First Name: 1998 Truro Bearcats
Sport: Hockey
Inductee Type: Team
Year Inducted: 2014
Home Town: Truro
County: Colchester County

The 1998 Truro TSN Bearcats Hockey Club became a household name in 1998, when the senior hockey team became only the second Nova Scotia team to win the prestigious Allan Cup (following the Halifax Wolverines’ win in 1935), securing the tournament title with an epic 6-1 win in the final game at Colchester Legion Stadium.

Many players on the championship team played with the Truro club for eight or more years, starting out when the team was known as the Truro Shubie Colonels before they gained sponsorship from TSN in 1991. Throughout the ‘90s the Bearcats accumulated a roster of strong players and dedicated management, including owner Stu Rath and general managers Larry Anthony and Jim Foley.

The Bearcats had made three previous trips to the Allan Cup championships without a first-place finish and were unable to make their fourth attempt in 1994 even after winning their league, due to not having another team to play against in order to go to the tournament in Minnesota. Hockey Canada asked the team to represent their country at an international tournament in Tilburg, Holland in 1995 instead, where they made it to a silver-medal finish.

Planning to disband from senior hockey after the 1997-98 season, the Bearcats were guaranteed a final shot at the Allan Cup as the hosts of the 1998 tournament, but they entered the tournament after a disappointing loss to Miramichi in the Maritime senior championship playoffs. Prior to the Allan Cup tournament, the Bearcats had to find competition in the Northern New Brunswick league, travelling long distances for games.

The team developed an excellent defence and had the ability to work together. They powered through round robin play undefeated, guaranteeing a spot in the Allan Cup finals on home ice. They scored a 5-1 victory over the Powell River Regals, tied the Ile-des-Chênes North Stars 1-1, and finished the round robin by beating the London Admirals, the team they would face in the Championship game, 5-3. The Bearcats did not disappoint their loyal fans and claimed the Allan Cup with an impressive 6-1 win over the London Admirals in front of an enthusiastic over-capacity crowd.

In the 1998 Allan Cup final, the Bearcats took a 3-0 first period lead with Darren Welsh, Sandy MacKenzie, and Barry Harrietha all scoring by 15:09.The second goal for MacKenzie, combined with goals by Jason DeCoste and team captain Brian Melanson, sealed the deal for the Bearcats’ Allan Cup win.

The Bearcats’ National Senior AAA victory in 1998 ended the 63-year drought since a Nova Scotia team had earned the coveted cup, and the club members commemorated their long-awaited win by engraving a quote from teammate Gary Thomas on their championship rings: “Sweat plus sacrifice equals success.”

1998 Truro TSN Bearcats Hockey Club:
PLAYERS: Tom Beaton, Craig Booker, Reggie Bowes, Mike Boyd, Chris Brassard, Bruce Campbell, Jason DeCoste, Stephen Gordon, Brian Grouchy, Chris Hale, Barry Harrietha, Ryan Isenor, Craig Jenkins, Kelly Kolke, Jim Laing, Dwight Lucas, Rodney MacIntosh, Sandy MacKenzie, Randy MacNeill, Kevin MacRae, Brian Melanson, Todd Parker, Steve Ryan, Gary Thomas, Darren Welsh, Jason White.

COACHES AND MANAGEMENT: Larry Anthony (general manager), Ron “Doc” Chalmers (team doctor), Jim Foley (general manager), Kelly Johnson (medical trainer), John Kibyuk (coach), Richard MacKenzie (assistant coach), Gerald Marshall (assistant coach), Stu Rath (owner), John Thoms (equipment manager), Shawn Thomson (trainer).


• Allan Cup champions (1998)
• The second NS team to ever win the Allan Cup
• Defeated the London Admirals 6-1 in the finals
• Went undefeated in 1998 Allan Cup round robin play
• Went to the Allan Cup 3 previous times in 10 years
• The Daily News top sport story of 1998
• 1998 Sport Nova Scotia Team of the Year
• Tournament All-Stars: White, Welsh, Lucas
• Tournament MVP: Jason White