Kaminsky would do that. It must have come from higher up.”
LeClerc said: "Junior players just don't play like that. They must be sent out. Our players have sticks, too, but we play hockey.”
The biggest concern to the Oil Kings was the condition of defenceman Wayne Muloin. He had been hit on the head by Maki's stick and needed five stitches to close the gash.
Game 5 was played on May 6 and for the third game in a row the winning team scored nine goals. This time it was the Teepees and they won 9-6 in front of 4,014 fans.
Gillow stopped 47 shots, while Crozier made 21 saves and that tells the tale.
Stapleton and Cullen had two goals each for the winners, with singles from Robinson, Ives, Carlo Longarini, Chico Maki and Hall. Maki also had four assists. Pennington scored twice for the Oil Kings, who got one each from MacGregor, Goebel, Don Chiz and Cox.
"They outhustled us,” Allen said. "But Sunday will be another game.”
It was that but the outcome was the same as the Teepees won the Memorial Cup.
St. Catharines won 7-3 in a game that featured brilliant goaltending by Gillow and Crozier.
The Teepees led 2-0 after the first period, on goals by Cullen and Ives, and took a 3-0 lead into the third after McGuire had the second period's lone goal.
Cox got Edmonton on the board only to have Robinson reply for St. Catharines at 7:12. Joyal cut the deficit to 4-2 but that was as close as the Oil Kings would get.
Maki, Harris and Robinson scored in a span of less than three minutes before Pennington ended the scoring at 17:37.
Robinson's first goal, at 7:12 of the third, stood up as the Memorial Cup-winning score.
The Teepees now were a perfect 2-for-2 in Memorial Cup appearances. They had beaten the Oil Kings in five games in their only other appearance, that in 1954.

NEXT: 1961 (Edmonton Oil Kings vs. Toronto St. Michael's Majors)

  © Design byThirteen Letter

Back to TOP