When Winnipeg Braves started out in quest of the Memorial Cup in the spring of 1959 not much was expected of them. The MJHL had not won the national junior championship since 1946.
The Braves were victorious in five games over both St. Boniface Canadiens and Fort William Canadiens. They next faced the Saskatchewan champion Flin Flon Bombers. Led by Cliff Pennington and replacements Dick Meissner, Red Berenson and goalie Ken Walters, the favoured Bombers out-weighed Winnipeg by 20 pounds per man. The Bombers won the first two games in Flin Flon, 5-1 and 7-4.
In the friendlier Winnipeg Arena, the Braves tied the series with 5-2 and 6-4 wins. After a 5-1 victory played in the Olympic rink because of the Home Show, Winnipeg eliminated the Bombers with a 3-0 win in front of 9,018 fans in the Arena.
It was now time to host Peterborough Petes, coached by 25-year-old Scotty Bowman. Dennis Dejordy, a replacement from St. Catherines Teepees, was in goal. The defence was anchored by tough guy Barclay Plager and Jimmy Roberts. Wayne Connelly was their big scorer.
Allowed three more replacements, the Braves added forwards Jerry Kruk and John Rodger from St. Boniface, plus Paul Sexsmith as goaltender insurance. Leading 4-1, Peterborough hung on to win game one, 5-4. The Braves took the second game 5-2 led by the first of three consecutive two goal games by Laurie Langrell.
Winnipeg won the next two, 5-2 and 5-3, to go up three games to one before heading back to Brandon when the Shrine Circus took over the Arena. With Al Baty recording a hat trick, the Braves downed the Petes 6-2 to win the Canadian championship. Besides Langrell’s six goals, Wayne Larkin added five, Baty four and Bobby Leiter three in the series.
ROSTER: Pat Angers, Don Atamanchuk, Al Baty, Gary Bergman, Ernie Bradawaski, Rene Brunel, Ted Green, Howie Hughes, Allan Ingimundson, Ken King, Ted Knight, Jerry Kruk, Laurie Langrell, Wayne Larkin, Al LeBlanc, Bobby Leiter, Doug Monro, Zenon Moroz, Lew Mueller, John Rodger, Paul Sexsmith, John Sutherland, Bob Wales, Wayne Winstone, Ernie Wakely, Jack Perrin Jr. – President, Bill Addison –Manager, Bill Allum – Coach, Jim Drury – Trainer.