Grant Morin, Gary Rissling and Doug Lecuyer were part of the 1976-77 Calgary Centennials, a team who were bitter rivals with the Broncos during that season. Each were listed at 5”9” and they all played with an edge and loved to fight. They became a force in the league with their offense and their fighting prowess. Morin led the WCHL in penalty minutes with 394 minutes. Rissling was sixth in the league with 317 minutes while scoring 40 goals while Lecuyer scored 40 goals in 50 games and added 216 minutes in penalties.
In late February, Mike Sauter was suspended for 12 games after engaging in a physical altercation with Morin while Lecuyer and Rocky Saganiuk fought under the stands. The benches cleared and police were called to stop the brawl. Perhaps the worst one in Bronco history.
The story below was taken from the website Slapshot Diaries. http://slapshotdiaries.com/
Terry Houlder scores five goals against the Calgary Wranglers on Feb. 19, 1986
Seven Lethbridge Broncos selected in the 1982 NHL draft
Riley Sutter is part of the 2022-23 AHL Calder Cup winning Hershey Bears
Riley Sutter, a third round draft pick of the Washington Capitals in 2018, and a four year veteran of the Hershey Bears was part of the AHL Calder Cup champions. Hershey defeated the Coachella Valley Firebirds in overtime in Game 7, 3-2. Riley has been a member of the Bears since graduating from the Everett Silvertips in 2019.
Riley is the son of former Bronco captain, Ron Sutter.
Chapman retires from the Philadelphia Flyers
Written by Gregg Drinnan
June 8, 2023
Best wishes in retirement to John Chapman, one of the colourful characters who used to inhabit the WHL. Chapman spent six seasons (1980-86) as the head coach of the Lethbridge Broncos and one (1986-87) as general manager of the Calgary Wranglers. He spent one season as director of scouting with the NHL’s Florida Panthers and two with the Florida Panthers as director of player personnel. He has been with the Philadelphia Flyers since 1995-96, 14 seasons as an amateur scout and past 14 as a pro scout. . . . Before joining the Broncos, he was the head coach of the AJHL’s Red Deer Rustlers. Through those organizations, he had a long history with the Sutter family.
Randy Ruff, Duane Sutter and Doug Morrison establish a WHL record for fastest four goals in a WHL game - 4 goals in 52 seconds against the Saskatoon Blades on March 23, 1979. The record remains.
Gord Williams establishes a Lethbridge Bronco record with six goals and two assists on opening night, September 28, 1979
May 7, 2023
Written by Gregg Drinnan
As Riley Ginnell took what would be the final shift of his WHL career on April 10, I wondered it if was the end of a long-running chapter.
After all, it would appear that there won’t be a member of hockey’s Ginnell family involved with the WHL next season; in fact, there apparently isn’t even one in the pipeline.
To date, the WHL has been home to Riley, Brad, Erin, Kevin and Pat (Paddy) — the first four players, the latter a legendary owner, general manager and coach from back in the day.
Riley, 20, played out his junior eligibility with the Regina Pats this season, bringing an end to a four-season stint that also included stops with the Brandon Wheat Kings and Moose Jaw Warriors. He has hopes of continuing his career in the professional ranks.
“I enjoyed every single moment of my time in the Western League,” Ginnell told Dante De Caria of the Pats for a story that you will find right here. “It’s pretty difficult to walk away from it, but you gotta be happy that it happened, not sad that it’s over.”
Riley’s brother, Brad, concluded a five-season career in the spring of 2021, having played for the Portland Winterhawks, Kootenay/Winnipeg Ice, Spokane Chiefs and Moose Jaw. Brad, 22, played for the senior Eston, Sask., Ramblers this season.
By playing in the WHL, they were following in the footsteps of their father, Erin, who spent four seasons in WHL arenas. He spent time with the New Westminster Bruins, Calgary Wranglers, Seattle Thunderbirds, Regina and the Swift Current Broncos. Early in 1987, following the bus crash that resulted in the deaths four Swift Current players, Erin was moved from the Pats to the Broncos as teams helped to fill holes in the Swift Current roster.
Erin, 54, has been an NHL scout since 2000, working with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Colorado Avalanche, Florida Panthers and Vegas Golden Knights. He is in his seventh season with Vegas.
The first Ginnell to play in the WHL was Erin and Brad’s older brother, Kevin. He spent four seasons (1978-82) in the league, playing with the Lethbridge Broncos, Medicine Hat Tigers and Calgary Wranglers. After battling health issues for a year, Kevin died in Vancouver on May 2, 2020, at the age of 58.
As I wrote at the time of his death:
“When his mother, Wanda, was battling cancer, he promised that if she beat it he would leave the ice and go back to school.
“Wanda recovered and Kevin . . . resumed his education. Dr. Ginnell went on to leave an indelible impression in the world of academia as a professor at Simon Fraser University and Douglas College.”
The Ginnells are more than a WHL family, though; this is a hockey family.
