Great Lakes Junior C Hockey League

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Great Lakes Junior "C" Hockey League
Great Lakes Junior C.png
Head Office Cambridge, Ontario
Official Web site GLJHL
Director John Kopinak
Convenors Richard Allen,
Gerry Mallen
Founded 1968

The Great Lakes Junior C Hockey League is a Junior "C" ice hockey league in Ontario, Canada, sanctioned by the Ontario Hockey Association. The Champion of the Great Lakes will compete for the All-Ontario Championship and the Clarence Schmalz Cup. The league got its start in 1968 as the Border Cities Junior Hockey League in 1968. It became a Junior B&C League under the Great Lakes name in 1970 and strictly Junior C in 1974.

History[edit]

Alvinston Flyers lining up for a face-off in the defensive zone at the Belle River Canadiens' 2013 home opener.
Belle River goalie watches puck behind his net during 2013-14 season.

Development[edit]

Out of the ashes of the old Bluewater Hockey League, a local league that operated at sometimes Junior D and Juvenile levels, came the Border Cities Junior Hockey League in 1968. In 1968-69, the league operated on both sides of the Canada-United States border. The Leamington Flyers joined the league after a lackluster year in the Western Jr. B League, with the Blenheim Golden Blades, Petrolia Jets, and Dresden Jr. Kings on the Canadian side. The American teams did not participate in the OHA playoffs. Blenheim would win the Border Cities Jr. B crown with a 4-games-to-2 series win over Petrolia, while Dresden would beat Leamington 3-games-to-2 with 2 ties for the Junior C crown. In 1969-70, the league operated as two different, but interlocked, identities - the Border Cities League and the Michigan Junior Hockey League. The Canadian teams stayed with the BCJHL and added a fifth member - the Tilbury Bluebirds. Petrolia was named Junior B champions at the end of the year, uncontested, and went on to the Sutherland Cup playdowns, while Leamington beat Dresden for the Junior C championship, and Blenheim beat Tilbury for a Junior D title.

Essex 73's goalie in 40th anniversary commemorative jersey during 2013 Schmalz Cup finals.

During the summer, the league opted to separate from its Michigan brethren, who went on to form their own league. The league received an offer from a new team, the Windsor Royals. By the Fall of 1970, opted to rename itself the Great Lakes Junior Hockey League.

Great Lakes League[edit]

The 1970-71 season, the first as the Great Lakes League, saw the league operating with six teams. Four of the teams in the league had opted for a Junior B designation for the playoffs: Petrolia, Blenheim, Windsor, and Tilbury; while Dresden and Leamington remained Junior C. Petrolia would take the league Junior B crown with a dominant series victory over the upstart Royals, while the Dresden Jr. Kings went the distance and shocked the Leamington Flyers (who had finished the season with ten more wins). Dresden would go on to defeat the Central Ontario Junior C Hockey League's Champion, Bowmanville Red Eagles to win the league's first ever Provincial Championship.

In the Summer of 1971, the League expanded again with the Mooretown Flags jumping in at the Junior C level. Petrolia would defeat Windsor again at Jr. B, while Leamington gained revenge over Dresden in the Jr. C final. Leamington would manage to duplicate the deeds of the Kings in 1971, winning the 1972 OHA Junior C Championship over the Central Ontario League's Cobourg Cougars.

Before the 1972-73 season, the Petrolia Jets applied to leave the league for the Western Ontario Junior B Hockey League. They were replaced by the Sandwich West Thunderbirds of LaSalle, Ontario at the Jr. B level and the Wallaceburg Lakers in Jr. C. Windsor would win the B loop, while Leamington would again take Jr. C.

Amherstburg's goalie playing the puck at their 2013 home opener.

