London Lakers

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London Lakers
London Lakers Logo.png
City London, Ontario
League Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League
Founded 1989 (1989)
Home arena London Sports Park
Colours Red, Black, and White
Owner(s) Jeff Zehr
General manager Jeff Zehr (2015–16)
Head coach Jeff Zehr (2015–16)
Franchise history
1989–2004 Port Stanley Lakers
2004–2011 West Lorne Lakers
2011–2015 Inactive
2015–present London Lakers

The London Lakers are a Canadian junior ice hockey team based in London, Ontario, Canada. The Lakers joined the Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League in 2015. They were originally located in Port Stanley, Ontario, and later in West Lorne, Ontario. They also formerly played in the Southern Ontario Junior Hockey League of the Ontario Hockey Association (OHA). The Lakers left the OHA in 2008 and played as an independent team.

History[edit]

Lakers goalie during 2015-16 season.

The Port Stanley Lakers were founded in 1989 as members of the Western Ontario Junior D Hockey League. A large league comprising the remnants of multiple other Southern Ontario Junior leagues. In 1991, this league renamed itself the OHA Junior Development League.

In 1994, the Lakers finished first amongst all OHAJDL teams in the regular season with a stellar record of 36 wins, 2 losses, and 2 ties. They made it all the way to the league finals in the playoffs and found themselves nose-to-nose with the Mitchell Hawks. The Hawks were not to be denied as they swept the Lakers aside 4-games-to-none to win the OHA Cup as league champions.

The 1995 season saw the Lakers pull off a solid performance, finishing second overall. They pushed all the way to the OHAJDL finals once again. Their opponents this time around were the Thamesford Trojans. The Trojans defeated the Lakers 4-games-to-2 to win the OHA Cup.

The next season, the Lakers entered the playoffs and met the Lambeth Lancers in the first round. The Lancers meant business and defeated the Lakers 4-games-to-2 to put them out of the playoffs.

The Lakers finished the 1996–97 season in fifth place overall. In the first round of the playoffs, they met the Thamesford Trojans. They defeated the Trojans 4-games-to-none. In the second round, the Lakers were defeated by the Mount Brydges Bulldogs 4-games-to-2.

The Lakers showed great promise in the 1997–98 season, finishing second overall. They entered the playoffs against the Lambeth Lancers, whom they defeated 4-games-to-1. In the second round, the Lakers were up against the Thamesford Trojans who they also beat in five games. In the conference final, Port Stanley ran into the Exeter Hawks. In a drawn out series, the Hawks bested the Lakers in the seventh game to win the series 4-games-to-3 and deny the Lakers a chance at the OHA Cup.

The 1999–00 proved to be one for the ages for the Port Stanley Lakers. After finishing first overall in the OHAJDL with a record of 31 wins and 9 losses, the Lakers pushed deep into the playoffs. Their first opponents were the Lambeth Lancers, who the Lakers defeat 4-games-to-2. In the second round, the Lakers came up against the Thamesford Trojans and swept them 4-games-to-none. The conference finals were next and the Lakers were up against a tough Lucan Irish squad. The Irish couldn't handle the Lakers, as Port Stanley took the series 4-games-to-1. This earned the Lakers their first OHAJDL final since 1995. The Lakers challenged the Burford Bulldogs and defeated them 4-games-to-1 to win their franchises first ever OHA Cup.

The 2000–01 season marked the end of an era of domination for the Lakers. This was the last season for many that they would ride amongst the top teams in the standings. After finishing first overall in the league, the Lakers entered the playoffs against the North Middlesex Stars. The Lakers swept the Stars 4-games-to-none. In the second round of the playoffs, the Lakers met the Seaforth Centenaires. The underdog Centenaires took the Lakers to game seven and defeated them in an upset.

Lakers player during 2015-16 season.

In 2004, the Lakers met Thamesford in the first round of the playoffs and defeated them 4-games-to-none. In the second round, they met Lambeth and defeated them 4-games-to-2. In the conference final, the Lakers met the Exeter Hawks and were swept in four games.

During the off-season, the Lakers moved to West Elgin and became the West Lorne Lakers. In 2005, the Lakers met Lambeth in the first round of the playoffs and defeated them in seven games. They then met the Lucan Irish and again won the series in seven games. In the conference final, it appeared that the Lakers might do it again in game seven to the Mount Brydges Bulldogs. This time, the opponents prevailed and the Bulldogs won the series in seven games.

In 2006, the Lakers met the Exeter Hawks in the first round of the playoffs. The Hawks fell to the Lakers 4-games-to-2. In the second round of the playoffs, the Lakers fell to Thamesford 4-games-to-none.

In the off-season, the OHAJDL disbanded and the Southern Ontario Junior Hockey League was formed in its place. West Lorne finished low in the standings but still made the playoffs. They met the Lambeth Lancers in the first round and defeated them 4-games-to-2. In the second round of the playoffs, the Lakers lost to the North Middlesex Stars 4-games-to-2.

West Elgin Arena

After nineteen seasons in the Ontario Hockey Association, the Lakers franchise announced that they will be leaving the OHA. "The Lakers will continue play in various forms at other venues outside the OHA," said team President Wayne Bedford.[1] The team joined the GMHL in January 2015.[2] Beginning in the 2008–09 season, the Lakers joined the local men's recreational league in London, posing a 19–1–0 record in their first year and winning their league in 2009, 2010, and 2011. The organization then went dormant in 2011.

