- Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Hockey team |CAN_eng=1
team = Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
Ontario Hockey League
conference = Western
division = West
1962(NOHA Jr. A) 1972(OHA)
Red, White, Silverand Black
Soo ThunderbirdsThe Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (aka Soo Greyhounds) are a major junior ice hockeyteam in the Ontario Hockey League. The Greyhounds play home games at the Essar Centre. The present team was founded in 1962 as a team in the Northern Ontario Hockey Association. The Greyhounds name has been used by several ice hockeyteams based in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontariosince 1919.
The first Greyhounds team formed in 1919, playing in the now defunct Upper-Peninsula League. The team's coach was George MacNamara. He suggested the team be called the Greyhounds since, "a greyhound is much faster than a wolf." That reference was to the already established rival club, the Sudbury Wolves.cite web| url = http://www.soogreyhounds.com/site/origin.html| title = The Name: Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds | accessdate = 2006-10-18]
A couple seasons later, the Greyhounds switched to the
Northern Ontario Hockey AssociationSenior "A" division. The team won the Senior A championship in 1921, 1923, 1924 and 1925. The 1924 Greyhounds also won the Allan Cup, the only team from Sault Ste. Marie to do so.
The senior Greyhounds folded in 1927, and were replaced the following season by a junior team of the same name, competing in the
Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League. The juniors won the league championship four consecutive years from 1928 to 1931, and a fifth title in 1942. Junior hockey in Sault Ste. Marie came to an abrupt end in 1945 when the Gouin Street Arenawas destroyed by fire.
The senior Greyhounds team was revived in 1948. The new team played out of a temporary home at Pullar Stadium until the Memorial Gardens opened in 1949. The senior Greyhounds won the NOHA championship four times in 1950, 1951, 1952 and 1955. This team folded, along with the league after the 1958-59 season.
The current Greyhounds Junior A franchise was founded in 1962 as a member of the
Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League. The team's founders were Angelo Bumbacco, Lloyd Prokop, Phil Suraci, Pat Esposito and Dr. Bill Kelly. The Greyhounds played for ten seasons in the NOJHL. They were extremely successful, never having a losing season, and winning the league championship three times. In 1972, the Greyhounds entered the Ontario Hockey Association as a Major Junior A expansion team. The original directors were joined by Frank Caputo and Frank Sarlo.
Wayne Gretzky, 1977-78
In 1977, the Sault Ste.Marie Greyhounds picked a 16 year old
Wayne Gretzky, standing at 5'8" (173 cm) and weighing 155 pounds (70 kg), with the third pick in the Ontario Midget Draft. He was still small in stature, but would have a big impact on the game.
Gretzky requested to wear # 9 for his idol
Gordie Howe, but that number was already taken by linemate Brian Gualazzi. Gretzky then chose # 19 instead. After a few games, coach Muzz MacPherson suggested wearing two nines would be better than one. From that season on, Gretzky has always worn the legendary # 99.cite web| url = http://www.nhl.com/hockeyu/history/gretzky/99reasons.html| title = 99 Reasons Why Wayne Gretzky is "The Great One" | accessdate = 2006-11-18]
In 63 games that year, he set the Greyhounds all-time record, scoring 70 goals and had 112 assists for a total of 182 points. Gretzky would have won the scoring title, except for a 192 point season by Bobby Smith. Gretzky was awarded the
Emms Family Awardas the rookie of the year, and the William Hanley Trophyas most gentlemanly player.
The Terry Crisp years as coach
The year after Gretzky departed, the Greyhounds hired
Terry Crispto coach. Under his guidance, the Greyhounds would win three division titles, finish first place overall three times, and win the league championship his final season.
In his second year at the helm, the Soo won its first Leyden division title, posting 47 wins, and winning its first
Hamilton Spectator Trophyas best in the league. The Greyhounds lost to the Kitchener Rangers in the league finals, 9 points to 3. It was the first of five consecutive seasons that the Greyhounds and the Rangers would meet in the playoffs. Next season, the Greyhounds switched to the Emms Division, but would lose out to Kitchener in the semi-finals.
