Sarnia Legionnaires (1969–)

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Sarnia Legionnaires
Legionnaires Logo.jpg
City Sarnia, Ontario
League Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League
Conference Western
Founded 1969
Home arena Sarnia Arena
Colours Black, red and white
              
General manager Bob Williamson
Head coach Dan Rose
Captain Jeff Paulley
Affiliate(s) Sarnia Sting (OHL)
Mooretown Flags (GLJHL)
Franchise history
1969-1995 Sarnia Bees
1995-1999 Sarnia Steeplejacks
1999-2001 Sarnia Steeplejack-Bees
2001-2008 Sarnia Blast
2008-Present Sarnia Legionnaires

The Sarnia Legionnaires are a Canadian junior ice hockey team based in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. They play in the Western division of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League.

History[edit]

The Sarnia Bees joined the ranks of the current Western Junior "B" league in 1969. The Bees were an upstart team in direct competition with the historic Sarnia Legionnaires of the Western Ontario Junior A Hockey League. By mid-season, the Bees had stolen away most of the Legionnaires fan base and the team was forced to fold.

Over the next quarter century the Bees had some good teams but the club seldom lived up to the legend of the Sarnia Legionnaires.

After dominating the Western Ontario Junior B Hockey League during the 1970-71 season, the Bees elected to jump to the Legionnaires' old league, the Southern Ontario Junior A Hockey League, but the adventure was not overly successful and the Bees returned to the WOJHL the next season. Their experience in Junior A seemingly fueled the Bees during the 1972-73 season as they won the WOJHL championship and went on to defeated the Metro Junior B Hockey League's Toronto Nationals 4-games-to-2 to win Sarnia's first Sutherland Cup since the Sarnia Legionnaires did it in 1968.

In 1983, the Bees were again WOJBHL champions and pushed all the way to the Sutherland Cup finals. In the final, they met the Metro Junior B Hockey League's St. Michael's Buzzers. After a long battle, the Buzzers finished off the Bees in game 7 to deny the franchise of its second Sutherland Cup.

In 1995, it saw the arrival of an Ontario Hockey League known as the Sarnia Sting to the city. To stay out of the shadow of the OHL team, the Bees changed their name to the Steeplejacks. After another couple name changes, the Sarnia franchise became the Sarnia Blast in 2001. The team is a long standing member of the Western Junior "B" league (WOHL).

In 2002, the Blast won the WOHL championship and qualified for the Sutherland Cup final. In the final they met the Mid-Western Junior B Hockey League's Elmira Sugar Kings. The series went the distance, but the Blast prevailed in game 7 of the series and brought the Sutherland Cup back to Sarnia for the seventh time and the first time in 29 years.

In 2008, the ownership of the Sarnia Blast was transferred to a consortium of local individuals. In memory of the fabled Sarnia Legionnaires of old, the new owners and the local Royal Canadian Legion allowed for the current team to resurrect the name. The new owners said they will put pictures of the original Legionnaires in their dressing room, hoping that will inspire today's young players.

In their first year back under the Legionnaire name after a 38-year absence, the club finished first in the Western Conference of the Greater Ontario Hockey League. In the playoffs, they won the conference championship by eliminating the St. Thomas Stars 4-1 in games, taking out the Strathroy Rockets 4-3 in games and ousting the London Nationals 4-2 in games to win the Weir Cup.

Tyler Cicchini led the way, scoring 18 goals in 22 post season games. That was one more than the record of 17 playoff goals Don Gordon of the original Legionnaires set in the spring of 1968.

The team set a league record in the 2009 playoffs when it scored three goals in 14 seconds in a game against Strathroy.

