Monday, November 1, 2010



by: Ron "Scoreboard" Johnston

Tuesday, December 18, 1973 at 8:30 a.m., the Pats boarded an Air Canada jet at the Regina Airport. After stops in Winnipeg and Toronto, the group boarded a Scandinavian Air Systems 747 in Montreal for the trans-Atlantic crossing. After a long flight, the group arrived a day later at 10:35 a.m. in Copenhagan, Sweden.

Two days later, the Pats got their first ever taste of international hockey, playing exhibition games prior to the tournament. Most of the teams in the tournament were professional. The only points the Pats were able to make were against the London Lions, where they fought to a 5-5 tie. The London Lions were made up of players mostly from Canada. The HC Spartak Moscow team won the tournament for the second straight time. (Photo: London Lion # 15 - Brian Watts, Mike Korney on right side of Regina Pats goalie Eddie Staniowski - London Lions Collection)

Taking in the trip were director Harold Jones, Canadian Amateur Hockey Association representative, Leader Post sports writer Mal Isaac, and a number of parents of members of the Pats along with a few avid Pat fans.

As a junior hockey team, the Pats were seriously mismatched against the older, stronger, senior and pro clubs.

"They were fully convinced (at least Del Wilson was) that they were meeting junior teams," said Mal Isaac, a Regina Leader-Post sports writer who traveled with the Pats to Europe. "These were their best teams and their best players, like Borje Salming and others who went on to play in the National Hockey League." (Photo: Left - Mal Isaac)

Unhappy with their downtown hotel, the Pats arranged to move outside of Stockholm to a new Holiday Inn where the staff was on holidays. The players and their families looked after themselves. Travel arrangements were not much better. For Christmas, Wilson recalled they had Gillies dress up as Santa Claus.

"Heh, heh, heh, probably, I guess I was," said Gillies. "The biggest, heaviest guy on the team, I guess they made me Santa Claus because I didn't need much of a pillow. That was a great trip, one of the great strategic moves of all time. Rather than letting us sit around for two weeks at home and get fat, we went over there and worked our tails off for two weeks. We had a big head start on everybody when we came back after the Christmas break. (Photo: Right - Clark Gillies)

That was a fun trip, I bonded with my clothes, the clothes I had, because they lost my luggage over there. Probably because it was Christmas time. I bought this green velvet suit, don't ask me why. It was worn out by the time I got back from Sweden. They didn't find my clothes, so I wore that suit to every game. It was, "Whoa! Here he comes again! I"ll never forget that. I had to buy underwear by borrowing money from some of the parents who had made the trip. My parents weren't there. Oh, brother! A few pairs of underwear, a shirt, a tie, and a suit to wear the whole time I was there. Guys were staying away from me by the end of the trip. We really did learn to get along with one another. We had a few squabbles along the way but we pretty much got along. It was really great competition for us. We played against a bunch of men over there. The Swedish, the Finnish, and Czechoslovakian elite teams. Great competition and a real learning experience for all of us. It put things into perspective as to where we stood as hockey players. It was a great move on the part of Del Wilson and Bob Tuner to keep us active during that time. Usually you get two weeks off at Christmas time, so you go home and do what you want. Not a whole lot going on in terms of conditioning. Over there we practiced or played hockey every day for two weeks.

The Regina Pats picked up many tips on the Scandinavian tour one being to shoot more. The Europeans used the slap shot when they got the opportunity, but passing plays are produced to set up scoring attempts with their famous wrist shots. The main reason behind manger Del Wilson accepting the invitation to compete in the Ahearne Cup, (Named after British ice hockey promoter – J.F. “Bunny” Ahearne), tournament in the first place was to give the Pats an opportunity to learn.

"The Sweden trip really brought us together," said Rod Tudor. "We came back and went on a 10-game winning streak. Before we left we were battling for first place with Swift Current and Flin Flon. They kept playing while we were gone, so we were in third place when we came back, reeled off nine wins and a tie." said Tudor. (Photo: Left - Rod Tudor)

That year the Regina Pats went on to win the Memorial Cup (Canadian Junior Championship).


