Ice Hockey Wiki
Gander Flyers
Gander Flyers.jpg
City Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador
League Central/West Senior Hockey League
Founded 1947 (1947)
Home arena Steele Community Centre
Colors Purple, Gold          
General manager Garry White
Head coach Ben Fitzgerald
Captain Mike Dyke

Flyers on League website
Franchise history
1947–48 Gander
1948–61 Gander All-Stars
1961-Present Gander Flyers

The Gander Flyers (also commonly known as the Kelly Ford Gander Flyers due to a sponsorship deal that began October 3, 2014)[1] are a senior ice hockey team based in Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador[2][3] and a member of in the Central/West Senior Hockey League.[4][5]

The team was reported to be folding in late January 2017. However, the league worked out an arrangement to end the season early and cancel the balance of the team's regular season games and hold the playoffs as scheduled starting in late February. The future of the team was uncertain beyond the 2016-17 season as the league was at three teams and the league's future was in doubt.


The Gander Flyers hockey club has its roots in picked teams from the Royal Canadian Air Force hockey league at RCAF Station Gander and the 1947 picked team from the Gander Hockey League that formed the previous year. The RCAF 'Bombers'[6] and 'Fliers' played exhibition games at other Newfoundland hockey centres during the second World War including Corner Brook[7] and Grand Falls.[8]

Gander first joined the Newfoundland Amateur Hockey Association, and the race for the Herder Memorial Trophy, in 1947 as part of the Central Division with teams from Bishop's Falls, Buchans and Grand Falls.

Gander's entry into Newfoundland senior hockey was occasionally nicknamed the 'Flyers' until an official name change in the early 1960s. From 1953 to 1959, Gander entered a team in provincial Section B senior hockey in competition for the Evening Telegram Trophy. The all-stars were finalists in the 1954 all-Newfoundland senior 'B' championships hosted by Grand Falls but lost the close series to the Bell Island All-Stars 2-games-to-1. In 1960, the all-stars became part of the Western Division and in 1963 Gander joined the province-wide Newfoundland Senior Hockey League (NSHL). In 1967 player Lyle Carter was selected to play in the Allan Cup; he later went on to play in the NHL.[9]

1980 Herder Memorial Trophy presentation to team captain Bruce Sparkes by Steve Herder

The Flyers were part of the NSHL, with the exception of a two-year break in the mid-1970s, until the hockey club folded in 1983. The Gander Flyers started the 1982-83 season but folded at the end of November.

Gander didn't enter a team in the NSHL for the 1974-75 and 1975-76 seasons. In 1975, Flyers alumni formed the Intermediate 'B' Gander Lakers and joined the Central Intermediate B Hockey League. The Lakers team became the re-formed Flyers and joined the Newfoundland Senior League for the 1976-77 season. After the team folded in November 1983, Flyers alumni re-formed the Gander Lakers and joined the Central Beothuck Intermediate Hockey League for the 1983-84 season.

The Flyers made their first all-Newfoundland finals appearance in 1961[10]] but lost to the Conception Bay CeeBees in four straight games.[11] Gander won its first NSHL championship and Herder Memorial Trophy in 1969 and added a second title in 1980. The club sat out the 1980-81 season but rejoined in 1981-82, making it to another Herder Finals but lost in seven games. It was the Flyers' fourth finals appearance in five seasons.

For the 2009-10 season, the Flyers returned as one of three teams that formed the Central Newfoundland Intermediate Hockey League (CNIHL). The Gander "Rec" Flyers played for three seasons in the CNIHL until 2012. After a 16-year absence from Newfoundland Senior hockey, the Gander Flyers joined the re-formed Newfoundland Senior Hockey League (NSHL) in the fall of 2012.[12] The team's home ice was at the Gander Community Centre.[13]

On June 4, 2014, the Flyers were one of four teams that announced their departure from the Newfoundland Senior Hockey League in order to form a new league to be the Central/West Senior Hockey League. That year the Flyers didn't score highly in the league standings, although early 2015 results were better.[14] Also in 2014, the Flyers were in the news when their goaltender Patrick O'Brien, a trained paramedic, ran from the locker room wearing all of his equipment to give CPR and helped to save the life of a fan in the stands as the game was about to begin.[15]

In 2015, the Flyers signed former National Hockey League player, Arron Asham.[16]

Seasons and records

Season by season results

This is a list of the last three seasons completed by the Flyers since re-entering Newfoundland senior hockey in 2012. For the full season-by-season history, see List of Gander Flyers seasons.

Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, OTL = Overtime Losses, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against, DNQ = Did not qualify

NSHL = Newfoundland Senior Hockey League, CWSHL = Central/West Senior Hockey League

Gander Flyers regular season and postseason statistics and results, 2012–present
Season League Regular season Postseason
2012-13 NSHL 23 4 16 3 81 117 11 5th DNQ for Herder playoffs
2013-14 NSHL 24 7 14 3 76 121 17 6th 3 0 3 Lost Quarter-finals to Corner Brook Royals, 0-3
2014-15 CWSHL 24 8 14 2 67 107 18 4th 4 0 4 4 19 Lost Herder semi-finals to Corner Brook Royals, 0-4
2015-16 CWSHL 22 7 12 - 3 74 93 17 4th 5 1 4 9 28 Lost in CWSHL semi-finals to Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts, 1-4
2016-17 CWSHL 20 3 15 - 2 45 79 8 3rd 2 0 2 10 14 Lost in CWSHL semi-finals to Clarenville Caribous, 1-4
2017-18 CWSHL 16 9 6 - 1 75 70 19 1st 5 1 4 20 29 Lost in CWSHL finals to Clarenville Caribous, 1-4
2018-19 NSHL 17 13 4 - 0 66 44 26 1st Central 6 2 4 - - Lost Central Final to Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts 2-4

