Editor's note: This article first appeared in the March 12 print edition of The Compass.
When the CeeBee Stars welcome the Clarenville Caribous to the S.W. Moores Memorial Stadium for Game 3 of the Herder Memorial Trophy final on March 15, it will mark the first time in over 40 years that the historic trophy has been contested in Harbour Grace.
While the CeeBees made the Herder final in seven of the last eight years, home games were played at Mile One Centre in St. John's.
In 1967, the CeeBees squared off with the Gander Flyers in the final, with the CeeBees taking a four-games-to-one win in the best-of-seven provincial senior hockey series.
A lot has changed since the Herder final was last played in Harbour Grace. For one, the S.W. Moores has undergone a radical transformation.
There was no glass on the boards in 1967, there was only some wire mesh behind the goals.
"People were just leaning over the boards," remembers backup goaltender Doug Moores.
Also, there was not a non-smoking ban in effect.
Moores said that by the third period, it got harder to see the scoreboard for the smoke that was accumulating at the top of the stadium.
The CeeBees had finished second in the six-team league with 46 points in 40 games, while the Flyers were the top team that year with 53 points. The Corner Brook Royals were third with 45 points and the Buchans Miners grabbed the final playoff spot with 39 points. The team from Grand Falls finished fifth with 33 points, followed by the St. John's Capitals, who had 24 points.
The final series would feature four of the top five scorers in the league, including Gander's Mike Kelly and Jacques Allard and the CeeBees' George Faulkner and Jim Dawe.
The first game was played at the old Gander Gardens. Joe Hunt remembers the games with the Flyers as "intense" and that there were a number of CeeBees fans in the building.
"We had a strong following," he said.
The CeeBees struck first in the series with a 6-3 victory. The storied franchise got goals from Gerry Lahey, Bern Fitzpatrick and Carl Penney in overtime, while Lahey, George Faulkner and Peter Babb scored in regulation. Allard, J.C. Garneau and Ron Kelly replied for the Flyers.
Game 2 was much of the same for the CeeBees. Lahey and Fitzpatrick had two goals each for the CeeBees, while singles came from Faulkner, Jim Dawe, Penney and Don Crane. Harry Katrynuk (2) and Gerry Clouster had goals for the Flyers, who suffered a 8-3 defeat. The CeeBees left Gander with a 2-0 series lead.
Hunt, who played defence with Faulkner, said his team had a "strong forward group" that helped push the team to victory.
"We had some really excellent players that were hard to play against," he said.
When the series shifted back to Harbour Grace the Flyers were treated to a raucous crowd.
"It was a fantastic atmosphere," said Moores.
In those days, it was hard to get a ticket to any of the CeeBees games, whether they were regular season or playoff games.
"They'd be hanging from the rafters when we played at home," said Hunt.
Another 8-3 win propelled the CeeBees to a 3-0 stranglehold on the series. Faulkner picked up four points in the game with two goals and two assists. Dawe also scored twice, while Fitzgerald had a goal and three assists. Jim Penney, Lahey and Carl Penney also had goals for the CeeBees.
Mike Kelly had two for the Flyers, while Allard added the other.
The Flyers came out hard in the fourth game. Facing elimination, Gander pulled out a 3-1 victory, getting goals from Leo Kane (2) and Allard. Fitzpatrick scored for the CeeBees.
Moores said that despite losing by two goals, starter Gary 'the Cobra' Simmons was on top of his game, stopping 51 shots in the game.
"He could've stopped an aspirin that night," he said. "Simmons was arguably the top goaltender in the province."
In Game 5, the series shifted back to Gander and the CeeBees would end it there. Getting goals from Lahey (2), Fitzpatrick, Jim Penney and Dawe, the CeeBees won 5-4, capturing the team's fourth Herder Memorial Trophy of the 1960s. Allard had a hat trick in the game and Ron Kelly had the other for the Flyers.
"It was wicked," said Hunt.
Moores pulled off an impressive feat that week. Prior to being a part of the CeeBees' Herder win, he backstopped the Beothucks in the St. John's Senior League on March 22, the day before the CeeBees victory.
"It was never done before and hasn't been done since," said Moores.
With the victory, the CeeBees would become the first team from Newfoundland and Labrador to represent the province at the Allan Cup, finishing with a 1-3 record at the Canadian men's senior hockey championships.
The present-day CeeBees will be looking for similar success when it welcomes the Caribous for Game 3 on Friday (March 15) at 8 p.m. Game 4 is scheduled for March 16 at 7:30 p.m., while Game 5 (if necessary) will go March 17 at 2 p.m.