Woodstock Slammers

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Woodstock Slammers
Woodstock Slammers.JPG
City Woodstock, New Brunswick
League Maritime Junior Hockey League
Division Roger Meek
Founded c. 2000
Home arena Carleton Civic Centre
Colours

Victory green, black, and white

              
General manager Canada Danny Braun
Head coach Justin Bowers
Captain TBA

Website
http://slammershockey.ca/

The Woodstock Slammers are a Junior "A" hockey team based out of Woodstock, New Brunswick. They play out of the Maritime Junior Hockey League (MHL). The team plays their home games at the Carleton Civic Centre, known to fans as "Slammerland" or "Slammertown, Canada".

History[edit]

The Junior “B” Years[edit]

The Woodstock Slammers Main Logo - 2000-2008

Prior to 2003, the Slammers were a Junior B team in the New Brunswick Junior B Hockey League. In 2000, they won their only league championship against the Richibucto Bears and moved on to the Don Johnson Cup, the Maritime Junior B Championships. Even if they had lost the NBJBHL finals, they were granted the right to host ahead of time and would have been there anyways. They played against the Cape Breton Alpines of the Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League, the Summerside Red Wings of the Island Junior Hockey League, the Conception Bay North Jr. Stars of the St. John's Junior Hockey League, and their rivals from Richibucto. The Slammers made the finals and defeated Cape Breton 4-1 to win their only Don Johnson Cup as Maritime Junior B Champions. The Slammers are the second of only three New Brunswick teams to have won the Don Johnson Cup, the first being the Richibucto Bears the year before and the last being the Moncton Jr. Vitos in 2012.

Move to Junior “A”[edit]

Entering the Maritime Junior A Hockey League in the 2003-4 season, the Slammers performed poorly as the newest members of the League. In both of their first two seasons, the Slammers finished 11th in the League and did not qualify for the playoffs. These dismal seasons were soon erased, however it was the community support which made this new move to the “A” League work during these hard years.

The Tatarnic Era[edit]

Following the first two seasons in the MJAHL, Jason Tatarnic was hired as the new head coach of the team. That same season the Slammers went from last in the League to finishing first, capturing their first ever President Cup as the first place team at the end of the season. They then went on to capture their first ever Kent Cup championship and headed for the 2006 Fred Page Cup, hosted in Pembroke, Ontario. They finished 0-3-0, losing to the Hawkesbury Hawks 3-0, Pembroke Lumber Kings 4-3 and the Joliette Action (the eventual Fred Page Champions) 7-6. However, this season was the best the Slammers had seen in many years and Tatarnic had cemented his place as coach and his place in Slammers’ history.

In the 2007-8 season, the Slammers finished 3rd in the league and made it to the Kent Cup finals for the second time in three years, losing to the Yarmouth Mariners.

The 2009-10 season saw the Slammers set two MJAHL records, first for most points in a season (92) and second for the longest undefeated streak (26 straight wins). Both records had previously been held by the now defunct Charlottetown Abbies. After finishing first in the regular season for their second President Cup the Slammers moved on to the playoffs, defeating their Meek division rivals Summerside to move on to the finals. They defeated the Weeks Crushers to win their second MHL title under coach “Tarts”.

The Slammers travelled to Brockville, Ontario for their second Fred Page Cup tournament in team history. They faced the host Brockville Braves and lost 6-0, then lost to the Terrebonne Cobras 6-2 and the Pembroke Lumber Kings 7-4 to finish the tournament once again with a 0-3-0 record.

Following another banner year in 2010-11 the Slammers again finished first in the newly renamed Maritime Junior Hockey League (MHL) to claim their third President Cup. This year, Summerside played the spoiler, defeating the Slammers in the 7th and final game of their Meek division final, further entrenching their divisional rivalry. The 2010-11 season was also the inaugural year for the Slammers’ Military Night, a game night devoted to honouring the soldiers from the Canadian Military. During the night of the game, soldiers from CFB Gagetown in Oromocto, New Brunswick are bussed to the Carleton Civic Centre for the game, where they add a lively spirit all their own.

