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Saint John celebrates national hockey championships

07-Sep-2011
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Mayor Ivan Court and Wayne Long, President of the Saint John Sea Dogs unveiled a campaign aimed to kick off the Sea Dogs 2011 QMJHL season, and to remind residents that teams from Saint John have captured four national championships.

At the June 6 meeting, Common Council passed a resolution “that the City Manager be directed to acquire a banner to be displayed in the Uptown area to promote the Memorial Cup victory of the Saint John Sea Dogs.” The Sea Dogs won the cup on May 29. They are the first team from the Maritimes to win the Memorial Cup.  This was the 93rd time the trophy was presented. 

“We’ve got the billboards at key entry points into the City celebrating the 2011 Memorial Cup win,” said Mayor Court. “But we’re also highlighting our other national hockey championships -- The Calder Cup, The Allan Cup and The Hardy Cup – by a series of banners outside of Harbour Station and the Lord Beaverbrook Rink.”

The City of Saint John also celebrated the Memorial Cup victory with a parade held May 31 and attended by thousands.

The billboards and banners are being installed this week.

“The billboards should be in place for our game against Moncton here on Thursday night.  We’d like to remind Wildcats fans driving in, that they’re in national championship territory,” said Mr. Long. “And when they get to Harbour Station and see the banners celebrating all of the Cups, they’ll be reminded again.”

Background

When the Saint John Sea Dogs won the Memorial Cup in 2011, they joined an exclusive club of Saint John hockey champions.

Winning is nothing new for Saint John hockey teams, who have excelled on league and national stages. A look back through the years reminds us of the Calder Cup victory in 2001, Saint John Vito’s 1992 Allan Cup victory and the Hardy Cup winning Saint John Mooseheads of 1973.

2011 - Saint John Sea Dogs win The Memorial Cup

In 2011, the Saint John Sea Dogs, a six year old team and one of the newest in the league, captivated the city and the nation by winning the championship against the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors.

The Memorial Cup is awarded annually to the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) champion. Each year the champions from three CHL member leagues—the Western Hockey League (WHL), Ontario Hockey League (OHL), and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), along with a host team—compete in the tournament.

2001 – The Saint John Flames win The Calder Cup

The Calder Cup is awarded annually to the playoff champion of the American Hockey League.

In 2001, the Saint John Flames had a season to remember, with 44 wins and 100 points, their best in their decade-long stay in the city, capped off by an equally spectacular post-season, winning against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. The Flames remain a staple in Saint John sports history and the Calder Cup win will linger in the minds of Saint John hockey fans for some time.

1992 - The Saint John Vitos win The Allan Cup

In 1992, the Saint John Vito’s won the Allan Cup, the top prize for Canadian Senior AAA Hockey, at the Lord Beaverbrook Rink. The Stony Plain (Alta.) Eagles were the opponent in the contest and were slammed 6-2 in the Saint John victory.  It was the first time the Allan Cup was won by a New Brunswick team since the Moncton Hawks won the Cup in 1934.

1973 – The Saint John Mooseheads win The Hardy Cup

In 1973, in front of a packed house at Lord Beaverbrook Rink, a rare collection of circumstances saw the Saint John Mooseheads clinch The Hardy Cup, the national Intermediate A championship.  As they knocked off teams such as Clarendon, N.L. and Amqui, Que., the Mooseheads’ incredible run captured the city and culminated in a Hardy Cup banner that hangs today from the rafters of the LBR. 

The Mooseheads of 1972-73 were inducted into the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame in 2008. It marks the first major national title won by a Saint John hockey team.