Idaho IceCats

The Idaho IceCats, formerly called the Idaho Jr. Steelheads, were a junior ice hockey team based in McCall, Idaho. The IceCats played in the Western States Hockey League (WSHL). Home games were held at Manchester Ice & Event Centre in McCall.[1] The team previously played some home games at Idaho Ice World and CenturyLink Arena in Boise, the latter being the home of the ECHL Idaho Steelheads.[2] The team had been one of the most successful in the WSHL, winning five Thorne Cup championships over six seasons and appeared in seven straight between 2010 and 2017.[3]

Idaho IceCats
CityMcCall, Idaho
LeagueWSHL
Founded2009
Home arenaManchester Ice & Event Centre
Idaho Ice World
CenturyLink Arena
ColorsBlue, black, white, silver
                   
Owner(s)Idaho Hockey Foundation Inc.
Championships5 Thorne Cups
(2010–11, 2011–12, 2012–13, 2014–15, 2015–16)
1 UHU National Championships
(2013)
Franchise history
2009–2017Idaho Junior Steelheads
2017–2018Idaho IceCats

History

The Idaho Junior Steelheads were founded by Idaho Hockey Foundation Inc. in 2009 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit entity. The Junior Steelheads, like their ECHL parent club the Idaho Steelheads, were named for a species of seagoing rainbow trout native to Idaho streams and rivers and popular with local anglers. The team was coached by former NHL Colorado Rockies draft pick and former Idaho Steelheads' head coach John Olver.[4]

In the team's first season, the 2009–10 WSHL season, the Junior Steelheads finished second in the Western Division and clinched their first Thorne Cup playoff spot against the experienced Phoenix Polar Bears. The Junior Steelheads won the first game of the three game series 5–3, but Phoenix rallied winning the second game 3-2 in OT and the third game 2-1.[5] During the season, the team received a four-day ban from the city of Boise after an incident at a practice when players missed a shot, they had to take off an article of equipment. An assistant coach told the AP the team was emulating a similar stunt done by the Tampa Bay Lightning.[6][7]

On April 9, 2013, the Junior Steelheads defeated the Bay Area Seals 5–1 to win the first ever United Hockey Union junior ice hockey championship in a six-team tournament in Las Vegas, Nevada. Olver would leave the Jr. Steelheads to coach in the ECHL again with the Bakersfield Condors for the 2013–14 season[8] and assistant Kyle Grabowski took over as head coach.[9] Olver returned to the Jr. Steelheads after one season.

In 2017, the team changed its name to the Idaho IceCats after the ECHL Steelheads asked the organization to change their to prevent confusion.[10] The new logo is based off another previously Olver-coached team, the Tacoma Sabercats. After the 2017–18 season, Olver stepped down again, leading to the IceCats ceasing operations.[11][12]

