Dwight McMillan reached another career milestone on Wednesday, but don’t expect the Weyburn Red Wings coaching legend to get too excited about it.
“It’s just another win,” said McMillan, after setting a record with his seventeenth win at a Canadian junior hockey championship event. The Weyburn bench boss broke the record previously held by Terry Simpson when the Red Wings beat the Hawkesbury Hawks 4-3 in round-robin play at the RBC Royal Bank Cup Wednesday.
Simpson won sixteen games with the Prince Albert Raiders of the Western Hockey League, leading the team to the Memorial Cup in 1985. Camrose Kodiaks head coach Boris Rybalka, who will match wits with McMillan in the RBC final on Sunday, sits third on the list with fourteen wins.
McMillan padded his record with win number eighteen on Saturday against those same Hawkesbury Hawks to make the RBC final, and he’ll be looking for number nineteen on Sunday when his team plays Rybalka’s Kodiaks for the trophy. Not that McMillan’s counting.
“None of these things matter unless there’s some dollars attached,” joke McMillan, who has won over 900 games in his career, good for second place behind Brian Kilrea on junior hockey’s all-time wins list. “We’ve got to win tomorrow. That’s the win I want most.”
Besides McMillan’s record, the 2005 RBC Royal Bank Cup is also notable because it marks the first time that three former champions have squared off at the event.
The Portage Terriers (1973) and the Red Wings (1984) both won the championship when it was known as the Centennial Cup. Camrose won the trophy in 2001, six years after it was re-christened the RBC Royal Bank Cup.