Canada Games Memories
Doug Moores remembers first Canada Game
Local lawyer Doug Moores knows what it’s like to take part in the Canada Winter Games, though his experience was probably quite different compared to what local athletes have been up to in Prince George, B.C. Moores took part in the inaugural edition of the Games in Quebec City way back in 1967.
At first glance, Harbour Grace’s Doug Moores and Kelsey Shute would not appear to have a lot in common.
One is a 66-year-old lawyer based in Bay Roberts, while the other is a 15-year-old student at Carbonear Collegiate. One studies court documents, while the other is learning the ropes of high school.
There wouldn’t seem to be a lot there, right?
But that’s where you’re wrong. The pair has more in common than you’d think. Both are goaltenders by trade and both are from Harbour Grace.
Following the start of the 2015 Canada Winter Games last week in Prince George, B.C., the pair has one more thing they’d be able to sit down and connect over. Shute was one of two young tenders on this province’s female hockey contingent, while 48 years earlier, Moores represented the male the side.
He was a member of the 1,800 athletes from across the country to compete in the first Canada Games, held over the course of one week in February of 1967 in Quebec City. The games were also a part of Canada’s Centenniel celebrations that year.
“It was really quite something,” Moores told The Compass last week. “We had no idea what it was going to be like.
“That was 48 years ago this week.”
Then a commerce student at Memorial University in St. John’s, Moores was the starting goaltender for the Memorial Beothuks, a precursor to the present-day Sea-Hawks. In 1967, the hockey portion of the Games was an all-university affair.
“Each province was represented by a university team,” said Moores. “St. Thomas represented New Brunswick, Laval represented Quebec and McMaster represented Ontario.”
The Beothuks had travelled for hockey before, having made the trek to Nova Scotia for show- downs with Dalhousie in Halifax and Acadia in Wolfville.
“The Opening Ceremonies were held on the Plains of Abraham,” Moores recalls. “It was really something.”
Those first Games were not without some hiccups. A storm that dumped 76 cm of snow on Quebec City nearly crippled the Games. A few hours prior to the opening ceremony, officials were told that there was no torch. The organizing committee members created their own and were able to light the flame.
As well, on the morning of the first day of the games, the temperature hovered around 7 C and it was raining. However, by the early evening a cold front sent that temperature down to -33 C.
“That’s what made it so interesting,” said Moores. The tournament Memorial were lumped in a division with New Brunswick, the Northwest Territories, Saskatchewan, Ontario and British Columbia. Their first two games were victories over New Brunswick and the Territories.
Coincidentally, Shute and her Team NL teammates defeated the same two teams in 2015. She earned a shutout in her team’s 70 victory against N.W.T.
Next up, was a tight meeting with Saskatchewan. Closing his eyes as he remembers, Moores recalls they lost a tight 3-2 game to the team from the Prairies.
“It was a spectacular hockey game,” he said.
Newfoundland lost to a tough Ontario team before running into a B.C. buzz saw from the University of British Columbia.
“They had a player by the name of Al MacLean,” said Moores. “He went on to play with Team Canada. He scored five goals against us. What a shot he had, he could shoot off his wrong foot.”
The Canada Games were the start of a great couple of weeks for Moores. First came the Games, then the Memorial squad captured the coveted Boyle Trophy as St. John’s senior league champions.
Moores followed that by backing up Gary Simmons as the Conception Bay North CeeBees captured the Herder Memorial Trophy.
“We had a good team and it was a great experience,” said Moores of the Canada Games. “We were all young fellas then.”
Team Newfoundland and Labrador goaltender Kelsey Shute of Harbour Grace (centre) is comforted by teammates Heather Richards (18), Meaghan O’Rourke (31) and Jessica Davis following a 9-0 loss to Manitoba last Tuesday at the 2015 Canada Winter Games in Prince George, B.C. Shute was peppered with 55 shots.
Doug Moores is shown here as a member of the Memorial University Beothuks in this undated photo.