The Chin Brothers Were Dominant in Hockey Drawing Attention From  NHL Teams

The Chin Brothers dominated in their hockey league which drew attention from the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The sports headline of the Stratford Beacon-Herald on April 6, 1943 read "Wellesley Will See A Lot of Chins on Stratford Ice Tonight". This banner referred to the deciding game of the WOAA Intermediate Hockey championships being played that night in Stratford between teams from Wellesley and Lucknow.

The town of Lucknow has had famous hockey sons. In the 1960s, Lucknow native Paul Henderson began his professional career with the Detroit Red Wings. In 1972, he would score what many consider to be the most famous goal in the history of hockey when he notched the goal that gave Canada the series victory over the Russians in the first ever Canada-Russia hockey showdown. 

Later, it would be defenseman David Farrish, who would play in the National Hockey League. His rock-solid defensive skills would once again stir the community pride of the citizens of Lucknow. In the 1940s, hockey pride in Lucknow was directed towards one unique hockey family. 

The three Chin brothers formed a potent scoring line to lead Lucknow to hockey success in the WOAA Intermediate Hockey League. 

Brothers playing on the same team is unusual but not extremely rare. The NHL has seen the Plagers, Cooks, Bentleys, Richards and many other brother combinations.  However, the Lucknow team had a truly unique brother act. 

Bill, Albert and George Chin were Chinese Canadians. All but Albert were born in Canada. He was born in Hong Kong while his parents were on vacation in their homeland. 

They led their Lucknow team to an undefeated season in 1942-43, in their WOAA group, which featured teams from Goderich, Kincardine and Wingham. In 10 games the brothers accounted for 67 of the 117 goals scored by the Lucknow team. That season the Lucknow Maple Leafs accumulated 280 scoring points and the Chins tallied more than one half of that amount amassing 155 points among them. The prophesy of the Stratford newspaper can be understood when these numbers are considered. 

The Chin brothers were not only a source of community pride in Lucknow, but they were a huge attraction wherever they played. Their hockey skills were known far and wide in Western Ontario. Their Asian origin, without a doubt, added to the interest in watching them play hockey. 

The brothers attracted attention from Toronto Maple Leafs coach and former Owen Sounder "Hap" Day and Toronto's archrival Jack Adams of the Detroit Red Wings. The Chins were invited to attend the Toronto training camp held in Owen Sound. 

The Milverton Sun announced the Chins had signed contracts with the Detroit Red Wings in what that paper claimed was the "biggest box office" attraction in recent hockey history. It was not expected that the brothers would play for the Red Wings or their farm club in Indianapolis, but that they would probably end up playing for the Detroit's OHA junior clubs in either Galt or Woodstock. 

Whether Jack Adams ever expected the Chins to make it to the NHL is not known. But the wily promoter knew a box office attraction when he saw one. He planned to have the brothers play on farm clubs in the United States in exhibition games. Their well-publicized presence would probably ensure a large attendance.

Canada's 1972 Canada - Russia Series Hero, Paul Henderson credits the Chin family with introducing him to hockey and giving him his first hockey lessons. In a 1997 interview he said to me, "If it wasn't for a Chinese Canadian family, I would never have scored the most important goal in Canadian hockey history!

Versions of this article, "The Chin Brothers Were Dominant in Hockey Drawing Attention From  NHL Teams," originally appeared in my Local History column in the Owen Sound Sun Times and in my 1997 book, the Hockey Scrapbook: Hockey Memories of the Bruce County & Owen Sound Region.

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"Buck" Jones, like most Canadian boys, dreamed of playing in the NHL. Little did he realize that one day he would wear the sweater of an NHL club and would be the idol of youngsters like himself!

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Ralph "Cooney" Weiland skated from a Memorial Cup championship in Owen Sound, to a Stanley Cup in Boston to fame as a U.S. college hockey coach.

The Crescent Club has a long history of sponsoring sports teams and leagues in Owen Sound providing consistent management and financial assistance to athletics.

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The 1959-60 Owen Sound Greys: A Tough Act to Follow: Tragedy struck this hockey team of young men, yet they persevered.

The 1960s Owen Sound Greys Stars who went on to NHL action including Brian Perry, Doug Brindley, Jim Schoenfeld, and Jack Lynch brought Owen Sound a reputation as a hockey hotbed!

Owen Sound Attack: The arrival of this new OHL team is the latest chapter in the Owen Sound region's rich hockey history.

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Owen Sound Junior Hockey History began almost one hundred and twenty years ago and is rich with championship teams, great players, and dedicated fans. 

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Paul MacDermid, born in Chesley Ontario, through hard work and determination enjoyed a 12 year NHL career, before keeping junior hockey alive in Owen Sound by working with a group citizens to purchase the Attack OHL franchise.

"Red" Armstrong, a fiery spirited hockey player, known more for his fierce checking than his scoring prowess surprised even himself on his first NHL shift.

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