1968-68 - MEMORIAL CUP BOUND
On Sunday, November 17, at Regina, Captain Ron "Garvie" Garwasiuk, the little guy from St. Paul, Alberta, scored 6 goals as the Pats downed Moose Jaw Canucks 10-1. Friday, December 6, at Regina, the Rookie line of Ken Marit, Scott Smith and Rod Norrish scored 7 goals, a new franchise record.
The largest Regina attendance was when the Montreal Canadiens Junior team came to town, Tuesday, December 17. A crowd of 4,123 saw what was to be a copy of the Memorial Cup series next spring. The Junior Canadiens went on to down the Pats 5-2.
For the first time in many years Pats were playing overtime in the SAJHL League schedule. Both Regina Pats goaltenders finished one-two in the league goal against average. Rookie Gary Bromley gave up 82 goals in 28 game for a 2.95 average and Mike Schneider had a 3.10 goals against average.
Regina Pats finished in first place with 65 points, followed by Weyburn Red Wings with 51. Regina Pats Ron Garwasiuk was in second place in the scoring race with 91 points, behind Bruce Hellemond of Moose Jaw Canucks. Larry Wright was in fifth place with 85 points, followed by Laurie Yaworski with 81 points.
1968-1969 - Regina Pats Roster - Goalies: Gary "Mr. Cool" Bromley, Mike Schneider Defense: Don Murray, Dave "Dooley" Smith, Brian Brown, Stewart Scalf, Barry "Diesel" Cummins, John "Bear Cat" Statz Centre: Larry Wright, Art Scott, Ron "Garvie" Garwasiuk (Captain), Laurie Yaworski, Terry Killian Right Wing: Scott "Smitty" Smith, Ken Marit, Garry Runge, Don Saleski, Bob " Buck" Owen Left. Wing: Ron Garwasiuk, Rod Norrish, Garry Leippi, Al Barrett Coach and Manager: Bob Turner President: John Hudson Trainers: Chuck Walch, Bob Kelly Statistican: Ron “Scoreboard” Johnston
Semi-Play-Offs - Tuesday, March 4, Moose Jaw's Keith Boundy became the goat in the third period as he tried to take on Pats Ron Garwasiuk. "Garby" did not retaliate, but dropped to his knees and covered his head with his arms. Boundy got a major penalty and Larry Wright scored the winning goal as Regina Pats took a 8-6 victory at the Civic Centre. Garwasiuk matched Larry Wright's out put with a three goal performance and picked up three assists for a six point outing. Gary Bock, Bruce Hellemond and Gerry Miller each scored twice for Moose Jaw. Moose Jaw took a 2-0 lead before Pats struck for 3 goals to lead after the first period and Pats had a 6-5 edge going in to the third period.
Friday, March 7, Pat's Garry Leippi's three goal production, the first of his junior career, helped Regina to a 7-3 victory over Moose Jaw at the Regina Exhibition Stadium. Centre Larry Wright scored a pair of goals to help the Pats. The big difference was the Canucks defense. With several on the limp, they had to rely on several of their forwards playing the blue line duty as well. In the later stages it took its toll.
Saturday, March 8, Regina blanked Moose Jaw Canucks 5-0 before a very small crowd at the Moose Jaw Civic Centre. Regina took a 1-0 lead in the first period on Rod Norrish's goal at the 7:31 mark. Three minutes into the second period, Larry Wright scored and then at the eleven minute mark, Ron Garwasiuk made, it 3-0. In the third period, with two minutes left in regulation, defenceman John Statz and forward Don Seleski closed out the scoring. Goaltender Gary Bromley stopped 33 saves to record the shut out.
Sunday afternoon, March 9, Pats took a 5-1 decision at the Regina Exhibition Stadium taking the series four games straight. With many of the fans still not seated for the start of the game, Regina scored three goals on their first line shift. Don Saleski started the scoring at 36 seconds into the game followed by Ron Garwasiuk ten seconds later. Larry Wright made it 3-0 at the 1:03 mark of the first period. Moose Jaw's Bruce Hellemond scored at 12:51 to give Pats a 3-1 lead going into the second. The middle frame was scoreless. Gary Leippi and Scott Smith scored in the third period. Smith played with a football helmet to protect his broken nose which
occurred in Saturday's game.
