Friday, February 3, 2012

1963-64 - SEASON - THE FRAN HUCK ERA



The City of Regina was celebrating their Diamond Jubilee, 60 years (1903-1963). That year the League increased its schedule to 62 games and had a partial schedule with the Edmonton Oil Kings that season. On Thursday, October 17, at Saskatoon, Regina's coach Dunc Fischer started a new line with centre Fran Huck, left winger Gary Dresdal, and right winger Andy Black.
(Photo: Regina Pats - Souvenir Program - Ron C. Johnston Collection)

The Regina games were now being broadcast over radio station CKCK. Ron Johnston, "I can still remember after one of the broadcasts, an elderly lady called the station and asked why was Frank Huck dressed all in black?" The line had Huck-Gresdal-Black.

There were no overtime League scheduled games that seasson. On Friday, November 22, at the Regina Exhibition Stadium, Gary Schall scored six goals as Regina Pats downed Melville Millionaires 11-3. At the Regina Exhibition Stadium, on Saturday, December 28, Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) Selects played an exhibition game against the Czech Olympics and fought to a 4-4 tie. . (Regina Leader Post - Ad) .

Estevan Bruins finished the league schedule in first place with 78 points, followed by Regina Pats with 71. Regina Pats Fran Huck took the scoring title with 153 points, and was selected on the First All-Star team along with Defenseman Doug Piper.

1963-1964 - Regina Pats Roster - Goalies: Peter Sternig, Tim Tabor Defense: Norm Schmitz, Ray Holmes, Mike Fisher, Doug Piper (Captain), Bob Taylor, Dave Rudolph, Rick Potter, Stan Fuller, Bob Mills Centre: Fran Huck, Gary "Gabby" Schall, Rick Sentes, Doug Dayman, Dave Balicki Right Wing: Andy Black, Tom Kellough, Ernie Hicke, John Cooke, Doug Wass Left Wing: Gary Gresdal, Stan Gilbertson, Ken Walters, Barry Meissner, Ken Faranski, Jeff Bugera Coach: Dunc Fisher Manager: Del Wilson Trainer: Sandy Archer

Quarter Semi-Final - Tuesday, March 10, coach Jack Shupe's Weyburn Red Wings blanked the Regina Pats 4-0 at the Regina Stadium. Red Wings winless in four previous Stadium starts that season, out-skated, out-checked and out-played the Pats. The clubs fought through a scoreless first period and the hustling Wings broke it wide open with three goals in the middle frame. Gail Holden scored on his second rebound at 1:36, Dwight Carruthers then scored on a 25 footer at 5:55 followd by Bill Lesuk at 15:50. Ken Thompson scored in the third period with a two man advantage.

Thursday, March 12, the hustling-scrappy Weyburn Red Wings grabbed a two game lead when they defeated (Photo: Weyburn Colosseum) Regina Pats 4-2 before (2,500) a capacity turnout at the Weyburn Colosseum. The saw rookie Ken Thompson scored two goals for the home club. The Wings went ahead 2-0 after the first period and held a 2-1 lead going into the third period. Pats evened the scored at 2-2 early in the period only to have Weyburn score two goals in the space of two minutes and 12 seconds for the victory.

Friday, March 13, Regina Pats scored a 6-4 victory over Weyburn at the Regina Exhibition Stadium. Wings goaltender Joe Daley, who joined the club in mid-January, turned aside 42 shots - 21 in the second period. The second period was the finest Pat offensive display since their 13 game winning streak of mid season. Regina scored two quick goal in 52 seconds at the 17 minute mark when Frank Huck scored at 17:06 and Norm Schmitz at 17:58 to give Regina Pats a 4-2 lead. Stan Gilbertson and Norm Beaudin each scored twice for Regina. Dwight McMillan was Wings top score with two goals.

Monday, March 16, the fired-up Weyburn Red Wings bolted to a 3-0 first period lead and went on to down the Regina pats 6-3 at the Weyburn Colosseum. Bill Lesuik and Dave Lee, up from Weyburn Elks Junior B team, paced the Wings with two goals each while Regina Pats Fran Huck had two goals. Jim Lorett, Lesuk, and Lee scored in the opening period. Regina's Andy Black and Huck scored in the second period. in the third period Weyburn's Lesuk, Lee and Ken Knipleburg scored before Huck scored his second goal at 18:13.

