1979 – Peterborough Petes

The 1979 Memorial Cup tournament was a thriller, with five of seven games decided by one goal.

Each team — the Brandon Wheat Kings, Peterborough Petes and Trois-Rivieres Draveurs — finished the round-robin at 2-2. There wouldn’t be a semifinal game, so the finalists were decided on a goals ratio. The Wheat Kings (plus-2) and Petes (even) moved on; the Draveurs (minus-2) were eliminated.

The games were played in Sherbrooke’s Le Palais de Sports, the Trois-Rivieres Colisee and the Verdun Auditorium.

The final was scheduled for the Montreal Forum on the afternoon of May 13. But that plan was scrubbed when the Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers scheduled a Stanley Cup game for the same time.

On May 13 in Verdun, the Petes won it all, beating Brandon 2-1 in overtime.

Tim Trimper of the Petes and Brandon’s Brian Propp exchanged first-period goals and that was it until Bob Attwell scored off a Larry Murphy rebound at 2:38 of overtime.

“I’ve dreamed of doing something like this plenty of times,” Attwell said. “And the feeling is just the same as in the dreams — it’s unreal.”

The Wheat Kings felt that an icing call should have preceded the winning goal.

Peterborough cleared the puck the length of the ice and Brandon defenceman Brad McCrimmon got there first.

“I skated pretty hard for it and it was over the line,” McCrimmon offered. “That’s all I’ll say.”

McCrimmon rarely came off the ice that afternoon. He and Mike Perovich were the two Brandon defencemen who could move the puck, but Perovich (broken arm) wasn’t dressed.

“I thought, near the end, their defence was finally starting to tire,” Petes coach Gary Green said. “I felt Brad McCrimmon was starting to have a tough time.”

The Draveurs had opened the tournament at home on May 6, beating the Petes, 4-3, before 3,000 fans.

The Draveurs came back the next night, again on home ice, and beat Brandon, 4-1.

The evening was highlighted by two pregame incidents, the second of which erupted into a full-scale donnybrook and set the stage for a fight-filled game.

“If we played these guys 16 times in a season, we’d likely have 15 brawls,” McCrimmon said.

On May 8 in Sherbrooke, the Petes dropped the Wheat Kings, 7-6, on Jim Wiemer’s second goal of the game, at 2:31 of overtime.

On May 9 in Sherbrooke, Peterborough upped its record to 2-1 with a 3-2 victory over the Draveurs.

The Draveurs fell to 2-2 on May 10 as they were whipped, 6-1, by Brandon before 2,300 fans in Verdun.

Prior to the game, Brandon head coach Dunc McCallum replaced goaltender Rick Knickle with Bart Hunter, who had been added from the Portland Winterhawks. Hunter would be named the tournament’s MVP.

The finalists were set on May 11 when Brandon beat the Petes, 3-2, as Hunter stopped 32 shots before 1,680 fans in Verdun.

1979 Peterborough Petes:

Bob Attwell, Dave Beckon, Terry Bovair, Carmine Cirella, Keith CrowderKen EllacottDave FenyvesLarry FloydBill Gardner, Chris Halyk, Anssi MelametsaLarry MurphyJim PaveseMark Reeds, Brad Ryder, Stuart SmithGreg ThebergeTim TrimperJim WiemerGary Green (general manager and coach)

NHL: Murphy collected 1216 points in 1615 games while winning 4 Stanley Cups, two with the Pittsburgh Penguins and two more with the Detroit Red Wings.  He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004.