Crisp's team would win its new division in 1983, and finish first overall in the OHL for the second time. This time in the playoffs, they would eliminate the Rangers in the semi-finals, ultimately losing to the
Oshawa Generalsin the finals, a team which would become a future rival. Despite a rebuilding year in 1983-84, the Soo reached the semi-finals again, but fell to their rival Kitchener.
1984-85 OHL seasonwould be historical for Sault Ste. Marie. The Greyhounds won their third Hamilton Spectator Trophy in 5 years, and second Emms division title. The Greyhounds also set a Canadian Hockey Leaguerecord, winning all 33 of their home games that season, a record that still stands. The same year, the Greyhounds set the OHL record for 109 points in a season that stood for 19 years. In the playoffs, the Soo eliminated rival Kitchener in four straight games in the first round. After a second round bye, the Greyhounds beat out the Hamilton Steelhawks9 points to 1 to reach the finals again. Sault Ste. Marie won its first J. Ross Robertson Cup, defeating the Peterborough Petes9 points to 5.
Memorial Cup, 1985
After winning the OHL championship, the Greyhounds travelled to
Shawinigan, Quebecto compete in the Memorial Cuptournament, for the national junior hockey title. The Greyhounds played against the host team Shawinigan Cataractes, the QMJHL champion Verdun Junior Canadiens, and the WHL champion Prince Albert Raiders.
The Greyhounds were led by future NHLers,
Jeff Beukeboom, Chris Felix, Derek King, Wayne Presley, Bob Probertand Rob Zettler. Leading scorers in the regular season were Wayne Groulx, Graeme Bonar and Sault Ste. Marie native Mike Oliverio.
The Greyhounds won the first game on
May 11in Shawinigan versus the home team, by a score 4-3, in front of 3,276 fans. Televising games from the Aréna Jacques Plantein Shawinigan proved difficult due to roof support pillars around the ice surface. After two games in Shawinigan, the remainder of the tournament was played in the Centre Marcel Dionnein Drummondville, Quebec.
The Greyhounds won their first game in Drummondville 6-3 over Verdun, with two goals from Derek King. Their first loss of the tournament came in game three, losing 8-6 to the Prince Albert Raiders. With the loss, the Cataractes, Raiders and Greyhounds would all finish the round-robin with two wins and a loss. Shawinigan earned a spot in the finals on best goals for and against difference, with Sault Ste. Marie and Prince Albert to have a rematch in the semi-final game. On
May 16, the Greyhounds lost again to the Raiders.
Memorial Cup, 1993
In the 1992-93, the Greyhounds won their third consecutive Emms division title. They narrowly beat out the
Detroit Junior Red Wingsby having more wins in the regular season despite both teams earning 81 points. The OHL revived the idea of a Super Series from six years previous to determine which team would host the Memorial Cup of 1993. The Greyhounds assured themselves of a third consecutive trip to the Memorial Cup, by sweeping the series versus the Leyden division champion Peterborough Petes. Jarrett Reid led Sault Ste. Marie in scoring through the playoffs, with 19 goals and 16 assists in 18 games.
After the Super Series ended, the regular playoffs started. Sault Ste. Marie earned the first round bye, then defeated the
Owen Sound Platersand the Junior Red Wings to reach the finals against the Petes. This time, the Petes prevailed 4 games to 1, spoiling the Greyhounds chances of a third consecutive J. Ross Robertson Cup. Joing the Greyhounds and Petes in the Memorial Cup would be the WHL champion Swift Current Broncosand the QMJHL champion Laval Titan.
The Greyhounds and the Petes both finished the Memorial Cup round-robin with two wins and a loss. Sault Ste. Marie earned a berth in the finals by having beaten the Petes in the round robin. The two teams would meet again in the tournament finals, playing in front a hometown crowd of 4,757 spectators at the Memorial Gardens on
May 23. Sault Ste. Marie led 3-0 after the first period, and held on to win their first Memorial Championship, beating the Petes 4-2. The victory party continued on Queen St. late into the evening.
* 1962 to 1972 in the NOJHL
* 1972 to 1974 in the OHA
* 1974 to 1980 in the OMJHL
* 1980 to present in the OHL
*1962-63 Lost in semi-finals.
