Cat’s play-by-play and public relations man George Scott paid his dues in a slightly different fashion.
“I was doing the play by play for the games and after 10 games my voice was perfectly fine,” said Scott. “At the championship, I was just a fan and all I did was scream and yell like everybody else and I did some damage.”
The game was the first time in seven years Scott was in the stands, instead of the play-by-play booth.
The victory places the 2017 Cats squad in elite company. The Allan Cup has only been won by three teams in the history of this province. The 1986 Corner Brook Royals squad and the 2011 Clarenville Caribous also claimed national titles.
The national championship comes in the wake of a heart breaking loss in this year’s Central West Senior Hockey League final. The Cats lost in game 7 to the Clarenville Caribous in overtime. The winning marker was later determined to have been invalid, but was upheld by governing body Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador. Scott says the Cats put the controversy behind them, and kept their focus on the prize.
“The Allan Cup is a big enough motivation in and of itself…,” said Scott. “We didn’t get that one (CWSHL championship) and they were the favourites going in, but (we said) ‘let’s make sure we go out on a high note.”’
This victory capped off six years of effort and four close calls for the Cats at the Allan Cup. The team made their first Allan Cup appearance in 2012, exiting after a lopsided loss in the semi-finals. Clarenville hosted Allan Cup play in 2015 where the Cats’ battle for the Cup ended in an overtime loss to what is now the Lacombe Generals.
Last season perennial finalists, and hometown team, the South East Prairie Thunder sent the Cats packing in a tight 2-1 loss.
All that build up is taken in stride by long time volunteer and Cats fan Benny Farr.
“I’ve been an executive director and a game day director for 14 years,” said Farr. “It’s a phenomenal feeling, a sense of relief, and a proud moment for the town itself and the executive, and the community.”