Saturday, March 12, 2011



by: Ron "Scoreboard" Johnston

The old and the new.

The year is 1958, the Moose Jaw Canucks became the newest entry in the Saskatchewan Hockey League. The club had a very short stay in Moose Jaw due to their new rink (the Civic Centre) not being completely finished. On Thursday, January 1, 1959, the club moved their franchise to Weyburn for the remainder of the season and were called the Weyburn Canucks. Moose Jaw's first season was a dim one as they only won 11 games, lost 36, and tied 1 game for 23 points and were in last place in a seven team league.

(Note: The poor lighting and how low the lights hang) - (Photo: Chris Carton)

A lot of people never liked that rink, calling it an old dumb with a sinking roof. I can remember my first time in that rink. I got my nickname at that old rink. Way back on Tuesday, October 12, 1965, as I was leaving the dressing room Ernie Hicke (younger brother of Bill) called out, "Hey Scoreboard". I responded and that name stuck with me ever since. Sitting in the press box at that same game, you could not see the west side due to the sinking roof and lights.

(Photo: Moose Jaw Arena Fire - August, 1955 - was in my Dad's Collection)

(Photo: The rink - after the fire, August 27, 1955)

The new rink is being located downtown, near where the very old rink (the Moose Jaw Arena) use to be located. My dad played in that old rink back in the 1920 and 1921 season. Charlie Lorne Johnston played for the Moose Jaw Monarchs who were the first team to play in the Interlocking League between Moose Jaw and Regina. Back in those days a league may have played as little as 4 to 6 games a season. That old rink was built in 1910 on Ross Street and was burned to the ground, on August 27, 1955.

The first Interlocking League was during the 1921-1922 season. There were four teams, two from each city: From Regina it was the Patricia and Campion College, while from Moose Jaw it was the Monarchs and Crescents.

.. GP ..
. WON .
. LOST .
.. GF ..
.. GA ..
. PTS .
* Regina Patricia55030
* Moose Jaw St. Andrew Monarchs53216116
Regina Campion College62418274
Moose Jaw Crescents61510272

On Saturday, February 11th, Moose Jaw Monarchs were leading 4-2 against the Regina Patricia with only 10 minutes left in the third period. The game was played at the Moose Jaw Arena Rink. The local fans saw Regina score 2 goals within 5 minutes to tie the contest. Shortly afterwards, Pats notched the winner.

* - Moose Jaw Monarchs did not finish the league schedule game against the Patricia, February 15th, due to the fact Regina Patrica had already clinched first place. Moose Jaw Monarch's Stan Evans tied Harvey Haismith of Regina Patricia for the scoring race. Both players played 5 games, had 7 goals, no assists for 7 points.

(Above photo - was in my Dad's Collection)

Junior hockey between the two cities goes way back to the 1890's. It was 1894 and the January 25, 1894, edition of the Regina Leader newspaper stated, "Hockey is Fast becoming the greatest winter sport in Regina." The city of Moose Jaw, hearing that Regina was participating in the game, challenged their neighbour city to a series of hockey games. The winner would recieve the Silver Cup.

February 21st, 1894 - saw the first game played at Regina and the hometown boys won 8-2. One week later Moose Jaw won back the Silver Cup at the Flour City. Moose Jaw lost the third game on March 14 in Regina, the game being lopsided.

February 7, 1896 - once again saw the two cities participate in a two game series. The first game was played in Moose Jaw. Their local newspaper, Moose Jaw Times, wrote, "The Regina boys will have to be clever indeed if they wish to defeat the Moose Jaw Javites." Regina won the game 6-4. The game did provide some entertainment as it states that there were three fights in the game. The following game in Regina had the home team win with the same score 6-4.

March 23, 1897 - the evening paper came out every Thursday and one year later, on March 25, the Regina Leader reported "On Monday evening a very interesting game of hockey was played in the Regina Rink between the Juniors of Moose Jaw and Regina. The team line-up was as follows:

Moose JawPositionRegina
J. CreaghGoalBruce McInnis
William Hannah .....................
PointLou Eddy
William Rollo........... Cover Point ...........
Gary Gillespie
J. RolloForwardF.G. England
J. HaighForwardCharlie S. Pringle
J. ChristieForwardGeorge Carmichael ..............
D. WhiteForwardMervis Feely

At the close of one hour's play the score stood 9-5 in favour of the Regina team. It was a good game and one from which the seniors might take a few pointers. Bad feelings, contentions, etc., were entirely absent not withstanding the fact that play was, at times, "fast and furious." So fast that in the first half Regina scored seven goals to Moose Jaw's one.