The Summer of 1973 brought more expansion. The Royals, disgruntled former affiliates of the Southern Ontario Junior A Hockey League's Windsor Spitfires were having a battle over which team deserved ascension to Major Junior A level. The Spitfires opted to not renew their agreement with the Royals and financially supported the new Belle River Bulldogs. They were joined by the soon-to-be powerhouse Essex 73's and Michigan Yankees of Utica, Michigan. Sandwich West did not return for a second season. Windsor walked through Tilbury and Belle River with no problem to win their second straight Jr. B title. Essex would shock everyone in the league and finish with the best record, but fell in the Jr. C finals to the Leamington Flyers.

In the Summer of 1974, the Royals were relocated to the Western Ontario Junior B Hockey League and the Michigan Yankees ceased to exist. With half the teams gone from their already fragile Jr. B loop, the Great Lakes League opted to go strictly Junior C from then on.

Junior C Only[edit]

Blades player during 2013-14 season.

The Great Lakes League had dropped down to eight teams for 1974-75: Belle River, Blenheim, Dresden, Essex, Leamington, Mooretown, Tilbury, and Wallaceburg. All eight teams were under the Junior C classification. Essex, in only their second year, would win not only the regular season title (33-8-1), the playoff championship by defeating Leamington in four-straight-games, but would march their way to their first (and the GLJHL's third) OHA Junior C Championship Trophy by defeating the Central Ontario League's Lindsay Muskies 4-games-to-3.

In 1975, it seems that the Belle River Bulldogs experiment was over and they left the league after only two seasons. Essex would win the 1975-76 regular season title (their third straight), their second straight league title by beating Dresden in seven games, but would fall to the Niagara & District Junior C Hockey League's Dunnville Terriers 4-games-to-2 in the provincial final.

The teams[edit]

Teams
Team Centre Founded Arena
Alvinston Flyers Alvinston 1988 Brooke, Alvinston, Inwood Community Centre
Amherstburg Admirals Amherstburg 1987 United Communities Credit Union Complex
Blenheim Blades Blenheim 1968 Blenheim Community & Recreation Centre
Dresden Jr. Kings Dresden 1959 Lambton-Kent Memorial Arena
Essex 73's Essex 1973 Essex Centre Sports Complex
Lakeshore Canadiens Belle River 1978 Lakeshore Arena
Mooretown Flags Mooretown 1971 Mooretown Sports Complex
Wallaceburg Lakers Wallaceburg 1972 Wallaceburg Memorial Arena
Wheatley Sharks Wheatley 1995 Wheatley Area Arena

2013-14 Playoffs[edit]

Winner moves on to the Clarence Schmalz Cup.

Quarter-final Semi-final Final
                 
1 Essex 4
8 Dresden 0
1 Essex 4
4 Wheatley 0
4 Wheatley 4
5 Alvinston 2
1 Essex 4
2 Belle River 2
2 Belle River 4
7 Amherstburg 3
2 Belle River 4
3 Blenheim 2
3 Blenheim 4
6 Mooretown 2

League Champions[edit]

