Niagara Falls Flyers

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For the team in the Southern Ontario Junior A Hockey League from 1972 to 1976, see Niagara Falls Flyers (SOJHL).
Niagara Falls Flyers
NF Flyers 1.png
City Niagara Falls, Ontario
League Ontario Hockey
Association
Operated 1960 (1960)–72 and 1976–82
Home arena Niagara Falls
Memorial Arena
Colours Gold, white and black
Parent club(s) Boston Bruins (1960–67)
Championships 1965 & 1968 Memorial Cup Champions
Franchise history
1943–47 St. Catharines Falcons
1947–62 St. Catharines Teepees
1962–76 St. Catharines Black Hawks
1976–82 Niagara Falls Flyers
1982–02 North Bay Centennials
2002–present Saginaw Spirit
Previous franchise history
1945–60 Barrie Flyers
1960–72 Niagara Falls Flyers
1972–present Sudbury Wolves

The Niagara Falls Flyers were two junior ice hockey franchises that played in the top tier in the Ontario Hockey Association. The first, a Junior "A" team existed from 1960 until 1972, and the second in Tier I Junior "A" from 1976 until 1982.

Both teams were owned by the Emms Family, and were relocated to Niagara Falls from another city. The Niagara Falls Memorial Arena was home ice to both teams.

History[edit]

The first Flyers team relocated to Niagara Falls from Barrie in 1960. The team was affiliated with the Boston Bruins of the NHL. The Flyers appeared in three Memorial Cups in the 1960s, winning in 1965 and 1968.

1963 Memorial Cup[edit]

Niagara Falls won the right to play for the Cup by defeating the Toronto Neil McNeil Maroons for the OHA championship, and the Espanola Eagles to win the George Richardson Memorial Trophy as eastern Canadian representatives.

The Flyers were runners up to the Memorial Cup in 1963 played at Edmonton's Arena Gardens. They lost in six games to the Edmonton Oil Kings in a best-of-seven series. Flyers players Dornhoefer and Harmer both suffered broken legs while on the ice.

1965 Memorial Cup[edit]

Niagara Falls won the right to play for the Cup by defeating the defending champions Toronto Marlboros for the OHA championship. The Memorial Cup in 1965 was again played at Edmonton's Arena Gardens. They defeated the Oil Kings 4 games to 1 in a best-of-seven rematch series from two years previous. The series was filled with brawls and suspensions, as well as a heavy police presence throughout.

1968 Memorial Cup[edit]

Niagara Falls won the right to play for the Cup by defeating the Kitchener Rangers for the OHA championship, and the Verdun Maple Leafs for the eastern championship.

The 1968 Memorial Cup featured two Boston Bruins farm teams playing one another. The Flyers would play the Estevan Bruins on home ice, except for game two at the Montreal Forum. Game 4 was the longest in Memorial Cup history, lasting into five periods. Niagara Falls defeated Estevan in a best-of-seven series in five games.

Second Flyers[edit]

Flyers logo from 1976 to 1982.

The Emms Family sold the Flyers in 1972 after it played for 12 seasons. The new owners then relocated the team to Sudbury to become the Sudbury Wolves.

Later the same year, after selling the Flyers, the Emms family bought the St. Catharines Black Hawks team who were the OHA champions the previous year. Four years after buying the Black Hawks, the Emms family relocated them to Niagara Falls in 1976, taking the same name as the previous team. The Emms family later sold this version of the Flyers in 1978.[1][2]

The second Flyers team played for 4 seasons in the Ontario Hockey Association from 1976 to 1980, and 2 years in the Ontario Hockey League from 1980 to 1982. The Flyers appeared in the OHA finals in 1979, losing to Peterborough. Niagara Falls lost its Flyers team a second time in 1982 when they moved to North Bay to become the Centennials, who have subsequently moved to Saginaw in 2002 to become the Saginaw Spirit.

Championships[edit]

The Niagara Falls Flyers are one of a few clubs to win multiple Memorial Cup championships. Also of note, the franchise were repeat champions in different home cities, of Barrie and Niagara Falls. In total, the Flyers won the Memorial Cup twice in Niagara Falls, and twice in Barrie. and the J. Ross Robertson Cup 3 times each in Barrie and Niagara Falls. The Flyers finished first overall in 1963 & 1965 during the regular season to win the Hamilton Spectator Trophy. The second Niagara Falls Flyers team won the western conference Emms Trophy in the 1978–79 playoffs.

Memorial Cup
  • 1963 Lost to Edmonton Oil Kings
  • 1965 Champions vs. Edmonton Oil Kings
  • 1968 Champions vs. Estevan Bruins
George Richardson Memorial Trophy
  • 1963 Champions vs. Espanola Eagles
  • 1965 Champions vs. ???
  • 1968 Champions vs. Verdun Maple Leafs
J. Ross Robertson Cup
  • 1963 Champions vs. Neil McNeil Maroons
  • 1965 Champions vs. Toronto Marlboros
  • 1968 Champions vs. Kitchener Rangers
  • 1979 Lost to Peterborough Petes
Hamilton Spectator Trophy
  • 1962–63 (69pts) and 1964–65 (81pts)
Emms Trophy
  • 1978–79 (Western Conference)

Coaches[edit]

The Flyers from 1960 to 1972 were coached by Hap Emms, Bill Long and Paul Emms. The Flyers coaches from 1976 to 1982 are listed below.

