Oklahoma City Jr. Blazers

The Oklahoma City Jr. Blazers are a United Hockey Union-sanctioned junior ice hockey team, based in Edmond, Oklahoma, in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area. The Blazers compete as part of the Midwest Division of the Western States Hockey League (WSHL). Their home games are played at the Arctic Edge Ice Arena.

Oklahoma City Jr. Blazers
CityEdmond, Oklahoma
LeagueWestern States Hockey League
DivisionMidwest
Founded2014
Home arenaArctic Edge Ice Arena
ColorsBlack, red, yellow, white
                   
Owner(s)Gary Gill
General managerGary Gill
Head coachTy Smith
Websitewww.okcityhockey.com
Franchise history
2014–presentOklahoma City Jr. Blazers
Championships
Division Championships1 (2015–16)

History

The Jr. Blazers were announced in February 2014,[1] founded by former CHL Oklahoma City Blazers captain Tyler Fleck. The team began play in the 2014–15 season, playing in the United Hockey Union (UHU) junior Western States Hockey League with most of its home games at the Blazers Ice Centre.

On October 25, 2014, the Blazers set the WSHL's attendance record while playing the Cox Convention Center in downtown Oklahoma City. The team defeated the Dallas Snipers in front of a crowd of 7,109[2] by a score of 8–3.

For the 2015–16 season, the WSHL announced that they would be playing under an UHU Tier II status. The Blazers hosted the 2016 WSHL All-Star Game, the first time that the league had held the event. The format for the 2016 All-Star Game featured the Blazers taking on a team of WSHL All-Stars.

On September 5, 2016, the United Hockey Union announced the formation of a new Tier I junior hockey league called the Central One Hockey League (C1HL).[3][4] The league was announced to begin with the 2017–18 season. However, some of the announced C1HL teams backed out and the launch of the new league was initially postponed to the 2018–19 season.[5]

After the 2016–17 season, Fleck sold the WSHL team to Gary Gill and Cole Hudek, with Gill set to be the head coach for the 2017–18 season. Fleck remained with the team as a consultant, but would focus on the promotion of the Blazers to the new C1HL in 2018,[5] although there was never any mention of the C1HL afterwards.

After four seasons in the Blazers Ice Centre, the Jr. Blazers moved their home games to the Arctic Edge Ice Arena in nearby Edmond, Oklahoma, for the 2018–19 season with a few games at the Blazers Ice Centre.[6]

In 2019, Gary Gill left the coaching position to become the associate head coach with the Columbus River Dragons in the Federal Hockey League and he named Ty Smith as the head coach for the 2019–20 season.[7]

Season-by-season results

SeasonGPWLOTWOTLPtsGFGAStandingPlayoffs
2014–154634120682241582nd of 6, Midwest Div.Div. Quarterfinals bye
Won Div. Semifinals, 2–1 vs. Springfield Express
Lost Div. Finals, 1–2 vs. El Paso Rhinos
2015–16524282862741471st of 6, Midwest Div.Div. Quarterfinals bye
Won Div. Semifinals, 2–1 vs. Springfield Express
Won Div. Finals, 2–0 vs. El Paso Rhinos
Lost Conf. Finals, 1–2 vs. Colorado Jr. Eagles
2016–175237141752761452nd of 6, Midwest Div.
7th of 27, WSHL
Div. Quarterfinals bye
Lost Div. Semifinals, 0–2 vs. Wichita Jr. Thunder
2017–18514272863791062nd of 6, Midwest Div.
3rd of 23, WSHL
Won Div. Semifinals, 2–1 vs. Springfield Express
Lost Div. Finals, 0–2 vs. El Paso Rhinos
Advanced to Thorne Cup as El Paso is host
1–2–0, 5th of 6, Thorne Cup round-robin
(L, 2–4 vs. IceCats; W, 4–3 vs. Rhinos; L, 3–5 vs. Mustangs)
2018–1950391021116[lower-alpha 1]2561122nd of 5, Midwest Div.
5th of 23, WSHL
Won Div. Semifinals, 2–1 vs. Northern Colorado Eagles
Lost Div. Finals, 0–2 vs. El Paso Rhinos
2–1–0–0, 4th of 6, Thorne Cup round-robin (as wildcard)
(L, 2–4 vs. Mustangs; W, 6–4 vs. B. Blazers; W, 6–1 vs. Bombers)
Lost Thorne Cup semifinal game, 2–7 vs. El Paso Rhinos
  1. Beginning with the 2018–19 season, the WSHL began awarding 3pts for a win, 2pts for an overtime win, and 1pt for an overtime loss.

Team records

Single season

Goals: Ivan Bondarenko, 61 (2017–18)
Assists: Joshua Chamberlain, 73 (2017–18)
Points: Ivan Bondarenko, 126 (2017–18)
Penalty minutes: Michal Beranek, 205 (2015–16)
Wins: Bobby Cloutier, 31 (2017–18)
Shutouts: Bobby Cloutier, 7 (2017–18)
GAA: Xavier Garneau, 1.86 (2018–19)

Career

Career games: Drake Johnson, 190 (2014–18)
Career goals: Vitali Mikhailov, 114 (2016–19)
Career assists: Ivan Bondarenko, 126 (2016–18)
Career points: Ivan Bondarenko, 235 (2016–18)
Career penalty minutes: Kirill Romanov, 395 (2014–17)
Career wins: Bobby Cloutier, 49 (2017–19)
Career shutouts: Bobby Cloutier, 8 (2017–19)

References

  1. "The Blazers are back.. - Oklahoma City Blazers Hockey". okcblazershockey.com. Retrieved 2016-10-10.
  2. "OKC Blazers Take WSHL by Storm In 2014 - Junior Hockey News". juniorhockey.com. Retrieved 2016-10-10.
  3. "New Tier 1 Hockey League Coming in 2017 | United Hockey Union". unitedhockeyunion.pointstreaksites.com. Retrieved 2016-10-10.
  4. "The CHL Has Arrived As The AAU UHU Free To Play Entry | The Junior Hockey News". thejuniorhockeynews.com. Retrieved 2016-10-10.
  5. "Blazers Announce Operational Change". Oklahoma City Blazers. May 15, 2017. Archived from the original on July 11, 2018.
  6. "BLAZERS TO CALL ARCTIC EDGE NEW HOME". OKCityHockey.com. August 8, 2018.
  7. "BLAZERS ANNOUNCE OPERATIONAL CHANGES". Oklahoma City Jr. Blazers. August 2, 2019.
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