Hockey Players on the Railway

                             CAPREOL HOCKEY RAILROADERS 

 

The story of hockey in Capreol, Ontario dates back to the beginning of the town, when it became a railway divisional point for the Canadian Northern Railway in 1915. The first train, operated by a crew from town, left Sudbury in July 1915 and traveled west to Foleyet, which was the end of the line at that time. The coming of WW I hurried its completion so that troops and supplies could get through. By the end of the year the west line was in operation and a station and roundhouse with eight pits were built. In 1919 Capreol advertised the sale of new lots in the northern part of the townsite. Choice land in the railway community was offered for immediate purchase, with a special exemption of the first year's taxes for the purchase. The station was enlarged and the roundhouse expanded to fifteen pits, later to twenty pits in 1929. On August 2, 2008, Capreol was inducted into the Canadian Railway Hall of Fame

 

Capreol’s first enclosed skating and curling club was formally opened on Friday, Jan.25, 1929 on the north side of the eastbound track. The club had separate entrances, skating and hockey at the west end, curling at the east end. When the day’s activities came to a close, the lights were turned off and doors locked. Occasionally several of the local lads, who knew where the keys were hidden, would sneak in for some after hours skating. The curling club was preferred for the night’s entertainment over the skating rink because of its superior ice surface. In September of 1944 the rink and curling club burned down and the same year volunteer’s built a new Capreol Curling Club on the same location. An outdoor skating rink was built on Freguson Avenue, which had lights for night time skating and a small shack to put on skates. There were numerous skating surfaces on frozen ponds and back yard rinks. A favourite recreation spot for children was Ormsby Creek. It flowed under Dennie Street and pooled in behind Ormsby Ave, at times up to 3 feet deep. The creek then coursed under the downtown area and emptied into the river. From 1944-50, the only hockey rink was on the Vermillion River in front of Fred Miles house. The Capreol Memorial Community Center opened in 1950 and the center’s Ice Number 2 opened in 1975, which included a new hall and ice surface. The two rinks were joined by the lobby.

Over the years, Capreol Minor Hockey has developed from its ranks  fourteen professional hockey players; Joffre Desilets, Pete, John and Danny Horeck, Gregg Coulson, Doug Mohns, Ginnero (Jim) Farelli, Terry Crisp, Doug Paul, Floyd Thomson, Ron Hindson, Jim Mayer, Fred Boimistruck and Gary Coupal. Capreol had several dominant teams in the early years like the CNRA’s, Dukes, Millionaires, Royals, Combines, Mohawks, Flyers and Red Wings. In 1929 Joffre "Dizzy" Desilets was a member of the Capreol CNRA’s, when they were champions of the Capreol Town League, Vermillion League and winners of the Murphy Trophy. Joffre signed on with the Montreal Canadiens when he was 20 years old and played 118 games with them from 1935-38. One evening in 1938 Joffre was introducing his brother Romeo around the Canadiens dressing room, "We've got a Romeo & Juliet in our family. There's Romeo here and we've got a young sister named Juliet." Joffre finished his NHL career with the Chicago Blackhawks, playing 74 games with them from 1938-40.

 

 Fred “Broomstick” Boimistruck worked on various CNR track gangs out of Capreol,Ont. during the summer months of the late 1970's and is currently a locomotive engineer for Via Rail in Hornepayne, Ontario. In the summer of 1982, following his first season with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Fred worked the Foleyet East Section. "I remember running the highway in the evenings after work. The year before I brought a set of weights up to the boarding cars, while in the old backtrack at Westree. I used to run the bush roads towards Shining Tree trying to stay ahead of the black flies. I quit CN each August and headed to Streetsville to play summer hockey, getting ready for the training camps." In Fred's rookie year with the 1980-81 Cornwall Royals, he established himself as one of the top offensive defensemen in the QMJHL. The Royals won the Memorial Cup that year and in his second year Boimistruck scored 22 goals and 70 points, as the Royals dominated the QMJHL regular season, defeating the Kitchener Rangers in the Memorial Cup finals. Fred played 83 games over the next two seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He had one year of junior eligibility remaining, but joined the Leafs, who had selected him in the 3rd round of the 1980 NHL Entry Draft. Fred Boimistruck

 

Jim “Patrick” Mayer works for the CNR as a locomotive engineer out of Capreol, Ont. Jim starred with the Chelmsford Cougars of the NOHA in 1971 and then played the next 4 seasons with the Michigan Tech University Huskies of the WCHA. In 1974 Jim was drafted in the 20th round by the New York Rangers of the NHL and started his pro career with the WHA's Calgary Cowboys in 1976-77. The next year he played 51 games for the New England Whalers and started the 1978-79 season with the Edmonton Oilers before moving to the CHL's Dallas Black Hawks. That year Mayer was chosen to the league's second all-star team, following a 33 goal season and also established a CHL record, scoring 6 goals in a game on February 23, 1979 against Tulsa. Jim was reclaimed by the Rangers in the 1979-80 Expansion Draft when the Edmonton Oilers, Winnipeg Jets and Hartford Whalers joined the NHL and played his only four NHL games that season. He spent the rest of the season with the New Haven Nighthawks of the AHL, scoring 32 goals and 35 assists. Jim was a member of the "Team Capreol" Championship Winning Team in a Railway Workers Hockey Tournament held in Capreol in 1991. Jim Mayer 

 

