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Posted: March 18th, 2013 @ 11:26am
Today's installment in a daily series that recalls the story of the 1962-63 Kingston Frontenacs, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of their Eastern Professional Hockey League championship season:
Fifty years ago today, Monday, March 18, 1963
On the day Canada's oldest hotel, the British-American, burned to the ground in downtown Kingston, the Hull-Ottawa Canadiens used the spectacular netminding of lanky Cesare Maniago to move within a point of the idle Kingston Frontenacs with a 2-1 win over the Wolves in Sudbury.
Maniago, according to the Ottawa Citizen a chief reason for Hull-Ottawa's Tom Foley Memorial Trophy championship win over Kingston last year, made 39 saves. Claude Larose, hampered by bad knees throughout the season, scored the Canadiens' first goal on a high shot from the blue line. After Len Ronson scored for Sudbury in the second period, Norm Beaudin scored the winner at 7:17 of the third when he banked the puck into the Wolves' net off the skate of defenceman Wally Chevrier.
In Kingston, meanwhile, a demolition company was called to pull down what was left of the shell of the four-storey, 120-year-old hotel at the corner of King and Clarence streets, from where all of the 50 guests are believed to have escaped. Relief night clerk A.D. Merkley told the Whig-Standard he received a call from Room 134 at around 4:30 a.m. and he went to investigate. "(He) found flames licking up the wall of the room, raced downstairs, set off the hotel fire alarm and then called the fire department." Four hours later the venerable hotel was gone.
The Frontenacs are in St. Louis, where they are preparing to face the last-place Braves tomorrow night.
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