In the 2011-12 season the Slammers once again made history. Going 13-0-0 to start their season, the Slammers set another MHL record, becoming the first team in the League to be ranked as the number one team in the country (Canadian Junior Hockey League) by points starting on October 24, 2011. The Slammers eventually reached 23 games without a loss before finally falling to the Amherst Ramblers 4-1 in regulation on November 26, 2011. Despite this loss, the Slammers would remain the number one Junior "A" team in the country until January 9, 2012 when they lost two games due to injuries and suspensions and were overtaken by the Penticton Vees of the British Columbia Hockey League, ending an 11 week reign.[1]

On February 4 the Slammers clinched the MHL President's Cup Championship as the best team in the regular season, defeating the Miramichi Timberwolves 5-2 in Miramichi. This President's Cup was the third straight for the Slammers, setting a franchise record and giving them home ice advantage throughout the playoffs. The Slammers then went on through the first two rounds, sweeping both the Campbellton Tigers and Summerside Western Capitals in four straight games each to win the Meek Division for the fourth time since 2005. They then took on the Yarmouth Mariners in the Kent Cup Finals. The Slammers took a three to one lead in the series, then lost the next two games, leading to game seven in Woodstock's Carleton Civic Centre.

The capacity crowd watched as the team honoured former captain Justin Bowers by retiring his #9 jersey, the third number to be retired by the team since 2003.[2] They then watched their team lose a one goal lead at the end of the third period, leading to a 3-3 tie and overtime. Just 2:57 into the third overtime period, assistant captain Robert Visca beat Mariner's goalie Charles Grant (the eventual Playoff MVP) with a wrap around to win the game and the Slammers' third Kent cup Championship.[3]

From April 25–29 the Slammers joined the Nepean Raiders, Titan de Princeville and host Kanata Stallions in Kanata for the 2012 Fred Page Cup. On April 25 the Slammers won their first Fred Page Tournament game in franchise history, beating the host team 4-3 with the game winner being scored with only 3:00 remaining in the third.[4] The Slammers then beat the Titan de Princeville 5-3 and the Nepean Raiders 3-2 to finish the round robin in first place (3-0-0) and advanced straight to the finals. Facing Nepean in the finals the Slammers finished the first 40 minutes of the game in a tie with the Raiders. 2:19 into the third period Sam Caldwell beat Matt Zawadzki to give the Slammers the 3-2 lead. The Slammers then killed three penalties thanks in large part to shot blocking and the outstanding performance of goaltender Matt Murphy (who stopped 42 of 44 shots) to win the game and their first ever Fred Page Cup.

The Woodstock Slammers pose for a Fred Page Cup Championship Photo

Arriving in Humboldt, Saskatchewan for the Royal Bank Cup, the Slammers lost their first game 4-1 to the host Humboldt Broncos with their lone goal coming from defenceman Andrew Schriver at 11:74 of the third period - the first Slammers goal at a national championship.[5] The Slammers followed this milestone with another, getting their first ever victory at the Royal Bank Cup, beating the Portage Terriers 4-1.[6] This achievement was overshadowed however by a check from behind on Andrew Schriver, the Slammers' game one goal scorer, which resulted in a season-ending injury.

The Slammers went on to lose 2-1 to the Penticton Vees and 7-4 to the Soo Thunderbirds, finishing the preliminary round with a 1-3-0 record, tied with the Portage Terriers. Woodstock's victory over the Terriers earlier in the week, along with more goals scored and a higher plus-minus allowed the Slammers to reach the Semi-finals for the first time at the Royal Bank Cup. In the Semi-finals the Slammers faced the host Humboldt Broncos. Down 2-0 early the Slammers rallied behind defenceman Tim Campbell's two goals to repeatedly tie the game. Their work paid off just 35 seconds into overtime when Ben MacSwain beat Humboldt's Matt Hrynkiw for the win. This upset moved the Slammers into the Canadian Junior "A" National Championship finals for the first time in their history and made them only the second team to make the finals in their first appearance at the Royal Bank Cup tournament.[7]

Playing against the Penticton Vees in the finals, the Slammers came back from another 2-0 deficit and took a 3-2 lead into the third period. However, after receiving three straight penalties in the third period the Slammers lost the lead and, in the end, the game 4-3, ending their season as the number two team in Canadian Junior "A" hockey, their best finish in franchise history.[8]

During the 2011-12 season the Slammers expanded the Military night tradition to include a game on Remembrance Day which paid homage to Canadian Service personnel who fought and died in the line of duty throughout the history of Canada, as well as another game in February, bringing the total to three games per season.

