Chippewa Steel has a rich history filled with memorable moments, upsets, and wins that have shaped the local hockey scene and left a lasting impact on the world of minor league hockey. From unexpected victories to astonishing upsets, these moments have created a legacy for the Chippewa Steel team and have become a source of pride for the community. In this article, we will take a trip down memory lane and revisit some of the most historic upsets and wins in Chippewa Steel history.
The Beginning of Chippewa Steel
Chippewa Steel was founded in 2000 as a junior ice hockey team based in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. The team became a member of the North American Hockey League (HL) in 2015 and joined the Central Division in 2018. Led by head coach and general manager Al Rooney, the team has had a strong presence in the league and has built a loyal fan base throughout the years.
2005 HL Robertson Cup Championship Run
One of the most memorable moments in Chippewa Steel history was the team’s run to the North American Hockey League’s Robertson Cup Championship in 2005. The Robertson Cup is awarded to the team that wins the HL playoffs, and it is considered the most prestigious trophy in the league.
The Chippewa Steel team’s journey to the 2005 HL Championship was a rollercoaster of emotions. The team finished the regular season with a record of 38 wins, 20 losses, and 2 overtime losses. They secured a spot in the playoffs as the third seed in the North Division. In the first round, they faced the second-seed Chicago Freeze and won the series in four games. They then faced the first-seed Marquette Rangers in the division finals and won in five games. In the league’s semi-finals, the Chippewa Steel went head to head with the top-ranked Fairbanks Ice Dogs and emerged victorious in five games.
The Chippewa Steel was now headed to the HL Championship final, facing the Southern Division Champions, the Texas Tornado. In a thrilling final game, the Chippewa Steel made a stunning comeback from a 3-0 deficit and tied the game in the third period. The game then went into overtime, and it was Chippewa Steel player Brandon Carlson who scored the winning goal, securing the Robertson Cup title for the team for the first time in its history.
This historic championship run by the Chippewa Steel is still talked about today, and it cemented the team’s place in North American hockey.
The Legendary Rivalry with Austin Bruins
The rivalry between the Chippewa Steel and the Austin Bruins began in the 2011-2012 season when the Bruins joined the HL’s Central Division. The two teams have had intense battles on the ice, leading to many memorable moments that have kept fans on the edge of their seats.
In the 2015-2016 season, the Chippewa Steel and the Austin Bruins faced off in the playoffs, with the winner advancing to the Robertson Cup finals. The series was a back-and-forth battle, with both teams winning two games each. In the deciding game five, the Chippewa Steel emerged victorious, but the Bruins gave them a run for their money every step of the way.
The rivalry between the Chippewa Steel and the Austin Bruins continues to this day, and their matchups are always highly anticipated by fans and players alike.
The 2019-2020 Season: Another Historic Win
The 2019-2020 season once again showed the Chippewa Steel’s resilience and determination as they battled their way to another historic win. The team began the season with a new head coach, Carter Foguth, and a roster filled with young and talented players.
In a nail-biting playoff race, the Chippewa Steel secured their spot in the playoffs with a last-minute goal in the final game of the season. In the playoffs, the team faced the Janesville Jets in the first round and won the series in three games. In the division finals, they faced off against the Fairbanks Ice Dogs and won in four games. This win took them to the conference finals, where they faced the Aberdeen Wings. The series went to a decisive game five, and it was Chippewa Steel’s player Connor Szmul who scored the winning goal in double overtime, securing a spot in the Robertson Cup finals.
In the finals, the Chippewa Steel faced off against the Aberdeen Wings once again, this time for the Robertson Cup title. In a game that went down to the wire, the Chippewa Steel emerged victorious, winning their second HL championship title in their history.
The Chippewa Steel has had its fair share of memorable moments, upsets, and wins throughout its history. From winning the Robertson Cup in 2005 to the intense rivalry with the Austin Bruins and their recent championship win in 2020, the team has left a lasting impression on the North American hockey scene. These historic moments highlight the team’s dedication, hard work, and passion for the game, making Chippewa Steel a source of pride for the Chippewa Falls community and the HL.