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Fronenacs 50th

March 16, 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, Saturday, March 16, 1963

The Frontenacs, on the road in the American midwest, and Hull-Ottawa, a day after being humbled by the Port Huron club of the International league, are idle but there were fireworks in St. Louis, where Alain Caron scored three goals for the Braves in a 12-5 win over the Saint Paul Saints.

Caron, whose tremendous shot earned him the nickname Boom Boom, now has 49 goals in the 46 games he’s played with St. Louis since being recalled from the Charlotte Checkers of the U.S. Eastern league. At that pace, the Canadian Press wrote that the “prolific but light-checking forward” would score more than 70 goals in a full season, a pace unheard of at any level of the game.

At 5-9 and 170 pounds, Caron could never make the big leagues on his shot alone. Described in the NHLPA’s Legends of Hockey archive as a weak skater and slow, he would nonetheless finish this season with 61 goals and 97 points, then score 77 goals and 125 points in 71 games the next year with St. Louis, by then in the newly formed Central Hockey League.

Though he scored no fewer than 46 goals each of the next two years, Caron never got a chance in the NHL until 1967, with the expansion California Seals. He had nine goals in 58 games before settling back into the minors. He resurfaced with Quebec of the World Hockey Association and at the age of 34 had a 36-goal campaign with the first-year Nordiques but three years later, he was back in the minors where, at age 38, he showed he could still score, with 78 goals in 73 games with Beauce of the North American league.

That summer, in 1978, he suffered a heart attack and had to retire. A decade later, another massive heart attack killed him.

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