wjc countdown mark morrison

B.C. at the World Juniors – No. 5: Mark Morrison

The Delta native helped the first-ever POE team to gold with a 10-point performance in 1982 before adding bronze a year later

Jason La Rose
December 7, 2018

With the IIHF World Junior Championship back in British Columbia for the first time in 13 years and B.C. Hockey celebrating its 100th anniversary, we asked the question … what are the best performances by B.C. natives in World Juniors history?

Hometown: Delta, B.C.
Minor Hockey Association: --

1982 IIHF World Junior Championship
Statistics: 7GP 3G 7A 10P
Result: gold medal

1983 IIHF World Junior Championship
Statistics: 7GP 3G 2A 5P
Result: bronze medal

After years of sending the Memorial Cup champions as its representative, the Program of Excellence was born in 1981 to ensure Canada’s best juniors would wear the Maple Leaf at the IIHF World Junior Championship. The POE paid immediate dividends, with Canada going unbeaten to win its first WJC gold in 1982.

Morrison was an offensive leader on that team, posting 10 points in seven games to finish sixth in Canadian scoring. He made a major impact in Canada’s first-ever World Juniors win over the Soviet Union, scoring once and adding two assists, and had two goals and two helpers in an 11-1 romp over Switzerland.

The Delta native returned a year later and added a bronze medal to his collection alongside names like Lemieux, Yzerman, Verbeek and Andreychuk. Morrison had three goals in seven games in the Soviet Union, with two of them coming as part of a wild 7-7 tie with Czechoslovakia.

What are your memories of the 1982 World Juniors?
“The experience was amazing. We were the first ones; it was still a small tournament at the time, you hadn’t really heard about it before. They used to send the Memorial Cup champions before, so we were kind of the first ones to get put together as a national team like that. The coaching staff did a great job with a lot of little bonding things, and we bonded really quickly. There were a lot of great guys on the team, and a lot of us still keep in touch today. The winning experience has kept a lot of friendships together for a long time. It was certainly a lot of fun, and it was different, and the country got behind us.”

What did it mean to be the first Canadian team to win gold?
“As a bunch of kids coming together, we just wanted to win the tournament. I don’t think at the time it meant very much, but it’s kind of cool now. It’s something you think about more after the fact, because every time there’s a World Juniors tournament, that team is talked about or its picture is shown. So, it means a lot more in hindsight. It’s something I take a lot of pride in now, looking back and knowing we were the first.”

What do you remember about Sherry Bassin’s speech in the final game against Czechoslovakia?
“Bassin walked in [during the second intermission] with a gold medal and walked around the dressing room and showed it to us and asked us if we wanted to touch it. If someone went to touch it, he would pull it away and say ‘It’s not yours yet, you need to work harder for this. Don’t think that this is yours.’ His speech was very uplifting and emotional, and as he walked around the room and flashed the medal in front of us but wouldn’t let us touch it and said that if we weren’t going to work for it then it would have to go to the room across the hall. I don’t know how he wrangled it, because they’re kept [under] lock and key until they’re handed out, but he did a pretty good job with all of that. At the moment you don’t really think about it, but then after when we thought about it, you realize how inspirational it was.”

For more information:

Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 284-6484 

Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 777-4567

Jeremy Knight
Manager, Corporate Communications
Hockey Canada

(647) 251-9738

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