A pair of former Nelson Leafs teammates passed away on Christmas Day.
James (Shorty) Malacko, 86, and Dominic (Mickey) Maglio, 87, played together on what was then the Nelson Maple Leafs senior team from 1954 to 1964.
Malacko and Maglio, who actually shared a room at Kootenay Lake Hospital prior to their passing, first teamed up with the Lethbridge Native Sons for the 1948-49 season.
Malacko, a quick defenceman who earned the nickname Shorty for his diminutive stature, won gold with Lethbridge at the 1951 World Amateur Hockey Championships in Paris before also later winning gold at the Sir Winston Churchill Cup Competition in London, England.
Malacko was briefly the coach of Germany’s Olympic team in 1952 before returning to Canada a year later, marrying Maxine Morgan and moving to Nelson. Malacko also played for the Leafs in the 1965 Allan Cup finals.
Following his season in Lethbridge, Maglio played two years for teams in New York and Baltimore before joining the Leafs in 1951. He had a two-game cup of coffee with the then-Vancouver Canucks of the WHL in during the 1956-57 season, but stayed on with Nelson throughout the decade.
Maglio also played with Malacko on the Savage Cup winning team in 1961 and coached Malacko to the Allan Cup finals four years later.