South Muskoka Shield

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South Muskoka Shield
South Muskoka Shield.png
CityGravenhurst, Ontario, Canada
LeagueGreater Metro Junior A Hockey League
Home arenaGraeme Murray Arena
ColoursRed, black, and white
Owner(s)Troy Kahler & Erika Rendon-Kahler
99.5 Moose FM
Gravenhurst Banner

The Muskoka Shield are a Canadian junior ice hockey team based in Gravenhurst, Ontario. The Shield are members of the Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League (GMHL).


The Shield are a community-based team with a number of corporate sponsors helping the team to be a viable club. Originally playing in Gravenhurst, Ontario, the Shield followed the Gravenhurst Indians and the Gravenhurst Cubs who played in the Georgian Mid-Ontario Junior C Hockey League from 1980 to 1987 and 1994 to 2000, respectively.

The South Muskoka Shield Goaltender in action (2006)

The Shield's first game was on September 9, 2006, against the Deseronto Thunder in Deseronto, Ontario, and an 8–1 loss. The Shield's first goal was scored by Dustin Curran. Their first home game at the Gravenhurst Centennial Centre took place on September 15, 2006, against the eventual league, playoff, and Alliance Cup champion Bradford Rattlers. The result was a 10–1 blowout loss. The Shield's first win came on October 13, 2006, against the struggling Toronto Canada Moose by a score of 9–6.

On November 21, 2006, Shield left winger and captain Garrett Hamel was heavily injured in a head-on collision. He was flown to Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto and required surgery to repair his broken talus, knee cap, femur, radius, pinky finger, and a shattered pelvis. The next game, on November 22 against the Nipissing Alouettes, was cancelled out of respect of the Hanmer, Ontario, native. After extensive rehab, Garrett rejoined the team in November 2007. On January 11, 2008, Garrett returned to the ice against the Nipissing Alouettes and scored a goal in a 9–5 victory for the Shield.[1]

The Shield finished their inaugural season in dead last with a 4–34–0–4 record. Seventh place out of seven teams, the Shield were forced to face the fourth-place Deseronto Thunder in the league quarter-final. In game one, the Thunder blew out the Shield 7–1, but in game two the Shield took the Thunder to overtime but still lost 5–4. Game three saw the Shield lead after the first period 3–1 and the second 5–3. In the third, the Shield fell apart and the Thunder outscored them in the third 6–1. The game was called early due to violence breaking out at the game with both the Shield bench and the crowd involved; final score 9–6 Thunder. Game four was another overtime showdown, which the again Shield lost 5–4 in overtime, to complete the four-game sweep for the Deseronto Thunder.

On January 3, 2008, the Shield hosted the Moscow Selects All-star team in an exhibition game. The Selects won the game by a score of 5–1. This was the fifth game of seven that the Moscow team played against different GMHL clubs.

The 2007–08 season saw an improved South Muskoka Shield take the ice. At times, the Shield were ranked among the top of the GMHL, but faltered slightly late in the season to drop to a record of 19 wins, 18 losses, and 5 losses in overtime. The Shield had the best season-to-season record improvement of any of the seven clubs that also participated in the 2006–07 season. The Shield elected to take a bye in the first round of the playoffs and found themselves in the quarter-finals with the defending champions Bradford Rattlers. The Shield, who managed to be one of the few teams to defeat the Rattlers over the course of the last two seasons, fought a tough series. They kept each game rather tight, but ended up being eliminated 4-games-to-1.

On December 29, 2008, the South Muskoka Shield played an exhibition game against Kazakhstan's Torpedo UST-Kamenogorsk Under-18 squad. The Shield won the game 5–4 despite a late rally by the Torpedo. The Shield finished the 2008–09 season with a record of 38 wins, 4 losses, and 1 overtime loss, to finish first in the league and win the John Klinck Award.

On April 2, 2011, the South Muskoka Shield lost the Russell Cup championship in game seven to the Elliot Lake Bobcats, 8–5.

On September 20, 2013, in Rosseau, Ontario, the Shield organization was awarded the 2013 Muskoka Community Award for its contributions to local community and for its work with and donations to the non-for-profit A Child's Voice Foundation.[2]

For the 2018–19 season, the Shield management had been unhappy with the Gravenhurst officials pushing back their Friday evening start times to 8:30pm at Graeme Murray Arena in the Gravenhurst Centennial Centre. After slow communication with the city officials, the team decided to play its home games at Port Carling Arena in Port Carling, Ontario.[3] The team was replaced in Gravenhurst by the Muskoka Anglers of the Canadian Premier Junior Hockey League.[4] The Shield played one season in Port Carling before relocating to Bracebridge Memorial Arena in Bracebridge, Ontario, for 2019–20.[5] In 2020, the Shield returned to Graeme Murray Arena in Gravenhurst.[6]

Season-by-season standings[edit]

