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March 28: Bottineau Flyers Win State Hockey Championship

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On this date in 1934, the Bottineau Courant announced to its readers that the community senior men’s hockey team, The Bottineau Flyers, had won their first North Dakota Amateur Hockey League state championship.

The road to the championship began in early March when Harold Ferguson, the coach of the Bottineau Flyers, declared that the Flyers were the state champions by pointing out they had won more games in 1934 than any other independent men’s hockey team, had beaten some of the best teams in the state, and had won the northwest championship at the Minot Winter Carnival. By his statement, Ferguson challenged any other team in the state who felt differently.

Grand Forks Dragons accepted the challenge. The team was ranked first in the state’s eastern divisions and agreed to play a three-game championship series at the Bottineau arena.

The action was hot right from the start. In the first period of the first game, the Foy brothers both scored for Grand Forks. Not to be outdone, Shorty Davis started the scoring for Bottineau followed by Duke Davis and the captain of the team, Dan Gillies.

In the second period, Walt Foy got another goal for Grand Forks, but it was all Flyers the remainder of the game with Bud Smith scoring his first goal, and Duke Davis, Dan Gillies and Bud Smith each scoring for a second time, making the final score 7-3.

In the second game, the Dragons and Flyers played evenly for the first period, which was scoreless. But in the second period, Bottineau’s Sig Leifur scored the first goal of the game with an unassisted shot from the blue line. A royal battle continued through the period with no other goals scored.

In the third period, Dan Gillies broke it open, with two quick goals for Bottineau, followed by Bud Smith, Julius Davis, Shorty Davis and Alex Gillies each getting a goal. Final score 7 to zero. The Flyers were the only team in four years to shutout the Dragons. The last team to do so was a powerhouse Minnesota team, the Eveleth Elks in 1930.

Dakota Datebook by Scott Wagar


  • Bottineau Courant March 7, 1934 Page 1A
  • Bottineau Courant March 21, 1934, Page 1A
  • Bottineau Courant March 28, 1934 Page 1A

Dakota Datebook is made in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota, and funded by Humanities North Dakota, a nonprofit, independent state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the program do not necessarily reflect those of Humanities North Dakota or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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