Thunder Bay North Stars

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Thunder Bay North Stars
Fort William North Stars.jpg
City Thunder Bay, Ontario
League Superior International Junior Hockey League
Founded 2000
Home arena Fort William Gardens
Colours Green, Gold, Black and White
                   
Owner(s) Scott and Kris Kellaway
General manager Scott Kellaway
Head coach Jeremy Adduono
Franchise history
2000-2002 Thunder Bay Wolves
2002-2003 Fort William Wolves
2003-2010 Fort William North Stars
2010-present Thunder Bay North Stars
Championships
Playoff championships Five (2004, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010)

The Thunder Bay North Stars are a Junior "A" ice hockey team from Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. They are a part of the Superior International Junior Hockey League.

History[edit]

After the fall of the Thunder Bay Flyers in 2001, the Superior International Junior Hockey League was founded. The Thunder Bay Wolves, who had played for a short while in the Thunder Bay Junior B Hockey League, were a founding team, but after one season they changed their name to the Fort William Wolves. Fort William is one of the original names of the city of Thunder Bay. After two rather average seasons, the North Stars came to life. The team won both the regular season and the playoff titles from 2004 through 2006.

2011 North Stars in action

Their first trip (2004) to the Central Canadian Championship, the Dudley Hewitt Cup, saw them finish in third place. In the round robin, the Stars lost to the North Bay Skyhawks of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League 5-4, lost again to the Ontario Provincial Junior A Hockey League's Aurora Tigers 4-0, then came around to beat the NOJHL's Soo Thunderbirds 7-4 to make the semifinal. In the semi, the Stars kept it real close, but were not able to defeat the North Bay Skyhawks for the second time in the tournament, losing 3-2.

Their second Dudley Hewitt Cup (2005) saw them finish second in the round robin, but third overall. In the round robin they beat the OPJHL St. Michael's Buzzers 6-4, lose to the host OPJHL Georgetown Raiders 4-0, and then finally beat the North Bay Skyhawks with an 8-2 blowout. The semifinal put them up against the host Buzzers who put the boots to the Stars in a 6-2 victory.

After winning their third straight of league championship, the Stars competed in their third straight Dudley Hewitt Cup. Going into the playoffs, the Stars finished the regular season with a phenomenal 50-2-0-0 record—the best in the entire Canadian Junior A Hockey League. The Stars took out the K&A Golden Hawks 4 games-to-none and then swept the Dryden Ice Dogs in the four-game final as well. The Stars went to the Dudley on a high and kept rolling. Hosting the 2006 event, the team beat up the NOJHL's Sudbury Jr. Wolves 6-1, but were then thrown around by the tournament favourite St. Michael's Buzzers 7-1. In the final round robin game, the Stars played their SIJHL rival, Dryden Ice Dogs, and beat them 3-0. Fort William and Sudbury both finished with 2-1 records, but because the Stars won their game, the Stars received a bye to the finals. Dryden and St. Michael's also finished tied with a 1-2 record, but because the Ice Dogs shocked the Buzzers with an unlikely 3-2 victory, the powerhouse Buzzers were eliminated. Sudbury defeated Dryden 5-4 in the semifinal. The Stars and Wolves had a tight, but high-scoring game. With the game tied 6-6 it ended up going into overtime, where the Stars scored quickly to win their first Dudley Hewitt Cup and earn the right to compete in the 2006 Royal Bank Cup.

Captain Sean Bassingthwaite screens the net (2008)

The Stars began their first Royal Bank Cup with a loss to the host OPJHL Streetsville Derbys 3-2. The second game saw them defeat the Quebec Junior AAA Hockey League's Joliette Action 4-3 in overtime. In the third game, the British Columbia Hockey League's Burnaby Express beat them 3-2. The fourth game had to be won to avoid the chance of elimination and to lock up 3rd seed in the semifinal. To do this, the Stars defeated the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League's Yorkton Terriers in a hard fought 2-1 victory. The semifinal saw the luck fade from the North Stars. Up 2-0 with less than two minutes to go in the semi against the Burnaby Express, the Express scored two quick goals to send the game into overtime. Roughly a minute into the overtime, the Express sniped again, eliminating the North Stars.

Nevertheless, the North Stars were the first team in SIJHL history to have ever won the Dudley Hewitt Cup or play in the Royal Bank Cup. This feat was repeated in 2013 when the Minnesota Wilderness defeated the St. Michael's Buzzers 4-3 in overtime to send them to the 2013 Royal Bank Cup.

For the 2007-08 season, the North Stars switched to a black, silver, and white colour scheme as opposed to their traditional green, yellow, black, and white.

In October 2010, the North Stars were sold. Their complete assets, roster, and name, were transferred to a new ownership group, led by Doug Gunsinger. The team name was changed to the Thunder Bay North Stars.

