Hearst Lumberjacks

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Hearst Lumberjacks
City Hearst, Ontario, Canada
League Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League
Founded 1988
Home arena Claude Larose Recreation Centre
Colours Orange, black, and white
              
Owner(s) Jonathan Blier
General manager Kelley Millage (2014–15 - midseason)
Head coach Jay Bernier (hired 2016)
Website Lumberjack Webpage
Franchise history
1988–1990 Haileybury 54's
1990–1991 Powassan Passport
1991–1994 Powassan Hawks
1994–2002 Sturgeon Falls Lynx
2002–2009 North Bay Skyhawks
2009–2014 North Bay Trappers
2014–2015 Mattawa Blackhawks
2015–2017 Iroquois Falls Eskis
2017–present Hearst Lumberjacks

The Hearst Lumberjacks are a Junior "A" ice hockey team from Hearst, Ontario, Canada, under new ownership for the 2017–18 season. They are a part of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League (NOJHL). As the Powassan Hawks, the team won two Dudley Hewitt Cups (1992 and 1993).

History[edit]

In 2002, the year after the Ontario Hockey League's North Bay Centennials moved to Saginaw, Michigan, North Bay bought the Sturgeon Falls Lynx. The team was known as the North Bay Skyhawks from 2002 to 2009. In the summer of 2009, the team was renamed the Trappers in the memory of the NOJHA's North Bay Trappers (1962–1982).

Skyhawks logo 2002–2009.
Trappers logo 2009–2014.

Sturgeon Falls Lynx[edit]

The Powassan Hawks relocated to Sturgeon Falls, Ontario to be known as the Sturgeon Falls Lynx for the 1994–95 season. The Lynx were sponsored and affiliated by the North Bay Centennials. This meant, most of their equipment was from the Centennials. The Lynx were the third-best team in the NOJHL, behind the Rayside-Balfour Sabrecats and Parry Sound Shamrocks. Sturgeon Falls managed to make the finals in 1996 and 1997, but lost out to Rayside-Balfour on both occasions. In 1999, the Lynx were the considered the second-best team in the NOJHL after the departure of Parry Sound to the OPJHL. Despite the impressive 1999–00 second-place finish, the Lynx were no match for the unbeaten Rayside-Balfour Sabrecats in the league finals. In 2000–01 and 2001–02, the Sturgeon Falls Lynx finished fourth both seasons.

North Bay Skyhawks[edit]

Shortly after the North Bay Centennials moved to Saginaw, Michigan, the Sturgeon Falls Lynx immediately left the Sturgeon Falls Arena and took up tenancy at the bigger North Bay Memorial Gardens in the summer of 2002 and became the North Bay Skyhawks. The Skyhawks became immediately dominant, and won three consecutive NOJHL championships from 2003 to 2005. The Skyhawks played host to the 2004 Dudley Hewitt Cup, finishing second. The Skyhawks franchise appeared in the league finals five times from 2003 to 2009.

North Bay Trappers[edit]

The North Bay Skyhawks re-branded to the North Bay Trappers for the 2009–10 season. The team's performance did not vary from the Skyhawks, but would not appear in the league finals again until 2012. A year later, the Trappers would win their first league title since 2009 and played host to the 2013 Dudley Hewitt Cup, finishing fourth. As a result of an Ontario Hockey League franchise returning to North Bay, the tournament was almost allocated a second time. The tournament was originally awarded to Sudbury, but backed out. A deal was reached with the city where the renovations would commence at the end of the Dudley Hewitt Cup final. The Trappers had moved across the city to the West Ferris Arena, which was smaller and had under 500 seating capacity. The 2013–14 season marked the last for an NOJHL franchise in North Bay, as a large of majority of the interest was going towards the North Bay Battalion. Owner David Beauchamp was still being bankrolled by former owner Tim Clayden to meet team expenses, after he sold the Trappers and owned the Espanola Rivermen. With the lack of financial means, community support and sponsors, the Trappers ended up leaving North Bay at the end of the season and played their final games in Mattawa. Beauchamp claims the City of North Bay expelled the Trappers, but the city denied this.

