'53 TEAM UNDONE BY INCONSISTENT PLAY
After improved performances in the last two Minto Cup play downs, the Manitoba Lacrosse Association, under advisement from Jim O'Dowda, changed the way the team would be selected. For the last two play offs, a junior all-star team was assembled a couple of weeks prior to the competition. This process lead to improved performance and one Western Canadian Championship in 1951, but it was felt to achieve the goal of winning a Minto Cup a team of junior all-stars should be assembled as a team that would compete in the Winnipeg Senior Lacrosse League. Over the last couple of years the bulk of the team was composed of junior aged players who played on different teams. These teams, pulled together 2 weeks prior to the play downs lacked cohesion and that playing as a team all year could provide stronger team work. It was hoped that this was the missing ingredient.
The team competing in the senior league played under the banner of the Elmwood Terriers. This made sense as the bulk of the team was Elmwood products. The Elmwood influence started in goal with Mike Tymschyn and Jack Campbell protecting the cage. The Elmwood forwards on the squad were: Doug Smallwood, Butch Wozniak, Lem Morrow, Gordie Horner, Ted Harris, Gord Chem, Dick Paulley, Denny Brown, and Don Nightingale. The Terrier anchors on defense were Rocky Prost and Ross Fargey. Imports brought in the bolster the squad were Ralph Lyndon (from Isaac Brock/ Orioles), Daryl Young9 (from Isaac Brock/ Orioles), Gary Alcorn (from Isaac Brock), Jack Carnegie (from Deer Lodge), and Bill Friesson (from Deer Lodge). Friesson at 16 years of age is the youngest member of the team. Coach, Len Swafford, and manager, Jim Odowda believe this unit has the ability to catch the power house BC squad napping.
The BC representatives are the New Westminster Salmonacs. The Salmonac went un defeated in 21 games this season as they captured the BC junior title. Coach Ralph Douglas has built the team around a stout defense built around the MVP of the junior league goal tender, Ron Delimonca. With a sizeable advantage in height and weight, the Salmonacs hope to slow down the speedy Manitoba forwards.
The smooth passing BC juniors defeated the Elmwood Terrier in the first game of the best of three series 20-15 in front of a thousand fans at the Olympic rink. The game was close from pillar to post but spectacular play by BC goalie, Wally Davis, kept the "Tobans to get a lead in the game. Davis's antics in the net and Manitoba's inability to maintain a sustained consistent attack allowed the Salmonacs to maintain a comfortable cushion throughout the game. Manitoba had their moments where they were able to use their speed to put the BC defense on their heals, but never enough to close the gap. Manitoba was lead by Doug Smallwood's 4 goals, Dick Paulley "hat trick" and brace of goals from Gord Horner, Butch Wozniak, and Gord Chem. Rocky Prost and Jim Carnegie chipped in singles. Post-game analysis chalked the loss up to Toban's inability to finish around their net and at times loose play on defense.
In game two of the series almost flipped the script rushing out to a 4-1 first period lead. Four quick 'Toba goals and brilliant goal tending by Jack Campbell allowed the Manitoba squad to take control of the game right out of the gate. After a tight checking second period, BC battled back to 5-5 tie. In the third period Campbell continued to play well, but Delomnica in the New West net was more than his equal, allowing the BC team to take 11-6 spread. Tempers flared near the end of the game as BC systematically closed out the game by shutting down the Manitoba power play. BC triumphed 18-7. Goal scorers for Manitoba were Doug Smallwood (2), Gord Horner (2), Ralph Lyden (1), Grod Cehm (1), and Butch Wozniak (1). Again a bit of hot goal tending and an inability to put the ball in the net was the undoing of the Manitoba side.