Johnny Arondeous, coach of the Manitoba Junior All Stars, toughest task will be selecting the 17 players to represent Manitoba is Eastern Canadian Junior Lacrosse play downs. With most of the 1953 team eligible Arondeous will have lots of experience from which to choose. Players with Minto Cup experience include Ralph Lyndon, Ross Fargey, Dick Paulley, Len Morrow, Bob Currie, Jack Carnegie, and Gord Chem. Others who have honed their skills playing in the talent laden Winnipeg Senior Lacrosse League are Darryl Young, Garry Alcorn, Gord Horner, Ted Derrett, Joe Hunt, Bill Friessen, Don Nightingale, and Barry McQueen. Ten of these players were top fifteen point getters in the Senior Loop. Goal tending should not be a problem with veterans John Campbell and Mike Tymtychn- both with Minto Cup playing time. The Winnipeg Free Press described the roster as having plenty of: "speed, height, weight, and boxla experience- everything local lacrosse fans could wish for".

Manitoba's opponents were defending Eastern Canadian champions, Long Branch Monarchs, who defeated the New Market Green Gaels in a hard fought seven game series. The Monarch were looking to make quick work of the Manitoba squad and move onto the PNE Indians, BC Champions. The west coast squad upset the Monarchs in the 1953 Minto Cup Championship. Coach Merv McKenzie, recently retired as a player, went behind the bench leading the team to the Ontario championship. McKenzie counts on goal scoring from John Coleman, Mark Clark, Bob Shortridge, and Ross Bonner,but ultimately it was the play of goal tender Porky Russell that got the Monarchs to Winnipeg.

The Monarchs were looking forward to a quick stop in Winnipeg, before moving onto the west coast to regain the Minto Cup title. What the Ontario champions were going to learn was that this team was not going to be the free space on the MInto Cup bingo- as they were in the past.

Ted Derrett's goal with 11:07 left in the final period in the penalty filled game enabled the Manitoba Junior All Stars to trip the defending champs in game one. The game started, as one would expect, with the Monarchs taking the lead thru the first three periods. For the first 45 minutes of the game, Manitoba was stymied by the Monarch's box-zone defence. In the fourth frame, the all Stars went to man-to- man defence that allowed them to press and disrupting the Long Branch attack and allowing the All Stars to fast break- not allowing the Ontario team to settle into their box defence. The crowd of 750 fans roared their support for the entire final period. Team "Toba" was able to close the gap to 8-7, but the Monarchs struck back to extend the lead to 9-7. Then in the last five minutes, goals by McQueen and Derrett put the local tam ahead for good. Stout goal tending by Mike Tymtychyn and strong defence allowed Manitoba to close out the greatest victory in Manitoba lacrosse history.

Manitoba's game one victory was not without controversy, with the Ontario Lacrosse Association protesting the CLA using the new rules governing draws. The new rules, which require the players to draw straight back, were introduced prior to the start of '54 season, but OLA ignored the rules and played the game following the old regulations, where pushing forward and trapping the ball was legal. To appease the Ontario officials the second game of the series was to be played using the old draw rules.

In game two, the Ontario champs came to play buoyed by outstanding goal tending by Porky Russell and a strong possession game. Reverting back to the old draw rule allowed the Monarchs to dominate offensive possession time. In the 1950's a draw ball was held at the start of each period, after every goal and penalty, and whenever the ball went out of bounds. In a game with 22 goals and 22 penalties, Ontario gained possession on well over 90% of these draws. Gaining possess allowed the Long Branch team numerous opportunities to score with 5 of their 12 goals on the power play.

But the game did not start that way, with the All Stars puling out to 5-3 lead after the first period. Ontario stormed back, out scoring the local side five to one in the second frame. Ontario extended their lead by one out scoring the All Stars three to two in the third quarter. In the final frame lifted by the cheers of over 1000 fans, Team "Toba" battled back with two goals but it was not enough to overcome the deficit.

Putting aside Manitoba's disadvantage under the old draw rules, the difference in the penalty filled game was the goal tending of Porky Russell- every time the Manitobans gained momentum and started to close the gap, Russell would hold the fort until Ontario could again pad their lead.

