New Westminster Bruins

The New Westminster Bruins were a junior ice hockey team from the Western Hockey League. There were two franchises that carried this name:

New Westminster Bruins
CityNew Westminster, British Columbia
LeagueWestern Hockey League
Operated1971 (1971)–81 and 1983–88
Home arenaQueen's Park Arena
ColoursBlack, white & gold
Championships1977 & 1978 Memorial Cup Champions
Franchise history
1966–67Calgary Buffaloes
1967–77Calgary Centennials
1977–82Billings Bighorns
1982–83Nanaimo Islanders
1983–88New Westminster Bruins
1988-PresentTri-City Americans
Previous franchise history
1966–71Estevan Bruins
1971–81New Westminster Bruins
1981–84Kamloops Junior Oilers
1984-PresentKamloops Blazers

Both incarnations of the franchise played at Queen's Park Arena in the Vancouver suburb of New Westminster, British Columbia.

History

First Bruins

The franchise began in 1946 as the Humboldt Indians of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League and moved to Estevan to become the Bruins in 1957. They were a founding member of the Western Canada Junior Hockey League in 1966. The Estevan Bruins moved on again to New Westminster in 1971. They had been a successful franchise in Estevan, winning the President's Cup in 1968.

Once the team arrived in New Westminster, the success continued throughout much of the decade. The Bruins won the President's Cup four times in a row between 1975 and 1978. They made it to the Memorial Cup finals four years in a row as well, losing in 1975 and 1976 to the Toronto Marlboros and Hamilton Fincups, respectively, and winning it in 1977 and 1978. After a brawl at the end of a game against Portland in March 1979 at Queens Park Arena, some local hockey fans started to look with disfavour upon the Bruins' rough tactics, and the team's popularity began to wane. In 1981 the Bruins moved to Kamloops, British Columbia, where they would become first the Kamloops Junior Oilers and, in 1984, the Kamloops Blazers. The franchise's success has continued on the ice in Kamloops, and as of 2006 the team had won a total of eleven WHL titles and five Memorial Cups between its years in Estevan, New Westminster and Kamloops.

Second Bruins

The second incarnation of the Bruins arrived in New Westminster in 1983 from Nanaimo, British Columbia, where they had previously been known as the Nanaimo Islanders. The team originated in Calgary in 1966–67 with a stop as the Billings Bighorns. The team only played one season in Nanaimo before moving. The new Bruins did not enjoy the same level of success, and lasted only five seasons in New Westminster before moving to Kennewick, Washington, to become the Tri-City Americans. This franchise has never won the WHL championship in any of its incarnations.

Season-by-season records

First Bruins (1971–81)

Note: GP = games played, W = wins, L = losses, T = ties Pts = points, GF = goals for, GA = goals against

SeasonGP W L T GF GA PointsFinishPlayoffs
1971–726840271285240813rd WestLost quarter-final
1972–7368312215283264774th WestLost quarter-final
1973–7468362111284250832nd WestLost semi-final
1974–7570372211319260853rd WestWon championship
1975–7672541444632471121st WestWon championship
1976–77724714113632161051st WestWon championship and Memorial Cup
1977–7872332811345310773rd WestWon championship and Memorial Cup
1978–797234326310301743rd WestEliminated in round robin
1979–807210611244443214th WestOut of playoffs
1980–817217541306512355th WestOut of playoffs

Second Bruins (1983–88)

SeasonGP W L T GF GA PointsFinishPlayoffs
1983–847234362304348702nd WestLost West Division semi-final
1984–857241292379302842nd WestLost West Division final
1985–867225452276373525th WestOut of playoffs
1986–877218504300432406th WestOut of playoffs
1987–887233345339358714th WestLost West Division semi-final

NHL alumni

Totals include both incarnations of the Bruins

See also

References

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