Tuesday, March 17, on the brink of elimination Regina Pats did not rely on the luck of the Irish. Pats scored an impressive 7-3 victory over Weyburn at the Regina Exhibition Stadium. Regina never trailed as they took a 3-0 first periopd lead and held a 5-2 edge after the second period. Andy Black led the Pats with two goals. Regina Pat's Andy Black's second goal, the first in the second period, took the steam out of the Red Wings. He hit the puck out of the air with the blade of his stick as he skated across the goal mouth.

Wednesday, March 18, for the second time, Regina staved off elimination as they battled the Regina Wings to a 1-1 tie at the Weyburn Colosseum. Both teams fought through a scoreless first period. Regina Pats Ernie Hicke was sitting out a slashing penalty when Weybun's Dwight McMillan scored at 16:15. With less than seventeen minutes remaining in the game, Pat's supper star Fran Huck sent a rebound passed sprawling goalie Don Caley for the tying goal.



Thursday, March 19, Regina Pat's 18 year old pivot Fran Huck scored his fifteenth hat trick of the season. Huck helped the Pats to an 8-3 victory over Weyburn at the Regina Exhibition Stadium to force an eighth game in the series. "Fran Huck, the 156 pound centre, has proven through- out the season that he is the closest thing to a one-man hockey team to appear on the western junior scene since Metro Prystai was filling the nets with pucks for the Moose Jaw Canucks back in the late 1940's", stated sports writer John Robertson. ....... (Photo: Fran Huck - Collection)

Commissioner Frank Boucher made a decision to have the eighth and deciding game be played on neutral ice at the Melville Stadium.

March 23, Monday, desire, hustle, and solid goal tending by Regina Pats' Peter Sternig sparked the Pats to a 6-3 victory over Weyburn in the eighth and deciding game. Regina roared to a 3-0 lead in the first period. Wings fought back and cut the lead to a single goal by the halfway mark of the second period before the pats put it out of reach. They added two more goals to take a 5-2 lead going into the third period. Pats Stan Gilbertson was Regina's top scorer with two goals.

Semi-Final - Friday afternoon, March 27, Saskatoon Quakers grabbed a 2-0 first period lead and never trailed on their way to a 6-5 win over Regina Pats at the Saskatoon Arena. Quaker's Ed Hobday's second goal at 16:43 of the third period became the winning goal. Stan Gilbertson scored two goals for the Pats, both in the second period, Fran Huck, Ernie Hicke, and Schall scored the other Pat goals. Saskatoon lead 4-2 after the second period.

Saturday, March 28, Regina Pats defeated the Quakers 4-2 at the Regina Exhibition Stadium. An outstanding forechecking display in the final 20 minutes held Saskatoon to just four shots on Pats goalie Peter Sternig and that made the difference in the game. Saskatoon's Bill Orban started the scoring at 2:39 of the first period. At the five minute mark, Andy Black scored for Regina as he slapped in Fran Huck's drop pass just inside the blue line. Stan Gilbertson gave the Pats the lead at 7:25, Ernie Hicke then upped the score at 4:45 of the second period when he passed out from behind the net and the puck went in off a defender. Norm Bell then scored at 9:18 to give Regina a 3-2 lead after the second period. Norm Schmitz scored the only goal in the third period, a pass from Huck.

Tuesday, March 31, a third period goal by rookie Ernie Hicke, his second goal of the game, gave Regina Pats a 6-5 victory over Saskatoon at Saskatoon Arena. For the second night in a row Fran Huck matched Hickes output. Bill Orban of the Quakers also scored a pair of goals. A grand total of 8 goals were scored in the wild first period as Regina Pats came out in front with a 5-3 lead. Six of the goals were scored between the 2:40 and 8:28 mark. Hicke's winning goal had him going behind the net, slide the puck back in front, where the puck hit a defenders skate and went into the net.