Floyd “White Pine” Thomson worked 3 summers for CNR in Northern Ontario. In the summer of 1970 Floyd dug trenches along the track to accommodate cables for the Centralized Traffic Control. “When I was 15 years old I worked on the track gangs in Felix, on the Ruel Sub., with Section Foremen Virgil and Val Pagliaroli.” Born in Capreol, Ont., Thomson played his amateur hockey in the Northern Ontario Hockey Association with the Garson Native Sons. In 1971-72, Captain Floyd led the Denver Spurs to the League and WHL championships. Thompson spent the next five years as a playmaker and penalty killer for the NHL’s St. Louis Blues, especially effective in the corners and the slot. He played 411 NHL games with St. Louis, scoring a total of 153 points. In 1979 Floyd led the Salt Lake Golden Eagles in scoring with 41 goals and 40 assists. He captained the team for three years winning two CHL Championships, one in 1979-80 and again in 1980-81. Floyd was given the Iron Man Award by the Central Hockey League in 1978 for total effort, endurance and commitment and on June 10, 2005 he was inducted into the Bobby Orr Hall of Fame. Floyd Thomson 

 

Gregg "Martin" Coulson was hired as a fireman by CNR in 1941 following his retirement from hockey. When it became known steam engines would be replaced by the more powerful diesel engines, Greg trained for his engineer’s license and received it in 1946, retiring from CNR in 1976 after 35 years service. A longtime resident of Capreol, Coulson was rookie of the year with the Barrie Colts of the OHA-B and played on their championship team in 1934-35 when they defeated the St. Michael's College Buzzers 3 games to 1 to win the Sutherland Cup. During the 1935-36 season Gregg played defense for the Pittsburgh Yellowjackets and Baltimore Orioles of the Eastern Amateur Hockey League. A couple of Gregg’s teammates with the Yellowjackets were future Hall of Famer’s Gordie Drillon and goalie Frank “Mr. Zero” Brimsek. From 1936 to 1939 Gregg played with Coniston H/C of the NBHL and Collingwood Shipbuilders of the OHA-I. Wearing jersey number 14, Coulson played 47 games with the 1939-40 Syracuse Stars of the International American Hockey League and in 1940-41 played with the Buffalo Bisons of the AHL. Gregg moved to Capreol in 1940 and was reinstated as an amateur in January 1941. Gregg Coulson was inducted into the Allandale Hockey Hall of Fame.

 

Doug “The Diesel” Mohns worked for the CNR in Capreol, Ont. during the summer months in the late 1940s and early 1950s. He started out working in the Express Office with Doug Lefebvre and the Miles brothers, and finished up working in the Round House as a machinist helper. “I remember having to carry a heavy grease gun around on the big diesel engines and it was hot as hell. I suspect that had something to do with my ending up on the ice.” Doug developed his skating ability on the back yard rink his family set up every winter. For several years he played hockey with local pick up teams, including the 1947 Capreol Royals. The next year Doug and Terry White played for a Sudbury juvenile team and shared the MVP award. Doug was one of only a handful of players who made the leap from junior hockey to the NHL, where he played 1,484 games, including playoffs, from 1953 to 1975. While with the Barrie Flyers of the SOHA he won the Memorial Cup in 1950-1951 and scored 6 goals and 12 assists in 10 games, leading the Flyers to their 1952-53 Memorial Cup win. Early in 1954, Coach Lynn Patrick of the Boston Bruins had nominated the 19 year old Doug Mohns as the NHL’s fastest skater, and a poll of opposing goaltenders would probably have placed the rookie forward among the league’s hardest shots. One of the first goalies to sample a Mohns special was Terry Sawchuk of Detroit on the Red Wings first visit to Boston in the 1953-54 season. After a game in which he had been forced into a spectacular split to block a Mohns shot from mid-ice, Sawchuk exclaimed, “Where did he ever get that shot? If I hadn’t been watching him closely he would have beaten me from the middle of the rink.” In January of 1957 Dewitt "TEX" Coulter joined Hockey Blueline magazine as art director. Often referred to as the Norman Rockwell for Canadian sports, Tex would also paint portraits of major NHL stars. Doug Mohns was featured on the cover of Hockey Blueline for the February 1957 and November 1961 issues. "Yes I remember Tex Coulter calling me at our hotel in Montreal", recalled Doug. "It was mid-morning and we were scheduled to play the Canadiens that evening. He wanted to know if he could draw a picture of me while I was putting on my uniform down at the Montreal Forum. He said he could make the arrangements, pick me up at the hotel and take me back when we were through. I told him it would be an honor to have him paint a picture of me. Everything went well and I was back in the hotel within a couple of hours. Tex sent me the picture and I was very pleased with how it came out." Doug Mohns was inducted into the Sudbury Sports Hall of Fame in 2009.

 

Growing up in Capreol, on many winter evenings you could find The Horeck Brothers on the Vermillion River ice. Peter Horeck was determined at the age of 17 to become a professional hockey player. Equipped with a new pair of skates, received from a local train conductor, Peter hitched a ride on a CNR freight train traveling to Parry Sound. Upon arrival, he was met by Bill Peachy, General Manager of the Parry Sound Shamrocks, who offered him lodging and kept him under his wing. Peter "Pistol Pete" Horeck enjoyed a 426 game NHL hockey career over 8 seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings and Boston Bruins. On January 23, 1947, Pete Horeck scored four goals against his former Chicago teammates as the Detroit Red Wings crushed the Black Hawks 8 to 2, in a National Hockey League game before 11,705 fans. Horeck, who came to the Red Wings six weeks earlier in a trade with Chicago, scored twice in each of the last two periods as Detroit equaled its highest single game scoring of the season. Horeck also assisted on a first period goal by Roy Conacher for five scoring points. After retiring from the NHL in 1952, Pete returned to Northern Ontario and played senior hockey for 5 seasons with the Soo Michigan Indians and Sudbury Wolves of the NOHA. He also operated Pete Horeck Enterprises, an advertising and fundraising company in Northern Ontario. Pete’s most serious hockey injury of his career was in 1975 when he suffered a broken leg in an old timer’s game. Pete had 7 brothers, 2 who also went on to play professional hockey. John Horeck played in the American Hockey League with the Buffalo Bisons, Cleveland Barons and the St. Louis Flyers in the 1940’s and was coach of the 1960 Allan Cup winning Chatham Maroons of the Senior Ontario Hockey Association. Danny Horeck was a member of the Windsor Ryancretes of the International Hockey League from 1948-1950. Danny joined Jim Farelli and his brother Pete with the 1952-53 Soo Michigan Indians and during the 1956-57 season Danny played with the Chicago Blades of the Illinois Ice Hockey League.  

