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Press Release

When it comes to hockey trivia, Richard Lapp cannot be stumped.

Ask him the most obscure question about the history of junior hockey, "who led the 1939 Oshawa Generals in scoring? Who was the back-up goalie for the 1976 Hamilton Fin Cups?" chances are he'll give you the right answer.

It is Lapp's pure love of junior hockey that enabled him to become the walking statistics-computer that he is, it's a passion he's had since childhood.

"I outgrew it age-wise, but not fan-wise," said the 41-year-old Winnipeg resident.

Even when his family moved to such hockeyless climates as Thailand and Columbia, Lapp still nurtured his love for hockey.

"There were no satellite dishes back then," he said, "But, I do remember waiting for the Miami Herald to come down to South America so I could check the hockey scores."

The combination of his passion for hockey and his encyclopedic knowledge of the game made it possible for Lapp to co-author two books on the subject. His first, Local Heroes: A History of the WHL, sold out the first printing within a month of its 1993 release. His second book, The Memorial Cup: Canada's National Junior Hockey Championship featuring a foreword by NHL great Paul Henderson, has just hit the bookshelves in stores across the country.

Lapp feels his new volume is an important book because the Memorial Cup tournament often goes unrecognized as a part of Canada's hockey history.

"The Memorial Cup is basically as old as the Stanley Cup, it's very much a part of hockey history. So many of the NHL greats have competed for the Memorial Cup," said the security officer-turned-author. "It deserves the coverage."

Though a fan of the NHL as well - the Toronto Maple Leafs hold a special place in his heart - Lapp has always stayed loyal to junior hockey.

"The NHL gets all the coverage, of course, but I'm more drawn to the pure excitement of the junior games," he says. "I've always liked the out-of-control nature of it."

Lapp's love of hockey has also manifested itself in a large collection of hockey memorabilia including books, programs, photos, jerseys and more.

"It's huge. I've got so much stuff in storage."

The items in his collection he prizes the most are the relatively obscure Jim Hendy hockey books, a series of guides that were printed during the '30s and '40s.

"So many people have the Gretzky rookie card or whatever, but I think these guides are the neatest things I've got. They're the most interesting."

Lapp says his passion for junior hockey hasn't diminished over the years. He says hewill continue following the game he loves.

"I still prefer junior hockey to the NHL, I won't turn my back on the juniors. I'm still the same - I'll practically drive through a prairie snowstorm to get to a game."