KENORA, Ont. – For the first time since 1986, and just the second time ever, a team from Newfoundland and Labrador has won the Allan Cup, Canada’s National Senior Championship, after the Clarenville Caribous claimed the 103rd national title with a 5-3 win over the Bentley Generals on Saturday at the Kenora Recreation Centre.
Dale Sullivan, Travis Champman and Brandon Roach scored in the game’s opening nine minutes as the Caribous jumped to an early 3-0 lead, Brad Crann scored in the second period to make it a 4-1 game and Dustin Russell put the finishing touches on the win with an empty net goal in the final 10 seconds as Clarenville became the first Newfoundland and Labrador team since the 1986 Corner Brook Royals to win the Allan Cup.
The Caribous went through the tournament undefeated, beating the Fort Frances Thunderhawks 3-1 and the South East Prairie Thunder 3-2 during preliminary round play, and knocking off the Dundas Real MCoys 4-1 in Friday’s semifinal.
Joe Vandermeer, Curtis Austring and Don Morrison scored the goals for Bentley, which lost despite outshooting the Caribous 42-23, including 25-8 in the second period. Saturday’s game marked the fourth straight championship game appearance for the Generals, who won their lone national championship in 2009. Bentley is the first team since the 1994-97 Warroad Lakers to appear in four consecutive championship games.
The Allan Cup is one of the oldest club-team hockey competitions in North America, having been first competed for in 1908. Only once in the past 103 years, in 1945, has an Allan Cup champion not been crowned.
Lloydminster, Sask., will host the 2012 Allan Cup in April 2012.