Today’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, April 12, 1963
Sudbury Wolves overcome a 3-2 deficit with the only three goals of the third period as they gain a 5-3 win over the Kingston Frontenacs, tying the best-of-seven EPHL final at one game apiece.
Frontenacs manager Wren Blair, watching the game from the press box in the Sudbury arena, tells Ron Brown of the Whig-Standard the outcome is apparent by the time the game is three minutes old. “You can write this one off,” Blair moaned. “We’re playing lousy.”
Perhaps a curious itinerary contributed to the Frontenacs’ malaise. After playing at home Wednesday night, they stayed in Parry Sound Thursday night and spent Friday night in Barrie. (The odyssey continues; with Game 3 of the series scheduled for tomorrow night at the Community Centre, the team isn’t expected to arrive back in Kingston until 3 o’clock tomorrow afternoon.)
Dunc McCallum pounced on the rebound of a Len Ronson shot to break a 3-3 tie at 15:49 of the third period. With less than two minutes to play Mike McMahon beat Frontenacs goaltender Bruce Gamble with a low drive from the blue line to put the game out of reach.
Red Armstrong, 19-year-old rookie Jim Johnson and Dave Richardson scored for the Wolves. Cliff Pennington, Pete Panagabko and Pat Stapleton scored for Kingston.
“The Frontenac effort was one of the worst of the season,” Brown wrote. “Kingston players didn’t go out of their way to hit an opposing forward and only at times did they belt a Sudbury player in front of the net.”
Well over 4,000 fans watched the game. Gerry Cheevers, who hadn’t enjoyed any success against the Frontenacs this season, was outstanding, making 38 saves for the Wolves. Gamble made 34 stops for Kingston.
“Players usually expect and get compliments when they play well,” Blair fumed after the game. “They also get paid, so to be factual and keep the ledger balanced, there is no alternative than to say that we stunk.”