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.


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


Thursday, January 20, 2011

More Photos From the Journey to The Championship

35 Anniversary
Photo Courtesy Galt Museum and Archives


Photo Courtesy James Sinclair Collection


Photo Courtesy James Sinclair Collection

Dressing Room
Photo Courtesy James Sinclair Collection

Photo Courtesy James Sinclair Collection


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

"The Handshake" A Great Hockey Moment Across the Generations: Mitch Maxwell and Nap Milroy



Stan Maxwell's grandson Mitch Maxwell of the Lethbridge Hurricanes
shakes the hand of world champion Nap Milroy of the Lethbridge Maple Leafs 
 We witnessed a great hockey moment that spanned generations! It happened  during the Lethbridge Hurricane media event introducing the 1951  Lethbridge Maple Leaf replica jersey.

One of the Lethbridge Hurricanes wearing the replica Lethbridge Maple Leaf jersey was Mitch Maxwell  the grandson of former Lethbridge Maple Leaf Stan Maxwell.  Stan played for the Lethbridge Maple Leafs in 1950 and went on to have a pro hockey career.  Nap Milroy played for the Lethbridge Maple Leafs on the 1951 world championship team and knew Stan.  Mitch was introduced as Stan Maxwell's grandson and Nap replied,  "Oh yes, Maxy"!
"The handshake" was a great hockey moment that symbolized the enduring ability of hockey to develop and bond communities across the generations.

Monday, January 17, 2011

World Champion "Nap" Milroy Inspects Hurricanes 1951 Lethbridge Maple Leaf Replica Jerseys


World Champion Lethbridge Maple Leaf Player, Mr.  `Nap`Milroy, the World Championship
Trophy on right and Lethbridge Hurricanes, Neal Tarnasky, Dylan Tait and Mitch Maxwell wearing replica jerseys
Today the Lethbridge Hurricanes chose the Galt Museum and Archives as the place to launch the 1951 Lethbridge Maple Leaf replica jerseys.  The Lethbridge Hurricanes will wear them for their January 25th home game against Brandon. The jersey is in hounor of the 60th anniversary of the Lethbridge Maple Leaf world championship.  Those in attendance today were honoured to meet and talk hockey with Mr.`Nap`Milroy, a member of the championship team! The 23 jerseys will be auctioned off via online auction starting today at:  http://www.hurricanesauction.com/

Mr. Milroy said, Ì am very honoured that the Hurricanes are wearing an exact replica of our jersey`s from 1951, we never would have guessed that our winning the World Cup Championship in 1951 would have such a long lasting effect - It is a very proud and humble moment as we celebrate the 60th anniversary of our win.

Nap Milroy was repesenting  Lethbridge Maple Leaf team members Jim Malacko, Tom Wood, Bill Flick, Dinny Flannagan, Mickey Roth, Robert McGregor who were unable to attend. 

Hurricanes Busienss Manager Jim Bradley shows jersey to Mr. Milroy.
Talking Hockey!

Hurricanes View the Galt  Museum and Archives Maple Leaf Collection
Including the Championship Cup


1951 Lethbridge Maple Leaf "Nap Milory"


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Welcome to our Site Honouring the 1951 Lethbridge Maple Leafs 60th Anniversary: How to Read the Blog



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).

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.

lethbridgemapleleafs@gmail.com

Enjoy!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Billy Gibson: Two Time World Champion

Photo Courtesy James Sinclair Collection
William “Billy” Gibson was a key member of the Lethbridge Maple Leafs as they won the 1951 World Amateur Hockey Championships in Paris, France and the Churchill Cup in England. His great play earned him an opportunity to play with the Edmonton Mercurys at the 1952 Winter Olympics in Oslo, Norway where he helped Canada win the gold medal. He was the top scorer, with fifteen goals in eight games, helping Canada win its last Olympic gold medal in hockey for five decades. As a member of his Olympic team, he was inducted into the Alberta Sport Hall of Fame Museum in 1968 received a personal induction into the Lethbridge Hall of Fame.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Lethbridge Maple Leafs and Nap Milroy Photographs From the Journey to the Championships



Left to Right: Jim Malacko, Hector Negrello, Billy Gibson, Don Vogan, Bert Knibbs, Don McLean, Mallie Hughes, Tom Wood, Stan Obodiac, Bill Chandler, Lou Siray, Nap Milroy
Photos Courtesy James Sinclair Collection

Nap Milroy

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Stan Obodiac, Darryl Sittler and the Ten Point Game Anniversary Connection

As we approach the 35th Anniversary of Toronto Maple Leaf, Darryl Sittler’s NHL record of 10 points in one game we are also at the 60th anniversary of the Lethbridge Maple Leaf, Stan Obodiac’s 10 point game.  But what’s the connection besides both playing for teams called the Maple Leafs?

Stan Obodiac was the top scorer in the Lethbridge Maple Leafs' 1951 European Tour and World Championship Victory. He scored 10 points in one of those games! See more about Stan Obodiac.
His sweater from the series is in the Hockey Hall of Fame. He became the Public Relations Director and Statistician for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

When Sittler had 7 points after the second period in his historic game, it was Stan Obodiac who entered the Toronto Maple Leaf dressing room and asked Sittler if he knew that he was just one point shy of Rocket Richard's record of 8 points in a game.  Sittler went out and scored 3 points in the 3rd period to establish a record of 10 points in one game. Stan Obodiac must have had a flashback to that night in 1951 when he also scored 10 points in one game!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Remembering the 50th Anniversary in 2001: Congratulations from Rene Fasel, IIHF; Bob Nicholson, Hockey Canada; Jean Chrétien, Prime Minister of Canada; Hockey Hall of Fame




Lethbridge Maple Leafs 50th Anniversary Celebration
Courtesy Galt Museum and Archives UID 1998101100

There were many letters of congratulations commemorating the 50th anniversary. Letters of Congratulations quoted here and in their entirety  are on the Remembering the 50th Anniversary:  Letters of Congratulations Page, Courtesy Galt Museum and Archives:  Lethbridge Maple Leafs Fonds:  UID  20011015000

What they said:

Your performance was outstanding and the crowd admired your skills.  As President of the International Ice Hockey Federation, I am also very proud to extend my wishes to your magnificent performance, your dedication to the sport we all love and to extend my appreciation for the development of ice hockey where you have contributed so much, so long.        
                         Rene Fasel, President, International Ice Hockey Federation

The 1951 Lethbridge Maple Leafs showed the dedication and passion that has now been the driving force behind all Canadian hockey teams that participate on the international stage. The CHA proudly presents the Lethbridge Maple leafs with a 50th anniversary banner that we hope will be proudly displayed from the rafters of the Enmax centre for all to remember and enjoyed.
                       Bob Nicholson, President Canadian Hockey Association

I am delighted to convey my best wishes to the members of the 1951 Lethbridge Maple Leafs as you celebrate the 50th anniversary…
                       Canadian Prime Minister, Jean Chrétien


On behalf of the Hockey Hall of Fame, please accept this letter of congratulations to the 50th Anniversary of the Lethbridge Maple Leafs….In Canada, it is with great pride we preserve our national game and there is nothing better than celebrating victory with friends, family and teammates 50 years later.
                        Philip Pritchard, Hockey Hall of Fame