Arthur Tigers
City: Arthur, Ontario
League: WOAA Senior Hockey League
Operated: 1985 (1985)-1999
Home Arena: Arthur & Area Community Centre

The Arthur Tigers were a Canadian senior hockey team based in Arthur, Ontario, Canada. They played in the Western Ontario Athletic Association Senior Hockey League.

History[edit | edit source]

Arthur has had numerous hockey teams nicknamed the Tigers since 1904 (perhaps since 1899), with the most recent team playing in the WOAA from 1986-1999. The team folded at the conclusion of the 1998-99 season. Along with the 1991 Grand Championship, the Tigers were also WOAA Intermediate B champions in 1990 & 1991.

Some stars over the years included: Angus O'Neill, Norbert Heffernan, Ken Riley, Al Bell, Ken Elliott, Gord Schmidt, Garnett Rooney, Bob McCulloch, Bryan Richardson, Paul Epoch, Scott McCulloch, Tom O'Donnell, Marty Groulx, Bruce Richardson, Ray Hutchison, Mike Brooks, Glenn Watt, Darryl Rooney.

Some of the "Honourary Tigers" include: Bert Coffey, John Walsh, Clive Williams, Bill Smellie, Norbert Heffernan, Angus O'Neill.

The club held Reunions in 1993 & again in 1998. These events attracted some 250-300 former players, coaches & friends of the Tigers.

1991 Grand Championship[edit | edit source]

The club had their most successful season in 1990-91 season, defeating the heavily favoured Durham Thundercats to become the WOAA Grand Champions. The Tigers captured the WOAA Senior B Championship eliminating Wiarton & Drayton. Posting a 9-1 post-season record, the Tigers issued a challenge to the Senior A champion Durham Thundercats for a Grand Championship series. The series went a full five games. Durham won game 1 10-2. Arthur won game two 10-1. Game three in Durham saw the T-Cats edge the Tigers 5-4. Coming back to Arthur, the Tigers needed to win to force a fifth and deciding game. Another strong effort saw Arthur win 8-3. In Durham on Friday, April 12, 1991, a full house turned out. Tied heading into the 3rd period 3-3, the Tigers pulled ahead 6-3. Things appeared well in hand for Arthur. Pesky Durham winger Scott Betts had other things in mind scoring two goals in the final two minutes to bring the homeside within a goal. Arthur held on for the 6-5 victory. Tigers winger John McCabe led all WOAA playoff scorers with 28 points. Netminder Marty Groulx sparkled for Arthur. Other leaders on the club included: Scott McCulloch, Tom O'Donnell, Ray Hutchison, Eck Palmer, Brian Ward, Jim "The Champ Holmes", Paul Epoch, Fred Locking, Matt Coffey and John Bell. Coach was Don Tremble, Assistant Coach Cal MacDonald, Manager Jeff McKee. The Grand Championship was eliminated from the WOAA three years later.

Other highly successful seasons included 1971 - WOAA Grand Championship Finalists, 1954 Pritchard Trophy Champions & 1939 OHA Division Champions.

The Road Team[edit | edit source]

In 1977 the Arthur Tigers were a men's hockey club without an arena. Winning was not the highlight of the season, rather the fact that they played all their games on the road was! It was at about this time that the Tigers folded. They reformed in the fall of 1985. They competed for one season in the OHA before rejoining the WOAA. Pete O'Donnell was the teams captain and Steve Baker was named the clubs Most Valuable Player.  The team's arena was condemned and they were left without a home.[1]

Rivalries[edit | edit source]

The Tigers had a big rivalry with the Drayton Comets, through the late 1980s & early 90's. The two towns are located 30 kilometers apart, and the clubs met four times in the playoffs - 1989, 1990, 1991 & 1992. Each club won two series'. In 1990 Drayton defeated the Tigers to advance to the WOAA Grand Championship Final. In 1991, Arthur defeated Drayton en route to the WOAA Grand Championship.

Through the 1950s, 1960's & 1970's strong rivalries were formed with Harriston, Palmerston, Mount Forest & Milverton.

One of the most famous games was played in the mid-1950s in Arthur. A packed house became embroiled in brawl which spilled out onto the ice. Fans leaned against the boards when defenceman Ken Elliott became involved in a fight. The boards slipped off their hooks, and the fans spilled onto the ice resulting in the melee. Mt. Forest eventually managed to retreat to their dressing room. Police assisted in helping the visitors leave the arena!

Season-by-season record[edit | edit source]

Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, OL = Overtime Losses Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against

Season GP W L T OL GF GA Pts Finish Playoffs
1985-86 24 4 18 2 - 10 8th OHA
1986-87 24 11 12 1 - 108 128 23 4th South B Semifinalists
1987-88 16 2 14 0 - 71 121 4 8th South B Finalists
1988-89 19 2 17 1 - 72 150 3 6th South Intermediate B Champions
1989-90 21 10 8 3 - 138 115 23 4th South Intermediate B Champions
1990-91 24 11 9 4 - 151 126 26 T-3rd South Won Grand Championship
1991-92 26 13 13 0 - 116 131 26 5th Sr. A Quarterfinalists
1992-93 24 8 15 1 - 102 147 17 5th Sr. A Semifinalists
1993-94 20 7 10 3 - 95 101 17 T-7th Sr. A Quarterfinalists
1994-95 24 9 14 1 - 116 165 19 T-8th Sr A 11
1995-96 24 9 14 1 - 129 151 19 T-5th Sr. A Quarterfinalists
1996-97 24 12 11 1 - 159 151 25 6th Sr. A Quarterfinalists
1997-98 24 6 16 2 - 125 162 14 T-4th Sr. A East Quarterfinalists
1998-99 24 7 14 2 - 114 141 16 5th Sr. A East Quarterfinalists

External links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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