The story of the Yukon team that challenged the Stanley Cup champions in 1905

The story of the Yukon team that challenged the Stanley Cup champions in 1905

Coming to Ottawa in 1905, the Dawson Klondikers knew full well that the two games that would pit them against the Ottawa Senators, the Stanley Cup holders, would be tough.

With little time to train and the fatigue of the long journey in his legs, he first swung to the 9–2 mark, then was eclipsed by a 23–2 scoreline in a resounding victory for Ottawa. next game.

The results are almost real considering the experience of the players and the marks they leave on their way.

Promote Klondike

In 1904, Klondike in Yukon attracted prophets from around the world as the region became known for its gold.

Joseph Boyle, who wanted to spread the word about Klondike, was also among those who became wealthy. I always had thoughts on my mind, says Yann Heri, president of the Société d’Histoire Francophone du Yukon.

So the man founded a hockey team, nicknamed the Silver Seven, to challenge the defending Stanley Cup champions at home: the Ottawa Hockey Club. At that time, any hockey team could challenge the defending champions to snatch the trophy from them.

Among the members of the team was Albert Forrest, a teenager from Trois-Rivi,res, who moved with his family to the Yukon in 1901. We have not been able to determine how old he was, it varies from 17 to 19, except that he was said to be the youngest goalkeeper in the Stanley Cup., explains Yan Herry.

an epic

In mid-December, the Dawson Klondikers (also known as the Dawson Nuggets) embarked on a nearly 7,000 kilometer long journey that would take them 23 days.

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We already have to get from Dawson City to Whitehorse. Some choose dog sled, others walk, while the ultimate choose to do a combination of cycling and stagecoach. In -50 degrees, then they have to go to Skagway, Alaska.

They came to Skagway with frostbite and blisters and didn’t have time to practice, the snow conditions weren’t great, note Yan Herry.

From Skagway, they miss their 2-hour boat ride, then have to wait for the next five days to take them to Seattle. Then they went to Vancouver and took a train to Ottawa.

only in the smoking room they could practice, says Yan Herry.

They reached the Canadian capital on January 12, 1905, a day before their first match. Players stand ready if their request for an adjournment is turned down by the opposing team.

Klondikers. a strong enthusiasm for the passage of

Two fierce defeats await the Yukoners, but that’s not the point. The people were so excited that there was a team from Yukon that the Governor General of Canada came, Earl Gray., history buffs tell.

Their tour did not stop in Ottawa, as the Klondickers took advantage of their growing fame to tour.

They played in New Brunswick, then in Nova Scotia, before moving to Pittsburgh, USA. During their journey, they passed through Ontario, Manitoba, and finally, British Columbia. Of the 23 games, he won either 12 or 13, depending on the source.

Without exaggeration, I think people were still blown away then proud of their team, […] But what surprised people was all the same. The team traveled about 20,000 km in total.

In April 1905, the team returned to Whitehorse, then back to Dawson on foot. The players wanted to prove they didn’t become arrogant, says Mr. Herri.

He may not have won a lot of games, but he came back with excellent Canadian knowledge., summarizes a newspaper of the time, daily evening star.

The Klondikers-Nuggets also, to date, remain the only Yukon team to challenge a Southern team for the Stanley Cup.


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