Stouffville Spirit

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Stouffville Spirit
Stouffville Spirit.png
City Stouffville, Ontario, Canada
League Ontario Junior Hockey League
Founded 1995
Home arena Stouffville Arena
Colors Red, Black, and White
              
General manager Ken Burrows
Head coach Jeff Perrin
Media WhiStle Radio 102.7FM
Affiliates Uxbridge Bruins (COJCHL)
Franchise history
1995-1996 Stouffville Clippers
1996-Present Stouffville Spirit

The Stouffville Spirit are a Junior "A" ice hockey team from Stouffville, Ontario, Canada. The Stouffville Spirit are members of the Central Canadian Hockey League of the Ontario Hockey Association.

History[edit]

From 1970 until 1984, the Stouffville Clippers were members of the Central Junior C Hockey League. From 1984 until 1995, the team was on a long hiatus. The Clippers were brought back in 1995, changed their name to the Spirit a season later, and have been members of the OPJHL ever since. Junior hockey has a long and storied history in Stouffville.

The 1947 Stouffville Red Wings won an OHA championship. Junior hockey was popular in Stouffville through the 1960s, right into the early 1980s.

The Stouffville Spirit are the new kids on the block in the Toronto-area town.

The Spirit was founded in 1995. George Stavro, who was granted the franchise by the Ontario Hockey Association, was the team's first coach and general manager. Junior hockey hadn't been played in Stouffville since 1984, when the OHA's junior C Stouffville Clippers folded.

But Stavro didn't last a full season in the Provincial Junior A Hockey League.

In mid-season, he sold the franchise to Stouffville businessman Ed Hakonson, who had tried to obtain a junior A franchise for Stouffville earlier in the '90s. Former Stouffville minor official Wally Crowder was named general manager, and Steve Sedore of Georgina head coach.

The Spirit struggled on and off the ice over the first three seasons. Sedore was replaced as coach by Stouffville minor hockey grad Dan Larmer. Larmer played junior hockey in southern Ontario and college hockey at Mercyhurst in Pennsylvania, before a brief pro career.

A move of home games at the Whitchurch-Stouffville Recreation Complex, from Saturday nights to Thursdays, improved attendance. But the Spirit didn't make the playoffs in its first three seasons.

A new regime took over Spirit hockey operations in 1998. New Spirit general manager Dieter Schmidt had been manager and head coach Brian Perrin was associate coach with the successful Newmarket Hurricanes' organization, before accepting promotions in Stouffville.

The Spirit has made the playoffs ever since. Its regular season record has improved annually.

Players have advanced to college and major junior hockey since Year 1 of the Spirit.

Hakonson sold shares in the hockey club to Stouffville-area resident Zeev Werek and Larry Goldberg in 1999, then sold the rest of the team to Werek and Goldberg a year later. David Laren joined the Spirit in 2002 as an equal partner. Goldberg left the group in 2005.

Schmidt retired as GM after the 2000-2001 season. His replacement is Stouffville native Ken Burrows, who in 10 years with the Spirit has been vice-president of hockey, assistant coach and scout.

Dan West was named head coach of the Spirit in the summer of 2005.

A volunteer board of directors oversees the operation of the Spirit.

The Spirit is proud to be affiliated with the Whitchurch-Stouffville Minor Hockey Association and the Uxbridge Bruins Junior C Hockey Club.

2011-12 season[edit]

