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1949-50 St. Clair Senior Maroons


SPORT | Hockey
LEVEL | International Amateur

Back Row: Bob Stanton, Ed Didone, Pat Cooney, Bill Becker, George Rebstock, Vic Niemi, Lou Frapporti, Paul Sironen, Bob Stoddard (player/owner/coach/)

Front Row: Frank Uniac, George Chin, Al Plouffe, Monty Reynolds, Bill Booth, Al O’Hearn 

Absent: Tommy Jaques (player), Frank Schram (back-up goalie), Butch MacMaster (stick boy)

In 1949 the new Chatham Memorial Arena was opened. In that inaugural season, the Chatham St. Clair Maroons of the International Amateur Hockey League represented a return to senior hockey in Chatham after a ten year absence. The team was made up of young players, many in their early 20’s and some still teenagers, from all over Ontario including five players from Timmins. Fred Liddy of St. Clair Radio sponsored the uniforms and under the guidance of team owner/player/coach/ manager Bob “Rosy” Stoddart, the team quickly captured the hearts of the fans and ultimately captured two championships that season.

After finishing 4th in the regular season, the Maroons played Detroit Auto Club, second place finishers, in a best-of-five semi-final. Approximately 2500 Chatham fans journeyed to Detroit to see Chatham win the first game 5-3 at Detroit’s Olympia Stadium and over 2800 fans saw Chatham win game two 5-4 at Memorial Arena. The Maroons went on to win the semi-final 3 games to 1 and earned the right to meet the regular season champion Sarnia Sailors for the I.A.H.L. championship.

The final went the full seven games with Chatham winning the last game 4-3 in Sarnia on Bill Booth’s goal. With this victory the Maroons won the Turner Memorial Cup emblematic of the league championship and they earned the right to compete for the Eastern United States Amateur Championship. Delirious fans in cars met the bus returning to Chatham and an enthusiastic celebration took place on King Street in the early hours of Sunday, April 17.

That same day, the Maroons were off to Toledo, Ohio to begin the best-of-three series against the Buckeyes. After winning the first game 5-4 on Bill Booth’s three goals, they returned to Chatham to play the second game the following night, Monday, April 18. Before 3,329 fans at Memorial Arena, Ed Didone and Vic Niemi scored second period goals and Monty Reynolds was outstanding in goal as the Maroons won 2-1 to become Eastern U. S. Amateur Champions. Unfortunately, because of financial problems Chatham could not meet Spokane, Washington for the U.S. Amateur Championship.

Many members of the team remained in Chatham after their playing days and became valuable members of the community.

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