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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

SASK HOCKEY HALL OF FAME WELCOMES EIGHT NEW MEMBERS

Ron Delorme is inducted into SHHOF
The Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame welcomed a new class of inductees on Saturday at the Credit Union IPlex in Swift Current.

This year's induction class consisted of:

• Players: Ron Delorme, Bill Hicke*, Hayley Wickenheiser
• Builder: John Kelly Lovering*
• Official: Lyle Wilhelm
• Grassroots: Larry Johnson, Dennis Loeppky*
• Team: 1987-88 Notre Dame Hounds
 (*Denotes inductee is deceased)

PLAYERS

RON DELORME (North Battleford) – Ron Delorme was born in North Battleford and grew up in Cochin. A popular player with his teammates and the fans, Delorme was a hero to First Nation Canadians. Delorme became a role model for aspiring hockey players and athletes. "Chief,"
his nickname, spent a lot of his spare time encouraging First Nations youth to aspire for great things like he did. He played his minor hockey in the area prior to moving to Prince Albert for his first season of Junior Hockey with the Raiders of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. The following season he joined the Swift Current Broncos of the Western Hockey League where he played 59 games. The next year when the team was moved to Lethbridge he tallied 87 points and 144 penalty minutes in 69 games. Delorme was drafted by the Kansas City Scouts in the fifth-round, 56th overall in the 1975 NHL Entry Draft. He split the next season playing with his junior club in Lethbridge, the WHA in Denver and the CHL in Tucson. The following season he made his NHL debut in 1976 with the relocated Scouts, which became known as the Colorado Rockies. Delorme would play four full seasons with the Rockies, becoming one of Don Cherry's favorite players. The 6'2" 185lb right winger scored a career high 20 goals in 19 Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame

WILLIAM (BILL) HICKE (Regina) – Billy Hicke excelled at many sports in his youth but eventually it was hockey that would consume him and steer his life to the big leagues. After being called up at the early age of 15 he would spend his entire junior career with the Regina Pats between 1954-58. In 146 regular season games he scored 251 points, including 142 goals. He led the league in goals and points during his last season and led the Pats to three consecutive Memorial Cup appearances. He was the first player to have his jersey “number 17” retired by the team. The jump to professional hockey proved to be no challenge for Hicke. In his first year he won the scoring title in the American Hockey League (AHL) while playing for the Rochester Americans. He was also named AHL First Team All-Star, AHL Rookie of the Year and the League’s Most Valuable Player “MVP”. He is the only player in the history of the AHL to win all of those awards in the same year. With that exceptional performance the Montreal Canadians called him up for the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 1958, where he would win the first of his two Stanley Cups. In 1959-60 the rookie right winger would
earn a full time spot on that legendary Canadians team who won their 5th straight Stanley Cup, a record that has never been broken. His best season in a Canadiens uniform came during the 1961-62 season when he scored 20 goals and totalled 51 points. He also had 18 and 17 goal seasons for the Canadiens. Hicke was traded to the New York Rangers on December 21, 1964 and finished the 1964-65 season in the Big Apple. His career almost came to a tragic end the following season when he
went into a two week coma while battling a respiratory illness. In the summer of 1967 he was claimed by the Oakland Seals in the expansion draft. While playing for Oakland he enjoyed his most successful seasons in the NHL point wise. In 1968-69 he scored 25 goals and 61 points in 67 games. That season earned him his third trip to the annual NHL All-Star game. Hicke’s last NHL season came in 1971-72 playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins. He would finish his playing career in 1972-73 suiting up for the Alberta Oilers of the World Hockey Association. After his playing career was over Bill returned to Regina and purchased Kyle’s Sporting Goods. Hicke credited his roles as the NHL Players Association representative in Oakland, and President of the WHA Players Association as a stepping stone for his successful business career. In addition to Kyle’s, Hicke also co-owned, managed, and briefly coached the Regina Pats from 1985-1995, until their ownership group sold. He was inducted into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame in 1995 and into the Regina Sports Hall of Fame in 2004. In early 2005 he was awarded the WHL Governor’s Award. After a long and courageous battle with cancer, Hicke passed away in July 2005.

