INKERMAN ROCKETS – THIRD CHAPTER
Word Spreads Fast about a Little Team with Big Talent
Even though I’d told my Dad I wanted to play for the Inkerman Rockets one day, I actually had no idea where Inkerman was. It wasn’t surprising, few people knew of the tiny speck on the map between Ottawa and Cornwall. The next year, at the ripe old age of 16, I tried out for the Rockets but LaPorte wasn’t interested in the 150-pound high school player from Glebe Collegiate, he passed on me but took not one, not two but three of my older team members on the Glebe team. It was an amazing moment for Glebe hockey, which hadn’t turned out a hockey player since Bill Cowley back in the thirties. So, with center Lev McDonald, winger Billy Lynn and goaltender Bert Feltham filling out the Inkerman Roster, there wasn’t much space for me.
Disappointed but not disheartened, I jumped to junior hockey that season with the Ottawa Montagnards and worked to prove myself. I made the second all star team at center behind Bill Dineen of St. Pats, a future Detroit Red Wing. I guess I’d proven my mettle because after that season, I had gained enough attention to receive an offer from Bucko McDonald to join his Sundridge Beavers, a tough intermediate team located somewhere north of Toronto. Luckily, I’d also gained someone else’s attention and Lloyd LaPorte came calling.
He knocked on our door and told my parents he’d like to move me to Winchester where I would go to school and live. I’d be billeted in a room over the barber shop. He’d pay me $25 a week “expense money.” It was a better offer than one I’d received from Bucko McDonald and my parents, who valued an education, liked and trusted LaPorte who was a school teacher himself. They allowed me to sign with the Inkerman Rockets.