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Posted: March 30th, 2013 @ 12:18pm
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, Saturday, March 30, 1963
A goal by Brian Smith at 16:22 of the third period was enough to allow the Hull-Ottawa Canadiens to salvage a 2-2 tie at the Community Centre but the single point was all the Kingston needed to clinch first place. It's the first time in the league's short history that a team not affiliated with the Montreal Canadiens earned that honour.
Smith scored on a pass from Lorne O'Donnell, one of a number of juniors who have joined the Canadiens as reinforcements for the playoffs.
The visitors scored last and, needing to win all three of their remaining games to snatch the league lead from Kingston, they also scored first, as Billy Carter gave Hull-Ottawa a 1-0 lead just 15 seconds into the game. That was not a league record, however, as Skip Teal, with Kingston in 1959-60, and later Willie O'Ree each notched a goal after just seven seconds of play.
Billy Knibbs and Dick Cherry were the only players to beat Canadiens goaltender Cesare Maniago, who made 37 saves. Bruce Gamble was called to make just 20 stops for the Frontenacs, who gained a first-round playoff bye by finishing first. They will conclude their regular schedule tomorrow afternoon against Sudbury.
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