With the IIHF World Junior Championship back in British Columbia for the
first time in 13 years and B.C. Hockey celebrating its 100th anniversary,
we asked the question … what are the best performances by B.C. natives in
World Juniors history?
NO. 5 – MARK MORRISON
Hometown: Delta, B.C.
Minor Hockey Association: --
1982 IIHF World Junior Championship
Statistics: 7GP 3G 7A 10P
Result: gold medal
1983 IIHF World Junior Championship
Statistics: 7GP 3G 2A 5P
Result: bronze medal
After years of sending the Memorial Cup champions as its representative,
the Program of Excellence was born in 1981 to ensure Canada’s best juniors
would wear the Maple Leaf at the IIHF World Junior Championship. The POE
paid immediate dividends, with Canada going unbeaten to win its first WJC
gold in 1982.
Morrison was an offensive leader on that team, posting 10 points in seven
games to finish sixth in Canadian scoring. He made a major impact in
Canada’s first-ever World Juniors win over the Soviet Union, scoring once
and adding two assists, and had two goals and two helpers in an 11-1 romp
The Delta native returned a year later and added a bronze medal to his
collection alongside names like Lemieux, Yzerman, Verbeek and Andreychuk.
Morrison had three goals in seven games in the Soviet Union, with two of
them coming as part of a wild 7-7 tie with Czechoslovakia.
What are your memories of the 1982 World Juniors?
“The experience was amazing. We were the first ones; it was still a small
tournament at the time, you hadn’t really heard about it before. They used
to send the Memorial Cup champions before, so we were kind of the first
ones to get put together as a national team like that. The coaching staff
did a great job with a lot of little bonding things, and we bonded really
quickly. There were a lot of great guys on the team, and a lot of us still
keep in touch today. The winning experience has kept a lot of friendships
together for a long time. It was certainly a lot of fun, and it was
different, and the country got behind us.”
What did it mean to be the first Canadian team to win gold?
“As a bunch of kids coming together, we just wanted to win the tournament.
I don’t think at the time it meant very much, but it’s kind of cool now.
It’s something you think about more after the fact, because every time
there’s a World Juniors tournament, that team is talked about or its
picture is shown. So, it means a lot more in hindsight. It’s something I
take a lot of pride in now, looking back and knowing we were the first.”
What do you remember about Sherry Bassin’s speech in the final game
“Bassin walked in [during the second intermission] with a gold medal and
walked around the dressing room and showed it to us and asked us if we
wanted to touch it. If someone went to touch it, he would pull it away and
say ‘It’s not yours yet, you need to work harder for this. Don’t think that
this is yours.’ His speech was very uplifting and emotional, and as he
walked around the room and flashed the medal in front of us but wouldn’t
let us touch it and said that if we weren’t going to work for it then it
would have to go to the room across the hall. I don’t know how he wrangled
it, because they’re kept [under] lock and key until they’re handed out, but
he did a pretty good job with all of that. At the moment you don’t really
think about it, but then after when we thought about it, you realize how
inspirational it was.”