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Sports – April 25

Sports – April 25

Elmvale’s Very Own, Dave Drinkill – You Make Us All Proud

Congratulations to the Saginaw Spirit hockey team for winning their first Memorial Challenge cup. Congratulations to Dave Drinkill for leading this team to victory, GM of the Year Finalist and for making Elmvale very proud ! Enjoy this special moment.


Hockey Flashback: Don Tannahill – By L. Waxy Gregoire

Don grew up in Penetanguishene, close to the rink and the tennis courts.

Although he wasn’t drafted by the Niagara Falls Flyers, Tannahill made it out of rookie camp along with two others who were draft picks. Practices were fierce, one and half to two hours a day. Everything was to be done like the Russians.

The first round of the playoffs saw Niagara Falls pitted against Roger Neilson and his Peterborough Petes. Now Niagara Falls had to face down the Junior Canadiens who boasted stars Rejean Houle, Marc Tardif and Gilbert Perrault. It was considered an upset, as the Flyers got by Montreal in six games. To enjoy league supremacy status, they had to dispose of the Kitchener Rangers, who was decidedly the favourites to capture the OHA championship. The Rangers had Walter Tkaczuk, Don Luce, Ab Demarco and Midland’s Mike Robitaille.

This would be a real test for Niagara Falls, a formidable opponent, the best junior team in Canada, according to Tannahill: “That series was the highlight of my life. We were talented, but we were the underdogs. They were more talented, but they lacked goaltending. It was our goalie, Phil Myre, who would be the difference.”

Tannahill has other memories of that series which would interest to those from the Midland and Penetanguishene. The two towns, nearly together on the map, had always enjoyed a competitive, sometimes fierce rivalry when it came to sports: “My friend Mike Robitaille was on the other side. He’s from Midland, I’m from Penetang. Families would attend and of course everyone would give each other a courtesy wave. But you knew it was like a cold war.”

The next task for Niagara Falls was to win the Eastern Canada Championship which they did. The next series was onto the Memorial Cup final and a date with the Estevan Bruins who they eliminated in five games.

Tannahill has only the fondest memories of those days in Niagara Falls: “What a thrill. I knew the nucleus of the team would be moving on. I knew that we were unlikely to win the Memorial Cup again. It was bittersweet, 1967-68 Memorial Cup champions…

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