League Finals - Tuesday, March 11, a pair of third period goals helped Regina Pats to a 3-1 victory over the Weyburn Red Wings at the Regina Exhibition Stadium. It was anyone's game until Pats' rookie, Scott Smith, scored on a break-a-way winning goal near the midway point of the third period. It was Pats second break-a-way goal in the game, Laurie Yaworski got the other early in the starting period. In the second period Pats' Gary Bromley had stopped August George and Darwin Mott before Weyburn's Murray Keogan scored on a loose puck. Pats made it 2-1 on Smith's goal at the 7:42 mark and then Don Saleski scored on a man advantage less then five minutes later for the insurance goal.
Friday, March 14, Regina, playing almost flawless hockey, blanked Weyburn 5-0 at the Weyburn Colosseum. Pats' goalie, Gary Bromley, made 38 saves and was at his best in the middle frame When he stopped several point-blank shots. The clubs battled through a scoreless first period. The Red Wings lost control of the puck in their own end zone and Larry Wright scored at 14:09 of the second period. Two minutes later Laurie Yaworsk i made it 2-0 on a shorthanded goal. In the third period Larry Wright scored his second goal at 7:11 before Ron Garwasiuk scored two quick goals 26 seconds apart with four minutes remaining in the game.
Sunday afternoon, March 16, Regina Pats' Ron Garwasiuk's five points helped his club to an impressive 7-2 victory over Red Wings at the Regina Exhbition Stadium. Captain Garwasiuk sparked Regina with two goals and three helpers. Don Saleski and Laurie Yaworski each had two goals apiece. Regina roared to a 2-0 early lead on Garwasiuk's and Barry Cummin's goals before Weyburn scored late in the first period with Pats short 2 men. In the second, Pats took a 4-1 lead on Don Seleski's 2 goals. Early in the third period Yaworski made it 5-1 and four and a half minutes later Garby scored.
Tuesday, March 18, a goal by August George, his second at 1:54 of the second sudden death overtime period, gave the Red Wings a 6-5 victory over Pats at Weyburn. Bob Miller matched George's two goal performance. For Regina it was a one-man performance by Ron Garwasiuk as he accounted for four tallies. Garwasiuk tied the game with 4 minutes left in regulation. Weyburn's goalie, Wayne Bell, was the hero stopping Don Saleski on a clear break-a-way from his own blue line. In the second overtime period he also stopped John Statz on a point shot, plus a glove save on a blistering shot by Laurie Yaworski just prior to the winning goal by George.
Thursday, March 20, a goal by Ron Garwasiuk at 13:43 of the second sudden death overtime period gave Regina Pats a 3-2 victory over the Weyburn Red Wings and the series at the Exhibition Stadium. Weyburn took the lead as Murray Keogan pounced on a loose puck during a goal mouth scramble. Pat's Larry Wright tied the contest less then 3 minutes later on a rink long rush. Bob Owen gave Regina a 2-1 lead his first goal of the playoffs six minutes into the second period before August George tied the game with 2 minutes left in the second period. Garwasiuk's winner was on a delayed penalty call. Once again it was brilliant netminding by both Wayne Bell of the Wings and Gary Bromley of the Pats that caused the last two games to go into extra periods. Bell made 50 saves and had at least 8 brilliant saves in the third period.
Western Canada Semi-Final - Under the CAHA regulation, Regina Pats picked up three players from the Weyburn Red Wings: defeseman, Gord Redden; centre, Murray Keogan; and right winger, Ross Butler.
Wednesday, April 2, Regina Pats scored three goals both in the second and third periods, to breeze to a 7-1 victory over the Lethbridge Sugar Kings at the Regina Exhitibion Stadium. Sugar kings who eliminated Victoria Cougars in six games could not get on track throughout the game.
Don Saleski scored a pair of goals for Pats. Lethbridge's Wayne Zuk, a pick-up from Red Deer Rustlers, scored while Regina was shorthanded at the four minute mark. Pat's Larry Wright tied the game at 1-1 four minutes later. Pat's pick-up, Murray Keogan of Weyburn, scored the winner at 3:08 of the second period as he slapped the puck between Lethbridge goaltender Don Hall’s pads.
