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Volunteers and players with the Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts joined in a ceremony Tuesday night at town council chambers to mark the team’s national senior hockey championship victory.
©Randy Edison photo
Grand Falls-Windsor, NL — Town council chambers are normally reserved for debate and decision-making, but there was different dynamic at play in Grand Falls-Windsor Tuesday night.
Several Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts volunteers and players graced the chambers with the squad’s latest prize – the storied Allan Cup.
The Cataracts beat the Lacombe Generals 7-4 in the Cup final in Bouctouche, N.B. April 15.
Volunteer Stan Coffin addressed council and guests on behalf of the organization. Because of geography and other commitments only four players were available to attend. The remainder of the large contingent in Cataracts jerseys was made up of executive and volunteers.
“These are the people who help make it all work,” Coffin said.
He also acknowledged the support the club receives from the town, volunteers, fans and sponsors.
With “about 50 people up to tournament,” the team’s support was also strong during the week-long competition for the Cup.
That support took a steep rise late in the week.
“After we defeated the hosts in semi finals, the stadium was on our side,” said Coffin. “Everyone was cheering for the east to win it – they didn’t want it to go west.”
“We tried for four times and finally succeeded,” he added.
“This is obviously a very proud moment for the town, particularly the hockey community,” said Mayor Barry Manuel.
“A lot of these guys have been involved for a lot of years,” the mayor said of the volunteers and supporters in the room.
It is only the third time in the 108-year history of the Allen Cup a Newfoundland and Labrador team won.
The Clarenville Caribous won in 2011 and the Corner Brook Royals — the first team from the province to win — hoisted the cup in 1986. The Allan Cup was first awarded in 1908, making it one of the oldest club-team hockey competitions in North America.
“They (the Cats) came oh so close on a number of occasions,” Manuel said.
“ You are a big source of pride for the community. Particularly in the last number of years, the team we’ve had was first class thanks to the people behind the scenes and the players on the ice.
“It is certainly a proud moment for everybody here to see our team….as national champions.”
Dr. Jared Butler brought congratulations in his role as Central representative on the Hockey NL Senior Council executive.
Butler originally went as team physician, but ended up filling in for Hockey NL and attending meetings of representatives from across the country.
“What I came to understand was how well respected the Cataracts organization is at the national level, and the community of Grand Falls-Windsor,” he said. “You represented our province well and you made us all proud as a community as well.”
A larger scale celebration of the team’s success is a possibility, according to the mayor.
“This is a way we wanted to recognize in the short term, but possibly we’ll get the team back as a whole in the future and celebrate as a community,” Manuel said.
What I came to understand was how well respected the Cataracts organization is at the national level, and the community of Grand Falls-Windsor
Dr. Jared Butler, team physician