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Best of 7
|March 13||Vernon 4||Spokane 2||Spokane|
|March 15||Spokane 3||Vernon 0||Spokane|
|March 16||Spokane 3||Vernon 2||Spokane|
|March 19||Spokane 3||Vernon 3||Vernon|
|March 21||Vernon 5||Spokane 4||Vernon|
|March 23||Spokane 3||Vernon 2||Vernon|
|March 25||Vernon 4||Spokane 3||Vernon|
|March 27||Spokane 6||Vernon 4||Vernon|
From the: Spokane, WA Spokesman-Review Thursday, March 28, 1957
Flyers Supreme in B.C. Hockey; Allan Cup Defenders Beaten, 6-4
Western Canada Title is Next Target
By Harry Missildine Spokesman-Review Sports Reporter
VERNON, B.C., March 27--Buddy Bodman is a young man and a small one, but he had a large hand in hockey history tonight, as the Spokane Flyers defeated the Vernon Canadians, 6-4, in the decisive eighth game of the series for the British Columbia championship, and a berth in the Allan Cup semi-finals.
Hustling Buddy scored the winning third period goal on a more than handsome relay from two of his older pals, Frank Kubasek and Lorne Nadeau. That gave the Flyers a 5-3 lead at 12:39 of the third period. Although the Canadians, who were proudly and resolutely defending both their Savage Cup and Allan Cup championship, came back to make it 5-4 later, the Flyers prevailed in a nerve-wracking finish.
It marks the first time in the annals of North American hockey that an American club has won its way to either the eastern or western finals for the big trophy which dates back to 1908. The Flyers will be in the western half, of course, and that best-of-seven series is scheduled to start, tentatively, on Tuesday in Fort William, Ontario. There the Flyers will meet a combined Fort William-Port Arthur challenge team.
Kubasek set the Bodman goal in motion. All five Flyer skaters had just emerged from the box on a line change made on the fly, with the puck advancing in the direction of the Spokane zone. Possibly Vernon was trying to catch the Flyers out of position on the change. But the reverse developed.
Kubie Sets It Up Kubie swooped in to poke-check the puck, maintained control, and as he crossed the Vernon blue line he had Nadeau on his right and Bodman on his left. First Kubie faked, then passed to Nadeau as they broke in. Big Nade loves to shoot. But when he saw Bodman sailing home on the unguarded left corner of the net, he slipped the puck over and the kid had no trouble putting it right where it belonged.
That was Spokane'e second two-goal lead, but like the first one it wasn't destined to last long. At 15:33 of that flaming third period, Vernon defenceman Tom Stecyk, a capable thorn in the side of the Flyers throughout the series, whizzed a line drive from 30 feet--a real blue-darter--that thumped against Flyer goalie John Sofiak's pads, and glanced into the net.
That made it 5-4 Flyers, and three minutes later Tom Hodges took a cross-checking penalty when he blasted big Frank King into the corner boards. The move wasn't too unwise, with a minute and a half left, since it gave the Flyers the option of shooting the puck the length of the ice without a whistle for a face-off. That signaled the time for Flyer coach Roy McBride to send out the penalty-skating team, which should get a medal for distinguished service in the playoffs--Art Jones, Doug Toole, Jack Lancien and, since Hodges was in the penalty box, captain Ralph Luke.
Canadians Befuddled The quartet bedeviled and bewildered the Canadians so much that they got away only one shot against Sofiak. Jones personally killed off 45 seconds of it on a stick-handling solo dance in the Vernon zone.
Now time was closing in on the Canadians. With 30 seconds to play, and a faceoff in Flyer territory, coach George Agar finally was able to pull goalie Hal Gordon for a sixth skater. But Tick Beattie, the curly headed Kimberley youngster who drive personified the Flyer team spirit, captured the puck from Willie Schmidt and beat him neatly with a bank shot off the boards. Then Tick turned on a burst of speed--of which he has plenty--and skated right up to the jaws of the empty net before scoring the absolute clincher with four seconds to play.
Entire Team On Ice That brought down a shower of seat cushions from the jam-packed Vernon crowd. The entire Flyer hockey team jumped on the ice in a spontaneous gesture of sheer joy. It also brought out Frank Rubino, the Coliseum board-pounder who has been called Spokane's number one fan. Rubino took a running jump into the arms of Lancien, and since Frankie was attired in kilts several sizes too large for him, it was a sight nobody should have missed.
The first goal in this game, the experts had figured, would be a big one. Jones scored it, possibly without touching the puck. He faced off against Sherm Blair in the Vernon zone; Blair got the draw all right, but sent the puck whistling into his own net past a startled Gordon--and 3,300 cash customers.
Art Davison, a Canadian standout all the way, evened it at 14:40 by poking in a short rebound. But the Flyers regained a 2-1 lead on a picture goal set up by Kubasek, and scored by Nadeau, who sent a quick shot high into the corner from close range.
Tide Swings to Vernon Davison squared it at 14:59 of the second period when Sofiak, sliding in one direction, lost control of Don Jakes' rebound. Davison had nothing to beat but the open net. Then for a time the Flyers looked outchecked and disorganised, and the tide seemed to be swinging in Vernon's direction. But the Flyers started skating off the slump, until at 18:56 Nadeau and Bodman went to the wall to scoot the puck out to Kubasek, who was camped 18 feet in front of the enemy net. As Nadeau's pass slid toward him, Kubie slapped it neatly into the far corner for a 3-2 Spokane lead.
Beattie's hard drive after Dave Gordichuk's clever pass put the Flyers two goals ahead at 2:24 of the third. Soon after, Toole took a tripping penalty and King got the game's only "penalty goal" at 4:40 to make it 4-3. Eight minutes later it was Bodman with the big winner.
The Flyer team, of course, gets the final and undivided credit. But one example possibly typifies their strong, courageous play. Toole, sliding to keep a puck out of the Spokane zone, was caught hard in the groin by either the puck or by a stick. Doug lingered only a moment, his face a mask of pain, before he arose and skated in the direction of the battle.