WHL alumnus Dennis Sobchuk & Guy Lafleur named Honourary Captains
Regina, SK – The Canadian Hockey League is proud to announce the appointment of two esteemed CHL graduates and Memorial Cup champions as Honourary Captains to help celebrate the 100th edition of the Mastercard Memorial Cup.
Dennis Sobchuk represents the Western Hockey League as Honourary Captain returning to Regina where he starred with the Pats and helped lead the club to a Memorial Cup title in 1974. From the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Guy Lafleur is one of the league’s all-time greats and a member of the 1971 Memorial Cup champion Quebec Remparts. Both Honourary Captains will join Honourary Chairman Don Cherry, who won a Memorial Cup in 1953 with the Barrie Flyers, as ambassadors for the league’s centennial celebration.
“It’s with great excitement that the historic 100th edition of the Mastercard Memorial Cup begins this week in Regina,” said CHL President David Branch. “Legendary names have been engraved on the Memorial Cup throughout history and we’re fortunate to have the likes of champions Dennis Sobchuk and Guy Lafleur serve as Honourary Captains alongside our Honourary Chairman and fellow champion Don Cherry as we celebrate the legacy of this prestigious trophy while honouring the brave men and women who served and continue to serve our country.”
Sobchuk’s prolific major junior hockey career included three straight seasons eclipsing the 50-goal and 100-point plateau amounting to an incredible 416 points between 1971-74. He earned Rookie of the Year honours with a 123-point campaign in 1971-72 then claimed the league’s Most Valuable Player honour in 1972-73 scoring 147 points including a 10-point performance which is still tied as a record for most points in a single game. During the championship run in 1973-74, Sobchuk delivered 146 points to finish runner-up in league scoring for a second straight season before tallying a playoff-high 31 points to help the Pats win their first league title. On the national stage, Sobchuk orchestrated a comeback that brought the Pats from a 3-1 deficit to a 7-4 victory over Quebec with a hat-trick and one assist to win the 1974 Memorial Cup. Sobchuk is one of 10 Pats’ all-time greats to have his jersey retired at Brandt Centre and returned to the organization as an assistant coach for two seasons before becoming head coach in 1988-89.
Lafleur is the only player in QMJHL history to succeed the century mark for goals in back-to-back seasons scoring 103 in 1969-70 followed by 130 in 1970-71. His two-year tenure in the league produced an impressive 379 points in just 118 games averaging an astounding 1.98 goals-per-game. During his final season he became the only player in Canadian junior hockey history to score five goals in the same period, setting the record in a span of 14:10 during the first period of a 14-1 victory over the Rosemont National where he totaled seven goals and four assists at the famous Quebec Colisee. A few months later on home ice the Remparts would hoist the Memorial Cup for the first time following a two-game series victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings. Lafleur would proceed to the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens for a Hall of Fame career that included five Stanley Cup titles.
The trio of Cherry, Sobchuk, and Lafleur will attend various events over the course of the 2018 Mastercard Memorial Cup which opens with tonight’s Centennial Salute Opening Ceremonies at Regina’s Mosaic Stadium.
From May 17-27, the historic 100th edition of the Mastercard Memorial Cup will feature the host Regina Pats along with the WHL champion Swift Current Broncos, QMJHL champion Acadie-Bathurst Titan, and OHL champion Hamilton Bulldogs.
The Memorial Cup has a rich tradition that has shaped the way junior hockey is played in North America. The trophy was original known as the OHA Memorial Cup and was donated by the Ontario Hockey Association in March, 1919, in remembrance of the many soldiers who paid the supreme sacrifice for Canada in the First Wold War. In 2010 the Memorial Cup was rededicated to the memory of all fallen Canadian Military Personnel.
The 2018 Mastercard Memorial Cup is supported by Mastercard and associate sponsors which include CIBC, Cooper Tires, and Real Canadian Superstore.
For more information please visit mastercardmemorialcup.ca or join the conversation on social media using #MMC100.