Teams from Newfoundland and Labrador first entered Allan Cup play in 1967 when the Moncton Hawks eliminated the Conception Bay CeeBees. This province had to wait until 1986 when the Corner Brook Royals earned the only Allan Cup victory.
After winning the Herder Memorial Trophy and the provincial senior hockey title four games to two over the Stephenville Jets, the Royals won the Eastern Canada final over the Flamboro Mott’s Clamatoes from Brantford, Ontario four games to three. It was Corner Brook’s second-straight Bolton Cup as Eastern Canadian champions.
The successful final in 1996 had Corner Brook travel to Nelson, British Columbia to claim the national amateur crown and the Allan Cup with four-straight victories over the host Nelson Maple Leafs.
Tim Cranston and Steve McKenzie each scored twice to pace the Royals to a first game 6-4 win, and Corner Brook won 6-5 in a penalty-filled second game. Four goals by Todd Stark led the Royals to a third game 5-2 decision, and Sheldon Currie scored twice in the title-taking 7-0 Corner Brook win in game four.
Royals’ goalie Dave Matte, selected as the Most Valuable Player in the final, made 34 saves for the shutout in the deciding game.
Corner Brook Hockey Association president Cliff Gorman, who made vast contributions to hockey, was the driving force behind the historic Corner Brook national championship. While he received great support from many other hockey enthusiasts, it was Gorman’s drive and determination that played the major role in the victory.
Members of the 1986 Allan Cup Corner Brook Royals included goalies Dave Matte, Dan Longe, Kevin McCarthy and Gerry Barry; defencemen Ed Kearsey, Bill Breen, Ray Baird, Darryl Ulrich, Gilbert Longpre, Steve McKenzie, Kevin Lundrigan, Bob O’Neill, Steve Gallant and Stan Hennigar; and forwards Craig Kennedy (captain), Dan Cormier, Robbie Forbes, Sheldon Currie, Cal Dunville, Tony Cuomo, Ken Mercer, Todd Stark, Gus Greco, Byron Rideout, Don Bennett, Mac Tucker and Tim Cranston. The team was coached by Mike Anderson, while Terry Gillam served as assistant coach, and Paul Hicks was the manager/trainer.