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, Tuesday, April 16, 1963
Before the EPHL final series started, Kingston playing coach Harry Sinden predicted teammate Pete Panagabko would have “a terrific series.” It wasn’t a widely held belief. Panagabko had a terrific start to the season but has struggled since he missed more than a month with a shoulder injury.
Sinden has proved to be prophetic. Panagabko’s explosive attitude has propelled the Frontenacs to victories in the last two games, as they took a 3-1 lead in a best-of-seven series they can win at home tomorrow night.
“Peter did all the work on Kingston’s first goal in the team’s second victory to start them on the road to a 5-3 win,” the Whig-Standard’s Ron Brown wrote. “The little winger lugged the puck the length of the ice before passing off to Cliff Pennington, who in turn gave it to Dick Cherry (who scored).
“Monday night in Sudbury the Frontenacs were clinging desperately to a one-goal lead when Panagabko and Dave McComb started throwing punches. Pete won a unanimous decision and … before Peter and McComb returned to the ice, the score was 3-0 for Kingston. Peter’s fighting attitude appeared to lift the Frontenacs.”
“I don’t know how to explain it,” Sinden said before the series began, “but Pete seems to play well after lots of practice. After a tough training camp Pete was off and flying before he ran into that injury. We were off 10 days (after the end of the regular season) and just practised.”
Panagabko’s line, with Pennington and Cherry, has half of Kingston’s goals in the series — Cherry five, Pennington three and Panagabko two.