For die-hard hockey fans, there is nothing quite like the excitement of watching their favorite team take home a championship title. And for the Sudbury Wolves, a junior ice hockey team based in Sudbury, Ontario, this feeling is not unfamiliar. With a rich and storied history that spans decades, the Sudbury Wolves have solidified their place in the world of hockey with multiple championship wins. In this article, we take a trip down memory lane to revisit some of their most historic seasons, and how each one contributed to their reputation as a powerhouse in the sport.
But before we dive into the championships, it is important to understand the context in which the Sudbury Wolves have thrived. Founded in 1902, the team initially played as part of the Northern Ontario Hockey Association (NOHA). They then went on to become a member of the Ontario Hockey Association (OHA) in 1929, and later, the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) in 1980. This move to the OHL was a significant one, solidifying the Sudbury Wolves’ position as a top-tier junior hockey team.
Since joining the OHL, the Sudbury Wolves have had their fair share of ups and downs, but one thing has remained constant – their drive to be the best. And this drive has resulted in numerous successful seasons, with several championship wins in their trophy room. Let’s take a closer look at some of these historic seasons and the players who made them possible.
The Sudbury Wolves’ first OHL championship can be traced back to the 1980-1981 season. Led by head coach and general manager Moe Mantha, the team was a force to be reckoned with. With a record of 38 wins, 29 losses, and 1 tie, they finished the regular season in second place in the Emms Division. But it was in the playoffs where the Sudbury Wolves truly shone.
After knocking out the Kitchener Rangers in the first round and the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in the second round, the Wolves faced off against the Peterborough Petes in the final series. Despite being the underdogs, the Wolves put in a valiant effort and emerged victorious, with a final score of 4-1 in game seven. This historic win marked the Sudbury Wolves’ first OHL championship and solidified their presence in the league.
After a few quiet years, the Sudbury Wolves once again made their mark on the league in the 2006-2007 season. Under the leadership of head coach Mike Foligno, the team finished the regular season in fifth place in the Eastern Conference. But as history shows, regular season standings don’t always predict playoff success.
In the first round, the Wolves went on to defeat the Oshawa Generals, followed by the Brampton Battalion in the second round. In the conference final, the Wolves faced off against the Belleville Bulls, where they emerged victorious in a tense seven-game series. In the championship round, the Wolves faced the Plymouth Whalers, winning game five by a score of 4-2 to take home their second OHL championship title.
The most recent championship win for the Sudbury Wolves came in the 2017-2018 season, marking their third OHL championship in their illustrious history. With head coach Cory Stillman at the helm, the team had a standout season, finishing third in the Central Division with a record of 29 wins, 32 losses, and 5 ties.
In the first round of the playoffs, the Wolves faced off against their division rivals, the Niagara IceDogs. Despite a slow start to the series, the Wolves eventually came out on top, winning the series in six games. The next two rounds saw the Wolves defeat the Barrie Colts and the Hamilton Bulldogs, respectively.
In the OHL championship series, the Wolves faced the top-seeded Hamilton Bulldogs once again, but this time, emerged as the victors, sweeping the series in four games. This historic win not only solidified the Sudbury Wolves’ place in OHL history but also ignited a sense of pride and unity within the city of Sudbury.
The Sudbury Wolves have undoubtedly left their mark on the world of hockey, showcasing their unwavering determination and skill in multiple championship wins. From their first OHL championship in 1980-1981 to their recent win in the 2017-2018 season, the Sudbury Wolves have continued to be a powerhouse in the league, consistently producing top talent and creating unforgettable moments for their devoted fans.
But it’s not just about the championships – the Sudbury Wolves have also made a significant impact on the development of young hockey players, with many going on to play in the NHL. Their commitment to growing the sport and fostering a strong community spirit is a testament to the organization’s values and their enduring legacy in the world of hockey.
So, for all the die-hard Sudbury Wolves fans and hockey enthusiasts, let’s take a moment to appreciate and celebrate the historic seasons of this iconic team. Because even though we may not know what the future holds, one thing is for sure – the Sudbury Wolves will continue to leave their mark on the world of hockey.