1960/61, 1961/62 & 1962/63 Prince Albert Anavets Senior Hockey – Team
The Prince Albert Anavets senior hockey team was formed in 1960-61 season and quickly became a dominate force in Saskatchewan.
The Anavets were a team put together for provincial playoffs. It was comprised of mostly homegrown talent including ex-Mintos Ray Ethier, Garnet Schai, Ken Hagen, Paul Dansereau, Herman Kraus, Bordie Adams and Emile St. Amand. Humboldt Indians graduates Ray Ethier, Dave Beskal and Paul Strasser also played with the Humboldt Indians before joining the Anavets for a run at the provincial title. Fred Cluff played with the Estevan Bruins while Jack Harasyn honed his skills in Ontario and John Leibrecht in Drumheller, Alberta. Len Campbell played in Holland. Several players joined the Anavets with professional experience namely Garnet Schai who played in the International Hockey League, Paul Strasser with the Vancouver Canucks in the old Western Hockey League, Gene Kimbley with the Calgary Stampeders of the WHL and Fred Sasakamoose with the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks.
The Anavets captured three consecutive Henderson trophies, emblematic of the Saskatchewan Intermediate A championships. During their rein, the Anavets also won the 1962 Saskatchewan-Manitoba Intermediate “A” title and were semifinalists for the Western Canadian championship.
The first championship drive started in Blaine Lake with a loss to the Saskatoon Royals. The Anavets would not let that stop them. Two victories gave the Prince Albert squad the best-of-three quarter-final Northern series. In the semifinal, the Carrot River Loggers fell 18-5 in the two-game, total-goal series.
The North Battleford Maroons put up a fight in the Northern Saskatchewan Intermediate “A” final, but the Anavets edged them 12-10 in the two-game, total-goal series to earn a trip to the provincial championship.
The Anavets easily glided past the Swift Current Indians to lay claim to their first Saskatchewan title. The Prince Albert team won the two-game, total-goal series 17-3. In the Western Canada intermediate “A” quarter-finals, the Dauphin Kings defeated the Anavets three games to two in Brandon.
In 1962, the Anavets started defence of their provincial title by ousting the Saskatoon Royals and Battleford Millers to win the Northern Saskatchewan Intermediate “A” banner.
In the provincial final, Swift Current tied Game 1 of the two-game, total-goal series 3-3 in Swift Current. In front of 2,000 fans at the Minto Arena, the Anavets easily glided to their second Saskatchewan championship beating the Indians 8-2.
The Anavets then hosted the Brandon Cloverleafs in the best-of-five Manitoba-Saskatchewan championship and swept the series to earn a trip to the Western Canadian semifinals.
Ontario’s Marathon Mercuries were next up for the Anavets. More than 1,800 at the Minto Arena watched the Anavets win Game 1 of the best-of-five Western Canadian semifinal 3-2. The Anavets victory extended the team’s playoff unbeaten streak to 10 games with nine wins and one tie.
The Mercuries snapped the Anavets winning streak in Game 2 with a 6-3 win. The Mercuries won Game 3 6-4 in a 10-minute overtime. The Anavets persevered in Game 4 to win 3-2. In the winner-take-all Game 5, the Mercuries scored three goals in the third period to defeat the Anavets 4-2 and win the series.
The Anavets reunited to defend their Saskatchewan Intermediate “A” championship in 1963. In Game 1 the Anavets won 7-5 win over the North Battleford Miller-Maroons in the Northern final. The Anavets clinched the northern title in Game 2 of the two-game, total-goal series with a 9-3 win.
The Regina Red Wings provided the competition in the Saskatchewan final. The Anavets scored five times in the third period of Game 1 en route to a 6-1 win in the two-game, total-goal series. Game 2 was a 7-4 win for the Anavets. The Anavets advanced to the Western Canada intermediate quarter-final against the Selkirk Fishermen in Winnipeg. Selkirk won three games to one in the best-of-five series.
Members of the 1961 Anavet team were Ray Ethier (manager), Ken Hagen, Paul Strasser, captain Garnet Schai, Herman Kraus, Bordie Adams, Rowe Casey (coach), Dave Beskal, Jerry McLennan, Jack Harasyn, John Lehner, Wayne Fernie, Ron Longworth, Ralph Stevens, Dale Shore, Ron Currie and Gene Kimbley. An inter-provincial recruit was Jack Giles.
The 1962 Anavets were Ray Ethier (manager), Marv Kolke, Fred Sasakamoose, Dave Beskal, Garnet Schai, Gene Kimbley, Paul Strasser, captain Bordie Adams, Jerry McLennan, Ken Hagen, Herman Kraus, Len Campbell, Jack Harasyn, Emile St. Amand, Al Hunter, Wayne Fernie, Ron Currie, and Rowe Casey (coach). Inter-provincial recruits included Beryl Fisher, Ken Grabeldinger, George Lamb and Jim Reisbeck.
The Anavets in 1963 were Ray Ethier, Fred Cluff, Garnet Schai, Wayne Fernie, Ron Currie, Herman Kraus, John Leibrecht (coach), Bordie Adams (captain), Paul Strasser, Jerry McLennan, Len Campbell, Ray Baker, Jack Harasyn, Emile St. Amand, Ken Hagen, Vic Boback, Paul Dansereau, Marv Kolke, Harvey Aadland, and Fred Switzer (manager). Inter-provincial recruits included Ed Jerome, Bob Jerome and Dennis Curtis.
The Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame proudly welcomes the 1961, 1962 and 1963 Anavets to the Team category.
Inducted into the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame in 2005.