click here to view current games     |     click here to view current games     |     click here to view current games     |     click here to view current games     |     click here to view current games     |     click here to view current games     |     click here to view current games     |     click here to view current games     |     click here to view current games


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.

Ticket packages can be purchased here

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.

The undisputed number one supporter of Senior Hockey and the Allan Cup is Dundas Real McCoy’s General Manager and Assistant Coach Don Robertson

“You have to put up or shut up – and we’re putting up.”

Not through several disbanded senior men’s hockey teams or an unplanned three-year pandemic, break did Don Robertson ever think the Allan Cup would vanish. “Never,” said the 66-year-old hockey lifer, organizer, networker, real estate agent, and longtime team President of the Dundas Real McCoys.  “Never because of the historical significance of it.”

The Allan Cup has fallen on hard times. The national men’s senior hockey championship tournament has atrophied in size, significance and stature. Robertson is working his networks to get it back on the sports map – and ideally back into the hearts and minds of hockey fans.

The Allan Cup began in 1909 to salute the men’s amateur champion of Canada. H. Montagu Allan of Montreal provided his hockey chalice 16 years after the familiar Lord Stanley first donated his Cup. The Stanley Cup would soon come to celebrate the professional hockey champion.

Today, the Stanley Cup has no awareness problem. Lately, the Allan Cup has been on life support. Robertson is providing CPR. “A complete character guy,” said Real McCoys forward Phil Brewer. “His love and his passion for the Allan Cup Hockey League and the Allan Cup itself is truly remarkable. I truly believe without Don Robertson, and his personality, this league would be no more.”

Building back the profile of the Allan Cup for Robertson is more second nature than an effort.

“Having been at this for so long, I have seen some wonderful people who really believe in the Allan Cup, and it means a lot to them,” Robertson said.  “It’s not gone off the radar for everybody. It just needs somebody to do something about it.”

Robertson gained permission to present the Allan Cup after Hockey Canada elected not to run the event this year.    The event will consist of four teams including the Real McCoy’s and Hamilton Steelers, both from Ontario, the Innisfail Eagles from Alberta and the Clarenville Ford Caribous from Newfoundland.

“In 2014 it was all about the Real McCoys,” Robertson said. “Truthfully the Real McCoys aren’t the focus of this event. It’s the event. Having the event. We’re going to put on the absolute best week possible, and try to make the Allan Cup sparkle. And when we’re not doing that we’re going to see if the Real McCoys can win another Allan Cup.”

Robertson relies on and celebrates an army of volunteers he put together – some 25 years ago – who embody the spirit of amateurism in running everything from the Real McCoys dressing room to the 50/50 draw to hot coffee in the stands at JL Grightmire Arena. Its grassroots, largely thankless work, but a collective effort with a resulting sense of community satisfaction.

“Don’s the No. 1 ambassador – and he’s the one who keeps things going around here, said Real McCoy’s goaltender Mike Mole, the Allan Cup MVP in 2014. “I have stayed here, and stayed where I am in Dundas, all because of Donny. He’s a loyal, loyal, man.”

Robertson is not seeking recognition. He has a goal, a plan and enough confidence after a lifetime in hockey to take on moving the needle towards renewed awareness for the Allan Cup.

“We’re trying to keep it relevant, and build it,” he said. A kick-starter and all-pro networker, Robertson sees possibility.

He remembers fondly a time not long ago where senior men’s hockey was for many communities all across Canada a significant game in town. Today, with the Internet, a thousand TV channels and countless other diversions, getting traction is a no small challenge.

“Guys like me might fade away but they’ll be a new group of do-gooders to pick this up and say: ‘Hey, this is really important.’ In my mind, it’s the world’s oldest national hockey championship. And that can’t go away in Canada.”

The event kicks off on April 17. Here is the full schedule:

Monday April 17Hamilton vs Clarenville 3:30 PM
Monday April 17Dundas vs Innisfail7:30 PM
Tuesday April 18Innisfail vs Clarenville 3:30 PM
Tuesday April 18Dundas vs Hamilton7:30 PM
Wednesday April 19Hamilton vs Innisfail7:30 PM
Thursday April 20Dundas vs Clarenville 7:30 PM
Friday April 21Semi Final TBD vs TBD7:30 PM
Saturday April 22Final TBD vs TBDTBD

Ticket packages can be purchased here

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.


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

Chris McCleary                                                                                                                        

General Manager, Operations & Marketing                                

Ontario Hockey Association                                          

[email protected]        

Share This Article


Get Your Weekly Sports Dose, Subscribe to OHA News.