Historic '68 Salmonbellies heading to Hall of Fame

The B.C. Sports Hall of Fame has added to its honour roll, and the class of 2019 includes a championship team from the Royal City.

The 53rd induction class of 2019 will include the 1968 New Westminster Salmonbellies, a team that achieved a rare feat.

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The ‘68 Salmonbellies didn’t exactly burn a hole through the newly formed National Lacrosse Association (NLA).

Under the new league, which was a semi-pro circuit established by uniting the Western and Eastern Lacrosse Leagues, New West finished third in the Western Division, behind Portland and Vancouver.

But in the playoffs, the ’Bellies found their motivation – and momentum.

They defeated Vancouver in a hard-fought seven game battle, then stopped regular season champion Portland in six games.

That lined them up with Eastern Division champion Detroit Olympics, with the best-of-seven series hosted at Queen’s Park Arena. Facing the likes of future Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Famers like Gaylord Powless, Doug Favell, Elmer Tran and Bruce Wanless, New West had its hands full – but were stocked with a deep core of veterans and a red-hot rookie in Wayne Goss.

The hosts proved to be the ones with the most, emerging victorious for the National Lacrosse Association crown – an honour that would only be handed out one more time before the league disbanded.

Paul Parnell, who led all Western Division scorers with 61 goals and 69 assists over 38 regular season games, added 21 more goals and 44 helpers in the 19 playoff games. Goss, meanwhile, would be named the W.C. Ellison Trophy winner for playoff MVP after tallying 25 goals and setting up 13 others over 19 games.

New West’s inducted roster includes: Bill Armstrong (general manager), Ray Bennie, Barry Bolton, Albert Brown (honorary president), Barrie Brownlie, Ian Bull, Dennis DesLauriers, Steve d’Easum, Ron Flaten, Ed Goss, Wayne Goss, Ken Henry, Larry Henry, Ken Jew, Al Lewthwaite, Mickey Lynch, Gord MacNab (trainer), Dave Matheson, Ian Matheson (secretary-treasurer), Dave McDonald (president), Bill McMurchie, Doug McRory (playing manager), Ken Mikkelsen (trainer), Les Norman, Ken Oddy, Paul Parnell, Dr. Hugh Radford (team doctor), Bill Scriver, Cliff Sepka (playing coach), John Shmyr, Paul Shmyr, Wayne Shuttleworth, Dave Tory, Ken Tory, Mac Tyler, Don Wallis, Bill Wilkes and Ken Winzoski.

Also among the 2019 inductees are athletes Emily Brydon, Roy Gerela, Kelly McCallum, Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, builder-coaches Darlene Currie, Ken Holland, Tony Waiters, pioneer Ralph ‘Hunk’ Henderson and media member Dan Jukich. Vancouver Giants co-owner Ron Toigo will receive the W.A.C. Bennett Award.

The induction ceremony is scheduled for May 23 at the Vancouver Convention Centre. For information on tickets, visit www.bcsportshalloffame.com.

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