Friday, April 4, Regina took a 3-0 first period lead, then went on and coasted to a 8-1 victory over Lethbridge at Regina. Smoothy Ron Garwasiuk led Pats with three goals. His third came off a blue line slapshot that goalie Don Hall said, " It dropped a foot. It was heading for my glove but just fell." quoted Lethbridge Herald Sports writer Pat Sullivan. "The Kings, in their playoff series with Edmonton Movers, Red Deer Rustlers and Victoria, were never beaten by this wide a margin.” he wrote. The turning point came when Regina was given 2 penalties at 8:23 of the first period. Laurie Yaworski stole the puck off Darrell Knibs at the Sugar Kings' blue line and went in alone on Don Hall to score at the 9:09 mark. .... (Photo: Ron Garwasiuk - Ron C. Johnston Collection) ....
Monday, April 7, Regina Pat's pick-up, Ross Butler, of Weyburn, deflected a John Statz, slapshot passed Lethbridge goalie Don Hall at 8:15 of sudden death overtime. The goal gave Regina a 6-5 come from behind victory in front of a sell-out crowd at the Lethbridge Arena. The Kings were leading 5-2 with less than 13 minutes left in the game. The Pats scored three goals in the span of 2 minutes and 22 seconds. “It seemed all I could see was blue shirts.” said King's netminder Don Hall. Regina Pats received bad news Tuesday when they learned Rod Norrish woul be out for at leas 2 weeks with a broken collar bone that he played in the second period of Monday's game.
Wednesday, April 9, Coach Don McLean's Lethbridge Sugar Kings received a 5-4 triumph over the Pats at Lethbridge Arena. Before a sell-out crowd, Kings Wayne Zuk sparked the home club with two goals and two assists. Pats lead 2-1 after the opening period and both clubs were tied 2-2 after the second period.
Thursday, April 10, the Sugar Kings belted the Pats 5-0 before another sell out crowd at the Arena. Lethbridge's Darrell Knibs was top scorer with two goals but it was the great work of goaltender Don Hall that kept Lethbridge in the game. Hall was flawless as he blocked 35 drives to become the first netminder to blank the Pats that season. Lethbridge scored two goals in the first and second period and one more in the third. Darrel Knibbs was Lethbridge’s top scorer with two goals, the fourth and fifth goals of the game. Hack Higgins, a former Pats executive and present sales manager for the largest car dealership in Lethbridge, provided 4 brand new cars to the players Friday afternoon. The players used them to head to the great Canadian Rockies for a change of scenery.
Saturday, April 12, with only 22 seconds remaining in the game, a goal by Ron Garwasiuk gave Regina Pats a 5-4 victory over the stubborn Sugar Kings. The winning goal had Barry Cummins pickup a pass from Garry Leippi at his own blue line. Cummins drilled a shot wide of the Kings net then headed for the players bench. At the same moment, Garwasiuk jumped over the boards and raced in as the puck bounced off the back boards. As Garby reached the left face off circle, he let go his famous slapshot all in one motion. The puck was in the twine before goalie Hall could even blink. Both teams were tied 1-1 going into the third period after Pats took a 1-0 first period lead. During the wild open third, Larry Wright scored at 5:47 followed by Lethbridge with 2 then Pats scored 2. Lethbridge Lupul tied the game with 4 minutes left before "Garby" scored the winner.
Western Canada Final - Abbott Cup - Wednesday, April 16, Regina Pats struck for four goals in the third period to down the Dauphin Kings 6-2 at the Regina Exhibition Stadium. Murray Keogan, a pick-up from Weyburn, led Pats with two goals. The turning point was in the second period when Dauphin's Dennis Schick slapshot went through a hole in the net; the goal judge said it didn't. When the play was whistled down, a check of the twine revealed the hole in the net which was quickly mended. It would have given the Kings a 2-1 lead at that point. Dauphin were outclassed in the third as Regina had 26 shots on goalie Don Love. Dauphins' coach Stymle Love stated, "The 10-day layoff hurt my club in the third period and we'll be much rougher in the next game.”
Friday, April 18, The Dauphin Kings battled to a hard fought 5-4 win over Regina at the Stadium. Bob LeGuilloux led Dauphin with two goals. I t was the hard working centre, Butch Goring, who helped the Kings to their victory in the final period. He scored the tying goal and assisted on the winner by Bob Buchy. Regina lead 3-2 after the opening period and both clubs were tied 3-3 going into the third. It was Pats 4-3 at the 6:00 mark before Butch Goring on a solo effort 4 minutes later, that tied the game. Buchy scored while Pats "Dooley Smith was in the penalty box with four minutes left.