A third Ginnell brother, Dan didn’t play in the WHL, but has been in the NHL since 2005. Dan, 56, is in his 18th season as an amateur scout with the St. Louis Blues.
Derek, Dan’s son, also didn’t play in the WHL, but he spent time in the Alberta and Saskatchewan junior A and junior B ranks before moving into the scouting game. Derek, 32, has been in the NHL for nine seasons — five seasons with Columbus and the past four with the New York Rangers.
Interestingly, Brad and Derek both got a taste of Flin Flon hockey. Derek played four games with the Bombers in 2009-10; Brad played two games with them in 2020-21.
Of course, it was in Flin Flon where the patriarch of the Ginnell family first made his mark in hockey.
Paddy was a key contributor with the Bombers when they won the 1957 Memorial Cup. And if the Flin Flon Bombers winning the Memorial Cup isn’t one of hockey’s best stories, I don’t know what is!
A true character when the WHL was populated with more than a few of them, Paddy would go on to coach the Bombers, stepping into that role prior to the 1968-69 season and staying there until purchasing the Victoria Cougars during the 1973-74 season. He was in Victoria through 1977 before moving on to spend time with the Lethbridge Broncos, Medicine Hat, Swift Current and New Westminster.
He later moved into the NHL as a scout with St. Louis. He was with the Blues for 14 seasons, until he died of cancer on Nov. 17, 2003, in Vernon, B.C. He was 66.
So . . . what about it? Was Riley’s final game the end of the line for the Ginnell family in the WHL?
When I asked Erin via email, he responded with:
“I guess the next batch will be our grandkids. LOL.”
Time will tell.
The Lethbridge Broncos win the 1983 WHL Championship
The Lethbridge Broncos last game in Lethbridge, April 8, 1986
The Medicine Hat Tigers first appearance at the Sportsplex before the largest crowd to ever witness a game in Lethbridge.
Randy Moller's five goal game on March 7, 1982. Randy was only credited this year in the WHL record book for his record breaking game.
March 2, 2023
The death of former Bronco Steve Lee's son Casey.
Casey played five seasons in the WHL with the Kamloops Blazers and Kootenay Ice before playing one season for Texas in the ECHL. As a 18 year old in 2004, Cody played the end of the season with the Kindersley Klippers in the RBC Cup. Following his junior days he played two seasons with the University of Saskatchewan and then spent the next decade playing senior hockey for Rosetown and the Kindersley Sr. Klippers.
March 2, 2023 HEROS ANNUAL REPORT
Lethbridge’s Earl Ingarfield Sr. to be inducted into Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame
Mar 1, 2023 | 6:51 AM
by Justin Goulet
LETHBRIDGE, AB – A Lethbridge-born athlete is being inducted into the Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame.
Earl Ingarfield Sr. was born in Lethbridge on October 25, 1934. He played for the Lethbridge Native Sons in the Western Canada Junior Hockey League from 1952 to 1955. Ingarfield played four years of junior hockey, with his first year being in Medicine Hat, and led the league in goals the last of his two seasons. In his final season of junior play, Ingarfield led the league in scoring.
His professional career began with three seasons with the Saskatoon Quakers and Winnipeg Warriors. Ingarfield then played for the New York Rangers for nine seasons from 1958 to 1967.
In 1967, Ingarfield became the first player selected in the Pittsburgh Penguins’ expansion draft, when the team joined the National Hockey League (NHL). He was named captain of the Penguins for the 1968-1969 season, but was traded to the Oakland Seals late in the 1968-1969 season. Ingarfield retired with the California Golden Seals in 1971.
Following his retirement, he coached the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League (WHL) for one year. Ingarfield served as a scout for the New York Islanders in 1972 and halfway through the 1972-1973 season, he took over the role of coach for the last 30 games of the team’s inaugural season. After this, he scouted for two more years before concluding his career as a coach for the Lethbridge Broncos in the WHL. With the Broncos, Ingarfield also served as assistant general manager, and was a part owner of the team when they moved to Lethbridge.
Ingarfield was inducted into the Lethbridge and Southern Alberta Sports Hall of Fame in 1985. In 2002, he was inducted into the New York Rangers Alumni Hall of Fame and was enshrined in the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame in 2007.
Ingarfield will be inducted into the Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame on Sunday, July 16, 2023 at a ceremony in Canmore. The other members of the 2023 Hall of Fame include:
- Charlie Huddy
- Tim Hunter
- Karen Kost
- Bobby Olynyk
- John Utendale
- The Edmonton Chimos Hockey Club
By Derek Craddock
TOP PROSPECTS COACH
Saskatchewan’s Ron Delorme named to coaching staff for CHL Top Prospects Game
Nov 3, 2022 | 1:26 PM
A former Saskatchewan Indigenous hockey player has been given another special honour in his illustrious hockey career.
Former WCHL and NHL player Ron Delorme has been named an assistant coach for the 2023 CHL Top Prospects Game.
Delorme spent three seasons in the WCHL in the 1970s with the Swift Current/Lethbridge Broncos where he logged 57 goals and 84 assists. He began his junior career with the Prince Albert Raiders of the SJHL.