In the same year, the Slammers welcomed their own incarnation of the now famous Green Men, the main difference between the two being the Woodstock group's addition of a third member. They attended most home games at the Civic Centre and, as with their Vancouverite predecessors, sat near the visitor's penalty box, where they could taunt the penalized players within.

In the 2012-13 season, the Slammers finished fifth in the MHL and second in the Meek Division. In the playoffs the Slammers made it to the Meek division finals before being ousted in four games by the Summerside Western Capitals.

The summer of 2013 brought major changes for the Slammers. For nearly a month following the season rumors began to circulate that the Slammers would be folding. On May 29th, President McCain made an announcement stating that there would be changes over the next three seasons. McCain stated that he would be stepping down over the next three years with the town of Woodstock stepping into a greater role with the team.

However, the biggest change for the team was the dismissal of the coaching staff. Jason Tatarnic ended his tenure with the team with a record of 371 wins and 194 losses, three Kent Cups and a Fred Page Cup Championship. President McCain stated the dismissal was not for a performance reason, but simply due to budgetary reasons.

Rivalries[edit]

Richibucto Bears (NBJBHL)[edit]

The earliest rivalry for the Slammers was with the Richibucto Bears of the New Brunswick Junior B Hockey League. In the 2000 NBJBHL Playoffs the Slammers defeated the defending Don Johnson Cup Champion Bears to go to the Championship tournament themselves. The Slammers would go on to win the Don Johnson Cup and, three years later left the defunct NBJBHL to join the MJAHL, while their rivals moved to the New Brunswick Junior C Hockey League.

Provincial rivalries – Miramichi • Campbellton • Dieppe[edit]

Beginning with their first season in the Roger Meek Division, the Slammers have built up healthy rivalries between themselves and the Miramichi Timberwolves, Campbellton Tigers and Dieppe Commandos within New Brunswick. Their close proximity and competition for prominence in their division has evolved into three of the toughest rivalries in the MHL. The Slammers-Commandos rivalry became particularly intense in the 2011-12 season due to the rivalry between Slammer's Captain Andrew Langan and his brother Ryan Langan playing in Dieppe.

Summerside Western Capitals[edit]

Possibly the best known and most fierce rivalry in Maritime Junior “A” Hockey, the Summerside Western Capitals – Woodstock Slammers rivalry has its roots in the 2009–10 Championship. That year, the Slammers and Capitals met in the Meek Division Final which the Slammers won, ending Summerside's hopes of repeating as League and Fred Page Champions. The next year (2010–11), the two teams met once again in the Meek Division Final, with the Capitals taking the series in seven games. During these past three seasons, the Capitals and Slammers have fought hard for Meek Division supremacy (both figuratively and literally), leading to numerous on-ice altercations at almost every game. The most notorious fight took place on September 26, 2008, in Woodstock. A fight broke out at center ice in the dying minutes of the third period in a 4-3 game in favour of Summerside. While the combatants fought, no one else seemed interested in fighting, instead shouting at each other from a short distance. Then, a Summerside player approached the Woodstock bench, where he speared a player on the bench. This was all the spark needed, producing a bench-clearing brawl[9] which resulted in nine suspensions (totaling 28 games) between the two teams, as well as fines for both head coaches and both teams.

Another major episode of the rivalry took place on December 16, 2011, in Woodstock. Following a goal by the Slammers, a fight broke out in front of the Summerside net. The fighting then escalated to include all the players on the ice (even the goalies) and a player from each bench who jumped the boards to enter the fray. In total, the two teams combined for 170 penalty minutes, with 15 minor penalties, 6 major penalties, two ten-minute misconducts and 9 game misconducts being handed out by the official. Furthermore, suspensions were given to three Summerside players (totaling 18 games), two Woodstock players (one totaling 10 games, the other 8 games) and both teams' head coaches (Summerside 5 games, Woodstock 2 games).

