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1988-89


Dick Todd switched from trainer to coach in 1981-82 and won his first OHL title in 1989 as the Petes upset the Niagara Falls Thunder in the final.

The club was off to Saskatoon for the Memorial Cup. Todd got a hint things wouldn’t go well during the plane ride. Star player Mike Ricci came to see him because he wasn’t feeling well.

“He had all these spots on him,” Todd said. “I took him back to the doctor and he says “Oh, that’s nice. He has the chicken pox.’ I said ‘what does that mean?’ And he says: ‘It’s going to get worse before it gets better.’ He really wasn’t himself the whole time. I remember he had a heavy temperature of 103 and he tried playing with a temperature of 101. He was the whole team that particular year so it was a real blow to us.”

The Petes went 1-2 in the round-robin beating host Saskatoon 3-2 while losing to Swift Current 6-4 and Laval 3-1. The Petes won a tie-breaking game against Laval 5- 4 before losing the semifinal to Swift Current 6-2. This marked the only time in eight trips to the Memorial Cup that the Petes didn’t reach the final.

Still, Dave Lorentz, who captained the team, has only good memories of that season.

“We were so happy to beat the number one team in Canada in Niagara Falls, that was the epitome of the year,” Lorentz said. “We came back from Saskatoon about four or five o’clock and the Memorial Centre was packed with people. That was a great thing, too, the support of the community.”