Saturday, April 19, Regina skated their way to a convincing 8-4 victory over Dauphin at the Stadium. Pats used an all-out team effort as eight players handled the scoring. They bombarded the Kings with a total of 50 shots. Right from the starting whistle, the Pats came out flying. On a pass from Ron Garwasiuk at the King's blueline, Larry Wright scored with just 16 seconds laspsed in the game. Regina led 4-0 after the first period. In the second period the visitors scored 2 goals before Pats' Bob Owen scored with four minutes remaining in the period to give Pats a 5-2 lead. Don Saleski and pick-up Ross Butler scored for Regina by the 2:26 mark. Kings then scored 2 goals before Scott finished with 3 minutes left.
Monday, April 21, a Regina Pats record four-goal outburst in the space of one minute and 14 seconds in the third period lead Regina to a 6-2 victory at the Dauphin Civic Centre. Ron Garwasiuk started the third period outbreak at the 11:33 mark and followed with his second at 12:01. Weyburn's Murray Keogan scored nine seconds later, then line mate Ross Butler scored at 12:47. For the second consecutive game Pats took an early lead. John Statz scored at 43 seconds at the start of the game with a slapshot from the point. Pats took a 2-1 lead after the first period and both teams fought through a scoreless second period. Regina Pats left for home by bus immediately after the game and commuted back and forth from Regina for the games.
Wednesday, April 23, Kelly Sveinson of Winnipeg had been brought in Tuesday to lecture the Dauphin Kings on powers of positive thinking and it paid off. A goal by Bob LeGuilloux at 3:43 of overtime gave Dauphin a 3-2 victory over Regina at Dauphin's Civic Centre. Dauphin took a 2-0 lead after the first period. Clayton Kemp dug the puck out of the corner and passed to the edge of the crease, then Don Cherry flipped the puck into the net at 15:38. Three minutes later Butch Goring stole the puck at his own blue line and outskated two defenders while shorthanded. With a perfect pass from Larry Wright Ron Garwasiuk scored for Regina at 14:38 of the second period as he blasted the puck home. Wright then scored at 11:19 of the third period to send the game into a straight 10 minutes of overtime.
Friday, April 25, Dauphin's Butch Gorning ,who started the season with Winnipeg Junior Jets (WCJHL), led the King attack with two goals to edge Regina 4-3 at Dauphin. It now became a sudden death affair with Dauphin tying the series. In the opening period Butch Goring gave Dauphin a 1-0 lead going into the second period. Dauphin then upped the score to 3-0 on Bob LeGuilloux and Goring's second goal before Don Saleski put Pats on the scoreboard with only 8 second left in the period. In the third period Ron Garawsiuk narrowed the score at the 1:28 mark, the teams then exchanged goals with Larry Wright scoring for the Pats at 9:46.
Saturday, April 26, Regina Pats turned in their finest two-way performance of the season by downing Dauphin Kings 4-3 and capturing the Abbott Cup. “Dauphin's Civic Centre crowd was treated to what has to be termed the best junior hockey game played in the west for many years,” stated Leader Post sport writer Mel Isaac. It was Weyburn defenceman Gord Reddon's goal at 11:18 in the middle frame that made the difference. The goal put Regina ahead 4-2 going into the third. Dauphin's Butch Goring had to watch the game on the sidelines with a dislocated shoulder that he Friday near the end of the game.
Regina Pats coach Bob Turner announced three more pick-ups for the Memorial Cup series. All from Dauphin Kings: centre Butch Goring; left winger, Dennis Schick; and defenceman Bob Neufeld. Rejean Houle scored three goals to lead the Montreal Junior Canadiens to a 7-5 victory over Sorel (Quebec) Black Hawks Sunday afternoon. Sorel Black Hawks were coached by 21 year old Ken Hodge, probably the youngest coach in the country. Hodge was a former Moose Jaw Canuck who had a promising career cut short by a serious eye injury two years ago. Ken went on to be one of the finest junior hockey coaches, making stops in Moose Jaw and then Portland as coach and manager.
Canadian Final - Memorial Cup - It turned out to be an all Montreal Canadiens (NHL) Junior Team Sponsor Final. The last time Pats played in the Memorial was 1958 when they played the Junior Habs at that time. Then they were known as the Ottawa-Hull Canadiens who defeated Pats in 6 games before 28,000 fans.
