Thunder Bay Flyers

Last updated
Thunder Bay Flyers
Thunder Bay Flyers.png
City Thunder Bay, Ontario
League Thunder Bay Junior Hockey League/
United States Hockey League
OperatedJuly 10, 1980–2000
Home arena Fort William Gardens
Colours Red, black, gold, and white
Head coach Jim Montroy, Mario Minoletti, Paul Mitchell, Dave Siciliano, Rick Adduono, Larry Wintoneak, Dave Bragnalo, Doug Colbon, Gary Wenzel, and Todd Jones
Franchise history
1980–1984Thunder Bay Kings
1984–2000Thunder Bay Flyers
Championships
Regular season titles4 Anderson Cups (1987–88, 1988–89, 1990–91, and 1991–92)
Playoff championships2 Clark Cups (1988 and 1989)

The Thunder Bay Flyers were a Junior "A" ice hockey team from Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.

Contents

History

On July 6, 1980, the Degagne Buccaneers and Thunder Bay North Stars were informed by the TBAHA that they would not be permitted to field teams in the 1980–81 City League. On July 10, 1980, the executive of the Thunder Bay Kings was formed and gave life to the city's premier junior squad for the next twenty years.

From 1980 until 1982, the Kings played in the Thunder Bay Hockey League with the Allan Cup-contending Senior "A" Thunder Bay Twins, the Hardy Cup-contending Intermediate "A" Thunder Bay Blazers, and the Canadian Interuniversity Athletics Union's Lakehead University Nor'westers. Their first season saw them finish in second and meet the Intermediate Blazers in the league semi-final, which the Kings won 3-games-to-2. In the finals, they were swept by the Senior Twins 4-games-to-none. In the second year, the Flyers finished in third and drew the Blazers again. They defeated the Intermediates 3-games-to-1, to meet Lakehead University in the final. Lakehead upset the Twins 3-games-to-1 in the other semi-final. The Kings won the final in seven games to win the City Championship.

In 1982, the Thunder Bay Hockey League was disbanded. The Blazers folded into the Twins, who joined Manitoba's Central Senior A Hockey League. The Kings, the newly formed Thunder Bay Hornets and the Schreiber North Stars Junior "B" hockey teams, formed the Thunder Bay Junior Hockey League. The Kings won the league in 1983. In the 1983-84 season, the North Stars were replaced by the Jr. B Thunder Bay Maple Leafs. The Kings celebrated an 18-game perfect season before winning the city championship for the third straight year.

In 1984, the Thunder Bay Junior Hockey League folded. The Kings changed their name to the Thunder Bay Flyers and jumped to the United States Hockey League. The Hornets and Maple Leafs merged under the Thunder Bay Hornets banner and jumped to the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.

The Thunder Bay Junior Hockey League folded in 1984. Many former players made the jump to the Ontario Provincial Junior A Hockey League; some went to the then existing version of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League; and others to the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.

However, due to Thunder Bay's location, the league was closer to Minnesota than the closest franchises in the other Ontario Junior "A" Leagues, and the Thunder Bay Flyers of the defunct Thunder Bay League survived by jumping the border to play in the top tier of American junior hockey, the United States Hockey League, and with some success. From 1984–85, when they entered the league, until their exit after the 1999-2000 season, the Flyers won four Anderson Cup regular-season titles in five years (1988, 1989, 1991, 1992), and two straight Clark Cup playoff championships in 1988 and 1989. No team coached by Dave Siciliano, whose tenure extended from 1986 to 1993, finished lower than fourth or won fewer than 31 games in a 48-game season.

Although competing in the USHL during the regular season, the Flyers also competed provincially for the Dudley Hewitt Cup against teams from the Ontario Provincial and Northern Ontario Junior Hockey Leagues, and the right to represent Ontario at the Centennial Cup for the national title as a result. They made their first appearance in the Centennial Cup by default in 1988, and four times as winners of the Dudley Hewett Cup: in 1989, 1991, 1992, and 1995. They have won the national championship twice: at the 1989 Centennial Cup competition, by defeating the Summerside Western Capitals, then of the Island Junior Hockey League, 4-1 in the final game; and at the 1992 Centennial Cup, by defeating the Halifax Mooseheads (Maritime Junior A Hockey League) 8-1 in the semi-final, and the Winkler Flyers of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League 10-1 in the final.

The Flyers played their last game in 2000. The end of the Flyers resulted in the creation of the Superior International Junior Hockey League in 2001 to continue the tradition of the old Thunder Bay Junior Hockey League as a purely local organization. The league has been successful since its founding with its top team being the Fort William North Stars. The departure of the Flyers also sparked the creation of the very successful Lakehead University Thunderwolves men's hockey program, playing in the Ontario Universities Athletics Conference of the CIS (Canadian Interuniversity Sport).