Sarnia Jr. 'B' hockey teams named the Legionnaires have now won six Western Ontario championships in 17 years of action, along with four Sutherland Cups. [1]

2013-2014 Coaching Staff[edit]

  • General Manager - Bob Williamson
  • Head Coach - Dan Rose
  • Assistant Coach - Bob Farlow
  • Assistant Coach - Paul Burgess
  • Trainer - Doug White
  • Equipment Manager - Dave Anger

Season-by-Season results[edit]

Season GP W L T OTL GF GA P Results Playoffs
1969-70 36 19 12 5 - 199 158 43 2nd WOJHL
1970-71 42 32 8 2 - 263 143 66 1st WOJHL
1971-72 56 15 31 10 - 158 200 40 8th SOJAHL
1972-73 41 34 3 4 - 289 144 72 1st WOJHL Won League, Won SC
1973-74 40 31 6 3 - 275 144 65 1st WOJHL Won League
1974-75 40 22 13 5 - 202 161 49 1st WOJHL
1975-76 40 26 10 4 - 272 183 56 2nd WOJHL
1976-77 40 19 13 8 - 208 158 46 2nd WOJHL Won League
1977-78 40 18 17 5 - 213 208 41 3rd WOJHL
1978-79 42 20 18 4 - 242 266 44 4th WOJHL
1979-80 42 25 12 5 - 246 163 55 3rd WOJHL
1980-81 42 26 10 6 - 236 170 58 2nd WOJHL
1981-82 42 36 4 2 - 290 138 74 1st WOJHL Won League
1982-83 42 22 14 6 - 204 172 50 3rd WOJHL Lost Final
1983-84 48 32 10 6 - 262 172 70 2nd WOJHL Lost Final
1984-85 48 30 15 3 - 266 211 63 3rd WOJHL
1985-86 42 25 16 1 - 257 196 51 3rd WOJHL
1986-87 42 26 11 5 - 268 192 57 3rd WOJHL
1987-88 42 25 13 4 0 215 158 54 3rd WOJHL Won League
1988-89 42 34 8 0 0 312 150 68 1st WOJHL Won League
1989-90 39 34 3 1 1 292 147 70 1st WOJHL Lost Final
1990-91 48 33 14 1 0 255 185 67 3rd WOJHL Lost Final
1991-92 50 27 18 4 1 233 221 59 3rd WOJHL West
1992-93 52 37 12 3 0 - - 77 1st WOJHL West Won League
1993-94 51 30 19 2 0 295 242 62 2nd WOJHL West
1994-95 52 22 27 0 3 236 237 47 3rd WOJHL West
1995-96 52 22 23 6 1 229 231 51 4th WOJHL West
1996-97 52 11 36 1 4 175 281 27 5th WOJHL West
1997-98 52 18 28 3 3 171 233 42 5th WOJHL West
1998-99 52 11 35 0 6 144 256 28 5th WOJHL West
1999-00 54 37 13 0 4 228 161 78 2nd GOHL
2000-01 54 34 18 1 1 220 172 70 4th GOHL
2001-02 54 36 15 1 2 274 190 75 3rd WOJHL Won League, Won SC
2002-03 48 34 12 1 1 250 161 70 2nd WOJHL Lost Final
2003-04 48 32 10 0 6 215 151 70 1st WOJHL
2004-05 48 28 13 3 4 193 150 63 3rd WOJHL
2005-06 48 23 22 0 3 171 181 49 6th WOJHL Lost Quarter-final
2006-07 48 31 12 - 5 225 180 67 2nd WOJHL Lost Final
2007-08 48 26 19 - 3 158 149 55 5th GOJHL-W Lost Quarter-final
2008-09 52 37 11 - 4 228 158 78 1st GOJHL-W Lost Semi-final RR
2009-10 50 21 23 - 6 174 176 48 6th GOJHL-W Lost Conf. QF
2010-11 51 24 24 - 3 198 208 51 7th GOJHL-W Lost Conf. QF
2011-12 51 32 14 - 5 241 178 69 1st GOJHL-W Lost Conf. SF
2012-13 51 22 20 - 9 197 195 53 7th GOJHL-W Lost Conf. QF
2013-14 49 29 18 - 2 217 184 60 4th GOJHL-W Lost Conf. QF


Playoffs[edit]

SOJHL Years

  • 1972 DNQ

Sutherland Cup Appearances[edit]

1973: Sarnia Bees defeated Toronto Nationals 4-games-to-2
1982: St. Michael's Buzzers defeated Sarnia Bees 4-games-to-3
2002: Sarnia Blast defeated Elmira Sugar Kings 4-games-to-3

Notable alumni[edit]

External links[edit]