SNIPER FROM THE '51 ALL STAR TEAM PASSES
The Manitoba Lacrosse Hall of Fame is sad to announce the passing of Glen Christianson. Glenn and his brother Lorne were mainstays of West End teams of the mid- 40's. Glenn, along with his brother Lorne, were to be inducted into the Manitoba Lacrosse Hall of Fame at the 2020 Induction, but the event was cancelled due to the Covid pandemic. Below is a brief summary of Glen's lacrosse career.
Glenn 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 as: "The Christianson boys, Lorne and Glenn paced the West End Memorials" to victory. In 1950 Glenn went on to play with the Isaac Brock junior team, who lost to Deer Lodge in the league championship. In 1951 Glenn continued to play for his home club Isaac Brock. His strong passing and scoring lead to his selection to the 1951 All star team.
Nineteen- Fifty-one was the high point in Glenn's careers- being chosen to play on the Manitoba Junior All Star team against the BC All Stars. 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 Christianson as "marksmen- with best shot in the junior league". Glen made the most of this opportunity.
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 "Glenn Christianson rapped in his fifth goal of the game" ended the BC threat. The final score was 12-8 for Manitoba.
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.
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 Glenn Christianson set up by 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 Glenn Manitoba was in the lead for good. Glenn's 30 foot shot cleanly beat the BC goalie set the over 1000 fans into hysteria. The Manitoba All-Stars had done the unthinking winning a Minto Cup series over an all star team from BC by the score of 10-9. Glen scored 3 goals in the stunning victory.
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. . 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. . In the third game the talent of Ontario squad came to the fore as they swept Manitoba by the score of 17-9. Glenn chipped in 2 goals.
Over the two series the Christianson brothers accounted for just over one-third of Manitoba's goals.
Glenn graduated from the junior ranks in 1952 and he went on to play senior for three years.