The Horeck Brothers - Pete, John & Danny 

 

“CAPREOL ICE – MELTERS”

by George Quackenbush

 

With the ice turning liquid for seagull and duck,

We know it’s time to dispose of the puck.

So for Capreol Mohawks let’s do all we can,

To express our faith in the goodness of man.

 

Now cheers for our goalies, Les Laird and Bruce Miles,

I trust they will surely approve of our smiles.

The times they’ve been shot at, the pucks they have stopped,

It’s only in Pro their performance is topped.

 

We mustn’t lose Prescott, the son of the Mayor,

And give him the credit for doing his share.

And also Jim Beatty, from Capreol Yard,

It’s great to know Jimmy is always on guard.

 

And what about Boom Boom, young Norman Giroux,

You’d think jet propulsion was pushing him through!

And when Dougie Fraser gets on defense,

The game we call hockey begins to make sense.

 

The little Scots White brothers, Terry and Doug,

Fit right into hockey like bugs in a rug.

And brotherly love is a coach’s delight,

So don’t start a battle with brothers named White!

 

When Candler and Drago and Rene Lepage,

Take off like a Chrysler from Mohns’s garage.

The blue line turns green as tho’ trying to say,

“Sudbury Youth Centre, keep out of the way!”

 

For getting a rival team into a frenzy,

A lot of the credit should go to MacKenzie.

And rubber legs Kibsey, the electrified wire,

Who mustn’t be crossed or you’re playing with fire!

 

Bob MacDonald, Lorne Adams and Mr. Pete Dennie,

Whose names are a legend for earning their penny,

And I hear Ronnie Sweezey defending the case,

Of Cayan and Hamlin, so hard to replace.

 

Now I think it’s high time for us to approach,

The key man, Stan Martin, beloved as a coach,

Reviewing his players, his face really glows,

While he ponders the future of prospective Pros.

 

Which brings us to Farelli and young Dougie Mohns,

Our boys who are kings on professional thrones.

So let’s shout our welcome on this happy day,

To those who deserve every Hip! Hip! Hooray!

                   

 

1930 Capreol (Norman) Kids Hockey Club 

Back Row: Hart Young, Louis Orser, Ron Bills, Clifford Ranger, George Hamilton, Bill Orser. Front Row: Matt Nisbet, Delbourne Briscoe, Earl Harvey, Cecil Dennie, Paddy Coulson. Mascot: Billie Harvey. Player’s names courtesy of the Northern Ontario Railroad Museum & Heritage Centre.

 

The Capreol Royals formed in 1946 and the team took on all comers. Back L; Rev. Clinton A. Brittain, Stuart Shane, George Hoag, Jim Miles, Dave Shane, Ken Gustafson and Mr. Clark. Front L; Terry White, Doug Mohns, Joe Close, Ron Sweezey and Lorne Adams. Not present when photo was taken were Doug Fraser, Jim Farelli and Stan Martin. Jim was at Scollard Hall and Stan was in Montreal, players returned to play for team during 1947 Christmas season. The hockey games were played at the rink on the Vermillion River, in front of Fred Miles house.The next year Doug Mohns and Terry White played for a Sudbury juvenile team and shared the MVP award.

             Nickel Belt Hockey League - November 30, 1950

                                      1950 Capreol Combines

.Back L; Jack Leigh, Harold (Chun) Campell, Jim Gray, Bill Ouellet, Stan Martin, Wilfred Lepki. Front L; Lorne Adams, Ron Sweezey, Fred Moir, George Hoag, ? , John Lambovitch, Jack Boudreau.

                                         1951-52 Capreol Wolves

 

Back left; coach Stan Martin, Elie Martel, Joey Hanzel, Jerry Scollard, Ross Fines, Jack Barrand, Buddy Walsh, trainer Doug Fraser. Front left; Lyall Shane (broken arm), Doug White, Jim Holmes, Neil Gleason, goalie Bruce Miles, Aime Charbonneau, Bill Massey, Pentti Hiironen, stick boy Bert Perkins. The following year the team moved up to Intermediate and named the Capreol Flyers. The Flyers finished the season in first place, beat Espanola and North Bay in the playoffs, then lost to Sault Ste. Marie in the Northern Ontario finals. "These two teams brought back many pleasant memories of playing for Capreol, especially the Flyers of which I had the privilege and honour of being team captain. Always a CAPREOL FLYER.....Buddy Walsh."

Garson native Pentti Hiironen moved to the USA to play semi-pro hockey for the 1955-56 season. Pentti played 14 games with the Toledo-Marion Mercurys of the IHL and 43 games with the Johnstown Jets of the EHL. The following year defenseman Hiironen returned to Canada and played senior hockey with the Owen Sound Mercurys, Sault Ste. Marie Indians and Kingston CKCL's. During the 1958-59 season Pentti played with the Sudbury Wolves of the NOSHA. 

