Sunday, February 19, 2017

REGINA PATS - BELIEVE IT OR NOT

In 1949 - In a game Pats did not have any penalty minutes during the game. (Monday, December 13, 1949, at Bellevue, later known as Crows Nest Pass. Regina Pats and Bellevue Lions played threw a penalty free game, in the Old Western Junior Hockey League).

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Regina Pats to Host 100th Celebration 2018 Mastercard Memorial Cup & Celebrate their 100th Birthday next year.


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

 

REGINA PATS - BILL HAY BECOMES PATS SECOND PAT TO BE INDUCTED IN TO THE HOCKEY HALL of FAME


Born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on December 9, 1935, Bill Hay inherited athletic genes from both his father and mother. Charles Hay was a goaltender, leading the University of Saskatchewan Huskies to the Allan Cup final in 1921, and would later serve as President of Hockey Canada, his legacy including negotiations in creating the Summit Series of 1972. He was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame as a Builder in 1974. Bill's mother, Florence Miller, was a track and field star and Bill's maternal uncle, Earl Miller, played in the NHL during the 1920s and 1930s. Bill Hay held the role of Hockey Hall of Fame
Chairman and CEO from 1998-2013. Bill enjoyed a fine junior career with the Regina Pats of the Western Canada Junior Hockey League and would later attend Colorado College on an athletic scholarship. He was twice selected to the first WCHA All-Star team as well as the NCAA West First All-American team and in 1957, led the Colorado College Tigers to the national college championship. Regarded as one of the pioneers of U.S. college hockey helping to develop NHL players, Hay was the first NCAA graduate to play regularly in the NHL. Hay was an active member of the International Ice Hockey Federation's "Ad-Hoc committee" from 2008-2012. Following a stint in the Western Hockey League, Bill Hay made his NHL debut with the Chicago Black Hawks in 1959-60, and with 18 goals and 37 assists for 55 points, was selected as the NHL's top rookie, earning the Calder Trophy. Hay centred the 'Million Dollar Line' with Bobby Hull on the left wing and Murray Balfour on the right. In his second season, he was made an alternate captain, and by the conclusion of the 1960-61 season, the Black Hawks had captured the Stanley Cup.

Hay spent his entire eight year playing career with the Chicago Black Hawks where he earned the Calder Trophy in 1960 and the Stanley Cup in 1961.
He decided to retire at the end of the 1965-66 season to pursue a career in business, but was convinced to return to Chicago part way through the 1966-67 season. That summer, knowing that he might again retire, the Hawks left Hay unprotected in the Expansion Draft of 1967 and he was claimed by the St. Louis Blues. Rather than report to the Blues, Bill Hay retired, although just 31 years of age. Through eight NHL seasons, Hay scored 113 goals and 273 assists for 386 points in 506 regular season games.
Bill Hay went into the oil business, where he enjoyed great success. Yet, he never strayed too far from hockey. He served as President and CEO of the Calgary Flames and like his father, was later to serve as President and COO of Hockey Canada. A great believer in grassroots development for hockey, he was instrumental in helping build the Canadian Hockey Centre of Excellence model, which has since found its way into the Hockey Canada Regional Centres, the hubs of initiation activities for those looking to get into the game.
Hay served on the Hockey Hall of Fame Selection Committee from 1980-1997.
Along with Murray Costello, then the president of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA), Bill Hay led the discussions and negotiations to merge Hockey Canada and the CAHA into the Canadian Hockey Association (later to be called Hockey Canada) in 1998. He also played a significant role in working with the Seaman Hotchkiss Hockey Foundation on special projects, including Hockey Canada's Officiating Program of Excellence, the Ed Chynoweth Internship Program and the National Coach Mentorship Program.
In 1980, Bill Hay joined the Selection Committee of the Hockey Hall of Fame, serving in that capacity until 1997. Additionally, he was named to the Hall of Fame's board of directors, a role in which he served from 1995 until his retirement in 2013, including 15 years as Chairman and CEO. Under his leadership, the Hockey Hall of Fame strengthened its relations with key partners, including the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), the National Hockey League the National Hockey League Players' Association and Hockey Canada. He played an integral role in two major expansion projects at the Hall, as well as the 18,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art D.K. (Doc) Seaman Hockey Resource Centre, the home of the Hockey Hall of Fame's vast artifact and archival collections and the focal point for research into the history of Canada's great game and cultural export housed within the MasterCard Centre.

