Milton Icehawks

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Milton Icehawks
Milton Icehawks.png
City Milton, Ontario, Canada
League Ontario Junior Hockey League
Division West
Founded 1966
Home arena Milton Memorial Arena
Colours

Red, black, white

              
Owner(s) Rob DeVincentis
General manager Chris Vanstone
Head coach Jeff Flanagan
Media CogecoTV Milton/Halton Hills
Affiliates Halton Hurricanes
Franchise history
1966-1971 Milton Merchants
1971-1983 Milton Flyers
1983-1986 Milton Steamers
1986-2003 Milton Merchants
2003-Present Milton Icehawks
Championships
Semifinalist (1998) Royal Bank Cups
1998 Dudley Hewitt Cups
1997, 1998 Buckland Trophies

The Milton Icehawks are a Junior "A" ice hockey team from Milton, Ontario, Canada. They are a part of the Ontario Junior A Hockey League. The Icehawks have previously been known as the Milton Merchants, Milton Flyers, and Milton Steamers.

History[edit]

The Icehawks are one of the most historical teams in the Ontario Junior Hockey League, having been formed in 1966.[1] The Icehawks (2003–present) have previously been known as the Milton Flyers (1971-1983), Milton Steamers (1983-1986), and Milton Merchants (1966-1971, 1986-2003).

Early years[edit]

In the 1970s, Vern Gooding owned the local team when they were known as the Milton Flyers.[2]

In 1974, three players including the team captain and top scorer left the team mid season over an imposed curfew dispute. Two of the three players had had tryouts with OHL clubs, and all three were club veterans.[3]

Grant Turner, Mark Grenier, Howie Scannell, and John Morgan owned the Milton Steamers in the early 1980s. Morgan sold his stake in the club to Turner, prompting Scannell to announce that he was preparing to sell his stake as well. On April 10, 1986, Turner, Grenier and Scannell sold the Steamers to Brad Grant who owned trucking company Sandstone Transport.[4]

Grant Era & Championship Successes[edit]

Trucking magnate Brad Grant purchased the team in April 1986 when it seemed like the organization might fold. For the 1986-87 season, he immediately changed the team's name from the Steamers to the Merchants after the Junior C team of old, and brought in former coach Gerry Inglis, who had also coached the Georgetown Raiders and had won five intermediate championships at the time.[5]

Grant led the team to tremendous success in the late 1990s. During his 15-year ownership run, the team captured four division crowns, three league championships and a provincial title.[6]

In 1992, the Milton Merchants were Central Junior B Hockey League champions with a 4-2 victory in Game 7 over the Aurora Eagles.[7] They made the Ontario Hockey Association Sutherland Cup Junior B championship but lost in five games to the Mid-Western Junior B Hockey League's Kitchener Dutchmen.[8]

The 1994-95 season marked the beginning of a historical run for the franchise as the club won five straight division titles. The surge of success increased when the Merchants were crowned league champions in 1997, winning the Buckland Trophy after defeating the Newmarket 87's. In the 1997 Dudley Cup playoffs, the Rayside-Balfour Sabrecats (NOJHL) beat Milton four games to one.

In 1998, the Milton Merchants repeated their Buckland Trophy title, dispatching the Newmarket Hurricanes this time, and then went on to become Central Canadian Junior A Champions by winning the Dudley Hewitt Cup, defeating the Rayside-Balfour Sabrecats (NOJHL) four games to two, and exacting revenge for the previous year's loss to Rayside-Balfour.

At the 1998 Royal Bank Cup, the Milton Merchants went 1-3 in round robin play. In the semifinal game, Milton lost 6-2 to the South Surrey Eagles and were eliminated from the tournament.

Forgione era[edit]

In 2001, Grant sold the team to an Oakville trio that consisted of ex-NHLer Dave Gagner, Mario Forgione who owned the Mississauga IceDogs at the time and was an automotive parts manufacturing president, and wine distillery consultant Ken Chase.[9][10]

For the 2003-04 season, Forgione changed the team's name from the Merhcants to the IceHawks to reflect the team's connection with the local minor hockey programs called the Winterhawks, and Forgione's ownership of the Mississauga IceDogs.[11] In 2005, the Ontario Hockey Association fined the Icehawks $12,000 and suspended then-General Manager George Dupont for signing two players outside of OHA guidelines.[12] In 2006, Forgione officially affiliated the Icehawks with the IceDogs.[13]

Heinz era[edit]

In the spring of 2006, ex-NHL goaltender Rick Heinz' attempt to purchase the nearby Tier-2 Junior Georgetown Raiders fell through, but by July 2006 the local Campbellville resident Heinz had talked Forgione into selling the Icehawks, and the affiliation with the IceDogs ended.[14] Heinz sold the team just nine months later after starting the season with essentially no committed players.[15]

DeVincentis & Piett era[edit]

Dean Piett, a commercial real estate businessman from Burlington, and Rob DeVincentis, the Ancaster owner of a construction business, purchased the team from Heinz and have owned the team ever since the sale in 2007.[16]

Season-by-season results[edit]

