Rick Steadman London Knights Assistant Coach
Over a dozen PEI born players and coaches have been associated with Memorial Cup championships since the early 1950’s. The Cup symbolizes Canadian Major Junior Hockey supremacy and was donated by the Ontario Hockey Association in 1919 to honour soldiers who died for Canada during World War I. It was originally known as the OHA Memorial Cup. From 1919 to 1971 it was awarded to the Canadian junior hockey champions through a series of playoffs each year. In 1972 the Memorial Cup became symbolic of the Canadian Major Junior Championship in tournament fashion with the division of Junior A hockey in the country. The Western, Ontario and Quebec Major Junior leagues compete for the Memorial Cup each May. Since 2010 the Memorial Cup has been dedicated to memory of any soldier who died for Canada in all conflicts.
Islanders have been involved nine Memorial Cup Championships.
1953 Orin Carver - Barrie
Don Cherry played on a Memorial Cup champion and he had an Islander as a team-mate. Orin Carver, born in Charlottetown, was a member of the 1952-53 Barrie Flyers that went 37-12-2 to capture first place in the OHA and would defeat the St. Boniface Canadiens in Winnipeg and Brandon, Manitoba in five games in the national finals. Hap Emms was the head coach on a team that also included future NHL stars Don McKenny and Doug Mohns. Orval Tessier, who would make his mark as a coach in junior hockey in future years, led the Flyers with 54 goals and 94 points. The Barrie team was sponsored by the Boston Bruins in the NHL. Carver was productive with 14 goals, 21 assists and 35 points in 46 games that season. The Flyers skated past St. Boniface, 6-1 in the final game of the 1953 Memorial Cup.
Orin Carver, born in 1932, was a standout playing on a line with Howie Glover and Keith Dalziel at the West Kent School in the late 1940’s. He played a few games with Halifax St. Mary’s in 1950-51 in senior hockey before joining the Barrie Flyers. The New York Rangers invited him to their training camp in the early 50’s. Carver had 35 goals and 87 points for the Charlottetown Islanders in the Maritime Major Hockey League the year following his Memorial Cup experience. He moved to Newfoundland-Labrador in the late 1950’s and got involved in the oil business where he had just as much success as he did in hockey. He was a member of the 1958 Grand Falls Andcos that won the Herder Cup Newfoundland Senior championship. The head coach of that team was Charlottetown’s Bucko Trainor. In 1961-62 Carver was player/coach with the Corner Brook Royals that won the Newfoundland senior championship. He returned to Prince Edward Island in the 1980’s and was appointed by Premier Joe Ghiz to be the Chair of the Host Committee for the 1991 Canada Games, held that February in Charlottetown. On top of his interest in the oil business, Carver also founded Compu College campuses in Charlottetown and Moncton. Always a person who was eager to serve his community, Orin Carver was made a member of the Order of Canada in 2001. He died a few months later after a bout with cancer at age 69.
1961 Bill MacMillan - Toronto St. Michael’s Majors
Father David Bauer would have a great influence on a young Bill MacMillan who would be guided under his wing in the 1960’s. Father Bauer was the head coach of the St. Michael’s College Majors in 1960-61 that would build toward a Memorial Cup title. Just seven years later MacMillan was a member of the Olympic bronze medal with the Canadian national team in Grenoble, France in 1968. Father Bauer also coached that team.
In the spring of 1961 the Majors won the Memorial Cup final over the Edmonton Oil Kings, 4-2 in the best of seven. Game six saw St. Mike’s prevail, 4-2.
MacMillan was an 18 year old forward on the Majors who finished second in the OHA with 26 wins, 16 losses and 6 ties in a 48 game schedule that season. St. Mike’s had players like Terry Clancy (son of the legendary King Clancy), twins Bruce and Dave Draper, and goalie Gerry Cheevers. Dave Draper led the team in scoring with 44 goals and 77 points.
Cheevers would go on for a starry career as goalie for the Boston Bruins. He even played out as a forward in eight games that season and picked up an assist.
Two other players on the Majors were Terry O’Malley and Barry MacKenzie who joined MacMillan on the national team later in the decade.
