1974-1975 - SEASON - PATS ALMOST MOVE TO SPOKANE, WASHINGTON
On Wednesday, March 27, 1974, the Regina Leader Post headlines read: “The Spokane Pats?” Reports came from the Saskatchewan Legislature Tuesday afternoon that one of Regina’s CL questioned the government on what it might do to help keep the Pats from moving to Spokane. At the same time it was confirmed by Regina Pats' President and General Manager, Del Wilson, that he had only phoned the operator of the Spokane Coliseum in terms of negotiations. “We do not want to leave Regina but, unless there is a firm commitment on a new building forthcoming, we have no other choice but to look elsewhere.” stated Wilson.
That night - City Council proposed a new 6,000 seat arena after receiving a letter from Gordon Staseson, President of the Regina Exhibition Association, asking for Council’s preliminary support of the proposal for construction of an “Agra-Dome” building.
As a result of the Pats winning the Memorial Cup in 1973-74, nine top players were drafted or graduated. Nine players returned for the 1974-75 season, leaving behind an inexperienced team. Three of the six Pat owners wanted out of ownership of the Pats Hockey Club. Del Wilson stayed as part owner and General Manager, along with Don K. McPherson and Bill Patton. In an attempt to keep the team in Regina, three new owners were recruited. The new owners were Gordon Wicijowski, Dr. Babchuk and Wilf Degelman.
On Thursday, June 27, 1974, the Regina Leader Post reported, “Del Wilson indicated he plans to keep the team in Regina. Earlier this year he alluded to the possibility of relocating to Spokane, Washington, if a new arena was not built in Regina.”
1974-75 REGINA PATS ROSTER - Goalies: Ed Staniowski, Bob Mahnic, Tim Padleski Defense: Mike Harazny, Dean Tidball, Mike Wirachowsky, Gerrard Joly, Dollard Joly, Gord Wappel Centre: Dave Faulkner, Rob Tudor, Les Grauer, Gerry Minor, Drew Callander, Ken Burdon, Glen Rolfe Right Wing: Rob Tudor, Ross Mahoney, Ron Trafford, Greg Ing, Dick Van Der Velden, Jon Hammond Left Wing: Jon Hammond, Al Dumba, Doug Keil, Jim Minor, Mike Flegel, Kevin Nagel, Bob Poley Coach: Bob Turner General Manager: Del Wilson Assistant Manager: John Weber Trainer: Norm Fong
In the off season, Swift Current Broncos owner Bill Burton moved the franchise to Lethbridge, Alberta, and the new 5,500 seat Sportsplex. The new Lethbridge coach was ex-Pats Earl Ingarfield Sr. who coached Regina Pats in the 1969 season. On Tuesday, October 15, Kamloops Chiefs outshot Regina Pats 44-27 only to lose the game 7-2. Goalie Ed Staniowski and Centre Jim Minor were selected to represent Canada in the World Junior Hockey Tournament, December 26 to January 5.
Regina Pats finished third in the Eastern Division with 63 points. Regina Pats' Dave Faulkner finished in fourth place in the League scoring race playing in 70 games, 56 goals, 66 assists for 122 points and had 59 minutes in penalties. Goalie Eddie Staniowski was selected to the WCHL All-Star Team and won the Canadian Hockey League Player of the Year Award.
Regina Pat Awards: Eddie Staniowski, Most Valuable Player (Tom Willis Trophy); Dave Faulkner, Team Top Scorer (Tom Willis Award (Wrist Watch); Al Dumba, Rookie of the Year (Nick Pappas Memorial Trophy); Les Grauer, Most Sportsmanlike Player (Hub Bishop Memorial Trophy; Mike Harazny, Top Defenseman (Charles Johnston Memorial Trophy)
Mike Harazny, Eddie Staniowski, Les Grauer, Dave Faulkner, Al Dumba (Photo: Ron C. Johnston Collection)
EASTERN DIVISION SEMI-FINAL - Sunday, March 30, it was Lethbridge's Greg Woods' goal at 4:43 of the first overtime period that gave Broncos a 5-4 victory over Pats at the Lethbridge Sportsplex. Woods unloaded a slap shot from the left side and hit the post on the short side, slipping under Eddie Staniowski's outstretched leg. Seconds earlier Robbie Laird hit the goal post at the other end of the rink on a break-a-way. Tudor had wished he could have replaced it with his first goal. He had scored on a break-a-way only 30 seconds into the game.
Tuesday, April 1, Regina Pats downed the Broncos 5-3 at Lethbridge, before 5,015 fans. Pats' netminder Ed Staniowski came up great, he was spectacular throughout. In the first two periods Eddie faced a tidal wave of 33 Bronco shots, 20 in the opening stanza. Although being outshot 33-10Regina came out of the hectic two frames leading 2-1. Jim Minor was Pats scoring leader with two goals, his first on a power play in the opening period. His second on a drive from the left side in the third.
Monday - NEWS FLASH - Regina Leader Post Headline: “burgesses swept a $ 2.4 million bylaw to help build a new hockey arena later named the Agridome”.
