Sault Legends: Sault Canadians (1968-72)

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The Sault Ste. Marie Canadians were only in the USHL for four seasons but boasted a great line-up of locals and out-of-towners.

Their official record for the four seasons they played in the USHL was 47-85-6.

Although it was not the greatest of records, fans still remember this great senior hockey team and the crowds they brought out to watch them play.

From the Sault the team featured players like Ron Amadio, Jim Booth, Jerry Bumbacco, Wayne Caufield, Alfred Coletti, Bernie Darlow, Dave Evoy, Paul Evoy, Ben Greco, Don Grosso, Carlo Longarini, John Longarini, Jim Milligan, and Matt Thorpe to name a few.

There was Doug McCabe from Kirkland Lake.

There was Jerry Lacasse from Wawa.

Dennis Conlin was from New Liskeard.

And Harold Barton from Richards Landing.

Ron Amadio, playing on defense, was with Michigan Tech before he came to the Canadians. He got 18 points with Michigan in 80 games.

Jerry Bubacco came from Michigan Tech too and played one season with the Canadians in ’68-’69. The season before that he played for the Canadian Soo, which was an independent league.

Wayne Caufield and Jim Booth, need no introductions as they had great successes in the hockey world. Both would have done well in the NHL also.

Alfred Coletti was one of the stars on the team as well. He actually played for the Canadian Soo they year prior but spent all four seasons with the Sault Canadians. In his first season he grabbed 6 goals and 16 assists but was on a streak the next three season with 15 goals and 21 assists, 13 goals and 20 assists and 4 goals and 19 assists, respectively. That was good for a point-per-game each season!

Bernie Darlow, on left wing, came from the Canadian Soo as well the prior season and before that he was with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in 1962-63 and ’63-’64 seasons.

Dave Evoy, from Bar River, nabbed 13 goals and 12 assists in his first of four seasons with the club. He also split his time with the Nashville Dixie Flyers. He scored 16 goals and made 9 assists in his last season with the Canadians.

Paul Evoy came from the Brantford Foresters before playing with the club in the ’71-’72 season.

Benny Greco, who like many of these names, deserves his own column one day, played all over the place, from the EHL to the SJHL, WHL and so on. He had quite a career playing from ’59 to ’71! He started off with the St. Catherine’s Teepees who were the Chicago Black Hawks farm team.

Don Grosso also played with the Teepees as a centreman and played with the Canadians for three seasons, having an incredible third season scoring 20 goals and 23 assists.

Carlo Longarini on defense, also came from the Teepees. He would spend all four season with the Canadians club.

John Longarini, also on defense, had a great minor pro run playing from ’54 to ’73 and spent all four season with the Canadians also.

And Matt Thorpe in goal, played in Columbus, St. Louis and Nashville before coming back to the Sault to play for the Canadians.

The history of this team is rich with stories and good hockey. I hope to bring more to light of what the Canadians did in the USHL and spend more columns on this great team! What a proud part of Sault history this hockey team is!

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