Five are Guelph Sports Hall of Fame’s Class of 2020
GUELPH – The Guelph Sports Hall of Fame’s Class of 2020 has been announced and includes the usual five inductees.
This year’s inductees are athletes Paul Brydges and Brad Pirie, builders Ben Wallace and our own Rob Massey and the 2014 under-16AA Guelph Sodrox Predators ringette team.
Brydges was captain of the 1986 Guelph Platers squad that won the Memorial Cup Canadian major junior hockey championship. He had 25 points in 19 playoff games that year and finished with 179 points and 191 penalty minutes in 243 games for the Platers.
He signed an NHL contract with the Buffalo Sabres as a free agent and had two goals and two assists in 15 NHL games with one of his goals being scored at Maple Leaf Gardens. He also played four seasons in the American Hockey League and was a member of the Rochester Americans when they won the AHL’s Calder Cup championship in 1987.
Brydges returned to Guelph after calling an end to his playing career and took up coaching. He was an assistant coach with the Guelph Storm in 2004 when they won the Ontario Hockey League championship and with the University of Guelph Gryphons in 2007 when they won the University Cup national university men’s hockey championship.
The Guelph native played four seasons of major junior hockey with the Peterborough Petes from the 1972-73 season to the 1975-76 season. A defenceman, Pirie collected 53 goals, 118 points and 180 penalty minutes in 262 games with the Petes.
His time with the Peterborough squad included an appearance in the 1974 world junior championships when the Petes represented Canada.
He played a single game with the Dallas Black Hawks of the Central Hockey League in 1976 before returning to his hometown to play for the Guelph Gryphons. He played three seasons with the Gryphs and was an OUA (then known as the OUAA) all-star and U Sports (then known as CIAU) all-Canadian all three seasons. He was only the second Gryphon to be named an all-Canadian in men’s hockey.
Pirie won the Walter Rickard Award as the University of Guelph’s top rookie in any men’s sport for the 1976-77 season and Jack Pos Award as the Gryphon hockey team’s most valuable player for the 1978-79 season. He also holds the Gryphon record for most assists by a defenceman.
After finishing his time with the Gryphons, Pirie joined the Canadian Olympic Team and he played in the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics where Canada finished sixth in its first appearance in the Games since the 1968 Games in Grenoble, France.
Pirie was inducted into the University of Guelph’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1984.
Wallace has been an accomplished horse trainer on the Ontario Jockey Club/Woodbine and international standardbred racing circuit for almost 50 years.
He was the OJC’s trainer of the year in 1996, his first of 18 consecutive years of training standardbreds with $1 million plus in annual earnings.
In 1999, Wallace was named the winner of the O’Brien Award as the top trainer in Canada. That year he trained Blissful Hall, the pacing Triple Crown winner, U.S. Dan Path Award winner as the top three-year-old pacer in North America, the Canadian three-year-old pacer of the year and the Canadian standardbred horse of the year. Blissful Hall has been inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame.
In 2002, he had more than $4.5 million in purse money as Camotion won $1.9 million of that. He also trained Totally Western, the Breeders Crown two-year-old champion that year.
Blissful Hall also won an O’Brien award in 1999 and Wallace-trained Armbro Rosebud won an O’Brien award in 1997.
As of late November of last year, Wallace had trained standardbreds that recorded 1,938 wins for a .350 win percentage and almost $38 million in purse earnings.
Massey has been involved in the coverage of local sports in Guelph and area for more than 30 years.
He joined the Guelph Mercury as sports editor in April of 1986 and covered sports with the daily newspaper until it closed its doors in January of 2016. Later that year he started the Guelph Sports Journal online site to continue his coverage of local sports.
He was the winner of the Ontario Newspaper Awards sports photography of the year in the Mercury’s category (under 25,000 circulation) in 2011.
Massey was also an ONA finalist in sports photography in 2009 and sports writing in 2012. In 2014, he was an ONA finalist for three awards – sports photography, sports writing and multimedia journalism.
Last year Massey became the second person to be awarded the U Sports Fred Sgambati Media Award and the OUA’s Media Award of Distinction in the same year.
2014 Under-16AA Guelph Sodrox Predators
Competing in the AA division, the most competitive category at the Canadian championships, the Sodrox Predators went undefeated at both the provincial and national championship tournaments.
Emma Eccles and Samantha Gorgi were named to the first-team all-stars at the national tournament in Regina while Nicole Shaw and Mariah Coverdale were second-team all-stars.
The Predators posted a 24-0-1 record during their regular season, a season in which they scored 492 goals and allowed 171.
At the provincial championships, the local squad won all of its games with victories over teams from West Ottawa, Ottawa, Nepean, Whitby, Gloucester, Richmond Hill, Mississauga and London during the four-day tournament.
That tournament win gave the Predators a berth as Team Ontario in the national championship tournament. There they defeated Nova Scotia, Alberta Zone Five, Saskatchewan, Gatineau, Manitoba, Edmonton and Calgary to finish atop their pool. The Predators then defeated Quebec in the quarter-finals and the Eastman Flames of Manitoba in the semifinals to advance to the gold-medal match and a clash with the also-undefeated Central Alberta Sting. The locals prevailed 6-5 in that match.
Members of the team were presented with City of Guelph medals following their national championship win and their national and provincial championship banners hang in one of the ice pads at the West End Community Centre.
- Guelph Sports Journal