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April 1, 2024


Fifty years ago this fall, a campus with an enrollment of 390 fielded a hockey team that would exceed expectations and change a community.

The 1974-75 Camrose Lutheran College Vikings were the first team in any sport from across the nation to win a CCAA national championship and the first team in any sport from Camrose to win a national championship. The team dominated the opposition setting twelve team records and nine 4-West Championship records. In the regular season and post season, the team posted a winning percentage of .864 and an average scoring margin per game of 4.55 goals.

The 1974-75 Vikings set the tone for those that followed. The team's ability to bring the community together manifested itself in a tradition of hosting national and international sporting events in various sports for decades to come such as the Continental Cup of Curling, the RBC Cup and the World Series of Fastball. The team's success at the national level inspired local teams in various sports to conquer at nationals. The Camrose Kodiaks, the Camrose Imperials and the Camrose Merchants are among the teams that returned home as national champions. The team's initial overseas journey became a blueprint for subsequent tours and a stepping stone to the Viking Cup.

The team's impact goes beyond the Vikings hockey program and the Viking Cup. The Camrose Sports Development Society and the Edgeworth Centre were the fruit of the seeds sown by the 1974-75 Vikings. For decades, Camrose was synonymous with international hockey at home and abroad due in part to the 1974-75 Vikings.

The team's legacy is more than a sign in Camrose's Max MacLean Arena. It is how a varsity hockey team created and nurtured relationships across international borders and broke down barriers that world leaders couldn't. It is how team members influenced and shaped the lives of those they crossed paths with as the years passed since they overcame overwhelming odds and won three championships. It is how a season energized and transformed a community.

On May 10th in Red Deer, the 1974-75 Vikings enter the ACAC Hall of Fame. The architects of the team, general manager LeRoy Johnson and coach Joe Voytechek were inducted in 2014 and 2017 respectively.

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