This is how far back the rivarly between the Herks and Canadiens go back. Remembering the year was 1950-51.
The Fort William Hurricane Rangers and the Columbus Canadiens met for the first time this at the Port Arthur Arena, looked at each other briefly and then the sparks flew.
For the best part of a seventy-minute battle that wound up, appropriatley enough, in a 4-4 standoff, the "blood brothers" engaged in a hockey vendetta that produced a modern record in penalties and left some of the 1,500 fans wondering what to expect when the same clubs meet again in a few short days.
The occasion for a lot of grudge hockey, ironically enough, was the fourth game in the annual pre-season Rory McLeod Memorial Trophy Junior hockey tournament which meant nothing to either club. Both entered the "ring" assured of a spot in Saturday's sudden death final.
But the stakes, or lack of them, didn't prevent either combatant, breathing fire from the first drop of the puck, from giving referees Fred Page and Rowe Hamilton a nightmarish first time on the job.
The records checked and rechecked, revealed a total of 36 penalties, including four majors and one ten minute misconduct. All told, the teams spent 92 minutes in the overtaxed penalty box. At one time, in the second period, there were no less than eight players simultaneously confined.
The vendetta raged unchecked through the first period and reached a hectic climax with a three ringed fistic show midway through the middle stanza. The bad blood flared briefly again before the end of the second, but the teams had settled down to the task at hand by the start of the third period, although the parade to the penalty box eased only slightly.
There were 12 penalty calls in the opening period, 11 in the second and for every offence detected there probably were three that went unpunished. It was slam, bang and push, with everything and anything until the inevitable happened.
Opaski of the Hurricanes and Dean Cosgrove of the Canadiens and supplied the spark and in a trice two other private matches were underway. Canadien's Jack Durston grappled with Doug Graham of the Herks, and then it was Jim Farelli, Canadiens, versus Hurricane's Stenback.
When the brawling subsided, Durston, Cosgrove, Graham and Opaski were given majors. Farelli and Stenback minors for roughing. Farelli also drew a ten minute misconduct.
Violence flared again late in the same period, but it proved to be anti-climatic, with stocky Eddie Kachur retiring to the Canadien penalty box after a brush with Hurricane Don Poile. Taunted by Kachur before the latter left the ice, Poile had to be restrained by three colleagues.
Despite the epidemic of penalties, because of them, in one instance, the teams managed to provide fans with some good hockey. Finest hockey of the night occurred immediatley following the big brawl, when both clubs were playing it two men short.
During that exciting interium, Canadiens Pat Danyluk distinguished himself by missing the best scoring chance of the night. He broke away in the clear, skated in on goalie Dave Gatherum, then fired the puck a good foot wide of the net.
Alex (Moe) Irving, Hurricanes slick centreman, and dashing Dean Cosgrove, Schreiber's contribution to the Canadiens cause, shared the night's scoring laurels, with each bagging a pair. Bruce Corness and Poile completed the Herk total with Pete Gvora and Roy Kuanpaa rounding out the Hab count.
A penalty to Bob Faris of the Hurricanes set up the game's first goal, by Gvora at 5:05 on a play with Kuanpaa, after close calls at both ends of the rink.
Penalties dominated exchanges for the balance of the period and Farelli was cooling his heels when the Hurricanes squared matters at about the same time in the middle stanza. Corness did the honours with a backhand shot that goalie Ted Avison lost sight of in a forest of feet.
Canadiens took the lead again early in the third but the Herks bounced back to lead for the first time on two rapid fire goals by Irving.
All three tallies were scored during a penalty to Kuanpaa. Cosgrove the first of his two goals on a high backhander at 2:05: Irving poked in a rebound at 2:26: and at 3:15 the same Hurricane beat Avison with a screened shot.
Both sides were at full strength when at 12:37 when Cosgrove spoke his second piece, beating Gatherum to the far corner of the net picking up a drive on a rebound off the backboards by Jerry Kirk.