                                    1952-53 Capreol Wolves

Back L; coach Jack Boudreau, Tom Wilson, Tony Bevilacqua, Stan Finson, Jim Wood, Albert Richardson, coach Nels Marquis. Middle L; Sandy McLean, Jack Stewart, Robert "Butch" McKinley, Jack Higgins, Ken Stanzel. Front L; Marcello "Mooch" Delgreco, Gary Kwasnitza, Jim Stanzel. Jr. B team's hockey sweaters were hand-me-downs from the previous season Capreol Wolves following their move up a division to Intermediate. Photo by Leo Trusz. Players names courtesy of Jack Stewart.

                                    1953-54 Capreol Mohawks

Back L; Ray Davies, Joey Hanzel, Jerry Scollard, Lorne Adams, Jim Beatty, Harold Mohns, Stan Martin. Front L; Ray Mohns, Doug Fraser, Norm Giroux, Hank Sprega, Les Laird, Ron Sweezey, Lyall Shane, Doug White, Terry White. Mohawks were an Intermediate team competing against district teams including Chelmsford, Tom Armstrong's Garson Native Sons, Red McCarthy's Espanola Eagles, Sudbury Caruso Miners and Sudbury Donovan sponsored by International Hotel, Rubic & Babys. The Mohawks formed in the fall of 1951 and final year was 1957.

                           1953-54 Capreol Nickel Belt  Champs

 

Back L; Robert Krystia, Robert Mersereau, Hank Dunsby, Danny Prevost, Jim Cushman. Front L; Terry Crisp, Grant Dunsby, Terry Prescott, Doug Paul, Raymond Auger. Photo courtesy of Stu Thomas.

                           1977-78 Capreol Hawks Champions

 

Members of the Capreol Hawks midget team came up with no less than five titles during the 1977-78 season. Capreol finished the season in first place with 20 wins, 7 losses and 3 ties. In the playoffs they defeated the Valley East Midgets in 2 games and in the finals beat the Garson Falcons in 5 games. The Hawks won the Region 7 Silver Stick Tournament in Sudbury, Silver Stick Tournament in Sarnia, the Golden Puck Tournament in North Bay and won the NOHA Midget B title in Haileybury, 1st game 5-2 and 2nd game 8-4. “I was in North Bay at the beginning of that year, signed to a juvenile card playing with the North Bay Trappers and Heinz Juveniles. I came home sometime late in the fall - early winter, to play with the Hawks. My head was shaved as part of the initiation ritual with the Trappers”, commented Fred Bomistruck.

Front row, left to right: #19 Rick Dubreuil, #16 Ray Kennedy, #30 Nathan Higgins, #15 Steve Edens, #35 Don Cariati. Middle row, left to right: Allen Barnicott, #4 Rob Mazzuca, #2 Ken Burns, #17 Dean Gelinas,#12 Todd Grenon, #3 Mike Ryan, #20 Dave Degagne, Dennis Crisp (Coach) Back row, left to right: Bruce Miles (Owner & Manager), Doug Currie Sr., (Assistant Manager), #11 John Hanzel,#22  Marty Lusk, #10 Doug Currie Jr., #18 Fred Boimistruck, #21 Tony Marquis, Dan Ouellet (Coach). Absent when picture was taken were Jean Marquis (treasurer) and Denise McKinnon (publicity). Photo & names courtesy of Dan “Slim” Ouellet.

        1929 to 1931 Capreol Caps – Nickel Belt Hockey League

 

Player

GP

G

A

P

PIM

Allen, Leo

7

1

1

2

4

Anderson, Carl

12

7

2

9

18

Bradley, Lorne

14

0

0

0

8

Canfield, George

8

0

1

1

8

Desilets, Joffre

22

5

0

5

4

Desilets, Rolland

4

0

0

0

0

Forges,

22

7

1

8

26

Hyndman, Ted

11

3

4

7

4

Leblanc,

4

1

0

1

0

Lee,

4

0

0

0

0

McIntyre,

1

0

0

0

0

Michaud, Bill

23

7

1

8

10

O’Connor, J.

12

1

0

1

4

Oliver,

9

4

1

5

2

Oliver,

2

0

0

0

0

Powell,  2 0 0 0
Quesnel, A.  - 0 0 0 -

Rouselle, Albert

23

12

3

15

16

Schultz,

4

0

0

0

0

Goalie

GP

MIN

GA

SO

GAA

Levesque,

4

240

11

0

2.75

Sadler, Carl Deuford

19

1140

31

4

1.63

 

Statistics courtesy of the Society for International Hockey Research

Hockey teams competing in the NBHL during the 1929-30 & 1930-31 seasons included the Capreol Caps, Cochrane Dunlops, Creighton Mines Eagles, Falconbridge Falcons, Sudbury CIL, Sudbury CPR, Sudbury Dominion Bridge and Sudbury Knights of Columbus. Future NHL legend Toe Blake played 7 games with Cochrane during the 1929-30 season, scoring 3 goals and 4 PIM. Playing 8 games with Sudbury CIL the following season, Toe had 7 goals, 1 assist and 10 PIM.

