1973 portage terriers rewind 640

RBC Rewind – 1973 Centennial Cup Final (Game 4)

Pembroke Lumber Kings 6, Portage Terriers 4

Moe Carter - Winnipeg Free Press
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May 13, 2015
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NOTE: This story first appeared in the Winnipeg Free Press on May 14, 1973

THE CORK STAYS IN THE CHAMPAGNE

Portage la Prairie Terrier hockey fans are going to have to wait awhile to celebrate, if indeed there is to be a celebration, the winning of the Centennial Cup, emblematic of Junior A hockey supremacy in Canada.

The big green machine, which was rolling along at a 3-0 clip in the best-of-seven national final, was shunted off the winning track 6-4 Sunday night by a hard-hitting, hard-skating crew of Lumber Kings from Pembroke, Ont.

The win, before 8,962 fans at Winnipeg Arena, kept Lumber Kings’ championship hopes alive and forced a fifth game tonight at 8 o’clock at Winnipeg Arena.

Lumber Kings, playing perhaps their strongest game of the series, were full value for the win. They carried the play to the Terriers and forced the Portage club to make mistakes. Mistakes which cost goals.

Terriers came out like they were going to run away with it. They forced the play in the Pembroke end. They even opened the scoring – Randy Penner banging in John Hewitt’s rebound on a shot from the blueline. But, after Penner missed an opportunity to send Portage ahead 2-0 seconds later, when he missed an open corner, the Lumber Kings took over.

Pat Hahn, with his first of two goals in the game, pulled Lumber Kings even on a weak shot and Bob Wright, also with his first of two, send them ahead 2-1 before the period ended.

Both goals were of the gift variety. Hahn’s went in off goaltender John Memryk’s stick and Wright took a perfect pass from Portage defenceman John Hewitt, which he flipped past Memryk.

Sloppy defensive play, because of pressure, and rebounds killed the Terriers in the middle stanza as the Lumber Kings took a 5-4 lead going into the final period.

Once again it was Penner opening the scoring, this time on a backhand at the 1:15 mark, but Wright and Hahn scored for Lumber Kings before Grant Farncombe counted Portage’s third goal at the five-minute mark.

Ty Langton, who replaced Memryk in the Portage goal at the start of the period, had little chance on either Wright’s or Hahn’s goals. Both banged in rebounds after the star of the third game in the series had made the initial save.

Former Sturgeon Creek performer Steve Croucher, on a trailer play, completed Pembroke’s second-period scoring before Frank Leswick closed out Portage’s scoring.

Croucher sent Hahn in. After Langton, who played brilliantly the rest of the way, had made a pad save, he banged in the rebound.

Leswick’s goal spelled the end for Pembroke’s starting goaltender Brian Shields. The Ontario goaltender, for the third time in the series, gloved a shot wide of the goal and pulled it into the net.

Terry Dennison, the Central Junior Hockey League’s all-star goaltender, came on and, while he wasn’t overly-tested, was steady in blanking Portage the rest of the way.

Hard-working Bill Sweeney put the game out of reach in the final period, deflecting in Marty Gannon’s shot from the blueline with less than six minutes left in the game.

Terriers, who never got untracked after the initial two minutes of the game, took four minor penalties, three to Grant Farncombe, compared to seven by Pembroke.

Terriers were outshot 43-38.

MISTAKES HAVE MUZZ MOANING

“You can’t make mistakes like we made and expect to win hockey games.”

That’s the way a disappointed Murray (Muzz) MacPherson, coach of Portage la Prairie Terriers, greeted representatives of the media following the Terriers 6-4 loss at the hands of Pembroke Lumber Kings at Winnipeg Arena on Sunday.

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again,” he added, “they (Pembroke) have a good hockey club and if you make mistakes they’ll beat you.

“We played poorly and they were good enough to take advantage. How good? Good enough that every time we got close they scored. That’s a sign of a pretty good hockey club.”

MacPherson, however, refused to single out any player for fault although he did say John Memryk, Portage’s starting goaltender wasn’t sharp.

“This is a team game and the entire team was bad, partly because they weren’t thinking and partly because Pembroke made us look bad. Sure John wasn’t sharp. He knew it and he asked to be taken out, but neither was their starter sharp and it didn’t keep them from winning, did it?” he asked.

“I’ll tell you though,” he concluded, “I’d still sooner be in our shoes than theirs. Don’t forget our guys have been laying around for three days listening to everyone tell them it would be a sweep. Now, they know better and they’ll be sharper tomorrow night. One thing is for sure. We’ll have to get back to our hitting and forechecking game. You can’t let them free wheel.”

Across the rink, Pembroke coach Mac MacLean took the victory in stride.

“I thought we played better in the third game,” he said, “but they got the hot goaltending and we came out losers.

“We’ll just have to play it one game at a time from here on and if we play our game it is quite possible we can pull this thing out,” he added.

MacLean, who intends to use Terry Dennison in goal tonight against Terriers’ Ty Langton, felt his club was hitting more effectively than at any other time in the series.

“We got a few breaks tonight and you get them when you are working,” he said. “And I thought we were hitting more effectively.”

Game time tonight at the Arena is 8 o’clock.

For more information:

Dominick Saillant
Director, Communications
Hockey Canada
514-895-9706
[email protected]

 

Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada
403-284-6484
[email protected]

 

Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada
Office: 403-777-4567
Mobile: 905-906-5327
[email protected]

 

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