KENORA, Ont. -- History didn't repeat itself, but the week-long celebration commemorating Kenora's Stanley Cup victory over the Montreal Wanderers in 1907 will be rehashed with as much fervour as if it did.
Yesterday afternoon, former Winnipeg Jets hero Dale Hawerchuk nailed the game -winning goal late in the third period as the Team Canada Selects quashed the Kenora Thistles' hopes of reliving the glory of the club's Stanley Cup win 100 years ago to the day in an 11-10 nailbiter.
In old re-creation jerseys for both sides, the match was a throwback to the early days of the game. Even the referees wore black cardigans, and collared shirts and ties.
Louie McKay, the oldest surviving Kenora Thistle at 90 years of age, put the home team on the board first, with a blistering shot from the blue-line into the open net just prior to the game's actual commencement.
Between them, the Team Canada Selects -- including New York Islander great Bryan Trottier and his former teammates Billy Smith and Bob Bourne, Toronto Maple Leaf Gary Leeman, Edmonton Oiler Glenn Anderson and female hockey sensation Hayley Wickenheiser -- boast 22 Stanley Cup rings and played the part of the Montreal Wanderers but turned hockey history on its head by winning the rematch 100 years later.
Hawerchuk, who spent nine seasons with the Jets and remains one of the city's most vaunted hockey heroes, was treated like royalty by the 1,907 fans on hand who shouted just a touch louder every time he made a rush and burst at the seams when he scored.
He was honoured to be a part of Kenora's celebrations and was glad he helped to put on a first-class event for a first-class city.
"It was a hockey game, a celebration, and with all the heritage to go along with it it was just an amazing day," Hawerchuk said. "It's a great place and a great story, and I think they should do it annually so the whole world will know more and more about it, so they really know where Kenora is and what they've accomplished."
The celebration will end next weekend when the Cup itself returns to Kenora along with the Art Ross Trophy -- named after a man who was on the 1907 Stanley Cup champion team.