Announcement stirs memories of 1980

ADAM WAZNY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:52 AM ET

Word of the 2010 Memorial Cup heading to Brandon brought back memories for Scott Arniel yesterday.

The Manitoba Moose coach played in the 1980 event, as a fresh-faced Cornwall Royals rookie. The city of Brandon shared the hosting duties with Regina, with the first half of the tournament schedule in the Wheat City and the second half in the Saskatchewan capital.

Back then, the Memorial Cup was a three-team tournament, featuring Cornwall (who represented the Quebec league), the defending champion Peterborough Petes (Ontario) and Regina, the Western Hockey League champ.

"The host wasn't the host team that automatically got in," Arniel recalled after he put his Moose team through their paces at the Gateway Rec Centre. "Regina actually won in the (WHL), with (Doug) Wickenheiser. Bryan Murray was the head coach. Peterborough had won the cup the year before, we came in as the underdogs and ended up winning the thing (3-2 over the Petes in overtime). It was a good experience."

Joining Arniel on that Royals club was fellow former Winnipeg Jet Dale Hawerchuk and former NHL coach Marc Crawford. The Moose coach said it was pretty over-whelming for a bunch of kids from the East to roll into Western Canada and claim the national junior hockey title.

"Walking into the Keystone Centre and smelling the cattle ... knew what the west was about, right there," Arniel laughed. "That was my first plane ride west -- my first plane ride ever, actually. Flew to Winnipeg and took the bus to Brandon. I remember that bus ride, from Winnipeg to Brandon. I couldn't believe how flat it was but then Brandon to Regina ... it even got flatter. It was a real eye-opener."

MORE MOOSE: Jason Jaffray, Alexandre Bolduc and Oren Eizenman did not skate with the club yesterday...Manitoba (0-2-0-0) will host Rochester tomorrow and Saturday at MTS Centre. The Americans are also winless on the year (0-3-0-0)...The Moose will host a community pancake breakfast at Southdale Community Centre on Sunday (9-11 a.m.).


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