Neepawa Natives

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Neepawa Natives
Neepawa Natives.png
City Neepawa, Manitoba
League Manitoba Junior Hockey League
Founded 1989
Home arena Yellowhead Centre
Colours Black, Red, White
General manager Myles Cathcart
Head coach Dustin Howden (2016–17)

The Neepawa Natives are a Canadian Junior "A" ice hockey team from Neepawa, Manitoba. They are members of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL), a part of the Canadian Junior A Hockey League.

History[edit]

The Neepawa Natives were founded in 1989 and play home games at the Yellowhead Centre. They were members of the MJHL's Sherwood Division until the league merged its two divisions after the 2013–14 season. The team has never won a league championship.

The creation of the Neepawa Natives team name is rooted in the early 1960s, with the then-named Neepawa Intermediates hockey team. In 1963, Ron Guinn and Cecil Pittman suggested the Neepawa Intermediates should create an actual team name for the Neepawa-based hockey club. A name that would connect to Neepawa (a Cree name meaning abundance or plenty) was explored. The name 'Natives' was selected because Neepawa and Natives both start with the letter 'N', and were seven letters long, which led Pittman and Guinn to believe it was a good fit for the team.

The name would go on to be used by the intermediate team, who would play in the Inter Ridge Hockey League, the Central Plains Hockey League and the South West Hockey League in the 1960s and 1970s.

In 1989, Neepawa was accepted into the MJHL and was in need of creating its own team name and identity. Wanting to respect the hockey history created by that Neepawa Intermediates team, it was decided to use the Natives name for the community's new Junior 'A' Hockey club. The Natives name has since been gradually adopted by Neepawa Minor Hockey for its youth teams.

The Neepawa Natives have had many successful seasons reaching the MJHL Finals in 1996 and the meeting in the division finals seven times.

Neepawa keeps close ties with it alumni and celebrate the accomplishments on a regular basis. These accomplishments include many players who have moved onto higher levels of hockey like the NCAA, Major Junior, CIS and professional ranks. Three Natives alumni have played in the National Hockey League. In 11 NHL seasons, Shane Hnidy played for six different teams, appearing in 550 regular season and 40 playoff games, and in his final year won the Stanley Cup with the Boston Bruins. Mark Kolesar played in 28 games with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Triston Grant appeared in 11 games with the Philadelphia Flyers and Nashville Predators.[1]

Hazing incident[edit]

In October 2011, a 15-year-old Natives player came forward with allegations of sexual-based rookie hazing within the team's locker room. The victim's mother said her son was forced to walk around the team locker room with a set of water bottles tied to his scrotum and that assistant coach Brad Biggers was allegedly present in the dressing room at the time.[2][3] As a result, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police opened an investigation of the incident and the MJHL hired an independent investigator to look into the incident.[4][5] No charges were laid.[6]

Following its investigation, the MJHL levied a record $5000 fine against the team and a total of 18 suspensions to team players and personnel, as well an indefinite suspension to Biggers, preventing him from coaching for any team affiliated with Hockey Canada.[7][8] Head coach and general manager Bryant Perrier, who initially reported the incident to the league, left his post shortly thereafter and later also received an indefinite ban from the MJHL.[9][10] The team later issued an apology to the hazing victims, its staff, sponsors, fans, and local community.[11][12]

Season-by-season record[edit]

Note: GP = games played, W = wins, L = losses, T = ties, OTL = overtime losses, GF = goals for, GA = goals against, DNQ = did not qualify

Season GP W L T OTL GF GA Points Finish Playoffs
1989–90 52 10 42 0 - 240 291 20 9th MJHL
1990–91 48 12 34 2 - 212 331 26 8th MJHL
1991–92 48 15 31 1 1 198 252 32 8th MJHL
1992–93 49 21 25 2 1 222 206 45 6th MJHL
1993–94 56 27 25 2 2 58 5th MJHL
1994–95 56 32 20 2 2 237 218 68 2nd MJHL
1995–96 56 28 22 4 2 248 241 62 5th MJHL
1996–97 55 23 30 1 1 242 280 48 7th MJHL
1997–98 60 28 29 3 0 264 272 59 6th MJHL
1998–99 62 12 49 0 1 187 360 25 10th MJHL
1999–00 64 30 30 - 4 244 270 64 10th MJHL
2000–01 64 41 20 - 3 286 246 85 3rd MJHL
2001–02 64 40 20 - 4 271 221 84 4th MJHL
2002–03 64 28 30 - 6 286 300 62 9th MJHL
2003–04 64 37 18 - 9 236 193 83 3rd MJHL
2004–05 63 37 18 - 8 251 194 82 2nd MJHL
2005–06 63 14 41 - 8 179 269 36 10th MJHL DNQ
2006–07 63 41 19 - 3 266 220 85 4th MJHL Lost Semi-final
2007–08 62 16 40 - 6 172 288 38 10th MJHL
2008–09 61 24 29 - 8 182 237 56 8th MJHL
2009–10 62 34 24 - 4 205 189 72 6th MJHL Lost Quarter-final
2010–11 62 24 32 - 6 170 208 54 9th MJHL DNQ
2011–12 61 12 45 - 4 168 289 28 11th MJHL DNQ
2012–13 60 13 40 - 7 143 293 33 11th MJHL DNQ
2013–14 60 14 41 - 5 149 274 33 11th MJHL DNQ
2014–15 60 15 42 - 3 141 255 33 11th MJHL DNQ
2015–16 60 13 45 - 2 132 312 28 11th MJHL DNQ
2016–17 60 21 33 - 6 173 229 48 8th MJHL Lost Quarter-final

Playoffs[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]