1973 Kevin Devine, John Hughes – Toronto Marlboros
For the first time two Islanders joined forces on the same Memorial Cup team. Kevin Devine and John Hughes would make their mark in the WHA after their big year with the Toronto Marlies, who were coached by former Leaf captain and great George Armstrong. The 1972-73 Marlboros finished first in the OHA with 47 wins, just 7 losses and 9 ties. Devine, a 17 year old forward, had 30 goals, 40 assists and 70 points. Hughes, playing on defense, contributed 12 goals, 43 assists for 55 points. The Marlies had a superior line-up with Gordie Howe’s sons Mark and Marty playing important roles. Bruce Boudreau, who would go on to a fine AHL career and would coach the Anaheim Ducks, was a sniper on the team. Toronto outlasted the Peterboro Petes in a hard fought seven game OHA final. Peterboro was on the verge of victory with a 5-4 lead when Paulin Bordeleau was awarded a penalty shot with just over a minute remaining. He scored and that the tied the game and gave the Marlies the point they needed to win the set, 8-6 in total points. It also put the Marlies into the national championship tournament.
The 55th Memorial Cup was held at the Montreal Forum in early May, 1973. Toronto bounced the Quebec Remparts, 5-2 in the opener but lost 3-2 to the Medicine Hat Tigers two nights later. The Tigers line-up included future NHL stars Lanny McDonald and Tom Lysiak. During the game John Hughes and Medicine Hat’s Bob Gassoff got into a fight. Hughes got the first punch in but Gassoff won the fight and the Island defenseman had to go to the dressing room for repairs. Gassoff was sitting on the end of the Tigers bench and said something to Hughes as he skated off. Hughes promptly bumped his opponent. Gassoff jumped off of the bench into the hallway where he confronted Hughes again. That saw the Marlies players leave their bench and mill around with the Tigers players. No further fighting resulted but Medicine Hat, up 2-0, went on to win the game. The Marlies tied it up, 2-2 but Gasoff, who led the Western League with a record 388 minutes in penalties, turned from crusher into rusher and scored the winner past Toronto goalie Mike Palmateer.
Two nights later, the Remparts, coached by Orval Tessier who played on the 1953 Barrie Flyers Memorial Cup winners, blasted Medicine Hat, 7-3 and advanced to the final. The Marlies pummelled the Quebec champs, 9-1 to claim their sixth Memorial Cup. Four of Toronto’s first give goals came on power plays.
Mark Howe was named the MVP of the tournament, winning the Stafford Smythe Memorial Trophy. The Toronto squad played 93 games that season. The final contest was a beauty.
2000 Brad Richards, Thatcher Bell - Rimouski Oceanic
The Rimouski Oceanic cruised to a 48-18-4 record in the 1999-2000 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League season led by 19-year old Brad Richards from Murray Harbour, PEI. Richards had 71 goals, 115 assists and 186 points in 63 games in the regular season and was easily the Canadian Hockey League Player of the Year. Thatcher Bell, his 17-year old team-mate from Guernsey Cove, PEI tallied 26 goals, 43 assists and 69 points on the high scoring Oceanic that managed a record 370 goals for during the season.
The 2000 Memorial Cup tournament was staged in Halifax at the Metro Centre. Rimouski went 3-0 in the round robin with a 3-1 victory facing the Kootenay Ice, a 7-2 thumping of the Barrie Colts and a 5-3 win over the Halifax Mooseheads. The Oceanic advanced to the final and met Barrie for the national championship. Mike Jefferson of the Colts would spark Richards and his Oceanic team-mates with a newspaper quote prior to the game. Jefferson became known as Mike Stanton after a name change following his infamous run in with the law concerning his father and agent David Frost which resulted in prison time in the following years. He was quoted as saying “Richards wouldn’t last five games in the OHL.” That message came back to haunt Jefferson and the Colts in the final before 10,000 fans at the Metro Centre. Richards scored the first and last goals for the Oceanic in a 6-3 victory to claim the Memorial Cup. Richards added two assists for a four point game and totalled 4 goals, 6 assists and 10 points in four games. He sparked a four goal second period for Rimouski. Team-mate Thatcher Bell added an assist.
Afterward Richards responded verbally to Jefferson’s comment. “For sure that fired me up,” said Richards. “When a guy like that says something like that, you have to wonder what he’s talking about. Hopefully he’ll shut up and realize who I am (now).”