Season-by-season records

SeasonGPWLOTLPTSGFGAPIMFinishPlayoffs
2009–104939738123811111682nd of 8, Western
3rd of 13, WSHL
Lost Div. Semifinals, 1–2 vs. Phoenix Polar Bears
2010–1146395280257841st of 8, Western
1st of 13, WSHL
Won Conf. Semifinals, 2–0 vs. San Diego Gulls
Won Conf. Finals, 2–0 vs. Phoenix Polar Bears
Won League Finals, 2–0 vs. El Paso Rhinos
Thorne Cup Champions
2011–1246422288264929111st of 5, Mountain
2nd of 13, WSHL
Won Div. Semifinals, 2–0 vs. Ogden Mustangs
Won Div. Finals, 2–1 vs. Boulder Bison
3–0 in Thorne Cup round-robin
(W, 3–1 vs. Monsters; W, 9–6 vs. Rhinos; W, 3–2 vs. Ice Jets)
Won Championship game, 6–5 vs. Dallas Ice Jets
Thorne Cup Champions
2012–13464411892561001142 1st of 5, Northwest
1st of 22, WSHL
Won Div Semifinals, 2–0 vs. Seattle Totems
Won Div. Finals, 2–0 vs. Southern Oregon Spartans
2–0 in Thorne Cup round-robin
(W, 4–3 vs. Monsters; W, 10–1 vs. Spartans)
Won Semifinal game, 3–1 vs. Southern Oregon Spartans
Won Championship game, 4–2 vs. Bay Area Seals
Thorne Cup Champions
2013–14463952802189312271st of 6, Northwest
2nd of 24, WSHL
Won Div. Semifinals, 2–1 vs. Missoula Maulers
Lost Div. Finals, 0–2 vs. Ogden Mustangs
1–2 in Thorne Cup round-robin (as wild card)
(L, 2–4 vs. Rhinos; OTL, 3–4 vs. Monsters; W, 7–2 vs. Mustangs)
Won Semifinal game, 3–2 vs. Fresno Monsters
Lost Championship game, 3–7 vs. El Paso Rhinos
2014–1546422286290748221st of 7, Northwest
1st of 28, WSHL
Won Div. Semifinals, 2–0 vs. Whitefish Wolverines
Won Div. Finals, 2–1 vs. Missoula Maulers
Won Thorne Cup Semifinals, 2–0 vs. Fresno Monsters
Won Thorne Cup Finals, 3–1 vs. El Paso Rhinos
Thorne Cup Champions
2015–1652447189334788181st of 8, Northwest
2nd of 29, WSHL
Div. Quarterfinals, Bye
Won Div. Semifinals, 2–0 vs. Whitefish Wolverines
Won Div. Finals, 2–0 vs. Missoula Maulers
Won Thorne Cup Semifinals, 2–0 vs. Long Beach Bombers
Won Thorne Cup Finals, 3–0 vs. Colorado Jr. Eagles
Thorne Cup Champions
2016–1752435490273999101st of 7, Northwest
2nd of 27, WSHL
Div. Quarterfinals, Bye
Won Div. Semifinals, 2–0 vs. Tahoe Icemen
Won Div. Finals, 2–0 vs. Butte Cobras
1–2–0, 4th of 6, Thorne Cup round-robin
(L, 2–3 vs. Mustangs; W, 3–1 vs. Flyers; L, 1–2 vs.Jr. Thunder)
Won Thorne Cup Semifinal game, 3–1 vs. Valencia Flyers
Lost Thorne Cup Championship game, 3–4 vs. Wichita Jr. Thunder
2017–18514443913061039651st of 6, Northwest
2nd of 23, WSHL
Div. Quarterfinals, Bye
Won Div. Semifinals, 2–0 vs. West Sound Warriors
Won Div. Finals, 2–0 vs. Tahoe Icemen
2–1–0, 2nd of 6, Thorne Cup round-robin
(W, 4–2 vs. Jr. Blazers; L, 1–4 vs. Outliers; W, 5–1 vs. Bombers)
Lost Thorne Cup Semifinal game, 0–4 vs. El Paso Rhinos

United Hockey Union National Championship Tournament

AAU Sanctioned Junior A National Championship
In 2013 and 2014, the Midwest Junior Hockey League (MWJHL), Northern States Hockey League (NSHL), and the Western States Hockey League (WSHL) advanced two teams each to the tournament.
There was no UHU tournament held after the 2015 season.

YearRound RobinRecord
Ranking
Semifinal GameChampionship Game
2013W, Tennyson Chevrolet (MWJHL) 4–3
W, Lake George Fighting Spirit (NSHL) 3–0
W, Hartland Hounds (MWJHL) 5–1
3–0–0
1st of 6
W, Hartland Hounds (MWJHL) 6–2 W, Bay Area Seals (WSHL) 5–1
National Champions
2014W, Hartland Hounds (MWJHL) 3–0
SOW, El Paso Rhinos (WSHL) 3–2
OTL, AHI Fighting Spirit (NSHL) 5–6
2–0–1
1st of 6
W, AHI Fighting Spirit (NSHL) 6–1L, El Paso Rhinos (WSHL) 3–6

References

  1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-11-24. Retrieved 2010-06-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. http://highnoondesign.com/jrsteelheads/qwest-arena-game-1010-730/
  3. "LOCAL ROUNDUP: Yotes' frosh Pfaff reaches NAIA final", The Idaho Press-Tribune, May 22, 2015. (accessed 5 June 2015)
  4. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-11-24. Retrieved 2010-06-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-03-10. Retrieved 2010-06-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. "Police looking into possible violations". ESPN. October 28, 2009.
  7. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-01-31. Retrieved 2010-06-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. "John Olver leaving Jr. Steelheads to return to ECHL". KBOI-TV. April 11, 2013.
  9. "daho Jr. Steelheads 2013-2014 Season Preview". JuniorHockey.com. September 13, 2013.
  10. "IDAHO ICECATS take over for the Idaho Jr. Steelheads". WSHL. July 27, 2017.
  11. "Idaho IceCats will not play next season". The McCall Star-News. June 14, 2018.
  12. "IDAHO ICECATS WILL NOT PLAY NEXT SEASON". Idaho IceCats. June 14, 2018.
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