A legendary junior hockey coach is missing in the northern British Columbia wilderness.
Police are searching for Ernie "Punch" McLean, 77, in the Dease Lake area. He was presumed to be prospecting a gold claim property in a very remote area when he was reported missing on Sunday.
McLean is best known for coaching junior teams in Estevan, Saskatchewan and New Westminster, BC, where he won back to back Memorial Cup championships with his big, bad, Bruins. His list of students includes Stan Smyl, Barry Beck, Brad Maxwell, Ron Greschner, John Ogrodnick and Mark Lofthouse.
I met Punch once. Gary Lupul introduced him to me when Punch was in Powell River for some sort of banquet, and I have a picture of him somewhere in my house. I'm hoping so much he's okay. This is a real hockey man,someone who's done so much for junior hockey in the west.
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