Richards won the Stafford Smythe Trophy as Memorial Cup MVP. He was drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning as a third round pick in the summer of 1999 and would go on to win a Stanley Cup in Tampa and the Conn Smythe Trophy as NHL playoff MVP four years later. He won a second Cup with the Chicago Black Hawks in the spring of 2015. Richards was named to the Quebec Major Hockey League Hall of Fame in November, 2016.
Thatcher Bell continued to play with Oceanic over the next two seasons and a final year in Major Jr. with the Halifax Mooseheads. He was drafted by the Vancouver Canucks in the third round, 71st overall by the Vancouver Canucks in the 2000 NHL entry draft but opted to go to St.Thomas University in the AUS. Bell turned pro with the Phoenix Roadrunners in the ECHL in 2007-08 and had 9 goals and 18 points in 53 games. An injury shortened his career which ended two seasons later.
2011 Gerard Gallant - Saint John Sea Dogs vs. Dave Cameron - St. Michael’s Majors
For the first time in history two PEI born coaches met in a national championship. Former Detroit Red Wings star Gerard Gallant and his QMJHL champion Saint John Sea Dogs faced another former NHL player, Dave Cameron and the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors. The Memorial Cup that season was played in the Hershey Centre in Mississauga, home ice for St. Mike’s, the host team. It was Turk (Gallant) vs. Moose (Cameron). The Owen Sound Attack and Kootenay Ice rounded out the four teams in the tournament. The Sea Dogs and Majors both went 2-1 in the round robin. Saint John edged St. Mike’s, 4-3 in the team’s first meeting.
Both Gallant, from Summerside and Cameron, from Kinkora were friends off the ice. Both had coached the Summerside Western Capitals to the Centennial Cup/Royal Bank Cup Tier II national finals prior to the 2011 Memorial Cup. Gallant won the national Jr. “A” championship in 1997 with the Caps who edged the South Surrey Eagles, 4-3. Cameron guided the Capitals to the 1989 final but lost 4-1 to the Thunder Bay Flyers. Both tournaments held at Cahill Stadium in Summerside.
St. Mike’s needed two wins facing Kootenay to advance to play Saint John in the final in May of 2011. Cameron’s troops did the trick with a 7-3 tie-breaker win and then a 3-1 decision in the semi-final against the Ice.
Mike Kelly, from Shamrock, PEI joined Gallant on the bench as an assistant coach with the Sea Dogs (the two also joined forces later with the Florida Panthers). Two other Islanders were players on Saint John-Jason Cameron from Clyde River and Spencer MacDonald from Stratford. Stephen MacAulay, who grew up in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, played in his first of three straight Memorial Cup tournaments (winning two rings with Saint John and Halifax). He is an adopted Islander with plenty of relatives in the Souris area and spending many summers on PEI. The Sea Dogs had a 12-1 record in the Quebec Major Junior playoffs, sweeping the President’s Cup finals, 4-0 over Lewiston to reach the Memorial Cup.
In the final, the Sea Dogs increased their post season record to 15-2 dropping St. Mike’s, 3-1. Saint John became the first Maritime team to win the Memorial Cup and in just their sixth season as a franchise. Two goals put the Sea Dogs up 2-0. Jonathan Huberdeau put the game out of reach with his third goal of the tournament with just under four minutes to play in the third period. Huberdeau, drafted third overall and the first pick of the Florida Panthers in the NHL entry draft in 2011, was named the Memorial Cup MVP.
Gerard Gallant and Dave Cameron returned to the Island for the summer with Turk getting the bragging rights. Huberdeau would become one of Gallant’s players in Florida. Cameron would go on to become head coach of the Ottawa Senators.
The two Island coaches are still friends.
2012 Brandon Gormley, Morgan Ellis - Shawinigan Cataractes
The Shawinigan Cataractes hosted the 2012 Memorial Cup tournament and came in as distinct underdogs having been knocked out of the Quebec Major Junior playoffs in the second round. Shawinigan swept Rouyn-Noranda in four games in the opening round but lost in the second to Chicoutimi, 4 games to 3. That forced the Cataractes to get creative with six weeks off before they would hit the ice in competition in the national tournament. Head Coach Eric Veilleux used two-a-day practices and select exhibition games to keep his players in game shape. Two of those players were defensemen Brandon Gormley from Murray River, PEI and Morgan Ellis from Ellerslie. Gormley came in a trade deadline deal with Moncton. Ellis arrived in a trade from Cape Breton.
