NOTE: This story first appeared in the Winnipeg Free Press on May 10, 1973
PORTAGE A WINNER … AS FAR AS IT WENT
BRANDON – Portage la Prairie Terriers and Pembroke Lumber Kings played part of a hockey game at Keystone Arena Wednesday night.
Portage scored the goals – one in each period – and Pembroke lost their cool.
As a result, referee Bill Chapple called the game at the 14:53 mark of the third period. The Terriers were leading 3-1 at the time on goals by Randy
Hextall, Randy Penner and Grant Farncombe.
The fireworks started when Murray Thrasher of the Lumber Kings was handed a minor penalty at the 14:46 mark of the third period. It wasn’t clear whether
Marty Gannon, Pembroke defenceman, was arguing the penalty, or suggesting that Portage’s Bob Miller should have received a penalty for manhandling a Lumber
King at the same time. However, Gannon promptly wound up with a misconduct.
The Lumber Kings, who have been arguing almost every call throughout the best-of-seven Centennial Cup Junior A final series, continued to argue. Chapple
then gave orders to drop the puck and gave Lumber Kings another penalty – this time for having too many men on the ice at 14:53.
Kings continued to gather around the officials, the clock was put on them, and the game officially called, with Portage awarded a 3-1 victory that gave
them a 3-0 lead in the showcase with the eastern champs.
“They don’t ask how you won it … they as if you won it,” said Murray MacPherson, Portage coach. “It’s a big win, and I must confess, I’m surprised that a
coach of Mac MacLean’s stature would make a move like this.”
MacPherson added: “Any coach knows when they put the watch on you, you have to go.”
Across the hall, MacLean was fuming. “The referee choked. We had eight men on the ice and they had seven. We were both making changes at the time. The call
should have been for delaying the game, but he (Chapple) didn’t make it. He choked. He lost control of the game and we’re protesting.”
The contest marked Pembroke’s best performance of the series. They controlled the play and must have thought Jesse James was on the prowl again, wearing a
green hockey uniform and going by the name of Ty Langton. The Portage goalie was unbelievable. He completely frustrated the offensive-minded Pembroke club,
kicking out 39 shots, many labeled.
Farncombe’s third-period goal, which put the icing on the cake for the Terriers, came on a tip-in midway through the period. The Portage captain, who has
been out-muscling Kings throughout the series, deflected rookie Danny Bonar’s hard shot.
Next game of the series is scheduled for Sunday at 7:30 p.m. at Winnipeg Arena.
Langton had Pembroke’s number right from the start. The 19-year-old pickup from Dauphin Kings had to be razor-sharp as Terriers took three minor penalties
in the first 10 minutes of the game.
The only puck to elude the acrobatic Langton came on a deflection by Pat Hahn during Pembroke’s first power-play effort. The high-scoring right winger gave
Langton no chance as he steered in Randy Mohn’s drive from the point.
The lead was short-lived. Randy Hextall, playing with ten stitches in his forehead, pulled Terriers even less than three minutes later, also on a power
play. The youngest member of the Poplar Point hockey-playing Hextall family raced in for his own rebound and tucked it in before Lumber Kings goalie Terry
Dennison could smother the puck.
Terriers’ best thrust of the first period came late in the period when, through forechecking their big line of Penner, Magnus and Leswick buzzed around the
Pembroke goal. But Dennison was equal to the task.
Once again the Terriers weren’t in it during the early going of the second period. They were giving the puck away in their own end and being fore-checked
Then, back-to-back penalties to Terriers Grant Farncombe and Warren Remple, followed by an outstanding penalty-killing display by Al Hilton, appeared to
give the Portage club the lift they needed.
Seconds after a spectacular save by Langton on Gordon Barratt, Frank Leswick broke out of his own end. The speedy right winger carried right to the
Pembroke goal crease, passed to Penner and the Steinbach product sent Terriers ahead 2-1.
Lumber Kings roared back to the attack following Penner’s goal. But Langton was too much. The nimble goaltender who kicked out 17 shots in the second
period alone, listed among his saves two fantastic pad saves on Barratt, and a sliding save on Terry Woermke.
BENCH BITS: Brian Shaw, Edmonton Oil Kings coach, stopped in for the game on his way back from the Stanley Cup playoffs in Chicago … Frank Leswick appeared
to fire a shot through the webbing of the Pembroke goal in the first period … No hole could be found in the netting, but prior to the second period
linesmen were seen doing repair work on the netting … Three-game totals for attendance at Keystone Centre was 10,404 … Pembroke’s Randy Mohns retired to
the dressing room in the third period after colliding with a teammate … Derek Emerson of Lumber Kings, in the first period, took a misconduct and game
misconduct following a minor penalty as he made menacing gestures at the referee Chapple with his stick … Pembroke took five minor penalties, two
misconducts and a game misconduct … Portage took six minor penalties … On the series, the penalties have been fairly evenly divided between the two teams
SERIES TO FINISH AT ARENA
All remaining games of the Centennial Cup hockey championship will be played in the Winnipeg Arena, it was announced Wednesday.
Portage la Prairie Terriers lead Pembroke Lumber Kings 3-0 in the best-of-seven series.
Fourth game will be Sunday, at 7:30 p.m. Remaining games, if necessary, will be Monday, Wednesday and Friday, all starting at 8 p.m.
The Terriers had requested at least one game on their home ice, but Pembroke club officials had declared they would return home rather than play in the
small Portage Arena, where there is also a question of the ice plant’s capacity to maintain good conditions in the warm weather.
The site and dates of the final games were confirmed by George Allard, secretary-manager of the Manitoba Amateur Hockey Association.
However, Portage Terriers president Joe Sponarski said the announcement was “unofficial.” He said the only way there would not be a game in Portage Friday
is if the club receives a telegram from Canadian Amateur Hockey Association president Joe Kryczka, moving the series to Winnipeg.