The well-liked ambassador has been recognized on several occasions for his leadership. In 1992, he was inducted into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame. Three years later, Hay was inducted into the Colorado College Hall of Fame. In 1998, he was inducted into the Colorado Springs Hall of Fame and in 1999, Bill Hay was inducted into the Saskatchewan Petroleum Industry Hall of Fame. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

THE REGINA EXHIBITION STADIUM - ALMOST - 7 YEARS AND IT IS FINALLY
COMING DOWN TUESDAY, JAN. 17th. at 1:oo p.m.



Photo: (KARYN MULCAHY/CTV REGINA)

CK - Video: - Click on following, how sad, watching it.

https://www.facebook.com/ctvregina/videos/vb.145865498798316/1455458744505645/?type=2&theater

MY POST WAY BACK IN 2009
by: Ron "Scoreboard" Johnston

July, 2009:

Celebrating 90 years of memories. No, we are not celebrating 90 years from the time the Regina Pats were formed, that was last year. Or the Saskatchewan Roughriders, they are celebrating their 100th birthday next year. Actually it is 90 years since the Exhibition Stadium was built.

In the spring of 2009 I heard that the Old Exhibition Stadium doors where going to be permanently closed sometime in 2010, and would eventually be demolished, so I went for one last look. Since the opening of the Agridome (now Brandt Centre) in 1977, the Exhibition Stadium today is used for agricultural exhibitions, minor hockey, broom ball, and other special occasions. It is presently the oldest standing hockey arena in Canada still in use. Now, with a new six-rink multiplex slated to be placed at Evraz Place in December, Exhibition Stadium has officially reached the end of its life cycle. I thought it would be nice to write a story and put it on my Regina Pats History and Regina Pats Alumni Web Site. Should I put it on now or wait until January? Then I remembered that the rink was built in 1919, so that meant that it would be celebrating its 90th birthday on December 4th, this year(2009).


Construction of the Winter Fair Building - (Photo: Ken Ferrel)

I am sure many are not aware that the Amphitheatre and Winter Fair Building was located on the same spot as the present Regina Exhibition Stadium. (Sketch by William P. Argan)

This building was erected in 1913 and opened in February, 1914. The rink ice size was 85 feet by 200 feet. The seating capacity was 5,000. The total cost $130,000.

The building was turned over to the 77th Battery Regiment when war was declared in 1914. The structure was used as a military barracks and drill hall until fire destroyed it on December 18th, 1917.

The rink was opened at 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 4, 1919, with nearly 3,000 spectators present. They saw a program of fancy skaters, Anna Munkin, Lillian Egan and Henry Bronk. Then followed open skating until 10:00 p.m. Nine days later, the first hockey game was played on Friday, December 19, between Vics and Moose Jaw Maple Leafs in the Senior Leagues home opener at 8:30 p.m. Reserved seats were $1.00 or 75 cents with rush seats at 50 cents.

The rink would become the largest west of the Winnipeg Amphitheatre. Ninety years plus one month later, the rink was no more. January 2010 the rink doors will close for the last time. (Photo: right - Winnipeg Amphitheatre - Manitoba Archives)

The Leader mentioned that the rinks' name would be called "Stadium" submitted by Mrs. W. G. Styles in a name contest . In 1935 the Stadium name was changed to the Exhibition Stadium.


Our nephew visited us at the end of June and I took him to visit the old rink where his father had played. He took something like 60 pictures both inside and out. How the rink had changed. The outside walls, made of brick, had certain areas where the bricks had fallen out leaving holes. I almost did not recognized the inside of the main part of the rink. The centre clock and the press box high in the rafters were both gone. The well-known pillars, the wooden seats and cement steps were still there. Here are just a few pictures showing how the outside bricks are falling away from the building.



