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Gerry McNeil
1926 - 2004

McNEIL, Gerry

Est décédé paisiblement à l'hôpital St-Luc, le 18 juin 2004, après une courte mais intense lutte contre le cancer, à l'âge de 78 ans.

Époux bien-aimé de Theresa Conway. Il manquera grandement à ses enfants Ronald-Shannon (Gérald), Karen (John), David (Erin) et Donna (Graeme), ses petits- enfants David, Kathleen, Vanessa, Alanna, Nicholas et Tricia et plusieurs amis.

Gerry était le gardien de but regulier des Canadiens de Montréal de 1950 à 1956 et plus tard fut le gérant des ventes de district pour Thomas Adams Distillers.

Un service en sa mémoire aura lieu à la maison funéraire Collins Clarke 222, autoroute 20 (Cartier, sortie 49) Pointe-Claire le mardi 22 juin 2004 à 16 h, avec visites deux heures avant le service. Au lieu de fleurs, des dons au CHUM (Fondation du Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Mon- tréal) seraient appréciés.
Paru le 2004/06/19 dans La Presse

Gerry McNeil

Gerard "Gerry" McNeil, a former goaltender for the Montreal Canadiens , died on June 17.

Cause of death was not released. He was 78.

The Quebec City native was only 17 when he attended his first training camp in 1943. Starting with the Cincinnati Mohawks and the Montreal Royals, he honed his skills during six minor league seasons and was named the most valuable player three years in a row. McNeil replaced Canadiens' Hall of Famer Bill Durnan in the midst of the 1950 playoffs and backstopped the team to the Stanley Cup finals in 1951 and 1952. During the 1952-53 season, he led Montreal to a Stanley Cup win.

One of hockey's last ambidextrous goalies, McNeil lost his starting position at the end of the 1953-54 season to Jacques Plante, a young superstar who became the first goalie to don a face mask and skate behind the net to stop a puck. During the Stanley Cup finals against Detroit that year, Plante was pulled and veteran McNeil was placed on the ice to help the team win the next two games and force a seventh. The seventh game would bring about McNeil's downfall. In overtime, he allowed an easy shot to get past him. The missed goal, which earned Detroit the Stanley Cup, crushed McNeil's confidence. He bailed out of the sport for a season to teach junior hockey, but eventually returned to Montreal as Plante's back-up.

Although McNeil was part of the Canadiens when the team won the Stanley Cup in the 1956-57 season, he never again played as an NHL starter. After retiring from hockey, McNeil spent 20 years working at the Seagram Distilleries.

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