February 1, 2021

STRIKING SIMILARITES

Forty five years ago, the first of two teams raised the CCAA Championship Bowl without a loss or a tie in the regular season and post season. The similarities between the coaches of those two teams are striking.

Both Jerry Serviss and Perry Pearn hailed from the prairies, played on junior hockey teams in their home province and were forwards on national champions. Serviss (a Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan native) laced up the skates for the Humboldt-Melfort Indians and the Estevan Bruins in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League prior to centering a line on the 1962-63 Allan Cup champion Windsor Bulldogs. Pearn (a Stettler, Alberta native) wore the uniform of the Edmonton Movers and the 1970-71 Centennial Cup champion Red Deer Rustlers in the Alberta Junior Hockey League.

In their 30's, both culminated a perfect season with gold at nationals in the province adjacent to the one where they were born. Serviss coached the 1975-76 St. Clair College Saints (26-0-0) of Windsor, Ontario at the 1976 CCAA National Hockey Championship in Camrose, Alberta while Pearn guided the 1984-85 NAIT Ooks (33-0-0) of Edmonton at the 1985 CCAA National Hockey Championship in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.

In their 60's, both were inducted into provincial college sport halls of fame.  Serviss entered the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 2003 while Pearn entered the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference Hall of Fame in 2014.

Both also have special memories of the Moose Jaw Civic Centre (1959-2012) affectionally known as the Crushed Can. Serviss helped build the arena in his hometown where Pearn coached the Ooks to gold.

Ironically, the CIAU (now U Sports) and NCAA men's hockey head coaches who posted winning percentages of 1.000 in the regular season and post season en route to a national championship were from Ontario. Ottawa born Ned Harkness coached the NCAA University Division champion 1969-70 Cornell University Big Red (29-0-0), Tornoto born Tom Watt guided the 1971-72 CIAU champion University of Toronto Varsity Blues (22-0-0), and Fort Frances born Bob Peters, directed the 1983-84 NCAA Division II champion Bemidji State University Beavers (31-0-0).


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