WORLD CHAMPS

WORLD CHAMPS
Team photo courtesy: Galt Museum and Archives
Welcome!

Contact: Trevor Esau at lethbridgemapleleafs@gmail.com

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.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

60th Anniversary Today-March 17: Congratultions to the Lethbridge Maple Leafs on the 60th Anniversary of your World Championship Victory! The Story in Pictures!

Today is the 60th Anniversary of  the Lethbridge Maple Leaf World Championship Victory, March 17, 1951 in Paris, France.

The Lethbridge  Maple Leafs began the journey in early December 1950 in Lethbridge, Alberta. Including games in Canada they played 62 games. They won 51, lost 7 and tied 4.  This included an amazing 44 game unbeaten string in Europe. By the time they were getting ready for home they had traveled close to 30,000 miles by bus, train, ship, airplane and car and played before about 400,000 people in 14 countries.
In the 6 World Championship games, the Leafs scored 62 goals and only allowed 6 goals against them.  A truly dominating performance!

To celebrate the Anniversary day, Lethbridgemapleleafs.com has picked our favourite photos from the blog  to tell the story ( Please scroll down through the blog to see the entries that accompany the photos and credits for the photos):

Photo Courtesy of the Galt Museum and Archives

Courtesy James Sinclair Collection

Courtesy James Sinclair Collection

From Sat Obodiac's book, No Substitute For Victory
Courtesy Obadiac Family


Courtesy James Sinclair Collection


Courtesy James Sinclair Collection


Courtesy James Sinclair Collection
Courtesy James Sinclair Collection
Courtesy James Sinclair Collection


Courtesy City of Lethbridge Enmax Collection
Donor: Dick Gray
Courtesy of the Galt Museum and Archives

Add caption

Monday, March 7, 2011

Lethbridge Maple Leafs CTV News Story: Leaf Don McLean Discusses Receiving Championship Rings on the 50th Anniversary

Lethbridge Maple Leafs Championship Rings:  A Symbol of Lifelong Friendship.   Lethbridge Maple Leaf Don McLean discusses how the Leafs  finally received championship rings in 2001,  50  years after their world championship win.  This "Ring Story" was featured on Lethbridge CTV News with Terry Vogt reporting in 2001.  The drive to have the players receive the rings was spearheaded by long time Leaf fan James Sinclair. James was a key organizer of the 50th anniversary celebrations in 2001.  In appreciation for his work the Lethbridge Maple Leaf team members made James an honourary Leaf team member and he also received his own Leaf  ring. 

Video Posted with Permission:  Courtesy CTV News Lethbridge
News Director Terry Vogt

Friday, March 4, 2011

CTV News Lethbridge Maple Leaf 60th Anniversary Story Featuring Player Nap Milroy

CTV News Lethbridge ran this story featuring Leaf Nap Milroy to highlight the Lethbridge Maple Leafs 60th Anniversary and the replica jerseys the Lethbridge Hurricanes wore in WHL league play. Heath Brown and Terry Vogt of CTV news with the story.



Video Posted With Permission- Courtesy CTV News Lethbridge
News Director- Terry Vogt

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Hockey Hall of Fame Invites Donations to Their Lethbridge Maple Leaf Collection and Exhibit! VP and Curator Phillip Pritchard Extends Invitation!

If you are a 1951 Leaf player or you are a family member or friend of a 1951 Lethbridge Maple Leaf player and have documents, pictures, diaries, jerseys, rings, trophies, medals and other hockey equipment of the 1950/51 season, the Hockey Hall of Fame would be very interested in preserving the artifacts in their collection as a way of celebrating the 60th Anniversary!

HHOF Vice President and Curator, Phillip Pritchard wrote to us saying: 
 The Hockey Hall of Fame prides itself on having the premier hockey collection in the world and none of this can be done without the assistance of people like yourself and the people of Lethbridge.
I wonder if any of the family members have jerseys from the teams the played in Europe (as a lot of teams traded jerseys then) or jerseys from other teams that might have played for prior to or after the Maple Leafs.
As you can appreciate the Hockey Hall of Fame tells the whole story of hockey, not just the NHL, World Championships etc....it would be great to add to the story by talking about players that played for the Maple Leafs and where they played prior to the World Champions and then afterwards.

