1959 – Winnipeg Braves
Scotty Bowman, who would go on to an amazing career as an NHL coach, made his third straight appearance in the Memorial Cup final in the spring of 1959.
Unfortunately for him, his Peterborough TPT Petes ran into the Winnipeg Braves.
Bowman, 26, was the first-year head coach of the TPT Petes, who were in their third season in Peterborough after relocating from Kitchener. They were so named because of a major sponsor — Toronto-Peterborough Transport.
The Braves were managed by Bill Addison, later the genial long-time commissioner of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League, and coached by Bill Allum, a longtime minor pro defenceman.
The final opened on April 24 — the first four games were at Winnipeg Arena — and ended on May 1 in Brandon’s Wheat City Arena.
Braves fans, and there were lots of them, were able to follow their boys through play-by-play man (Cactus) Jack Wells on Winnipeg radio station CKY.
The Rangers, who had been beaten 5-4 in the April 24 opener, won the last four games, wrapping it up with a 6-2 victory behind three goals from Al Baty.
Bowman, however, wasn’t around for the end.
“The rugged game almost got out of hand in the third period,” The Canadian Press, “when coach Scotty Bowman of the Petes was first given a bench penalty for slapping a stick on the boards, then ejected from the rink for pulling out his wallet and appearing to offer money to referee Len Corriveau of Quebec City.”
Only 6,239 fans had made it to Game 1, thanks to a heavy, wet snowfall that plugged city streets. The Petes won it on the strength of four second-period goals, two of them from Larry Babcock.
The Braves promptly won back-to-back 5-2 games, before taking a 5-3 victory before 8,375 fans in Game 4. The Petes simply weren’t able to stop the Braves’ ‘L’ line — Bobby Leiter, Laurie Langrell and Al LeBlanc had six goals and eight assists between them — but, he said, “I’m not going to send any particular line against them.”
Langrell had two goals in each of the first three games; Leiter scored twice in Game 4 as the Braves overcame a 2-0 first-period deficit in what was the Petes’ last gasp. Baty broke a 3-3 tie at 15:12 of the third period and Larkin iced it at 18:19.
The Braves gave Winnipeg its first Memorial Cup title since the Monarchs won in 1946, and it was the West’s 18th championship, against 23 for the East.
1959 Winnipeg Braves:
Pat Angers, Don Atamanchuk, Al Baty, Gary Bergman, Ed Bradawski, Rene Brunel, Ted Green, Howie Hughes, Allan Ingimundson, Ken King, Ted Knight, Gerry Kruk, Wayne Larkin (captain), Al Leblanc, Bobby Leiter, Doug Monro, Zenon Moroz, Lew Mueller, John Rodgers, P. Sexsmith, John Sutherland, Ernie Wakely, Wayne Winstone, Bob Wales, Laurie Langrell, Bill Addison (manager), Bill Allum (coach).
NHL: Green would win the Stanley Cup with the 1972 Boston Bruins then served as an assistant coach for the Edmonton Oilers where he was part of all five championships.