Season GP W L T OTL GF GA Pts Regular season finish Playoffs
2006–07 42 4 34 4 110 299 12 7th GMHL Lost Quarter-finals, 0–4 (Thunder)
2007–08 42 19 18 5 207 207 43 7th GMHL Lost Quarter-finals, 1–4 (Rattlers)
2008–09 43 38 4 1 303 128 77 1st of 15, GMHL Won Div. Quarter-finals, 3–0 (Bucks)
Won Div. Semi-finals, 3–0 (Alouettes)
Won Div. Finals, 4–1 (Bobcats)
Won League Finals, 4–2 (Storm)
2009–10 42 35 5 2 228 121 72 2nd of 12, GMHL Won Quarter-finals, 3–0 (Wild)
Won Semi-finals, 4–1 (Rattlers)
Lost Finals, 3–4 (Storm)
2010–11 42 36 5 1 280 151 73 2nd of 13, GMHL Won Quarter-finals, 3–0 (77's)
Won Semi-finals, 4–3 (Rattlers)
Lost Finals, 3–4 (Bobcats)
2011–12 42 29 9 4 255 126 62 4th of 13, GMHL Won Bye Round, 3–0 (Avalanche)
Won Quarter-finals, 3–1 (Bobcats)
Lost Semi-finals, 0–4 (Titans)
2012–13 42 27 13 0 2 219 168 56 4th of 15, GMHL Won Div. Quarter-finals, 3–0 (Lumberjacks)
Lost Div. Semi-finals, 0–3 (Phantoms)
2013–14 42 33 6 3 324 152 69 3rd of 20, GMHL Won Div. Quarter-finals, 3–0 (Eagles)
Lost Div. Semi-finals, 2–3 (Titans)
2014–15 42 35 6 1 302 149 71 1st of 10, North Div.
3rd of 22, GMHL
Won Div. Semi-finals, 3–0 (Knights)
Lost Div. Finals, 1–3 (Huskies)
2015–16 42 36 5 0 1 277 117 73 1st of 10, North Div.
3rd of 30, GMHL
Won Div. Quarter-finals, 3–0 (Falcons)
Won Div. Semi-finals, 3–2 (Islanders)
Lost Div. Finals, 2–4 (Spartans)
2016–17 42 26 10 0 6 248 142 58 3rd of 10, North Div.
7th of 21, GMHL
Won Div. Quarter-finals, 3–2 (Spartans)
Lost Div. Semi-finals, 1–3 (Islanders)
2017–18 42 14 24 0 4 143 173 32 8th of 9, North Div.
15th of 21, GMHL
Won 8th Pl. Qualifying Game, 6–5 OT (Huskies)
Lost Div. Quarter-finals, 0–2 (Spartans)
2018–19 42 14 25 0 3 145 213 31 9th of 10, North Div.
19th of 22, GMHL
Won Qualifying Game, 4–3 OT (Sharpshooters)
Lost 8th Pl. Qualifying game, 1–6 (Knights)
2019–20 42 13 26 0 3 144 238 29 9th of 10, North Div.
20th of 23, GMHL
Won 9th Pl. Qualifying Game, 6–4 (Knights)
Lost 8th Pl. Qualifying game, 3–7 (Lynx)
2020–21 Season lost to COVID-19 pandemic
2021–22 39 9 26 0 2 144 238 20 9th of 10, North Div.
17th of 19, GMHL
Won 9th Pl. Qualifying Game, 6–5 (Spartans)
Lost 8th Pl. Qualifying game, 4-6 (Civics)

League award winners[edit]

  • Bob Bernstein Award
An annual award "to the player who accumulates the most points in the regular season"
  • Canada Donny Danroth 2014
  • Louis Ricci Award
An annual award "to the forward who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest ability at the position"
  • United States Travis Saltz 2009
  • Latvia Nikita Jevpalovs 2011
  • Tyler Fines Award
An annual award "to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition in the GMHL"
  • Latvia Nikita Jevpalovs 2011
  • Vincent Labranche Award
An annual award "to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability"
  • Canada Dylan Sontag 2009
  • Canada Dylan Sontag 2010
  • Naz Marchese Award
An annual award "to the forward who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest ability at the position of defensive forward"
  • Canada Chad Meagher 2009
  • Canada Chad Meagher 2010
  • Canada Brandon Luksa 2014
  • Mark Trost Award
An annual award "to the defenseman who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest ability at the position"
  • Canada Adam MacBeth 2010
  • Ken Girard Award
An annual award "to the GMHL coach adjudged to have contributed the most to his team's success"
  • Canada Dallyn Telford 2010
  • Canada Frank Demasi 2015
  • Al Donnan Award
An annual award "to the goaltender adjudged to be the best at his position"
  • Canada Mark Wardell 2010
  • United States Rob Sutherland 2011

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Muskoka Region Breaking News - Muskoka Region's Online Newspaper -". Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-10-05. Retrieved 2013-10-03.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Miscommunication between town and the Shield causes teams departure". 12 May 2018.
  4. ^ "New hockey team seeks council approval to play at Graeme Murray Arena". 23 May 2018.
  5. ^ "South Muskoka Shield to Call Bracebridge Home this Season". GMHL. 18 June 2019.
  6. ^ "Coming Home: Shield Return to Gravenhurst". GMHL. 20 April 2020.

External links[edit]