Rev. Neil G. Price- 1940

One of the hockey Axemen’s best-ever netminders was undoubtedly Neil Price who was an integral part of Acadia’s winning of Provincial Intercollegiate titles in ’37-’38 and ’38-’39 and Nova Scotia and Maritime crowns during the ’39-’40 season.

Prior to his coming to Acadia during the fall of ’37, he had starred in goal for a very strong Charlottetown junior team that had emerged as Eastern Canadian champs in 1934. In ’33, as a high school hockey custodian, he had performed with the West Kent High hockey squad, that season’s P.E.I. Interscholastic champs.

During his initial season with the Axemen, he drew plaudits for his sensational work in goal. In a January 15, 1938 encounter against town rivals, the Cohorts, the P .E.I. native was described by the local scribes as “phenomenal.”

Following defeat by Wolfville in Valley League playoffs, Price and teammates upset the powerful St. F.X. team in intercollegiate playoff action as Jack Murdock shot the winner in a sudden-death contest. In another sudden-death encounter in Sackville, NB for tri-province honours, the Fred Kelly-coached Axemen dropped a 4-3 decision to Mt. A. as future Toronto Maple Leaf Bobby Copp beat custodian Price with the winner.

In ’38-’39, Neil Price and “Production Line” members Jack Murdock, Johnnie Wilson and Valley League Senior scoring champ Abe Cohen shone against Windsor to capture the circuit’s silverware. Subsequently in university playoff action, the Axemen swept aside St. F .X. in a semi-final round as netminder Price and offensive stars Murdock, Wilson and Cohen were very prominent. Following a 5-3 provincial crown-winning performance against St. Mary’s, Price, Cohen and captain Cail Vinnicombe drew credit ratings in another tri-province loss to Mt. Allison.

The ’39-’40 season, however, was destined to be a brilliant one for Neil Price and teammates as they emerged as Western Nova

Scotia Senior champs and Nova Scotia and Maritime Intercollegiate winners.

As Price, Frankie Theakston, Bruce Parlee, Carl Bruce and a very strong supporting cast of performers were joined by established scoring sensation Jimmy Gray and Wilf Anderson, the Axemen swept aside Wolfville and Annapolis Royal to earn Western Nova Scotia Senior laurels. Following a surprising 3-2 triumph over “Chummie” Lawlor, Frankie Redmond, Charlie Copus and Halifax Wolves teammates in further playoff action, the Axemen finally were defeated by the more experienced Haligonians.

In intercollegiate play, however, the Axemen went all the way, as netminder Price and offensive stars Gray, Parlee and Anderson shone in semi-final 9-4 and 11-5 victories over St. Mary’s. A goal by the “Collegiate Clipper” Jimmy Gray against St. F .X. at the eighty-second minute mark of play gave the Kellymen the Provincial crown.

Then, in one of the finest netminding displays ever seen provincially, Neil Price led the Axemen to a 3-0 win over St. Dunstan’s at Truro in sudden-death play. Ably assisted by the defensive duo of Justin Jordan and Doug Smith and the goal scoring of Gray, Anderson and Murdock and the fine two-way play of Frankie Theakston, Price was the instrumental figure as the Axemen won their first-ever Maritime hockey crown.

Following graduation from Acadia, Neil Price served in the R.C.A.F., both in Canada and overseas until the end of the war. Later, he graduated from U.N.B. with a law degree and became a member of the New Brunswick Barristers Society.

Ultimately, he returned to Acadia to receive his degree in theology and served as a Baptist Minister for nearly three decades.

It is indeed an honour to welcome for induction to Acadia’s Sports Hall of Fame, the Reverend Neil Price: a gifted hockey netminder, winner of the first Orlay Bligh trophy, a member of Acadia’s Hockey Honour Roll and an outstanding citizen.