Sam Quigley; good goalie; great person

Anthony Dransfeld recounts Sam Quigley's memories of a long career, and life, in Kimberley

Sam Quigley

Sam Quigley


For the Bulletin

Fast approaching his 92nd Birthday, Sam Quigley, the former Kimberley Dynamiter goaltender, has had a pretty interesting life so far. Still living in the home he bought in 1947 on Dahlgren St., Sam came to Kimberley to try out for the Dynamiters, after playing  1 season in Los Angeles California, for a team called the Monarchs. There were a few L. A. based teams back then, the Pasadena Panthers, San Diego Skylarks, San Francisco Shamrocks, Oakland Oaks, Hollywood Little Wolves and the Fresno Falcons. The 2nd World War had just ended, and Sam had just finished duty with the Royal Canadian Navy, (based out of Halifax), before resuming his hockey career  in L..A.

In 1946. Mr Quigley had the good fortune to work at  Santa Anita racetrack , toiling in the V. I. P.  room checking wrist bracelets etc. One afternoon. Sammy spotted a woman “crashing the line “ and promptly sent her to the back of the queue. The lady in question was actress Jane Wyman, a fact Sam was  quickly made aware of , when her husband Ronald Reagan came charging up to Sam, ready to tear a strip off of him. Now,  Ron Reagan did not have a wrist band either, and he was  sent back to the back of the line as well. “Only doing my job,” said Sammy,

Now    During World War 2 about  1 million  Army, Navy, and Air Force  men of the U. S. and Canada. had Betty Grable  as their  “ pin-up girl” The bathing suit beauty kept most of the fellows spirits up as they  charged up Normandy Beach and other hot spots of the Allied Invasion. It was  Ted Williams  (baseball), Glenn Miller (music) and Betty Grable (actress) that kept the boys going as they battled the Germans, and then the Japanese  Armed Forces. Of course they never got to meet Miss Betty Grable, but amazingly enough Sam met her in  Los Angeles at the racetrack. Sam recalled Betty  smiled at  me  one day. so I  went over to say hello, and exchange pleasantries”, Sam said to me recently.

“Being from Regina Saskatchewan, and getting to meet Betty Grable in person just  after the War, i thought that was pretty neat.” It sure was. Mr. Quigley also found the time to be in a movie called ‘Gay Blades’ in which he played a hockey goalie.  Sam’s team mate Mike Fisher also appeared in  Gay Blades, before landing with the Nelson Maple leafs  ( ironically I played against his goalie son Dave in  Spokane.


Sam began life in Prince Albert Saskatchewan, home of fellow goalie Johnny Bower of the Toronto Maple Leafs (Johnny is 2 years older than Mr. Quigley at 94 and is still living in Toronto with his wife Nancy). The Quigley family moved to Regina when Sam was 6 months old. Hockey really began for Sam when he was 6 years old, when his older brother Jim, who was 10, needed a goalie for his out door rink team, so  they enlisted young Sam. Back then  the losing team had to clean the ice and flood it right after the hockey match, so winning was of paramount importance to the boys. During this time Sam  had a team mate named Hubert Sullivan, who was the brother of the great  Frank “Sully” Sullivan. Regarding Sully, Sam told me   “without question Sully Sullivan was “the best player I was ever on the ice with” Sully had legs like tree trunks, as he remembered, and you just could never move him off of the puck.

BACK TO REGINA .Sam Q  played on a top midget  club in Saskatchewan when he was 15, the Regina Wares.

Back in the day all of the young aspiring hockey players on the Western Prairies  knew about teams like the Port Arthur BearCats, the Melville Millionaires, the   Flin Flon Bombers, ( Sam played for them at age 16) Moose Jaw   (who boasted a line of Elmer Lach, Max Bentley, and Doug Bentley) the Yorkton Terriers   had Sully Sullivan and very little else. Last but certainly not least were   the , Regina Pats, and that fabled team west of the Rocky Mountains, the Kimberley Dynamiters.

Now Sam had grown up idolizing a goalie from Port Arthur, by the name of Jakie Nash,  Quigley got to see his hero play in Regina one night, and promptly went out and bought a black cap that Nash always wore in games.

Al Ritchie (who was involved with the Saskatchewan Rough Riders)  scooped Sam Quigley from the L.A. Monarchs, with the promise of a job in a mine run by the Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company. Al Ritchie had previously brought in Ralph Redding, Ken Campbell, and  Lyle “Butch” Swaney. Sam Quigley was very impressed with Butch, who developed the art of the hip check, when he was in the training camp of the New York Rangers, who had the guru of the hip check, one “Ching “ Johnson, Sam recalls Swaney could actually put guys airborne with his hip check . The faster the opposing player converged on Butch the better. Sometimes they were deposited right over the boards.

When Sam Quigley arrived in Kimberley with his wife Gwen and Sam Jr. (also called Graceful) he  was amazed to find his hero Jakie Nash, wool cap and all   in Kimberley as the Dynamiter goal keeper. Jakie and Sam played together  for 3 seasons in the late 1940s.

In 1947  Mr Quigley had the best Goals Against Average in the Western International Hockey League   ( 2.12 )The Spokane  Review Newspaper referred  to him as “Lucky Quigley” due to the fact Sam had  2 shutouts against Spokane in  2 nights running.