*1963-64 Lost in finals.
*1964-65 Lost in semi-finals.
*1965-66 Lost in finals.
*1966-67 McNamara Trophy Champions.
*1967-68 Lost in semi-finals.
*1968-69 Lost in finals.
*1969-70 McNamara Trophy Champions.
*1970-71 Lost in finals.
*1971-72 McNamara Trophy Champions.
*1972-73 Out of playoffs.
*1973-74 Out of playoffs.
*1974-75 Out of playoffs.
*1975-76 Defeated Oshawa Generals 6 points to 4 in first round.
Lost to Sudbury Wolves 9 points to 5 in quarter-finals.
*1976-77 Defeated Peterborough Petes 3 games to 1 in first round.
Lost to Ottawa 67's 4 games to 0, 1 tie in quarter-finals.
*1977-78 Defeated Kingston Canadiens 6 points to 4 in first round.
Lost to Ottawa 67's 9 points to 7 in quarter-finals.
*1978-79 Out of playoffs.
*1979-80 Out of playoffs.
*1980-81 Defeated Oshawa Generals 8 points to 4 in division semi-finals.
Defeated Kingston Canadians 9points to 5 in division finals.
Lost to Kitchener Rangers 9 points to 3 in finals.
*1981-82 Earned bye through first round. 2nd place in Emms.
Defeated Brantford Alexanders 8 points to 6 in quarter-finals.
Lost to Kitchener Rangers 9 points to 3 in semi-finals.
*1982-83 Earned bye through first round. 1st place in Emms.
Defeated Brantford Alexanders 8 points to 2 in quarter-finals.
Defeated Kitchener Rangers 8 points to 2 in semi-finals.
Lost to Oshawa Generals 9 points to 5 in finals.
*1983-84 Defeated Windsor Spitfires 6 points to 0 in first round.
Defeated Brantford Alexanders 8 points to 4 in quarter-finals.
Lost to Kitchener Rangers 8 points to 6 in semi-finals.
*1984-85 Defeated Kitchener Rangers 8 points to 0 in first round.
Earned bye through quarter-finals. 1st place in Emms.
Defeated Hamilton Steelhawks 9 points to 1 in semi-finals.
Defeated Peterborough Petes 9 points to 5 in finals. OHL CHAMPIONS
Finished Memorial Cup round robin tied for second place.
Lost to Prince Albert Raiders 8-3 in semi-final game.
*1985-86 Out of playoffs.
*1986-87 Lost to Windsor Spitfires 4 games to 0 in first round.
*1987-88 Lost to London Knights 4 games to 2 in first round.
*1988-89 Out of playoffs.
*1989-90 Out of playoffs.
*1990-91 Defeated Dukes of Hamilton 4 games to 0 in first round.
Earned bye through quarter-finals. 1st place in Emms.
Defeated Niagara Falls Thunder 4 games to 0 in semi-finals.
Defeated Oshawa Generals 4 games to 2 in finals. OHL CHAMPIONS
Finished Memorial Cup round robin in 4th place.
*1991-92 Earned bye through first round. 1st place in Emms.
Defeated Kitchener Rangers 4 games to 3 in quarter-finals.
Defeated Niagara Falls Thunder 4 games to 1 in semi-finals.
Defeated North Bay Centennials 4 games to 3 in finals. OHL CHAMPIONS
Finished Memorial Cup round robin in 1st place, earning berth in finals.
Lost to Kamloops Blazers 5-4 in championship game.
*1992-93 Defeated Peterborough Petes 4 games to 0 in super-series for right to host Memorial Cup. Earned bye through first round. 1st place in Emms.
Defeated Owen Sound Platers 4 games to 0 in quarter-finals.
Defeated Detroit Jr. Red Wings 4 games to 1 in semi-finals.
Lost to Peterborough Petes 4 games to 1 in finals.
Finished Memorial Cup round robin in 1st place, earning berth in finals.
Defeated Peterborough Petes 4-2 in championship game. "MEMORIAL CUP CHAMPIONS"
*1993-94 Defeated Windsor Spitfires 4 games to 0 in division quarter-finals.
Defeated Guelph Storm 4 games to 0 in division semi-finals.
