The highest scoring defenceman ever to play on the Cornwall Royals’ blueline is expected to be honoured by the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in June.
A source says the league will soon announce that Dave Ezard will be inducted into its Hall of Fame, joining such greats as Guy Lafleur, Mario Lemieux, Patrick Roy, Mike Bossy, Martin Brodeur and Pat LaFontaine. Last week a league official was seeking contact information for the Ezard family.
He would become the seventh Cornwall Royal to join the QMJHL Hall of Fame, joining Richard Brodeur, Bob Murray, Tim Bernhardt , Dale Hawerchuk, Orval Tessier and Paul Emard.
The honour would be bestowed posthumously. Ezard, 36, died on Aug. 5, 1995 a few days after receiving a liver transplant. He suffered from a rare liver disease.
The Cornwall native was the smallest defencemen in the QMJHL but owned one of the league’s hardest slapshots: Low, accurate … and deadly. Goaltenders lived in fear of the guided missile disguised as a slapshot.
His methodical, easy-going, dipsy-doodle style earned him the nickname “Eazy” and made him an overwhelming fan favourite.
“Time has a way of magnifying things, but that shot was every bit as hard as anything I’ve seen in the National Hockey League,” recalled Steve Dryden who covered the Royals while with the Standard-Freeholder.
Dryden, former editor of The Hockey News and recently retired senior managing editor of The Sports Network, called Ezard the “quintessential hometown hero.”
His single regular season record of 40 goals stood for 10 years. Along with the 40 goals in 1980, he had 65 assists to lead the Royals in scoring.
He was the only defenceman in Royals’ history to have 30-plus (36 and 40) back-to-back goal scoring seasons. He was the team’s regular season scoring leader in the 1979-season. His 105 points were two more than a rookie named Dale Hawerchuk.
In the 1979-80 season he played a big role in Royals’ capturing their second Memorial Cup. Despite playing on an ankle injured in the first game of the tournament, he was named most valuable player. At the time the second Royal to have his name stamped on the coveted award. Goalie Richard Brodeur was named MVP in 1972. Hawerchuk would win it in 1981 and just about every other available award.
In five seasons with the Royals, Ezard accumulated 94 goals and 151 assists for 245 points in regular season play.
Despite his lethal shot and scoring records, he was never drafted by an NHL team. Nor was he offered a walk-on tryout. The scouting reports read: Too small! He played part of a season with the American Hockey League Moncton Hawks coached by Orval Tessier who used him on the point for power plays.
Willie Wise moved the Royals to Newmarket in 1992, but Cornwall Colts of the Central Junior Hockey League honoured him in the 1995-96 season by retiring its No. 6 and hanging a Royals banner in the Ed Lumley Arena.
He was inducted into the Cornwall Sports Hall of Fame in 2000.
In November 1964, the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders emerged unscathed in Defence Minister Paul Hellyer’s axe-swinging budget cuts that eliminated 58 militia units across the country. The Pierre Trudeau Liberals placed a low value on Canada’s military.
The one Highlander causality was the No. 9 medical company that was placed on the “inactive” list which meant it could be revived if needed. The Alexandria-based D company was merged with the Highlanders’ base at Cornwall Armoury.
Avonmore residents were mourning the loss of native son Rev. Hector McMillan, a victim of the Congolese rebel murderous uprising in November 1964.
McMillan, 49, was a missionary in the Congo. His wife and five children were spared.
A son who witnessed his father’s murder said a rebel soldier put a pistol to his father’s head and fired twice.
The five-year-old Olympia Bowl on Ninth Street West received smoke and water damage in late evening fire in November 1964 that started in the furnace room. Damage was pegged at $125,000. Owner Luc Emard said renovations on the building would start immediately and he hoped to have the busy bowling alley up and running by the end of the year. The bowling alley closed two years ago and was sold to a furniture concern.
ALSO IN NOVEMBER 1964 – City council laid the groundwork for a shift in the administration of the city. Working with a consultant’s report, clerk Maurice Boyer was rebranded as clerk-administrator and given more power to deal with day-to-day business. Council also eliminated standing committees and approved the creation of a planning department headed by a planning coordinator. … Pointing to a technicality, a judge dismissed a charge of water pollution laid against the Glen-Co Cheese Factory in Bonville. Investigators said the factory was dumping toxic chemicals into a drainage ditch which created a “serious health hazard to humans and animals.” The polluted water eventually found its way into the Raisin River and St. Lawrence River. … The separate school board voted to give supply teachers a wage increase. The new rate of $15 per day, up from $12, matched the rate paid by the public board. … While Toronto hospitals were experiencing hospital bed shortages, Cornwall General and Hotel Dieu said bed capacity at the two city hospitals was around 86.5%.
SPORTS STUFF CIRCA 1964 Larry Gabri’s third-period goal gave Cornwall Royals a 3-2 win over Arnprior Kenwoods in a Central Junior Hockey League contest. Ray Barnes and Bordie Harrington had the other markers. Goalie Jake Lefebvre played a strong game for the Royals. … Cornwall Classical College upset Mont St. Louis Kodiacks 20-13 in the Quebec Intercollegiate Football League championship game. Bernie Charbonneau, the game’s most valuable player, scored a pair of touchdowns. Paul Pevost had the other major. Head coach Gilles Leger was named league coach-of-the-year. … St. Lawrence High School claimed the junior football title with a 39-0 romp over Cornwall Collegiate. Brian Bridges scored two touchdowns on passes from quarterback Rick Parisien with Pete Joncas, Bill Upper and John Poirier adding one each.
TRIVIA ANSWER Before he established himself as a Hollywood star, Robert De Niro in the 1970s drove a New York City cab.
TRIVIA This city fuel company in the 1950s had a snappy radio commercial jingle that ended with “call two-seven-hundred.” : 1) Chevrier & Son, 2) McGuire Fuels, 3) Lally-Munro, 4) Parisien Fuels, 5) Devitt Fuels.
QUOTED – “Bad politicians are the ones elected by good citizens who do not vote.” – George Nathan