The Kimberley Dynamiters of 1949 would pack up their bus,  drive out to the Ta Ta Creek International Airport, load up their DC3 Prop Airplane,  taxi out on the grass runway, and fly non stop to Los Angeles, California, then play 3 games in Cal, go out on the town on their last night ,and   then, “try to find everyone” as Sam remarked, fly all the way back to Kimberley B.C Canada, in time to work on Monday morning at the Cominco Mine, or the Mil. Pretty amazing. The Dynamiters would play in the Sonja Hennie Beverly Hills Ice Rink (seating 4000) which was one of the only artificial skating rinks in California……Later that season. Sam remembered playing Trail  Smoke Eaters in the playoffs, and giving up 3 O.T. goals (in 3 games) to a Terry Cavanaugh who later moved to  Alberta, where he came the Mayor of the City of Edmonton.

Being a keen hockey fan besides being a hockey player, Sam mentioned to me that in the course of one day the great Lionel Connacher played for the Toronto Argonauts in the Grey Cup, then dashed off to suit up for his Toronto Maple Leafs in an N.H.L. game at Maple Leaf Gardens that night  (won ‘em both too ).

When the Kimberley Dynamiters were off to play in the World Ice Hockey Championships of 1936, after winning the Allan Cup, they were set to sail out of  Halifax Nova Scotia, where they received a shock .One of their best players could not go on  to London England, because he was an Aboriginal Native Indian, and therefore was not eligible to have a Canadian Passport.. The mans name was Ken Moore.  True Story. The team went on without Ken, and  won the World Championship in the spring of 1937.

After Sam Quigley retired from hockey, he  took up Competitive Curling playing with  the elite   curlers of yesteryear, Eric Bisgrove, John MacKenzie, Elgin Smitty Smith  and Dougie McDonald.  Back to hockey,  the   late Earl Betker, himself an amazing goalie, Sam and he  would get together from time to time to discuss “modern goal tending techniques”, and the nonsense now employed in the modern game, called “the butterfly “ which then gave us the “ 5 hole”. “Useless” was the shared opinion of Earl and Sam. These guys should know, both brilliant net minders. Earl Betker would have easily made the N.H.L, (and was asked on a few occasions)   but Earl , who was deeply religious, would never play on Sundays, and abhorred traveling by train. So it was goodbye NHL and hello Kimberley Dynamiters.

I saw Mr. Betker play for 1 or 2 seasons, brilliant in the nets. By the way Earl served meals every day at the Pines to his fellow Seniors, before becoming too ill to continue, and passed away 3 months ago.

Growing up in Regina, Sam was able to begin Roller Skating when he was 4 years of age, practicing hours on end,  and by his memory  was the “Best Roller Skater in Regina” by the time he was 16 years old. Sam had an  out door rink close to his house, that was run by a man named “Ranger Bell”  Now the Ranger would often regale young Quigley and his chums with his stories of playing with the famed Eddie Shore in Boston of the National Hockey League.

Thus  began Sam’s dream of playing in the NHL. Fellow Regina  alum  Ray McNiven of Kimberley actually worked for Ranger at the rink, but  Ray  being younger, never actually met Sam, until they played golf together at the Kimberley Golf Club.


Larry Plante  and his Drumheller Miner Senior “A” Team were being hammered 8-1 by the hometown Medicine Hat team in 1958. Larry, who closely resembled Herman Munster from the T. V. Series Addams Family, went behind his net after the 8th goal, and unscrewed the goal light bulb, then skated to center-ice, and ATE THE RED GOAL LIGHT. (No Kidding) I actually had seen Mr Plante eat a beer glass one night in Spokane, at Tonys Tavern after the game. The man was not adverse to digesting glass. Larry is currently experiencing “stomach aches” in Medicine Hat, where he works as a Toronto Blue Jay Scout for Western Canada.

Now one mystery  Sam Quigley has never been able to solve over the years. The Kimberley Hotel Bar (called the blue room I do believe) commissioned an artist to paint large oil  canvass  (paintings) of Elk, Deer, Moose, Sheep and Bear, surrounded by our wonderful local mountains and rivers.  The “ artist” was reportedly given free lodging, and free beer, while he created these nice pictures. So  Sam Quigley has long wondered whatever happened to the paintings. If any reader knows where the pictures are located, give Boots Boudreau, and Tara a call at L and K Taxi (250 427 4442).

Sam Quigley has an extraordinary memory, and sharp recall, Sam is the  same as Chris Sorensen, both have “ razor minds”( the 2 best I have run across interviewing). Last but not least, Sam was an admirer of Benny Redisky of the Dynamiters, who could spot any weakness in the opposing defense, which Benny would then  share with his team mates  between periods. Sam stated “Benny was uncanny with his observations “   When Sam played for Kimberley at the old rink uptown, the Dynamiters were infamous in the League for having a group of zealous fans called “the pool hall gang”. Frank  Cerillo of the Trail Smoke Eaters once told Quigley that the pool hall boys  were worth two goals a game to Kimberley, such was their intimidation of opposing teams. One member was Dingy Bell, brother of Dynamiter star Claudie Bell.

So Sam Quigley lived next door to Don and Mona Beattie.  They had a son named Lloyd ( later to be known as “Bert” )  who had a pet crow named Felix. The amazing thing is young Beattie would  take his pet crow along to Blarchmont School, on his shoulder, Lloyd would go in to school, and his crow would fly off to do his thing. Felix would be waiting for Bert, on the hydro pole when he came out for lunch. They would go home to eat, and the Crow would hop back on his shoulder for the return trip to school, and fly away, until the end of school day, when he would be patiently  waiting for young Beattie to go home.  True story folks.  Sam told me he used to babysit  young Lloyd  and his sister Dorothy (who was known as Baby ) so Sam knew all about this pet crow, and  his trips to Blarchmont School. Back in those days here in Kimberley, your neighbours were like your “extended family,” Sam recalls. Thanks to Jeanny Irvin for setting this  up with Sam, a remarkable man of 92 years, ( 70 here in Kimberley)