Season-by-season records

SeasonGPWLTOTLGFGAPResultsPlayoffs
1980-812410140-173187202nd TBHLLost Final, Lost DHC SF
1981-82239140-119177183rd TBHLWon League, Lost DHC SF
1982-83242121-20578431st TBJHLWon League, Lost DHC Final
1983-84181800-13851361st TBJHLWon League, Lost DHC SF
1984-8548202503250252437th USHL
1985-8648153201210300318th USHL
1986-8748351012312180732nd USHL
1987-884840710340168811st USHLWon League, Lost DHC Final, 4th at MCC
1988-894840620340189821st USHLWon League, Won DHC, Won MCC
1989-9048311610277210633rd USHLLost DHC SF
1990-9148361020293176771st USHLWon DHC, 5th at MCC
1991-9248361110265173741st USHLWon DHC, Won MCC
1992-9348311421243163654th USHLLost DHC SF
1993-9448262011214203546th USHLLost DHC Final
1994-9548271812216184575th USHLWon DHC, Lost MCC SF
1995-96461329131362023011th USHLLost DHC SF
1996-9754193302186251406th USHL-NDNQ
1997-9856203105165227455th USHL-NDNQ
1998-9956193007164247452nd USHL-CLost Quarter-final
1999-0058183901164254376th USHL-EDNQ
USHL Totals7984263311328377533790.534

Playoffs

Thunder Bay Kings defeated Lakehead Nor'Westers 3-games-to-none
Thunder Bay Twins defeated Thunder Bay Kings 4-games-to-none
Belleville Bulls (OPJHL) defeated Thunder Bay Kings 4-games-to-1
Thunder Bay Kings defeated Thunder Bay Blazers 3-games-to-1
Thunder Bay Kings defeated Lakehead Nor'Westers 4-games-to-3TBHL CHAMPIONS
Guelph Platers (OJHL) defeated Thunder Bay Kings 3-games-to-none
Thunder Bay Kings defeated Thunder Bay Hornets 3-games-to-noneTBJHL CHAMPIONS
Thunder Bay Kings defeated Ottawa Jr. Senators (CJHL) 4-games-to-3
North York Rangers (OJHL) defeated Thunder Bay Kings 4-games-to-none
Thunder Bay Kings defeated Thunder Bay Hornets 4-games-to-1 with 1 tieTBJHL CHAMPIONS
Pembroke Lumber Kings (CJHL) defeated Thunder Bay Kings 4-games-to-none
Thunder Bay Flyers defeated Waterloo Black Hawks 3-games-to-none
Thunder Bay Flyers defeated Madison Capitols 3-games-to-1
Thunder Bay Flyers defeated Rochester Mustangs 3-games-to-1USHL CHAMPIONS
Thunder Bay Flyers defeated Sudbury Cubs (NOJHL) 4-games-to-none
Pembroke Lumber Kings (CenJHL) defeated Thunder Bay Flyers 4-games-to-none
Fourth and eliminated in 1988 Centennial Cup round robin (0-3)
Thunder Bay Flyers defeated Omaha Lancers 3-games-to-none
Thunder Bay Flyers defeated North Iowa Huskies 3-games-to-1
Thunder Bay Flyers defeated St. Paul Vulcans 3-games-to-2USHL CHAMPIONS
Thunder Bay Flyers defeated Sudbury Cubs (NOJHL) 4-games-to-none
Thunder Bay Flyers defeated Pembroke Lumber Kings (CJHL) 4-games-to-noneDUDLEY HEWITT CUP CHAMPIONS
First in 1989 Centennial Cup round robin (2-1)
Thunder Bay Flyers defeated Summerside Western Capitals (IJHL) 4-1 in final CENTENNIAL CUP CHAMPIONS
Thunder Bay Flyers defeated St. Paul Vulcans 3-games-to-none
Rochester Mustangs defeated Thunder Bay Flyers 3-games-to-2
Sudbury Cubs (NOJHL) defeated Thunder Bay Flyers 4-games-to-2
Thunder Bay Flyers defeated North Iowa Huskies 3-games-to-none
Thunder Bay Flyers defeated Dubuque Fighting Saints 3-games-to-none
Omaha Lancers defeated Thunder Bay Flyers 3-games-to-1
Second in Dudley Hewitt Cup round robin (2-2)
Thunder Bay Flyers defeated Montreal Olympiques (QPJHL) 10-0 in semi-final
Thunder Bay Flyers defeated Sudbury Cubs (NOJHL) 5-1 in final DUDLEY HEWITT CUP CHAMPIONS
Fifth and eliminated in 1991 Centennial Cup round robin (1-3)
Thunder Bay Flyers defeated Rochester Mustangs 3-games-to-none
Dubuque Fighting Saints defeated Thunder Bay Flyers 3-games-to-1
Second in Dudley Hewitt Cup round robin (2-1)
Thunder Bay Flyers defeated Joliette Nationals (QPJHL) 5-2 in semi-final
Thunder Bay Flyers defeated Kanata Valley Lasers (CJHL) in final DUDLEY HEWITT CUP CHAMPIONS
Second in 1992 Centennial Cup round robin (2-2)
Thunder Bay Flyers defeated Halifax Mooseheads (MJAHL) 8-1 in semi-final
Thunder Bay Flyers defeated Winkler Flyers (MJHL) 10-1 in final CENTENNIAL CUP CHAMPIONS
Thunder Bay Flyers defeated St. Paul Vulcans
Omaha Lancers defeated Thunder Bay Flyers 3-games-to-1
First in Dudley Hewitt Cup round robin (3-1)
Chateauguay Elites (QPJHL) defeated Thunder Bay Flyers 3-1 in semi-final
First in Dudley Hewitt Cup round robin (3-1)
Thunder Bay Flyers defeated Caledon Canadians (MetJHL) 4-3 in semi-final
Chateauguay Elites (QPJHL) 9-5 in final
Second in Dudley Hewitt Cup round robin (2-1)
Thunder Bay Flyers defeated Caledon Canadians (MetJHL) 7-1 in semi-final
Thunder Bay Flyers defeated Brampton Capitals (OPJHL) 6-4 in final DUDLEY HEWITT CUP CHAMPIONS
Fourth in 1995 Centennial Cup round robin (2-2)
Calgary Canucks (AJHL) defeated Thunder Bay Flyers 5-3 in semi-final
Third in Dudley Hewitt Cup round robin (2-2)
Newmarket 87's (OPJHL) defeated Thunder Bay Flyers 6-3 in semi-final
Green Bay Gamblers defeated Thunder Bay Flyers 3-games-to-none

