History of the A's
Joe Cheevers Takes Over The Helm
St. Catha rines Standard
May 14, 1965 – Joe Cheevers heaved a sigh of relief earlier
this week when he finally obtained the signatures of Bob McCready, Ron Roy
and Gary Moore.
most prolific one-two scoring punch in senior lacrosse, Moore was
considering retiring (he has been transferred by his employers from St.
Catharines to Welland), while Roy had a firm financial offer from Port
Bob McCready had been listed as a “holdout”, but President Jim Lomore
got him on the dotted line yesterday.
full team, which lost by a whisker to Brooklin in the semi-finals last
season, is now back plus juniors Hugar and Doberstein. Pat Cheevers and
Butch Conradi may also turn out when their scholastic duties at McMaster
and Rutgers, respectively, are completed.
are permitted to sign 25 players and we’ll have exactly that many,”
says Cheevers. “So many of the players are working shifts that we’ll
need all 25 to be sure we’ll have a full team every game.”
Smith, who only played occasionally last year, will be out full time and
Jack (Scotty) Gallaway returns after three years away from the game.
ranks Peterborough and Brampton as the top opposition for the Athletics
with Brooklin “still dangerous” simply because they have the brilliant
native of Port Dalhousie, Pat Baker, in goal. Brooklin, however, has been
weakened defensively by the transfer of their fine defenceman Ron Ruttan
seems to be a column devoted primarily to the Cheevers family with Joe and
son Pat already mentioned. However, Joe and Bette’s No. One son Gerry
received further honors today with his nomination as the first team
all-star goaltender with the American Hockey League Rochester Americans.
Gerry, who blocks shots in the winter and scores goals for the senior
Athletics in the summer, had a tremendous season.
had the lowest goals-against average in the league, was a vital factor in
the Americans placing first in their league and winning the playoff
championship and has now been officially recognized as the best guardian
in minor professional hockey. We’d guess that he’ll earn approximately
$2,100 in bonus money in addition to his regular salary.
May 19, 1965 – Jim Lomore, starting his third year as
president of the Athletics, is confident that his club can regain the
Eastern championship they last won in 1963. “There seems to be a new
feeling on the team this season,” said Lomore. “We’re getting more
players out to practice than ever before. In fact the turnout is better
than we had at a good many games the last two years.”
the reason for the renewed interest among the players can be traced back
to a team gathering last winter. Joe Cheevers, who had coached the
Athletics during the final couple of weeks and in the playoffs last
summer, was invited.
wasn’t too sure whether I wanted to take over the team for a full
schedule,” he said. “But when I saw that so many of the players were
really serious about the game, I decided to accept if the job was
offered.” Before the night was over the job WAS offered and Joe HAD
Athletics started working out at the Queen Elizabeth Community Centre
three months ago, transferring to the Haig Bowl soon after the artificial
ice surface was removed and they’ve been practicing three times a week
ever since. We’d hazard a guess that the A’s have had more serious
workouts this year than they held in the three previous seasons combined.
returned as coach with his eyes open. “I realize that many of the
players are working shifts,” he said. “I don’t expect them to miss
work to play lacrosse. After all there isn’t enough money in the game to
put steak or even hamburger on the table. And most of these fellows are
married with families. What I do expect though is that every player will
be out for both home and away games when they aren’t working. They gave
me their word they’d honor that commitment before they signed.”
of the varied hours of employment the Athletics will sign the maximum 25
players, thus assuring a full 15-man roster for all 24 games.
paper the Athletics have a team capable of winning the Eastern
championship and earning a trip to the west coast for the Mann Cup finals
against the British Columbia champs. As far as experience is concerned
there isn’t a senior team in the country that can touch them.
Davies, Ted Howe and Doug Smith are all starting their 15th
season of senior lacrosse. To digress just for a moment, the three players
mentioned above were members of the only junior team ever forced to win
the Minto Cup twice in one season. In their last year in junior they
helped the Athletics win the Ontario championship, then swept what was
billed as the Canadian finals in three straight games over the western
champions in New Westminster, B.C.
Conradi was sponsor-manager-president of the junior A’s but couldn’t
make the trip west because of business. In charge of the club for the
western jaunt were Coach Doug Cove and the late George Cleverley.
team had boarded the train with the Minto Cup and were actually going
through the Rockies when they received word that they would have to play
another series…again for the Canadian championship…in Winnipeg.”
Conradi recalled this week.
had a call from Doug (Cove) and he asked me what they should do. From that
distance all I could tell them was to play the series but make sure they
got enough money to cover the extra expenses. Believe me by that time the
funds were running mighty low.”
wasn’t expected to offer much opposition but in the first game the
Athletics just managed to scrape through on a late goal by Ted Howe. The
next game of the two-game series was strictly a St. Catharines show and
the team retained the championship they had won less than a week before.
Howe and Smith aren’t the only players still with the local senior club
who have a long lacrosse background. In 1958 when Conradi moved the team
to Welland, Mike D’Amico, Ronnie Roy, Justin Howe, Dave Hall, Jack
Gallaway, Brian Woods, Gary Carr, Smith and Ted Howe all played with the
club that won the Ontario senior title, then lost in the Mann Cup final in
of course players such as goaltender Bob McCready, Gary Hind, Gary Moore,
Gerry Cheevers, Tom Teather, Brian Thompson and Pete Berge aren’t
exactly in the rookie category.