          2009 Capreol Heritage Days Hobby and Sports Show

Capreol Lion’s Hockey-Rama – June 21, 1975

Capreol – If this small town of 4,000 people, 20 miles northeast of Sudbury, had a Hockey Hall of Fame, Joffre Desilets of Renfrew would surely be inducted. Saturday was a memorable occasion for Joffre, now 60. The town of Capreol held a day of festivities to honour homebrews who have played, or continue to play professional or junior hockey, Joffre is one of these homebrews. He joined such other Capreol and area natives as Doug Mohns, Floyd Thomson, Gary Sabourin, Frank St. Marseille, Terry Crisp and Leo Desilets. They opened the new $700,000 Capreol Community Centre. Capreol native, Jim Farelli, former coach of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, was master of ceremonies at the banquet. Joffre played in the NHL with Montreal and Chicago. He played with the Canadiens from 1935 to 1938 and then was traded to Chicago where he played the next two seasons. Later he played with the Cleveland Barons and was player-coach with the San Diego Skyhawks of the Pacific Coast Hockey League. He was the first Capreol native to enter the ranks of professional hockey. Joffre moved to Renfrew in the 1940’s. Saturday’s occasion was called Capreol Lion’s Hockey-rama ’75. All the Capreol natives joined in a parade throughout the town before returning to the arena for the official opening. After the official opening, the players and the general public moved inside for refreshments and autographs.

 

            Sports History of Capreol Room - Capreol Days 2016

Located on the 2nd floor of the Capreol Heritage Center, featuring the Diesel Doug Mohns display. Phenomenal three floors of photos and artifacts depicting Capreol's heritage on display at the Old Fire Hall. 

                 Second Capreol Arena Ready by Spring

November 8, 1974, Capreol - Construction is under way by crews of Kona Builders Ltd.,Sudbury, on the foundation of Capreol's new arena – community hall building. It is being built in back of, and connected to, the towns existing Memorial Arena. Tentatively scheduled for completion next May work might get finished sooner if the favourable construction weather of recent weeks continues. Cost to the town is in the neighbourhood of $350,000 of the total $550,000 total estimated cost. Besides a second ice surface (the existing rink is being retained) there will be a new community hall located upstairs in the north end of the new structure.

                                        CAPREOL RAIL TALES

Five minutes after the Montreal Canadiens train pulled out of Chicago on the night of March 24, 1938, it stopped in the yards. Paul Drouin, goalie Wilf Cude and Capreol's Joffre Desilets walked into the smoking room of the Habitants special car, mopping perspiring brows with soggy handkerchiefs. “Well fellows, we missed the train” announced Cude, “What train?” asked a chorus of voices. “This train,” replied Cude. His statement seemed odd as the 3 players were very much among those present. He explained, “We thought we had more time than we did and stopped in the station to get our pictures taken. You know those 10 cent tintypes done in a minute. While we were there the passenger agent saw us and nearly dropped dead. He told us the train had gone. Then we looked down the tracks and saw two tiny red lights disappearing out of the sheds. He told us to run for it and he’d have the train stopped. So we set out in pursuit. We dodged the odd yard engine and tripped over a couple of switches, but we made it.”

Reverend H.W. Davies, United Church minister in Hornepayne, Ont., denied he demanded the cancellation of a hockey game and curling match on Sunday February 13, 1955. A report said the activities were cancelled after legal action was threatened under the Lord's Day Alliance Act and a town policeman went to the arena. The game was between the Capreol Juveniles and Hornepayne Panthers. The Capreol coach, Elie Martel, said his team made the 600-mile round train trip at great expense. Reverend Davies said he understood five persons protested the game being played on a Sunday, but he was not one of them and he did not know the names of the persons who protested. 

Initially the ice at the Capreol Memorial Commuity Centre was natural and the windows along the side of the building were opened to allow cold air in to facilitate freezing. The first hockey game was a disaster. Either Garson or Falconbridge played Capreol and the place was full of cheering fans. It was a cold night and all the windows were closed. The roof was steel and the moisture from the crowd condensed on the steel before falling like rain from the wood beams to create ridges on the ice surface. Soon after, insulation was added to the steel to prevent this from occurring again. - courtesy of Donald L. Judd

Joffre Desilets, Capreol recruit to the Canadiens, scored 3 goals when the Whites tied the Reds five-all at Sudbury's Stanley Stadium on Oct.29, 1937. Joffre's line mates for the game were Toe Blake and Pit Lepine. The Montreal Canadiens, of the NHL, were opening a pre-season exhibition tour. Proceeds of the game were for Christmas welfare work by the Sudbury Lions Club.

At that time the school had two extra-curricular activities, hockey and Commencement. The town was fortunate in possessing an enclosed wooden rink on the site of the present curling rink and we played regularly against three Sudbury schools. There was no attempt to sort players into classes, each school fielded the best team it could. Small as we were we had no difficulty in holding our own against Sudbury High and Tech, but so far as I can recall, we never defeated Copper Cliff which was the recognized cock of the walk. The burning of the old rink and war-time restrictions on transportation finally forced us to drop out. I remember taking a team to Sudbury in a howling blizzard to play one of the Sudbury schools on an open-air rink in Queen's Athletic Park, - Sudbury had no enclosed rink then. The wind blew and the snow flew. Every few minutes play had to be stopped because no one could find the puck. One of the amusements of the game was watching rival players tear a snowbank to pieces on the rink surface, each determined to be the first to find a puck which, as a matter of fact, was in another snowbank. At intermission everyone piled in and shovelled loose snow into the teeth of the gale which blew it back and distributed it more or less evenly over the surface of the rink. As soon as part, any part, of the ice surface had been brought up to view play was resumed. I am told that hockey to-day is not like that, but it was good fun for all, and on the return trip in the bus the male chorus was splendid. I didn't think they had it in them. Excerpt from Recollections of Capreol High School by principal L.A. Gilbert. 

