Although history often only remembers the glory and glowing press clippings associated with a sensational small-town sports team, the reality often more likely involves much sacrifice and considerable challenges as well. The expenses of maintaining a team and playing for its traveling expenses often is a major hurdle as the team proceeds along the road to a provincial or Maritime Championship. Such was the case of the 1943-44 Berwick Bruins as they sought the Maritime Intermediate hockey championship . In an era when all post-season play-offs involved 2-game total-goal home and home series, the Bruins had to rely on the gate receipts from the home games to pay for the considerable costs associated with traveling by railroad to other parts of the province and Maritimes.
It was in this uncertain economic situation that the Berwick Bruins began the 1943-44 season. President R.A. Moreash and Vice-President Bill Wilson had recruited a talented team. How far they would go might depend on the home-town fans as much as the talented on the ice.
In the long trail to the Maritime championship, the Bruins first won the Valley championship by eliminating the Aldershot Army team. This was followed by a close victory 8–5 over the Halifax Canadians. After a drubbing of the New Glasgow Industrialists, the local squad met the New Waterford Hawks for the Nova Scotia championships. The hockey fever was high in Berwick winning by a two-game margin of 14-6. Equally large and boisterous crowds watched the Maritime final with the Borden (PEI) Nationals. When it was over, the Bruins had won handily by a 23-11 score and were able to hoist the Halifax Herald Trophy, emblematic of the Maritime Intermediate Hockey Championship. Considering the financial constraints and considerable travel required, it was a remarkable accomplishment for a small-town team of only 12 players.
1943 – 44 Berwick Bruins
Maritime Intermediate Hockey Champions
President: Dr. R. A. Moreash Vice-President: Bill Wilson
Manager: Spencer Horsburgh Mascot: Don Morse
Inducted June 2000