Andy Gilpin

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Andrew Crowley Gilpin

Born: September 20, 1920 (Montréal)
Died: March 1, 2014 (London, Ontario)

 

Andy Gilpin was a forward with the RCAF Flyers team selected to represent Canada at the 1948 Olympics. The team won a gold medal, though Gilpin did not play due to an ankle injury.

The Flyers claimed the gold medal by going undefeated in round-robin tournament at St. Moritz, Switzerland. Canada went 7-0-1, the draw a 0-0 game against Czechoslovakia and the gold medal settled by a 3-0 victory over the hosts on Feb. 8, 1948.

The 5-foot-11, 170-pound left winger played a season of junior hockey with the Westmount team in his hometown. He scored eight goals and recorded five assists in 11 games in 1939-40.

After enrolling in the Royal Canadian Air Force, he played for military teams in Victoria and Vancouver.

Gilpin, a sergeant in rank, was posted in Whitehorse, Yukon, when he was selected in November, 1947, for the RCAF team being put together to compete at the Olympics. He scored two unassisted goals in his first exhibition game with the squad, which was cobbled together from armed forces personal across the country.

He later hurt his ankle after crashing into the boards and missed playing in the Olympics.

In the early 1950s, he skated for the Arnprior (Ont.) Greenshirts, but stayed in the army instead of taking a chance at becoming a professional hockey player.

He retired with the rank of chief warrant officer in 1975.

A fall on the ice broke his hip and shoulder eight years ago, at age 85. He recovered sufficiently to return to rink, making it his habit to take a twirl around the ice at Nichols Arena in London on Mondays.

The RCAF’s 427 Wing honoured Gilpin with a presentation on Feb. 7, the day the Sochi Olympics opened, coinciding with the 66th anniversary of the Flyers winning the gold medal. He was presented with a 2014 Team Canada Olympic hockey sweater with his name and the No. 48 on the back.

Gilpin died in Victoria Hospital at London, Ont. He was predeceased by his wife, the former Ellen Hearnden, who died in 2001. He leaves four daughters, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

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