In the world of minor hockey, there are few teams as storied as the Soo Greyhounds. Based in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, the Greyhounds have a long history of success, making them a beloved and respected team within the sport. With over 100 years of history, the Soo Greyhounds have had their fair share of ups and downs, but one thing remains consistent: their ability to rise to the top and claim championship titles.
Founded in 1919, the Soo Greyhounds have been a proud member of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), serving as a developmental league for young players on their journey to the professional level. Throughout their existence, the Greyhounds have been known for producing strong players and competitive teams, making them a dominating force in the Canadian junior hockey scene.
But it is not just their on-ice performance that sets the Soo Greyhounds apart. The organization has also made a significant impact on the community of Sault Ste. Marie, using their platform to give back and inspire young players to follow in their footsteps. The Soo Greyhounds have truly become a symbol of pride and passion for the city and its residents.
With their rich history, the Soo Greyhounds have accumulated numerous achievements and accolades, but it is their championship years that truly stand out. Let’s take a closer look at these historic seasons and relive the moments that have solidified the Soo Greyhounds as a powerhouse in the world of minor hockey.
1975–1976: The Beginnings of Dominance
The 1975–1976 season marked the first time the Soo Greyhounds would hoist the J. Ross Robertson Cup as OHL champions. Led by head coach Terry Crisp, the Greyhounds dominated the regular season with a record of 41-21-4, earning them the Hamilton Spectator Trophy for the best record in the league.
But it was in the playoffs that the Soo Greyhounds truly shined. With a talented roster consisting of future NHL players such as Craig Hartsburg, Jeff Brown, and Doug Shedden, the Greyhounds defeated the Sudbury Wolves, Toronto Marlboros, and St. Catharines Black Hawks to claim the J. Ross Robertson Cup.
The Greyhounds then went on to face the Portland Winterhawks in the Memorial Cup, the ultimate prize for junior hockey teams in Canada. In a hard-fought series, the Greyhounds ultimately fell short, losing the series in four games. However, this would be the first of many championship appearances for the Soo Greyhounds.
1983–1984: Revenge Against the Winterhawks
Seven years after their first Memorial Cup appearance, the Soo Greyhounds found themselves facing the Portland Winterhawks once again in the 1983–1984 season. This time, with a team led by future NHL stars such as Wayne Groulx, Rusty Kudelka, and Doug Weight, the Greyhounds were determined to come out on top.
After an impressive regular season with a record of 49-16-3, the Greyhounds stormed through the playoffs, defeating the Cornwall Royals, Brantford Alexanders, and Ottawa 67’s to claim the J. Ross Robertson Cup. In the Memorial Cup, the Greyhounds faced off against the powerful Kitchener Rangers and the reigning champions, the Ottawa 67’s.
In a thrilling final game, the Soo Greyhounds defeated the Ottawa 67’s 6-5, earning the franchise’s first-ever Memorial Cup title. This victory was a testament to the talent and determination of the Greyhounds, solidifying their place as one of the elite teams in the OHL.
1992-1993: A Record-Breaking Season
The 1992–1993 season was a groundbreaking one for the Soo Greyhounds. Led by head coach Ted Nolan and an impressive lineup featuring future NHL stars such as Chris Simon, Bob Boughner, and Kevin Hodson, the Greyhounds set a new franchise record with a record of 53-11-2.
In the playoffs, the Soo Greyhounds proved their dominance, sweeping the Peterborough Petes, Barrie Colts, and the Oshawa Generals to claim the J. Ross Robertson Cup. But it was their Memorial Cup appearance that cemented the 1992–1993 season as one of the most memorable in franchise history.
In what is considered to be one of the greatest Memorial Cup games of all time, the Soo Greyhounds faced off against the Swift Current Broncos in the final. After a back-and-forth battle, the Greyhounds ultimately emerged victorious, winning 4-3 in double overtime. This victory marked the second Memorial Cup title for the Soo Greyhounds, a feat that had only been accomplished by two other teams in OHL history at the time.
The Soo Greyhounds have had many historic seasons throughout their 100+ year history, with numerous J. Ross Robertson Cup and Memorial Cup titles, as well as countless successful players and coaches who have left their mark on the organization. While there have been highs and lows, one thing remains certain: the Soo Greyhounds have a legacy that will continue to inspire and amaze generations to come.
From their humble beginnings in 1919 to their current status as one of the most respected teams in the OHL, the Soo Greyhounds have proven time and time again that they are a force to be reckoned with. As we look back on their championship years, one thing is for certain: the Soo Greyhounds will continue to leave their mark on the world of hockey, both in North America and around the globe.