Wednesday, April 1, Fran Huck triggered his sixteenth hat trick of the season as he helped his team mates to an impressive 8-2 victory over Saskatoon at Regina Exhibition Stadium. It was Pats best showing of the series as they wrapped it up with a five goal outburst in the second period in the space of seven minutes and four seconds. Ernie Hick was Pats other top scorer with two goals and one assist.

On Friday, April 3, Night Regina Leader Post headlines: "Is supper Western Junior Hockey League in the offering? Regina Pats interested in super circuit."

League Semi-Final - Saturday, April 4, a big save by rookie all-star goalie Wayne Doll halfway through the third period and a rash of penalties stopped Regina Pats as they lost 6-3 against the home Estevan Bruins. The big save by Doll came on a point blank shot by Fran Huck with Bruins holding a 4-3 edge. it would have meant another hat rick for the Pat star who had to settle with two goals. Estevan took a 3-2 lead after the first period and 4-2 lead after the second period. Butch Morris had two goals and one assist for the Bruins.

Monday, April 6, Regina made the most of a couple of penalties to get a well deserved 4-1 win over Estevan at the Regina Exhibition Stadium before 4,781 fans. Pats goalie Peter Sternig had his shutout spoiled with less than two minutes remaining in the game. There was no scoring until 7:45 of the second period when Fran Huck scored an ankle backhand to the short side of the net. Pats then scored two goals while they had the man advantage; Stan Gilbertson 44 seconds later followed by Gary Schall with only 50 seconds left in the second period. In the third period Huck scored his second goal and Estevan's captain Skip Krake scored the Bruins only goal at 18:42.

Wednesday, April 8, Regina won a hard fought game as they edged Estevan Bruins 4-3 at the Bruins' Agricultural Auditorium. Gary "Gabby" Schall, Fran Huck and goalie Peter Sternig were outstanding as they provided the needed strength. The real Pats hero was the ex-Estevan Stan Gilbertson as he turned in his finest two-way display of his junior career. Gilbertson was traded early in the season for right-winger Doug Dayman. Stan Gilbertson triggered three goals for the Pats, the tying and winning goal in the third period.

Friday, April 10, Estevan Bruins hustled to a 4-1 victory over Regin as the largest (5,259) crowd of the season looked on at the Regina Exhibition Stadium. Don Smith and Butch Morris did all the scoring for the Bruins. Smith scored twice and assisted on both of Morris' goals. The turning point was in the early second period, Estevan lead 2-0 when Estevan's goalie Wayne Doll stopped Stan Gilberston on a break-a-way.
Saturday, April 11, The Estevan Bruins down Regina 4-1 in the province's Oil Capital. The game was played in front of the largest crowd (2,700) of the season at the Estevan 2,100 seat Auditorium. Regina's Stan Gilbertson scored the only goal in the first period at 8:23. Estevan took the lead in the second period on two goals in the space of 27 seconds. Ron Boehm scored Bruins other goal.

Monday, April 13, in an sudden death overtime game, Estevan rookie Wayne Green's goal gave the Bruins a 7-6 cliff hanger at the Regina Exhibition Stadium before only 3,000 spectators and take the series. The winner came at 4:05 of the second overtime period, it was a picture goal; Ron Boehm swept down the right side only to be stopped by a brilliant sprawling save by Peter Sterning. The puck trickled loose in front of the net and Green lifted the puck over the netminder into the open net, ending a three hour and twenty-five minute nerve tingling encounter.
With only three minutes left in the regulation, Regina's coach Dunc Fisher sent 4 forwards for a face-off and it paid off. Pats John Cooke shot a waist high drive to the wide side. Nex Fisher pulled the goalie and Fran Huck scored at 19:12 to force the lengthy overtime.

Estevan lost to Edmonton Oil Kings in the Abbott Cup. With Regina Pats pick-up, Fran Huck, the Oil Kings lost to the Toronto Marlboros in the Memorial Cup in four straighy games. In the final game, the CTV network picked up the game in the second period. It became the first ever Memorial Cup final to be broadcast live across Canada.