Cochrane Generals alumnus Preston Hunter had a bit of a flashback when he entered the Cochrane Arena last Friday to cheer on the Gens with his son.

In the lobby, vintage jerseys were available for purchase by fans. He went through them, curious to see if his old number was there, and sure enough, it was. 

"I browsed through the jerseys and saw #20. I had this cut in the middle of his jersey that had been sewn and looked for it. It was there, and I knew it was mine."

Hunter was a rookie second-line left winger for the Gens' 2008-09 HJHL championship team and continues to attend Gens games when he can with his son. He'd split his minor hockey between Morley and Cochrane and joined the Gens after playing AAA midget hockey.

"It was a team close to home and it had a lot of benefits. I got to play with the guys I grew up with and being close to home to play competitive hockey was a big deal to me."

In minor hockey, he wore #10, but that number was off-limits with the Gens.

"I couldn't get the 10 away from the vet, so #20 stuck with me."

Gens president Rick Richards says the team has given the jersey to Hunter and is getting it customized with his name on the back as a keepsake from his time with the team.

He says they came across a small cache of jerseys in their lockup and says they weren't sure why the team still had them or what the team's policy was back then.

"But now we've got these great vintage jerseys and we thought maybe the best thing was to let the fans purchase them so they can wear them to the games. It's just another way for the fans to show their support."

Knowing they are from a championship year makes them extra special.

Before Hunter stepped forward, it was a bit of a mystery as to exactly when they were worn. Lately, though, more and more of the blanks in the club's history are being filled in by past players, coaches, and board members. It's something Nick Maclure, the club's social media specialist, has been pursuing since the start of the season.

Richards praises Maclure for the work he's been doing on tracing the team's heritage. He's been getting a response, too. Former Gens have been reaching out and Maclure has now started an alumni Facebook group that already includes 21 members.

"Nick's been doing a tonne of work just trying to find where this stuff is. How we got it? Who is it? All these types of things."

They welcome others to reach out to the club to share their stories.

Vintage jerseysTwo young fans hold up a pair of the vintage jerseys being offered for sale to fans by the Gens.