Thunder Bay Junior B Hockey League

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Thunder Bay Junior "B" Hockey League
TBJHL Logo.png
Head Office Thunder Bay, Ontario
Official Web site TBJBHL
Chairman Ray Habel
Vice Chairman Bob Marks
Founded 1993
2014 Champions Thunder Bay Northern Hawks

The Thunder Bay Junior B Hockey League is a Canadian Junior ice hockey league in Northwestern Ontario, sanctioned by Hockey Northwestern Ontario and Hockey Canada. The Thunder Bay League has produced one Keystone Cup Western Canada Junior "B" champion and six Brewers Cup Western Canada Junior "C" champions. An earlier edition of this league existed in the 1970s.

History[edit]

The TBJBHL league has, in the past, mixed itself in with Juvenile and Midget "AAA" teams in the Thunder Bay region for regular season games. Only the Junior teams are eligible for the playoffs. The league was formerly referred to as the Thunder Bay Junior B/Juvenile/AAA Hockey League. The playoff champions earn the right to compete for the Keystone Cup, the Western Canadian Junior "B" Crown. This is the only Ontario Junior "B" league with this distinction as the Ontario Hockey Association Junior "B" leagues playoff for the Sutherland Cup and the 22-team Eastern Ontario Junior B Hockey League plays for the D. Arnold Carson Memorial Trophy.

From 1996 until 2004, the TBJBHL competed against the North of Superior Junior B Hockey League in the Northwestern Ontario Regionals for the right to compete at the Keystone Cup. After the 2003-04 season, the NSHL folded with their last champion, the Wawa Travellers, losing the league's final game in the Regionals to the TBJBHL's Thunder Bay Northern Hawks.

1994 Hurricanes[edit]

The Fort William Hurricanes did not manage to win the league championship in its first year, but it won the league's first National medal. The Westfort Maroons won the league championship, and the Hurricanes played host to the Keystone Cup. The Hurricanes finished the round robin with a 3-1-1 record and lost second place to the North Saskatchewan Junior B Hockey League's Kinistino Tigers do to a head-to-head 4-1 loss. The Hurricanes defeated the North Okanagan Kings of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League 8-7 to win the Keystone Cup Bronze medal game.

1999 Hurricanes[edit]

The Fort William Hurricanes were 1999 Thunder Bay Jr. League champions. In the Northern Ontario regionals, the Hurricanes were dropped by the Hearst Elans of the North of Superior Junior B Hockey League. Fortunately for the Herks, they were due to host the 1999 Keystone Cup regardless of qualifying. The Hurricanes finished the Keystone Cup round robin in a 3-way tie for second place and a berth into the gold medal game with the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League's Campbell River Storm and the South Saskatchewan Junior B Hockey League's Assiniboia Southern Rebels. During the robin, the Herks defeated Assiniboia 7-5 and Campbell River 6-4, thus winning the tie breaker. In the final they met the Edmonton Royals of the Capital Junior Hockey League and defeated them 5-3 to win the Keystone Cup. This championship marked the first and so far only Western Canada Jr. B championship since the leagues inception in 1993.

2004 Northern Hawks[edit]

In the 2004 playoffs, the Thunder Bay Northern Hawks came at out as the dominant champion with a 22-0-2 perfect record and a Thunder Bay Junior B championship to boot. In the Northern Ontario Regional Junior B Hockey Championship, the Northern Hawks defeated the Wawa Travellers 4-games-straight to advance to the Keystone Cup tournament in Schreiber, Ontario. At the Keystone Cup, the Northern Hawks finished with 2 wins, 1 loss, and 2 ties, which earned them a spot in the tournament's bronze medal game. The Hawks fell in the Bronze Medal Game 7-5 to the Heritage Junior B Hockey League's Red Deer Vipers.

2009 Wolverines[edit]

The K&A Wolverines were awarded the right to host the 2009 Keystone Cup. For the first time in over ten years, a Thunder Bay Junior B team finished the Keystone Cup round robin with a perfect record. The Wolverines, 5-0, went into the final against the Pacific International Junior Hockey League's Richmond Sockeyes, but fell 6-5 in double overtime to take the Silver Medal. The finish was the best performance by a Thunder Bay Junior B club since the 1999 Fort William Hurricanes, who won the Keystone Cup. At the end of the season, the Wolverines jumped to Junior A with the Superior International Junior Hockey League.

2012 Northern Hawks[edit]

The Northern Hawks finished first in the league with a 30-2-0 record in 2011-12. They blasted the Schreiber Falcons 3-games-to-none in a lopsided semi-final and then defeated the Nipigon Elks 4-games-to-1 to win the Thunder Bay championship in a very tight-fought series. The Northern Hawks shipped out to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan for the 2012 Keystone Cup. Despite leading 3-1 at one point, the Northern Hawks lost their first game to the Abbotsford Pilots of the Pacific International Junior Hockey League 7-4. The Northern Hawks then went on a tear, defeating the Host Saskatoon Royals 6-3, Keystone Junior Hockey League's Arborg Ice Dawgs 7-5, North West Junior Hockey League's Whitecourt Wolverines 7-4, and the Prairie Junior Hockey League's Pilot Butte Storm 3-1 to earn a berth into the gold medal game with a 4-1-0 record. After four hard fought victories, the Northern Hawks fell to the Pilots in the gold medal game 9-1. The Northern Hawks' silver medal is the league's second in four seasons after nothing from the 2000 Keystone Cup until the Wolverines won silver in 2009.

Teams[edit]

Team Centre Joined
Nipigon Elks Nipigon c. 1993
Schreiber Falcons Schreiber 2011
Thunder Bay Northern Hawks Thunder Bay 1999
Thunder Bay Stars Thunder Bay 2009

2013-14 Playoffs[edit]

For the Western Canadian Junior "B" Championships, please see: Keystone Cup scheduled for April 2014.
Semi-finals Thunder Bay Jr. B Finals
           
1 TBay Northern Hawks 4
4 Schreiber 0
1 TBay Northern Hawks 4
2 TBay Stars 1
2 TBay Stars 4
3 Nipigon 1

Playoff Champions[edit]

Year Champion Finalist Keystone Cup
1994 Westfort Maroons Fort William - Bronze
Westfort - 5th
1995 Fort William Hurricanes
1996 Northwestern Wildcats
1997 Northwestern Wildcats
1998 Fort William Hurricanes DNQ
1999 Fort William Hurricanes Gold
2000 Fort William Hurricanes 4th
2001 Westfort Maroons 5th
2002 Westfort Maroons DNQ
2003 Nipigon Elks 6th
2004 Thunder Bay Northern Hawks 4th
2005 Thunder Bay Northern Hawks North Shore River Rats 6th
2006 K&A Wolverines Thunder Bay Northern Hawks 6th
2007 K&A Wolverines Thunder Bay Northern Hawks 5th
2008 K&A Wolverines Thunder Bay Northern Hawks 6th
2009 K&A Wolverines Thunder Bay Northern Hawks K&A - Silver
Northern Hawks - 6th
2010 Thunder Bay Northern Hawks Thunder Bay Stars 6th
2011 Thunder Bay Northern Hawks Thunder Bay Stars 6th
2012 Thunder Bay Northern Hawks Nipigon Elks Silver
2013 Thunder Bay Northern Hawks Nipigon Elks 5th
2014 Thunder Bay Northern Hawks Thunder Bay Stars 4th

Former Member Teams[edit]

External links[edit]