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West Point hockey memories from three Ex Cadets: 59, 50 and 40 years ago!

West Point hockey memories from three Ex Cadets: 59, 50 and 40 years ago!


                                                                                                             1959 RMC team

59 years ago – 1959 – RMC 6 West Point 1


I remember how important it was to my father, Bill Carr, 1954 (his number is the year I entered CMR).  He came down with a host of friends to watch the game.

                                                                         Pete Dawkins and Chris Carr

I was in fourth year.

I was captain (by a mysterious set of circumstances) and did the ceremonial face off against Pete Dawkins, former Heisman trophy winner and future general.  He may have been a star in football, and in the military, but his hockey needed a little work.

One of our star players, and a close friend until he passed away some years ago, was Jean-Guy Fortin, referred to by the West Point Cadets as “Frenchie”.  During the early (very early) morning ablutions, everyone was whispering about how late the night before “Frenchie” came in.  I gritted my teeth.  However, Jean Guy potted two goals (I think) and I suspect that may have prompted West Point to change their training routine.

We had a host of other VERY good players. as well.

I remember the weekend as being very friendly and full of ceremonies.  Lots of multi star generals in presence. But I remember the game as being less competitive than expected. We seemed to have the jump all the way through.

My father later gave me a set of gold cuff links with the score on them, which I still wear to every mess dinner and at other important occasions.

Thanks for asking.

4328 Chris Carr


                                                                                                     1968 RMC team

50th anniversary West Point memories

René Bornais

The final score was 4-2. Indeed we were leading 2-0 after two periods but their coach threatened to cancel leave for the players for the rest of the year if they did not win.

In the first two minutes and 17 seconds of the final period, they came in like gang busters/raging bulls.

They beat me three times in (I do not recall how many) several attempts, pushing/wrestling/slashing through the defence and I. It is not that we fell apart, but I would confess that we just ran out of steam. We fought back and got penalized and were broken when they scored the fourth goal.

We were missing some of our best players due to illness and injuries. That being said however, the replacements did more than their share during the entire battle. Yes it was a heart breaker, not to be forgotten; but as they say, IT’S ONLY A GAME.

I had not realized that the WP/RMC game was in Jan this year. Jo Ann and I will definitely be there if I can secure some tickets. I guess I better get on to that.

I hope my bit of info is of some value to you, and that we can see you on the 20th.

7540 René Bornais


                                                                                                                                            1978 RMC team

1978: The RMC Miracle On ICE

Jim Hessel

The USA winning the Olympic Gold was their miracle on ice, for me it was the 1978 game against West Point.  The game started out with hard hitting and I remember the Coach of the Kingston Junior A team telling me after that he had never seen hitting like that in a game.  I took a few penalties some questionable, in my opinion, some I deserved ha ha.  But the game was great all round.  I kept spurring the guys on and I know that with about three minutes I broke down the right side and snapped a shot over the shoulder of the West Point goaltender and the crowd went crazy.

One fan said to me after that a lot of people were on their way out and heard a big roar so they all rushed back.  Then we scored another quick goal I can’t remember who scored but that made it 6 – 6 , then in the last minute I believe I set up the winning goal, again I can’t remember who scored but I do remember what a great feeling it was lifting the trophy and skating around the rink with my teammates.

Being a UTPM and being elected captain of the RMC Redman was a great and humbling honour and I always wanted to wear number 10, a sweater that Dick Mohns wore before me with such pride and distinction, that t00 was a proud moment for me.

Commandant BGen John de Chastelain congratulating team captain, Jim Hessel following the miracle on ice in 1978

I have played in a number of Nationals in Hockey and won two Nationals but there was nothing that compared to that night in the Kingston Memorial Center with the pipes and drums performing at halftime and the thrill it was beating the Black Knights of West Point in our graduation year.  Many players I remember like goalie Roger Hitesman, defenceman John Stacy and Eric Kay, forwards Mike “Stubber” Seccord and John Stecyk, and many many more.   A memory I will never forget.

Years later BGen Turner’s son, John who became the Assistant Deputy Minister of ADM(IM), said to me before a briefing I was giving, I believe in 2010, “hey your Jim Hessel, I watched you play hockey in 1978 when you guys beat Westpoint, wow what a game”, a memory he won’t ever forget either.