Weeks Crushers[edit]

The Crushers – Slammers rivalry goes back to the Slammers undefeated streak in 2009-10. It was the Weeks Crushers who handed the Slammers their first overtime loss of the season which, although it did not technically end their streak, was a blemish on an otherwise excellent record to that date. That same season, the Slammers and Crushers met in the MJAHL finals with the Slammers winning the series and the Kent Cup (their second). The rivalry with the Crushers has continued ever since.

Penticton Vees[edit]

The rivalry between East and West coasts began in the 2011-12 season. After 11 weeks as the top team in Canadian Junior "A" Hockey, the Slammers were ousted by the Penticton Vees, who they had been battling hard to stay ahead of all that time.

The real rivalry began at the Royal Bank Cup in Humboldt where the Slammers lost their preliminary round match with the Vees 2-1. They then met again in the finals and were defeated once again, this time 4-3 thanks to several penalties following the Slammers go ahead goal at the end of the second period. The British Columbia Hockey League team has ever since been considered a rival, despite the geographic distance and the fact that the Slammers may never play them again.

Bay State Breakers[edit]

The Bay State Breakers and Woodstock Slammers rivalry began in 2007 after the Slammers defeated the Breakers at the Woodchuck Classic in Burlington, Vermont. The Breakers, originating in Rockland, Massachusetts and playing out of the Eastern Junior Hockey League are a strong American team and have a fun cross-border rivalry with the Slammers, thanks to an annual fall exhibition series hosted by the Slammers. Currently, the Bay State Breakers lead the 'series' of exhibition matches by one victory, gained on November 30, 2012.[10][11]

Jerseys[edit]

When the Slammers joined the MJAHL in 2003 they brought their old Junior B sweaters with them. These sweaters were copies of the 1998-2007 Dallas Stars jerseys, with the stripes of gold and green forming a star shape. These earliest jerseys had the original Slammers logo (the hammer-wielding Thor above the word "Slammers") on them.

Following the 2005-06 Fred Page Cup, the Slammers changed their jerseys. Their home jersey was now white with a green band on the arms from shoulder to elbow. Below this band were three stripes, a thick gold one between two thinner black stripes. At the bottom of the jersey was the same three stripe configuration with a band of green below it. The away jersey was green with black bands from shoulder to elbow. The two stripes below the black band were gold above white, each of equal width. At the bottom of the jersey, there were a gold and white pair of stripes with a black band below them. These jerseys also had the original Slammers logo on them.

On January 16, 2009 the Slammers unveiled their first 'third' jersey. It was an all black sweaters with white then green stripes on the collar, green, black, white stripes at the bottom of the sleeves with a green band below and the same configuration at the bottom of the jersey. The logo was replaced with the current main logo, depicting Thor's face and head from the front. This would be the Slammers main logo beginning in the 2010-11 season up until the present.

The Alternate logo of the Woodstock Slammers on their third jersey in the 2011-12 MHL season.

The third jersey from the 2009-10 season was tweaked for use as the regular jersey beginning in the 2010-11 season until the present. The home jersey was made white with a thick green stripe across the center of the jersey and the elbow of both arms. Above and below this thick stripe are thin stripes of black. The bottom of the jersey has a black stripe above a green stripe above a white stripe. A green maple leaf was added to each shoulder to denote the team's location in Canada. The away jerseys is inverted, the black stripes being replaced with white ones, the jersey itself going from white to black.

Woodstock Slammers 2013 Alternate Logo

In the 2011-12 season the Slammers joined numerous sports teams across the world in unveiling their own vintage-style third jersey. It is a green jersey with white stripes running down the arms. Outside these stripes are a series of stripes coloured black, green, white, black, green, white, black and green starting at the collar. The collar itself has laces (in keeping with the vintage design) and the bottom of the jersey has a white then black stripe (in descending order) to the bottom of the jersey. The logo is a circle containing the team name around the Slammer's Head logo, with extending tabs that proclaim the teams establishing year as 2003.

At the start of the 2012-13 season, the Slammers introduced yet another alternate jersey, this one identical to the regular away jersey. However, the logo was changed from a forward facing head to a head in profile. This new jersey brought the Slammers total up to two regular jerseys and two alternates.