On Thursday, April 1, the Leader read, "The last game of the season was played in Moose Jaw rink Friday evening last. In the two games played, Regina has scored 15 goals to Moose Jaw's 9 and have the honour of holding the Assiniboia Championship."

Only changes in the line-up were Jack Stuart in place of George Gillespie for Regina, and W. Bellany in place of William Hannah for Moose Jaw. Regina had a 3-1 lead by 12 minutes. From then until half-time the puck was kept well in front of Moose Jaw's goal. In the second half it mentioned that at about the five minute mark, Regina's Lou Eddy was trying to make one of his great rushes on Moose Jaw's goal when he broke his skate. Time was called for 10 minutes to replace his skates. Final score was Regina 6, Moose Jaw 4.

After the 1921 Inter-City League the two cities once again competed during the 1923-1924 season. That year there were only two teams in the league. Regina Patricia and Moose Jaw Canucks. Both teams played each other six times, with Patricia finishing with a record of 4 wins, 2 losts, 28 goals for and 21 goals against.

It wasn't until the 1927-1928 season that a Moose Jaw team competed in and Inter-Locking City League. That year it was the Regina Pats and Regina Falcons joining as one team. The new club became known as the Regina Monarchs. Howie Milne took over coaching from Al Ritchie due to Amateur hockey rules which would not permit Ritchie to coach the team from the player box due to connections with the professional aggregation (coaching the Regina Capitals). That year it was the Moose Jaw Maroons playing along with Regina Monarchs and Argos. The Maroons finished last with 6 wins, 5 losts, 15 goals for and 52 goals against.

By the 1930's Moose Jaw were playing in there own league. Three years in arrow the Regina Pats met Moose Jaw Cubs in a home and home total goal series for the Southern Saskatchewan Final. On February 24, at Moose Jaw the Pats won 5-0 and two days later at Regina the Pats won 3-0. Once again the two same teams played in the Saskatchewan Southern Final the following year. On Monday, February 29, at Moose Jaw, the Pats won 1-0 and Wednesday, March 2, Pats won 3-0. In the 1932-1933 season Pats met Moose Jaw Cubs this time in the Sought Saskatchewan Semi-Final. Tuesday, February 14, at Moose Jaw, the Pats won 1-0 and on Thursday, February 16, the Pats won 4-0.

With the Regina Pats disbanding in 1934, the Pats did not meet until 1946 when the Abbott and Commandos make a team. The two were amalgamated and we had the new Regina Pats Hockey Club. It was the Regina Pats once again with Moose Jaw Canucks in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. That year Moose Jaw one of the best player to ever come out of the Wheat City in Metro Prystai who happened to come back and coach in 1960.

One of the most unusual goals had to be during the 1946-1947 season during the league final. It was on Wednesday, March 12, at Regina. It was the clinching goal by Dunc Fisher in the final period on a fluke goal as he scored on his own rebound off the radio broadcasting booth above the Moose Jaw net!

In 1948, the two teams left the Saskatchewan Hockey League and joined the new Western Junior Hockey League and that season Moose Jaw Canucks finished in first place, while the Pats ended up in third. Both teams stayed in the league until the 1954-1955 season when the Canucks had a bad season only winning 5 games in a 40 game schedule. The following season Moose Jaw dropped out of the league.

It wasn't until 1958, when the new Moose Jaw Civic Centre was built that Moose Jaw and Regina Pats once again had their rivalry. Moose Jaw Canucks were once again was back in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League along side the Regina Pats until the 1965-1966 season. The following year, both clubs joined the brand new Western Hockey League. That year the league was called the Canadian Major Junior Hockey League. As you can see Moose Jaw and Regina Junior Hockey rivalry goes back along ways.

The last several years even the Alumni have gotten into it, calling the game the Trans-Canada Clash.. The first game was in Moose Jaw, on
January 1989, when the Regina Pats Alumni scored in the last minute by Kurt Wickenheiser winning a wild one 10-9. Since then Regina has won ever game.

On Saturday afternoon, February, 9, 2008, at the Regina Brandt Centre, Regina Pats Alumni edged the Moose Jaw Warriors Alumni 3-2. In 2009 there was no game.

Saturday, January 30, 2010, at the Moose Jaw Civic Centre, at 1:30 p.m. Regina Pats Alumni Team win their third straight game over Moose Jaw Warriors, 7-4. There was no game in 2011 due to Moose Jaw not being able to dress a team.