Heritage hockey: Bonnechere Valley Hockey League Champions

It is now 61 years ago this month (March 29th) that Barry’s Bay defeated the Eganville Eagles to win the George Cup. Over 1000 people attended the final game in Renfrew. This was when TV was in its infancy in Renfrew County and people were still accustomed to attending hockey games in great hordes. The Bay team was considered an underdog since Eganville had won all four of their regular season games. Above left: Denis Luckasavitch (who scored the winning goal) and Jerome (‘Tubby’) Cybulskie (goalie for the Bay). Above right: Bay co-captains Dominic Bielaskie (left) and Andy Etmanskie (right) receive the George Cup from League President Brian Briscoe of Admaston. Photos Barry’s Bay Review.

In this final playoff round, the best-of-7 games went like this:

  • Game 1: Eganville won 7-0
  • Game 2: Barry’s Bay won 8-7
  • Game 3: Eganville won 10-5
  • Game 4: Barry’s Bay won 15-2
  • Game 5: Barry’s Bay won 6-3
  • Game 6: Barry’s Bay won 6-5

Nail-biting final

Eganville scored the first goal in the final game and was ahead by a score of 3-2 at the end of the first period. The Barry’s Bay goals were scored by Nick Kmith and Ziggie Mintha. Eganville had a two-goal lead in the middle of the second period but that period ended in a 4-4 tie after goals by Dominic Bielaskie and Ziggie Mintha. No goals were scored in the third period.

In a 10-minute overtime period, Barry’s Bay’s Nick Kmith scored first but Eganville tied it up scoring a goal with 14 seconds to go in the period. Barry’s Bay had two men in the penalty box when Eganville pulled their goalie and had 6 attackers against 3 during that last minute. This resulted in a 5-5 tie at the end of the overtime period.

The next overtime period was sudden-death. Barry’s Bay started off the period with two men still in the penalty box for another minute. When the penalized players returned to the ice, Barry’s Bay was soon hit with another penalty. The Bay was able to survive being shorthanded and, half a minute after being at full strength, Denis Luckasavitch fired a bullet-like shot from just inside the blue line that beat the Eganville goalie.

Exciting times!

Barry’s Bay Hockey team above: Front row (from left): Ken Bozak, Michael Murray, Ken Recoskie, Syd. Coulas, Jerome Cybulskie, Billy Lorbetskie, Tommy Cybulskie, Robert Etmanskie and Greg Sullivan. Back row (from left): coaches Ray Zelney and Jack Vitkuskie, Nick Kmith, Tommy Linklater, Denis Luckasavitch, Andy Etmanskie, Dominic Bielaski, Floyd Skuce, Zigmund Mintha, and manager William Hoffman. Missing when picture taken: Jerome Golka, Eddie Peplinski, Donald Golka. Barry’s Bay Review. Photo courtesy Renfrew Mercury.

Note to our readers: If you are interested in having a picture and story featured in The Madawaska Valley Current, please submit the information to Bob Corrigan at madvalleycurrent@gmail.com (subject Heritage Photos) or mail your photo to Bob c/o The Current at PO Box 1097, Barry’s Bay K0J 1B0 (originals will be returned).

Editor’s note: This article was amended Mar.5 to correct the name of the goalie in the photo at top. Apologies for any confusion caused.

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