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November 09, 2014

Reg Abbott

Reg Abbott was a fine athlete growing up in Manitoba. Born in Winnipeg, Abbott would finish his athletic career with induction into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame.

Abbott was a fine second baseman for the provincial baseball champions, nearly a scratch golfer and a star lacrosse player. But like most youth in Canada his love was hockey.

In junior Abbott would star with the Brandon Wheat Kings on a line with Gus Juckes and Brian Roche. In his final year in Brandon, 1949-50, he would league in goals and points, leading the Kings to the Memorial Cup tournament. In addition to his scoring exploits he was described as an excellent stickhandler and forechecker.

Abbott would turn professional, finding himself on Canada's left coast with the PCHL/WHL Victoria Cougars for four years. His only shot at the National Hockey League cam in his third year with the Cougars. The Montreal Canadiens offered him his big league chance when Elmer Lach got injured. Coach Dick Irvin gave Abbott a three game look, playing him on a line with Boom Boom Geoffrion and Paul Meger. The trio had impressed Irvin in training camp, but ultimately would do nothing together in season play. Abbott failed to pick up a point.

Although he probably never would have guessed it then, Abbott would never get another chance to play in a National Hockey League game. He would go on to play highly competitive senior hockey in Windsor, Ontario before returning home to play with the Winnipeg Maroons.

The Maroons were a powerhouse of Canadian senior hockey, going to the Allan Cup finals three straight times in the 1960s, winning the championship in 1964. In those days the Allan Cup champions were picked to represent Canada at the World Championships. The Maroons finished in fourth place, with Abbott scoring 2 goals and 4 points in 7 international games.

That would mark the end of Abbott's competitive hockey career.

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