1980-1981 - SEASON
Jack Sangster became Regina Pats New Head Coach. (Photo: to the Right)
On Thursday, April 24, 1980, the City Winnipeg rejoins the WHL. The Winnipeg club is now owned by Four Winnipeg businessmen Harry Buekert, Arnold DeFeher and Marsdon Fenwick and headed by former Pat Fran Huck. Huck, who coached St. Boniface Mohawks of the Central Amateur Senior Hockey League last season, guided them to the Allan Cup western final against Spokane Flyers. Huck and Buekert would do double duty as Coach and General Manager respectively. They named the club the Warriors and played their games at the Winnipeg Arena.
At Regina on Sunday, October 26, Brian Varga tied the WHL League record scoring six goals. In the second period he scored two shorthanded goals in the span of twenty-three seconds at the start of the period, 0:22 and 0:45 mark. Pats downed Spokane 13-3. On Wednesday, January 14, Victoria Cougars stopped Pats' 16 home game winning streak (club record), as they downed the Pats 7-1.
Due to a maintenance walk-out strike on Friday, February 27, New Westminster had to play some of their games in various towns, including just over the United States boarder. Only about 100 turned out at Bellingham, Washington, for the game against the Pats. It has to be one of the smallest crowds ever to see a WHL League game. The Pats scored 2 shorthanded goals to go on and defeat the Bruins 7-2.
1980-1981 REGINA PATS ROSTER - Goalies: Neal Girard, Dave Ross, Darryl Kuntz Defense: Garth Butcher, Bruce Holloway, Kelly Livingston, Allan Tuer, Dick Kortje, Barry Trotz, Brent Dallyn, Allan MacInnis Centre: Brian Varga, Jock Callander, Todd Strueby, Jari Helle, Darren Galley, Rob Babchuk, James McGeough, Scott Lynch Right Wing: Dave Michayluk, Brent Pascal, Darren Bobyck, Brent Hogan, Rob Proudfoot, Mark Raedeke Left Wing: Bill Ansell (Captain), Barry Ziegler, Wade Waters, Don MacGillivary, Colin Docherty Coach: Jack Sangster Assistant Coach: Jerry Zrymiak (March 9th) General Manager: Bob Strumm Marketing Manager: Roy Vandal Trainer: Randy Lewis
Regina Pats finished first in the Eastern Division with 49 wins, 21 loses, 2 ties, 432 goals for, 314 goals against and 100 points. It was the first time that Regina Pats had two players finish one-two in the League scoring. Brian Varga with 160 points and Jock Callander with 153. Defenseman Garth Butcher made the first All-Star Team, while Right Winger Dave Michauluk was placed on the second team.
REGINA PATS - AWARD WINNERS:
|Type of Award||The Trophy Name||Players Name|
|Top Rookie Award||Nick Pappas Memorial Trophy||Dave Michayluk|
|Most Sportsmanlike||Hub Bishop Memorial Trophy||Jock Callander|
|Top Defenceman||Charles Johnston Memorial Trophy||Garth Butcher|
|Most Valuable Player||The Barker Trophy||Garth Butcher|
|Rookie of the Year||Jim Paggott Memorial Trophy||Dave Michayluk|
|Top Goal Scorer||No Trophy||Jock Callander|
|Team Top Scorer||No Trophy||Brian Varga|
|Most Improved Player||No Trophy||Jock Callander|
|Most Popular Player||No Trophy||Darren Bobyck|
|Top Vote-getter||Labatt's Three Star Award||Jock Callander|
|Unsung Hero||Booster Club Award||Brent Pascal|
EASTERN SEMI-FINAL PLAY-OFFS – Friday, March 27, the Brandon Wheat Kings wore black arm bands in memory of defenceman Gregg Mann who died Thursday, March 26. He had played with Brandon for the past 3 years. (Photo: 1980-81 Yearbook - Kevin Shaw Collection)
The Wheat Kings, who finished sixth in the standings, embarrassed the first place Regina Pats to the tune of 13-4 at the Brandon Keystone Centre. Pats were never in the game, falling behind 4-1 and 9-1 by periods. Dave Chartier was Wheat Kings' top performer getting eight points, scoring five goals, and having three assists. His eight points is a WHL record. For the Pats it was a total embarrassment as they filed one by one to their dressing room.
Saturday, March 28, Darren Galley of Regina Pats set a WHL record scoring eight seconds into the game. Pats went on to edge the Brandon Wheat Kings 4-3 at Brandon. Regina's defenseman Garth Butcher had a four point night scoring two goals, including the winner on a low blast from the point at 2:41 of the third period with two assists. Pats goaltender Girard made 42 saves in helping his club to victory, especially in the dying minutes when Brandon had pulled their goalie.
