Dominant West Hill Flyers bantam hockey team ready to join P.A. Sports Hall of Fame

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Dave Leaderhouse
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1972 West Hill Flyers going into the hall of fame

Editor’s Note: This is the sixth in a series of profiles highlighting the achievements of this year’s inductees going into the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame. A gala induction banquet will be held on April 26 in the Ches Leach Lounge at the Art Hauser Centre to formally enshrine the eight honoured guests.

It was definitely a season to remember and head coach Tony Mihilewicz remembers it well.

“We did stuff other teams never did,” says Mihilewicz in recalling how his 1972 West Hill Flyers captured the city and provincial Bantam AA championship. “Everybody bought into the system 100 per cent and we were disciplined – they followed it to a T.”

When the Prince Albert Kinsmen Minor Hockey Association disbanded all-star teams in the city, Mihilewicz, then a vice-president of the association, felt he had something to prove.

He took his core group of 14 players from the West Hill Community Club and captured one of the two berths for provincial playdowns by winning a tournament at Christmas of that season.

A concession by minor hockey allowed West Hill and Midtown – the other provincial qualifier from the city – to add seven players for the provincial playoffs and with that final roster the Flyers went on a run that resulted in the team finishing the season with a 68-3 record.

West Hill swept past a Battlefords team in the opening round of the provincial playoffs and then knocked off Midtown 15-9 in a two-game, total-goal series. That pitted them against another team from the Battlefords which the Flyers easily won and then in the northern final against the Saskatoon Blues they once again had little trouble winning the two-game series.

The Flyers faced the Regina Pat Blackhawks in the provincial final and with Dave Dubyk leading the way with a four-goal game in an opening 6-4 triumph they sealed the championship despite losing 3-2 in the finale.

“We definitely believed in ourselves,” noted Mihilewicz, who was assisted by Jim Penner and Ron Russell.

Members of the West Hill squad included Dave Dubyk, Barry Mihilewicz, Warren Town, Mark Weckworth, Dave Russell, Gerry Russell, Dave Fisher, Jerry Harasyn, Craig McLeod, Lorne Adams, Jim Weckworth and Jeff Smith.

Added to the team from the East Hill and Crescent Heights teams for the playoffs and out-of-town tournaments were: Glenn Kulyk, Bruce Balicki, Murray Guy, Allan Merkowsky, Dwayne Melrose, Duane Rohachuk and Terry Strueby.

Dubyk, Kulyk and Balicki would go on to play with the Prince Albert Raiders and help that club win its first Centennial Cup championship in 1977 while Adams played with the Estevan Bruins and Melrose saw some action with the Saskatoon Blades of the Western Canada Hockey League.

The 1972 West Hill Flyers are the lone team to be going into the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame this year and they will join athletes Josef Tesar Jr., Amanda Dunn and Ryan Roznowsky, builders Pat Regel and Bob Coffin, meritorious service inductee Ward Howat and association of the year - the Prince Albert Sports Council - when the induction banquet is held this Saturday in the Ches Leach Lounge at the Art Hauser Centre.

Tickets for the gala celebration can be picked up at the Community Services department in City Hall or by contacting Ellen Grewcock at 306-980-6242 or Derek Smith at 306-980-6116.

 

Organizations: Art Hauser Centre, Flyers, Prince Albert Kinsmen Minor Hockey Association West Hill Community Club Warren Town Western Canada Hockey League Amanda Dunn and Ryan Roznowsky Prince Albert Sports Council Community Services department

Geographic location: Crescent Heights

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