In 1975, he was drafted 56th overall by the Kansas City Scouts, who would eventually relocate to become the Colorado Rockies.
He spent nine years in the NHL playing over 500 games with the Rockies and Vancouver Canucks. In 1986, he started a career as an amateur scout, a journey that would span more than 35 seasons.
Delorme was born in North Battleford but grew up in nearby Cochin, and is also a band member with Beardy’s & Okemasis Cree Nation.
He was inducted into the Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame as a player in 2018.
Other coaches named to the Top Prospects Game include Vancouver Canucks legends Henrik and Daniel Sedin, Stan Smyl, Vancouver Giants head coach Michael Dyck, and former Chicago Blackhawk Brent Seabrook.
February 26, 2023
Written by Gregg Drinnan - "Taking Note" July 13, 2022
Does Randy Moller hold the WHL record for most goals in one game by a defenceman? If so, why hasn’t the record portion of the WHL Guide credited Moller with a five-goal game?
According to the WHL Guide, the record for most goals in one game by a defenceman is four, and is shared by seven players:
Ron Greschner of the New Westminster Bruins (Dec. 10, 1972, in a 9-4 victory over the host Edmonton Oil Kings);
Deron Quint of the Seattle Thunderbirds (March 2, 1995, in a 6-3 victory over the host Tri-City Americans);
Sergei Klimentiev of the Medicine Hat Tigers (March 12, 1995, in a 4-3 victory over the host Lethbridge Hurricanes);
Justin Kurtz of the Brandon Wheat Kings (Feb. 28, 1997, in a 6-5 loss to the visiting Moose Jaw Warriors);
Nathan Paetsch of Moose Jaw (Jan. 26, 2002, in a 7-1 victory over the visiting Swift Current Broncos);
Richie Regehr of the Portland Winter Hawks (Nov. 27, 2002, in a 10-2 victory over the visiting Prince George Cougars); and,
Braydon Coburn of Portland (Feb. 4, 2005, in a 7-4 victory over the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds).
However, Mark Weninger, a longtime Lethbridge hockey fan, has discovered that Moller, a defenceman who played two seasons (1980-82) with the Lethbridge Broncos, has a five-goal game to his credit.
Weninger is writing a book on the Broncos, who spent 12 seasons (1974-86) in Lethbridge before being sold and moving to Swift Current.
During his research, Weninger spent a lot of time poring over back issues of the Lethbridge Herald, and he happened upon a story in which writer Randy Jensen detailed a March 7, 1982, game in which the Broncos edged visiting Moose Jaw, 7-6. Moller struck for five of the seven Lethbridge goals.
“Moller scored five times, including the winner,” Jensen wrote, adding that Moller’s brother, Mike, “set him up on four of his goals.”
“I haven’t scored that many goals since peewee,” Randy told Jensen. “From bantam on, I never had more than three goals. I just got the breaks tonight.”
Moller, who had scored four goals in 46 games in 1980-81, finished 1981-82 with 20 goals.
The Quebec Nordiques selected Moller in the first round, 11th overall, of the NHL’s 1981 draft. He went on to play 815 regular-season NHL games, the first seven with Quebec. He also played with the New York Rangers, Buffalo Sabres and Florida Panthers before retiring after the 1994-95 season. Now 58, Moller is on the Panthers’ broadcast crew.
But despite scoring five goals in one game, he isn’t in the WHL Guide as having scored more goals in one game than any defenceman in league history.
Hmmm . . . over to you, WHL.
The WHL did address it!
The WHL has officially recognized Randy Moller as the record holder for most goals scored by a defencemen in the new WHL Record Book 2022-2023.
February 26, 2023 - An interesting Bronco story - Written by Gregg Drinnan - "Taking Note"
It was early in the 1978-79 WHL season.
Pat Ginnell was the general manager and head coach of the Lethbridge Broncos and was preparing to take his guys on a West Division tour. However, he had a problem — he needed a goaltender.
So . . . Jack McLeod, the GM/head coach of the Saskatoon Blades, said he would help out his old friend and loan him a goalie, which is how Ken McNabb landed on the Broncos’ roster.
McNabb had played in 29 games for the Blades in 1977-78 after they acquired him from the Flin Flon Bombers, for whom he had played 11 games.
The Blades were carrying three goaltenders — Tom Muc, Murray Stephens and McNabb.
On Oct. 10, the Star-Phoenix reported that McNabb had been “sent” to Lethbridge “on a three-game tryout.”
His stint in Lethbridge lasted six games.
We can only imagine how shocked McLeod was to discover that Ginnell cut a deal on Oct. 30 that had McNabb moving on to the Regina Pats. Yes, indeed! Ginnell dealt McNabb and F Larry Jones for G Gregg Dumba and D Alan May.
“He is our property so I don’t know how they could trade him,” McLeod said.
But trade him they did. Back in those days it seems that possession was more than nine-tenths of the law, at least in the WHL.