Peter­bor­ough Lakers to don replica 1978 Red Oaks sweaters Thurs­day

The Peterborough Examiner - - Sports - DON BAR­RIE Don Bar­rie is a re­tired school­teacher, for­mer scout for the NHL’s Buf­falo Sabres and a mem­ber of the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame and the Peter­bor­ough and District Sports Hall of Fame.

The Peter­bor­ough Lakers will have a new look in their up­com­ing game with Cobourg Ko­di­aks on Thurs­day.

The Lakers will be wear­ing replica sweaters of the 1978 Peter­bor­ough Red Oaks se­nior lacrosse team.

This year will be the 40th an­niver­sary of the Red Oaks win­ning the city its sev­enth Mann Cup ti­tle. For­mer Red Oak play­ers will be in at­ten­dance to see the cur­rent Lakers play in sweaters with the orig­i­nal play­ers’ names on the back. The 1978 play­ers will be given the sweaters af­ter the game.

The 1978 sea­son started with the Red Oaks given lit­tle chance of win­ning let alone be­ing suc­cess­ful. That year five lo­cal play­ers, (Tim Bar­rie, John Grant Sr. Jim Was­son, Sandy Lynch and Carm Collins) were work­ing out with the Canadian Na­tional field lacrosse team pre­par­ing to play in the World Cham­pi­onships in Eng­land in early July.

Also, the Red Oaks were lim­ited to five for­mer pro­fes­sional play­ers from the de­funct Na­tional Lacrosse League that dis­banded in 1975. The OLA, in one of their asi­nine de­ci­sions pre­vented play­ers from the NLL from play­ing in the league.

Le­gal in­ter­ven­tion even­tu­ally forced the league to al­low five for­mer pros on each se­nior A team. Since prac­ti­cally all the el­i­gi­ble lo­cal play­ers had played at some time in the NLL, the rul­ing hurt Peter­bor­ough the most. The Red Oaks filled out their de­pleted ros­ter with play­ers from the lo­cal men’s house league.

Af­ter the World cham­pi­onships ended on July 8, only Was­son and Bar­rie re­turned to the Red Oaks. The Red Oaks fin­ished the sea­son in sec­ond place.

In the first round of the play­offs they faced Brook­lin. In­ter­est­ingly two of the play­ers in­stru­men­tal in Canada win­ning the world field lacrosse cham­pi­onship six weeks ear­lier, faced each other in the se­ries. Jim Was­son of the Oaks scored five goals in the open­ing game win. In game two Stan Cock­er­ton, who scored the over­time goal in Eng­land, was best for Brook­lin, though Peter­bor­ough edged out the Redmen. Late in the se­ries, a gaffe by Cock­er­ton re­sulted in a Was­son goal that led to the Red Oak se­ries win.

The OLA fi­nal pit­ted first place Owen Sound against the Oaks. In the first game, Jim (J.J.) John­ston paced Peter­bor­ough with five goals in the 12-8 win. Two nights later Tom Par­nell stepped up with a five goal per­for­mance to give the Oaks a 2-0 lead. The Oaks com­pleted the sweep and the OLA ti­tle with a win in Peter­bor­ough be­fore only 750 fans.

The band­wagon started to load up with fans when Vic­to­ria ar­rived to start the Mann Cup fi­nals in the Memo­rial Cen­tre. More than 2,300 fans saw the Oaks win the open­ing game 12-11. Goalie Tim Bar­rie made 33 saves and Tom Par­nell scored four goals.

Vic­to­ria won the next two games, the sec­ond in over­time. They were paced by a for­mer Peter­bor­ough ju­nior player, Dan Green. The Red Oaks adding four ju­nior play­ers to the lineup, namely Brian and Ger­rard Cowie, Scott McLean and Larry Floyd, tied the se­ries with a 13-11 win. Peter­bor­ough won the fifth game set­ting up a se­ries-de­cid­ing sixth game.

Well over 5,000 fans crammed into the Memo­rial Cen­tre on Sept. 13, 1978 to see the Red Oaks win 14-6. No of­fi­cial at­ten­dance fig­ures were an­nounced be­cause it ex­ceeded ca­pac­ity reg­u­la­tions but many feel it was the largest crowd ever to see any sport­ing event in the Cen­tre.

Bob Was­son led the Red Oaks with four goals with ju­niors Larry Floyd and Ger­rard Cowie each adding a pair. Tim Bar­rie was voted the MVP of the se­ries.

The 1978 Mann Cup vic­tory, of the fif­teen the Peter­bor­ough teams have won, may have been the most un­ex­pected and re­ward­ing be­cause of the ad­ver­si­ties the team went through.


Peter­bor­ough Red Oaks se­nior lacrosse team goalie Tim Bar­rie is seen in his uni­form in a 1978 play­off game.

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