                              Remembering Doug Mohns

Hon. Mike Quigley of Illinois In The House of Representatives

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Mr. QUIGLEY. Mr. Speaker, this month the city of Chicago lost a hockey legend, Doug Mohns. Doug was a member of the Chicago Blackhawks from 1964 to 1971, where he played left wing on one of the greatest lines in NHL history—the ‘‘Scooter Line’’—with Kenny Wharram and Stan Mikita. Doug was a stalwart player in the NHL at a time when there were only six franchises. Rivalries were intense, no one wore helmets and players were intimately acquainted with the strengths and weaknesses of every opponent they faced. Mohns earned the nickname ‘‘Dougie the Diesel’’ because his piston-like legs dug into the ice and propelled him like a locomotive. He enjoyed his best season with the Blackhawks in 1967, when he tallied 25 goals and 35 assists in just 61 games. His impact on the ice was instrumental to the Blackhawks’ first ever regular season title. Mohns went on to have four 20-goal seasons with the Blackhawks. Mohns’ durability and versatility as a skater contributed to his remarkable longevity. During a span of 22 seasons in the NHL, he played in 1,390 games and seven all-star games, while amassing 248 goals and 462 assists. I join the city of Chicago in remembering one of the greatest hockey players to ever step on the ice, Doug ‘‘Dougie the Diesel’’ Mohns. 

                                           PLAYER SPOTLIGHT

 

Gary Kwasnitza

Capreol native Gary Kwasnitza on the right, wearing #3 sweater and Barry Grundy of the St. Boniface Mohawks check Spokane Jets Tom Rendall as he fires puck on goalie Allie Reynard during third game of 1969-70 Patton Cup finals. The Mohawks went on to win the game 6-5.

Gary Kwasnitza developed his defensive skills in the Capreol Minor Hockey system. He played for the 1952-53 Capreol Wolves, finishing his Junior B hockey in Aurora, Ontario. Later Gary worked for the Bayer company and played in the Intermediate Ontario Hockey League. Gary was a member of the St. Boniface Mohawks of the Manitoba Senior Hockey League from 1967 to 1979, making it to the Allan Cup finals in 1968 and 1973. In the 1967-68 western semi-finals the Mohawks defeated the Port Arthur Bearcats 3 games to 1. In the western finals St. Boniface blanked the Drumheller Miners 3 games to 0. 1968 marked the 60th anniversary of the Canadian national senior ice hockey championships. The Victoriaville Tigers defeated the Mohawks 4 games to 1 and returned home with the Allan Cup. In the 1969-70 play downs the St. Boniface Mohawks beat the Fort William Beavers 3 games to 1 and the Yorkton Terriers 3 games to 2. In the western finals the Spokane Jets defeated the Mohawks 3 games to 1.

The 1972-73 season saw the St. Boniface Mohawks playing in the Canadian Central Hockey League, where they finished with 32 wins and 6 losses. Captain Kwasnitza and the Mohawks defeated the Spokane Jets 10-4 at St. Boniface’s Bertrand Arena in the seventh and deciding game of the Patton Cup series. Gary scored the Mohawks 10th goal and had 2 penalties. In the Allan Cup finals the Orillia Terriers defeated St. Boniface 4 games to 1.

Gary Kwasnitza was head coach of the 1975-76 edition of the St. Boniface Mohawks, finishing the season in second place with a record of 20 wins and 11 losses. In the Western Canada Patton Cup finals the Spokane Flyers beat the Mohawks 3 games to 0. “Experience was the big thing.” noted St. Boniface Mohawks coach Gary Kwasnitza. “I’m glad we could get into a series like this against a good hockey team like Spokane’s. It can’t do anything but make us better. It’s always a pleasure to come to Spokane,” he said, adding “and I hope we’re back here again next year.” Commenting on the Allan Cup final series between Spokane and Barrie, “It should be a heck of a series,” said coach Kwasnitza, “But the Spoke’s should win it, the way they’re playing now. They have 3 good lines, any line can beat you any night.” Spokane Flyers went on to beat the Barrie Flyers 4 games to 0. In the 1978-79 season Gary was assistant coach of the St. Boniface Mohawks of the Canadian Amateur Senior Hockey League.  

                         

Ron Hindson 

Ron “Rooster” Hindson played his entire minor and juvenile hockey in Capreol, Ontario. The Northern Ontario Junior A Hockey League was formed in the spring of 1962 in order to halt the move to Southern Ontario of hockey players after they completed their juvenile division hockey careers. Teams included the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, Espanola Eagles, North Bay Trappers, Garson-Falconbridge Native Sons, Sudbury Cub Wolves and Sault Michigan Realtors. Ron Hinson played 93 games over 3 seasons with the Garson Native Sons. 1964-65 was Ron’s final season with Garson and his most productive when he had 21 goals, 30 assists and 84 PIM’s in 40 games. The Native Sons teams of the 1960's were stacked with hockey players from Capreol including Floyd Thompson, brothers Stanley & Stewart Thomas, Norm Gelinas, Tim Morris, Bob McLeish, Gerry Cummings, Dave Colasimone and Bob Del Papa. Dave Del Papa, Bob's brother, was playing for the Woodstock Athletics of the OHA Sr. A. 

 

 

Ron Hindson’s professional hockey career began in 1965-66 when he suited up with the Fort Wayne Komets of the IHL. The next 3 seasons, wearing #7 sweater, Ron played for the Nashville Dixie Flyers, winning the EHL Rookie of the Year Award in 1966-67. Hindson was selected to the 1st All Star Team in 1969-70 while playing with the St. Mary’s University Huskies. The following season Ron was the Most Valuable Player of the Canadian Interuniversity Sport National Hockey Championship Tournament. Ron joined the Greensboro Generals of the SHL for the 1971-72 season. In his 4 seasons with the Generals Ron played 240 games and had 160 points. Hindson was selected by the Chicago Cougars in the 1972 WHA General Player Draft. Ron was traded by the Generals in February of 1975 to the Winston-Salem Polar Twins where he remained until the team folded on January 7, 1977. In the 1981-82 season, Ron Hindson played with the Winston-Salem Thunderbirds of the Atlantic Coast Hockey League.  

