Friday, February 3, 2012

1976-1977 - SEASON

The League announced in June that the Edmonton Oil Kings' franchise was to be moved to Portland, Oregon. The crowd support had dropped to an average of 1,500 fans per game in the previous season. The team became known as the Portland Winter Hawks and would be playing in the 10,400 seat Memorial Coliseum. Hoping to breathe new life in his Winnipeg club Gerry Brisson renamed his team the Monarchs, a famous name back in the 30's and 40's when Monarchs had won three Memorial Cups.

1976-1977 REGINA PATS ROSTER - Goalies: Pat Ansell, Jack Anderson, Ken Bales, Brad Bergh, Dan Rogers, Greg Dumba, Doug Koffler, Gary Frank, Kerry Nisbet Defense: Gord Wappel (Captain), Trevor Bowering, Mike McCann, Kevin Krook, Jim Blades, Dave Downton, Mike Kindrachuk, Greg Tebbutt, Darren Veitch, Dean Tidball, Romeo Proseta, Bill Kyle Jr., Kim McNabb Centre: Greg Ing, Gerald Minor, Clark Bacala, Larry Ell, Glenn Rolfe, Rod Yaworski, Brian Festerling, Randy Carson, Ron Trafford, Earl Ingarfield Jr. Wayne Wagner, Doyle Wankel Right Wing: Dirk Graham, Ronald Parent, Allan Hendrickson, Mike Flegel, Rick Odegard Left Wing: Greg Ing, Ron Parent, Gerry Galloway, Hugh Ellis, Keith Downton, Scott Wray, Cliff Kitely, Lorne Schmidt NK: Bill Matthews, Dwayne Tuberfield Coach: Bob Turner; Lorne Davis (January 10) Manager: Del Wilson Trainer: Bryan Raymond

At Portland on Tuesday, November 30,, the Winter Hawks peppered 77 shots at the Pats two goalies. In the first period Pat Ansell had 14 shots while Dan Rogers had a total of 63 shots over the next two periods. The same clubs were the victims of the Pats ending their 36 game winless streak, Wednesday, January 26, before 1,480 fans as the Pats edged the surprised Winter Hawks 3-2 at the Regina Exhibition Stadium.

On January 10, 1977, Lorne Davis took over the duties as coach of the Pats. He played right-winger for the Pats (1947-1951). Lorne started playing three seasons with the Victoria Cougars of the Pacific Coast League but finished playing for the Montreal Royals of the Quebec Major Hockey League. In 1951-52 he started with Vancouver Canucks (PCHL) and, once again, he headed east to play with Buffalo Bisons of the (AHL) for the next two seasons. He played two seasons with the Montreal Canadiens (NHL) 1952-53 and 1953-54. The following year he played 8 games with Chicago Black Hawks before being traded to Detroit Red Wings the same year. In 1954-55 Lorne played one season with Edmonton Flyers in the (WHL). The next year he played 15 games with Boston Bruins (NHL), then played in the (AHL) for several years before once again playing 10 games with Boston Bruins in 1959-60 and Providence Reds (AHL). He finished his hockey career with the Winnipeg Warriors (WHL) in 1960-61 before playing with the Regina Capitals (SSHL) for four seasons. In 1964-65 he played one season with Muskegon Zephyrs and the Canada Team in 1965-66.

It was a tough year for the Regina Pats, having a 36 game winless streak plus a 36 road games winless streak which went into the following season. All Pats 8 wins were at home. After twenty years playing in the Exhibition Stadium, the Pats played their last game against the Saskatoon Blades on Wednesday, March 16, as they downed the visitors 8-6. There were no overtime games during the League schedule.

Three Brandon Wheat Kings finish at top of the League scoring race. Bill Derlago was the League scorer with 178 points, followed by Ray Allison with 137, and Brian Propp with 135 points.

Regina Pats were not in the play-offs that year, New Westminster Bruins once again were the Western Junior Hockey League Champions. It was Ottawa 67's (OHA) and Sherbrooke Beavers (QMJHL). That year the Tournament was changed to a double round robin. The 1977 Tournament was the first ever to be held in B.C. at the Vancouver's Pacific Coliseum. Ottawa and the New Westminster Bruins advanced to the final with 3-1 records. Bruins took a 5-2 lead into the third period and almost lost it at the end. Ottawa tied the game only to see New Westminster Bruins score in the dying moments.

At Front: (Stick Boy)

Front Row: Greg Tebbutt, Pat Ansell, __________ (Business Manager), Lorne Davis (Coach-Manager), Gary Frank, Kevin Krook Second Row: Brian Raymond (Trainer), Dean Tidball, Ron Parent, Mike McCann, Gord Wappel, Dirk Graham, Trevor Bowering, Mike Kindrachuk, Gerry Galloway, Dr. Gavin Oake Back Row: Gerry Minor, Greg Ing, Clark Bacala, Glen Rolfe, Larry Ell, Mike Flegel (Photo: Glenn Rolfe – Collection)