|Bob Gillson - Owen Sound Mercurys|
‘Mr. Gillson goes to Washington’ His boss Jim Keeling owner of the Owen Sound Mercurys and the then Collingwood Mercurys told Bobby to go to Washington – they had goaltender problems and needed help to get in the playoffs. Keeling was an owner of a Ford dealership in Owen Sound, hence the Owen Sound and Collingwood Mercurys. Jim was a long time friend of Lou Pieri, owner of the Providence Reds, and for this season, also the Washington Presidents as a farm team for Providence. Gillson had also signed a “C” contract with Providence in 1948 which might still have been in force in 1958. At any rate it seems the call to Washington came through Pieri. Several players who played with the Mercurys were one time Providence property - Tom Burlington, Pat McReavy, Bill McComb and Andy McCallum. Another Providence connection - it seems Pieri sent old Providence hockey equipment up to Owen Sound. Bob still has the pants which had been in a museum in Southampton Ont. but discarded and returned to Gillson via Doug Gillespie (former teammate) a few years ago.
|Bob Gillson |
Toronto Staffords 1946-47
Here's 8 games I can verify he played with Washington, as per the Washington Post:
Jan 29, 1959 Washington 3 at New Haven 5
Jan 31, 1959 Washington 6 at Charlotte 5 (OT)
Feb 5, 1959 Washington 1 at Charlotte 4
Feb 7, 1959 Washington 6 at Charlotte 4
Feb 10, 1959 Washington 1 at Philadelphia 5, Gillson 31 Saves
Feb 11, 1959 Washington 1 at Clinton 3, Gillson 31 Saves
Feb 14, 1959 Charlotte 3 at Washington 6, Gillson 25 Saves
Feb 15, 1959 Charlotte 13 at Washington 2
Totals: 8 Games, 42 Goals against. 3 Wins 5 Losses.
Feb 17, 1959 Nipper O'Hearn brought in by the Presidents to replace an ailing Gillson.
Feb 21, 1959 Goaltender Harvey Bennett acquired by the Presidents from the Providence Reds.
Feb 25, 1959 The Washington Presidents will use their 6th goalie of the season tonight, Ed Giacomin.
|Bob Gillson - October 2010|
EHL history is not cut and dried as it may seem. The 1959-60 EHL Yearbook says that Bob Gillson played 9 games giving up 44 goals for Washington and Johnstown combined. If we subtract out the Washington stats above, then Gillson would have given up 2 goals in 1 game for Johnstown. Bob himself is "absolutely sure" that he played a game for Johnstown, replacing an injured goalie, possibly even in a playoff game. Johnstown used a slew of replacement goaltenders at the end of the season and throughout the playoffs.
However, the book Slap Shots and Snapshots, which has extensive game by game stats for the Jets does not show Gillson having played for Johnstown. I contacted Mike Piskuric who did stats for the Slap Shots and Snapshots. He verified that he found no record of Gillson playing for Johnstown. However, he does show Frazer Gleason, Jets backup goalie having played 33 minutes, and giving up 2 goals, as a replacement on Feb. 27, 1959. (The EHL Yearbook does not show Gleason having played.) Is it possible that Gillson actually played, and the statistician or newspaper sports reporter just assumed that it was Gleason who played? We have no way of knowing for sure. Which is why EHL stats, like any hockey stats that were kept on type written pages, are not as cut and dried as things are in today's computer age.
Bob Gillson Stats from 1959-60 Eastern Hockey League Yearbook:
Games: 9 (Washington-Johnstown)
Goals Against: 44
Goals Against Average: 4.89
(In case you're wondering, 9 full games divided by 44 goals would come to 4.89, so it's probable that the GAA is not taking into account Overtime or any partial games played.)
Note: This article is written from e-mails from Charlie MacDougall hockey historian from Owen Sound, about his discussions with Bob Gillson. The photos were also sent by Charlie.