                                        

 

                                             Mike Rusin

 

 

 

Born in Sudbury, Ontario, Mike "Rus" Rusin was a defenseman with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the JOHA from 1974 to 1976. One of his teammates during his first season with the Greyhounds was another product of Northern Ontario, Cary Farelli. In 1976 Rusin was drafted by the Flint Generals of the International Hockey League. During his 6 seasons with the Generals, Mike played 434 games, recording 9 goals, 68 assists and 1435 minutes in penalties. Mike played 16 games for Flint during the 1981-82 season before being traded to the Muskegon Mohawks of the IHL. Rusin played 214 games over 4 seasons with Muskegon recording 10 goals, 47 assists and 615 minutes in penalties. One of Mike’s teammates during his first season with the Mohawks was Jeff Carlson, also known as Jeff Hanson from the movie Slap Shot. The Muskegon Mohawks name was changed to the Lumberjacks for the 1984-85 season and Mike played only 3 games for them before retiring from hockey. When Mike returned north from playing hockey in the IHL he joined the "Team Capreol" Railway Workers Hockey Club and hired on at the CN Works Equipment as a mechanic, working in the shop beside the old roundhouse. Mike was a member of the Championship winning team in a Railway Workers Hockey Tournament held in Capreol in 1987.  On June 21st, 2008, Mike Rusin was inducted into the Valley East Sports Hall of Fame in the Professional Sports Category.

                         Team Spotlight - Capreol C.N.R.A.

 

 

 

1975 London CNRA tournament. Left to right, back row: Dave Del Papa, Bob McDonald, Dan Ouellet, Jim "Woody" Waddell, Mike Thomas, Richard Kelly, Ricco DiCarlantonio, Ross Denney, Bob Stibler. Left to right, front row: Len Taves, Vince Moxness, Denis Pitre, Dennis Crisp and two friends of Dave Del Papa.

        Capreol Championship Photo’s & Information Courtesy of Robert "Stibby" Stibler

 

The Capreol C.N.R.A. hockey team formed in 1974 and their final season was 1991, when they were crowned “The Hockey News” Tournament Champions. The team rode the rails to Stratford and London, Ont. for C.N.R.A. hockey tournaments during their first 3 years. On their second trip to London a private coach was coupled to the tail end of the “Canadian” in Capreol for the trek to Toronto. The team used regular train service to London and then reverse for the trip home.

                    

 
 
 Back row left to right: Dennis Crisp, Kevin Harvey, Dave Carisse, Rick Ross, Bob Stibler, Tom Lennox, Tim Morris, Allen Austin, John McCullough, Richard Kelly
Front row, left to right: Ross Denny, Randy Prescott, Elmer St. Jules, Dave Morris, Guy Either, Vince Moxness, Eddie Hanzel, George Boucher, Hal Grenon, Ricco DiCarlantonio, Tony Lancia

In 1977 the squad became “Team Capreol”, establishing their name and sweaters after the 1972 Team Canada win over the Soviet Union, except in blue. Also at this time Robert Stibler spearheaded a campaign to hold the tournaments in Capreol. In 1979 they branched out into a Railway Workers Tournament, which allowed the CPR employees in Sudbury and other railways to participate. Capreol boys Rob Adams & Dave Colasimone worked for CPR in Sudbury, Rob was Coach & Dave was the General Manager for the CPR railway workers hockey team. “Team Capreol used to play a shinny game of hockey at noon once a week at the Sudbury Arena against the CPR hockey team, then retire to the Ledo Hotel for libations”, recounted Robert Stibler. Soon a second tournament was added each winter, one in late January and the other in early March. “Open”, “Recreational” and “Old Timers” divisions were added to the hockey tournaments as the players grew older. In 1980 Team Capreol established an annual Baseball Tournament each summer and kept the ball rolling for about 7 years.

 

 

Back row, left to right: Bob Stibler, Allen Austin, Tim Morris, Tony Lancia, Tom Lennox, Dan Quellet, Jamie Crawford, Kevin Harvey, Dennis Crisp, Dave Carisse, Bob Del Papa, Richard Kelly, Randy Prescott. Front row, left to right: Dave Morris, George Boucher, Hal Grenon, Eddie Hanzel, Bob Vaillancourt, Ricco DiCarlantonio, Elmer St. Jules

 

 

Back row, left to right: Larry Lambovitch, Dave Carisse, George Boucher, Bob Stibler, Dave Morris, Dennis Crisp. Middle row, left to right: Richard Kelly, Ricco DiCarlantonio, Bob Fitzsimmons, Kevin Harvey, Dan Ouellet, Tom Lennox, Tom Anderson, Rick Ross

Front row, left to right: Mike Dashney, Eddie Hanzel, Bob Vaillancourt, Bob Del Papa, Tony Lancia, Elmer St. Jules

                   1980 Town of Capreol Community Newsletter

Team Capreol had a very successful year this winter with a combined total of 26 wins & 3 loses in tournaments played. Here is a summary of the team’s accomplishments:

Capreol Men’s Invitational Hockey Tournament – Dec.7,8,9/79, 3 wins, 1 loss to Parry Sound in the Semi-Finals.