North-East Corner of the Rink
What used to be the Main Entrance – North Side



East Side – Looking north (Pasqua Hospital in the 
background)



One of the Old Dressing Rooms



It brought back good old memories as I looked over that rink.

The new Stadium, later to be known as the Exhibition Stadium, was situated just east of Pasqua St. and south of Dewdney Avenue, behind the Grey Nuns Hospital now named the Pasqua Hospital. The ice service was from east to west and was known for it's many pillars around the rink. The broadcast booth was situated high in the rafters of the Stadium on the south side and the only way a person could get to it was by the long steel ladder that went straight up to the door. When I was with the Pats, I can remember tucking my game book under one arm and climbing up with the other arm, step by step. The east end of the rink had the ice surface come right to the brick wall, there were no seats, and it had a high wire screen . Above the ice was a long press box with open windows, plus the goal judge was seated at the centre of that box high above the goal. High above the centre of the ice was the time clock under an “Export Cigarettes” sign. 

See the picture below.




In the mid 1960's and 1970's the east gate (which is shown open in the right picture) led out to where the cows and horses were located during the cow and horse shows. Just to the right were what used to be the new dressing rooms, (Regina Pats and Visitors). The press box is located just to the right of the sign “next Pats home game” The goal judges' box was located right above the goal mesh.

The rink was built of bricks and as I looked at the rink, probably for the last time, I could see a section on the east side where the bricks had fallen out leaving a big hole. The long wooden seats and wooden back benches were still around the north, west, and east area of the ice surface.   

Oh how I can remember those special children games (Young Canada Night), where prizes were handed out to the kids. The attendance was up to near 6,000 or more. The kids were everywhere, even hanging onto the the steel ladder leading to the press box.

A group called the Queen City Gardens Limited, President Jack Hamilton, was created August 13th, 1938, and they decided to shelve the idea of  the new downtown rink and approached the Regina Exhibition Board regarding leasing the Stadium rink. They ordered an ice plant from Canadian Ice Machine Company on October 20th. At the same time they purchased an ice maker from Frank Bauman of Minneapolis. The ice plant was finally finished at the end of November, in time for the opening game of the new Saskatchewan Senior Hockey League. They also made improvements to the rink: open waiting room on the east side, repairs to the ladies washrooms, players dressing rooms remodeled, plus a new paint job all over the rink. The Stadium's name was changed to the Queen City Gardens.

The Stadium was known for its many steel pillars throughout the rink. The Regina Pats played at the rink from 1920 until the club was disbanded in 1934. Then they reorganized in 1946 and played there until 1977 when they moved into the new Agridome.



(Photo: Bryan Schlosser, Leader-Post files)

Most people said that Foster Hewitt was the first to ever broadcast a hockey game. Hewitt broadcast an amateur hockey game March 22, 1923, but Pete Parker broadcast the first professional game eight days earlier on Regina Radio Station CKCK.

The following was taken from the Regina Leader-Post, March 14, 1972, by Sports Writer, Ron Campbell.

"It was March 15, 1923, the radio listeners in this area were surprised to hear the first complete professional hockey game ever broadcast in Canada. The broadcast originated from the Exhibition Stadium and was carried by CKCK radio on Hamilton Street. At the time it was operated as part of the Morning Leader, with a studio on the fifth floor of the Leader-Post building.

Calling the play-by-play that night was L.D. "Pete" Parker who was visiting the city as part of the radio station's 50th Anniversary observances being held that year. "It was just an experiment" said Pete, recalling that fabulous night. "Bert Hooper was the whole radio department at that time. He did everything, broadcasting and engineering. Bert was always looking for something new as far as broadcasting was concerned and, while I had done some, I guess the main reason why he asked me to do the play-by-play was because I had always been a real hockey nut." said Pete.
(Sketch by William P. Argan)

"It was the first game of the Western Canada Hockey League play-offs between Edmonton Eskimos and Regina Caps leading to the Stanley Cup. The broadcast went off pretty well and caught all of our listeners by surprise."

