Niagara Falls Flyers
The Niagara Falls Flyers were two junior ice hockey franchises that played in the top tier in the Ontario Hockey Association. The first, a Junior "A" team existed from 1960 until 1972, and the second in Tier I Junior "A" from 1976 until 1982.
|Niagara Falls Flyers|
|City||Niagara Falls, Ontario|
|Operated||1960–72 and 1976–82|
|Home arena||Niagara Falls|
|Colours||Gold, white and black|
|Parent club(s)||Boston Bruins (1960–67)|
|Championships||1965 & 1968 Memorial Cup Champions|
|1943–47||St. Catharines Falcons|
|1947–62||St. Catharines Teepees|
|1962–76||St. Catharines Black Hawks|
|1976–82||Niagara Falls Flyers|
|1982–02||North Bay Centennials|
|Previous franchise history|
|1960–72||Niagara Falls Flyers|
The first Flyers team relocated to Niagara Falls from Barrie in 1960. The team was affiliated with the Boston Bruins of the NHL. The Flyers appeared in three Memorial Cups in the 1960s, winning in 1965 and 1968.
1963 Memorial Cup
Niagara Falls won the right to play for the Cup by defeating the Toronto Neil McNeil Maroons for the OHA championship, and the Espanola Eagles to win the George Richardson Memorial Trophy as eastern Canadian representatives.
The Flyers were runners up to the Memorial Cup in 1963 played at Edmonton's Arena Gardens. They lost in six games to the Edmonton Oil Kings in a best-of-seven series. Flyers players Dornhoefer and Harmer both suffered broken legs while on the ice.
1965 Memorial Cup
Niagara Falls won the right to play for the Cup by defeating the defending champions Toronto Marlboros for the OHA championship. The Memorial Cup in 1965 was again played at Edmonton's Arena Gardens. They defeated the Oil Kings 4 games to 1 in a best-of-seven rematch series from two years previous. The series was filled with brawls and suspensions, as well as a heavy police presence throughout.
1968 Memorial Cup
The 1968 Memorial Cup featured two Boston Bruins farm teams playing one another. The Flyers would play the Estevan Bruins on home ice, except for game two at the Montreal Forum. Game 4 was the longest in Memorial Cup history, lasting into five periods. Niagara Falls defeated Estevan in a best-of-seven series in five games.
The Emms Family sold the Flyers in 1972 after it played for 12 seasons. The new owners then relocated the team to Sudbury to become the Sudbury Wolves.
Later the same year, after selling the Flyers, the Emms family bought the St. Catharines Black Hawks team who were the OHA champions the previous year. Four years after buying the Black Hawks, the Emms family relocated them to Niagara Falls in 1976, taking the same name as the previous team. The Emms family later sold this version of the Flyers in 1978.
The second Flyers team played for 4 seasons in the Ontario Hockey Association from 1976 to 1980, and 2 years in the Ontario Hockey League from 1980 to 1982. The Flyers appeared in the OHA finals in 1979, losing to Peterborough. Niagara Falls lost its Flyers team a second time in 1982 when they moved to North Bay to become the Centennials, who have subsequently moved to Saginaw in 2002 to become the Saginaw Spirit.
The Niagara Falls Flyers are one of a few clubs to win multiple Memorial Cup championships. Also of note, the franchise were repeat champions in different home cities, of Barrie and Niagara Falls. In total, the Flyers won the Memorial Cup twice in Niagara Falls, and twice in Barrie. and the J. Ross Robertson Cup 3 times each in Barrie and Niagara Falls. The Flyers finished first overall in 1963 & 1965 during the regular season to win the Hamilton Spectator Trophy. The second Niagara Falls Flyers team won the western conference Emms Trophy in the 1978–79 playoffs.
The Flyers from 1960 to 1972 were coached by Hap Emms, Bill Long and Paul Emms. The Flyers coaches from 1976 to 1982 are listed below.
