Sports

Pembroke Lumber Kings set to honour former sniper Peter White Sunday night

By Tina Peplinskie, OBSERVER MULTIMEDIA JOURNALIST

Getty images
Peter White of the Philadelphia Flyers poses for a portrait on Sept. 15, 2003 at First Union Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.White will be in Pembroke Sunday night to be inducted to the Pembroke Lumber Kings's Wall of Honour.

Getty images Peter White of the Philadelphia Flyers poses for a portrait on Sept. 15, 2003 at First Union Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.White will be in Pembroke Sunday night to be inducted to the Pembroke Lumber Kings's Wall of Honour.

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Although Peter White usually shies away from the spotlight, he is looking forward to returning to Pembroke to receive the recognition that many feel is long overdue.

Sunday night he will be back at the Pembroke Memorial Centre, where his long and successful hockey career began, for a night is his honour as the Pembroke Lumber Kings induct the former sniper to the team's Wall of Honour.

“This is a big honour for me,” White said Thursday in a telephone interview from his Camden, New Jersey home. “It's pretty exciting.”

This recognition is well deserved for the player who still holds Central Junior Hockey League (now Central Canada Hockey League) record for the most assists in one season and most goals in one season with 136 and 226 respectively, milestones he achieved in the 1987-88 season. This was his second and final season with the Kings in which he scored 90 goals on the way to his 226 points.

White credits his success that season to his linemates Brian Downey (70G-73A-143P in 56 games) and Jim Way (57G-66A-123P in 55 games), along with legendary Lumber Kings's coach Jim Farelli.

“He (Farelli) put me in the right spot to be successful,” White said. “We also had a great power play.”

In both of his seasons with the Kings, White played in the Centennial Cup (now RBC Cup), in Humboldt, Sask. in 1987 and right here in Pembroke in 1988. Even after all of these years, he still feels the disappointment of not winning the tournament at home. He still remembers the triple-overtime game against the Notre Dame Hounds which Pembroke eventually won 4-3, but it also set up a rematch in the semifinal. Notre Dame won that game 7-3 and went on to win the national championship.

“We should have let them win that first game,” he said. “It was a great experience though and they had a really good team.”

Many of his fond memories of Pembroke also have to do with his billet family that second season. He lived with Ann and Wally Cochrane. He said his happiness off the ice translated into his play on the ice.

“They treated me like their son and they were like my second family,” he said. “Without them this day wouldn't be happening.”

Rekindling those old friendships is what he is looking forward to the most about this weekend. He is actually returning to the city on Saturday and he is looking forward to reconnecting with the Cochrane's son Boyd. Joining White on the trip will be his son Peter, who currently plays hockey at Shattuck-St. Mary's.

He is excited to show his son where he played and introduce him to the people that meant so much to him all those years ago. For White, playing in Pembroke was the first time he lived away from home so it was quite an adjustment. He remembers how the fans embraced the hockey players back then and immediately made him feel welcome in his new city.

“The fans were super supportive and the guys on the team were great,” he said. “It was a huge learning experience.”

Prior to Sunday night's game against the Gloucester Rangers, Jamie Bramburger will serve as MC for a ceremony to honour White, where he will be presented with a plaque outlining his achievements with the Lumber Kings. A similar plaque will also be added to the Wall of Honour. Brian Downey is also expected to be on hand to share some thoughts about his former teammate. White is also excited to reconnect with Downey as they lost touch over the years.

After leaving Pembroke, White went onto play at Michigan State University for four years. He was drafted in the fifth round, 92nd overall, by the Edmonton Oilers in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft. He played 220 career NHL games, scoring 23 goals and 37 assists for 60 points while recording 36 penalty minutes playing for the Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Philadelphia Flyers and Chicago Blackhawks.

White spent most of his career in the American Hockey League (AHL), playing in a total of 747 games while scoring 250 goals and 533 assists for 783 points and recording 286 penalty minutes. He led the AHL in total points in 1995, 1997 and 1998. He also won two Calder Cups in the AHL. In 2013 he was inducted in to the AHL Hall of Fame.

Fans attending Sunday's game are encouraged to paint the PMC white by wearing something white to show their appreciation for White's contributions to the Kings. Game time is 7 p.m.

Tpeplinskie@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/TPeplinskie 



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