The Saint John Sea Dogs returned to the national tournament as defending Quebec and Memorial Cup champions coached by Gerard Gallant and Mike Kelly. The London Knights and Edmonton Oil Kings completed the line-up for the 2012 tourney.
Shawinigan lost 4-3 to Edmonton in the opener, dropped London, 6-2 before falling 4-1 to Saint John. The Oil Kings and Cataractes met in a tie-breaker with Shawinigan rattling the Western champs, 6-1. That momentum carried the C’s to a resounding 7-4 triumph in the semi-final match over Saint John. The Cataractes had found their skating legs. The final was played on May 27th with Shawinigan thrilling the hometown fans with a 2-1 overtime edging of the London Knights. Anton Zoblin scored at 17.51 in the first overtime to given the Shawinigan its first Memorial Cup in 43 years.
Michael Chaput from the Cataractes led the tournament with 5 goals and 12 points and was named MVP. Gormley had 3 goals, 6 assists and 9 points and was named to the tournament all-star team. Ellis wound up with a goal, 4 assists and 5 points.
Gormley was taken in the first round in the 2010 NHL entry draft by the Phoenix Coyotes, the thirteenth overall pick. Ellis would be the 117th overall pick in the fourth round, taken by the Montreal Canadiens in the same draft.
2013 Darcy Ashley, Brent Andrews - Halifax Mooseheads
Sixty years had passed since the first Islander played on a Memorial Cup winning team when the Halifax Mooseheads skated to the Canadian Major Junior championship in May, 2013 in Saskatoon. Two Islanders were in the line-up on a team that starred Nathan MacKinnon, Jonathan Drouin and goalie Zach Fucale.
Darcy Ashley, playing in his third year with the Mooseheads, was coming off a season where he had 26 goals, 52 assists and 78 points. Born in Alberton he added 3 goals and 11 points in 17 playoff games. Brent Andrews of Charlottetown was in his fourth year with Halifax. He had 15 goals, 30 assists and 45 points in the regular season. Andrews was taken 202nd overall in the 7th round of the NHL entry draft in 2011 by the Nashville Predators. He had 4 goals and 11 points in 19 playoff games.
Halifax opened the tournament with a 7-4 win over the Portland Winter Hawks and their star Seth Jones. Host Saskatoon won the next night, 5-2 over Halifax. The Mooseheads rebounded and romped to a 9-2 decision facing the London Knights after a day off. Ashley scored twice and Andrews scored once as Halifax jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first period. Portland won the semi-final trimming London, 2-1 which set up a rematch with Halifax in the final game.
The Mooseheads top line was upbeatable in a 6-4 victory. Tournament MVP Nathan MacKinnon scored three times and set up to others.
Jonathan Drouin had five assists. Seth Jones managed a second period goal for Portland. MacKinnon led the Memorial Cup in scoring with 7 goals and 13 points. Ashley had an outstanding tournament scoring twice and adding three assists for five points.
Both Ashley and Andrews would join the UPEI Panthers in the AUS following their major junior careers.
2016 Rick Steadman - London Knights
Another chapter in the Memorial Cup saga involving Islanders and former Island players took a new twist in 2016. Rick Steadman, a defensive specialist with the UPEI Panthers from 2005-06 to 2008-09 was an assistant coach with the London Knights who won the 2016 Canadian Major Junior Championship with a 3-2 overtime win facing the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. Matt Tkachuk provided the game winner against the Quebec Major Junior champs at 7.49 in overtime on a shot that may have been deflected off team-mate Christian Dvorak but none-the-less was the clincher. The Knights included Memorial Cup MVP Mitch Marner, a highly touted Toronto Maple Leaf prospect. London didn't lose a game past April 1st in a long seventeen game win streak that saw them go undefeated (4-0) in the Memorial Cup in Red Deer, Alberta.
