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Ottawa 67’s OHL Hockey Team

Ottawa 67s – Hockey Roster, Standings, Scores, History & News 2019

The Ottawa 67’s Is one of the premier hockey teams in all of Canada.  Considered to be a major junior ice hockey team, the Ottawa 67’s is based out of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and play in the OHL, or the Ontario Hockey League.  Established during the Canadian centennial year of 1967, the Ottawa 67’s were originally named in honor of that particular year. They are currently playing all of their home games out of the TD Place Arena.  The Ottawa 67’s have won the OHL championship a total of three different times, and have played in the famous Memorial Cup a total of five different times, which they won in 1984, as well as in 1999, which they were also the host team for this year as well.

The History of the Ottawa 67’s

The OHA, more commonly referred to as the Ontario Hockey Association, granted Ottawa with an expansion hockey franchise on February 16, of 1967.  Within just four months, this very same hockey team would be given the nickname of 67’s, which was in direct honor of the Canadian centennial year.  There would be three local businessmen (Howard Darwin, Bill Touhey, and Bill Cowley, as well as another person named Alderman Howard Henry) who were able to finally get junior hockey to come back to the capital of Canada.  The new 67’s team was able to fill the void that had been left when the Ottawa Junior Canadiens decided to depart, as well as the Hull-Ottawa Canadiens who also left back in 1963.  

The first head coach of the Ottawa 67’s was Bill Long, who would lead the newly formed expansion team into their very first game which took place on October 6, 1967.  They would go on to lose that game 9-0 on the road, playing the Niagara Falls Flyers. That very first season, the Ottawa 67’s would play all of the first 11 home games in the Hull Arena, which was located in Hull, Quebec.  But this was only a temporary situation, as their new stadium and home was still being built and under construction.  

The very first season that the Ottawa 67’s played was considered to be absolutely terrible at the very best, ending the season with a final record that included just six wins and 45 losses, with three ties.  In their second season however, they would be able to turn things around and end up making it all the way to the playoffs, eventually losing to the Niagara Falls Flyers in the quarter finals.

The 67’s would continue to work on their team and continue moving forwards, reaching the OHA finals in what was just their fifth season as an actual team, which was during the 1971-1972 season, where they would end up losing 3-0 to the Peterborough Petes.  The 67’a would also come close to playing in their home stadium during the Memorial Cup that year, as the Ottawa Civic Center would play host to the Memorial Cup tournament that particular year.

The 67’s Pick up Brian Kilrea

After a tough rebuilding season from 197301974, the Ottawa 67’s would go out and hire a young and new coach, who was up and coming in the hockey game, named Brian Kilrea.  Since his initial hiring, Kilrea has essentially become a legend as far as Ottawa is concerned. Kilrea would coach the 67’s and take them to three successive seasons where they would continuously improve on their winning records, which would eventually culminate in winning the J. Ross Robertson Cup championship in the year of 1977, where they would face and defeat the London Knights, who would be coached at the time by none other than Bill Long, the original coach of the Ottawa 67’s.  In the late 70’s, the 67’s would be led by several different scoring champions, the likes of which included Bobby Smith, Jim Fox, and Peter Lee.

The team would eventually move to New Westminster, B.C., in order to compete in the Memorial Cup against the Sherbrooke Castors and the New Westminster Bruins.  This particular 1977 Memorial Tournament would be the very first one that was ever held in British Columbia and would also be the very first tournament to use a format that would eventually become known as a double round-robin.  The 67’s would unfortunately lose their very first game to the Bruins with a score of 7-6, but would then go on to win their next three games in a row, beating the Castors 6-1, the Bruins in an exciting overtime game that ended 4-3, and then against Sherbrooke 5-2.  Ottawa would eventually go on to lose the championship game to the Bruins, which ended in a score of 6-5.

The following season, the 67’s would finish in first place in their regular season, but end up losing to one of their rivals, the Peterborough Petes, in the semi-finals of the playoffs.  The 67’s and Kilrea would end up rebuilding the team during the 1978-1979 season, which they would follow with two second place finishes, and then three divisional titles in a row from 1982-1984.

The 67’s First Memorial Cup Victory

During the 1984 season, the 67’s would make it all the way to the OHL championship game, which would be a rematch of the 1982 OHL championship game, where they faced the Kitchener Rangers.  The Kitchener organization had been selected to host the Memorial Cup that particular year, and the host team would also be fortunate enough to make it all the way to the finals as well. This would mean that Ottawa would gain an automatic berth into the Memorial Cup tournament as soon as they were able to reach the league championship game, where they faced the Rangers.  The OHL itself, however, would see the 67’s with some unfinished business as they had lost to the Kitchener’s just two years earlier. The 67’s who had ended up finishing second to that of the Kitchener’s during the OHL season, would go on to defeat them 3-0, with two ties, which would win them the J. Ross Robertson Cup for the club’s second time in the entire history of the franchise.

