SIHR Spotlight | Former Nelson Maple Leafs, Trail Smoke Eater – Howie Hornby

SIHR Spotlight

Howard Ronald Hornby

Nelson Maple Leafs (WIHL)1962

Position Center

Shoots Right

Height 5′ 8” / 172.72 cm

Weight 160 lbs / 72 kg

Born Oct 07, 1934

Died Oct 01, 2014 (Age: 79)

Birthplace Asquith, Saskatchewan, Canada

Gender Male

Howie Hornby, a high-scoring centre for the Nelson Maple Leafs, was loaned to the Trail Smoke Eaters for the 1962 Allan Cup playoffs. He helped them win the Canadian senior championship before skating for the Smoke Eaters at the 1962 world championship in Colorado.

The 5-foot-8, 160-pound centre was among the top scorers in his eight seasons in the Western International Hockey League. His most productive season came in 1963-64 when he scored 36 goals and added 41 assists.

Hornby won the Howard Anderson Memorial Trophy as the league’s most valuable and sportsmanlike player in 1962.

Though rarely penalized, Hornby took part in a notorious stick-swinging duel with Buddy Bodman of the Spokane Jets. Hornby needed 18 stitches to close a gash caused by Bodman’s shattered stick. Bodman was suspended 23 games and Hornby for six.

Born in the Saskatchewan village of Asquith, Hornby played junior hockey for the Wesleys in nearby Saskatoon. He also played a season of junior with the Humboldt Indians. He later played senior hockey with the Kamloops Elks, Kamloops Chiefs, North Bay Trappers and Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.

The centre scored five goals in 29 games with the Johnstown Jets of the Eastern Hockey League in 1957-58.

After two years of retirement, Hornby returned to play for the Maple Leafs in 1968-69. He scored eights goals and eight assists.

Hornby owned a furniture store in Nelson before becoming a realtor. More recently, he rented electric scooters.

Source: Benched
Johnstown Jets (EHL). Photo: Society International Hockey Research
Source: Benched

Had a long playing career that spanned almost 20 years. He first learned to skate on his father’s flooded backyard rink.

Played his junior hockey in Saskatoon, but played the majority of his senior career for the Nelson Maple Leafs.

Was mainly a center, but could also play as a left wing. Scored a total of 753 points (332+421) in 679 games. Retired in 1969.


SIHR Spotlight | Former Trail Smoke Eater, Sydney Millionaires: Alex Birukow

Alexander Daniel Birukow

SIHR Spotlight

Position Forward/Defence

Shoots Right

Height 5′ 5” / 165.1 cm

Weight 145 lbs / 65 kg

Born Jun 21, 1927

Died Dec 07, 2017 (Age: 90)

Birthplace Fort William, Ontario, Canada

Gender Male

Source: Society International Hockey Research

Source: SIHR

Birukow was inducted into the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame in 2000 as part of the 1948 Sydney Millionaires hockey team.

1948 Sydney Millionaires

The 1948 Sydney Millionaires had good young players on their way through the system, blended with strong outside influences, which included Memorial Cup winners from the previous year’s Winnipeg Monarchs. The Millionaires played in the Cape Breton Senior Hockey League, with Glace Bay, and North Sydney (one of the best leagues in Canada at the time). The Millionaires knocked off the Halifax St. Mary’s club on their way to provincial and Maritime titles, before disposing of the Pembroke Lumber Kings to advance to the Allan Cup Eastern Canadian final against the mighty Toronto Marlboros.

The Marlies were overwhelming favourites in the best-of-five series to played entirely in Maple Leaf Gardens. Sydney shocked the Marlies 1-1 in the first game after a scoreless 10-minute overtime. The Marlboros won the second game 5-3 and the Millionaires tied the series with a dramatic 5-4 overtime-win in game three. The Marlies prevailed in the remaining games, with a 4-2 score in game four and a 5-4 overtime-win in game five. The tournament was a remarkable performance by a Millionaire team that was not expected to be a serious contender, but which came close to pulling off one of the major upsets of the era.

Members of the 1948-49 team: Johnny Arundel, Alex Birukow, Maurice Dowling, Doug Fritz, Jack Fritz (coach), Bruce Gallagher, Jackie Gibson, Bernie MacDonald, C.A. MacDonald (club president), Ray MacDonald (equipment manager), Jim MacInnis, George McCabe, George McDougall, Don McRae, Lou Medynski, Ernie Moore, Johnny Myketyn, Ron Nelson, Joe Petit, Paul Platz (captain), Cliff Roach, Ed Tucker, Joe Watts, Don Whalen.


• Won the Provincial Title
• Won the Maritime Championship
• Won the Maritime Championship
• Made it into the Allan Cup Playoffs

Source; Nova Scotia Sport Hall Of Fame

Trail Commercial Hockey League, Bella Tire: (L-R) Top row: Alex Birukow, unidentified, B. Siemen, G. Derosier, B. Bonin, F. . Bottom: Al Cronie, B. McIntyre, unidentified, Ross Saundry, unidentified. Source:

Rossland Warriors- 1957 Source: