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  • Writer's pictureCraig Baird

Vermilion Wins The Cups

In 1907, the Kenora Thistles won the Stanley Cup by defeating the Montreal Wanderers. They held the Stanley Cup for two months before Montreal won it back. In a record that will never be broken, Kenora is the smallest community to ever win the Stanley Cup.

Vermilion never won the Stanley Cup, but that doesn’t mean the community never captured hockey glory.

While doing searches through old newspapers, one championship caught my eye thanks to it sharing my name.

It was the Craig Hockey Cup, named for the department store Craig’s in the community who sponsored the trophy.

On March 2, 1933, Vermilion went up against their archrivals, Lloydminster, for the glory of taking the Cup.

In the first game of the series, Vermilion took Lloydminster and battered the team 4 to 1. In the next game, Vermilion was hoping to capture the Craig Cup and defeat their rivals. For both games, Bert Williams was the referee.

Play was scoreless for the first period and it was not until halfway through the second period that Manson Barr put a goal in the net to open the scoring. The final period saw scoring erupt.

Five minutes after the opening of the period, C. Barr passed to Weber who scored to make it 2-0. A few minutes later, Manson Barr scored again for Vermilion to make it 3-0. Salt scored for Lloydminster to make it 3-1 but it was not enough for Lloydminster.

Over 500 fans were cheering on Vermilion to capture the coveted Craig Cup.

With the final horn sounding, the crowd erupted into a cheer for the home team as Vermilion captured the Craig Cup by a score of 7-2 over the two games.

While Vermilion proved to be a very good team, they were unable to hold on the Cup. Vegreville won the Cup in 1934 by defeating Innisfree. In 1935, Lloydminster won the Cup by defeating Vegreville in a hard-fought series on the ice.

Vermilion returned to the final in 1937, but lost three games to one against Lloydminster who once again emerged as champions.

After this point, the Cup faded from history but for a time it was the most coveted hockey trophy in east-central Alberta.

Contact Craig at craig@canadaehx.com. Support Craig by donating at www.canadaehx.com (Click Donate). Listen to his podcast Canadian History Ehx on all podcast platforms.

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