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Frontenacs 50th

March 15, 2013

Frontenacs logoToday’s installment in a daily series that recalls the story of the 1962-63 Kingston Frontenacs, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of their Eastern Professional Hockey League championship season:

Fifty years ago today, Friday, March 15, 1963

Hull-Ottawa Canadiens suffered what the Ottawa Citizen called a “severe setback” in their hunt for a third consecutive EPHL championship when the Port Huron Flags, the fifth-place club in the International Hockey League, humbled the Canadiens 4-1 in an interlocking game played before nearly 1,600 spectators at the Auditorium.

The loss dropped the Canadiens three points behind first-place Kingston, which tied the Braves 3-3 in St. Louis.

Hull-Ottawa “fell completely to pieces” in the final four minutes of the game as the Flags pumped three goals behind goaltender Cesare Maniago. The Canadiens, who have been running hot and cold since losing four of their top players to the parent Montreal club, “could do nothing right” against the visitors, wrote Citizen sports writer Ron Covell. The last goal was particularly embarrassing, as it came when Keith McCreary inadvertently flipped the puck into his own net. Maniago, normally the Canadiens cornerstone, made just 14 saves while Normand Jacques, the former Kingston goalie, made 33 for Port Huron.

In St. Louis, meanwhile, the Frontenacs were just 14 seconds from a win when Duke Harris scored from a scramble with St. Louis netminder Roger Crozier on the bench for a sixth skater. Harris’ second goal of the game lifted the Braves into a tie and sent 5,000 fans into frenzy.

Earlier in the third period, Randy Miller, playing on a makeshift line with converted defenceman Wayne Schultz at centre and Jean-Paul Parise on the other wing, scored two goals to give Kingston a 3-2 lead. Murray Hall had a goal and two assists for St. Louis. Pete Panagabko scored the other Kingston goal, with an assist from Cliff Pennington.

It was the 21st straight game in which Pennington has collected at least one point, leaving him just two games shy of the league record.

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