2022 INDUCTEES- GLEN AND LORNE CHRISTIANSON
GLEN AND LORNE CHRISTIANSON
Participation in the game of Box Lacrosse increased across Winnipeg with the formation of the Winnipeg Minor Lacrosse League in the mid-'40's. This was especially true in the West End where three community centres embraced the game: West End Memorial, Orioles, and Isaac Brock. Two players attracted to the game of Boxla were the Christianson brothers- Glen and Lorne. Both played under the direction of Eric Abbott at the Isaac Brock Community Centre.
Glen started playing midget lacrosse in 1945 for Isaac Brock and his younger brother Lorne later joined him. In 1946 and 1947, The Brockmen made it to the league finals (records are not clear on who won the championship). In 1948 and 1949, the brothers played for the West End Memorial Juvenile team. The Christianson brothers paced the Memorials to a three game sweep of the Deer Lodge Hornets. The Winnipeg Free Press described the brother's contribution: "The Christianson boys, Lorne and Glen paced the West End Memorials" to victory". In 1950 Glen and Lorne went on to play with the Isaac Brock junior team, who lost to Deer Lodge in the league championship. In 1951 Glen and Lorne continue to play for their home club Isaac Brock.
1951 was the high point in Glen and Lorne's lacrosse careers- both were chosen to play on the Manitoba Junior All Star team against the BC All Stars. In 1950, the Manitoba Lacrosse Association changed the policy from sending the junior league champions with pick to a junior all star team to the Minto Cup play downs. Players from three strong junior teams made this the strongest team to represent Manitoba. In the preview of the series, the Winnipeg Free Press described the Christiansons as "marksmen- with best shots in the junior league".
Game one of the '51 series was considered the roughest game seen in Winnipeg in several years, with 39 minor penalties and 2 major penalties. Team 'Toba raced out to a 5-1 first quarter lead and a 7-1 lead at half time. BC closed the lead to 10-8, but then "Glen Christianson rapped in his fifth goal of the game" ended the BC threat". The final score was 12-8 for Manitoba. Brother Lorne also chipped in a goal- the brothers accounted for 50% of all the Manitoba scoring.
Manitoba dropped the second game, "a spirited hard exhibition of lacrosse", without the penalties of the first game by a score of 9-8. The brothers Christianson potted three goals, Lorne's second tied the match.
Game three was played in front of a packed house at the Olympic Rink. The BC team shot out to a 7-2 in the second quarter. Manitoba battled back to tie the game on a goal by Glen Christianson set up by his brother Lorne. The tie was short lived as BC struck for two quick goals. To protect their lead and desperate to quell any Manitoban comeback, BC's defense took two minor penalties back to back. The All-Stars power play took full advantage of these opportunities scoring twice to tie the game. With less than 5 minutes to play the Winnipeg Free Press declared that the "brothers-Christianson took the game in hand" with a quick pass from Lorne to Glen Manitoba was in the lead for good. Glen's 30 foot shot cleanly beat the BC goalie set the over 1000 fans into hysteria. Manitoba continued press offensively, but they did not need another goal as All-Stars had done the unthinkable winning a Minto Cup series over a team from BC. The brothers lived up to their billing as marksmen scoring 4 of the 10 "Toba goals.
The All-Stars went on to face the Mimico Mountaineers for the Minto Cup. Unfortunately the train weary and over matched Tobans lost three games straight to the Ontario Champs. The stars went down 20-12 in game one, with Lorne Christianson scoring 4 goals. The second game was a rough affair and the Mountaineers power play took full advantage of their chances winning by the score of 20-9. Lorne was able to squeeze one goal past the Mimico tender. In the third game the talent of Ontario squad came to the fore as they swept Manitoba by the score of 17-9. Glen chipped in 2 goals.
The spunky team from Winnipeg, with 8 players on the team juvenile age battled relentless against the stacked Ontario team who had picked three of the best players in their province.
Over the two series the Christianson brothers accounted for just over 33% of Manitoba's goals.
Glen graduated from the junior ranks in 1952 and he went on to play senior for three years.
Lorne was selected to the '52 Manitoba All-star team to take on the Ontario champs the Brampton Excelsiors. In game one of the series, Manitoba rushed out to 6-5 half-time lead. In the second half Brampton's size and skill took control of the game winning 18-8. Christianson was marked closely and unable to use his powerful shot to advantage. In the second game Manitoba used its speed to swarm the Brampton defenders and pushed the game into over time, with Manitoba on the short end of a 10-9 final score. Lorne was again held off the score sheet.
Lorne played senior lacrosse for 1 year.