Allan Cup results

Season Location GP W L T OTL GF GA Results Playoffs
1969 Galt, ON (Games 1-2), Gander, NL (Games 3-5) 5 4 1 0 0 17 28 Lost 1-4 Eastern semi-finals (Galt Hornets)
1980 3 0 3 - - 7 29 Lost 0-3 Eastern semi-finals (Thunder Bay Twins)

Current roster

For the current team roster see the Flyers profile on the league website


Team captains

  • John Murphy, 1958–59
  • Bill Ireland, 1960-61[17]
  • Dick Power, 1966–67
  • Harry Katrynuk, 1968–69
  • Bruce Sparkes, 1979–80
  • Peter Campbell, 2013–14
  • Ray Dalton, 2014–15
  • Mike Dyke, 2015–16

Head coaches

  • Wes Trainor, 1958–61
  • Jacques Allard (playing-coach)
  • Wayne Maxner
  • Jack Faulkner
  • Dennis Laing, 2012–14
  • Chris Peach, 2014–15
  • Ben Fitzgerald, 2015–16

League trophies and awards

Rookie of the Year

  • Andrew Ryan, 2016

Hockey NL (HNL) trophies and awards

HNL Team awards

HNL Individual awards

S. E. Tuma Memorial Trophy (Top scorer in the regular season)

  • Mike Kelly, 1966 (91 pts)
  • Mike Kelly, 1967 (92 pts)
  • Jacques Allard, 1968 (131 pts)
  • Jacques Allard, 1969 (126 pts))
  • Jack Faulkner, 1971 (74 pts)
  • Wayne Maxner, 1972 (111 pts)
  • Denis Goulding, 1977 (91 pts)
  • Edward Philpott, 1979 (126 pts)
  • Zane Forbes, 1980 (94 pts)

President's Top Goaltender Award

  • Lyle Carter, 1967 (3.89 GAA)
  • Kevin Kelly 1980 (3.55 GAA)

Albert "Pee Wee" Crane Memorial Award" (Rookie of the year)

  • Zane Forbes, 1978
  • Jim Mercer, 1982
  • Derek Dalley, 1988
  • Andrew Ryan, 2016

Howie Clouter Memorial Trophy (Most Gentlemanly and effective player)

  • Tom Rafuse, 1977
  • Ted Mercer, 1978
  • Ed Philpott, 1979
  • Tom Rafuse, 1980

Cliff Gorman Memorial Award (Most valuable player of the Herder Playoffs)

  • Zane Forbes, 1982

Honoured members

NL Hockey Hall of Fame

The following people associated with the Flyers have been inducted into the Newfoundland and Labrador Hockey Hall of Fame (NLHHOF). (the year of induction into NLHHOF is noted)

  • John Murphy (1995)
  • Jack Faulkner (1995)
  • Mike Kelly (1999)
  • Ed Philpott (2000)
  • Jacques Allard (2001)
  • Dick Power (2001)
  • Claude Brown (2004)
  • Harry Katrynuk (2007)
  • Leo Kane (2007)
  • J.C. Garneau (2014)


  1. New name for senior hockey team. The Gander Beacon (October 8, 2014). Retrieved on 2015-10-04.
  2. Terry Ryan (1 May 2014). Tales of a First-Round Nothing: My Life as an NHL Footnote. ECW Press, 146–. ISBN 978-1-77090-504-7. 
  3. Bill Abbott (2000). Herder Memorial Trophy: A History of Senior Hockey in Newfoundland and Labrador. Breakwater Books. ISBN 978-1-55081-156-8. 
  4. Royals extend winning streak to five games with sweep of Flyers - Hockey - The Gulf News
  5. "Lack of execution causes Gander’s downfall". Advertiser, January 12, 2015
  6. Western Star (Corner Brook, N.L.), 1943-02-19
  7. "R.C.A.F Gander Team" P.6, The Western Star February 26, 1944
  8. "The Gander", March 1944.
  9. "Backchecking: Lyle Carter" - The Hockey News 2013-09-08 By David Salter
  10. P.13, The Daily News March 29, 1961
  11. P. 11, The Daily News April 5, 1961
  12. "Matheson to play in front of hometown this season". Cumberland News Now. Darrell Cole July 26, 2012
  13. "Cataracts stay perfect". Hockey. The Telegram. November 18, 2013
  14. "Five alive Kevin". The Beacon, Kevin Higgins January 05, 2015
  15. "Patrick O'Brien, Gander Flyers Goalie, Helps Save Fan's Life With CPR". The Huffington Post Canada | By Jesse Ferreras 11/24/2014
  16. "Former NHLer Arron Asham signs with Gander Flyers". CBC News Sep 29, 2015
  17. "Sports DEEtails" The Daily News February 22, 1961 p. 10


  • Abbott, Bill (2000). Herder Memorial Trophy: A History of Senior Hockey in Newfoundland and Labrador. Breakwater Books.