1977-1978 Guelph Platers

1978 Guelph Platers

FRONT ROW – Brian Hayward, Tony Ferraro (Vice Presdient), Mike Mahoney (Assistant Coach), George McPhee, Ron Smith (Coach), Paul Devorski, Joe Holody (President), Terry Cullen, Alex Campagnaro (General Manager), Henry Ksiadz (2nd Vice President), Rick Clark; MIDDLE ROW – Ted Stremble (Trainer), Doug Dragasevich, Bob Clayton, Mark Aitken, Tim Abbott, Rene Laarman, Jim Wilson, Brian MacLellan, Dan Fascinato, Larry Wilson, Phil McKenzie, Rob Gemmell, Al McSorley, Doug Stahlbaum (Trainer); BACK ROW: Ted Kewley, Grant Martin, Paul Kistner, Tim Sittler, Barclay Haddad, Gerry Nugent, Don McLeod, Dave Brazel; ABSENT – Tom Reick

The 1977-78 Guelph Platers was an interesting mix of hometown boys and future NHL’ers. Coached by Ron Smith, who himself would go onto to coach in the National Hockey League with the Rangers, Canucks, Devils and Sabres, this team gelled from the very first game. In their 50 game regular season schedule they lost only eight times, scoring an amazing 361 goals (or 7.2 per game).

They were led offensively by the deadly line of Terry Cullen, Future Washington Capital General Manager George McPhee and Paul Kistner. Cullen, considered a sure fire NHL star before breaking his neck later in his career, led the team in scoring with 33 goals, 98 assists and 131 points. That is still the 6th best offensive output in Junior A Tier II history. McPhee pumped in 53 goals and added grit with his 150 penalty minutes while Kistner added 42 goals of his own. The team also featured future NHL forwards Brian MacLellan, Grant Martin, goaltender Brian Hayward and defenseman Paul Devorski who eventually went into the family business as an NHL referee. What made this team special was the fact there were nine Guelph boys on the squad.

The team marched through the regular season and won their league before meeting Prince Albert in the final. The Raiders, coached by future NHL bench boss Terry Simpson, were no match for the dynamic Platers, who won the final series in four straight games.

Inducted into the Guelph Sports Hall of Fame – Team category – on May 4, 2005