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, Saturday, April 13, 1963
A goal by Pat Stapleton with just 25 seconds remaining in the third period snaps a tie and sends the Frontenacs on their way to a 5-3 win over the Sudbury Wolves at the Memorial Centre.
Stapleton kept the puck in the Sudbury zone when he blocked a clearing shot with his body. He pushed the puck ahead and bulled his way past three Wolves and beat goaltender Gerry Cheevers with a 10-foot backhand shot. “The 2,500 fans at the Memorial Centre went wild, greeting Whitey with a standing ovation and littering the ice with everything from programs to toe rubbers when he scored,” the Whig-Standard reported.
With the Sudbury goalie on the bench for the ensuing faceoff at centre ice, Cliff Pennington won the draw and shot the puck into the open net from there, taking just three seconds to do so.
The win gives Kingston a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven league championship series.
Don Blackburn, with two, and Dick Cherry also scored for the Frontenacs. Gord Labossiere, the regular-season scoring champion, scored his first two goals of the series while Dave Richardson scored the other Sudbury goal.
Cheevers made 33 stops, including 20 in the final period. The stop of the game, however, was made by Kingston’s Bruce Gamble, who did the splits to deny Labossiere on a booming slapshot with the score tied and five minutes to play in the third period.