Western Ontario Hockey League
|OHA Junior "B"|
|Ontario Hockey Association|
The Western Ontario Hockey League was a junior ice hockey league in Ontario, Canada, sanctioned by the Ontario Hockey Association from 1969 until 2007. In 2007, the league became a division of the newly formed Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League along with the Mid-Western Junior Hockey League and Golden Horseshoe Junior Hockey League.
The Western had been a part of the Big '10' until 1956, when the Eastern and Western conference were split into separate leagues -- the Eastern becoming the Central, the Western becoming the Western League.
In 1968, the St.Thomas Barons, Sarnia Legionnaires, Guelph Imperials, Chatham Maroons and Brantford Foresters broke away from the Ontario Hockey Association to form a Junior "A" League known as the Western Ontario Junior A Hockey League. A year later, the OHA pulled together a bunch of local teams (the Waterloo Siskins, Stratford Warriors, Sarnia Bees, St.Marys Lincolns and the London Squires) as well as the return of the Strathroy Rockets (who had joined the Central Junior B league for a season) and formed a new Western Ontario Junior "B" Hockey League.
According to the WOJHL history, a re-organization of Ontario's Jr. B hockey teams occurred prior to the 1978/79 with the folding of the short lived Southwestern Junior B Hockey League and the Mid-Ontario Junior B Hockey League. The realignment meant that the OHA had consolidated the Southern Ontario region from 7 to 5 Junior "B" leagues. Although this marks the birth of the modern Western Ontario Jr. B league, the teams in the league did not change. In 1989, the Metro league went renegade and eventually became a Tier II Junior "A" league. In 1993, the Central league was promoted to Tier II Junior "A" as well. Since then, the OHA has operated with 3 Junior "B" leagues, but due to the talent level of these 3 league there has been a recent push to bring all three leagues to the Tier II Junior "A" level and allow for a new realignment.
From 1999 until 2001, the league changed its name to the Greater Ontario Hockey League in an attempt to drop the "Junior B" designation . The league has since referred to itself as the Western Ontario Hockey League.
These are the teams that were in the league during its final independent season (2006-07).
- Chatham Maroons
- Leamington Flyers
- London Nationals
- Petrolia Jets
- St. Marys Lincolns
- St. Thomas Stars
- Sarnia Blast
- Strathroy Rockets
- Tecumseh Chiefs
Other former members
Records taken from Official Website.
- Best record: 1981-82 Sarnia Bees (36-4-2)
- Worst record: 1988-89 Tillsonburg Titans (1-39-2)
- Largest margin of victory: Leamington Flyers 30 - Windsor Bulldogs 3 on January 20, 1995
- Most goals, one season: Bill Lochead (73) -- 1970-71 Sarnia Bees
- Most assists, one season: Brian Wiseman (77) -- 1989-90 Chatham Maroons / Greg Day (77) -- 1996-97 Tecumseh Chiefs
- Most points, one season: Brian Wiseman (147) -- 1989-90 Chatham Maroons
- Most goals, career: Brent Rumble (137) -- 1995-99 Chatham Maroons
- Most assists, career: Brian Wiseman (179) -- 1987-90 Chatham Maroons
- Most points, career: Jason Baclig (324) -- 1998-2003 Leamington Flyers
- Most penalty minutes, season: Shawn Harris (408) -- 1994-95 Sarnia Bees
- Most penalty minutes, career: Tim Lantz (859) -- 1997-2000 Leamington Flyers
- Most wins by goalie, season: Scott Talbot (29) -- 2002-03 Sarnia Blast
- Most shutouts, season: Kyle Funkenhauser (8) -- 2005-06 Chatham Maroons
- Most games played by goalie, career: Paul Gibson (132) -- 2000-07 St. Thomas Stars
- Most wins by goalie, career: Paul Gibson (66) -- 2000-07 St. Thomas Stars
- Most shutouts, career: Kyle Funkenhauser (12) -- 2004-06 Chatham Maroons