I would like to thank - Gunnar Hagberg of Horrkoping, Sweden who came across my WebSite and helped me in many ways with box scores for most of the games, plus proper spelling of the names of some of the teams. I also would like to thank Regina Pats Kim MacDouglall for helping me with the player's names in all the team pictures.

Gunner wrote, "The first exhibition game ( played at Malmo IF in the south of Sweden), was surrounded by some controversy as the Pats refused to play on the night of the 20th, the date the game originally was scheduled for. However, after their long journey the Pats claimed they were not ready to play and insisted on the 21st as the date they had all agreed on from the beginning. Hundreds of spectators turned up on the 20th, only to be told to return the night after instead. They borrowed six players from different Elite League clubs to strengthen their team against the Pats. (Only info: period scores - Malmo IF - Regina Pats (0-0, 2-3, 1-0 = 3-3)."

Gunnar Hagberg stated, "As a kid, I remember watching the Regina Pats play an exhibition game here in Norrkoping in Sweden. It was a bitterly cold night, crystal clear and probably under a full moon. After all these years, it is still one of my very best hockey memories. I'm planning a major feature article about the visit of the Regina Pats in my paper in the near future (sometime around Christmas)."

The third exhibition game had the Regina Pats going across the water to Helsinki, Finland, on Friday, December 28, to play the IFK team. The picture above left is the Helsinki Ice Hall Rink where the IFK team play.

MonthDateDayVisiting Teamv.s.Home TeamSCORE
21FridayRegina Pats Jr. (Canada)v.s.Malmo IF Sweden (Seniors)
December 23SundayRegina Pats Jr. (Canada)v.s.Norrkoping Ostgotalaget All-Stars (Seniors)
December28FridayRegina Pats Jr. (Canada)v.s.Finland Helsinki IFK (Pro.)9-2

Hands raised - Kim MacDougall

Left: Glen Burdon, Right: Rich Urich

(Photos: Outdoor Rink at Norrkoping) - Supplied by: Gunnar Hagberg

"Here's the box score from Idrottsparken (outdoor rink) in Norrkoping." They played a local All-Star team called Ostogotalaget which included the best players from Vital Hasten (Norrkoping) and Kenty (Linkoping) the two top clubs at the time from the county of Ostergotland.," wrote Gunnar Hagberg.

Ostgotalaget - Regina Pats (1-2, 0-2, 1-4 = 2-8)

First Period scoring: Regina Pats (0:31) David Thomas (Dennis Sobchuk), Regina Pats (1:49) William Faulkner (error - should be Dave Faulkner) (Kim MacDougall), Ostgotalaget (11:18) Christer Nilsson (Beret Ferin) Penalties: Ostgotalaget: Lars Svensson (holding), Peter Bulow (tripping) - Regina Pats: Mike Harazny (boarding), Drew Callander (interference). Shots: Regina Pats 14-8.

Second Period scoring: Regina Pats (17:20) Mike Wanchuk (Dennis Sobchuk), Regina Pats (18:51) Clark Gillies (William - Dave Faulkner) Penalties: Ostgotalaget: Christer Nilsson (5 minutes), Peter Bulow (interference) - Regina Pats: Greg Joly (5 minutes), Mike Harazny, Mike Wanchuk. Shots: Even 8-8.

Third Period scoring: Regina Pats (1:15) Drew Callander (Les Grauer), Regina Pats (5:37) Clark Gillies (Mike Harazny, Regina Pats (12:22) William - Dave Faulkner (Kim MacDougall), Ostgotalaget (13:25) Lars Svensson (Peter Bulow), Regina Pats (19:17) Richard Urich (unassisted). Penalties: Regina Pats: Greg Joly (hooking), Clark Gillies (tripping), Drew Callander (slashing), Mike Harazny (interference), Clark Gillies (tripping). Shots: Regina Pats 11-13.

