St. Catharines Falcons

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For the current junior B team, see St. Catharines Falcons (1968–).
St. Catharines Falcons
St. Catharines Falcons logo.jpg
City St. Catharines, Ontario
League Ontario Hockey Association
Operated 1943 (1943)-47
Home arena Garden City Arena
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

The St. Catharines Falcons were a junior ice hockey team in the Ontario Hockey Association from 1943 to 1947. The team was based in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.

History[edit]

The Garden City was introduced to OHA Junior 'A' Hockey in the fall of 1943 when the St. Catharines Falcons made their debut in the league. Rudy Pilous, a former St. Catharines Sr. A hockey player and his friend Jay MacDonald were inspired to bring a team to St. Catharines after watching a Memorial Cup game in Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens in the spring of 1943 between the Winnipeg Royals and Oshawa Generals.

Pilous would be coach & general manager of the team, and MacDonald would be secretary & treasurer. Pilous raised the capital from talking six local businessmen (Pete Grammar, Ted and Os Graves, Tom Heit, Jack Leach, and Cal Wilson) into investing $500 each. He then took a trip back to his home town of Winnipeg, to hire players for the 1943-44 season.

The Falcons played their first game on November 13, 1943. The St. Catharines Falcons name came from a naming contest for the new junior team. The winner of the contest was a nine year old boy named Jimmy Stirrett from Port Dalhousie.

The team was so unsuccessful, that after two years, the St. Catharines Senior 'A' Saints folded. In 1946-47 the club didn't make the playoffs and was in financial trouble. It looked like the end of Junior hockey in the city. In January 1947, George Stauffer, President of Thompson Products Ltd., stepped into the picture and bought the Falcons for $2500. He saved Junior hockey in St. Catharines, and renamed the team the Teepees.

Today there is an unrelated local Jr. B hockey team in the Golden Horseshoe Junior B Hockey League using the same name as the St. Catharines Falcons.

Players[edit]

Several Winnipeg-area players including Harvey Jessiman (goalie), Bing Juckes, Tom Pollock, Laurie Peterson and Doug McMurdy formed the nucleus of the first club, combined along with local players.

Centreman Doug McMurdy was awarded the Red Tilson Trophy in 1944-45 as the Most Outstanding Player in the OHA.

NHL Alumni are Armand Delmonte, Val Delory, Bing Juckes, Nick Mickoski

Yearly Results[edit]

The Falcons never made it to the league finals for the J. Ross Robertson Cup, but did very well in the regular season, making the playoffs their first three years.

Season Games Won Lost Tied Points Pct % Goals
For
Goals
Against
Standing
1943-44 26 15 9 2 32 0.615 125 103 1st OHA Group 2
1944-45 20 12 8 0 24 0.600 101 93 2nd OHA
1945-46 28 14 14 0 28 0.500 133 123 4th OHA
1946-47 36 7 25 4 18 0.250 101 219 8th OHA

Arena[edit]

The St. Catharines Falcons played in the Garden City Arena in downtown St. Catharines, Ontario from 1943-1947. The team shared the arena with the Sr. A. team, the St. Catharines Saints from 1943-1945.