1977-78 OMJHL Season
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1977%E2%80%9378 OMJHL Season

The 1977-78 OMJHL season was the fourth season of the Ontario Major Junior Hockey League (OMJHL). The Fincups franchise moved back from St. Catharines to Hamilton after a temporary year away from the city due to lack of a suitable arena. The league featured a wealth of scoring talent during the season, with two players recording the league's highest single season point totals. Third season veteran Bobby Smith, edged 17-year-old rookie Wayne Gretzky for the Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy, scoring 192 points. Twelve teams each played 68 games. The Peterborough Petes won the J. Ross Robertson Cup, defeating the Hamilton Fincups.

League business

Iona Campagnolo
Iona Campagnolo

Hosting duties for the Memorial Cup rotated among the three constituent leagues of the Canadian Major Junior Hockey League CMJHL), since its founding in 1975. OMJHL commissioner Tubby Schmalz announced that two Northern Ontario cities were chosen by the OMJHL to co-host the 1978 Memorial Cup in Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie.[1]

In February 1978, Iona Campagnolo, the Minister of State of Fitness and Amateur Sport released a report which claimed that junior hockey functioned in the best interests of professional hockey instead of the players. Schmalz said that the CMJHL would welcome a study into its player development programs, if given a say on selecting the inquiry members. He stated an inquiry would reveal that the CMJHL was doing its best for the welfare of the players. He highlighted its academic standards, and stated that the OMJHL fined players who missed classes, suspended players who did not keep up with the workload.[2]

The CMJHL expressed frustration with the 1978 WHA Amateur Draft being held during the junior season and four months earlier than the 1978 NHL Amateur Draft. The league was concerned that its players would be pursued for professional contracts while playing junior hockey, despite the names of drafted players not being released. The league considered having the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association use its International Ice Hockey Federation membership as leverage to block World Hockey Association (WHA) exhibition games against international teams and force the WHA to negotiate.[3] In May 1978, Schmalz stated that the continued signing of junior-aged players by the WHA would mean forfeiture of a $150,000 bond paid as a promise not to sign players before November.[4]

Regular season

Standings

Leyden Division GP W L T Pts GF GA
y-Ottawa 67's 68 43 18 7 93 405 308
x-Peterborough Petes 68 37 18 13 87 327 273
x-Oshawa Generals 68 30 26 12 72 320 289
x-Kingston Canadians 68 27 32 9 63 288 323
x-Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 68 26 32 10 62 330 346
Sudbury Wolves 68 16 42 10 42 255 377
Emms Division GP W L T Pts GF GA
y-London Knights 68 35 22 11 81 333 251
x-Windsor Spitfires 68 36 24 6 78 338 289
x-Hamilton Fincups 68 31 23 14 76 273 223
x-Kitchener Rangers 68 26 34 8 60 270 303
x-Toronto Marlboros 68 24 36 8 56 263 341
Niagara Falls Flyers 68 17 41 10 44 261 340

Scoring leaders

Player Team GP G A Pts PIM
Bobby Smith Ottawa 67's 61 69 123 192 44
Wayne Gretzky Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 64 70 112 182 14
Dino Ciccarelli London Knights 68 72 70 142 49
Keith Acton Peterborough Petes 68 42 86 128 52
Jim Fox Ottawa 67's 59 44 83 127 12
Gerry Leroux Windsor Spitfires 68 57 66 123 85
Steve Marengere Ottawa 67's 65 25 93 118 73
Dan Lucas Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 61 50 67 117 90
Jim MacRae London Knights 68 50 62 112 58
Don Maloney Kitchener Rangers 62 30 74 104 143

Playoffs

First round

Kitchener Rangers defeat Toronto Marlboros 3-2

Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds defeat Kingston Canadians 3-2

Hamilton Fincups defeat Windsor Spitfires 4-1, 1 tie

Peterborough Petes defeat Oshawa Generals 4-1, 1 tie

Quarterfinals

Ottawa 67's defeat Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 4-3, 1 tie

London Knights defeat Kitchener Rangers 4-0

Semifinals

Hamilton Fincups defeat London Knights 4-2, 1 tie

Peterborough Petes defeat Ottawa 67's 4-3, 1 tie

J. Ross Robertson Cup

Peterborough Petes defeat Hamilton Fincups 4-3, 1 tie

Awards

See also

References

  1. ^ "Cup shifts back east". Medicine Hat News. Medicine Hat, Alberta. June 4, 1977. p. 17.Free to read
  2. ^ "Juniors welcome study". Medicine Hat News. Medicine Hat, Alberta. February 28, 1978. p. 17.Free to read
  3. ^ "WHA-junior hassle revived". Winnipeg Free Press. Winnipeg, Manitoba. February 2, 1978. p. 140.Free to read
  4. ^ "Junior leaders are concerned". Winnipeg Free Press. Winnipeg, Manitoba. May 9, 1978. p. 71.Free to read

External links


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