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ROAD TO THE 2023 ALLAN CUP CHALLENGE…A REAL BACKBONE BETWEEN THE PIPES

by Dan Carle

The Dundas Real McCoys are set to host “The Challenge for the Allan Cup” in Dundas, Ontario April 17-22, 2023. It will be the third time the Real McCoys have hosted this Canadian iconic championship. As we get closer to the event, we will delve into the lush history of this event.

Tickets will be available to purchase here on April 1st

The Allan Cup is a Canadian senior hockey championship with as rich a history as the Stanley or Grey Cup. Unfortunately, lately this cup is anything but full.

Mike Mole is living proof that if you have a dream there is no magic to making it happen. “I was never a highly touted guy,” said the 40-year-old goaltender of the Dundas Real McCoys. “I don’t know a lot of guys who are still in my age group who still play at this kind of level.”

Mole turned in quite a performance eight years ago as MVP of the 2014 Allan Cup – the last time Dundas hosted and won the tournament.

After a three-season break to due COVID, the tournament returns in April (17-22) to Dundas.

Now a father with two young children, the stakes include family.  “I’d like to play as long as I can so the kids get an opportunity to come watch dad do what he loves to do – and what he used to be somewhat good at,” he said. “Winning the Allan Cup would probably be right up there as one of the better accomplishments in my career. It’s a competitive league that ticks a lot more of the boxes than just your typical men’s league.”

A life-long athlete, Mole has stood tall throughout a winding self-made career. The Real McCoys are his 15th team since the 1998-99 season with the Gloucester Rangers of the Canadian Junior Hockey League. The fix-foot-10 Mole, after spending his childhood in Moncton and teenage years in Ottawa, earned the OHL Humanitarian of the Year (2002-03, Belleville Bulls) award, USport/CIS men’s hockey MVP (2004) with the St. Francis Xavier X-Men, and that same season won the inaugural season of Making the Cut – a short-lived Canadian hockey training camp reality series under the watchful eyes of General Managers Mike Keenan and Scottie Bowman.

But it was catching the eye of Garth Snow in 2008 that makes Mole’s best sports moment to date. 

The then-General Manager of the New York Islanders called on Mole to be an NHL back-up – for what amounted to two games. He was playing in Bridgeport – the Islanders AHL farm team –and just happened to in New York to get the news in person. That drive back to Bridgeport was a blur. “My phone was on fire the whole way home,” said Mole. “I was calling everybody and their dog that I knew.  All those emotions you would imagine.”

Those same emotions will govern Mole at the Allan Cup. A little older, wiser, and a lot more fatherly this time around.  “Hockey has been such a huge part of my life and big part of my identity – and who I am,” said Mole. “It’s hard to give up. It just becomes part of your fabric.”

“For me, it’s important to keep doing it. And it’s something I still enjoy doing.”

Tickets will be available to purchase here on April 1st

About the Ontario Hockey Association

The Ontario Hockey Association (OHA) was founded on November 27, 1890 and is the governing body for a vast majority of Junior and Senior hockey in the Province of Ontario under the auspices of the Ontario Hockey Federation (OHF), one of thirteen Provincial and Regional Branches of Hockey Canada. The OHA is comprised of three Junior hockey leagues and one Senior hockey league,  Junior A (Ontario Junior Hockey League); Junior B (Greater Ontario Junior Hockey LeagueJunior C (Provincial Junior Hockey League and Sr. AAA (ACH). In the 2022-2023 season, these four leagues encompassed 110 teams.

About the Allan Cup

The Allan Cup is the trophy awarded annually to the senior ice hockey champions of Canada. It was donated by Sir Montagu Allan of Ravenscrag, Montreal, and has been competed for since 1909.  The current champions are the Lacombe Generals, who captured the 2019 Allan Cup in Lacombe, Alberta. The 2023 event will be the 112th time the Allan Cup has been awarded.

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For more information or to set up an interview, please contact:

Chris McCleary

General Manager, Operations & Marketing

Ontario Hockey Association                                          

[email protected]        

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