NOTE: This story first appeared in the Winnipeg Free Press on May 8, 1973
SO MUCH FOR SECOND-PERIOD JINX AS TERRIERS GO TWO-UP
BRANDON – Portage la Prairie Terriers shook a second-period monkey off their backs, which has haunted them all year, and went on to defeat Pembroke Lumber
Kings 4-2 in Centennial Cup Junior A hockey action before 3,076 fans at Keystone Centre Monday night.
The win boosted Terriers into a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven national final. Third game of the series is scheduled here Wednesday night.
The Terriers, who gave played their worst hockey during the middle stanza all season, exploded for three goals last night. The outburst, which was ignited
by Al Hilton, gave Portage the necessary cushion to withstand a Lumber Kings assault in the final period.
Hilton scored on a power play when goaltender Brian Shields reached for his off-the-net shot and pulled it into the goal. Frank Leswick, on a wrist shot,
and Grant Farncombe, on a backhand, completed the Terriers’ second-period outburst.
Pembroke out-scored Portage 2-1 in the final period, but they had a little help from Dame Fortune. After Bob Miller, on the prettiest play of the night,
had given Terriers a 4-0 lead, Murray Thrasher bounced a puck into the net off Terriers’ Hilton to spoil John Memryk’s shutout bid.
Late in the period, Bill Sweeney picked up Warren Remple’s stray pass and caught Memryk out of the net to complete the Pembroke scoring.
The third period was all Lumber Kings as Terriers went to sleep at the throttle. The eastern champs forced Memryk to make 22 saves, including a brilliant
glove stop on high-scoring Pat Hahn, and unbelievable pad save on Paul Sawyer’s backhand.
Miller’s goal was started by goaltender Memryk, who relayed the puck to the Portage winger, who passed to Hilton and then fired in the return pass.
Terriers enjoyed the better scoring opportunities in the scoreless first period, but Lumber Kings had the edge in shots. The difference was Terriers
couldn’t hit the net – Randy Penner, Sunday’s sharpshooter with five goals, twice missed the net when he had Shields at his mercy.
On the other hand, Lumber Kings three times held the man advantage in the first period, but all were guilty of over-passing in the Terriers’ end and when
they did get a shot, Memryk was equal to the occasion.
Portage was winging it in the middle stanza. While Lumber Kings were able to keep Penner from scoring, they couldn’t keep him off the score sheet. The
husky, 200-pound left winger assisted on both of Hilton’s and Leswick’s goals.
The second period outburst forced Pembroke to change goalies in the third period. Shields made 16 saves in the two periods he worked, and his replacement
Terry Dennison made only five saves. Memryk made a total of 39 saves.
Terriers took seven of 12 minor penalties handed out by referee Bud Ulrich.
THUMBS DOWN ON PORTAGE
BRANDON – Where, oh where will the fourth game be played? That seems to be the major question in the minds of hockey officials handling the Centennial Cup Junior A hockey final.
There’s a shortage of ice in Manitoba, and it’s posing a problem. Portage wants the fourth game Friday night to be played in Portage, but Pembroke coach Mac MacLean says he’ll have nothing to do with that.
“Why should we play in a rink that can’t accommodate all the fans, and isn’t suitable for a national final?” said MacLean.
MacLean said he would be willing to sit idle until Sunday when the game could be played at Winnipeg Arena, rather than play at Portage. “There’s no way we’d play in Portage,” he said. “If we have to play in Portage, we’ll go straight through to Winnipeg and catch a plane for home.”
Keystone Centre is available Thursday, but Terrier coach Murray MacPherson says there is no way his club will play four games in five days “when there is no rush.”
As for Monday night’s game, MacPherson was visibly relieved when he announced that Randy Hextall would be able to play Wednesday, following an incident that saw him cut with a hockey stick in the final period.
“We played a sound game,” said Muzz. “We unintentionally went into a defensive shell in the third period, and like a good hockey club, Pembroke capitalized on it. But fortunately Memryk (goalie John) was at his best.”
Referring to Hextall’s injury, MacPherson said: “Thank God, he’s okay. It was damn close to the eye. In fact, it was right between the eyes and required ten stitches.”
Losing coach MacLean said: “We weren’t in the game until the third period, and by that time it was too late. But the series is far from over.”
Dan Bonar will have some explaining to do to coach MacPherson. The rookie, who played well, was penalized in the third period at a crucial time for playing with an illegal stick … one with too much curvature.
He had been warned before the game, but in typical MacPherson fashion, the coach said “Dan and I will talk about it. It’s a club matter.”
Talk about hockey fans! Mr. and Mrs. Ed Gallagher and their eight children, the children’s grandfather and aunt all drove here from Pembroke for the series. There are more than 150 Pembroke residents on hand.