Championships

Centennial Cups/Royal Bank Cups

1988

Round Robin
Pembroke Lumber Kings (CJHL) defeated Thunder Bay Flyers 7-4
Notre Dame Hounds (SJHL) defeated Thunder Bay Flyers 9-7
Halifax Lions (MJAHL) defeated Thunder Bay Flyers 6-4 (OT)

1989

Round Robin
Thunder Bay Flyers defeated Vernon Lakers (BCJHL) 8-2
Summerside Capitals (IJHL) defeated Thunder Bay Flyers 5-4
Thunder Bay Flyers defeated Moncton Hawks (MJAHL) 6-2
Final
Thunder Bay Flyers defeated Summerside Capitals (IJHL) 4-1

1991

Round Robin
Halifax Jr. Canadians (MJAHL) defeated Thunder Bay Flyers 5-4
Thunder Bay Flyers defeated Sudbury Cubs (NOJHL) 10-4
Vernon Lakers (BCJHL) defeated Thunder Bay Flyers 3-2
Yorkton Terriers (SJHL) defeated Thunder Bay Flyers 5-4

1992

Round Robin
Thunder Bay Flyers defeated St. James Canadians (MJHL) 7-4
Vernon Lakers (BCJHL) defeated Thunder Bay Flyers 5-4 (2OT)
Thunder Bay Flyers defeated Winkler Flyers (MJHL) 9-2
Halifax Mooseheads (MJAHL) defeated Thunder Bay Flyers 9-3
Semi-final
Thunder Bay Flyers defeated Halifax Mooseheads (MJAHL) 8-1
Final
Thunder Bay Flyers defeated Winkler Flyers (MJHL) 10-1

1995

Round Robin
Winnipeg South Blues (MJHL) defeated Thunder Bay Flyers 6-4
Calgary Canucks (AJHL) defeated Thunder Bay Flyers 6-0
Thunder Bay Flyers defeated Gloucester Rangers (CJAHL) 5-2
Thunder Bay Flyers defeated Joliette National (LHJAAAQ) 5-2
Semi-final
Calgary Canucks (AJHL) defeated Thunder Bay Flyers 5-3

Notable alumni

See also

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References


Preceded by
Notre Dame Hounds
Centennial Cup Champions
1989
Succeeded by
Vernon Vipers
Preceded by
Vernon Vipers
Centennial Cup Champions
1992
Succeeded by
Kelowna Spartans