In the forty-fourth edition of “Legends of the Game” we look at the career of Isaac “Ike” Bruce Hildebrand.
Isaac Bruce Hildebrand (May 27, 1927 – August 27, 2006) was a Canadian ice hockey and lacrosse player. Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, he played for the Chicago Black Hawks and the New York Rangers of the `original six’ NHL teams 1949–1953.
In 1985, he was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame for the sport of lacrosse. He was inducted into Canada’s Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1972 and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1985 as well as Sports Halls of Fame in Peterborough (1978), Belleville (1989) and Oshawa (1993).
Ike excelled at both of Canada’s national sports, lacrosse and hockey. He played lacrosse with the New Westminster Salmonbellies Senior team and at age 17 won the MVP award in the Mann Cup Canadian Championship. In a lacrosse career that spanned 17 years (1943–1960) he was honored 13 times as an all-star. After a junior ice hockey career with the Oshawa Generals, he spent 10 years playing professional hockey with minor pro teams in the Pacific Coast League, the US Hockey League, the Quebec Pro League and the American Hockey League.
Hildebrand also played with the New York Rangers, and the Chicago Black Hawks of the `original six’ NHL teams 1949–1953. He was playing coach with the Belleville McFarlands and scored the winning goal when they won the World Championship for Canada in Prague Czechoslovakia in 1959.
After his playing days, Hildebrand turned to coaching with the London Nationals, Orillia Terriers and two years with the Oshawa Generals.
From the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame…
An article from Stan Shillington – Down memory lane:
Ike Hildebrand, one of Canada’s most outstanding athletes, died in St. Albert, Alberta, on August 27, 2006.
Born Isaac Hildebrand in Winnipeg on May 27, 1927, he grew up in New Westminster where he excelled at both lacrosse and hockey.
Just 18 days after turning 16 years of age, Ike scored his first senior lacrosse goal as a regular’ in the New Westminster Salmonbellies’ lineup. It was the beginning of a 396-game senior boxla career that took him frmm the Royal City to Mimico and finally Peterborough.
His other sport — hockey — often overlapped the lacrosse season, giving him little time to catch his breath.
After a junior career in Oshawa, Ike spent ten years playing professional hockey with minor teams in the Pacific Coast, American, U.S., and Quebec leagues as well as New York Rangers and Chicago Black Hawks of the NHL.
He later regained his amateur status and, as playing-coach, led the Belleville McFarlands to the 1958 Allan Cup title and the 1959 World Championship in Prague, Czechoslovakia.
Ike participated in five Mann Cup championships (1944, 1946, 1947. 1955. 1956), winning in 1955. He also a member of teams that went to the national finals on six other seasons but, due to hockey commitments, could not play in the title series.
A perennial lacrosse all-star, Ike won scoring titles in 1946 and 1948 with New Westminster and 1955 with Peterborough. Over his senior career in B.C. and Ontario, he accumulated 1,257 points on 683 goals and 574 assists.`
Ike was inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1972 and the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 1985. He is also a member of the Sports Halls of Fame in Peterborough (1978), Belleville (1989) and Oshawa (1993).