MANITOBA BROUGHT BACK TO EARTH BY SHAMROCKS
In 1957, Manitoba's representatives changed their name from the Winnipeg All Stars to the Winnipeg Combines. No reason for the name change was provided other than the team was combination of the junior aged players who competed on various teams in the senior league. The name change also denoted a significant change in personnel with most the stars from the very successful teams of 1954 and 1955 graduating from the junior ranks. The team will be lead from the hold overs from the 1955 squad: Bill Wicklow, Len Morrow, Jerry Klein, Harry Nightingale, Ted Harris, Bob Currie, Bill Friessen, Lorne Kenyon, and Dick Braun. New comers to the Manitoba representatives: Doug Monroe, the only juvenile aged player to crack the roster, Gary Murray, Bryan Derrett, Dick Stieler, and bothers, Ed and Al Jamieson. Prior to the start of the play downs, number one goalie, Ray Small Wood, was injured. Manitoba coach, Phil O'Donnell was able to find a capable backup in Dick Todd, if Smallwood is unable to answer the bell.
The Manitoba Combines played at exhibition game against a selection of senior players in preparation for their upcoming series against the BC champions, Victoria Shamrocks. Money raised from these exhibition was donated to the Fargo relief fund for recovery after the spring flood.
The British Columbia representatives, Victoria Shamrocks, weary of what happened to the last BC team to compete in Winnipeg has assembled a strong unit. The experienced Shamrocks, with nearly half the team with over 4 years of junior experience have been described as a fast attack team built upon fancy passing. The 'Rock's style will be a challenge for the hard charging, physical play of the 'Toba team. It is hoped that 440 pound defensive pair of the Jamieson brothers will be able to slow down the attack.
In game one of the best of three series, Victoria coach Archie Browning changed lines quickly tiring the hard checking Combines. The relentless attack of the 'Rocks lead to Manitoba taking seven penalties that resulted 11 of power play goals as the victors trounced the hone team 19-10.
Manitoba was not without its moments jumping out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first two minutes. The two-goal lead was quickly erased by the BC power play that accounted for 5 of the 6 first and second period goals. The Combines regrouped in the third period outscoring Victoria 4- 1 in the first half of the third period, but ultimately trailed the smooth passing Shamrocks 16-9. The crowd of over 500 urged the home team to come back in the fourth period, but Victoria sealed the victory outscoring the Combines 4-1.
Combine goal scorers were Bob Wicklow (4), Jerry Kline (2), Al Jamieson (1), Bryan Derrett (1). Len Morow (1), and Gary Murray (1). Goal tender, Ray Smallwood, turned in a strong performance at even strength, but was "left out to dry" against the smooth passing BC power play.
Any hoping of the Combines forcing a third game of the series was quickly erased as Victoria jumped out to period leads of 3-0, 8-0 and 9-3. Strong goal tending by Ray Smallwood kept the Combines hopes alive, but ultimately the home team fell 14-8. All Winnipeg's scoring came in the last two periods and proved to be too little to late. Combine scorers were Ed Jamieson (2), Al Jamieson (2) Jerry Kline (2), Bill Wicklow (1), and Harry Nightingale (1).