NORTH BAY, Ont. — For one night, Memorial Gardens reverted, at least in part, to the home of the North Bay Centennials.
The city’s original Ontario Hockey League franchise was saluted Thursday night by the North Bay Battalion on Centennials Alumni Night, with the OHL championship banner from the two clubs’ only title restored and returned to a place of honour above the stands at the southeast corner of the arena.
Seven members of late coach Bert Templeton’s team that captured the OHL title in 1993-94 were on hand to greet fans and be introduced for the ceremonial faceoff, which was preceded by vintage highlights on the video board. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the championship.
The players in attendance were Brad Brown, who assisted on the winning goal in overtime of Game 7 of the final series against the visiting Detroit Jr. Red Wings, Damien Bloye, Mike Burman, Steve McLaren, Brian Stagg, Scott Roche and Sandy Allan.
Brown’s assist on Jason Campeau’s game-winning goal in the 5-4 decision May 11, 1994, has never been recognized on the game sheet, which awarded the assists to Bill Lang and Corey Neilson.
The J. Ross Robertson Cup, emblematic of the OHL championship, was stationed in front of Centennials team photographs in the west concourse, attracting fans for photo opportunities.
Sandi Templeton, widow of the Centennials’ legendary coach, was at the game and was recognized on the video board.
The Centennials, who began play in the 1982-83 season, became the Saginaw Spirit in 2002.
The Battalion faced the Hamilton Bulldogs in the game, which was sponsored by Skaters North Source for Sports.