Ottawa Silver Seven win Stanley Cup
Ottawa defeated the Rat Portage Thistles 6–2, 4–2 (10–4) in a two-game, total goals series in Ottawa, March 12–14, 1903.
As the new CAHL and Cup champions, the Ottawas accepted a challenge from the Rat Portage Thistles of the Manitoba & Northwestern Hockey Association (MNWHA). Entering the best-of-three challenge series, the Thistles were younger and quicker than Ottawa; only one player on the Thistles was over the age of 20. However, poor soft ice conditions in Ottawa played a major factor as Ottawa swept the series with scores of 6–2 and 4–2.
In the 1903 CAHL season, Ottawa and Montreal Victorias both finished in first place with 6–2 records. The top scorers were the Victorias' Russell Bowie, who scored 7 goals in one game and 6 in another, and McGee, whose top performance saw him score 5 goals in a game. The two clubs faced off in a two-game total goals series to decide the league championship and Stanley Cup. The first game, played in Montreal on slushy ice that made it a desperate struggle to score, ended 1–1. The return match in Ottawa, witnessed by 3000 fans, was on ice coated with an inch of water. The conditions did not hinder Ottawa, as they won 8–0, with McGee scoring 3 goals and the other 5 shared among the three Gilmours, Dave (3), Suddy (1) and Bill (1), to win their first Cup. This started a period in which the team held the Stanley Cup and defeated all challengers until March 1906.
For that Stanley Cup win, each of the team's players was given a silver nugget by team executive Bob Shillington, an Ottawa druggist and mining investor. He gave them nuggets instead of money since the players were still technically amateurs and to give them money would have meant disqualification from the league. In a 1957 interview, Harry Westwick recalled that at the presentation "One of the players said 'We ought to call ourselves the Silver Seven.' and the name caught on right there." (At the time, hockey teams iced seven men — a goaltender, three forwards, two defencemen and a rover).
March 12, 1903
Ottawa 6 – 2 Rat Portage Thistles Dey's Arena
March 14, 1903
Ottawa 4 – 2 Rat Portage Thistles
Ottawa wins best-of-three series 2 games to 0
Rat Portage 2 at Ottawa 6
Rutherford G John Hutton
Mat Brown P Harvy Pulford
Tom Hooper CP Arthur Moore
Si Griffis R Dave Gilmour 1
Billy McGimsie 2 C Frank McGee 2
Bill Martin LW Billy Gilmour 3
Roxy Beaudro RW Suddy Gilmour
Referee- Harry Trihey
Rat Portage 2 at Ottawa 4
Rutherford G John Hutton
Mat Brown P Harvey Pulford
Tom Hooper CP Dave Gilmour 1
Si Griffis R Frank McGee 2
Billy McGimsie 1 C Percy Sims 1
Bill Martin RW Billy Gilmour
Roxy Beaudro 1 LW Suddy Gilmour
Referee- Chauncy Kirby