Year Champion Finalist Result in Provincials
Bluewater League
1968 Jr. C - Dresden Jr. Kings Petrolia Jets Lost QF to Georgetown (Sub)
-- Jr. D - Exeter Hawks Alvinston Flyers Lost SF to Mitchell (S)
Border Cities League
1969 Jr. B - Blenheim Blades Petrolia Jets Lost QF to Hamilton (ND)
-- Jr. C - Dresden Jr. Kings Leamington Flyers Lost QF to Woodstock (Int)
1970 Jr. B - Petrolia Jets Uncontested Lost QF to Hamilton (ND)
-- Jr. C - Leamington Flyers Dresden Jr. Kings Lost SF to Hespeler (CW)
-- Jr. D - Blenheim Blades Tilbury Bluebirds Lost QF to Exeter (W)
Great Lakes League
1971 Jr. B - Petrolia Jets Windsor Royals Lost SF to Hamilton (ND)
-- Jr. C - Dresden Jr. Kings Leamington Flyers WON CSC vs. Bowmanville (CL)
1972 Jr. B - Petrolia Jets Windsor Royals Lost QF vs. St. Marys (WO)
-- Jr. C - Leamington Flyers Dresden Jr. Kings WON CSC vs. Cobourg (CL)
1973 Jr. B - Windsor Royals Blenheim Blades Lost QF to Sarnia (WO)
-- Jr. C - Leamington Flyers Wallaceburg Lakers Lost SF to Caledonia (CW)
1974 Jr. B - Windsor Royals Belle River Bulldogs Lost QF to Sarnia (WO)
-- Jr. C - Leamington Flyers Essex 73's Lost SF to Simcoe (CW)
Great Lakes Jr. C League
1975 Essex 73's Leamington Flyers WON CSC vs. Lindsay (CL)
1976 Essex 73's Dresden Jr. Kings Lost Final to Dunnville (ND)
1977 Essex 73's Dresden Jr. Kings WON CSC vs. Bowmanville (CL)
1978 Essex 73's Dresden Jr. Kings WON CSC vs. Bowmanville (CL)
1979 Leamington Flyers Blenheim Blades Lost SF to Kincardine (CW)
1980 Leamington Flyers Essex 73's WON CSC vs. Bradford (MO)
1981 Essex 73's Leamington Flyers Lost Final to Bowmanville (C)
1982 Leamington Flyers Essex 73's Lost Cons. to Penetang (GB)
1983 Leamington Flyers Wallaceburg Lakers Lost SF to Dunnville (ND)
1984 Dresden Jr. Kings Belle River Canadiens Lost SF to Woodstock (ND)
1985 Belle River Canadiens Essex 73's WON CSC vs. Midland (MO)
1986 Essex 73's Mooretown Flags Lost SF to Norwich (ND)
1987 Essex 73's Dresden Jr. Kings Lost QF to Hanover (GB)
1988 Mooretown Flags Leamington Flyers WON CSC vs. Port Perry (C)
1989 Belle River Canadiens Clearwater Steeplejacks Lost SF to Hanover (WO)
1990 Belle River Canadiens Walpole Island Hawks Lost Final to Orangeville (MO)
1991 Belle River Canadiens Walpole Island Hawks Lost SF to Hanover (WO)
1992 Belle River Canadiens Walpole Island Hawks WON CSC vs. Stayner (GB)
1993 Tilbury Hawks Mooretown Flags Lost QF to Hanover (WO)
1994 Belle River Canadiens Clearwater Steeplejacks WON CSC vs. Rockton (ND)
1995 Belle River Canadiens Blenheim Blades WON CSC vs. Bowmanville (C)
1996 Belle River Canadiens Walpole Island Hawks Lost SF to Paris (ND)
1997 Belle River Canadiens Mooretown Flags Lost Final to Glanbrook (ND)
1998 Essex 73's Wallaceburg Lakers Lost SF to Kincardine (WO)
1999 Wallaceburg Lakers Belle River Canadiens Lost Final to Glanbrook (ND)
2000 Belle River Canadiens Wallaceburg Lakers Lost Final to Lakefield (C)
2001 Belle River Canadiens Wallaceburg Lakers Lost Final to Chippawa (ND)
2002 Essex 73's Wheatley-Southpoint Sharks WON CSC vs. Uxbridge (C)
2003 Essex 73's Wheatley-Southpoint Sharks Lost SF to Grimsby (ND)
2004 Dresden Jr. Kings Essex 73's Lost SF to Wingham (WO)
2005 Essex 73's Dresden Jr. Kings WON CSC vs. Grimsby (ND)
2006 Essex 73's Wheatley-Southpoint Sharks Lost Final to Penetang (GMO)
2007 Essex 73's Belle River Canadiens Lost Final to Penetang (GMO)
2008 Essex 73's Wallaceburg Lakers Lost Final to Alliston (GMO)
2009 Essex 73's Dresden Jr. Kings WON CSC vs. Alliston (GMO)
2010 Belle River Canadiens Wallaceburg Lakers Lost Final to Alliston (GMO)
2011 Belle River Canadiens Wheatley Sharks Lost SF to Grimsby (ND)
2012 Essex 73's Belle River Canadiens Lost SF to Grimsby (ND)
2013 Essex 73's Wheatley Sharks Lost Final to Picton (EB)
2014 Essex 73's Belle River Canadiens Lost Final to Lakefield (C)

