Team photo courtesy: Galt Museum and Archives

Contact: Trevor Esau at

How to Read the Site:

We have tried to capture the story of the Lethbridge Maple Leafs and provide a site to post stories, documents, links and photos of their incredible journey to the Championship.

To read their great story from the beginning, scroll to the bottom of the site to part 1 and work your way up through the 34 parts (You may have to click on “older posts” at the bottom to get to part 1). Each part is in chronological order and describes a part of the journey and many contain photos (We continue to add new photos to these posts as we get them).

After part 34 we are posting current related activities, stories and photos from the Galt Museum & Archives, Lethbridge Hurricanes, City of Lethbridge and private collections, as they become available. If you have a photo or story contribution for the site we would be happy to post it.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Lethbridge Maple Leafs Win the Winston Churchill Cup, Part 30

Coach Dick Gray Accepts Churchill Cup
Courtesy City of Lethbridge Collection

Lethbridge Maple Leafs vs English All-Stars 

They arrived at the magnificent Wembley ice rink on March 22, 1951 for the big game. Mallie Hughes said, "You won`t find a finer rink anywhere!" p. 133 The Leafs were amazed at the rink and facility that includes a restaurant and orchestra.Even the ice cleaners were finely dressed and marched to music as they cleaned the ice surface.  There was a screen at the end of the rink where artists put information and drawings depicting the game using old cinema slides. A more than capacity crowd of 10,000 jammed the rink for the game.
To motivate the Leafs Coach Gray said, We never wanted these games, we were pushed into them-let`s go out and do our best p. 132

 The Leafs were now very motivated by the atmosphere and crowd. The English threw the best they had in the country at them. They had the 3 top lines from Harringay, Wembley and
Earls Court
.  The Leafs considered this team a powerhouse, the best competition they would see in Europe.

The game started and continued at a torrid pace.  The English All-Stars were flying out there and built up an impressive 3-0 second period lead against the world champions.
Then, later in the second period Captain Hec Negrello ignited the Leafs with the first goal. Near the end of the second period Obodiac got the second Leaf goal and they entered the third period down 3-2.  The game was televised and Heg Negrello was interviewed on TV in the second intermission.

In the third period the Leafs were flying whenMcLean passed to Gibson who scored to tie the game at 3.  And then at about the 10 minute mark, the player who always scored big goals for the Leafs when they counted most, came through again.  Captain Negrello, the emotional leader of the Leafs scored is second goal of the game and the Leafs lead the game 4-3.

Obodiac wrote: Then we slaved to preserve our lead. We shoved out lines after every minute and every man gave all we had.  It was agonizing, but then the bell sounded and ended our anguish, and turned anguish into roaring delight….others will win the Winston Churchill Trophy, but the Lethbridge Maple Leafs are the first to win it… they can never take that away from us. p. 133

The Lethbridge Maple Leafs Won the Winston Churchill Cup!

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