Beginning in 2015, the Lakers joined the Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League.

Season-by-season records[edit]

Season GP W L T OTL GF GA Pts Regular Season Finish Playoffs
1989–90 35 5 27 3 113 214 13 18th WJDHL
1990–91 40 23 12 5 0 174 152 51 5th WJDHL
1991–92 40 19 15 3 3 146 161 44 6th OHAJDL
1992–93 39 22 12 5 0 214 158 49 5th OHAJDL
1993–94 40 36 2 2 331 126 74 1st OHAJDL Lost Finals
1994–95 40 29 7 2 2 237 162 62 2nd OHAJDL Lost Finals
1995–96 38 26 11 1 0 181 139 53 3rd OHAJDL Lost Con. Quarter-finals
1996–97 38 23 12 1 2 217 141 49 5th OHAJDL Lost Conf. Semi-finals
1997–98 39 28 8 1 2 194 114 57 2nd OHAJDL Lost Conf. Finals
1998–99 40 20 15 4 1 188 153 45 8th OHAJDL
1999–00 40 31 9 0 0 242 114 62 1st OHAJDL Won League
2000–01 40 29 8 1 2 61 1st OHAJDL Lost Conf. Semi-finals
2001–02 40 22 13 3 2 190 176 49 6th OHAJDL
2002–03 40 16 22 1 1 167 202 34 13th OHAJDL
2003–04 40 20 18 2 0 189 199 42 9th OHAJDL Lost Conf. Finals
2004–05 38 16 18 4 0 177 188 36 12th OHAJDL Lost Conf. Finals
2005–06 38 16 17 3 2 155 183 37 13th OHAJDL Lost Conf. Semi-finals
2006–07 40 13 24 0 3 184 229 29 14th SOJHL Lost Conf. Quarter-finals
2007–08 40 19 19 2 137 159 40 10th SOJHL Lost Conf. Semi-finals
2008–2011: Played independent schedule
2011–2015: Inactive
London Lakers
2015–16 42 19 22 0 1 183 219 39 7th of 10, South Div.
19th of 30, GMHL
Lost Div. Quarter-finals, 0–3 (Toronto Attack)
2016–17 42 26 12 0 4 221 175 56 5th of 11, South Div.
9th of 21, GMHL
Lost Div. Quarter-finals, 1–3 (North York Renegades)

Playoffs[edit]

  • 1994
Mitchell Hawks defeated Port Stanley Lakers 4-games-to-none in finals
  • 1995
Thamesford Trojans defeated Port Stanley Lakers 4-games-to-2 in finals
  • 1996
Lambeth Lancers defeated Port Stanley Lakers 4-games-to-2 in conf. quarter-finals
  • 1997
Port Stanley Lakers defeated Thamesford Trojans 4-games-to-none in conf. quarter-finals
Mount Brydges Bulldogs defeated Port Stanley Lakers 4-games-to-2 in conf. semi-finals
  • 1998
Port Stanley Lakers defeated Lambeth Lancers 4-games-to-1 in conf. quarter-finals
Port Stanley Lakers defeated Thamesford Trojans 4-games-to-1 in conf. semi-finals
Exeter Hawks defeated Port Stanley Lakers 4-games-to-3 in conf. finals
  • 2000
Port Stanley Lakers defeated Lambeth Lancers 4-games-to-2 in conf. quarter-finals
Port Stanley Lakers defeated Thamesford Trojans 4-games-to-none in conf. semi-finals
Port Stanley Lakers defeated Lucan Irish 4-games-to-1 in conf. finals
Port Stanley Lakers defeated Burford Bulldogs 4-games-to-1 in finals
  • 2001
Port Stanley Lakers defeated North Middlesex Stars 4-games-to-none in conf. quarter-finals
Seaforth Centenaires defeated Port Stanley Lakers 4-games-to-3 in conf. semi-finals
  • 2004
Port Stanley Lakers defeated Thamesford Trojans 4-games-to-none in conf. quarter-finals
Port Stanley Lakers defeated Lambeth Lancers 4-games-to-2 in conf. semi-finals
Exeter Hawks defeated Port Stanley Lakers 4-games-to-none in conf. finals
  • 2005
West Lorne Lakers defeated Lambeth Lancers 4-games-to-3 in conf. quarter-finals
West Lorne Lakers defeated Lucan Irish 4-games-to-3 in conf. semi-finals
Mount Brydges Bulldogs defeated West Lorne 4-games-to-3 in conf. finals
  • 2006
West Lorne Lakers defeated Exeter Hawks 4-games-to-2 in conf. quarter-finals
Thamesford Trojans defeated West Lorne Lakers 4-games-to-none in conf. semi-finals
  • 2007
West Lorne Lakers defeated Lambeth Lancers 4-games-to-2 in conf. quarter-finals
North Middlesex Stars defeated West Lorne Lakers 4-games-to-2 in conf. semi-finals
  • 2008
West Lorne Lakers defeated Lambeth Lancers 4-games-to-1 in conf. quarter-finals
Mount Brydges Bulldogs defeated West Lorne Lakers 4-games-to-none in conf. semi-finals

References[edit]

External links[edit]