Steadman had the role of assistant coach in charge of the defense on the Knights bench beside his Uncle Dale Hunter, the head coach. Steadman had 8 goals, 7 assists, and 15 points playing on the checking line with the UPEI Panthers during his four seasons under Head Coach Dylan Taylor in Charlottetown. The left winger wore #16 and played a strong role on the university team that was continuing a rebuilding process. The Petrolia, Ontario native graduated in 2009 and became an assistant and then head coach with the Ontario Hockey Academy Midget AAA team from 2012 to 2014 and then was defensive coach in the Herentals Belgian Elite Division. His first year with the Knights in 2015-16 was a busy one as he planned and prepared practices, acted as the video coach for both the players and previewing opposing teams and handling player communications. He was also on the bench on game day as he tended to the defense. The 32 year old played for the Knights and the Guelph Storm prior to enrolling at UPEI. He helped his Uncle Dale and the Knights to their second Memorial Cup since 2005.Memorial Cups
Sant John Sea Dogs 2011 Memorial Cup
Brent Andrews(79) Halifax Mooseheads
1985 Ron Annear - Verdun Jr. Canadiens
The Mermorial Cup first awarded in 1919
Coach Gerard Gallant Celebrates
Montague, PEI ‘s Ron Annear played on the Quebec Major Jr. Champion Verdun Canadiens who swept Chicoutimi in four straight games to win the President’s Cup in 1984-85. Ron spent two seasons with the Baby Habs and played on defense where he contributed both offensively and defensively with 5 goals, 46 assists and 51 points in 62 games. His playoff performance was also impressive as he scored 3 goals and added 11 assists for 14 points in 14 games. The ’84-85 Junior Canadiens finished with a 36-30-2 record and defeated Hull and Shawinigan in the first two rounds of the playoffs. Verdun then swept Chicoutimi in four straight games to win the President’s Cup Q title and a trip to the Memorial Cup tournament which was hosted by the Shawinigan Cataractes.
The Junior Canadiens didn’t have a good week. They lost all three games, dropping a 6-3 contest to the Sault Greyhounds followed by a 5-3 edging by the Prince Albert Raiders and a 5-1 score to the host team. Prince Albert won the Memorial Cup final with a decisive 6-1 win over Shawinigan. Some future NHL stars were featured in the tournament including Bob Probert (Sault Greyhounds) who fought Ken Baumgartner (Prince Albert) twice in the semi-final won by the Raiders, 8-3. Baumgartner had three fights in the game. Another member of the Greyhounds was Jeff Beukeboom, who also went on for a NHL career. His son Brock played for UPEI in 2015-16 and 2016-17.
Annear played in 33 games the following season for Verdun scoring 3 goals, adding 11 assists for 14 points. He joined the UPEI Panthers and in 1987-88 as a 22 year old and won an AUAA title with them under coach Vince Mulligan. His Verdun team mates included UPEI Panthers Rich Little, Jerry Fleming and Shane MacEachern. Also on the Verdun team was future NHL star Claude Lemieux and Serge Savard Jr. Ronnie was selected by the Montreal Canadiens in Round 10 of the NHL Entry Draft (199th overall). Born April 28, 1965, he is still with UPEI as former Athletic Director and now heads marketing and promotions with the athletic program. His son Jesse, another Montague native, played with the Summerside Western Capitals in the 2016-17 Maritime Jr. Hockey League..
Morgan Ellis celebrates Memorial Cup
Darcy Ashley(17) Halifax Mooseheads
London Knights OHL & Memorial Cup Champs 2016
Memorial Cup presentation by CHL Commissioner David Branch
Brandon Gormley reacts to goal
Barrie Flyers 1952-53 Orin Carver is in the second row, 4th from the right & Don Cherry just above him
Brad Richards Rimouski Ocean, 2000 Memorial Cup MVP
Shawinigan Cataractes 2012 Memorial Cup
Orin Carver, Charlottetown Islanders 1953-54
Rick Steadman from the 2008-09 UPEI Panthers official program. The left wing played four seasons at UPEI
St.Michael's Majors 1960-61 Bill MacMllan in the second row, second from the right
St.Mike's Coach Dave Cameron
Halifax Mooseheads 2013 Memorial Cup