Green vividly remembers historic Petes goal
Petes honouring 1979 Memorial Cup winning team during Alumni Homecoming
Many things have faded from Gary Green’s memory over the past 40 years but he can recall Bob Attwell’s overtime goal in the 1979 Memorial Cup final as if it were yesterday.
The most significant goal in the Petes’ 64 seasons secured the Petes their lone Memorial Cup title against the Brandon Wheat Kings in Verdun, Que.
“I remember everything vividly,” Green said.
Brandon had the highest scoring line In junior hockey history, at the time, with future NHL players Ray Allison, Laurie Boschman and Brian Propp and defenceman Brad McCrimmon.
“They were one hell of a team,” Green said.
“We really had outplayed them which is hard to do with that team. We were trying to wear them down because they used a pretty short bench. I know there was some frustration when we came into the dressing room after regulation. I recall having to be rather demanding at getting the focus back because they were frustrated they hadn’t already won the game. They certainly did recapture their focus.”
All but a handful of players and staff from that 1979 team will be in attendance at the inaugural Petes Homecoming Weekend this weekend. The 40th anniversary of the 1979 team will be highlighted in a pre-game ceremony prior to the Petes hosting the Windsor Spitfires at 7:05 p.m. Saturday.
Fans can also mingle with alumni from 6 to 7 p.m. Friday at a Petesa Party in the PMC Pub and Grill. Fans are invited to stay to watch the Petes road game against the Oshawa Generals.
Green said Carmen Cirella and captain Chris Halyk spearheaded through social media and email an effort to reconnect the 1979 group two years ago. A number of them turned out to play golf together in Milton and they now communicate regularly online.
“We were busy with our work lives and raising families and kids and have a tough enough time making all that work. If friends aren’t next door or nearby you tend to lose touch,” Green said. “What’s happened is our group has started communicating with each other.”
They enjoyed their golf outing so much they pledged to keep in contact. They also started planning a 40th anniversary.
Green said the only people not expected to attend are the late Mark Reeds, Billy Gardner, who has hockey commitments in Chicago, Dave Beckon, Larry Floyd and the late Frank Gurney who was assistant trainer. They were even tracked down Finnish players Anssi Melametsa and Veli-Pekka Kinnunen.
“We’ve lost Reedsy and Frank Gurney and every member of our executive is gone,” Green said.
“If we wait until 50 we know there will be more on that list. We decided to celebrate it while we are still of sound mind and body to do so.”
Once they approached the Petes Green said it grew into a full alumni homecoming.
“It’s really been fun,” Green said.
“As I said to the guys back in 1979, there is that old saying ‘Win together and walk together forever.’ That’s how we feel.”
It’s special since it’s the club’s only Memorial Cup but Green says they’d be quite happy to share the honour with another Petes team.
“We haven’t been able to get that Cup back again, which we’re not happy about,” said Green, with a chuckle.
“We don’t want to be the only Petes team to win a Cup and we sure hope one does soon.”
Bobby Attwell scores the winning goal in overtime to crown the Peterborough Petes as the 1979 Memorial Cup champions.