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1925: Victoria Cougars win the Stanley Cup


Gregor spoke with sports history writer and Globe and Mail columnist Tom Hawthorn about the last time a B.C. team won Lord Stanley's trophy:

The 1924-25 Victoria Cougars team included such stars as Jack Walker, Frank Foyston, and goaltender Hap Holmes. The top player was square-jawed Frank Fredrickson, who had survived the sinking of his troop ship during the First World War. He won an Olympic gold medal with his hometown Winnipeg Falcons. Though born in Winnipeg, Frank did not learn English until entering school at age six. His parents only spoke Icelandic at home

Cougars manager Lester Patrick was a hockey genius, whose many innovations are today's fundamentals.He introduced the blue line, forward passing, substitutions during play.

Those five Cougars have all been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Victoria beat Montreal three games to one to claim the Stanley Cup.

The cup itself, in those days, a bowl atop a modest base, was placed on display at a downtown jewelry. Later, Patrick kept it at his Oak Bay home. His two mischievous boys, Muzz and Lynn, used a nail to scratch their names on the inside of the bowl. They later both had their names engraved on the Cup in the usual fashion.

The Cougars lost the Cup the following season to the Montreal Maroon, the last time a non-NHL team challenged for the storied trophy. A few weeks later, Patrick sold the team to business interests in Detroit. The Detroit Cougars became the Detroit Falcons before becoming the Detroit Red Wings.

For decades, the city's greatest sporting triumph went unheralded. In 2001, a cairn was unveiled on Cadboro Bay Road outside Oak Bay High. Across the street, where now stand two modest apartment blocks, a Victoria team once won the Stanley Cup.

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