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Dawson City Nuggets

Perhaps one of the most unique stories about the Stanley Cup ever told involved the Dawson City Nuggets, who were put together in 1904 for the express purpose of challenging the Ottawa Silver Seven for the Cup. This is several years before the NHL came into existence, and essentially, anyone could challenge the winner of the Cup from the year before for the championship. Dawson City itself was at the tail end of the Gold Rush and they put together a team of two players from former Cup winning teams and selected miners from the local teams, to create of a team of 8 who would travel to Ottawa to play in January 1905. With nothing approaching “typical” in this series, the players would travel by dog sled, train, bicycle, foot and ship over the course of roughly a month to make the 6400 km (4000 mile) trek to Ottawa. The series was best-of-three, and not surprisingly, the Ottawa team won handily 2 – 0. The scores of the two games were eye-opening: 9-2 in the first game, but a shocking 23-2 win in the second (a Stanley Cup record, and Ottawa’s Frank McGee scoring 14 of the 23 goals in the second game, also a record). After leaving Ottawa (after an unsuccessful attempt to kick the Cup into the Rideau Canal during a post-series banquet) the team played a series of exhibition games around eastern Canada, before heading back home. 

In 1997, the Ottawa Senators Alumni played a commemorative game against a team from Dawson. Seems little had changed over the 92 years, as Ottawa won that game 18-0, recording only 25 shots on goal.