The Cup is back. After last year’s cancellation due to warm, slushy weather, the annual Capital Ward Cup returned in full force January 26th under the tutelage of newly inaugurated City Councillor Shawn Menard. The Old Ottawa South Moose played a characteristically strong tournament but fell 6-3 in the final to the perennial favourites, the Old Ottawa East Hosers.
This year, the 11th year of the event went off perfectly at Brantwood Park, with firm (if battered) ice, a mostly clear sky, and a jovial atmosphere, other than the biting cold that had many players retreating to the warm up shack as often as possible. The half-day, four-on-four shinny tournament was inaugurated by former Capital Ward Councillor Clive Doucet and faithfully maintained for several years by subsequent Councillor David Chernushenko.
Typically, the four-team tournament is rounded out by the Glebe Goal-Getters and Heron Park Hackers, but this year Heron Park had to pull out at the last minute, apparently due to players holding out for better contracts. As a result, this year the Cup’s format consisted of three round-robin games and a final. The Moose lost their opener 7-3 to the Hosers, then rallied to beat the Goal-Getters to make the final. The Hosers, who also beat Glebe in the round-robin to go undefeated throughout the tournament, have now won the Cup six times, the Moose having won four times and Glebe once.
In a departure from past practices, Menard had his assistant, life-long hockey player Miles Krauter, carry out refereeing duties, while Menard kept score. And in a brilliant touch, before the tournament Old Ottawa East manager John Dance placed the Cup—on a tipsy, torch-shaped trophy trying to balance itself in a wire frame with three thin legs—on a beautiful new wood base. Menard intends to keep the tradition going, allowing the Moose, bent on unseating the seemingly unstoppable Hosers, another year to dream of reclaimed shinny glory on the frozen surface Canada calls home.