On January 21st 1907, the Kenora Thistles won their only Stanley Cup Championship, defeating the Montreal Wanderers 8-6 at Montreal.
The Kenora Thistles were an early amateur men's ice hockey team based in Kenora, Ontario, Canada, formed in 1885 as a senior team by a group of Lake of the Woods lumbermen. Their junior team started play in amateur leagues in the 1890s, and ceased playing in 1907, playing against Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario based teams.
The town of Kenora was originally known as Rat Portage. In the late 1880s, an amateur senior hockey club was formed by older professional men, most of them lumbermen, gold prospectors, or individuals in the local mining businesses. By the early 1890s, several young boys of the Rat Portage area, most of them between the ages of 9-11, formed a junior ice hockey team of the same name, which went on to beat the senior team in an exhibition. Among these young men were future Hockey Hall of Famers Tommy Phillips, Tom Hooper, Billy McGimsie, and Silas Griffis.
Over the next five years, these young players began to populate the senior team and quickly established themselves as one of the premier amateur hockey clubs of the western Canadian provinces. In 1903 they challenged the Ottawa Silver Seven for the Stanley Cup and lost. In 1905 they again challenged the Ottawa squad with the same disappointing results. That summer, the town of Rat Portage changed its name to Kenora.
In January 1907 the Thistles again challenged for the Cup, winning it in a two-game, total-goals series against the Montreal Wanderers. Two other future Hockey Hall of Famers, Art Ross and "Bad" Joe Hall were added to the roster from Brandon, although Hall did not play. The games were played on January 17 and 21 in Montreal. Phillips scored seven goals in the two games and Kenora defeated the Wanderers 12–8, winning both games 4–2 and 8–6.
Just two months later, the Thistles were challenged by the Wanderers to a re-match. Despite importing the services of three more future Hockey Hall of Famers (Alf Smith, Harry "Rat" Westwick, and Frederick Whitcroft), the team lost the Stanley Cup and most of its noted players afterward to other professional teams, family life, or retirement. Roxy Beaudro retired, Si Griffis moved to British Columbia, Billy McGimsie retired due to his injury, Tommy Phillips signed with Ottawa and Fred Whitcroft signed with Edmonton. Smith and Westwick returned to Ottawa.
Harry Westwick (rover)†
Fred Whitcroft (rover)†&.
Roxy Beaudro (also played point)
Tom Phillips (Captain)
Alf Smith (right wing)†&
Tom Hooper (also played Rover)
Art Ross (Point)††
Silas Griffis (Coverpoint)
Joe Hall (Coverpoint did not play)††
† Not part of team when Kenora won the Stanley Cup in January 1907. However, Harry Westwick, Fred Whitcroft, and Alf Smith joined the team in March 1907 to play against the Brandon Wheat Kings in 2 playoff games.
†† Left the team after winning the Stanley Cup, Art Ross, and Joe Hall were not part of the team, when Kenora defeated Brandon in 2 game playoff for Manitoba League Title/Stanley Cup.