Last updated: 1997.03.31 18h45

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Klondike Sun, Dawson City, Yukon · Friday, January 24, 1997

Old Timers' Hockey Trek Draws More Interest

by Dan Davidson
Don Reddick, the author of Dawson City Seven, the novel based on the Dawson Nuggets' Stanley Cup Challenge, has signed on to make the commemorative trip east this March first with the Dawson City Old Timers club. The trek, by dogsled, train and ship, will take the Klondikers to a game with the Ottawa Senators, now slated to occur on that club's home ice.

Reddick, who stirred up quite a bit of interest in this idea when he was here on his book tour a few years ago, will be along as official correspondent for the Klondike Sun, at his own cost.

Pat Hogan, one of the organizers of the trip, says that Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun has also expressed an interest. If he goes then dispatches will be national, but Reddick will cover the trip for the home town crowd. "Then we'll have a local record," Hogan explained.

The contest has been shifted to the Senator's new home ice from the Civic Centre at that team's request.

"They're seeing it now as a much bigger event than they originally had thought and they want a bigger stake so they want it in their rink," Hogan said. The Senator's take of the exhibition game, 45%, will be donated to the charity of their choice, which happens to be the Heart Institute. The Dawson team will donate 25 ounces of gold, or the cash equivalent, to the Yukon Special Olympics. This might be up to 45% of the take. The remainder is designated for Yukon Minor Hockey.

Fundraising for the trip is being carried out here on the basis of subscriptions and sponsors. In addition 3,000 Chris Caldwell posters are selling for $10 apiece. They have just become collectors items, since they were printed up before the location of the game was changed and bear the name of the wrong rink.

"We're (also) going to produce a commemorative program for. like two bucks. Hopefully it will be totally subscribed through advertising. Business card sized ads from small businesses and others." Hogan has had word from a number of small business people who are willing to become involved at that level of sponsorship even thought they can't afford massive donations. The most conservative budget for the trip is $193,000, but that includes the $25,000 in gold that was raised for the Special Olympics, so that's not a true picture of the costs. Still, it will cost each member of the team close to $2600 just in transportation and accommodation, not to mention finding the time for the three week trip and eating along the way. The organizers hope to be able to reduce this cost a bit, though the middle aged men on this team certainly expect to be out of pocket for the experience.

"We've been really successful with Debra Balinski of DCB Productions. She's going to have great media conferences and exposure across Canada as well as the production of the game, so we can deliver to our sponsors the commitment that we made. We're giving good return for sponsorship dollars."

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The Game (details)
The actual game occurs on March 23, 1997 at 14h00 in the Corel Centre (Kanata). Tickets are expected to be $8 for adults, $2 for youths under 18, and are available from Ticketmaster starting Thursday, February 27, 1997. For more details, see the Official re-enactment Home Page with event history, team itinerary, and 1997 roster.        

Winnipeg contest winner Harvey Downes will join the team wearing jersey #20 for the game in Ottawa.

New! 97 03 23 Next Before a crowd of 6,139 fans rooting for both the Dawson City Nuggets and the Ottawa Senators Alumni teams, the final score was 18-0 for Ottawa. Audrey McLaughlin was overheard saying, "It's an improvement over the last game," which can only mean that our game is getting better with practice. Despite being shut-out from scoring, the Dawson Nuggets managed approx. 25 shots on goal being better than 50% of the Ottawa Alumni team's 43. No doubt the Dawson team felt grateful for the aid of #20, Harvey Downes, the player from Winnipeg who was seen stopping numerous goal attempts by the Senators Alumni forwards. I'm certain that, though the Corel Centre emptied out by 17h00, the players are still whoopin' it up at Marshy's BBQ grill at this hour of 9pm. (Game Summary New! 97 03 25 Next)

New! 97 03 26 Next E-mail excerpt

On 26 Mar 97 at 13:21 concerning 'Bruce's retirement from the media spotlight', Neil Duffee <> wrote:
Well, it's done. Got the final 'phone call at 8am from the airport. Unfortunately, I couln't get from a dead sleep to the 'phone before the answering machine kicked in but I did get a nice message from Bruce.

The nine o'clock game in Kingston on Tuesday was a little more evenly matched and, hence, more exciting. The Nuggets played to a 6-6 tie against a mixed team that also contained a line from the Queen's Golden Gaels' women's team as well as 3 professionals in the form of Jim Dorry (sp?), Freddie O'Donnell, and Rick Smith. The opposition wanted a shoot-out to resolve the tie but, given the pending 2hr bus ride back to Ottawa followed by a 7am deadline for the airport, the Nuggets declined and "got the hell outta there."

Of course, upon arrival in Ottawa, most trooped over to Nickels restaurant to eat while Willie Gordon entertained for a couple of hours on his fiddle. They were all looking forward to getting on the plane in order to simply catch up on their sleep. Given the odyssey they've been on, it may be a return to a more comfortable rest as Bruce commented on Thursday that the hotel bed in the Westin didn't seem quite right. "After weeks of being constantly on the go, it's unsettling to sleep in a bed that doesn't move."

Wonder if Bruce will go to work for Thursday or relax. Of course, there will probably be *something* happening tonight when the team arrives in town even if they only troop off to the bar.

Links to media articles and related information

HISTORIC REMATCH... Aedes Scheer and Suzanne Crocker show Ottawa their support for the Dawson City Nuggets in the historic rematch against the Ottawa Senators alumni at the Corel Centre. Yukon News photo by Adam Killick New! 97 03 31 Next

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Last updated: 1997.03.31 18h45