Verner – Jan.18,19,20/80, lost to Lebel Huskies in Semi-Finals.

Capreol Railway Workers Hockey Tournament – Feb. 1,2/80, took the championship with 3 wins, beating Fort Erie.

Noelville – March 1,2/80, took the championship by beating Hargar.

Dowling – March 28,29,30/80, took the championship with 4 wins.

Timmins – April 4,5,6/80, beat Iroquois Falls to take the championship in 5 wins.

Chelmsford Men’s Industrial Hockey Tournament – April 18,19,20/80, lost to Peterborough in the first game. Peterborough went on to become the Champions. Team Capreol beat Orilla in the final to become Consolation champions.

One of the very high points of the season was beating the Sudbury Nooners in the Semi-Finals of the Timmins Tournament by a score of 7 to 3.

 

 

Back row, left to right: Elmer St. Jules, Richard Kelly, Tom Anderson, Larry Lambovitch, Kevin Harvey, Dan Ouellet, Tim Morris, Tom Lennox, Dave Carisse, Cyril Ross, Bob Stibler. Front row, left to right: Frank Healy, Dave Morris, Ricco DiCarlantonio, Eddie Hanzel, Bob Vaillancourt, Rick Ross, Dennis Crisp, George Boucher

 

 

Back row, left to right:  Randy Prescott, Larry Lambovitch, Tom Anderson, Mike Dashney, George Boucher, Dan Ouellet, Bob Stibler, Tom Lennox, Ricco DiCarlantonio, Tim Morris, Kevin Harvey, Rick Ross, Elmer St. Jules

Front row, left to right: Frank Healy, Dennis Crisp, Dave Carisse, Bob Fitzsimmons, Eddie Hanzel, Richard Kelly, Bob Vaillancourt, Dave Morris

Team Capreol travelled to Lake Placid in 1982 & 1983 to compete in Hockey Tournaments. In 1982 the team travelled by train to Montreal, where a Greyhound met the team at the station to take them the rest of the way to Lake Placid. “Our goal when we started all these Tournaments, was to donate to Capreol Minor Hockey, but then contributed to Minor Soccer, Co-Ed Minor Softball, Capreol Cadet Corp and any other minor organization that asked us for help”, commented Robert Stibler.

 

 

Back row, left to right: Len Taves, Guy "Ceguy" Either, Bob Del Papa, Bob Stibler, Dan Ouellet, Tom Lennox, Kevin Harvey, Ricco DiCarlantonio, Elmer St. Jules, Randy Prescott, Tim Morris. Front row, left to right: Dennis Crisp, Dave Carisse, George Boucher, Dave Morris, Eddie Hanzel, Dennis Danyluk, Rick Mayotte, Ken "Knucker" Kennedy

 

 

 

Back row, left to right: Bob Stibler, Kevin Harvey, Dan Ouellet, Guy Either, Mike "Rus" Rusin, Tom Lennox, Tim Morris. Front row, left to right: Ricco DiCarlantonio, Dennis Crisp, Wayne Greer, Eddie Hanzel, Rick Mayotte, Jeff Richards

 

 

Back row, left to right: Dennis Danyluk, Tom Lennox, Kevin Harvey, Bob Fitzsimmons, Bob Stibler, Jim Mayer, Brian Austin, Ron McTaggart, Eddie "Capp" Cappadocia

Front row, left to right:  Jay Ouellette, Rick Mayotte, Darryl Stibler, Ricco DiCarlontonio, Stan Thomas, Dennis Danyluk Jr., Andy Buttazzoni, Dave Carisse, Dennis Crisp

 

 

            Sketch by Team Capreol Artist Brian Laviolette in 1977
Front row, left to right: Tony “Meatball” Lancia, Elmer St. Jules, Bob “Cor” Vaillancourt, Frank “Francis” Healy, Randy “Rags” Prescott, Eddie “Deadface” Hanzel, Rick Ross. Middle circle, left to right around the bottom: Tom Lennox, Bob Delpapa, Dave “Ca Ca” Carisse, Ricco DiCarlantonio, Dan “Slim” Ouellet, Allen “Ali Boo” Austin, Bob “Fitzy” Fitzsimmons. Back row, left to right: Dennis “Nibs” Crisp, Dave “Tusk” Morris, George Boucher, Tim “Geebo” Morris, Bob “Stibby” Stibler, Richard “Nutty” Kelly, Kevin “Hang On” Harvey, Tom Anderson, Hal Grenon, Mike “Dash” Dashnay.

The new arena of the Capreol C.N.R. Athletic Association with facilities for skating and curling was formally opened on Friday, January 25, 1929. A varied program was arranged by the local committee working under the direction of M.B. Murphy, superintendent at Capreol. The rink had a playing surface of 180 by 80. In the morning the rink was thrown open for general inspection while several curling matches were contested. At 2 o'clock in the afternoon a parade was formed at the Y.M.C.A. and headed by the Capreol brass band, marched to the arena where a hockey game was played between North Bay and Capreol. The puck was faced by W.T. Moodie, Gen. Supt. C.N.R Northern Ontario district and the winning team was to be awarded the Murphy Trophy which had been presented by Supt. Murphy of Capreol. After the game a banquet was held in the Y.M.C.A. The evening program called for two hockey games, the first a juvenile match between Depot Harbor and South-Parry Sound and the second, a senior tilt between Capreol and Toronto C.N.R.A.

You can view this photo of the 1944 Arena fire and many more depicting Capreol's past at the Capreol Heritage Centre (old fire hall) NORMHC 

 

Any comments, corrections or information regarding this website can be sent to P. Sweezey  hockeyhighball@msn.com