R o n A R E S H E N K O F F
Grand Forks Border Bruins “KIJHL – Jr B” Alumni
H O C K E Y P R O F I L E
Ron Areshenkoff played his entire Minor Hockey in Grand Forks, BC as well as 2 seasons with the Grand Forks Border Bruins Junior Hockey Club (KIJHL). Our first home grown Border Bruin to be drafted and play in the NHL. From 1972 – 74 Ron played for the Grand Forks Border Bruins. He was part of the 1973 – 74 Border Bruins team that won the KIJHL West Division Championship. Playing in 19 regular season games as a sixteen year old, he scored 19 goals, had 26 assists and was named the Border Bruins “Outstanding Player” of the year.
After being acknowledged as “Best Prospect” at the prestigious Bobby Kromm Hockey School in Trail as part of Sherwood Hockey Stick Company National program in 1974 – 75, Ron played his first full season in the BCJHL for the Vernon Vikings. Under legendary Coach Joe Tennant, Ron lead the team in scoring as a 17 year old with 36 goals and 50 assists for 86 points. He also led the team in play off scoring with 6 goals and 13 assists for 19 points in 6 games.
In 1975 – 77 Ron played two seasons for the Medicine Hat Tiger of the WCHL under Coach Jack Shupe. In his first year he led all rookie scorers with 25 goals and 35 assists for 60 points. In his second season Ron scored 51 times with 42 assists for 93 points and was voted the teams “Most Valuable Player” along with being awarded the Teams “Most Outstanding Player” as recognition for the most regular season “Three Star Selections”.
The 1976 – 77 Tiger’s were the first team in franchise history to finish first in their Central Division with 76 points. (32 wins/28 losses/12 ties.) Notable teammates included Don Murdock, Morris Lukowich, Ken Holland, Jim Nill, Pete Peters, John Hilworth, Brian Hill, Merlin Malinowski & Owen Lloyd.
Also selected as the starting center ice man to the WCHL All Star Team that was assembled to compete at the ‘Labatte Cup International Tournament’ held over Christmas in Calgary, Edmonton, Lethbridge and Medicine Hat. The Team went undefeated against the All-Stars from the Soviet Union, OHA, and QMJHL, to win the Gold Medal which what would become the World Junior Annual Tournament.
At this prestigious 6 game International Tournament Ron finished 3rd in scoring with 2 goals and 7 assists for 9 points and tied with legendary scorer Mike Bossy. He also finished second in voting to Barry Beck as the Tournament MVP.
At the January 19th WCHL All Star Game played in Brandon, MB in front of 4,120 people, Ron scored the winning third period goal in a 3 – 2 Team West victory.
In his final year of Junior Hockey and his draft year (and in spite of breaking his wrist with 12 games left in the regular season), Ron was voted to the WCHL’s “Second Team All Star” at the center ice position behind “First Team All Star” Bill Derlago.
In June of 1977 Ron was selected in the second round of the NHL Amateur Draft by Punch Imlach & the Buffalo Sabres, 32nd overall and was the first center man chosen from the WCHL. That same year, at the World Hockey Association (WHA) Amateur Draft, he was selected in the first round, 11th overall, by the Edmonton Oilers. (Note: Edmonton obtained the 11 pick by trade with the WHA, New England Whalers.)
In 1977 – 79: Ron played for the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL) under GM Frank Mathers and Coach Chuck Hamilton. Interestingly at the time of the Three Mile Island Nuclear Meltdown - the worst accident in US NPP History. On Wed., March 28th at 4 am a 5 of 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale incurred a 1 Billion Dollar clean up expense. With Hershey being 13 miles from TMI, the Hershey Park Arena was used as an evacuation site and all Bears games were suspended for that period.
In 1979 – 80" Ron played for the Edmonton Oilers of the NHL under Coach Glen Sather and Owner Peter Pockington. In 1979 - 80 Ron also played for the Houston Apollos in the Central Hockey League (CHL) under Hockey Hall of Fame Coach Al Rollins.
1980 – 81: Ron was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers for fellow Medicine Hat Tiger Alumni Barry Dean.
In 1982 – 84: Ron was a member of the historic Trail Senior Smoke Eaters of the WIHL where they won a league Championship, Savage Cup (Western Canadian Championship) and competed in the Allan Cup semi finals, losing to St. Bonafice Mohawks in a 5 game series in Winnipeg, MB. Later, as a Coach Ron eventually won an Allan Cup Championship with the Whitehore, Yukon Huskies in 1992 – 93 besting War Road Minnesota and the host team Quesnel Kangaroo’s.
He also won a Gold Medal “Western Canadian Shield Championship” as the Coach of the Yukon Women’s Senior “AA” Hockey Team.
Ron operated his own hockey school for seven years (Yukon Territory Camp of Hockey) from 1990 – 96 and also Scouted for the WHL Medicine Hat Tigers Hockey Club and BCJHL Coquitlam Express.
International Hockey experiences include:
- An exhibition game against the Czechoslovakia Olympic Team as a member of the Medicine Hat Tigers on Saturday, January 10th, 1977 which ended in a 3 – 3 tie. Notable opponents were Jiri Crha, Ivan Hlinka, Jiri Bubla, Vladimir Dzurilla from the Team that won a Silver Medal at the 1976 Innsbruck Winter Olympics.
- An exhibition game against the Moscow Dynamo’s as a member of the Hersey Bears of the AHL on December 30th, 1977 which ended in a 6 – 4 Soviet victory. Ron scored one short handed goal and had one assist in the game. Notable opponents were goalie Vladimir Myshkin and forward Valery Filippov.
- Two CHL games versus the 1980 USA Olympic Men’s Hockey Team that went on to win the Gold Medal at the Lake Placid Winter Olympic Games. The USA Olympic Team played a series of home and home games against each of the CHL Teams. They recorded a record of 14 wins, 1 tie and 3 losses. Game 25 of 61 ended Houston Apollo’s 4 – Team USA 3 played at the Sam Houston Coliseum in Houston, Texas. Game 51 or 61 ended Houston Apollo’s 3 – Team USA 5 played at the Met Center in Bloomington, MN.
- An exhibition game against the Russian National Under 18 Hockey Team played in Smithers, BC as a member of the defending Allan Cup Champions on Thursday, December 14, 1995 which ended in a 6 -2 loss. Notable Russian player and future Boston Bruin was Sergei Samsonov.
- Ron was privileged to share dressing rooms with greats such as Gilbert Perreault, Danny Gare, Rick Martin, Jim Schoenfeld, Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Kevin Lowe, Lee Fogolin and Bobby Clark.
Ron retired from Professional Hockey in 1982 after enduring three shoulder surgeries and returned to British Columbia to complete his schooling. On Saturday, February 3rd, 2007 at a center ice ceremony at the G.F. Border Bruins Annual Alumni Tournament, Ron’s Buffalo Sabre and Edmonton Oiler Jerseys were permanently erected in the Arena as a Grand Forks Border Bruin Tradition Builder.