Referees: Jorgen Andersson, Nassjo and Rune Larsson, Norrkoping. Attendance: 845

Dennis Sobchuk, Greg Joly, Rich Urich (pinned on the boards)

Left: Dennis Sobchuk, Clark Gillies and Mike Wanchuk # 15

(Photos: Outdoor Rink at Norrkoping # 15 - Mike Wanchuk) - Supplied by: Gunnar Hagberg


All games were played at the Johnanneshov Sports Arena - (Now called Hovet)

Indoors of the Johanneshov Arena

MonthDateDayVisiting Teamv.s.Home TeamSCORE
26WednesdaySweden (Leksand) (Senior)v.s.Regina Pats Jr. (Canada)5-0
December 27ThursdayRegina Pats Jr.(Canada)v.s.Moscow Dynamo (Pro.)5-10
30SundayStockholm AIK (Pro)
v.s.Regina Pats Jr. (Canada)8-1
January 01TuesdayRegina Pats Jr. (Canada)v.s.London Lions (Pro.)5-5
January 02WednesdaySweden Sodertalje (Pro.)
v.s.Regina Pats Jr. (Canada)5-3
January03ThursdayRegina Pats Jr. (Canada)v.s.Stockholm Djurgaarden (Pro.)

Regina Pat - Players

Left: Dennis Sobchuk - Centre: (Goalie) Ed Staniowski - Right: Dave Faulkner

Left: Greg Joly - Centre: General Manager Del Wilson - Right: Mike Wanchuk

December 26th - Leksand, Sweden - Regina Pats (1-0, 2-0, 2-0 = 5-0) Scoring: Peter Gudmundsson (2), Ulf Weinstock, Hans Jax, Stig Nordin. Attendance: 2,535

December 27th - Dynamo Moscow - Regina Pats ( 3-1, 3-2, 4-2 = 10-5) Scoring: Dynamo - Anatolij Gjelonoskin (2), Igor Samotjornov, Vladimir Devjatov, Viktor Sjilovs, Sergej Maltsev, Alexander Sevidov, Michail Alexjenko, Michail Titov, Alexander Filippov. Regina Pats - Richard Urich (3), Greg Joly, Mike Wanchuk. Attendance: 4,287

December 30th - AIK Stockholm, Sweden - Regina Pats (2-1, 2-0, 4-0 = 8-1) Scoring: AIK Stockholm - Ulf Nilsson (3), Thomas Palm, Bo Olofsson, Jan Olsson, Ulf Isaksson, Rolf Edberg. Regina Pats - Mike Wanchuk. Attendance: 2,141

January 1st - London Lions - Regina Pats (2-1, 2-1, 1-3 = 5-5) Scoring: London - Nelson Pyatt, Bryan Watts, Earl Anderson, Ulf Sterner, Bryan McCutcheon. Regina Pats - Dennis Sobchuk (2), Glen Burdon, Billy Bell, (Bet Lad ? - Maybe Rob Laird). Attendance: 9,024

January 2nd - Sodertalje, Sweden - Regina Pats (4-1, 0-1, 1-1 = 5-3) Scoring: Sodertalje - Dan Landegren, Mats Waltin, Borje Burlin, Kjell-Arne Wilkstrom, Stig-Goran Johansson. Regina Pats - Drew Callander, Greg Joly, Robert Tudor. Attendance: 1,529

January 3rd - Djurgarden, Sweden - Regina Pats
(3-1, 4-1, 8-0 = 15-2) Scoring: Djurgarden - Stig Larsson (4), Ake Eklof (2), Bengt-Ake Karlsson (2), Kent Nilsson (2), Anders Rylin (2), Claes-Goran Wallin, Kenny Palmberg, Per-Allan Wikstrom. Regina Pats - Jon Hammond, David Faulkner. Attendance: 2,297


Djurgarden Stockholm, Sweden ......................
Dynamo Moscow, Russia
Leksand, Sweden
London Lions, England663120227
Sodertalje, Sweden
AIK Stockholm, Sweden
Regina Pats, Canada605116481