The Prince Rupert Kings gathered together on the ice once again last Saturday night before the Rampage game.

The Prince Rupert Kings gathered together on the ice once again last Saturday night before the Rampage game.

Kings of old honoured

With a collection of over 30 alumni from 1974-1982, it was an impressive reminder of how deep hockey roots run in Prince Rupert

The Prince Rupert Kings, a senior men’s hockey club active in the 1970s-80s, were honoured by current hockey royalty, the Prince Rupert Rampage on Saturday night at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre prior to the Prince Rupert Rampage’s game against Terrace.

With a collection of over 30 alumni from 1974-1982, it was an impressive reminder of how deep hockey roots run in Prince Rupert.

“It’s awesome to see the guys again. The people’s support – when we had practices, we would fill the place. I arrived here in 1971, the arena officially opened in October,” recalled George Kuntz, Kings’ player and coach.

“There was commercial league hockey at that time, so I went and talked to Gordy Gillam, he was coaching. He told me Gordon Anderson needed some help. That’s how we got started on this thing.”

Approximately 1,000 fans showed up to root on both the Rampage and the Kings Saturday night – by far a season-high crowd for the senior men’s Rampage game.

Trainer Jules Robinson, a co-organizer of the night, was also honoured, and given a plaque for his tireless and dedicated service to hockey in Prince Rupert.

Robinson was the team trainer for the Kings and is the current trainer for the Rampage decades after the Kings played their last game in the now-defunct Pacific Northwest Hockey League (PNWHL).

“The following year [after 1971] we played Smithers Totem. We would play two games in one night in the commercial league [with] people paying to watch,” Kuntz said.

“The next year we played the PNWHL. We played in a league with junior teams, [which] included the Portland Winterhawks Jr. B team. The league had as many as 12 teams and 40 games in a season.”

The night didn’t end after the Rampage’s thrilling 5-4 shootout win on Saturday.

The Kings and Rampage attended a planned social and the evening continued with stories exchanged from both teams — often with the question of ‘Who would win a match between the Kings in their prime and the Rampage?’ thrown about.

“There were some really good players that came through [the Kings’ program] that came from out of town that are still here. This is how we ended up with Rick Roemer. Ronnie Johnson should have have been playing junior, but nothing between the ears,’ he said, jokingly.

Ex-player Terry Garon’s experience was a little different as he started playing from a younger age.

“I played for two to three years. I was 17, really I was in party mode, but I was in phenomenal shape,” said Garon.

“I would try to put guys into the benches, sidestep, then bam! Then I would get hit twice as hard, get up, smile, and get back at ‘er. It was just a blur, but it was a hoot. I almost quit because it was so physical. Ronnie Johnson was just an animal for us.”


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rose Sawka, a 91-year old Acropolis Manor resident received her COVID-19 vaccination on Jan. 20, one day after an outbreak was declared at the long-term care facility. Her son Terry Sawka visited with her through the window, like she is seen in an Oct. 2020 photo. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Acropolis Manor COVID-19 cases jump to 20 confirmed

Prince Rupert long term care facility received vaccinations

Illicit drug use has spread in the Northern Health region and overdose emergency calls increased in Prince Rupert by 29.5 per cent from 2019 to 2020. (Photo:THE NEWS/files)
Overdose emergency calls in Prince Rupert spikes by 43.6 % in five years

Northern Health issues illicit drug use warnings

Glenn Hall, resident at Yellowhead Pioneer Residence Assisted Living in Barrierem B.C. received their first COVID-19 vaccinations on Jan. 19. (Pam Simpson photo)
Acropolis residents and staff to receive COVID-19 vaccine

Prince Rupert long term care residents will receive the vaccine on Jan. 20

An outbreak of COVID-19 was declared on Jan. 19 at Acropolis Manor. The long-term care home also had an influenza outbreak nearly two years ago.
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Acropolis Manor

Prince Rupert long-term care home has four resident, three staff cases

Lax Kxeen Elementary School has two different active notices for potential COVID-19 exposure after three adult lab-confirmed cases of the virus were identified in Prince Rupert schools, School District 52 released in a statement on Jan. 18. (Photo K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Three adult COVID-19 cases result in four potential exposures in city schools

Prince Rupert School District 52 calls special open meeting

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. Research shows the population’s females are more negatively influenced by vessel traffic than males. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study

Research the southern resident population raises concerns over reproduction capacity

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

The Elk Valley Hospital is adapting to meet the needs of patients in the Elk Valley.
1-in-5 COVID tests coming back positive in and around Fernie, sparking concern

Dr Ron Clark of Elk Valley Hospital said one in five tests was returning positive for COVID-19

Throughout December, RCMP conducted CounterAttack road checks as police worked to keep roads free of impaired drivers. (BLACK PRESS file photo)
‘You can’t make this stuff up’: Stories from the B.C. CounterAttack campaign

Amusing, yes, but a reminder impaired driving affects ability to drive and to make good decisions

Video of man doing backflip off Vancouver bridge draws police condemnation

Group says in Instagram story that they ‘don’t do it for the clout’

Inspection of bridge crossing on a B.C. forest service road. (B.C. Forest Practices Board)
B.C. falling behind in maintenance of forest service roads

Auditor finds nearly half of bridges overdue for repair

Most Read