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Hardy pursuit nets hall-of-fame honour

Burnaby intermediate hockey team, 1980 national champions, to be inducted into B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame
Lakers hockey
Members of the 1980 Burnaby Lakers intermediate hockey team, Derek Williams, Terry Bingley and Keith Tindle will join with their teammates when the squad is inducted into the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame in July.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said Terry Bingley.

Bingley, who was referring to the induction of his former senior men’s team into the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame, has been trying to get the 1980 Burnaby Lakers enshrined for a while. After applying for three straight years, the club will be inducted on July 20 at the South Okanagan Events Centre in Penticton.

“I guess we just finally got it right this year,” said the one-time Burnaby netminder.

In 1980, the Lakers did the improbable – winning the Canadian intermediate ‘A’ hockey championship against the Fredericton Capitals. The Capitals were coached by former NHL 50-goal man Danny Grant, but that didn’t stop Burnaby from rolling three straight over the Maritimers at Vancouver’s Pacific Coliseum to claim the Hardy Cup.

From 1967 to ’84, the Hardy hardware was the national prize for intermediate A hockey. It was reclassified as the AA senior men’s trophy in 1985 before being retired in 1990. Burnaby was the last team from B.C. to win it.

The Lakers are the only Lower Mainland team to win the Hardy Cup and have been inducted into the Burnaby Sports Hall of Fame. Their win is also noted at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, where all winners of the Hardy Cup are listed.

“It’s great, like I said the frustrating thing was they have a hall of champions in Toronto at the Hockey Hall of Fame, which every Canadian champion is in there. ... We were in there, but we were never in the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame, so it’s nice to get inducted and get recognized,” said Bingley.

Now a retired Burnaby firefighter, Bingley never stopped playing hockey and still plays with former Lakers player and North Vancouver native Keith Tindle.
Bingley says that team had the best chemistry of any he’s ever been on. He described it as a big family with a special bond.

“You always hear about team sports and getting the right mix, well we had the right mix,” he said.

A right winger for the Lakers, Derek Williams said playing for the team was one of the best years of his life.

“I’ve played on a lot of teams and that was the rare team where skill and heart and comradery, you know, all came together,” said Williams, who is now a financial advisor. “Only the real good teams have chemistry, and you know most people never played on a championship team because they never found the chemistry.”

Competing in a North Shore intermediate league, the squad came together after going through some early season challenges. Although it sounds like a flawless route to the national championships, Bingley recalled the team’s first game as a turning point for the Lakers.

“Our first game in Vernon we got blown out 6-0, the other team just thought ‘Oh these guys aren’t so good.’ It really knocked us,” he said.

After that game, the players re-grouped and went on to take it all home. First, they had to clear a couple of tough provincial hurdles. They knocked off Vernon, Prince Rupert and Port Alberni in a string of playoffs series to cart off the Coy Cup, B.C.’s senior AA amateur hockey championship.

Up next were a pair of Alberta rivals whom Burnaby bounced to advance to the Hardy Cup to face.

For Bingley, it’s the team recognition that means the most to him. He looks forward to seeing his former teammates that he hasn’t seen in 35 years.

He said everyone is excited for the induction ceremony, specifically their team coach, Gary Forbes.

“He had the vision I guess, all those years of trying to get the right mix of guys and it all came through right. When he found out (about the Hall of Fame induction) he just felt over the moon,” Bingley said with a laugh.

The team included Wally Allinson, Chuck Alpaugh, Sandy Bain, Terry Bingley, Steve Block, Craig Butler, Morris Davidson, Rob Desveaux, Dave Duck, Gord Gibson, Gord Girard, Rick Kranc, Ron Langham, Jim Pasutti, Pat Thorp, Keith Tindle, Doug Tottenham, Keith Tucker, Derek Williams, Scott Wren and coach/GM Gary Forbes, assistant coach Brian Forbes, director of hockey operations Tod Dean, trainer Ron Clarke, equipment manager Cryl Cave, public relations person Ray Dejulius.