Special to the Record
1967 was the inaugural year for the Cyclone Taylor Cup, named after Fred ‘Cyclone’ Taylor, a key player in the Vancouver Millionaires’ Stanley Cup win in 1915.
The ‘C.T. Cup’ is a trophy contested by the best Junior B hockey teams in British Columbia.
In 1967, the best team was the Comox Valley Totems.
The Totems were banded together for the 1966-67 hockey season by Ron Darnborough, a Warrant Officer with the Canadian Air Force.
Darnborough had a view of advancing hockey in the Comox Valley and providing a stepping stone for players who had graduated from Comox Valley minor hockey.
The Totems were mainly comprised of young men, of junior hockey age, that were serving at 19 Wing Comox. They were captained by Bob Nancekevill. “It was a new team that had just been formed. We had no expectations of doing anything, other than having fun. It was a good group of guys, we all really got along together and had fun outside of hockey,” said Nancekevill, adding, “Not to brag, but we were pretty good hockey players.”
The Totems’ home ice was Glacier Gardens. Nancekevill remembers the rush of playing in front of a hometown crowd. “We played in the arena on the base, which didn’t hold that many people and they were jammed in the rafter watching us play. That in itself was quite exciting.”
When asked about his coach, Nancekevill’s voice carried a smile. “We were very lucky, Darnborough was a Boston Bruins’ scout. He knew a few tricks of the trade.”
In the Totems’ playoff run, this became very helpful. “In the first round, when we played Victoria, our goalie got a fractured cheekbone and couldn’t play anymore. Our sub goalie wasn’t very good, so what Darnborough did was arrange to get a doctor’s certificate somehow saying that he was unfit to play as well.”
Through scouting, Darnborough had witnessed a phenomenal goaltender playing Midget hockey in Nanaimo. “He was probably one of the best goalies I’d ever seen as a kid,” remembers Nancekevill. “This kid pretty much won us the series against Richmond, that’s how good he was.”
Paul Trustham, an alternate captain for the Totems, spoke about the thrill of hoisting the cup in the air with his teammates. “It’s like we were on a roll, we just thought we had a good bunch of guys, and there is nothing really stopping us from taking it, if we wanted it bad enough.
“We had chemistry,” said Trustham. That’s the one thing that has stuck with him 47 years later. “The great thing was, we had some great players on our team, but the funny thing was, the players who weren’t as talented rose up to meet the challenge and I can’t even recall who scored goals. It wasn’t important at the time, the fact was the team pulled together so well. We all did our part and did it well. We all believed in each other.”
The 1967 Totems battled Victoria, Richmond, and Dawson Creek to eventually win the Cyclone Taylor Cup. This year, from April 11-14 at the Comox Valley Sports Centre, the host Glacier Kings will follow a similar path in their pursuit of the cup that has eluded the Comox Valley for 47 years.
The Richmond Sockeyes will represent the Pacific International Junior Hockey League, the Castlegar Rebels are representing the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League and, representing the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League are the Victoria Cougars and the Glacier Kings.
As the top junior teams in the province descend on the Comox Valley this week, look forward to the Glacier Kings playing for hometown pride and a chance to scratch the 47-year itch.
For a full schedule and tickets for the 2013 Cyclone Taylor Cup, visit www.glacierkings.ca.
Robyn Nicholson is the public relations director for the Comox Valley Glacier Kings