Brandon, MB – The 2010 MasterCard Memorial Cup Host Organizing Committee has announced plans to honour the last Manitoba team to capture this prestigious National Championship.
Members of the 1959 Winnipeg Braves will be in attendance Tuesday, May 18th and will be part of the pre-game ceremonies before the opening face-off between the Champions of both the Quebec Major Junior and Ontario Hockey Leagues.
Since the Braves defeated the Peterborough Petes to win the best of seven Final in five games in 1959, no Manitoba team has had the opportunity to celebrate a Memorial Cup Championship.
While the Brandon Wheat Kings will be making their fourth Memorial Cup appearance since joining the Western Canada Hockey League in 1967, the storied franchise has yet to celebrate a National Title. The closest that they came was in 1979 when the OHL’s Petes defeated a talented Wheat Kings’ team, that featured such stars as Brian Propp, Brad McCrimmon and Laurie Boschman 2-1 in sudden death overtime.
Two other Memorial Cup appearances came in the mid nineties with the Wheat Kings losing back to back semi-final decisions in Kamloops (1995) and Peterborough (1996).
The ’59 Braves featured players from both Winnipeg and across the province. Among them were future NHLers Ted Green, Ernie Wakely, Bobby Leiter and Gary Bergman.
After playing the first four games of the ’59 Memorial Cup Final at the Winnipeg Arena, the Shrine Circus moved into town and forced the Braves to play the deciding game in Brandon’s old Wheat City Arena. Playing in front of a pro-Winnipeg crowd, the Braves dumped Scotty Bowman’s Petes 6-2.
Other members of the ’59 Champions included Pat Angers, Don Atamanchuk, Al Baty, Ed Bradawski, Rene Brunel, Howie Hughes, Allan Ingimundson, Ken King, Ted Knight, Gerry Kruk, Laurie Langrell, Wayne Larkin, Al LeBlanc, Doug Monro, Zenon Moroz, Lew Mueller, John Rodgers, Paul Sexsmith, John Sutherland, Wayne Winstone, Bob Wales and head coach Bill Allum.
This year marks the first time since the MasterCard Memorial Cup became a Tournament format that the province of Manitoba has hosted this prestigious National Championship.
The MasterCard Memorial Cup will be held May 14-23rd in Brandon’s Keystone Centre.