Regular season champions[edit]

Wallaceburg Lakers skater during 2013-14 season.
Wheatley Sharks goalie during 2013-14 season.
Season Champion Record Points
Bluewater League
1967-68 Dresden Jr. Kings 14-6-3-0 31
Border Cities League
1968-69 St. Clair Shores 22-6-4-0 48
1969-70 Petrolia Jets 28-8-0-0 56
Great Lakes League
1970-71 Petrolia Jets 31-8-1-0 63
1971-72 Petrolia Jets 32-3-1-0 65
1972-73 Leamington Flyers* 34-6-2-0 70
1973-74 Essex 73's 34-6-4-0 72
Great Lakes Jr. C League
1974-75 Essex 73's 33-8-1-0 67
1975-76 Essex 73's 30-9-3-0 63
1976-77 Essex 73's 27-11-4-0 58
1977-78 Essex 73's 39-2-1-0 79
1978-79 Blenheim Blades 26-11-3-0 55
1979-80 Leamington Flyers 36-4-2-0 74
1980-81 Essex 73's 32-7-3-0 67
1981-82 Mooretown Flags 27-8-3-0 57
1982-83 Leamington Flyers 29-8-2-0 62
1983-84 Dresden Jr. Kings 28-6-6-0 62
1984-85 Belle River Canadiens 27-9-4-0 58
1985-86 Essex 73's 25-9-6-0 56
1986-87 Petrolia Jets 30-6-1-2 63
1987-88 Leamington Flyers 26-10-3-0 55
1988-89 Belle River Canadiens 30-6-2-0 62
1989-90 Belle River Canadiens 37-1-2-0 76
1990-91 Belle River Canadiens 29-6-3-1 62
1991-92 Belle River Canadiens 35-4-1-0 71
1992-93 Tilbury Hawks 29-8-2-1 61
1993-94 Belle River Canadiens 35-2-3-0 73
1994-95 Belle River Canadiens 38-0-1-1 78
1995-96 Belle River Canadiens 38-2-2-0 78
1996-97 Belle River Canadiens 39-0-1-0 79
1997-98 Belle River Canadiens 34-8-3-0 71
1998-99 Belle River Canadiens 32-6-1-1 66
1999-00 Belle River Canadiens 33-3-3-0 69
2000-01 Belle River Canadiens 32-3-2-3 69
2001-02 Essex 73's 30-8-0-2 62
2002-03 Essex 73's 33-4-3-0 69
2003-04 Essex 73's 33-3-4-0 70
2004-05 Essex 73's 32-5-1-2 67
2005-06 Wheatley-Southpoint Sharks 29-8-1-2 61
2006-07 Essex 73's 32-4-2-2 68
2007-08 Essex 73's 33-3-2-2 70
2008-09 Essex 73's 39-0-0-1 79
2009-10 Belle River Canadiens 31-7-0-2 64
2010-11 Wallaceburg Lakers 30-8-0-2 62
2011-12 Essex 73's 33-6-0-1 67
2012-13 Essex 73's 32-6-0-2 66
2013-14 Essex 73's 34-3-0-3 71

(*) Leamington awarded 1972-73 regular season title over Windsor Royals due to winning head-to-head record.

Former Member Teams[edit]

Dresden defenceman lining up for play in 2013 GLJHL Finals in Essex, Ontario.

Professional alumni[edit]

National Hockey League

External links[edit]