Pete called the game from high in the rafters on the west side of the Stadium where the present broadcast booth is located; however, a special closed-in box was built to house Pete and he used a cradle-type telephone and an amplifier to broadcast.

During 1955 the City of Regina was celebrating their Golden Jubilee and the entire Memorial Cup series was played at the Regina Exhibition Stadium. The officials for the game were both from the east, Charlie Delziel of Montreal and Len Corriveau of Quebec City.

It had Turk Broda, goalie of the Toronto Maple Leafs back in the 1950's, coaching the Toronto Marlboros' Maple Leaf farm team. The Marlboros' won in five games, having the last two games going into overtime.The last game was played before 5,718 fans.

Throughout the five games, there were 25,821 spectators attending, almost 8,000 more than witnessed last year's final in which St. Catherine Tee Pees defeated the Edmonton Oil Kings in five games.

Regina Transit Buses lined up in front of the Regina Exhibition Stadium waiting for the fans to depart from the Memorial Cup game.



(Photo:Regina City Archives Photo)

It was noted in the second game Saturday, that the Stadium Manager, Bob Gillies, announced seats sold-out, standing room only at $1.00 per person.

There never was a Pats team that won the Memorial Cup at the old Exhibition Stadium. The Regina Pats had only three chances, in 1952, 1955 and 1969. The only team that did win was a team approximately 500 miles away, from a northern Manitoba mining city, the Flin Flon Bombers in 1957.

Flin Flon Bombers finished in first place in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League that year with 88 points, twenty more than the second place Regina Pats. The Bombers went on to defeat the Ottawa Canadiens and ex-Pat's Murray Balfour in the Memorial Cup in seven games. The first three games were played in Flin Flon, the rest of the series was then moved to the Regina Exhibition Stadium.



Photo: Flin Bomber's facebook site.


In a Regina Leader Post write-up. They asked former Pats player and coach Al Dumba about the Stadium and the memories immediately come flooding back. They begin when, as a youngster, he watched his heroes like Fran Huck and Bill Hicke, then they continue with his first training camp at age 14.  He can remember standing outside General Manager Del Wilson's office, waiting to learn if he had made the team. He recalls being in awe of meeting head coach Bob Turner who had won five Stanley Cup rings with the Montreal Canadiens. Dumba also remembers the brawls that were a regular occurrence, never to forget the infamous night in the 1973-74 season when Tiger Williams and other members of the Swift Current Broncos  led a revolt into the stands.

The building is expected to be demolished sometime down the road as part of a long-term revitalization plan for the exhibition grounds.

"Many people, even our current customers, love the quality of the ice in there and have fond memories of the building." noted Evraz Place President and CEO Mark Allan, "but it's clearly at the end of its useful lifespan. That was something we subsidized so the community could have ice. As soon as we have the new ice we're not going to subsidize that. One of the things I've found in my six years here is if we have too many sacred cows on the property ... it contributes to our demise. It's at our peril that we ignore these things and don't face them. Just because something is difficult to do doesn't mean we won't do it. We're going to step away (from the Stadium). We'll try and do it respectfully but we will step away."

Allan said he's open to ideas about how to go about honouring the facility which was a long-time home to the WHL's Regina Pats.

"There are lots of old funny memories that we talk about all the time still." said Dumba, now the colour analyst on Pats' radio broadcasts. "I still skate in there two or three times a year at least. You can see some of those old rooms. It brings back a lot of thoughts about old teammates and everything."

That said, Dumba insists shutting the doors is for a higher purpose and he, for one, is a believer in progress. "It's going to be sad -- we're going to think about it -- but at the same time you always want to see bigger and better things." He continued, "You don't want to live in the past but you sure want to remember the past. Hopefully there will be something done when it is taken down, maybe some type of monument or something just to kind of help people remember. If they could save maybe a piece of it or a part of it, I'm not sure what they could do. It would help if they could do something nostalgic with it." Much of that nostalgia -- although certainly not all -- is associated with the Pats.