After two games, there has been plenty of grumbling by the Ontario coaches, players, and management about officiating. The Ontario representative labeled the Manitoba referees as being "whistle happy" and that Manitoba played "sissy lacrosse". Game three will determine if Manitoba's smooth passing ball control game will be victorious over the slash and bang eastern style of play. One advantage Manitoba will have is that the CLA has determined that game 3 will be played under the new draw rule.

In front of over thousand fans, Manitoba carried by outstanding goal tending by Mike Tymtychn and timely goal scoring by Ted Derrett nipped the Monarch 7 to 6. In the best-played game of the series, the two teams stuck to playing the game, while reducing their number of penalties, there was plenty offence. In what could be best described as a goal tending dual Tymtychn and Russell kept the game close- both stopping numerous break aways and point blank scoring opportunities.

Manitoba held a 6-2 lead after the first periods, with Long Branch closing the gap to 6-4. In the final frantic fourth period, Ontario pressed scoring 2 quick goals, only to be turned away by a strong Manitoba defence and sterling net mind by "Little Mike". Derrett's marker early in the final frame proved to be the winning goal.

For the first time in Manitoba lacrosse history, Manitoba was going to play in the Minto Cup Finals, with the team travelling to Vancouver to play the PNE Indians in a five game series.

In the first game the classy PNE Indians defeated the Manitoba All Stars 14-6. The "star struck" All stars fell behind 6 to 3 after two periods, then the roof fell in. Frustrated by the BC squad's rough style of play and what Manitoba coach Johnny Arondeous considered "laisez-faire" officiating, the "Toba team lost its cool, when their coach was ejected from the game. Alcorn and McQueen lead the Winnipeg goal scorers with two markers apiece.

The second game of the series was a complete reversal of the first game. In a hard fought clean game Manitoba held the lead throughout the game until the last 16 seconds, losing 7-6. Winnipeg jumped out to 2-0 lead after one period. Winnipeg lengthened their lead to 5-2 in the third frame. The All Stars leading 6-5, gave up 2 goals in 20 seconds allowing the Indians to sneak out a win. Len Morrow and Barry McQueen lead the 'Tobans with 2 goals each.

The third game of the series was another heart breaker for the Manitoba squad dropping the game 8-5. The Manitoba squad, surprise winners over the Long Branch Monarchs, fought desperately fending off defeat, keeping the game even until the start of the fourth quarter. The smooth passing Indians put the game and series away in the fourth quarter outscoring the road weary visitors. Manitoba challenge was built upon timely goal tending by Mike Tymtych and goal scoring by Gord Horner, Ralph Lyndon, and Dick Paulley. The Manitoba squad faced a long train ride home- humbled but not defeated. They know their performance was a large step for Manitoba on the national lacrosse scene.

The success of the 1954 team was the result of the work done by Tom O'Brien and the Winnipeg Minor Lacrosse Association. The Association flourished fielding teams in the bantam, midget, juvenile, and junior ranks, spreading the game across the city with teams in Deer Lodge, West End, Isaac Brock, Orioles, Norwood, and the North End. It is from this ground swell of lacrosse that came the players of the '54 All Stars. No longer dependent upon a small cadre of players from Elmwood to represent Manitoba, the team drew talent from across the city of Winnipeg. These players went on to fuel the highly competitive senior league of the 1950's and '60- a glory period of Manitoba lacrosse.

Announcements (View All)


ROLAND CHRISTOPHER BRUYERE December 23, 1971 - January 27, 2024 We are saddened to announce the sudden passing of Roland Bruyere on January 27, 2024 at the age of 52. Rolly was a proud husband,...


Mark this event on your new 2024 calendar: MANITOBA LACROSSE ALUMNI REUNION (Featuring the presentation of the Sam Thompson Good Guy Award) SUNDAY, APRIL 28, 2024 1:00 - 4:00 PM AT ELMWOOD...


EMIL JOHN SOHOR August 3, 1955 - December 16, 2023 My beloved husband, Emil, passed away on December 16, 2023, at the age of 68. I, Sandi (nee Hur), will always cherish his memory, his...


The next induction to the Manitoba Lacrosse Hall of Fame will be in the Fall of 2024. If you have someone in your organization that you believe is worthy of a place in the Hall. Go to the...