Wednesday, April 2, Regina Pats struggled to tie the match and then went on to down Lethbridge 4-3 in overtime at the old Regina Cow Palace. The hero was Jim Minor who helped Regina rise from defeat by scoring two goals, the first tied the game with 35 seconds left in regulation time. The Broncos had received a Penalty at 19:14. Coach Bob Turner pulled Ed Staniowski in favour of an extra attacker, giving the Pats a two-man advantage. In overtime, Minor grabbed a loose puck in front of the net at 9:16 into the extra period.
Friday, April 4, Regina upped and dumped Lethbridge 7-2 at the Exhibition Stadium in front of the largest crowd (4,457) in four years. Pat defenceman Mike Harazny was outstanding as he had the duty of shadowing Broncos' Brian Trottier. Harazny had been playing 45 minutes a game in the play-offs. In the overtime game Wednesday, Mike played all but 30 seconds in the overtime session. Every time Trottier was on the ice, so was Harazny. Going in the second period, Regina's Rod Tudor and Dave Faulkner led the charge brigade with two goals each,. Drew Callander also tallied a pair both in the third period. ......................... (Photo: Regina Leader Post - Ad)Monday, April 7, Earl Ingarfield's Broncos came back from the brink of elimination beating the Pats 4-2 at the Lethbridge Sportsplex. Lethbridge had a 3-0 lead after the eight minute mark of the opening period. Two came on the man advantage, the three goals came within the space of a minute and 13 seconds. Terry Bucyk of the Broncos scored two goals, both during the three-goal rally. The same Bucyk side- lined defenceman Gord Wappel earlier in the period when he hammered Wappel into the boards on an icing play. Gord suffered a broken knee in three places as a result of the charge.
Wednesday, April 9, Regina Pats came up with the biggest game of the season as they downed the second place Lethbridge Broncos 5-2 taking the series at the Exhibition Stadium. Three times the Pats connected while having man advantage and that was the difference in the game. Rookie Al Dumba was the Pats top gun, scoring two goals. Broncos' Brian Trottier was Lethbridge's top scorer with a pair.
EASTERN DIVISION FINAL - Friday, April 11, the Pats dropped a 4-2 decision against the Saskatoon Blades at the Saskatoon Arena. Regina goalie Ed Staniowski kept the Pats within reach of the victory. He was brilliant in the first period when the Blades blistered drive after drive at him. Coach Bob Turner pulled netminder Staniowski in favour of an extra attacker only to have Blade's Fred Williams score into the empty net.
Sunday, April 12, Regina Pats got stung 5-2 at the Exhibition Stadium. It just wasn't Regina's night. Pats finished the night with five of seven minor penalties dished out by referee Murray Harding of Winnipeg. During one stretch in the second period, Pats were short-handed for six minutes and 30 seconds.
Tuesday, April 15, Regina fell behind 3-0 by the midpoint of the first period and fought back at Saskatoon Arena to edge the Blades 5-4. Regina scored four goals in the final eight minutes of the third period, that left the spectators gasping in disbelief. It all started when Jim Minor connected on a power play goal 12 minutes into the final period. The goal fired up the visitors. Jon Hammond, playing one of his best games of the season, started a three goal splurge over a two minute and 23 second span. His second was into an empty net.
Wednesday, April 16, Saskatoon's Danny Arndt triggered two goals as the Blades downed the Pats 4-3 at the Regina Stadium. With the clubs tied 3-3 late in the third period, overtime looked possible but Arndt scored his second and winning goal at 17:40 on a clear breakaway as he grabbed a bouncing puck at centre ice. The other Saskatoon scorer was Bernie Federko with two tallies. His were sandwiched between Arndt's. Saskatoon took a 1-0 lead after the first period. It was all Regina early in the second scoring 3 straight goals by the 6:21 mark to take a 3-1 lead going into the final period.
Friday, April 18, Saskatoon Blades captured the Eastern League Final as they blanked Regina 4-0 at the Saskatoon Arena. Pats had six power play opportunities and could not score on Blades' netminder Randy Ireland. Regina had two top defenceman out, due to injuries (Gerrard Joly and Gordon Wappel), while Mike Wirachowsky played with a mask to protect a broken nose.
Saskatoon Blades lost to New Westminster Bruins in seven games. The Bruins picked up Regina Pats' goaltender Eddie Staniowski for the Memorial Cup Tournament played at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium. Toronto Marlboros (OHA) and Sherbrooke Beavers (QMJHL) were the other teams in the Tournament. In the final it was Toronto downing the Bruins 7-3 to clinch the Memorial Cup Championship.
Front Row: Ed Staniowski, Dr. Duke, Mike Harazny, Bob Turner (Coach), Dave Faulkner, Del Wilson (Manager), Jim Minor, John Weber (Assistant Manager), Brian Albert Second Row: Al Dumba, Gord Wappel, Jon Hammond, Rob Tudor, Bob Poley, Ron Trafford, Ken Burdon, Mike Wirachowsky, Drew Callander, Norm Fong (Trainer) Back Row: Dollard Joly, Doug Keil, Gerry Minor, Les Grauer, Glenn Rolfe, Dean Tidball (Photo: Glenn Rolfe – Collection)