After five years of war and one year of negotiations the Minto Cup play downs were set for the fall of 1947. Changes negotiated included that provinces would be represented by their junior provincial championship team with picks, the series between British Columbia and Manitoba will be a two game total point affair, and that the winner of the Manitoba BC competition would go forward and play the Quebec champion, with the winner of the Quebec/ Western Canadian series moving on to play the Ontario Champion. This final point was over turned and the BC unit went to St. Catherine's for the Minto Cup.

Manitoba will be represented by a new name on the national stage- the Elmwood Terriers. The Terriers, winners of one juvenile crown and two junior titles over the past three years, took the Senior league champion Elmwood Pats to five games in the senior league playoffs- losing in the fifth game 11-9. The talented Terriers will be bolstered with pick-ups from Isaac Brock and Deer Lodge. The young lads have been groomed by playing a four full schedule of league games and playoffs- a first for any Manitoba representative team. In the past four years the Winnipeg Minor Lacrosse Association grew from 19 teams in three divisions to over 25 teams in five divisions. The Tribune described this all-star team as a tribute to Tom O'Brien and the volunteers of the Winnipeg Minor Lacrosse Association. This was just the start and it will take another 3 years before this work will yield Manitoba its first Western Canadian Junior Championship.

The Minto Cup squad topped off three weeks of training by playing the Elmwood Senior Pats in a pair of exhibition game. The Baby Elmwood team defeated the senior Pats 14-9. Mark Flynn and Ernie Martin accounted for seven of the All Stars' goals and Gordon Fyfe was steady in the Terrier net. The junior team also won the second game.

The Manitoba roster, described by the Tribune- "The Elmwood boys, under the coaching of Les Swaffer, have developed a first rate team":

  • Goalies- Gordon Fyfe and Keith Gray
  • Defense- Gordon Mussell, Andy Hebenton (Juvenile aged), Norm Stanger
  • Forwards- Allan Smallwood (Juvenile aged), Jerry Bates, Jeff Liggett, Harold Ford, Mark Flynn Midget aged), George Skelly, Ernie Martin (Juvenile aged), Bill Curtis (midget aged), Bill Lakey, Tom Barefoot.

The British Columbia team will composed of a core of the provincial champion, Vancouver Burrards, and selection of the pick-ups from other teams in the BC junior league. With lacrosse being a major sport in BC, the BC team was heavy favourites to move on to Montreal.

The Winnipeg Tribune described the first game as a "trouncing" as the BC crew ran the young Terriers out of the Olympic Rink 16-3. After being blitzed in the first half of the game, the much smaller and much younger team pushed back keeping BC to just seven goals, while scoring 3 goals. Goal scorers were Al Smallwood, Hal Ford, and Jeff Liggett. The crowd of over 1200 pushed the home squad right until the final whistle. The Winnipeg Free Press described the play of goalie, Gordon Fyfe as "sensational" keeping the score respectable. The game was a bit rough with 25 penalties and two fights, but under complete control of referees Charlie Harding and Porky McCaine. The "Trib" summarized game one: "they were certainly outclassed, but were certainly weren't out fought".

The Terriers showed a vast improvement in the second game, falling 19-11. Using speed to attack the much larger opponent on offense, and hustling on loose balls to minimize the Burrards' offense opportunities the Winnipeg boys kept pace with the much bigger and talented opponent. Two defensive lapses, one in the second period and another in third, allowed the BC champs to score seven and then four goals. Solid goal tending by Gordie Fyfe keep the "Dogs in the game until the end. Offensive the Elmwood squad was lead by Hal Ford (3 goals), Al Smallwood (2 goals), and Mark Flynn (1 goal and a three assists). The boys from Elmwood would not be pushed around by the heavier and more aggressive BC squad and did not give up an inch. The crowd of over 600 left the game thoroughly entertained and the Burrards left Winnipeg with a new respect for Manitoba lacrosse.

The 1947 Minto Cup play down was a glimpse of what Manitoba could do on the national stage.




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