Woodstock Slammers 2011-12 Jerseys

Season-by-Season record[edit]

Season GP W L T OTL GF GA P Results Playoffs
2003-04 52 18 30 3 1 230 266 40 11th MJAHL DNQ
2004-05 56 22 28 5 1 231 269 50 11th MJAHL DNQ
2005-06 56 41 10 0 5 281 170 87 1st MJAHL Won Kent Cup, Lost Fred Page Cup
2006-07 58 14 35 0 9 168 245 37 11th MJAHL Lost Meek Division Quarter-Final
2007-08 58 39 13 - 6 198 142 84 3rd MJAHL Lost Kent Cup
2008-09 54 34 14 - 6 203 150 74 4th MJAHL Lost Meek Division Semi-Final
2009-10 50 45 3 - 2 269 124 92 1st MJAHL Won Kent Cup, Lost Fred Page Cup
2010-11 52 39 7 - 6 261 132 84 1st MHL Lost Meek Division Final
2011-12 52 45 6 - 1 265 121 91 1st MHL Won Kent Cup, Won Fred Page Cup, Runner-Up RBC Cup
2012-13 52 29 17 - 2 207 181 64 5th MHL Lost Meek Division Final
2013-14 52 28 20 - 4 123 269 60 7th MHL Lost Meek Division Semi-Final

Championships[edit]

NB Jr. "B" Hockey League Championship[edit]

  • 2000

Don Johnson Cup[edit]

  • 2000

MHL President's Cup[edit]

  • 2005-06
  • 2009-10
  • 2010-11
  • 2011-12

Roger Meek Division Championship[edit]

  • 2006
  • 2007
  • 2010
  • 2012

Kent Cup[edit]

  • 2006
  • 2010
  • 2012

Fred Page Cup[edit]

  • 2012

Team Captains[edit]

There is no information currently available to the public regarding the captains of the Woodstock Slammers prior to joining the MJAHL.

  • Jeff Wilson, 2003–04
  • Justin Bowers, 2005–06
  • Jeff Conrad, 2006
  • Dan Dooley, 2006–08
  • Brad Jackson, 2008–09
  • Brogan Bailey, 2009–10
  • Robert Zandbeek, 2010–11
  • Andrew Langan, 2011–12
  • Ryan Purvis, 2012–13
  • Brett MacLean, 2013-14

Retired Numbers[edit]

Number Player Date Years with Woodstock
6 Dan Dooley September 19, 2008 2005–2008
9 Justin Bowers April 20, 2012 2003–2006
19 Lachlan MacIntosh February 18, 2011 2003–2006

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The MHL News: Slammers go to #2". The MHL website - taken from the CJHL-PlayingUpHockey.com Weekly Top 20 Ranking. Retrieved 2012-01-10. 
  2. ^ "Alumni Showing Support & Fred Page Update". The Woodstock Slammers. Retrieved 2012-04-25. 
  3. ^ "The MHL News: Slammers are 2012 Kent Cup Champions". The MHL website. Retrieved 2012-04-23. 
  4. ^ "Fred Page Cup: Kanata vs Woodstock Gamesheet". The Fred Page Cup Official Website (via Pointstreak.com). Retrieved 2012-04-25. 
  5. ^ "Royal Bank Cup Game Summary: Humboldt vs. Woodstock". Hockey Canada. Retrieved 2012-05-06. 
  6. ^ "Royal Bank Cup Game Summary: Woodstock vs. Portage". Hockey Canada. Retrieved 2012-05-08. 
  7. ^ "Royal Bank Cup Game Summary: Woodstock vs. Humboldt". Hockey Canada. Retrieved 2012-05-12. 
  8. ^ "Royal Bank Cup Game Summary: Woodstock vs. Penticton". Hockey Canada. Retrieved 2012-05-14. 
  9. ^ "YouTube Video - Woodstock Slammers Bench Brawl". OilersHockey101 (on YouTube). Retrieved 2011-12-21. 
  10. ^ "Slammers to host the Bay State Breakers". The Woodstock Slammers. Retrieved 2012-12-03. 
  11. ^ "MHL Game Sheet - Bay State Breakers at Woodstock Slammers". The MHL Website. Retrieved 2012-12-03. 
Preceded by
Richibucto Bears
Don Johnson Cup Champions
2000
Succeeded by
Windsor Royals