If you have a donation lethbridgemapleleafs.com would be happy to coordinate the gathering and delivery.
Send us an e-mail at: lethbridgemapleleafs.com  Thanks -Click on the poster below twice to enlarge.

Prepared by the HHOF

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Hockey Hall of Fame Joins Us in Honouring the Lethbridge Maple Leafs: Photo of the HHOF Display


Hockey Hall of Fame's Craig Campbell left and
Phillip Pritchard right.
Photo Source:  Hockey Hall of Fame
 We are excited to be working with the Hockey Hall of Fame!  It was great to hear from Phillip Pritchard, Vice President and Curator and Craig Campbell, Manager, Resource Centre and Archives of the Hockey Hall of Fame.  

Mr. Pritchard e-mailed lethbridgemapleleafs.com today saying, “Once again congratulations on the upcoming 60th anniversary of the Lethbridge Maple Leafs.” We had quoted from a letter from Mr. Pritchard in an earlier post where he congratulated the Leafs on their 50th anniversary in 2001.  We had requested a picture of the Hockey Hall of Fame’s display that features Stan Obodiac’s jersey which he also sent (see photo below).

The Hockey Hall of Fame would like to build up its collection of the Lethbridge Maple Leaf Championship team and players. Both of them gave us examples of what they are looking for in the collection.   lethbridgemapleleafs.com will support  this and post  more about it soon! Stay tuned!

Hockey Hall of Fame Display  with Stan Obodiac's Jersey
Photo Courtesy Hockey Hall of Fame:
D.K. (Doc) Seaman Hockey Resource Centre



Finally, Mr. Pritchard  also commented on our site, “By the way, the site looks great...great photos!  Great job again, looking forward to working with you on this”.

Monday, February 7, 2011

$1,000 for Throw Back Lethbridge Maple Leaf Jersey #15-Nap Milroy's number worn by Max Ross


Max Ross
 Replica jersey number 15, Nap Milroy's number, was worn by Hurricane Max Ross and was the highest money earner in the Lethbridge Hurricane's very successful Lethbridge Maple Leaf  replica jersey auction. See the winning bid amounts at the Hurricane auction site.

The Lethbridge Hurricanes put together the following list of jersey numbers from the Lethbridge Maple Leafs:
1 Mallie Hughes
2 Dick Gray
3 Billy Flick
3 Bob McGregor*
4 Jim Malacko
5 Don Vogan
Nap Milroy
6 Billy Gibson
7 Don McLean
8 Hec Negrello
9  Stan Obodiac
10 Tom Wood
11 Walter Rimstad
12 Bill Chandler
14 Bert Knibbs
15 Nap Milroy
16 Lou Siray
17 Mickey Roth
17 Ken Branch*
18 Danny Flanagan
18 Jack Sumner*
19 Carl Sorokoki
* Indicates Lethbridge Maple Leaf players who did not play in the World Championships.

Friday, February 4, 2011

"An Insider Story" By Tom Wood- "We Played for the Love of the Game, the Fellowship, and the Occasional Beer"

We were very fortunate that Tom Wood sent this insider story he wrote of his memories of the 1951 Lethbridge Maple Leaf World Amateur Championship and Team. 
Tom wrote: On behalf of the few team members that are still living, I would like to pay tribute to our wonderful teammates who are not here to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of our great victory in Paris on March 17, 1951. ... I believe it is one of the most unique stories of the history of Canadian amateur hockey.   ....we played
for the love of the game, the fellowship and the occasional beer.

Thanks to James Sinclair for facilitating Tom's story for the post.
Click twice on the document to enlarge.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

What About Bob?

What About Bob?

Earlier we posted comments from Tom Woods about Bob Kirkparick's key role in helping the Lethbridge Maple Leafs win the series against Melville Millionairres and earn the rite to represent Canada. What about Bob?