In the Summer of 2015 the team ownership was sold to Scott and Kris Kellaway.[1]

Season-by-season results[edit]

Season GP W L T OTL GF GA Pts Results Playoffs
2000-01 30 7 20 3 0 - - 14 5th TBJBHL DNQ
2001-02 48 4 42 2 0 111 289 10 5th SIJHL DNQ
2002-03 52 23 19 5 5 211 193 56 4th SIJHL Lost Semifinals
2003-04 48 40 6 1 1 270 119 82 1st SIJHL Bill Salonen Cup winner
2004-05 48 42 2 4 0 322 66 88 1st SIJHL Bill Salonen Cup winner
2005-06 52 50 2 0 0 353 101 100 1st SIJHL Bill Salonen Cup winner
Dudley Hewitt Cup winner
2006-07 50 41 6 3 0 307 132 85 1st SIJHL Lost Finals
2007-08 50 35 11 1 3 218 134 74 2nd SIJHL Lost Finals
2008-09 50 39 7 - 4 307 129 82 1st SIJHL Bill Salonen Cup winner
2009-10 52 45 5 - 2 270 104 92 1st SIJHL Bill Salonen Cup winner
2010-11 56 32 21 - 3 191 163 67 4th SIJHL Lost Semifinals
2011-12 56 31 19 - 6 242 156 68 3rd SIJHL Lost Semifinals
2012-13 56 28 27 - 1 165 206 57 4th SIJHL Lost Quarters 1-2 (Iron Rangers)
2013-14 56 40 11 - 5 253 180 85 2nd SIJHL Lost Seeding Rd 6-4 (2-gm)(Lakers)
Lost Semifinals 2-4 (Iron Rangers)
2014-15 56 27 25 - 4 200 227 58 4th SIJHL
2015-16 56 28 24 1 3 186 209 60 3rd SIJHL Lost Semifinals 2-4 (Ice Dogs)
2016-17 56 31 19 6 0 202 183 68 2nd of 6 SIJHL tbd Semifinals 0-0 (Miners)

Playoffs[edit]

2002 DNQ

2003 Lost Semifinals

Thunder Bay Bulldogs defeated Fort William Wolves 4-games-to-1

2004 Won League, Lost Dudley Hewitt Cup semifinal

Fort William North Stars defeated Thunder Bay Bulldogs 4-games-to-none
Fort William North Stars defeated Dryden Ice Dogs 4-games-to-1 SIJHL CHAMPIONS
Second in Dudley Hewitt Cup round robin (1-2)
North Bay Skyhawks (NOJHL) defeated Fort William North Stars 3-2 in semifinal

2005 Won League, Lost Dudley Hewitt Cup semifinal

Fort William North Stars defeated K&A First Nations Golden Hawks 4-games-to-none
Fort William North Stars defeated Fort Frances Borderland Thunder 4-games-to-none SIJHL CHAMPIONS
Second in Dudley Hewitt Cup round robin (2-1)
St. Michael's Buzzers (OPJHL) defeated Fort William North Stars 6-2 in semifinal

2006 Won League, Won Dudley Hewitt Cup, Lost 2006 Royal Bank Cup semifinal

Fort William North Stars defeated K&A First Nations Golden Hawks 4-games-to-none
Fort William North Stars defeated Dryden Ice Dogs 4-games-to-none SIJHL CHAMPIONS
First in Dudley Hewitt Cup round robin (2-1)
Fort William North Stars defeated Sudbury Jr. Wolves (NOJHL) 7-6 OT in final DUDLEY HEWITT CUP CHAMPIONS
Third in 2006 Royal Bank Cup round robin (2-2)
Burnaby Express (BCHL) defeated Fort William North Stars 3-2 OT in semifinal

2007 Lost Finals

Fort William North Stars defeated Dryden Ice Dogs 4-games-to-1
Schreiber Diesels defeated Fort William North Stars 4-games-to-3

2008 Lost Finals

Fort William North Stars defeated Thunder Bay Bearcats 4-games-to-1
Dryden Ice Dogs defeated Fort William North Stars 4-games-to-1

2009 Won League, Lost Dudley Hewitt Cup final

Fort William North Stars defeated Schreiber Diesels 4-games-to-3
Fort William North Stars defeated Thunder Bay Bearcats 4-games-to-1 SIJHL CHAMPIONS
Second in Dudley Hewitt Cup round robin (2-1)
Fort William North Stars defeated Schreiber Diesels 4-3 in semifinal
Kingston Voyageurs (OJHL) defeated Fort William North Stars 4-1 in final

2010 Won League, Lost Dudley Hewitt Cup final

Second in round robin (2-0-2) vs. Dryden Ice Dogs and Sioux Lookout Flyers
Fort William North Stars defeated Sioux Lookout Flyers 4-games-to-none
Fort William North Stars defeated Dryden Ice Dogs 4-games-to-1 SIJHL CHAMPIONS
Second in Dudley Hewitt Cup round robin (1-0-2)
Fort William North Stars defeated Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHL) 3-0 in semifinal
Oakville Blades (OJAHL) defeated Fort William North Stars 2-1 in final

2011 Lost Semifinals

Thunder Bay North Stars defeated Sioux Lookout Flyers 4-games-to-1
Wisconsin Wilderness defeated Thunder Bay North Stars 4-games-to-none

2012 Lost Semifinals

Thunder Bay North Stars defeated Duluth Clydesdales 4-games-to-none
Wisconsin Wilderness defeated Thunder Bay North Stars 4-games-to-none
Third in Dudley Hewitt Cup round robin (1-1-1)
Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHL) defeated Thunder Bay North Stars 8-5 in semifinal

Notable alumni[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Father-and-son team take over North Stars ownership". TBNewswatch.com. 31 July 2015. 

External links[edit]