"It may sound like an oxymoron but I have good memories of Exhibition Stadium." former Pats star Dennis Sobchuk said. "I remember the chicken wire, the people, and the horse smells. The Regina Pats were the team. If you tuned on to TV or radio or read the paper, it was all Pats. You thought it was the epitome of junior hockey. You would go into Exhibition Stadium and your eyes would be wide open. It was like going to the old Montreal Forum."

Darrell Davis interviewed Gord Berenson on April 7, 2008. Berenson said that while in Regina he stopped to see the Brandt Centre, home of the Western Hockey League's Pats, without realizing the decrepit Exhibition Stadium was still standing nearby. He said, "When I was a kid, really a kid, like 11 years old, my mom would wake me up at 5 (a.m.) so I could get to the Stadium every Saturday morning.'' said Berenson. "I knew how to get into the Stadium. I would go in there and skate in the dark until the games started at 8. That was my favourite day -- I couldn't wait for Saturday morning.''

There is a person who was previously associated with the Pats and is almost as old as the rink. Murray Armstrong is 93 years old. He played and coached in that old Regina Exhibition Stadium. Even two players whom he coached in the 1950's, Bob Turner and Lorne Davis, played and coached in that rink.

In 1951 the Royal Visit of our Future Queen, visited the old Rink. Their was the Harlem Globe Trotters Basketball Team.

The Canadian MacDonald Brier was held at the Regina Exhibition Stadium in 1955. The Brier was started back in 1927 and up until1955, the largest attendance for the Brier was 32,000 which was the previous year at Edmonton. In 1955 at the Regina Exhibition Stadium, the attendance was 51,725. It was only the second time that the Brier had been held in Saskatchewan, it had been held in Saskatoon in 1946.

In 1955, the MacDonald Brier Canadian Men’s Curling Championship was held at Exhibition Stadium in Regina. The Saskatchewan team, wearing white sweaters were skipped by Garnet Campbell of Avonlea, playing on Sheet D, (the second sheet from the right). Campbell and brothers Don, Glen, and Gordon won all 10 of their games to give Saskatchewan its first Brier championship.



Photo: Saskatchewan Archives Board R-B1159

There were many other great performances: Louis Armstrong, The Ice Capades and the Shrine Circus. The Show of Stars tour in 1957 and 1958 played in the Stadium with hosted artists from the Beach Boys, Johnny Cash, "Fats Domino, and Chuck Berry.

On Wednesday, May 7, 1958 there was a large concert, consisting of Sam Cooke, the Eberly Brothers, George Hamilton, Paul Anka, and many more. 

See a short video - by CBC News, dated - 20 October 2010: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/watch-regina-rink-s-days-are-numbered-1.872646



There were many more activities at that old rink.

In 1966, Regina Leader Post, dated September 9, mentioned the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra performing there. The orchestra, under the direction of Victor Feldbrill, gave a matinee performance for students at 3:30 p.m. and then the main "pop" concert at 8:15 p.m.

Alan Vanstone (father to Rob Vanstone, sports writer, Regina Leader Post) was the Organist at the Regina Pats Hockey Games from 1971 to 1974. 

In 1971 a Massed Band performed at the Exhibition Stadium, featuring the 10th Field Regiment RCA Pipes and Drums (P/M George Crawford; the Wa Wa Shrine Pipes and Drums (P/M Duncan Fisher-Ex-Regina Pat); and the Fraser Pipe Band (P/M Doug Lutz)


SPA Archives Photo

World's Curling Selection Committee were choosing the site for the 1973 Silver Broom World Curling Championship. They were checking out the Exhibition Stadium in Regina. The building was in darkness and the Committee were having difficulty seeing anything. When all at once the door at the end of the stadium opened up and the massed bands came forward as the lights came up. This was an idea that Doug Lee and George Crawford had that credited the Committee with choosing to bring the event to Regina in 1973. 

In 2002 the Womens' CIS Hockey Championship was held at the Regina Exhibition Stadium, from February 28 to Sunday, March 3. The Gold Medal game was played at 2:00 p.m. on TSN-TV when Alberta defeated Laurier 5-2.

Professional Stampede Wrestling was also held in the Stadium.

Also the Montreal Canadiens played some Exhibition games in the rink. 