An Air Canada strike caused a long bus trip to Minot North Dakota, U.S.A. that started late Monday night at 10 p.m. plus a 3 hour wait in Minot. Next came a 5 hour plane ride stopping at Fargo, N.D.; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Detroit, Michigan; Toronto, Ontario; arriving Tuesday night at 8 p.m. at Montreal. The trip took a lot of steam out of the Western Champions.
Wednesday, April 30, a three goal performance by Guy Charron of the Junior Canadiens helped his club to a 5-3 victory over Regina Pats. The Foreum fans saw both goalies turn in spectacular performances robbing opposing forwards of numerous golden opportunities. Pat's Gary Bromley was the busiest blocking 40 drives, 20 in the third period. Jim Rutherford, a pick-up from the Hamilton Red Wings of the OJHLA, blocked 32 drives; 14 coming in the opening frame. Montreal's Guy Charron had a three goal performance while Regina's pick-up, Murray Keogan, had two.
Friday, May 2, the Junior Habs skated to a 7-2 win over the Pats before a large crowd at the Foreum. It was Robert Charron as he lead the baby Habs attack with two goals. Regina Pats, Laurie Yaworski played despite a broken thumb. He came to coach Bob Turner prior to the game and told him he was going to play no matter how much it hurt. As in the first game, Pats ran out of gas near the end of the second period. Canadiens led 3-2 going into the final stanza. The third period saw both clubs at 16:14 in a team brawl, resulting in a total of 20 game misconducts handed out. Only six players on both clubs were left to finish out the last minutes of the game. Regina Pats peppered 15 shots at Jim Rutherford in the opening period and
another 18 in the middle frame. Both clubs boarded a charter DC-9 to Regina immediately after the game.
Sunday afternoon, May 4, infront of the largest crowd in recent years at Regina Exhibition Stadium, Montreal Canadiens skated to a 5-2 victory over the Regina Pats. 17 year old Rookie, Robert Lalonde, was a one-man wrecking crew for the Baby Habs as he alone destroyed the Pats with a four-goal production on but six shots. Playing for the first time with the Pats a pair of pick-ups, Ross Butler of Weyburn and Butch Goring of Dauphin, were the scorers for the Red, White and Blue Pats. Montreal took a 3-0 lead after the first and 5-2 after the second period.
Monday, May 5, the Junior Montreal Habs scored a pair of goals within the span of 52 seconds early in the ten minute straight overtime and gave the eastern champs a 8-6 victory over Regina. It was a tough one to loose for Robert Turner's Pats. At one point they had built a 5-1 lead after the five minute mark of the second period. “I started to switch lines and I guess it paid off.” coach Roger Bedard told Mal Isaac of the Regina Leader Post. Montreal's Andre Dupont scored the tying goal at 15:19 of the third period to force the extra stanza. Guy Charron scored what proved to be the winner at the two minute mark of the overtime period. It was his second of the game and sixth of the series.
Baby Habs' line-up was a powerhouse that season which featured 13 rookies and a strong line-up of Ontario Hockey Association’s Rejean Houle, scoring champion, Guy Charron, Richard Martin, Marc Tardif, Gilbert Perreault, Andre Dupont, Richard Lemieux, Robert Lalonde, Wayne Wood, Jean Pierre Bordeleau, plus pick-up goaltender James Rutherford from the Hamilton Red Wings. All went on to play in the (NHL) National Hockey League.
Regina's Ron Garwasiuk set a club record getting the most points (63) in 28 play-off games. Garwasiuk scored 31 goals and had 32 assists.
Front Row: Gary Bromley, Ron Garwasiuk, (Executives: Ivor Richardson, Hudie Bell, Glen Slareholm), Bob Turner (Coach and Manager), (Executives: John Hudson, Bruce Cowie, Al Shore), Barry Cummins, Mike Schneider Second Row: Don Culic (Stick Boy), Al Barret, Gordon Redden (Weyburn), Larry Wright, Don Saleski, Brian Brown, Murray Keogan (Weyburn), Garry Leippi, Bob Owen, Bob Kelly (Trainer) Third Row: Laurie Yaworski, ken Marit, Rod Norrish, Dave Smith, Scott Smith, Ross Butler (Weyburn), Stew Scalf, John Statz (Photo: Ron C. Johnston - Collection)