SPORTS FLASHBACK 1975: Steinbach Millers provincial Jr. B champs


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The Steinbach Millers left no doubt that they were the best junior B hockey team in the province this weekend, when they skated to three straight tournament victories to claim the Manitoba Junior B championship.

Victories over Dauphin, Portage la Prairie and Pembina Valley in a four-team provincial tournament gave Steinbach its first ever provincial junior hockey championship, to add to the Manitoba Jr. B Hockey League title, they won last month.

The Millers junior team was formed last fall with players from Ste Anne, Lorette, St Malo, Randolph, Kleefeld, Grunthal and Steinbach, and coached by Ste Anne’s Jude Boulianne. The team competed in the newly formed MJBHL, including teams from Pembina Valley, Gimli, Selkirk and Portage la Prairie.

Millers captain Ralph Krentz accepts the Carillon Cup from Manitoba Junior B Hockey League president Jim Ward and Rick Derksen, on behalf of the donor. Other members of the winning team were: Art Coulombe, St Malo; Farley Fries, Steinbach; Jacques St Vincent, Ste Anne; Norm Schellenberg, Kleefeld; Randy Reimer, Steinbach: Vic Peters, Steinbach; Ron Freynet, Ste Anne; Gary Toews, Steinbach; Larry Stoesz, Randolph; Marc Phaneuf, St Adolphe; Rick Leclair, Ste Anne; Peter Kehler, Landmark; Reynold Loewen, Steinbach; George Kornelson, Steinbach, and Kim Fries, Steinbach. The coach is Jude Boulianne, Ste Anne; manager is Jake Fries, Steinbach and assistant coach is Lyle Hanna, Steinbach.

After finishing first in the league standings with a record of 19 wins, three losses and two ties, the Millers skated to easy victories over Selkirk and Portage in the playoffs to win the MJBHL championship and a berth in the four-team provincial finals, which they hosted for the first time.

It took just four games for the Steinbach Millers to win the Manitoba Junior B Hockey League championship once they advanced to the finals against the Terriers from Portage.

In the deciding contest, it took the Millers 13 minutes of the first period to get untracked, but they subsequently built up a four goal lead before the hometown Terriers got on the board.

The scoring statistics showed the strength of the Millers’ first line with the league’s scoring leader Art Coulombe, setting up Rick Leclair twice, Randy Reimer once, scoring himself on an assist from Leclair and topping it off with a fourth assist on the Millers’ fifth goal by Randy Reimer.

Gary Toews added a goal and Vic Peters scored two third period markers on the way to an 8-2 win and the Carillon Cup as MJBHL winners.

Coulombe was also instrumental in Game Three of the series on home ice, scoring a hat trick to lead the Millers to an 11-3 win over Portage. Ralph Krentz, Larry Stoesz and Vic Peters each scored twice in the decisive win.

The Millers winning streak continued in the provincials, capping off a very successful season with three more victories on home ice on the way to Steinbach’s first Manitoba junior hockey championship.

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