HAYLEY WICKENHEISER (Shaunavon) – Considered one of the best female hockey players in the world, Wickenheiser is a five-time Olympic medalist, four-time Olympic gold medalist and seven-time World Champion. Wickenheiser’s ascent to the top of the sport started in Shaunavon, Saskatchewan when at 15 she was the youngest member chosen for the Canadian Women’s National
Team – a team she led to several championships. Ms. Wickenheiser made history in 2003 when she became the first female hockey player to notch a point in a men’s professional game with the Kirkkonummen Salamat of the Finnish second division. She also played in Eskilstuna, Sweden with a men’s professional division one hockey team for the 08-09 season. Her Olympic career spans five Winter Olympics between 1998 and 2014 earning a silver medal in 1998 and four gold medals in 2002, 2006, 2010 and most recently in 2014 where she was also selected to be the flag bearer for the Canadian Olympic team during the opening ceremonies. She also competed in softball in the Sydney Summer Olympics in 2000. Twice named one of Globe and Mail’s “Power 50” influencers in sport, Wickenheiser’s accolades include being named #20 on Sports Illustrated’s Top 25 Toughest Athletes in the World in 2008 (one of only two females on the list that year), a two-time finalist for the Women’s Sports Foundation Team Athlete of The Year, being named among the top 10 “Greatest Female Athletes in the History of Sports” by the QMI Agency, and numerous MVP and all-star selections. In 2011 she was amongst 50 notable Canadians appointed to the Order of Canada for her achievements as an athlete and for her contributions to the growth of women’s hockey, and in
2014 Wickenheiser was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame. Wickenheiser’s passion for sport is equally matched by her desire to give back to the community through her work with organizations such as JumpStart, KidSport, Project North, Right to Play and many others. She has led numerous projects with the goal of raising the profile of women’s sports around the world and constantly works to provide mentoring opportunities for young athletes including her legacy project “The Canadian Tire Wickenheiser World Female Hockey Festival.” An inspiration and trailblazer, Wickenheiser retired from hockey in January 2017 as the all-time leading scorer with 168 goals and 211 assists in 276 games. She holds a BSc from the University of Calgary and is currently pursuing a career in medicine.

BUILDER

JOHN KELLY LOVERING (Regina) – Lovering was a teacher and a coach not only in Saskatchewan, but all around the world. Although it was his coaching in hockey that become renowned he also spent time coaching basketball, volleyball and football. Overall, he captured
14 Provincial Championships as a coach. In 1995 he received the Gordon Jukes Award, presented by Hockey Canada to acknowledge exceptional contributions to the sport’s development at the national level. As the Chairman of the National Coaching Committee, he wrote coaching manuals that established a foundation for evaluation and instruction. In addition, he conducted coaching clinics across Canada and internationally including places such as Iceland, Japan, China, Australia, Spain,
South Africa and England. In addition, he spent multiple seasons coaching the Australian National Hockey Team which captured a silver and three bronze medals at the IIHF World Championships during his tenure. Lovering spent 10 years at Campbell Collegiate and a decade at Athol Murry College of Notre Dame where he coached a number of notable players including Wendel Clark, Curtis Joseph and Rod Brind’Amour. A total of 38 players who eventually advanced to the NHL. He coached the La Ronge Ice Wolves of the SJHL in their augural season in 1997. He spent multiple seasons as an assistant coach with the Regina Pat Canadians and was a coach mentor with Hockey Regina. Despite a long battle with cancer, he could still be found in a hockey rink coaching or simply enjoying the game he loved. Lovering passed away in December of 2014. He is survived by his wife Mary Lyn, son Tyler, daughter Kristy and his grandchildren.

OFFICIAL

LYLE WILHELM (Moose Jaw) – Lyle Wilhelm is being inducted into the Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame in the Official category. Wilhelm has spent 48 years as a true leader of hockey officiating in our province and country. He continues to make officials and officiating programs better. His contribution to the Saskatchewan Hockey Association and Hockey Canada in the
development of programs and his vision of making hockey officiating better has been a great benefit to the game. As an official, Wilhelm officiated minor, senior, and college hockey. In 1978, he began to officiate in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League and in 1980, he attended and achieved his level 5 in Saskatchewan. He continued his development and in 1983 began his career as a linesman with the Western Canada Hockey League (now WHL). In 1984 he achieved the highest level possible as an official with Hockey Canada, attending the level 6 seminar in Montreal. Wilhelm has been heavily involved with the officiating programs at the local, provincial and national Levels. He was involved in helping form the Moose Jaw Referees’ Association. He worked as a Zone Coordinator, Head Clinician, and became Referee-in-Chief for Saskatchewan in 1990. His work as a
supervisor has spanned many leagues and levels including - minor hockey, SMAAAHL, PJHL, SJHL, ACAC, CIS and the WHL. In addition he has travelled to national and international events including three World Junior Championships. With his involvement in Hockey Canada, he has been instrumental in bringing about changes to procedures, supervision, and instruction at the national level and was a Hockey Canada Award of Merit recipient in 2005. Wilhelm was named a Saskatchewan Hockey Association Referee Division Life Member in 2003. He continues his dedication to the game as he remains active with the SHA Referees’ Division as the Head Supervisor, active instructor and mentor.

