New Westminster Bruins made a record fourth consecutive appearance at the Memorial Cup in 1978 as the Petes began a string of three straight trips.
Trois-Rivieres Draveurs were making their first appearance representing the QMJHL.
The Petes had knocked off Hamilton Fincups in seven games in the OHA final.
The Petes dropped their opening game of the double-round robin series to Trois- Rivieres before winning their next three including two against the Bruins.
The Petes looked to be in good shape heading to the final against New Westminster only to fall 7-4.
Dick Todd, then the Petes trainer, said a key injury hurt the Petes in the final.
“Keith Acton was one of our top players and he had to wear a shoulder harness to stop his shoulder from dislocating,” said Todd. “He was a key guy who was an intricate part of the team who played the final game but was under a lot of duress.”
The Bruins became just the fourth team to win back-to-back Memorial Cup championships.
While losing was a major disappointment, Petes’ coach Gary Green said it was a major learning experience.
“I blamed myself for the loss,” Green said. “The team wasn’t focused for that final game. I vowed not to make the same mistake again.’’
While the Petes would lose some key components like Acton, Mark Kirton, future coach Brian Drumm and underage rookie Steve Larmer, who was drafted by Niagara Falls Flyers, many key ingredients like Tim Trimper, Keith Crowder, Bob Attwell, Greg Theberge and Ken Ellacott were set to return.