Mattawa Blackhawks[edit]

In March 2014, the team announced it was relocating to Mattawa, Ontario to become the Mattawa Blackhawks.[1] Owner David Beauchamp was removed by the league in the fall over unpaid ice fees, and the team was in the hands of new ownership (TPA Sports) from Toronto to continue operations. Because of a small arena, the team's existence was questionable, despite tremendous fan support throughout the season. The Blackhawks finished second-to-last, and lost a best-of-three series to the Powassan Voodoos.

Iroquois Falls Eskis[edit]

In March 2015, the Abitibi Eskimos were relocating to Timmins and the Mattawa Blackhawks took advantage and relocated to Iroquois Falls to become the second-incarnation of the Eskimos, calling themselves the Iroquois Falls Eskimos. However, over the summer the team name was altered to the "Eskis" to pay homage to the Iroquois Falls Jr. Eskis, who were members of the league from 1999 to 2002. The new team did not adopt the former Jr. Eskis' colours of blue and white, and instead went with the Abitibi Eskimos colours of black, gold, and white.

Despite having the third best attendance in the league the team was sold.

Hearst Lumberjacks[edit]

In April 2017, the NOJHL announced that the Eskis' franchise has been transferred to Hearst, Ontario. A new local ownership group led by Jonathan Blier acquired the team from Allan Donnan. The team will play out of the Claude Larose Recreation Centre.[2]

Season-by-season results[edit]

Season GP W L T OTL GF GA Pts Results Playoffs
Haileybury 54's
1988–89 41 6 32 3 173 313 15 4th NOJHL
1989–90 40 4 34 2 138 337 10 6th NOJHL
Powassan Passport
1990–91 40 21 12 7 212 175 49 2nd NOJHL
Powassan Hawks
1991–92 48 33 14 1 318 164 67 3rd NOJHL Won League
1992–93 48 35 12 1 370 202 71 2nd NOJHL Won League
1993–94 40 33 6 1 273 118 67 1st NOJHL Won League
Sturgeon Falls Lynx
1994–95 48 33 12 3 237 136 69 3rd NOJHL
1995–96 44 29 12 3 192 129 61 2nd NOJHL Lost Final
1996–97 40 28 11 1 203 157 57 2nd NOJHL Lost Final
1997–98 40 22 15 3 202 176 47 2nd NOJHL
1998–99 40 19 18 3 167 168 41 4th NOJHL
1999–00 40 30 9 1 236 131 61 2nd NOJHL Lost Final
2000–01 40 21 17 1 1 156 166 44 4th NOJHL
2001–02 42 19 18 0 5 188 197 43 4th NOJHL
North Bay Skyhawks
2002–03 48 39 7 2 - 277 111 80 1st NOJHL Won League
2003–04 48 34 7 4 3 233 110 75 1st NOJHL Won League
2004–05 48 31 11 3 3 196 122 68 1st NOJHL Won League
2005–06 48 30 18 0 0 166 141 60 3rd NOJHL Lost Final
2006–07 48 23 24 0 1 164 169 47 6th NOJHL Lost Semi-final
2007–08 50 31 14 5 191 152 91 3rd NOJHL
2008–09 50 41 6 3 251 151 85 1st NOJHL Lost Final
North Bay Trappers
2009–10 50 34 14 - 2 227 161 70 2nd NOJHL Lost Quarter-final
2010–11 50 22 23 - 5 183 189 49 6th NOJHL Lost Quarter-final
2011–12 50 29 21 - 0 215 187 58 5th NOJHL Lost Final
2012–13 48 34 7 3 4 215 120 75 1st NOJHL Won League
2013–14 56 15 35 0 6 154 238 36 7th NOJHL Lost Quarter-final
Mattawa Blackhawks
2014–15 52 13 35 0 4 163 300 30 5th of 5, East
8th of 9, NOJHL
Lost Div. Play-in series, 0–2 vs. Powassan Voodoos
Iroquois Falls Eskis
2015–16 54 15 39 0 0 163 310 30 5th of 6, East
9th of 12, NOJHL
Lost Div. Play-in series, 0–2 vs. Timmins Rock
2016–17 56 16 36 4 0 203 282 36 5th of 6, East
10th of 12, NOJHL
Lost Div. Play-in series, 1–2 vs. Kirkland Lake Gold Miners

Notable alumni[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]