© Robb Crandall/Allan Cup
The entire Clarenville Caribous team poses around the Allan Cup in what has become traditional champions' style.
Twenty-five years after the Corner Brook Royals set a new standard for Newfoundland senior hockey, the Clarenville Caribous penned their own chapter in provincial hockey history with an Allan Cup championship Saturday night in northern Ontario.
It was the second Canadian senior hockey championship since the Royals won the Allan Cup in 1986.
The Caribous, from the West Coast Senior Hockey League and winners of the 2009 and 2010 Herder Memorial Trophy championship, beat the Bentley, Alta. Generals 5-3 in Kenora, Ont., to cap off a national four-game win streak, and capture one of North America hockey’s oldest trophies, initially put up for competition in 1908.
“It’s all about 28 guys believing in themselves and believing in each other,” said coach Ivan Hapgood. “That’s what made this team successful.”
The Royals swept the Nelson, B.C. Maple Leafs in British Columbia 25 years ago after taking the Eastern Canadian final against the Brantford Motts Clamatos in Ontario.
Clarenville was actually a combination of players from the Caribous and the Subway Avalon East Senior Hockey League’s Conception Bay North Eastlink CeeBee Stars.
A number of Caribous could not make the trip and were replaced by CeeBees, the team with which Clarenville chose to affiliate itself.
The Caribous were winless in last year’s Allan Cup championship held in Fort St. John, B.C. It was the first time Newfoundland entered a team in Allan Cup competition since 1988, when the St. John’s Capitals lost to the Motts Clamatos.
See more coverage in today's print edition of The Telegram.