Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Three Teammates tie for League Scoring Title

The Okanagan Senior Hockey League of 1951/52 consisted of four teams; Penticton Vees, Vernon Canadians, Kelowna Packers and Kamloops Elks. The circuit was one of the top senior leagues in Canada and would eventally produce Allan Cup champions Penticton in 1954 and Vernon in 1956. The league was peppered with players who had played or would soon play in the NHL including Kelowna's Phil Hergesheimer who'd played five seasons mainly with Chicago, 1942 Calder Trophy winner Grant Warwick with Penticton, Kelowna's Val Fonteyne and Penticton's Connie Madigan.

The 51/52 regular season belonged to the Kamloops Elks who had 36 wins against 14 losses and finished 18 points up on second place Vernon. The most amazing feat of the season however was the fact that the Elks top line finished in a three-way tie for the OSHL scoring title. Pictured above (left to right) Left Wing John Miliard, Centre Bernie Bathgate and Right Wing Andy Clovechok all finished the 50 game season with 79 points. Clovechok scored 45 goals, Miliard 32 and Bathgate 27.

Andy Clovechok and Bernie Bathgate had played together since the mid-1940s with the PCHL Vancouver Canucks and the WCSHL Edmonton Flyers. 1952 was the third occaison that Clovechok had led a league in goals and points having scored 56 goals with Vancouver in '46 and 41 goals with Edmonton in '49. According to the Society for International Hockey Research all three of them are alive to this day. John Miliard is 84, Bernie Bathgate is 88 and Andy Clovechok is 87.

Indeed, this may very well have been the one and only time in hockey history that three teammates sharing a league scoring lead. If anyone knows of another occaison, please share.


1 comment:

John Dunbar said...

Unfortunately Bernie Bathgate passed away from cancer in the late 1980s

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