Season GP W L T OTL GF GA P Results Playoffs
1970-71 33 12 17 4 - 147 166 28 7th MOJBHL
1971-72 42 13 20 9 - 171 231 35 5th CJBHL
1972-73 42 9 30 3 - 171 278 21 7th CJBHL
1973-74 42 25 10 7 - 246 174 57 2nd CJBHL
1974-75 Statistics Not Available
1975-76 36 12 21 3 - 167 237 27 7th CJBHL
1976-77 42 17 22 3 - 206 237 37 6th CJBHL
1977-78 42 20 16 6 - -- -- 46 4th CJBHL
1978-79 44 16 23 5 - 205 277 37 7th CJBHL
1979-80 44 10 28 5 - 192 298 25 11th CJBHL
1980-81 44 4 37 3 - 184 337 11 12th CJBHL
1981-82 40 6 30 4 - 156 303 16 11th CJBHL
1982-83 42 18 18 6 - 200 233 42 5th CJBHL
1983-84 40 12 23 5 - 182 200 29 7th CJBHL
1984-85 40 20 16 4 - 193 166 44 5th CJBHL
1985-86 48 5 37 6 - 173 354 16 9th CJBHL
1986-87 42 9 29 4 - 158 278 22 7th CJBHL
1987-88 44 18 22 4 - 232 250 40 9th CJBHL
1988-89 42 12 26 4 - 164 250 28 12th CJBHL
1989-90 42 18 17 7 - 189 181 43 6th CJBHL
1990-91 42 25 10 7 - 265 184 57 3rd CJBHL
1991-92 42 29 8 5 - 207 138 63 2nd CJBHL Won League
1992-93 49 32 15 2 - 269 190 68 5th CJBHL
1993-94 42 24 16 2 - 228 183 52 5th OPJHL-W
1994-95 49 33 14 2 - 287 226 69 1st OPJHL-W
1995-96 50 27 16 7 - 243 172 64 1st OPJHL-Mi
1996-97 51 37 9 5 - 319 169 81 1st OPJHL-Mi Won League
1997-98 51 42 8 1 0 357 127 85 1st OPJHL-Mi Won League, Won DHC
1998-99 51 43 4 3 1 308 138 90 1st OPJHL-W
1999-00 49 30 13 3 3 231 158 66 3rd OPJHL-W
2000-01 49 29 14 5 1 210 168 64 1st OPJHL-W
2001-02 49 25 20 3 1 198 208 54 5th OPJHL-W
2002-03 49 41 6 1 1 279 139 84 1st OPJHL-W
2003-04 49 32 15 0 2 228 161 66 4th OPJHL-W
2004-05 49 30 17 1 1 241 131 62 4th OPJHL-W
2005-06 49 41 3 4 1 254 97 87 1st OPJHL-W Lost Conf. SF
2006-07 49 12 31 4 2 142 235 30 8th OPJHL-W Lost Conf. QF
2007-08 49 22 20 - 7 185 194 51 6th OPJHL-W
2008-09 49 21 24 - 4 208 229 46 6th OJHL-M
2009-10 56 3 51 - 2 145 387 8 15th OJAHL DNQ
2010-11 50 5 41 - 4 147 374 14 8th OJHL-W DNQ
2011-12 49 18 28 - 3 195 264 39 5th OJHL-W Lost Division QF
2012-13 55 19 27 - 9 209 255 47 4th OJHL-W DNQ
2013-14 53 29 20 - 3 186 193 61 3rd OJHL-W Lost Conf. QF
2014-15 - - - - - - - - - -
2015-16 54 5 48 0 1 110 362 11 5th of 5 West Div
11th of 11 SW Conf
22nd of 22 OJHL
DNQ
2016-17 54 4 48 1 1 125 385 1* 5th of 5 West Div
11th of 11 SW Conf
22nd of 22 OJHL
DNQ

Sutherland Cup Appearances[edit]

1992: Kitchener Dutchmen defeated Milton Merchants 4-games-to-1

Notable alumni[edit]

Many notable players have suited up for Milton over the years including NHL stars John Tavares, Daniel Carcillo, Sam Gagner, Rich Peverley, Darren Haydar, Cody Goloubef and Matt Read.

Some Famous Miltonians have also played for the franchise, including four-time Stanley Cup champion John Tonelli, AHL star Darren Haydar, two-time NCAA Frozen Four Champion Boston College Captain Matt Price, and his brother Jeremy Price (Vancouver Canucks draft pick).

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://miltonicehawks.pointstreaksites.com/view/miltonicehawks
  2. ^ http://news.milton.halinet.on.ca/2499204/page/5?n=3&q=flyers
  3. ^ http://news.milton.halinet.on.ca/2499208/page/5?n=20&q=flyers
  4. ^ http://news.milton.halinet.on.ca/2689041/page/10?n=1&q=brad%20grant
  5. ^ http://news.milton.halinet.on.ca/2689041/page/10?n=1&q=brad%20grant
  6. ^ http://images.ourontario.ca/Partners/MPL/MPL002504511pf_0676.pdf
  7. ^ http://news.milton.halinet.on.ca/2690358/page/2
  8. ^ http://news.milton.halinet.on.ca/2690370/page/16
  9. ^ http://news.milton.halinet.on.ca/2507710/page/17
  10. ^ http://news.milton.halinet.on.ca/2506764/page/22
  11. ^ http://news.milton.halinet.on.ca/2507362/page/21
  12. ^ http://www.chathamdailynews.ca/2010/12/10/junior-hockeys-dirty-little-ecret
  13. ^ http://news.milton.halinet.on.ca/2508127/page/15?n=
  14. ^ http://news.milton.halinet.on.ca/2508247/page/18?n=
  15. ^ http://news.milton.halinet.on.ca/2508366/page/19
  16. ^ http://images.ourontario.ca/Partners/MPL/MPL002508887pf_0884.pdf

External links[edit]