St. Thomas Tommies
As the famous Canadian saying goes, hockey is more than just a game; it’s a way of life. This sentiment holds true for the city of St. Thomas, located in southwestern Ontario, Canada. The town has a rich and storied history when it comes to hockey, and no team embodies this more than the St. Thomas Tommies. The Tommies have been a staple in the St. Thomas sports scene for over a century and have been involved in several intense and exhilarating rivalries over the years. In this article, we’ll take a trip down memory lane and revisit some of the Tommies’ most important matchups, showcasing the team’s enduring legacy and impact on the sport of hockey.
Founded in 1909, the St. Thomas Tommies’ minor hockey program has been producing top-level talent for over a hundred years. Its unwavering commitment to developing players has earned the team a reputation as one of the most successful and respected organizations in the Canadian hockey world. This reputation has also led to the formation of some of the most intense and historic rivalries in all of minor hockey.
Perhaps the most well-known of these rivalries is between the Tommies and the London Knights. Located just 30 minutes away, London is the largest city in southwestern Ontario and has a strong hockey culture of its own. This natural proximity and the rivalry between the two cities in general have made the Tommies-Knights matchup one of the most anticipated games of the season for both players and fans. The games between these two teams always bring out the best in both sides, with players leaving it all on the ice in a display of skill, determination, and passion.
Another intense rivalry for the Tommies is against the Brantford 99ers. Though their proximity to St. Thomas is not as close as London, the two teams have a deep-rooted history that dates back to the early days of hockey in Ontario. In the early 20th century, Brantford was a powerhouse in Canadian hockey, and the team’s success often overshadowed that of the Tommies. As a result, the Tommies have always had a chip on their shoulder when playing Brantford, and the competition between the two teams has only intensified over the years.
One of the unique aspects of the St. Thomas Tommies is their involvement in the USA Hockey National Championships. Since 2017, the Tommies have been a part of the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association (MAHA) and have competed in the prestigious Tier 1 Elite Hockey League. This has opened the door for some exciting matchups against American teams, most notably the Belle Tire 16U team. Competing against top American talent has only elevated the Tommies’ game and has continued to solidify their reputation as a formidable opponent.
Of course, no article on the Tommies’ rivalries would be complete without mentioning their intense competition with their cross-town rivals, the St. Thomas Stars. The Stars are a Junior A hockey team, while the Tommies are a minor hockey team. Despite the age and skill gap, the matchups between these two teams have always been highly anticipated and fiercely contested. The strong hockey culture in St. Thomas has always fostered a healthy rivalry between the two organizations, with players and fans alike eagerly awaiting the opportunity to prove their superiority on the ice.
In recent years, the Tommies’ rivalry with the Sarnia Sting has also gained traction. Located just an hour away from St. Thomas, Sarnia has a strong hockey community that often crosses paths with the Tommies. The two teams have been involved in several memorable games, with each side pushing the other to their limits in pursuit of victory. The intense competition between these two teams has sparked a fierce but respectful rivalry that has captivated fans from both sides.
While the Tommies have had several important matchups and rivalries over the years, there is one rivalry that stands out above the rest: with themselves. The constant pursuit of excellence and improvement within the St. Thomas hockey community has led to an internal rivalry that drives the team to be the best it can be. From the youngest players in the minor league to the seasoned veterans in the Junior A team, everyone in the organization is pushing each other to reach new heights and make their hometown proud.
The St. Thomas Tommies have been involved in some exhilarating and historic matchups over the years. From intense rivalry games against neighboring cities to the pursuit of excellence within their own organization, the Tommies have left a lasting impact on the sport of hockey in St. Thomas and beyond. As they continue to develop top-level talent and compete at the highest levels of minor hockey, we can expect to see many more memorable matchups and rivalries involving the Tommies in the future.