Greatest Oil Kings, Number 2

This is Bob Falkenberg, about 1970. He would have been 23 or 24 in this photo. He’s an interesting player for lots of reasons, one of which involves one of the very famous incidents in junior hockey history.

I don’t believe justice can be done to just how vicious an act caused the Memorial Cup to come close to cancelation. The Edmonton Journal recently described it like this:

Falkenberg was jumped from behind and knocked unconscious to the ice, where he was continually pummeled by Derek Sanderson, who received a major penalty for intent to injure, a match misconduct and an indefinite suspension for the rest of the season.

The Toronto Star described it this way on Tuesday, May 11, 1965:

Tempers esclated throughout (the game) and exploded at 16:30 of the third period in a free-for-all which Art Potter, past president of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association called “butchery.”

Potter said he would recommend that the Memorial Cup series be “called off.”

Edmonton captain Bob Falkenberg was carried from the ice on a stretcher after the game ending battle. Potter said his beating was the “most brutal I have ever seen.” Referee Jim McAuley ended hostilities and halted the game on instructions from Potter.

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6 Responses to "Greatest Oil Kings, Number 2"

  1. Black Dog says:

    And … the rest of the story?

  2. Lowetide says:

    That’s pretty much the story. The Flyers had Bernie Parent and he was Bernie Parent, even in 1965.

  3. Black Dog says:

    Flyers were, um, Niagara Falls? And what happened to Falkenberg? He played for Cleveland, yes? And did he win the Memorial Cup at some point? Or is that story coming down the road?

  4. Mr DeBakey says:

    The Oil Kings won the next year.
    Falkenburg was captain.

    His pro career never really sparkled though.

    That “attack” was pretty famous, infamous, in Edmonton for many years.

    My dad hated Sanderson when he played for the Bruins.

    Dornhoefer was also involved in that incident.

  5. Lowetide says:

    Falkenberg I believe was on both Mem Cup teams, 63 and 66. He was not an outstanding pro, I’ve read a lot on him and he appears to have been a steady player but not blessed with enough speed to be an impact D in the pro game. His nickname, Steady, is probably the best scouting report on him.

    He was a regular in the WHA, and some of those seasons were excellent calibre (Desjardins’ rankings has some WHA seasons about 75% of NHL value).

    He had some size, very little offense and he was tough. He had a decent, not great pro career.

    Oil Kings beat a pretty good hockey player in 1966 Mem Cup btw. :-)

  6. Joe says:

    According to the Wiki Bobby Orr played for the Generals from 62-66. The entry even calls this period “The Bobby Orr Years”.

    Apparently he played injured in the ’66 Memorial Cup.

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