Bob Kirkpatrick as a New York Ranger -is the 10th  from front
(Click on picture to enlarge)
Bob Kirkpatrick (Dec. 1, 1915 – Feb. 20, 1988) was a 5’ 10”, 165 lb. centre who shot left.  He had  quick acceleration and could change gears depending on the game. Kirkpatrick won an Allan Cup with the Prince Albert Mintos in 1935-36. From there he played in Britain, at Earl's Court with the Rangers for one year.

Kirkpatrick returned to Canada to play senior hockey in Lethbridge, and after a making New York Ranger farm team,  the New York Rovers, he was called up to the  New York Rangers for the '42-'43 season. Due to injuries, the rookie Kirkpratick was moved to the top line with Bryan Hextall and Lynn Patrick.  He had 12 goals and 12 assists in 49 games. The Rangers did not make the playoffs and Kirkpatrick, like many other hockey players, joined the war.


He played 2 years while stationed in Winnipeg, then to St. Paul, Minnesota and then back with the  Lethbridge Maple Leafs, retiring in 1949. He briefly came out of retirement in the fall of 1950 to help the Lethbridge Maple Leafs win the the rite to represent Canada in the 1951 World Amateur Championships in Paris, France.  However, now at the end of his career, Bob retired and did not accompany the team to Europe. View his career stats here

More Photos of Lethbridge Maple Leaf Replica Jersey Night and Tom Wood and Nap Milroy Puck Drop

More photos of the puck drop by Lethbridge Maple Leafs Tom Wood and Nap Milroy and game night have been forwarded to us by the Lethbridge Huuricanes. Captain on the ice for Brandon Wheat Kings is Shayne Wiebe. Shayne had 2 shorthanded goals on the night and had a chance to tie a WHL record with a third but missed on a shorthanded breakaway in the third period.  Captain on the ice for the Lethbridge Hurricanes is Mike Reddington. Hurricanes won the game with Nap Milroy watching in the bottom photo. Also in the bottom photo is James Sinclair with a relica jersey and in the background Kerry Knibbs with his dads original jersey.


Photo Courtesy Cheryl Gudmundson
James Sinclair, Lethbridge Hurricane Players Jacob Berglund, Alex Kuvaev, Tyler Kizuik.  Captain on the ice for Brandon is Shayne Wiebe.  Captain on the ice for the Lethbridge Hurricanes is Mike Reddington.
 


 Photo Courtesy Cheryl Gudmundson
James Sinclair, Jacob Berglund, Alex Kuvaev, Tom Wood, Nap Milroy, Tyler Kizuik
 


Photo Courtesy Joshua Schroeder
Captain on the ice for Brandon is Shayne Wiebe.  Captain on the ice for the Lethbridge Hurricanes is Mike Reddington.
 


Photo Courtesy Joshua Schroeder
 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Tom Wood: A Conversation and a Few Stories

Tom Wood at the Rink
lethbridgemapleleafs.com  had the privilege of having a conversation with Lethbridge Maple Leaf Tom Wood shortly after he dropped the ceremonial puck.

Mr. Wood wanted to clear up one point to start.  Even though he was listed as playing right wing he was one of only four defenseman on the Lethbridge Maple Leaf team. He said he was a defensive defenseman, usually staying back, “Someone had to!”

Mr. Wood talked about how Stan Obdiac was a replacement for Bob Kirkpatrick. He said Kirkpartrick was an inspirational leader, "a strong, tough player". Without him, they would have never won the 8th game against the Melville Millionaires. With two minutes left he rallied the team and setup a goal, they scored a second one and shortly after  Negrello finally won it.  Because he was older, Kirkpatrick didn't want to go over to Europe and Obdiac was invited to replace him.

Mr. Wood  talked about how hard it was to travel over Christmas with a long boat ride to Europe. " We celebrated New Years in a pub in England you know". It was hard to start playing again and "the press was really hard on us". They started feeling pressure from back home and even though they started on a winning streak, the team understood why they sent replacements. He told us of the disappointment of the three players sent home shortly before the Championships but also how well the replacement line from Kingston fit in when they arrived. He repeated that the reason they won was because it was a total team concept and everyone got along very well.
Mr. Wood talked of the experiences of visiting and playing in Europe and Germany just a few years after the end of WWII.  He said there were still food rations in Holland and England but not Germany.

Stories about Tom Wood from Maple Leaf Stan Obodiac's Book: No Substitute for Victory

Late in the afternoon we went to Le Bouget airport in Paris carrying two trophies and one or two of us carrying hangovers. We caught a Viking Airliner and Tommy   Wood began the song "The Last Time I Saw Paris". p. 130
Tom Wood
Back on the ship Tom Wood was pacing the decks more than usual. He had been in telephone conversation with his father and was told his wife was taken to the hospital that very day. What a home coming he is going to have!  Perhaps a baby born to him on the same day as his triumphant arrival…..p.145 …his wife that very same 24 hours was giving birth to their first child - a son! p. 147
Tom Wood Ceremonial Puck Drop
Tom went missing! He had gotten lost in Switzerland.  He had been reading Eleanor Roosevelt’s book "This is My Story” and didn’t see the team leave and no one noticed  him missing until 45 minutes down the road. Tom said," it’s a different experience being lost in Switzerland". p.83

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Video of the Lethbridge Hurricane Ceremonial Puck Drop Honouring 1951 Lethbridge Maple Leafs: Nap Milroy and Tom Woods Drop Puck

Those in attendance at the Lethbridge Hurricane's home game honouring the 1951 Lethbridge Maple Leafs were privileged to watch World Champion Maple Leaf players Nap Milroy and Tom Wood drop the ceremonial puck (once they actually had a puck to drop).  lethbridgemapleleafs.com was there to record pictures in the previous blogs and record this video of the puck drop! James Sinclair led the procession!

Lethbridge Hurricanes Did It Right The Night They Honoured The Lethbridge Maple Leafs!

The Lethbridge Hurricanes did it right the night they honoured the Lethbridge Maple Leafs!

They made replica jerseys for a WHL game then made them available to the public through an innovative on-line auction; hung the banners high  from the rafters, hosted the Galt Museum and Archives Maple Leaf Artifacts on the main level; designed a commemorative program, invited 100 family and friends; and invited players Tom Wood and Nap Milroy to drop the ceremonial puck.
Congratulations to the Hurricanes for a first class production!

Still time to bid on those jerseys- auction site: www.hurricanesauction.com/

                                                                                                          




Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Bert Knibbs Original Lethbridge Maple Leaf Jersey and Hockey Canada Jersey Worn By Family at The Game

Knibbs Original Jersey and Championship Ring


Over 100 Lethbridge Maple Leaf Family Members Attend Game

Billy Gibson's Sons Gregg and Darren

Rimstad Family Memebers

Don McLean's Daughters Diane and Cheryl
With James Sinclair in a Replica Jersey

Over 100 Lethbridge Maple Leaf Family Memebers
Sat Together At The Game

Lethbridge Maple Leaf Team and Families Honoured By Lethbridge Hurricanes At Home Game

The 1951 World Champion Lethbridge Maple Leafs were  honoured by the Lethbridge Hurricanes at their home game tonight against the Brandon Wheat Kings.
  
Lethbridge Maple Leafs Tom Wood and Nap Milroy
Take Centre Ice and Wave To an Appreciative Crowd
  
Handshakes After the Ceremonial Puck Drop


Lethbridge Hurricanes in Lethbridge Maple Leaf
Replica Jerseys
 
"Game On" Replica Jerseys Have a  1 - 0 Record in WHL League Play:
Hurricanes Beat Brandon!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Welcome to the Site, and New Additions to Posts


How to Read the Blog:

 Welcome to our 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).



lethbridgemapleleafs@gmail.com

Enjoy!

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.
Check out these recent program  additions to posts 22 and 29 from James Sinclair's Collection ( Click on photo to enlarge):


From the Last Game Before Paris, March 7, 1951

From the Churchill Cup Program

Lethbridge Maple Leafs Play in the Winston Churchill Ice Hockey Series, Part 29

The Final Leg of the Tour: Belgium, Holland, Sweden, and England, Part 20