West Point Memories…

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“I was on the 1963 and 1964 teams that played against West Point.

At West Point, in 1963, we were invited at the Commanding Officer’s home after the game. I remember having a very interesting discussion with our host. He was tall, lean body, enormous eye brows and very impressive. His name was William Childs Westmoreland.”

6150 Andre Lemieux

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Photo left: John Litt and Bob Parsons with West Point [Commandant]. (Click for better viewing)

Photo right: – 1972 in Kingston (7-4 win) Left to Right: John Litt (A), John Jussup (Manager), Bob Parsons (C), BGen W.K. Lye (Commandant), Steve Blanchard, Brian Raindahl (Manager), Marc Ouellet, Bob Booth, Marc Legault, Major (Ret’d) Alphee Bake (Chairman), Larry McJannet.

10080 Bob Booth competed in four games against West Point: 1971, 1972, 1973, and 1974. His coaches were Danny McLeod (1) and Tom Walton (3).

The game that sticks out in his mind the most was the ’73 affair played at the Kingston Memorial Centre. Rick Wing; Jim Alkins and Henry Van Keulen were three players that the now Calgary lawyer and former RMC Club president remembers who shared various shifts with him during the game. In his own words:

“One of the few times I managed to score in a game, on a breakaway, occurred in the last minute of this game resulting in a 4-4 tie. Given the last minute timing, the result was that the game felt more like a win than a tie and enabled RMC to retain the trophy since we had won the 1972 game. Ties stayed tied – no overtime – no shootout, in those days. I only wish “The Major” (our 1st year coach, as the 70-71 season was Danny’s last as RMC Hockey coach) had been witness, since he labelled me in my rookie year as a guy “who’s shot couldn’t break the skin of a rice pudding”. My good pal and teammate Rick Wing and I had smuggled a wee bit of alcohol into the dressing room just in case there was a result to celebrate. We imbibed liberally in the dressing room after the game, making us late for our blind dates and the formal ball that took place in those days after the game – perhaps tarnishing the “gentlemen” part, but leaving intact the fact we were “cadets” – on a mission.”

10080 R.T. Booth

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22409 Major Thomas Connerty and 22417 Major Mark Lachapelle both entered RMC in September 1998. During the “attractions phase of their recruiting process” they both attended the West Point game (2-2) the previous Feb with their parents.

For the record the last year that RMC had won a game in this series was 1987.

Two years later – Connerty was the goalie when RMC shut-out West Point 3-0. The first and only RMC “home” shutout in the history of the series. Lachapelle was a big force on defence and played at a level one would expect of a III or IV year veteran.

By the time IV year rolled around both Thomas & Mark were well established and highly respected OUA players. During III Year under Coach Andy Scott they not only made the play-offs; they won a round against a very skilled Queen’s team. Losing out two games to one against U of T to decide which team would move on to the OUA Final 4. The first and only time that a RMC hockey team has won a OUA play-off round in the over 40 year history of the league.

Back to the West Point series – 2003 – IV Year for both – RMC 3 – West Point 2 in overtime. For those of us who were in attendance it will be a long time before we forget:  team captain, Shannon Goudie skated down the left side,  and fired a high shot to the glove side of the West Point goalie which eluded him for the winning goal.

When asked for his thoughts on the series, Major Lachapelle replied.

“This match-up carries with it a long standing heritage of hockey. Due to the history of the series, it brings with it such an importance to RMC. I feel as if I have been a part of history and to also have not lost on home ice truly means a lot to me. By far the best hockey highlight of my career!”

Previous memories

2 Comments

  • 3035 Jerry Donahue

    January 13, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    3035 Jerry Donahue. I came into RMC in the second class after the war,1949, and played my first game against West Point the following spring. Being from the North Bay area, I played hockey at an early age and in high school our senior team was at the Junior B level. At this time there was not the proliferation of leagues that you see today but the hockey was good. The West Point games, with the “no penalty” rule, were the roughest games I had ever played in. In that first game, I was hit into the boards with a cross body check by a defence man and knocked cold. He was, by the way, an All American Defensive End on their football team. I played the third period in a daze and the resulting concussion, not known at the time, played a part in my having to repeat my year. It also resulted in my playing West Point five times, the last being in 1954, the year of the first penalty, when I was the Captain of the team.

    I’ve read a few accounts of that game by Al Roberts and John Neurotsis which brought back a lot of memories. It was, as usual, a very rough game and when one of our players was cut in the head, the referee stopped the game and called the two Captains, Victor Hugo and myself, to centre ice and informed us that unless penalties could be called, he would not allow the game to continue. We approached the VIP box and explained this to the Commandants and they agreed. The teams were advised between periods. The West Point goal tender took the first penalty. I have kept the write up of the game to this day. Victor Hugo, the West Point Captain, apologised to me after the game over a few drinks for their conduct as they had been directed by their coach to make use of the no penalty rule by making sure that every effort be made to knock our players off our feet once we crossed the blue line whether we had the puck or not. An infraction only caused the whistle to stop the play for a face off. The Referee felt that some one could be severely injured.

    Like the other comments, however, we all looked forward to these games. At the 60th Anniversary of this game, I wish both teams the best and may the best team win. Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend.

  • 10950 David M Hall

    January 14, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    Fitting that the RMC West Point Picture above in 1964 shows “The Major” being hoisted by his players. Danny coached the year before I started playing for the Reddies. But I got to know him through his regular Toronto Annual Meeting visits, and through the players who played for him. Quite a legacy. Quite a man.