M224 Jim Hessel


  • David Hall

    January 8, 2018 at 11:56 am

    Jimmy, good to hear from you:)
    I remember that game in ’78. A real “defensive” battle. Even though I’d graduated the year before, I came down to watch it at the old Kingston Arena. Big crowd.
    It was also fun playing on the team with you in ’77. I recall that game in West Point was the worst loss RMC ever experienced in that series. Not a great way to finish the year. But all the games we played against West Point and USAFA were good fun. Tough too.
    Best to you Jimmy. Happy New Year.

    10950 DM Hall

  • Kent Foster

    January 8, 2018 at 1:05 pm

    To my team mates,
    Great team. The slap shot came to the Redmen and Mike Howard was our best at it. A special shout out to my buddy Mel Brown.

  • Bob Carr

    January 8, 2018 at 4:09 pm

    My big brother Chris shows his humble side in this article, he “forgot” to mention he also scored two of RMC’s goals against West Point. Another (unsubstantiated) story from that game – Gen Westmoreland’s wife took a puck in the cheek and had to be escorted off for repairs. Who shot the puck? I believe it was Chris trying to “bank one off the boards”!
    5337 Bob Carr

  • 3982, W.A. Douglas Yuill, OMM, CD3, Brigadier GeneraL (Retired).

    January 8, 2018 at 4:18 pm

    While I chose NOT TO GO ON TO RMC, (I was a serving soldier (a Corporal), promoted to that rank during the Korean tour 1952-53, and selected to attend CMR, that autumn after our unit (23 Field Squadron RCE, returned to Canada, in late spring of 1953. While I chose NOT to Go to RMC after I had completed the Prep Year and the initial two years at St Jean,(my academic assessment in June 1956 was “Best of luck in your army career !!) I have any fond memories of CMR and the Miltary College System, and thoroughly enjoy the RMC Web site !! W.A.D. Yuill, OMM, CD3, BGen (retired).

  • 5780 Bernie Laliberté

    January 8, 2018 at 8:05 pm

    Hey Bill,
    Thanks for selecting the experience of three great ex-cadets and hockey players to reminisce about the West Point Game. It was most interesting hear from Chris, René, and particularly Jim who I have not seen since our years at 426 Sqn.
    I agree with Bob Carr about Chris being humble again. I first met him in Feb 1959 when the “big” RMC team came to CMR for the yearly game between the two Colleges. Chris, as Team Captain, was dominant; he was 9-feet tall.
    Look forward to seeing many of you at the game on the 20th in Kingston.

  • 12215 Dave Mowat

    January 9, 2018 at 7:22 pm

    Hey Jimmy – wow, how crazy that you would be asked to reflect on the 1978 RMC/West Point “Miracle on Ice” game. Ironically, at 60 years old, I just started playing shinny again with my stepson Riley at the same Constantine Arena that we had played in some 40 + years ago. The first time I went back in to the rink, a couple of weeks before Christmas, I noticed that there was an RMC/West Point brochure in the trophy case from our 1978 game. I told my stepson that as bizarre as it may seem, I had actually played in that game. Being a bit of a pack rat, I have numerous mementos from that game including the Kingston Whig Standard article, so I can fill in a few blanks – Jimmy you scored an unassisted goal at 14.26 of the third period. Then, at 14.45 Fitz scored a goal assisted by Mark Guy, and at 15.08 Mike Secord scored a goal assisted by Dave Mason and Rob Morrow. Roger Hitesman, our goalie, then stood on his head and held off West Point for the last couple of minutes, so we ended up winning the game 7-6 in obviously thrilling fashion. Like you, this was for me the most memorable game I ever played in.

    Ironically, I thought the best team I ever played with was the 1975 RMC team with Dave Hall (who had added his comment above) and Gord Brown, but we ended up tying a West Point team 4-4 that I thought we were much better than. As luck would have it, I was also fortunate enough to have played hockey with Rene Bornias when later he was the BCompt at Moose Jaw – I actually had no idea that he had ever played in a West Point game. All I know is that he was a great goalie!

  • John Stecyk

    September 10, 2018 at 12:40 am

    Great memories Jim. Nothing will top that game. Not even the one in ‘77 at Westpoint….the brawl for one and all…..we just had enough guys to finish the game, and went on to have a great party afterwards to soothe things. In my life, the camaraderie has never been matched.