During the Memorial Cup in Kitchener, the 67’s would defeat the Laval Voisins, a club that featured Mario Lemieux, winning with a score of 6-5 in their very first game of the tournament.  They would then go on to defeat the Kamloops Jr. Oilers with a score of 5-1 in their very next game but would lose their third game to the Kitchener’s 7-2, which would be how they concluded he round robin round.  During the semi-finals, the 67’s would defeat Kamloops for the second time, this game having a score of 7-2. During the finals game where Ottawa played against Kitchener, the 67’s would take home the victory in their third consecutive game that saw them with a score of 7-2, where they would defeat the Rangers and win their very first Memorial Cup championship.  The MVP (most valuable player) of the tournament would be awarded to Adam Creighton. Once the season ended, then coach Brian Kilrea would end up leaving the Ottawa 67’s in order to pursue an assistant coaching position within the NHL.

Kilrea Comes Back From the NHL

After the 67’s won the Memorial Cup, they would go on to suffer two very disappointing seasons, which would see them finishing third form last in the OHL season of 1985, and an even worse second to last during the 1986 season.  However, things would turn around as Brian Kilrea would again return to coach them for the 1986-1987 season. This would be the beginning of the second Kilrea era, but it would not be quite as glorious as his first run as the Ottawa 67’s head coach.  While the 67’s would end up finishing as high as second place within their particular division twice, they would also go on to reach the playoff semifinals three more times as well. While there would be no championships added to their already impressive win history, there would be a highlight of this era and it would be in the form of Andrew Cassels, who was the rookie of the year during the 1986-1987 season, as well as the scoring champion during the 1987-1988 season.  Kilrea would officially retire after the 67’s 1993-1994 season. The following season would see the 67’s coached by a previous scoring champion player of the club, Peter Lee.

The Third Kilrea Era with the 67’s

Coning out of coaching retirement in 1995, Brian Kilrea would also become the Ottawa 67’s general manager.  Kilrea would continue to coach the 67’s as head coach until the 2008-2009 season finished, remaining the club’s general manager until the end of the 2011-2012 season.

Under this third era of Brian Kilrea, the Ottawa 67’s would once again discover winning, that of which came in the form of five consecutive eastern division titles from the 1996 season, lasting through the 2000 season.  The 1996-1997 season would see the 67’s with 104 points, which would be the absolute best in the entire history of the team, as well as the best in the entire league for that year. The 67’s however, would eventually end up losing in the finals to their divisional rivals, the Oshawa Generals in a 4-2 defeat.  The 67’s would end up reaching the finals one more time in 1998, which would see them losing the championship in just five games to the Guelph Storm.

Hosting the Memorial Cup in 1999

During the 1999 season, the 67’s owner, Jeff Hunt, would win the bid to host the very popular Memorial Cup tournament.  Despite the tournament being hosted right across the river in the city of Hull back in 1997, Hunt was able to convince the Canadian Hockey League that Ottawa was the perfect city to host the prestigious tournament, which would essentially guarantee that his team, the 67’s, would berth a spot into the tournament.  With that being said, the 67’s did not disappoint as every single one of their games was sold out, as all of the 10,550 seats available in TD Place Arena would be filled.

During the 1998-1999 season, Ottawa would lose to the team that would eventually become the OHL champion, the Belleville Bulls, during the second round of the league playoffs.  However, the 67’s would get their revenge, as they would go on to defeat the same exact Belleville Bulls team during the Memorial Cup semifinals, and eventually go on to defeat the Calgary Hitmen who were from the WHL, in one of the most exciting finals of all time, seeing the championship game go into overtime, with Matt Zultek scoring the game winning goal.  Nick Boynton would be named the game’s MVP.

The Ottawa 67’s would become just the second team in the history of the tournament to host the Memorial Cup, as well as win it, but not win a league championship.  The very first team to do so would happen in 1984, when the Portland Winter Hawks would accomplish this feat.  

While the Ottawa 57’s has had a very rich history, they have been able to appear in the Memorial Cup tournament a total of five different times, winning the entire thing twice.  The 67’s have also been able to win the J. Ross Robertson Cup a total of three times, have won the Hamilton Spectator Trophy a total of three times, and have won a whopping fourteen divisional titles over the span of the club’s history.  These fourteen divisional wins is actually the most divisional wins that any team has ever had in the history of the OHL.  

While there is no knowing which direction the Ottawa 67’s club is going to go in, all that is known is if they are able to continue their success as years past, there is no stopping this hockey club.  Only time will tell wheather or not the Ottawa 67’s will be able to maintain their high level of success.

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