Ches LeachCHESTER LEACH 

BUILDER-HOCKEY

“Ches ” Leach was involved in bringing junior hockey to Prince Albert twice.

Born in 1917, Leach participated in a number of sports during his younger years including baseball, small‑bore rifle, boat racing and showing horses, but his greatest passion was hockey.

In the late 1940s, along with Charles Goddard, Leach helped form the Prince Albert Mintos junior hockey club. The Mintos competed in the Saskatchewan Amateur Junior Hockey League and were a training ground for a number of future National Hockey League players.

In the early 1960s, Steve Ruznisky assumed control of the community owned Minto team, but Leach remained very visible in the local hockey scene. That visibility resulted in Leach and Reg Martsinkiw joining forces in 1970 to land an expansion franchise in the SAJHL. The hockey club, known as the Prince Albert Raiders, went on to unprecedented success including four national championships (Centennial Cups) in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Leach was president of the team when it won its first national championship in 1977. His involvement with the team was honoured in 1989 when a new facility at the Communiplex was christened the Ches Leach Room.

Leach was named coach of the year in the Prince Albert Minor Hockey Association in 1972 and Prince Albert Sportsman of the Year in 1976.

Inducted into the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame in 1992.