In 1935 the Port Arthur Senior Bearcats were defeated in a close Allan Cup series against the Halifax Wolverines. Halifax, although qualifying to represent Canada at the 1936 Olympic Winter Games in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, was unable to ice a team for the event. The Canadian Amateur Hockey Association made up a Canadian Olympic Hockey Team which was comprised of Eastern Canadian players as well as 8 players, a coach, trainer and manager of the Bearcats.
The Canadian squad entered the Olympic Games winning their first round of play with three decisive victories against Austria, Poland and Latvia, scoring a total of 24 goals and giving up only three. In the second round of play Canada went on to defeat Germany 6-2 and Hungary 15-0, however, it was here that they met their first defeat in a well-fought game against the British team 2-1. Ironically, the British team was made up of Canadian players who had been picked up to compete at the Games. Three of these players were actually northwestern Ontario natives.
The Canadian team advanced to the final round of play where they earned two more victories against Czechoslovakia and the United States. All they needed was a win against England in the final to clinch the gold medal. Unfortunately, a last-minute change in the rules of round robin play were imparted by the Garmisch officials which allowed England's victory against Canada to be carried over from the first round. This decision was not only seen as unfair at the time, but was contrary to the tradition of round robin play. When the smoke had finally cleared, Canada was awarded the silver medal and England the gold, in one of the most controversial Olympic Hockey series ever staged. One thing which was for certain, however, was that the members of the Port Arthur Bearcats truly represented themselves and our region with distinction at this world competition.
Top Row (left to right):
Alex Sinclair, Jakie Nash, Arnold Deacon, Jimmy Haggarty, Norman Friday.
Middle Row (left to right):
Gus Saxberg, Ray Milton, Bill Thomson.
Bottom Row (left to right):
Albert Pudas (coach), Malcolm Cochran (manager), W. 'Scotty' Stewart (trainer).
Inducted into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, September 26, 1987