New Westminster Adanacs were on a mission to defend their national championship by becoming the first Western Canadian team to capture the Mann Cup on Eastern soil.

The Royal City boys whipped Mimico 3-0 in 1947 and were now bound and determined to inflict similar punishment on Hamilton Tigers for the 1948 title.

But the best of intentions doesn’t always produce hoped-for results. Such is life!

Adanacs kicked off the series in Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens on October 11 with flashing feet, slipping two quick markers past Tiger netminder Doug Flavell= however, when John Douglas took a two-minute penalty, Hamilton jumped to a 4-2 lead.

Then, in the second half, the Adanacs took the bite out of the Tigers’ attack, eventually taming the pussycat 11-6.

Two days later, the combatants again faced each other but, to eliminate a colourful confusion caused by similar yellow and black uniforms, Hamilton donned Brampton’s maroon and white sweaters.

The colours may have been different, but the results remained the same.

Hamilton took an early 3-0 lead but soon wilted under the relentless persistence of the Westerners’ attack.. Led by three-goal outbursts by Archie Browning and Daryl Popham, New Westminster overwhlmed the Easterners 13-11.

The Hamilton Spectator moaned the second victory “practically assured the Westerners. of retaining the Mann Cup for another year.” The respected newspaper proved to be a better recorder of old news than a prophet of future happenings.

The Ontario team, which had allowed the Adanacs to run wild in the first two contests, switched tactics and returned to its familiar rugged style.

Despite 11 penalties, the aggressive Tigers slowed the Adanacs to a walk and, led by playing-coach Joe Cheevers’ four-goal outburst, overpowered the visitors 12-7. The series now stood two games to one for the B.C. side.

The close checking continued in the fourth game, again putting a damper on the Adanacs’ running attack. Whenever New Westminster managed to get off a shot, Doug Favell was there to outguess them, blocking 33 of 40 shots for a 9-7 victory.

Well, now, everything came down to the fifth and final match. The Royal City boys ran up a 4-0 lead after one period but, again, began to wither under the heavy checking.

The game remained close halfway through the final period when Hamilton’s Elmer Lee crashed into the end boards, fracturing his left leg. Although unfortunate, the injury proved to bean inspiration to his teammates as they proceeded to blast four goals past Gordie Pogue in just two minutes on the way to a 12-8 victory, and the 1948 Mann Cup.

New Westminster coach Ken McDonald was understandably downhearted.

“It’s the same old story,” he said following the final game. “We had a fast team … and the only way they stopped us was by rough checking. The officials weren’t calling them close enough.”

However, he then added that Flavell “deserved the Mike Kelly (MVP) award for his outstanding performance.”

Related Images: