Vees Win the Calder Cup

The road to any championship is never easy. The Nova Scotia Voyageurs, the Montreal Canadiens top minor league team, had to get by strong teams in playoff series against the Springfield Kings and the Boston Braves before playing the Baltimore Clippers for the 1971-72 Calder Cup. Vees defenceman Noel Price remembers having an eight day lay off before the final series started which he knew would be tough on the his team. After losing the first two games in Baltimore, the Vees found their stride and rattled off three straight wins to find themselves one win away from the AHL championship.

On May 15, 1972, the grand old Halifax Forum was jammed to over capacity in what was to be an historic night. The 5,500 seat arena was bursting with close to 7,000 fans as several hundred standing-room tickets were sold on the day of the game. Price recalls the atmosphere as bedlam with the Vees players feeding off the enthusiasm of the crowd as they stepped on to the ice. The result was a dominant 4-1 victory clinching the AHL championship. As the clock counted down the crowd became deafening as the Vees and their hometown fans celebrated the championship in their inaugural season becoming the first Canadian based team to win the Calder Cup. Price recollects a humorous moment watching a tall and lanky Larry Robinson jump up and down at the back of the group of teammates to get a better look at the trophy presentation. Price believes that the younger players on the team learned how to win that year forming the foundation to continue the winning tradition in Montreal.