Sunday, March 29, Regina did a complete reverse of their opening game in Brandon as they dumped the Wheat Kings 11-2 at the Regina Agridome, before 4,340 fans. Bill Ansell and Jock Callander each scored twice for Pats. They were able to kill a double minor penalty early in the opening period and Ansell scored during the short handed span which caused the Wheat Kings to fall apart. Pats were in control from that moment on. For the second game in a row Pats were able to score an early goal at the start of the game. This time it was Dave Michayluk taking the puck off defenseman Dean Kennedy and walked in home free, scoring 40 seconds into the game.
Tuesday, March 31, with the help of three unanswered first period goals, Regina went on to a 6-3 victory over Brandon at the Agridome. In the second period, Pats had a lapse as Brandon scored two goals by the midpoint. Dave Michayluk then scored a power play goal sliding the puck across the goal crease and ricocheted off the goal post to give Regina a 4-2 lead going into the final period. Pats goals were scored by six different players while Dave Chartier scored two of Brandon's goals.
Wednesday, April 1, Regina defeated the Wheat Kings 9-4. The (3,605) Agridome fans watched Pats build a 1-0 first period lead, then explode for six goals in the second session for a comfortable 7-2 advantage heading into the third. Pat forwards, Barry Ziegler, Brian Varga and Breant Pascal scored two goals apiece.
Regina Pats coach Sangster biggest concern was the lay-off of 13 days waiting for Calgary Wranglers to defeat Billings Bighorns and then Lethbridge Broncos for the next series.
EASTERN DIVISION FINALS - Tuesday, April 14, Jack Sangster's Regina Pats defeated the Calgary Wranglers 5-0 at the Regina Agridome as 4,190 watched the game. Pats scored two power play goals in the first period. Kelly Livingston batted in a rebound at 4:05 and Brent Pascal slid the puck along the ice from the right faceoff circle at 11:20. In the second period Darren Galley scored at 2:54 on a rebound after Livingston drove 2 shots at goalie Mike Vernon. Last period had Pascal scoring his second goal at 9:28 scored 15 feet out and Garth Butcher finished the scoring with 20 second left in the game. Neal Girard blocked 19 shots to record his third shutout.
Wednesday, April 15, Wranglers plus Regina's rash of penalties in the final period resulted in the home town Pats losing 5-3. A major brawl occurred 58 seconds into the third period, when Calgary Bill Hobbins knocked Pats goalie Neal Girard behind the net. Players got involved in an scuffle, leaving both their benches, resulting in 104 minutes in penalties. The score at the time was 4-2 in favour of Calgary. Regina opened the scoring on Bruce Holloway's goal at 1:48 of the first period. Calgary came back with 4 straight goals in the second period before Pats Darren Bobyck scored with just over two minutes remaining in the second period. There were 5 players scoring for Calgary. Jock Callander score Pats other goal.
Friday afternoon, April 17, Calgary's coach Doug Sauter's Wranglers stormed back from a 2-0 first period deficit to edge Regina Pats 4-3 at the Corral. Neal Girard, Pats goalie was a one man show making many key saves in the opening session. In the second stanza the Wranglers were too much for Regina as the home club out shot Pats 20-2 with Girard holding Calgary to only one goal. Calgary scored 3 straight goals before Livingston scored with 32 seconds left in the game. Calgary out shot Regina 35-8 in the last two periods.
Saturday, April 18, Regina were winners over Calgary by edging the Wranglers 6-5 in front of 4,269, at the Stampede Corral. Pats built a 3-1 and 6-2 period lead only to see Calgary storm back. Down 6-5 with only three minutes left in regulation time, Wranglers pressured Regina to the final buzzer. Pats opened strongly, scoring three times on its first four shots.
Sunday afternoon, April 19, Calgary's Mike Vernon had a bad day Saturday, but a great one the next day, as he helped the Wranglers edge the Pats 4-3 at the Regina Agridome before 4,089. The teams played through a scoreless opening period. Calgary scored four straight goals in the second by Colin Chisholm, Darren Muwennay, Dan Bourbonnais and Bruno Bassetto. Pats came back scoring three goals by Darren Bobyck, Garth Butcher and Brian Varga.
Tuesday, April 21, Regina Pats best league finish ever in Calgary as the second place Wranglers dumped Regina 8-3, before 4,946 spectators at the Calgary Corral. The turning point was a disallowed goal in the middle stanza by Pats Jock Callander. He fired a shot directed toward the top of the mesh. The puck rebounded back on the ice. The goal light did not come on and the referee ruled no goal. Calgary had leads of 3-1 and 4-2 after the second period. Calgary's Baseotto was the top Wrangler scorer with two goals in the third period plus assisting on another goal.
After the 1980 Memorial Cup series accusation of a game-throwing was made, the organizers made a rule change for 1981. If one team clinched a final berth after four games, the other two played a 2-game total goal series. If one team clinched after five games, the other two would play a sudden death semi-final.
Victoria Cougars won the west over the Calgary Wranglers in seven games. The east had Kitchener Rangers (OHA) and Cornwall Royals of the (QMJHL). The tournament was played at the Windsor Arena. Royals won 5-2 over Cornwall to take the Memorial Cup final for the second consecutive year.