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by Dan Carle

Cambridge, ON – April 22, 2023. The Allan Cup Final. First in three seasons. A sold-out crowd at J.L Grightmire Arena. Start of the third period. The home team trails.

The locals can’t believe it.

The Clarenville (Nlfd.) Ford Caribous are leading the Real McCoys going into the third. One team will soon be going in the books – perhaps not in the home team’s favour. Yikes.

Cue the 30-for-30. Five third-period goals. A 5-3 final for the McCoys. Dundas’ second national championship is now secure for all-time.

The rink went nuts. Word spread like social media, even to Hockey Night in Canada. The party – with a team now of fathers, owners, and leaders – was low-key. Goaltender Mike Mole, nine seasons removed from his first Allan Cup MVP, earned a second at age 40.  

Allan Cup Champions.

Standing on the bench every second then and most every minute since 2007 has been coach Ron C.

“It was amazing for the entire organization to be able to win that trophy again,” said Bernacci, who twice played for the Real McCoys before trading in his hockey bag for a chalkboard and more recently place in senior men’s hockey history.

“It’s a long season and a lot of Friday nights (Real McCoys home games) but to achieve the goal that we set out to do was very special for all of us involved – the players, coaching staff, executives.”

A 10th round draft pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1987, Bernacci has seen all sides of the hockey experience. He says he’s mellowed.

“My penalty minutes will show the kind of temperament I had,” said Bernacci. “I’ve learned to develop a little more patience over the years.”

The pro-like and pro-family atmosphere created by Bernacci and team president Don Robertson in Dundas has instilled a sense of loyalty all along the roster for both players and volunteers.

“We have a great room. It’s comfortable. They all have great stories to tell.

“There’s more than just hockey with these guys. Not only the hockey piece of it, but the human piece of it. 

“When you have character guys that are going to accept roles and do their part, it goes a long ways to team success.”

The new goal is another championship in April, 2024 when the Allan Cup will again be contested in Dundas.

The path won’t be easy. Dundas opened the new season with two road games in three days, then gave up three goals in the third of their 5-0 loss in the team’s home opener to find itself 0-3. The Real McCoys host the Wentworth Gryphons (1-1) on Friday night at J.L. Grightmire Arena, the same spot where the Allan Cup itself will be contested in April, 2024.

Another epic finish? More Mike Mole Magic? Back-to-back?  

See you then.

“We just enjoy doing what we do with the team,” said Bernacci.

About the Ontario Hockey Association

The Ontario Hockey Association (OHA) was founded on November 27, 1890, and is the governing body for the majority of Junior and Senior hockey in the Province of Ontario.  The OHA is a Member Partner of the Ontario Hockey Federation which is one of thirteen Provincial and Regional Branches of Hockey Canada. 

It is comprised of three Junior hockey leagues and two Senior hockey leagues: Junior A – Ontario Junior Hockey League; Junior B – Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League; Junior C – Provincial Junior Hockey League, Senior  – Allan Cup Hockey (AAA) and Ontario Elite Hockey League (AA). For the 2023-24 season, these five leagues encompass 123 teams.

The objectives of the OHA are to foster and encourage the sport of amateur hockey, to conduct competition in the various categories established, to determine teams for entry into the inter-branch competitions that may be provided by Hockey Canada, and to provide for the affiliation of other hockey organizations.

The OHA provides administrative resources, coordinates programs, services and events for hockey participants and provides support to various Development Programs for coaches, officials, trainers and players, Safety and Risk Management Issues and offers resources for Harassment and Abuse education.


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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