By Craig Campbell, Dundas Star News
Fans are encouraged to wear Real McCoys jerseys — or another hockey jersey of their choice — as the Community of Dundas celebrates the local team’s historic Allan Cup championship win at J.L. Grightmire Arena, Monday.
“I think it’s important for the community to recognize (the team),” said Dundas city councillor Russ Powers. “It was pretty exciting.”
He said general manager Don Robertson, head coach Ken Mann and McCoys players are all anticipated to be at the Monday, April 28 event. It starts at 7 p.m. inside the arena at 35 Market St. S. and entry is free.
Powers said Robertson and Mann were expected to be invited to this week’s meeting of city council to be recognized by mayor Bob Bratina.
But Powers himself was scheduled to be out of town for other meetings that night, and he wanted to give the entire Dundas community and McCoys fans an opportunity to celebrate and honour the team’s victory at the Canadian Senior AAA Hockey Championship.
“The public is invited to wear the hockey jersey of their choice,” Powers said, although one could expect a Dundas hockey focus.
Among those likely to likely to be wearing their McCoys colours are longtime fans John Mills and Stan Nowak. The friends watched the Allan Cup championship win from their regular perch overlooking the net at the west end of Grightmire Arena.
The two hugged and cheered when Randy Rowe put the winning goal past Clarenville Caribous goalie Jason Churchill, using a screen by Greg Stewart, at Grightmire Arena Satudray night.
“I don’t believe it,” Nowak yelled.
“I don’t believe it either, Stan,” Mills yelled. “After all these years, it’s a sweet day.”
Mills and Nowak have supported the McCoys since their first season, 14 years ago.
Dundas Real McCoys won all four of their games at the grueling Allan Cup tournament. They topped South East Prairie Thunder 4-3 with solid defence and Cam Watson’s pressure on Thunder goalie Steve Christie – forcing an error on a clearing attempt that hit Stewart and ended up in the net for the winning goal.
One night later, Dundas beat-up on defending champion Bentley Generals, 6-2 with two goals from Stewart and singles from Ryan Christie, Nick Smith, Justin Davis, and Scott Mifsud.
After two days off, Dundas goalie Mike Mole stopped 28 shots to shut-out Kenora Thistles in a semi-final. Christie scored twice while Jason Ward and Simon Mangos each scored once.
Now 64-years-old, Grightmire Arena was recommended for closure back in 2008. But opposition from the local hockey community was swift. In 2010, the arena and Dundas earned the national CBC-Kraft Hockeyville contest and an NHL exhibition game between Ottawa Senators and Buffalo Sabres.
That sparked the Hockeyville Legacy project, which is expected to bring extensive renovations and improvements to the historic facility – including a home for the new Dundas Sports Wall of Fame.
Last weekend’s Allan Cup victory brought another historic event to distinctive old “barn” on Market Street – home to the Dundas Minor Hockey Association and the Dundas Blues Junior C Hockey Club, in addition to the Real McCoys.
The Monday, April 28 celebration is likely to be another special event in Grightmire Arena’s history.
Extensive Allan Cup coverage can be found at www.hamiltonnews.com