Star quality: Lochlyn Munro

Star quality: Lochlyn Munro

Totems gone, not forgotten

Recognition: City’s first Junior A team to be honoured Feb. 1.

If you’ve watched television or films in the last two decades, you’ve likely seen Lochlyn Munro.

He’s had dozens of roles in dozens of productions, ranging from TV series CSI: New York and Charmed to films including A Night at the Roxbury as well as Tomorrowland, the movie that recently prompted cardboard cut-outs of George Clooney to pop up in Enderby. One role he’s probably not well-recognized for is a real life one.

In 1982-83, he was a member of the Shuswap Totems, Salmon Arm’s first Junior A Hockey Team.

This Saturday, Feb 1, Hockey Day in Salmon Arm, recognition of the Totems will be part of the celebrations. A few former members of the organization will be honoured at the start of the SilverBacks game versus Penticton at 7 p.m. at the Shaw Centre.

Munro, who shares his time between Tsawwassen and Los Angeles, and who went by his first name Rick when he played, isn’t sure if he can rearrange commitments to come, but he speaks fondly of his time with the Totems.

“I can honestly  say to you, moving away (from 100 Mile House), playing with them, it’s something I definitely would love for my son to experience, it was a really interesting time.”

Although he still plays hockey in fun leagues in L.A. and Vancouver, his professional hockey dreams ended when he played junior hockey in Langley and broke his femur on the first shift of the season.

“I had a 26-second hockey season,” he says.

He recalls the Totems having many altercations, particularly involving the rivalry with Brett Hull and the Penticton Knights.

That rivalry is something that another Totem, Tim Coghlin, also remembers well.

Coghlin, who grew up in Summerland, is the exemplary head coach at St. Norbert College in Wisconsin.

As the college website explains, Coghlin brought the Green Knights from their infancy on ice to the pinnacle of NCAA Division III hockey, constructing a 434-119-46 record in 20 seasons.

With the Totems, Coghlin remembers police escorts in and out of town when it came to the Penticton rivalry.

“Back then, it was a tough league, line brawls, bench brawls… It was tough hockey, a lot of character guys in the locker room.”

As a top scorer, one of Coghlin’s highlights was a game during the Brett Hull era when Penticton was the ‘big dog.’

“We got beat 8-6, Brett Hall had four of their eight and I got three of our six.”

Coghlin still keeps in touch with his billet family in Salmon Arm as well as others in the region.

“The hockey world in general is far smaller than you think,” he says, noting he recruits heavily from B.C.

Another Shuswap Totem who has moved on in the hockey world is Mike Leggo, now a referee in the National Hockey League.

Salmon Arm’s Gord Mackintosh, who was general manager of the Totems, was responsible for landing the Junior A team for the town.

“I had played down in Vancouver in a senior hockey league. The fellow that coached me became an official with the BC Hockey League. When they thought about expansion, they thought of Salmon Arm. He contacted me… because I’m pretty enthusiastic about it; I did some work on it. At that time Dave Loudoun was our sponsor. I asked him if he’d be interested in being part of an ownership group and he said, he’d be the ownership group.”

Head coach was Terry Shykora and assistant coach, Alvin Backus.

Mackintosh mentions Roy Sakaki, “Mr. Everything,” who helped the team in many ways, and the business community which provided great support.

“The enthusiasm around the town was incredible… We’d get the old rink packed downtown – it was quite an atmosphere.”