The Spirit had a solid 2011-12 regular season, playing 49 regular season games and six preseason games. Despite looking weak in the 2011 preseason, the Stouffville Spirit would finish the 2011-12 OJHL season with 29 victories, two overtime wins, one shootout win, five overtime losses, four shootout losses, and eight losses. The Spirit finished second overall in the North-Division and finished 6th overall among the 27 teams in the entire league from the North, West, South, and East divisions with 73 points at the end of the 2011-12 OJHL season. The Spirit played out of the North-West Conference; being the smaller among the two in the league consisting of 13 teams while the other consisted of 14. The Spirit would have to battle hard through the highly competitive North-Division, being the smallest among the four, only having six teams while the three others had seven. Due to the Spirit finishing among the top two teams in the North-Division they would receive a bye of the division quarterfinals along with the top two teams from the three other divisions. The top two teams from the North-Division would turn out to be the Newmarket Hurricanes and of course the Stouffville Spirit. The Spirit would then play the winner of the third and sixth seeded North-Division Quarterfinal round. After the Spirit received their bye in the first round, the Aurora Tigers would beat the Orangeville Flyers 3-1 in a best of five series, this would see the Stouffville Spirit play the Aurora Tigers in the North-Division Semi-Finals for a best of seven series. The Spirit would easily upset the Tigers, taking the series in five which would then send the Spirit to the North-Division Final against the Newmarket Hurricanes. The Hurricanes would turn out to have the same playoff format as the Spirit, receiving a bye of the first round and later on beating the Markham Waxers in six in the North-Division Semi-Finals, which would then send the Hurricanes to face off against the Spirit in the North-Division Final. Although the Hurricanes finished second in the OJHL standings for the 2011-12 OJHL season and finished 1st in the North-Division, the Spirit would still play an outstanding series taking it in seven, being crowned the 2012 OJHL North-Division Champions. The Spirit would then move on to compete for the North-West Conference Title having to face the 2011-12 OJHL season Champion, the Georgetown Raiders. The Spirit would start off the conference final hard and would finish strong taking their third 2012 playoff series in seven games. Although all-star Spirit forward and NCAA Division 1 committed (Clarkson University) player Christian Finch was injured midway through the Spirit’s third playoff series, the Spirit still managed to take the series in seven, which crowned them the 2012 OJHL North-West Conference Champions. The Stouffville Spirit would now advance to the 2012 OJHL Frank L. Buckland Cup Playoff Final which would see them face the East-Division and South-East Conference Champions the Whitby Fury, who finished ninth overall in the league and fourth overall in the East-Division at the end of the regular season. The Fury would show up at the Stouffville Arena in Stouffville for game 1 (Stouffville having home ice advantage because they finished the regular season with more points) but the Spirit would defeat the Fury 5-1, giving the Fury their third loss of the playoffs out of their 13 playoff game schedule so far. The Fury would play to satisfactory only having two victories in the series, being embarrassed in game five, 7-1, also having three other losses in the series letting the Stouffville Spirit take the series in six and the Fury would see the Spirit be crowned the 2012 Frank L. Buckland Cup Champions in their home arena after game six concluded. The Stouffville Spirit would finish their 2012 OJHL playoff run with 34 points, 11 wins, seven losses, two overtime losses, 350 minutes in penalties, 92 goals for, 62 goals against, a win percentage of .680, a home record of nine wins, two losses, and one overtime loss, an away record of seven wins, five losses, and one overtime loss which would have made the Spirit play a total of 20 games, and four playoff rounds. With the Spirit winning all their playoff rounds this would send them on a long road trip to the 2012 Dudley Hewitt Cup tournament, also known as the Central Junior A Canadian Championship which was hosted by the Thunder Bay North Stars of the SIJHL, which would begin on April 17, 2012, at the Fort Williams Gardens arena in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The Spirit would finish the OJHL playoffs having their goaltender finish sixth out of ten in the top ten goaltenders during the 2012 playoffs also having one defenseman and five forwards finish among the top ten in point leaders and this would be the Stouffville Spirit's first ever OJHL Frank L. Buckland Cup Victory and the first time that the Spirit would make it far enough in playoffs to compete in the Dudley Hewitt Cup tournament, which if successful in winning the Dudley Hewitt trophy against the other competitors, the SIJHL champion, the NOJHL champion, and the host team the champion would move on to compete in the 2012 Royal Bank Cup tournament to determine the Canadian national tier II junior A champion. The Spirit would arrive in Thunder Bay on April 17, 2012 at the Fort Williams Gardens Arena and would play their first ever Dudley Hewitt round robin game. The Spirit would finish their round robin with 2 wins and only 1 loss automatically taking them to the final. The Spirit would face the NOJHL champion the Soo Thunderbirds in the round robin and would defeat them 10-2. The Spirit would later face the same team in the Dudley Hewitt final and would lose with a score of 5-3, with there being an empty net goal by the Soo and the Spirit would outshoot the Thunderbirds 47-16 having one of the shots be on an empty net. In the Spirit's most important game of the year, their star netminder Jonathan Hall would not play to the best of his ability causing the Spirit to lose, the Soo Thunderbirds would be crowned the 2012 Dudley Hewitt Cup Champions (the central tier II junior a champions) and would then advance to the 2012 Royal Bank Cup round robin tournament in Humboldt, Saskatchewan hosted by the Humboldt Broncos of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League occurring around the second weekend in May.

