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Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017
Giacomin and Arbour lead Hall of Fame Class of 1969
2017-05-08
by Randy Pascal

This Week in Sports looks back at May 8th to the 15th, 1969

When the Kinsmen Club of Sudbury plays host to the 10th Annual Sports Celebrity Dinner, a total of four new members will be added to the Hall. Following is a brief bio on each of the four:

Bert Flynn: After starting his baseball career in Toronto and playing in the professional ranks for a couple of years, Flynn moved to Sudbury in 1915, where his name became synonymous with the sport. A shortstop for some 21 years with the Copper Cliff team, Flynn would help lead the squad to an All-Ontario senior championship in 1926.

Producing an astounding lifetime batting average of .333 over the course of his two decades of playing time in the area, Flynn also found time to compete and coach at the Sudbury Tennis Club, and suited up in the OHA junior league, despite implying that he was a "lousy hockey player", in his own words.

Henry Dunn: Dunn would make a name for himself managing on the diamonds, though he switched from softball (1938-1945) over to baseball (1945-1956) mid-stream, guiding the Sudbury Shamrocks to a Nickel Belt league title in 1947.

Ironically, his first dealings with local athletes came through his involvement with boxing, as many a promosing pugilistic career was launched under his direction from 1932 to 1952. He was also actively involved managing the Juvenile Shamrocks hockey team, with his present interest centered around the Frood-Stobie horseshoe team which has captured the district championship in three of the past five years.

Al Arbour: By comparison to both Flynn and Dunn, Arbour is a relatively young addition to the Hall, still toiling on the blueline of the NHL Western Division champion St Louis Blues. Though Arbour also won fame locally as a pitcher, his first love was always hockey.

He moved from Sudbury to Detroit, as a teenager, playing junior "B" and advancing through to the Windsor Spitfires in the junior "A" league. Bud Poile would eventually place a call for Arbour, bringing him to the Edmonton Flyers of the Western Hockey League, before he signed with the Detroit Red Wings at the age of 19, helping them to a Stanely Cup.

Arbour has been the St Louis captain for the past two years, playing under coach Scotty Bowman after stops with the Quebec Aces, Toronto Maple Leafs, Chicago Black Hawks and Rochester Americans.

Eddie Giacomin: Few players in the history of the NHL have experienced as meteoric a rise from relative obscurity to the pinnacle of success as has Giacomin. A fine all-around athlete, the local goaltender was not viewed as a star hockey player in his youth, despite leading his Gatchell team to an NOHA midget title.

A quarterback with the Sudbury Hardrocks under then coach Cam Church, Giacomin would catch a huge break, moving from the local Industrial Hockey League to the semi-pro ranks in Long Island and Providence.

It was there that he would be discovered by the New York Rangers, and has rewarded the team, being named twiced to the Eastern All-Star team and enjoying the best goals against average in the league this past season.

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The Sportsman of the Year field for the past twelve months offers a great deal of variety, with plenty of sports enjoying the opportunity to support one of their own. The finalists for the honour, which will be announced at the Sports Celebrity Dinner, include:

Roger Uemae: At the age of just 14, Uemae became Sudbury's youngest national champion, earning gold in the Novice Men's grouping in Toronto. Despite his youth, Uemae was also a runner-up at an international free skating competition.

Alex Fex: A perennial standout with the Sudbury Spartans, Fex was one of the big reasons the team earned a second straight NFC championship. He was one of the leading rushers from his position as halfback and led the team in scoring.

Marcel Clements: A highly colourful coach, Clements would lead the Sudbury Wolves to a Northern Ontario Hockey Assocaition Junior "A" title for the first time last winter.

Vic Gutjahr: By contrast, Gutjahr is as quiet as Clements is loud. He would enjoy similar success, however, taking the Copper Cliff Redmen Midgets to an All-Ontario crown.

Carmine Santoro: Associated with soccer for many years, Santoro managed Sudbury Italia in the Sudbury District Football Association before moving the club up to the semi-pro ranks. He would help bring a National Soccer League crown to Sudbury after just four years.

Mauno Taus: Taus has become "Mr Bowling" in Sudbury. For many years, he won recognition as a talented softball and baseball player. This past season, Taus would throw two perfect games of 450, one of which came in the Ontario 5 pin Championships, helping him to a title in that event.

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There were plenty of glittering trophies and proud parents at the Steelworkers Hall recently, as the Sudbury Midget Hockey League hosted their season-ending banquet.

Major award winners included league MVP Tony Thibeault, top goaltender Frank Hawes, leading scorer Chipper Marcotte and rookie of the year, Mike Gaba.

League president Merle Gray also doled out the hardware to Maurice Martel (most gentlemanly player) and Dan Leipala (playoff MVP). The league took time to honour a father-son combination, recognizing the efforts of veteran league director Rod Hill and his son Jack, who coached the Steelworkers team to both a league and playoff championship.

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The defending league champs will start on the road as Sudbury Italia plays their first five games out of town before hosting Toronto Italia at Queen's Athletic Field come June 7th.

The action starts this coming weekend, as Sudbury travels to Oakville, with manager Carmine Santoro still seeking to refine his roster. "We still need about two good players, a forward and a defenceman," he said.

The Sudbury Italia side kicks off the 1969 campaign relatively healthy, with only a slight muscle pull to Pose Antonio to report. The team is excited to unveil their most recent addition, keeper Edegen Gonzalez from Uruguay, who was brought in on the recommendation of former netminder George Paz.

The locals looked well on their way to a title defense the next evening, blasting Oakville 8-0 as Andrade Silas netted no less than four goals to lead the way. Feruccio Deni added a pair, and Joe Tonane and Carlos Amorin capped things off.

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John McKibbon may not hold the distinction of being the only basketball player from Sudbury to make the Canadian Olympic team for long. John Barton, formerly of Sheridan Tech before moving on to Lake Superior State College, has been invited to team tryouts at McMaster University.

A pair of Sudbury hockey standouts enjoyed outstanding seasons with the Marquette Iron Rangers of the United States Hockey League. Wayne McCuaig finished second in team scoring with 69 points, potting 20 goals and 49 assists from his defence position.

Meanwhile, Matt Oreskovich produced 14 goals and 39 assists over the course of the 36 game schedule, as the Iron Rangers claimed the league title for a second straight year.

Science North
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