New Westminster Bruins

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New Westminster Bruins
NWBruins.png
City New Westminster, British Columbia
League Western Hockey League
Operated 1971 (1971)–81 and 1983–88
Home arena Queen's Park Arena
Colours Black, White & Gold
Championships 1977 & 1978 Memorial Cup Champions
Franchise history
1966–67 Calgary Buffaloes
1967–77 Calgary Centennials
1977–82 Billings Bighorns
1982–83 Nanaimo Islanders
1983–88 New Westminster Bruins
1988-Present Tri-City Americans
Previous franchise history
1966–71 Estevan Bruins
1971–81 New Westminster Bruins
1981–84 Kamloops Junior Oilers
1984-Present Kamloops Blazers

The New Westminster Bruins were a junior ice hockey team from the Western Hockey League. There were two franchises that carried this name:

Both incarnations of the franchise played at Queen's Park Arena in the Vancouver suburb of New Westminster, British Columbia.

History[edit]

First Bruins[edit]

The franchise began in 1946 as the Humboldt Indians of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League and moved to Estevan to become the Bruins in 1957. They were a founding member of the Western Canada Junior Hockey League in 1966. The Estevan Bruins moved on again to New Westminster in 1971. They had been a successful franchise in Estevan, winning the President's Cup in 1968.

New Westminster Bruins logo used by the second incarnation of the franchise.

Once the team arrived in New Westminster, the success continued throughout much of the decade. The Bruins won the President's Cup four times in a row between 1975 and 1978. They made it to the Memorial Cup finals four years in a row as well, losing in 1975 and 1976 to the Toronto Marlboros and Hamilton Fincups, respectively, and winning it in 1977 and 1978. After an ugly brawl at the end of a game against Portland in March 1979 at Queens Park Arena, some local hockey fans started to look with disfavor upon the Bruins' rough-house tactics, and the team's popularity began to wane. In 1981 the Bruins moved to Kamloops, British Columbia where they would become first the Kamloops Junior Oilers, and in 1984, the Kamloops Blazers. The franchise's success has continued on the ice in Kamloops, and as of 2006 the team has won a total of eleven WHL titles and five Memorial Cups between its years in Estevan, New Westminster and Kamloops.

Second Bruins[edit]

The second incarnation of the Bruins arrived in New Westminster in 1983 from Nanaimo, British Columbia, where they had previously been known as the Nanaimo Islanders. The team originated in Calgary in 1966–67 with a stop as the Billings Bighorns. The team only played one season in Nanaimo before moving. The new Bruins did not enjoy the same level of success, and lasted only five seasons in New Westminster before moving to Kennewick, Washington, to become the Tri-City Americans. This franchise has never won the WHL championship in any of its incarnations.

Season-by-season Record[edit]

First Bruins (1971–81)[edit]

Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against

Season GP W L T GF GA Points Finish Playoffs
1971–72 68 40 27 1 285 240 81 3rd West Lost quarter-final
1972–73 68 31 22 15 283 264 77 4th West Lost quarter-final
1973–74 68 36 21 11 284 250 83 2nd West Lost semi-final
1974–75 70 37 22 11 319 260 85 3rd West Won championship
1975–76 72 54 14 4 463 247 112 1st West Won championship
1976–77 72 47 14 11 363 216 105 1st West Won championship and Memorial Cup
1977–78 72 33 28 11 345 310 77 3rd West Won championship and Memorial Cup
1978–79 72 34 32 6 310 301 74 3rd West Eliminated in round robin
1979–80 72 10 61 1 244 443 21 4th West Out of playoffs
1980–81 72 17 54 1 306 512 35 5th West Out of playoffs

Second Bruins (1983–88)[edit]

Season GP W L T GF GA Points Finish Playoffs
1983–84 72 34 36 2 304 348 70 2nd West Lost West Division semi-final
1984–85 72 41 29 2 379 302 84 2nd West Lost West Division final
1985–86 72 25 45 2 276 373 52 5th West Out of playoffs
1986–87 72 18 50 4 300 432 40 6th West Out of playoffs
1987–88 72 33 34 5 339 358 71 4th West Lost West Division semi-final

NHL alumni[edit]

Totals include both editions of the Bruins.

See also[edit]

References[edit]