Season-by-season results[edit]

Season GP W L T OTL GF GA P Results Playoffs
1995-96 50 13 35 2 - 182 288 30 5th OPJHL-P
1996-97 50 8 41 1 - 167 295 19 5th OPJHL-P
1997-98 51 16 32 2 1 194 280 35 6th OPJHL-P
1998-99 51 23 27 0 1 215 234 47 8th OPJHL-C
1999-00 49 24 23 2 0 195 190 50 5th OPJHL-N
2000-01 49 35 9 3 2 260 159 75 3rd OPJHL-N
2001-02 49 24 18 5 2 207 183 55 4th OPJHL-N
2002-03 49 29 18 2 0 241 154 60 3rd OPJHL-N
2003-04 49 27 21 1 0 201 178 55 3rd OPJHL-N
2004-05 49 25 20 3 1 195 157 54 3rd OPJHL-N
2005-06 49 26 10 9 4 172 138 65 3rd OPJHL-N Lost Final
2006-07 49 28 16 3 2 199 164 61 2nd OPJHL-N Lost Conf. Finals
2007-08 49 31 13 - 5 245 166 67 4th OPJHL-N
2008-09 53 13 34 - 6 165 246 32 8th OJHL-C
2009-10 50 28 19 - 3 153 140 59 4th CCHL-E Lost Preliminary
2010-11 50 33 11 - 6 262 154 72 3rd OJHL-N Lost Semi-final
2011-12 49 32 8 - 9 217 152 73 2nd OJHL-N Won League
2012-13 55 18 31 - 6 150 219 42 4th OJHL-N DNQ
2013-14 53 19 30 - 4 147 191 42 5th OJHL-N DNQ

Playoffs[edit]

  • 1996 DNQ
  • 1997 DNQ
  • 1998 DNQ
  • 1999 Lost Division Quarter-final
Collingwood Blues defeated Stouffville Spirit 3-games-to-none
  • 2000 Lost Division Final
Stouffville Spirit defeated Aurora Tigers 4-games-to-none
Stouffville Spirit defeated Newmarket Hurricanes 4-games-to-2
Couchiching Terriers defeated Stouffville Spirit 4-games-to-none
  • 2001 Lost Division Semi-final
Stouffville Spirit defeated Parry Sound Shamrocks 4-games-to-none
Couchiching Terriers defeated Stouffville Spirit 4-games-to-2
  • 2002 Lost Division Quarter-final
Collingwood Blues defeated Stouffville Spirit 4-games-to-3
  • 2003 Lost Division Final
Stouffville Spirit defeated Couchiching Terriers 4-games-to-none
Stouffville Spirit defeated Newmarket Hurricanes 4-games-to-3
Aurora Tigers defeated Stouffville Spirit 4-games-to-2
  • 2004 Lost Division Semi-final
Stouffville Spirit defeated Thornhill Rattlers 4-games-to-2
Newmarket Hurricanes defeated Stouffville Spirit 4-games-to-1
  • 2005 Lost Division Semi-final
Stouffville Spirit defeated Couchiching Terriers 4-games-to-2
Newmarket Hurricanes defeated Stouffville Spirit 4-games-to-2
  • 2006 Lost Final
Stouffville Spirit defeated Seguin Bruins 4-games-to-2
Stouffville Spirit defeated Newmarket Hurricanes 4-games-to-2
Stouffville Spirit defeated Aurora Tigers 4-games-to-2
Stouffville Spirit defeated Oakville Blades 4-games-to-3
St. Michael's Buzzers defeated Stouffville Spirit 4-games-to-2
  • 2007 Lost Division Final
Stouffville Spirit defeated Cobourg Cougars 4-games-to-none
Stouffville Spirit defeated Collingwood Blues 4-games-to-none
Aurora Tigers defeated Stouffville Spirit 4-games-to-1
  • 2008 Lost Division Final
Stouffville Spirit defeated Couchiching Terriers 3-games-to-none
Stouffville Spirit defeated Huntsville Otters 4-games-to-3
Aurora Tigers defeated Stouffville Spirit 4-games-to-1
  • 2009 Lost Division Quarter-final
Wellington Dukes defeated Stouffville Spirit 4-games-to-none
  • 2010 Lost CCHL Preliminary
Peterborough Stars defeated Stouffville Spirit 4-games-to-none
  • 2011 Lost Semi-final
Stouffville Spirit defeated Markham Waxers 4-games-to-2
Stouffville Spirit defeated Newmarket Hurricanes 4-games-to-3
Wellington Dukes defeated Stouffville Spirit 4-games-to-2

Notable alumni[edit]

External links[edit]