Kirk was off for hooking four minutes later when Hurricanes for the second time moved ahead, on a back hand by Poile.
The Herks were just :33 seconds away from victory when the Habs jabbed for the equalizer. It was a smart piece of hockey, with Kuanpaa on the shooting end of a goalmouth pass from Kirk tied the game.
Lineups; Hurricanes; Gatherum,goal. Oakley and Faris; Poile, Sepenary and Berglund. Irving, Corness, Malo, Graham, Graham, Opaski, Frsolund, A.Kachur, Stenback, Richardson, Manson and Slipetz.
Canadiens: Avison,goal; Farelli and Keating; Kirk, Kuanpaa and Gvora. Durston, Zanni, Kubinec, E.Kachur, Cosgrove, Danyluk, Bodak, Mannila, Osmar, Baliuk and Kompon.
Bruce Corness, a smooth operator who seldom gets ruffled, got in both the first and last lick to guide his Fort William Hurricane Ranger buddies to a 7-6 decision over the Port Arthur Westend Bruins at the Port Arthur Arena.
A veteran entering his third season of junior hockey, Corness set the pattern with the nights first goal in the 15 minute mark of the opening period, then sank the clincher at the 17:15 mark in the final stanza.
The victory, an upset by some standards, was the second in as many starts for the Hurricanes and moved them to the head of the class, two points ahead of the the also unbeaten Fort William Columbus Canadiens. For the Bruins, district champions for the past three seasons, it was their second outing and the second setback. Here's how the teams stand after one round of the Rory McLeod Memorial Trophy Tournament.
Hurricanes 2 0 14 11 4
Canadiens 1 0 6 5 2
Flyers 0 1 5 7 0
Bruins 0 2 11 13 0
Corness's final move, a partly screened 20- footer that had goalie Paul Morin beaten all the way, settled the issue after his Herk club twice previously had appeared well on the way to a comfortable victory. The shot cooled off for good a Bruin that twice before had bounced off the ropes, the last time to wipe out a three-goal deficit and create a 6-6 deadlock.
That was the score when Corness skated in on recently released from the penalty box, Bruin defenseman Bill Matthews, got possession during a Herk power play and fired low for the righthand corner of the net.
Bruce checked at the blueline for his first goal, leaving Bruin's defenceman flatfooted as he moved in and let go a slider, Morin apparent set for a faster and higher drive, let the disc slip through his feet.
Between the two Corness goals, events moved rapidly , the Herks on top all the way until late in the third heat. Twice the Herks held a three goal lead , at 4-1 late in the second period and 6-3 early in the finale.
Corness and his running mates shifty Alex (Moe) Irving and rookie Joe Malo, emerged as the game's outstanding attack unit. The trio accounted for six goals all told, with both Irving and Malo matching Corness's contribution. The Hurricanes second forward string of Don Poile, Ed Sepenary and Norman Berglund also turned in a strong game with Poile netting the odd Fort William goal.
A rookie and a veteran shared sniping honours for the Bruins. Gary McLeod, making his first appearance in the series, and Leo Bovin, their converted centreman, bagged a pair each. The remaining Port Arthur goals went to Jack Staples, one of two imports, and rookie Don Chiupka.
The second Bruin import, centre Jim McGeorge from Vancouver, did not play as expected due to a shoulder injury suffered in practice.
Corness's goal was the only one in a close checking first period and the second stanza was in its seventh minute before Irving made it 2-0 for the Herks. He did it on a leisurely breakaway , beating Morin cleanly with a rising corner shot from about 20 feet out.
Chiupka capitalized on a fumble by Corness at the Hurricane blue line for the first Bruin reply, at 11:11. Hurricanes then clicked twice in quick succession , Poile on a smart play with Berglund just 46 seconds after Chiupka's marker, and Irving on a deflection during a penalty to Matthew at 13:33.