As mentioned the rink was called many names, another was "The Barn" and one that I started to use, "The Cow Palace".

**********************

LAST PHOTO'S SUPPLIED BY: - Gord Phillips























Sunday, January 15, 2017

THE REGINA PATS PLAYED THEIR FIRST AND ONLY CHRISTMAS DAY GAME 

Thanks to my side kick: Kevin Shaw, who I have passed  my 20 years of hard work research over  to him. Great work Kevin. Now all we need is a nick name. Yours truly "Scoreboard" - then we have Dale "Scorecard" Richter, who was my assistant back in the 70's and Kevin"Scoreworks" Shaw, how does that sound. 

Regular Season game: ** (On December 25, 1946) ** the Pats played the Notre Dame Hounds at the Queen City Gardens. The Pats were victorious in their one and only Christmas Day regular season game of a score of 6-3.







The Game Summary

Friday, December 30, 2016

REGINA PATS ARE A POWER HOUSE WHEN SHORT HANDED 


At Prince Albert tonight, Friday, December 30th. they finished the year with a bang, winning 8-0. On their first short hand, out shot P.A. 5-0, then on the second short hand, Pats Sam Steel scores.

UPDATE: Sunday, January 1st. They have now gone 24 short handed attempts, with out allowing their opponents a goal.   Also tied a club record, had 72 shots against the P.A. goalie.

As I have handed all my 20 years of research over to Kevin Shall, he came up with the following: the Pats outshot the visiting Brandon Wheat Kings 79-27 en route to an 11-2 victory on Decmber. 9, 1979.  Rick Knickle and Ron Popplestone were in goal for Brandon that evening, when Doug Wickenheiser scored one of his team-record 89 goals and Mike Blaisdell notched a hat trick.

30 YEARS AGO TODAY - SWIFT CURRENT  BUS ACCIDENT ON THE WAY TO REGINA 





Same day, December 30th, in the afternoon "Bill Lee unveils the Four Broncos Memorial on the 30th anniversary of the bus crash.




Though 30 years may have passed, there is no forgetting the tragic events that struck the Swift Current Broncos and Western Hockey League families on Dec. 30, 1986. A cold and blustery Saskatchewan winter day – not unlike many days before it and many more since – on the Trans-Canada Highway approximately four kilometres east of Swift Current served as the scene for what is ultimately one of the greatest tragedies in WHL history. 

Mere moments after leaving Swift Current, travelling to Regina for a game against the Pats, the Broncos’ bus left the highway after being unable to negotiate a left curve and entered the ditch before flipping onto its right side and sliding to a halt. 

Amidst the chaos, the lives of four Broncos came to a sudden, unexpected and all-too-soon end. 

In heartbreaking fashion, the world was robbed of the promise and potential – both as hockey players and young men – of Trent Kresse, 20, of Kindersley; Scott Kruger, 19, of Swift Current; Chris Mantyka, 19, of Saskatoon; and Brent Ruff, 16, of Warburg, Alta. 

There has never been anything more devastating that has happened to me personally,” said the late Ed Chynoweth, then president of the WHL, in a report by the Regina Leader-Post “The question I keep asking myself is ‘Why? 

“My heart goes out to all the parents and the people involved. I wish someone would call and say this is all a mistake.”

 Swift Current RCMP responded on the scene and described the roads as treacherous at the time of the accident. Temperatures were reported as hovering near zero-degrees Celsius, while snow fell and winds gusted up to 55 km/H. 

The events left a tragic mark on a Broncos franchise that was in the midst of celebrating its first season back in Speedy Creek after having relocated from Lethbridge, Alta., that May. The events shook the entire town and hockey world, including the WHL as it celebrated its 20. 

“We usually see hockey in the positive then all of a sudden, there is a tragedy,” said Dennis Sobchuk, assistant coach for the Pats, Leader-Post report. “We’re used to competing against each other in this league but in this our 20 anniversary we’re a big family, so this hurts. 

Kresse was in his first WHL campaign, enjoying breakout success with 56 points (28G-28A) in 30 games after having lit up the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League with 230 points (91G-139A) in 103 games as a member of the Swift Current Indians.

