Roanoke Valley Rebels

The Roanoke Valley Rebels were a minor league professional ice hockey team based in Roanoke, Virginia, that played in the Eastern Hockey League, and later the Southern Hockey League. The team was originally known as the Salem Rebels from 1967 to 1970, playing at the Salem Civic Center in nearby Salem, Virginia.[1] Beginning in 1970, the Rebels began playing playing occasional games at the newer and larger Roanoke Civic Center.[2][3]

Roanoke Valley Rebels
CityRoanoke, Virginia
LeagueEHL (1967–73)
SHL (1973–76)
Operated1967–1976
Home arenaSalem Civic Center (1967–76)
Roanoke Civic Center (1970–76)
ColorsBlue, red, white
              
AffiliatesNHL (1971–72)
WHA (1972–76)
Franchise history
1967–1970Salem Rebels
1970–1976Roanoke Valley Rebels
Championships
Playoff championships1973–74 (SHL)

The team name was combination of Roanoke Valley, a metonym for the Roanoke metropolitan area; and Rebels which recalled Johnny Reb, a national personification of the Southern United States. The team logo resembled the Battle Flag of the Confederate States of America. The Rebels were founding members of the Southern Hockey League in 1973, and won the James Crockett Cup in 1974.[4] After nine seasons of play, the team ceased operations in 1976.[5]

History

The first Rebels game was played October 24, 1967, and Salem won 3-1 over the Jacksonville Rockets.[3] Most of the players lived in a mobile home park across, near the Lakeside Amusement Park.[3] Dave Lucas was coach the team's first coach, but struggled for the first two seasons, and missed the playoffs both years.[1] Colin Kilburn was brought in to coach in 1969, and improved the team to second place in the southern division, but lost in the first round of the playoffs.[1] Kilburn coached the next two seasons to third place finishes, and first round playoff losses.[2] The Rebels affiliated with the Philadelphia Blazers in 1972, and the parent club assigned Gregg Pilling to coach. The Rebels finished first place in the southern division, won two playoff series, and finished runners-up in the 1973 EHL finals.[2]

The Rebels switched to the Southern Hockey League for the 1973–74 season, and Pilling stayed on as coach. The team roster featured eleven French Canadians, including the league's most valuable player, Claude Piche.[3] The Rebels finished first place in the regular season, and won the James Crocket Cup in the playoffs.[5] Pilling was named the SHL Coach of the Year, for 1973–74.[3] Bill Needham coached the 1974–75 season, and the team dropped to fourth place, and a first round playoff loss. The team filed for bankruptcy protection July 14, 1975.[6] Player coach Jack Chipchase led the Rebels in the 1975–76 season, finishing fourth place, and a first round playoff loss. The Rebels ceased operations after the season.[5]

Major league affiliations

The Rebels were affiliated with the National Hockey League in the 1971–72 season, and with the World Hockey Association from 1972 to 1976.[7][8]

YearsAffiliations
1971–72Philadelphia Flyers
1972–73Philadelphia Blazers
1973–74Vancouver Blazers
1974–75Houston Aeros, Winnipeg Jets
1975–76Calgary Cowboys, San Diego Mariners, Winnipeg Jets

Notable players

Notable players for the Salem Rebels (EHL 1967–70),[9] the Roanoke Valley Rebels (EHL 1970–73),[10] and the Roanoke Valley Rebels (SHL 1973–77),[11] who also played in either the National Hockey League or the World Hockey Association.

Results

Season-by-season results of the Salem Rebels (1967–70 EHL),[1] the Roanoke Valley Rebels (1970–73 EHL),[2] and the Roanoke Valley Rebels (1973–77 SHL).[5]

SeasonLgeGPWLTPtsPctGFGAPIMStandingPlayoffs
1967–68EHL7211538300.2082114328806th, SouthernOut of playoffs
1968–69EHL7224453510.3542403217865th, SouthernOut of playoffs
1969–70EHL74372710840.56827926612722nd, SouthernLost in round 1
1970–71EHL7431349710.48025730310713rd, SouthernLost in round 1
1971–72EHL73303310700.4792412669683rd, SouthernLost in round 1
1972–73EHL76402511910.59934527616291st, SouthernLost in finals
1973–74SHL72531901060.73636624414581st, SHLWon championship
1974–75SHL7229412600.41729630410374th, SHLLost in round 1
1975–76SHL72292815730.50723923812244th, SHLLost in round 1
TOTALSEHL441173217513970.4501573186466061 division title1 runner-up
TOTALSSHL21611188172390.55390178637191 league title1 championship

References

  1. "Salem Rebels hockey team statistics and history". hockeydb.com. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  2. "Roanoke Valley Rebels hockey team [EHL] statistics and history". hockeydb.com. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  3. Turner, Bill (2017-10-02). "Pro Ice Hockey Celebrates 50th Anniversary In Roanoke Valley". The Roanoke Star. Retrieved 2018-04-04.
  4. "Southern Hockey League [1973-1977] history and statistics". hockeydb.com. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  5. "Roanoke Valley Rebels hockey team [SHL] statistics and history". hockeydb.com. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  6. "Roanoke Rebels are Bankrupt". Petersburg Progress. Petersburg, Virginia. July 15, 1975. p. 8.
  7. "Roanoke Valley Rebels Parent Team affiliate history". hockeydb.com. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  8. "Roanoke Valley Rebels Parent Team affiliate history". hockeydb.com. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  9. "Salem Rebels all-time player list". hockeydb.com. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  10. "Roanoke Valley Rebels [EHL] all-time player list". hockeydb.com. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  11. "Roanoke Valley Rebels [SHL] all-time player list". hockeydb.com. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
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