The Herks were two men short when the Bruins got back into the running. Staples finishing off a rush by Matthew that saw the latter upset heavily at the Hurricane defence.
The goal followed a clash between Hurricane Stenback and Don McLeod, young Bruin rearguard whose mayhem cost his club 17 minutes in penalties during their losing tussle the game before with the Columbus Canadiens. Stenback was all for a fight, but McLeod studiously avoided reciprocating. Stenback drew a major penalty, McLeod a minor.
Stenback was still off when a shot by Bovin was stopped by goalie Dave Gatherum, only to roll slowly over the line. That made it 4-3 Hurricanes and the count stood until the Bruins left their net wide open in the early minutes of the third period.
Wide open in front both times, Malo rammed in a passout from Irving and then on the same on a relay from Corness to give the Herks a 6-3 lead.
Young McLeod and Bovin paced a spirited Bruin comeback but less than five minutes after McLeod had deadlocked the score at 6-6, Corness delivered the coup de grace.
Lineups for the game were as follows.
Hurricanes; Gatherum; Oakley and Faris; Poile, Sepenary, and Berglund. Irving, Corness, Malo, Burke, Graham, Oposki, Richardson, Skipetz, Holmquist, Manson and Stenback.
Bruins; Morin; Matthew and D.McLeod. Bovin, Gosselin and Hill. Whitney, Haizelle, Krober, Kohler, Whalen, G.McLeod, Chiupka, Staples, Campbell, Calder and Hanley.
Referees; Stan Robertson and Dan Cox.
This story was taken out of one of the Local Newspapers, see if you can remember any of the Local Legendery Hockey Players of the past.
It was 1951 and the Rory McLeod Memorial Tournament kicked off the opening of the Hockey season in the twin cities of Fort William and Port Arthur (Thunder Bay). Four Junior teams comprised what would be the Lakehead Junior League: Fort William Hurricane Rangers, Fort William Canadiens, Port Arthur Flyers and the Port Arthur Bruins.
The Hurricanes opened the tourney with a 7-5 victory over the Flyers. The Herks were never behind in the scoring at any stage of the game, although they did blow two goal leads twice before subduing their star-spangled opponents.
Hurricanes took a 2-0 lead in the first period only to have the Flyers draw even after seven minutes in the second frame. Once more Hurricanes went two goals up and again the stubborn Flyers evened the count to enter the final lap in a 4-all deadlock.
The third time the Hurricanes achieved a two-ply advantage,however, the effort was to much for the Flyers. They did manage to cut this lead in half at one stage of the third period but the Forts matched this tally before the final whistle sounded to finally emerge victors by two lengths.
Joe Malo, one of the newcomers to the Hurricane ranks, made his debut in the Junior league an impressive one by accounting for two goals. The balance of their scoring was done by holdovers, Dan Poile taking honors as top point getter with a goal and three assists, Ed Sepenary counting two goals, Bruce Corness two goals and an assist and Alex (Moe) Irving, three assists.
Chuck Johnston led the Flyer marksmen with two goals and an assist, Len Elsey, Paul Baxter and Bill Stirling being the other goal scorers. A crowd of 990 was on hand at the Port Arthur Arena for the occasion.
Team Rosters of the Day' included the following.
Hurricanes; Goal, Dave Gatherum; Defence, Oakley and Faris. Forward Joe Malo, Alex (Moe) Irving and Bruce Corness. Subs; Don Poile, Ed Sepenary, Opaski, Burke, Berglund, Graham, McKinnon, Franchi, Paton, Kelly, Stenback, Slipetz and Holmquist.
Flyers; Goal, Buddy DeLuca; Defence, Kurceba and Ashton; Forwards; Len Elsey, P. Johnston and C. Johnston. Subs; Morgan, Joss, Vukovich, Stirling, York, Hurdon, LeBlanc, Hygaard, Baxter and Black.
Referees; Jack MacBeth and Bruce McArthur.