- 1962–63 - Wayne Maxner, Red Tilson Trophy (Most Outstanding Player), Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy (Scoring Champion)
- 1963–64 - Bernie Parent, Dave Pinkney Trophy (Lowest Team GAA)
- 1964–65 - Bernie Parent, Dave Pinkney Trophy (Lowest Team GAA)
- 1966–67 - Derek Sanderson, Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy (Scoring Champion)
- 1967–68 - Tom Webster, Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy (Scoring Champion), William Hanley Trophy (Most Sportsmanlike Player)
- 1976–77 - Mike Gartner, Emms Family Award (Rookie of the Year)
- 1978–79 - Nick Ricci, F. W. "Dinty" Moore Trophy (Best Rookie GAA)
- 1981–82 - Ron Meighan, Max Kaminsky Trophy (Most Outstanding Defenceman)
- 1960 to 1972
- Mike Amodeo
- John Arbour
- Steve Atkinson
- Don Awrey
- Doug Brindley
- Tom Colley
- Terry Crisp
- Jim Dorey
- Gary Dornhoefer
- Doug Favell
- George Gardner
- Jeannot Gilbert
- Bill Goldsworthy
- Larry Gould
- Gary Holt
- Randy Holt
- Wayne King
- Bill Knibbs
- Don Lever
- Rick Ley
- Jim Lorentz
- Don Marcotte
- Gilles Marotte
- Wayne Maxner
- Don McLean
- Brent Meeke
- Phil Myre
- Rosaire Paiement
- Wilf Paiement
- Bernie Parent
- J. P. Parise
- Jean Pronovost
- Bob Ring
- Phil Roberto
- Wayne Rutledge
- Larry Sacharuk
- Derek Sanderson
- Ron Schock
- Jim Schoenfeld
- Brad Selwood
- Ted Snell
- Steve Stone
- Garry Swain
- Don Tannahill
- Dave Tataryn
- Morris Titanic
- Eric Vail
- Tom Webster
- Ed Westfall
- Barry Wilkins
- Butch Williams
- Dunc Wilson
- 1976 to 1982
- Mark Botell
- Marty Dallman
- Mike Dwyer
- Jeff Eatough
- Daryl Evans
- Lou Franceschetti
- Ron Friest
- Bob Froese
- Mike Gartner
- John Gibson
- Paul Gillis
- Pat Graham
- Jim Jackson
- Bob LaForest
- Mark LaForest
- Steve Larmer
- Steve Ludzik
- Andrew McBain
- Kevin McClelland
- Scott McLellan
- Ron Meighan
- Mark Osborne
- Steve Peters
- Mark Renaud
- Nick Ricci
- Gerry Rioux
- Bill Root
- Andy Schliebener
- Howard Scruton
- Bill Stewart
- Tom Thornbury
Regular season 1960–72
- 1960–61 Lost to Guelph Royals 10 points to 4 in quarter-finals.
- 1961–62 Lost to Hamilton Red Wings 8 points to 0 in OHA semi-finals.
- 1962–63 Defeated Hamilton Red Wings 8 points to 2 in OHA semi-finals.
Defeated Montreal Junior Canadiens 8 points to 0 in OHA finals.
Defeated Toronto Neil McNeil Maroons in all-Ontario finals. OHA CHAMPIONS
Defeated Espanola Eagles in Richardson Trophy playoffs.
Lost to Edmonton Oil Kings in Memorial Cup finals.
- 1963–64 Lost to Toronto Marlboros 8 points to 0 in quarter-finals.
- 1964–65 Defeated Oshawa Generals 8 points to 4 in quarter-finals.
Received second-round bye.
Defeated Toronto Marlboros 8 points to 2 in finals. OHA CHAMPIONS
Defeated Edmonton Oil Kings in Memorial Cup finals. MEMORIAL CUP CHAMPIONS
- 1965–66 Lost to Kitchener Rangers 8 points to 4 in quarter-finals.
- 1966–67 Defeated London Knights 8 points to 4 in quarter-finals.
Lost to Hamilton Red Wings 8 points to 6 in semi-finals.
- 1967–68 Defeated Peterborough Petes 8 points to 2 in quarter-finals.
Defeated Montreal Junior Canadiens 8 points to 4 in semi-finals.
Defeated Kitchener Rangers 9 points to 7 in finals. OHA CHAMPIONS
Defeated Verdun Maple Leafs in Richardson Trophy playoffs.
Defeated Estevan Bruins in Memorial Cup finals. MEMORIAL CUP CHAMPIONS
- 1968–69 Defeated Ottawa 67's 9 points to 5 in quarter-finals.
Lost to St. Catharines Black Hawks 8 points to 6 in semi-finals.
- 1969–70 Out of playoffs.
- 1970–71 Out of playoffs.
- 1971–72 Lost to Oshawa Generals 8 points to 4 in quarter-finals.
Regular season 1976–82
- 1976–77 Out of playoffs.
- 1977–78 Out of playoffs.
- 1978–79 Defeated Kitchener Rangers 8 points to 6 in quarter-finals.
Defeated Windsor Spitfires and London Knights in a semi-final round-robin.
Lost to Peterborough Petes 8 points to 6 in finals.
- 1979–80 Defeated London Knights 3 games to 2 in first round.
Lost to Windsor Spitfites 4 games to 1 in quarter-finals.
- 1980–81 Defeated Toronto Marlboros 3 games to 2 in division quarter-finals.
Lost to Kitchener Rangers 9 points to 5 in quarter-finals.
- 1981–82 Lost to Windsor Spitfires 6 points to 4 in first round.
- Niagara Falls Memorial Arena - The OHL Arena & Travel Guide