Kruger was in his second WHL campaign and first with the Broncos after having posted 106 points (26G-80A) in 72 games as a member of the Prince Albert Raiders the year prior. Kruger, like Kresse, was enjoying a stellar season with 56 points (19G-37A) through 36 games. 

While he didn’t bring the same offensive impact of Kresse and Kruger, Mantyka left his mark on fans in Swift Current, being voted the Broncos’ fan favourite player. Known for his energy, the Saskatoon product was also in his first WHL campaign, having amassed five points (3G-2A) and 101 penalty minutes in 31 games. 

Finally, there was Ruff – the younger brother of current Dallas Stars head coach Lindy Ruff – who was in his WHL rookie campaign, securing six points (3G-3A) in 33 games as a 16-year-old youngster. 

“It’s the worst night of my career,” said Doug Sauter, then head coach and general manager of the Pats, in Leader-Post report.

“You look at how it could have happened to us, how it could have been me. I don’t think there are any words to describe how I feel. 

“The bus and travel are a way of life for us in this league. 

Led by rookie Joe Sakic and captain Kurt Lackten, the Broncos forged on in the wake of the tragedy. They opted to move ahead without roster assistance from other WHL clubs and battled right down to the final buzzer that season. 

“There was no talk of not going on,” Sakic told Roy MacGregor of the Globe & Mail in 2008. “You keep going. We talked, but it was about when do we want to start again? How long do we wait?

“The best thing for us was to get back on the ice. Once you start playing again, for those few hours you can take your mind off it. You just focus on playing hockey.

” Before the Broncos took to the ice for the first game following the accident, trainer Gord Hahn stitched a four-leaf clover patch – embossed with the players’ numbers 8, 9, 11 and 22 – on each uniform. The team was out of playoff position at that point in late December.

In the wake of the tragedy, Sakic set fire to the WHL and the Broncos rallied to earn a playoff berth before falling in a first round series. 

"Sakic was named the WHL’s Most Valuable Player at the conclusion of the season, receiving the Four Broncos Memorial Trophy that had been named in honour of his fallen teammates. 

“In order that we never forget this incident, we have named this trophy in memory of these four young men,” Chynoweth said. “Like hundreds of other players before them, and hundreds that will follow, WHL players spend countless hours riding the bus in pursuing their hockey aspirations. By naming the Most Valuable Player Trophy in honour of these four players, hopefully we will never forget the sacrifice given by these young men.” 

 In 1989, the Broncos went on to win the Memorial Cup, with Tim Tisdale – who survived the horrific crash – scoring the championship-winning goal. Darren Kruger, the brother of Scott, assisted on Tisdale’s championship tally. Trevor Kruger, another brother, was the goaltender that backstopped those Broncos to their national title 

 “It’s tough to think about it and it’s something you never forget,” Sakic said. “You want to overcome it all, but these are your friends. You can’t forget. You don’t want to forget.

“All you know for sure is that, in time, things will get better.” Anniversary of the tragic crash that took the lives of those four young men, the Broncos, led by Bill Lee – a close family friend of the Krugers – will unveil a memorial monument at the crash site at 12 p.m. (Saskatchewan) prior to Friday’s contest between the Broncos and Blades (7 p.m. Saskatchewan). 

"The jersey numbers of the four young men have been retired while the commemorative Four Broncos clover patch and memorial plaque remains, joined now by the roadside monument, all of which serve as constant reminder that what we keep in memory is ours… unchanged forever. 

"With files from the Regina Leader-Post, The Hockey News and Globe & Mail - Click on the following video tape - .http://whl.ca/video/four-broncos-tribute-video

Ron "Scoreboard" Johnston - I can remember when as an Assistant Coach and Statistican with the Pats, we had just played Flin Flon and were on our way home. Still in Manitoba, it had started to snow, the bus slide into the ditch, we were LUCKY, the bus did not roll over. Shortly after a snow plow pulled us out.  It was a scary moment. Bob Turner and I were sitting in the front seats as we always did.