GRASSROOTS

LARRY JOHNSON (Moose Jaw/Swift Current) – Hockey has been a part of Larry Johnson’s life since the age of four when he started playing on the creek in Moose Jaw. He continued playing the sport until 60 when he retired from Old Timers hockey. Over the course of his time as a young player he won the city scoring championship, played on the city all-star team and won a city championship. He later went on to win a Provincial A Championship with the Swift Current Indians. Johnson’s coaching career spans four decades as he first took on the role in 1974 and continued to coach until 2015. Over the course of that time he led multiple teams, male and female, to championships and successful seasons. His impact and influence was felt by many of the players he coached
including former Team Canada player Bobbi-Jo Slusar and former NHLer Travis Moen. Off the ice, Johnson’s commitment to the game continued as he was as a member of the Swift Current Hockey League for 20 years; served as the President of the Midget Legionnaires for 15 years: a founding board member to start the Swift Current Tournament of Champions; and was the co-founder with Slusar to develop the Swift Current Wheelchair hockey program. Johnson’s dedication did not go unnoticed as he was named the Athlete of the Year as a coach at the Swift Current Eagles Athletic Awards in 1992; won the SHA Outstanding Volunteer in 2001 and he received the SaskEnergy Volunteer Championship Award in 2013 for the Hockey Day in Saskatchewan weekend.

DENNIS LOEPPKY (Swift Current) – Dennis Loeppky is being inducted into the Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame in the Grassroots category. Loeppky was a dedicated community volunteer who began lending his time back in 1967 selling programs in the brand new Centennial Civic Centre. He became predominantly known for his work as a timekeeper and scorekeeper for the Swift Current Broncos (WHL) and Swift Current Indians (SJHL) as well as at a variety of special community events for local hockey teams. His timekeeping expertise were sought after and he could be found volunteering for Old Timer tournaments, female hockey and ringette tournaments. In addition, to the time he dedicated at the rink, he and his family continually opened up their home as a billet to the junior hockey players who needed a home away from home. Without fanfare or recognition,
Loeppky quietly showed up to the rink, each and every winter, year after year, decade after decade. Regardless of what volunteer role he played, he was always willing to help where he could and that was his great contribution to the game he loved. His outstanding contributions were celebrated in 2017 as he was recognized for volunteering for 50 years (1967-2017) and was inducted into the Swift Current Broncos Hall of Fame as a volunteer. Loeppky passed away in 2017. He is survived by
his wife Barb, son Brian, daughter Denise and grandchildren Aaliyah, Isaac and Jaxen.

TEAM

1987-88 Notre Dame Hounds – When the Notre Dame Argos folded in 1976 there was no indication that a Notre Dame team would ever be back in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. However, in the spring of 1987 the school’s Midget AAA Hounds team had gone to the Air Canada Cup final, losing a close game to a team from Quebec. It was then they made the decision to step up a level and join the SJHL that fall. Over the course of that inaugural junior season and under the leadership of Head Coach Barry Mackenzie, the wins continued to pile up for the Hounds as they cruised to a league title winning 53 of 60 games. After beating Yorkton in the SJHL final, the team went on to sweep Winnipeg to win the Anavet Cup. The Abbott Cup proved to be more of a challenge as they trailed the Calgary Canucks 3-1 in the best-of-seven series before coming back and winning
three straight to claim another title. The team headed east to Pembroke, Ontario to take part in the Centennial Cup. They defeated Halifax in the first game, then claimed victory in the next game over Thunder Bay before losing a heartbreaker in overtime to the host Pembroke team. They did get a chance for revenge as they once again met up with the hosts in the semifinal and defeated them 7-3 to earn a berth in the championship game. The Hounds faced off against the squad from Halifax
and despite being down 2-1 after 40 minutes, the team rallied back and completed their dream season with goals by Rod Brind’Amour and Dwayne Norris to capture the National Championship title. When the tournament awards were handed out it was a sweep by the Hounds as Joby Messier was named the top defenseman while Brind’Amour was picked as the top centre, most valuable player and top scorer. The 1987-88 Notre Dame Hounds were inducted into the SJHL Hall of Fame in 2013.

(Sask Hockey Association/Sheri Trapp)

1 comment:

SWC said...

I see Fred Sasakamoose in the Ron Delorme photo.