Players[edit]

A combined total of 82 players from the Niagara Falls Flyers franchises would play in the National Hockey League. Two of those would be enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Award winners[edit]

Hall of Famers[edit]

Bernie Parent (1963–1965), Mike Gartner (1976–1979)

NHL alumni[edit]

1960 to 1972
1976 to 1982

Yearly results[edit]

Regular season 1960–72[edit]

Season Games Won Lost Tied Points Pct % Goals
for
Goals
against
Standing
1960–61 48 22 21 5 49 0.510 165 166 4th OHA
1961–62 50 16 23 11 43 0.430 193 193 4th OHA
1962–63 50 31 12 7 69 0.690 212 146 1st OHA
1963–64 56 26 22 8 60 0.536 207 178 4th OHA
1964–65 56 36 11 9 81 0.723 236 168 1st OHA
1965–66 48 23 15 10 56 0.583 210 162 3rd OHA
1966–67 48 23 15 10 56 0.583 238 195 2nd OHA
1967–68 54 32 15 7 71 0.657 255 169 4th OHA
1968–69 54 28 24 2 58 0.537 223 229 4th OHA
1969–70 54 10 41 3 23 0.213 151 313 10th OHA
1970–71 62 11 44 7 29 0.234 193 350 10th OHA
1971–72 63 27 27 9 63 0.500 280 293 6th OHA

Playoffs

  • 1960–61 Lost to Guelph Royals 10 points to 4 in quarter-finals.
  • 1961–62 Lost to Hamilton Red Wings 8 points to 0 in OHA semi-finals.
  • 1962–63 Defeated Hamilton Red Wings 8 points to 2 in OHA semi-finals.
    Defeated Montreal Junior Canadiens 8 points to 0 in OHA finals.
    Defeated Toronto Neil McNeil Maroons in all-Ontario finals. OHA CHAMPIONS
    Defeated Espanola Eagles in Richardson Trophy playoffs.
    Lost to Edmonton Oil Kings in Memorial Cup finals.
  • 1963–64 Lost to Toronto Marlboros 8 points to 0 in quarter-finals.
  • 1964–65 Defeated Oshawa Generals 8 points to 4 in quarter-finals.
    Received second-round bye.
    Defeated Toronto Marlboros 8 points to 2 in finals. OHA CHAMPIONS
    Defeated Edmonton Oil Kings in Memorial Cup finals. MEMORIAL CUP CHAMPIONS
  • 1965–66 Lost to Kitchener Rangers 8 points to 4 in quarter-finals.
  • 1966–67 Defeated London Knights 8 points to 4 in quarter-finals.
    Lost to Hamilton Red Wings 8 points to 6 in semi-finals.
  • 1967–68 Defeated Peterborough Petes 8 points to 2 in quarter-finals.
    Defeated Montreal Junior Canadiens 8 points to 4 in semi-finals.
    Defeated Kitchener Rangers 9 points to 7 in finals. OHA CHAMPIONS
    Defeated Verdun Maple Leafs in Richardson Trophy playoffs.
    Defeated Estevan Bruins in Memorial Cup finals. MEMORIAL CUP CHAMPIONS
  • 1968–69 Defeated Ottawa 67's 9 points to 5 in quarter-finals.
    Lost to St. Catharines Black Hawks 8 points to 6 in semi-finals.
  • 1969–70 Out of playoffs.
  • 1970–71 Out of playoffs.
  • 1971–72 Lost to Oshawa Generals 8 points to 4 in quarter-finals.

Regular season 1976–82[edit]

Season Games Won Lost Tied Points Pct % Goals
for
Goals
against
Standing
1976–77 66 15 45 6 36 0.273 254 370 6th Emms
1977–78 68 17 41 10 44 0.324 261 340 6th Emms
1978–79 68 43 21 4 90 0.662 361 243 1st Emms
1979–80 68 29 39 0 58 0.426 325 355 4th Emms
1980–81 68 30 36 2 62 0.456 354 359 4th Emms
1981–82 68 31 34 3 65 0.478 311 338 4th Emms

Playoffs

  • 1976–77 Out of playoffs.
  • 1977–78 Out of playoffs.
  • 1978–79 Defeated Kitchener Rangers 8 points to 6 in quarter-finals.
    Defeated Windsor Spitfires and London Knights in a semi-final round-robin.
    Lost to Peterborough Petes 8 points to 6 in finals.
  • 1979–80 Defeated London Knights 3 games to 2 in first round.
    Lost to Windsor Spitfites 4 games to 1 in quarter-finals.
  • 1980–81 Defeated Toronto Marlboros 3 games to 2 in division quarter-finals.
    Lost to Kitchener Rangers 9 points to 5 in quarter-finals.
  • 1981–82 Lost to Windsor Spitfires 6 points to 4 in first round.

Arena[edit]

The Niagara Falls Flyers played home games at Niagara Falls Memorial Arena from 1960 to 1972, and again from 1976 to 1982. The arena hosted Memorial Cup games in 1968.

References[edit]

External links[edit]