From road apples on the frozen Rideau River to fast-paced Jr.A hockey in the North Grenville Municipal Centre, hockey has been woven into the 150 year old fabric that is Kemptville. Imagine a tin roof arena that cost only $13,000 to build… in 1930. Double-header game nights required budgeting… 10 cents to get in, 5 cents for McIntosh toffee to cheer on the River Rats, the Oxford Millers and others.
In a time when Les Canadiens meant dynasty, the Inkerman Rockets of the 1940’s and 1950’s proved to be the area’s own local hockey dynasty. Kemptville quietly boasts its own humble Hockey Hall of Fame, known as Grahame’s Bakery. A place where the newcomer can visit and consume the stories of hockey history of past resident reconteurs Frank Boucher (NY Rangers Manager) and Ken Grahame… as easily as the warm apple turnovers.
In 1973, the community began its passion for Junior hockey and the team took the year as its name – the “73’s”. The team became very successful, including the famous 38-0-4 undefeated season in 1996-97.
The “73’s” are now the newest Junior “A” team in the Central Junior Hockey League. Kemptville is one of the fastest growing communities in the Ottawa Valley. Its new North Grenville Municipal Centre includes two ice pads that provide for figure skating, public skating and of course the 6 am Initiation practices and late night seniors hockey. The facility also has community halls, a theatre and the municipal government all under one roof. And while this beautiful facility has all the modern age amenities, it is the simple sheet of ice that will continue to provide endless hours for all to learn, grow and share together… as they have for the past 150 years.
Come visit Kemptville… just a slapshot away from our Parliament Buildings or the St. Lawrence River… experience more than a century of hockey traditions, a warm apple turnover and good conversation.
Thank you Mr. Gaw.