|City||The Pas, Manitoba|
|League||Manitoba Junior Hockey League|
|Home arena||Gordon Lathlin Memorial Centre|
|Colours||Blue, Red, White|
|General manager||Greg Hunter|
|Head coach||Chris Perchaluk|
The Opaskwayak Cree Nation (OCN) Blizzard are a junior "A" ice hockey team from The Pas, Manitoba, Canada. They are members of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League, a part of the Canadian Junior Hockey League and Hockey Canada. The team is owned by two local businessmen and brothers Salman Safdar Dhillon and Usman Tahir Dhillon. Blizzard games are broadcast on local radio station CJAR 102.9 FM and can also be heard online at www.thepasonline.com.
The Blizzard were founded in 1996 by the Opaskwayak Cree Nation. The team was a year in the making with the Cree Nation's goal to enter the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL). Their hockey development and recreation department spent many months prior getting the community members on board through community meetings and house to house visits. Boh Kubrakovich, Jim Smith and Nathan McGillivary spent time working with the SJHL prior to entering their current league, the Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL).
The Blizzard name and jersey was styled after the Utica Blizzard of the Colonial Hockey League. It was through a Blizzard like snow storm that the new directors of the team made it to Winnipeg to announce the team. During the press conference the directors decided to call the team the Opaskwayak Blizzard.
Founding directors were James Smith, Chief Frances Flett, Gordon Lathlin, Gilbert Lathlin, Nathan McGillivary and recreation director/director of hockey Boh Kubrakovich. They selected Gardiner MacDougall as their first head coach and director of hockey. Leonard Strandberg was then hired as the general manager in 1996.
From the 1998–99 season until 2002–03, the Blizzard became the second team in MJHL history and the first team in over sixty years to win five straight Turnbull Cup titles as MJHL playoff champions. At the ANAVET Cup regional tournament, in succession, the Blizzard lost to the SJHL's Estevan Bruins in 1999, to the Battlefords North Stars in 2000, the Weyburn Red Wings in 2001, defeated the Kindersley Klippers in 2002, and then lost in 2003 to the Humboldt Broncos. By winning the ANAVET Cup in 2002 the Blizzard earned them the right to compete in the 2002 Royal Bank Cup. They finished the Junior A national championship round-robin with a 2–2 record. In the semi-final OCN defeated the British Columbia Hockey League's Chilliwack Chiefs 4–3. They would go on to lose in the national final to the Halifax Exports 3–1.
In December 2016, the Opaskwayak Cree Nation council declared its intention to cease team operations following the 2016–17 season.The Blizzard board of directors were later granted permission to operate the team for another season, but without funding from the band council.
In 2018 a pair of local businessmen jumped in to save the club. A proposal was presented in front of elected chief and council of Opaskwayak Cree Nation and it was unanimously approved and a sale agreement was signed.That sale was brought before the MJHL board of governors and after meeting a few more conditions was approved.
|Turnbull Cup||1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003|
Note: GP = Games Played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, OTL = Overtime Losses, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against
|1996–97||55||32||18||4||1||274||228||69||2nd MJHL||Lost final|
|1997–98||61||42||18||1||0||285||202||85||2nd MJHL||Lost semi-final|
|1998–99||62||53||7||1||1||401||149||108||1st MJHL||Won league|
|1999–00||64||44||16||—||4||305||194||92||1st MJHL||Won league|
|2000–01||64||50||10||—||4||334||192||104||1st MJHL||Won league|
|2001–02||64||56||6||—||3||379||149||115||1st MJHL||Won league, won ANAVET Cup|
|2002–03||63||54||8||—||1||380||160||109||1st MJHL||Won league|
|2003–04||64||46||10||—||8||355||177||100||1st MJHL||Lost quarter-final|
|2004–05||63||29||22||—||12||221||221||70||5th MJHL||Lost quarter-final|
|2005–06||63||37||17||—||9||232||181||83||2nd MJHL||Lost final|
|2006–07||63||16||35||—||12||223||281||44||10th MJHL||Did not qualify|
|2007–08||62||22||36||—||4||204||272||48||9th MJHL||Did not qualify|
|2008–09||62||32||22||—||8||214||211||72||5th MJHL||Lost quarter-final|
|2009–10||62||24||30||—||8||181||202||56||9th MJHL||Did not qualify|
|2010–11||62||34||18||—||10||182||164||78||5th MJHL||Lost quarter-final|
|2011–12||61||31||23||—||7||176||183||69||7th MJHL||Lost semi-final|
|2012–13||60||39||16||—||5||226||193||83||3rd MJHL||Lost semi-final|
|2013–14||60||21||34||—||5||171||235||47||8th MJHL||Lost quarter-final|
|2014–15||60||20||35||—||5||167||203||45||10th MJHL||Lost survivor series|
|2015–16||60||27||30||—||3||185||214||57||6th MJHL||Lost quarter-final|
|2016–17||60||39||17||—||4||200||153||82||3rd MJHL||Lost final|
|2017–18||60||32||20||—||8||209||192||72||4th MJHL||Lost quarter-final|
Many players have used the OCN Blizzard as a stepping stone into a career in the professional leagues across Canada, the United States, and Europe.
|Ryan Constant||Hartford Wolfpack (AHL)|
|Josh Elmes||Rapid City Rush (ECHL)|
|Derek Ernest||Wheeling Nailers (ECHL)|
|Andrew Gallant||Elmira Jackals (ECHL)|
|Mike Gooch||Wheeling Nailers (ECHL)|
|Kristjan Jefkins||Victoria Salmon Kings (ECHL)/Amsterdam Tijgers (BeNe League)|
|Darcy Johnson||Long Beach Ice Dogs (ECHL)|
|Brady Keeper||Florida Panthers (NHL)|
|Charles Lachance||Tulsa Oilers (ECHL)|
|Steve MacIntyre||Edmonton Oilers (NHL)|
|Jon Mirasty||Syracuse Crunch (AHL)/HC Vityaz (KHL)|
|Konrad McKay||Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL)|
|Chris Murphy||Greenville Grrrowl (ECHL)|
|Jamie Muswagon||Wheeling Nailers (ECHL)|
|Mike Ouellet||Long Beach Ice Dogs (ECHL)/VisbyRoma|
|Ryan Person||Greenville Grrrowl (ECHL)|
|Russell Spence||Greenville Grrrowl (ECHL)/RT Bad Nauheim|
|Jordin Tootoo||Chicago Blackhawks (NHL)|
|Terence Tootoo||Roanoke Express (ECHL)|
|Dale Warkentin||Bakersfield Condors (ECHL)|
|Wally Wuttunee||Wheeling Nailers (ECHL)|
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