Kenora Thistles (1926–40)

Last updated
Kenora Thistles
1940 Thistles.jpg
City Kenora, Ontario
League Manitoba Junior Hockey League
Thunder Bay Junior A Hockey League
Home arena Kenora Arena
Colours Maroon, White

The Kenora Thistles were a Manitoba Junior Hockey League team playing in the Canadian town of Kenora, Ontario.

Manitoba Junior Hockey League

The Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) is a Junior 'A' ice hockey league operating in the Canadian province of Manitoba and one of eleven member leagues of the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL).

Canada Country in North America

Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Canada's southern border with the United States is the world's longest bi-national land border. Its capital is Ottawa, and its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. As a whole, Canada is sparsely populated, the majority of its land area being dominated by forest and tundra. Consequently, its population is highly urbanized, with over 80 percent of its inhabitants concentrated in large and medium-sized cities, many near the southern border. Canada's climate varies widely across its vast area, ranging from arctic weather in the north, to hot summers in the southern regions, with four distinct seasons.

Kenora City in Ontario, Canada

Kenora, originally named Rat Portage, is a small city situated on the Lake of the Woods in Northwestern Ontario, Canada, close to the Manitoba boundary, and about 200 km (124 mi) east of Winnipeg. It is the seat of Kenora District.



The Kenora Thistles junior hockey club was founded in 1925 in a local Northern league with Keewatin and Norman. The Thistles participated in the Thunder Bay regional playoffs as an independent team. In 1927, they moved to the Memorial Cup-eligible Thunder Bay Junior A Hockey League.

Memorial Cup The Memorial Cup is a junior ice hockey club championship trophy

The Memorial Cup is a junior ice hockey club championship trophy awarded annually to the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) champion. It is awarded following a four-team, round-robin tournament between a host team and the champions of the CHL's three member leagues: the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) and Western Hockey League (WHL). Sixty teams are eligible to compete for the Memorial Cup, representing nine provinces and four American states. The Acadie–Bathurst Titan are the current champions, winning in the final game against the host team, the Regina Pats of the WHL. The Memorial Cup is known as one of the toughest sporting trophies to win, due to 60 teams participating and the age limit only being 16-21.

The Thunder Bay Junior A Hockey League (TBJHL) was a Canadian Junior ice hockey league that existed from c. 1920 to 1980. The TBJHL operated in Northwestern Ontario, primarily in the Thunder Bay region.

The 1926 regional playoffs put them up against Fort Frances in the semi-final. Kenora won the games 5-1 and 6-1 to earn a berth into the region finals. In the final, the Thistles lost to the Fort William Juniors 4-2 and 4-0 to end their season. In 1927, the Thistles squared off with the Port Arthur West End Juniors in a two-game series for the region. Port Arthur won 6-5 and 5-1 to take the series.

The Thistles first season of league play had them win the regular season crown of the TBJHL. In the playoffs, with a direct berth to the league final, the Thistles played the Fort William Juniors. They lost the first game 4-3, but won the second game 5-3 to take the series. In the Memorial Cup Eastern semi-final, the Thistles had to play the Manitoba Junior Hockey League's Elmwood Millionaires. Kenora won both games 3-2 to play in the Eastern final. Up against the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League's Regina Pats, the Thistles fell 8-0 in game one but only managed to win game two by a score of 4-3, thus eliminating them from a chance at the Memorial Cup.

The Elmwood Millionaires is a now defunct Canadian Junior Hockey team in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. The Millionaires, based in Elmwood, Manitoba, won 5 straight Turnbull Cup Championships as Manitoba Junior ‘A’ Champions, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1930 & 1931, and a 6th in 1936. The 1929 Elmwood Millionaires won the Abbott Cup as western Canadian junior hockey champions. They went on to lose the Memorial Cup to the Toronto Marlboros. The 1931 Elmwood Millionaires defied the odds as they won both the Abbott Cup as Western Champions and the Memorial Cup as National Junior Champs even though they were heavy underdogs. The moniker was also used to describe the 1970s & 80's senior team playing in the Canadian Amateur Senior Hockey League as the EK/Elmwood Millionaires.

Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League

The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League is a Junior A ice hockey league under Hockey Canada, a part of the Canadian Junior Hockey League. Open to North American-born players 20 years of age or younger, the SJHL's 12 teams play in three divisions: the Olympic Buildings, Sherwood and Viterra Divisions. A major attraction in Saskatchewan, the SJHL draws 400,000 fans each season. The winner of the SJHL playoffs continues on to play in the ANAVET Cup against the champion from the MJHL, for the right to represent the Western region at the National Junior A Championship.

Regina Pats ice hockey team of Regina, Saskatchewan in Canada

The Regina Pats are a junior ice hockey team that plays in the Western Hockey League. The Pats are based out of Regina, Saskatchewan and the Brandt Centre is their home arena. The Regina Pats are the oldest major junior hockey franchise in the world that have continuously operated from their original location and use the same name. They began operations in 1917. They were originally named the Regina Patricia Hockey Club, after Princess Patricia of Connaught, the granddaughter of Queen Victoria and daughter of the Governor General. The team name was also associated with the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, named for the same Princess, to the point that Pats sweaters still bear the regimental badge and "PPCLI" flash as a shoulder patch. In 2017 the club celebrated its 100th anniversary. Games are broadcast on 620 CKRM radio.

In their second TBJHL season, the Thistles came in first again. They ended up against the Fort William Juniors in the finals, beating them 1-0 and tying them 2-2 to win the regional playoffs. In the Eastern Memorial Cup semi-final, the Thistles again met up with the MJHL's Elmwood Millionaires. They won game one 4-3, but fell 3-1 in game two and were eliminated.

Their third and final TBJHL season had them finish in second place behind the Fort William Legion. In the semi-final, the Thistles were up against the Port Arthur Juniors. They won game one 3-2, but objected to the second game's refereeing and were ejected from the playoffs by the league. This would be their last game in the TBJHL.

In 1930, the Thistles were accepted into the South Division of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League which would cut back on their travel as all the teams in the South Division were from Winnipeg, Manitoba. After winning the division in just their third season, the Thistles were forcefully moved to the more distant North Division. Despite the travel, the Thistles took their first league title in 1934. The Thistles would end up losing the Abbott Cup semi-final to the Port Arthur West Ends 9-goals-to-8 in two games.

From 1936 until 1939 the Thistles suffered, three consecutive losing seasons left them financially in trouble.

The 1939-40 season was a great season for the Thistles. They won the league by defeating the Elmwood Maple Leafs 3-games-to-none in the league final, then won the Abbott Cup as Western Canadian champions. In the Abbott Cup semi-final, the Thistles defeated the Port Arthur Juniors 2-games-to-1. In the final, they defeated the Edmonton Athletic Club Roamers with 2 wins, 1 loss, and 2 ties. In their first and only Memorial Cup appearance, the Thistles and Oshawa Generals marked the second time two teams from Ontario would square off for the Memorial Cup. The Generals won game one 1-0, and game two 4-1. The Thistles rebounded and won game three 4-3, but lost game four 4-2 and the series 3-games-to-1 to the Generals.

In the summer of 1940, it became apparent that they would not have the numbers or the money to continue competing during World War II and folded.

Season-by-season record

Note: GP = Games Played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, OTL = Overtime Losses, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against

SeasonGP W L T OTLGF GA PointsFinishPlayoffs
1925-26 Independent Lost Regional Final
1926-27 Independent Lost Regional Final
1927-28 12 10 2 0 - 61 26 20 1st TBJHL Won League
1928-29 12 9 3 0 - -- -- 18 1st TBJHL Won League
1929-30 15 11 3 1 - -- -- 23 2nd TBJHL Lost Semi-final
1930-31 12 7 5 0 - 31 37 14 3rd MJHL
1931-32 10 4 4 2 - 17 23 10 2nd WinJHL
1932-33 10 7 3 0 - 32 23 14 2nd MJHL-S
1933-34 16 12 4 0 - -- -- 24 2nd MJHL Won League
1934-35 17 13 3 1 - 78 45 27 2nd MJHL
1935-36 16 6 9 1 - 40 57 13 8th MJHL
1936-37 16 5 10 1 - 48 74 11 8th MJHL
1937-38 22 1 19 2 - 39 104 4 9th MJHL
1938-39 22 9 11 2 - 69 62 20 5th MJHL
1939-40 24 15 5 4 - 98 66 34 2nd MJHL Won League, Won AbC

Notable alumni

See also

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