Lost to Detroit Jr. Red Wings 4 games to 2 in semi-finals.
*1994-95 Out of playoffs.
*1995-96 Lost to Sarnia Sting 4 games to 0 in division quarter-finals.
*1996-97 Defeated Detroit Whalers 4 games to 1 in division quarter-finals.
Lost to Guelph Storm 4 games to 2 in quarter-finals.
*1997-98 Out of playoffs.
*1998-99 Lost to Owen Sound Platers 4 games to 1 in conference quarter-finals.
*1999-00 Defeated Kitchener Rangers 4 games to 1 in conference quarter-finals.
Defeated Erie Otters 4 games to 3 in conference semi-finals.
Lost to Plymouth Whalers 4 games to 1 in conference finals.
*2000-01 Out of playoffs.
*2001-02 Lost to Windsor Spitfires 4 games to 2 in conference quarter-finals.
*2002-03 Lost to Kitchener Rangers 4 games to 0 in conference quarter-finals.
*2003-04 Out of playoffs.
*2004-05 Lost to Windsor Spitfires 4 games to 3 in conference quarter-finals.
*2005-06 Lost to London Knights 4 games to 0 in conference quarter-finals.
*2006-07 Defeated Saginaw Spirit 4 games to 2 in conference quarter-finals.
Lost to London Knights 4 games to 3 in conference semi-finals.
*2007-08 Defeated Saginaw Spirit 4 games to 0 in conference quarter-finals.
Defeated Guelph Storm 4 games to 1 in conference semi-finals.
Lost to Kitchener Rangers 4 games to 1 in conference finals.
Uniforms and logos
The Greyhounds colours are predominantly red and white. Black and silver trim were added in the late 1980s, as well as four stars above the logo. Sault Ste. Marie has used their classic red circle logo with the running greyhound for all but four seasons of their existence.
From 1995 to 1999 the Greyhounds redesigned their logo (inset right), to what became known by fans as the "Ugly Dog" or "Snoopy" logo. Due to public backlash and a fan petition for its removal, the team discontinued its use and went back to the classic logo.
November 1, 2006, the Greyhounds unveiled a third jersey seen [http://www.soogreyhounds.com/catalog/eb561f50-9599-4c58-861f-2111f5e837e9.aspx here] .
The first home of the Greyhounds from 1919 to 1945 was
Gouin Street Arena. The arena had wooden benches for 1,000 spectators. It was destroyed by fire in 1945. An outdoor rink at Pullar Stadium was used until a new indoor facility was built.
ault Memorial Gardens
The Greyhounds played home games at the
Sault Memorial Gardensfrom 1949 to 2006. The building was named for the war veterans of World War II. The Gardens hosted Memorial Cupgames in 1978 and 1993, and the OHL All-Star Game in 1979. The last game at the Gardens was played on Tuesday, March 28, 2006. Demolition of the Gardens began on April 27, 2006. All that remains of the Gardens is the Memorial Tower, which is part of "Memorial Square". The red beacon of the Memorial Tower was preserved and continues to be lit on game days.
* [http://www.ohlarenaguide.com/hounds.htm Sault Memorial Gardens] - The OHL Arena & Travel Guide
The Greyhounds moved to the new
Essar Centrefor the 2006-07 OHL season. The new arena was built in the east parking lot of the Memorial Gardens, and is the largest such centre in Northern Ontario. Its naming rightswere purchased by Essar Steel Algomaof Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. The inaugural game was played on October 11, 2006, resulting in a 2-1 loss to the Sudbury Wolves. The 2008 OHL All-Star Classic was held at the Essar Centre during the 2007-2008 season.
* [http://www.ohlarenaguide.com/greyhounds.htm Essar Centre] - The OHL Arena & Travel Guide
List of ice hockey teams in Ontario
* [http://www.soogreyhounds.com www.soogreyhounds.com] Official team web site
* [http://www.soogreyhounds.net SooGreyhounds.net] Fan Message Forum
* [http://www.ontariohockeyleague.com/ Ontario Hockey League] Official OHL web site
* [http://www.chl.ca/ Canadian Hockey League] Official CHL web site
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.