South Muskoka Shield
South Muskoka Shield.png
City: Flag of Ontario Bracebridge
League: Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League
Founded: 2006
Home Arena: Bracebridge Memorial Arena
Colors: Red, Black, and White


              

General Manager: Gord Carey
Head Coach: Dallyn Telford
Media: TVCogeco
CFBG-FM 99.5 Moose FM
Gravenhurst Banner

The South Muskoka Shield are a Canadian Junior ice hockey team based in Bracebridge, Ontario. They are members of the Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League. The team was based out of the Gravenhurst Centennial Centre in Gravenhurst until the start of the 2018-19 season when the team would relocate to the Port Carling Arena in Port Carling, Ontario. The team would relocate again for 2019-20 to the Bracebridge Memorial Arena in Bracebridge, Ontario.[1]

History[edit | edit source]

The Shield are a community-based team with a number of corporate sponsors helping the team to be a viable club. Based on the attendance at the home opener and since, this club has been successful from a fan support standpoint. Gravenhurst is a proud hockey town that is rich in hockey history. The Shield follow in the tradition of the Gravenhurst Indians and the Gravenhurst Cubs who played out of the Georgian Mid-Ontario Junior C Hockey League from 1980 until 1987 and 1994 until 2000 respectively. The Shield also draw their fan support from other centres in the area, such as Bracebridge, Port Carling, Bala, Washago and Orillia.

The South Muskoka Shield Goaltender in action (2006)

The first game in the Shield's history was on September 9, 2006 against the Deseronto Thunder in Deseronto, Ontario. The end result was a not-so-glorious 8-1 loss. While Frank Agostino started their first-ever exhibition game in net, it was 16-year-old Steve Brown from Port Carling, ON who played the club's first ever competitive game wearing number 30. Midway through the third and final period, the Shield used its first ever import, when 18 year old Briton Nick Rowe took over from Brown in net. The scorer of the Shield's first goal was scored by Dustin Curran and at the time he was wearing number 77 when he scored it.

Their first home game took place on September 15, 2006 against the eventual league, playoff and national champion Bradford Rattlers. The result was a 10-1 blowout loss. The Shield's first win came on October 13, 2006 against the struggling Toronto Canada Moose. The final score of the game was 9-6.

On November 21, 2006, Shield left winger and captain Garrett Hamel was heavily injured in a head-on collision. He was flown to Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto, Ontario and required surgery to repair his broken talus, knee cap, femur, radius, pinky finger, and a shattered pelvis. The next game, on November 22 against the Nipissing Alouettes, was cancelled out of respect of the Hanmer, Ontario native. After extensive rehab, Garrett rejoined the team in November 2008. On January 11, 2009 Garrett returned to the ice against the Nipissing Alouettes and scored a goal in a 9-5 victory for the Shield.[2]

The Shield finished their inaugural season in dead last with a 4-34-0-4 record. Seventh place out of seven teams, the Shield were forced to face the fourth-place Deseronto Thunder in the league quarter-final. In game one, the Thunder blew out the Shield 7-1, but in game two the Shield showed a different side to their game. The close back and forth game went all the way to overtime where the Thunder again came out victorious 5-4. Game three saw the Shield on a mission early, leading after the first period 3-1 and the second 5-3. In the third, the Shield fell apart and the Thunder outscored them in the third 6-1. The game was called early due to violence breaking out at the game with both the Shield bench and the crowd involved; final score 9-6 Thunder. Game four was redemptive for the Shield, pushing the game into another overtime showdown. Again the Shield lost, 5-4 in overtime, to complete the four-game sweep for the Deseronto Thunder.

On January 3, 2008, the Shield hosted the Moscow Selects All-star team in an exhibition game. The Selects won the game by a score of 5-1. This was the fifth game of seven that the Moscow team played against different GMJHL clubs.

The 2007-08 season saw a vastly improved South Muskoka Shield take the ice. At times, the Shield were ranked amongst the top of the GMJHL, but faltered slightly late in the season to drop to a record of 19 wins, 18 losses, and 5 losses in overtime. The Shield had the best season-to-season record improvement of any of the seven clubs that also participated in the 2006-07 season. The Shield elected to take a bye in the first round of the playoffs, and found themselves in the quarter-finals with the defending champions Bradford Rattlers. The Shield, who managed to be one of the few teams to defeat the Rattlers over the course of the last two seasons, fought a tough series. They kept each game rather tight, but ended up being eliminated 4-games-to-1.

On December 29, 2008, the South Muskoka Shield played an exhibition game against Kazakhstan's Torpedo UST-Kamenogorsk Under-18 squad. The Shield won the game 5-4 despite a late rally by the Torpedo. The Shield finished the 2008-09 season with a record of 38 wins, 4 losses, and 1 overtime loss, to finish first in the entire league and win the John Klinck Award.

On April 2, 2011, the South Muskoka Shield lost the Russell Cup championship in game seven to the Elliot Lake Bobcats, 8–5.

On September 20, 2013, in Rosseau, Ontario, the Shield organization was awarded the 2013 Muskoka Community Award for its contributions to local community and for its work with and donations to the non-for-profit A Child's Voice Foundation.[3]

Due to issues and miscommunications involving starting times for games with the community of Gravenhurst the team would announce a relocation to Port Carling for the 2018-19 season.[4] The team would be replaced in the arena by the Muskoka Anglers who would become an expansion team in the Canadian Premier Junior Hockey League.

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

Season GP W L OL GF GA Pts Regular Season Finish Playoffs
2006–07 42 4 34 4 110 299 12 7th GMHL Lost Quarterfinals
2007–08 42 19 18 5 207 207 43 7th GMHL Lost Quarterfinals
2008–09 43 38 4 1 303 128 77 1st GMHL Won Championship
2009–10 42 35 5 2 228 121 72 2nd GMHL ost Final
2010–11 42 36 5 1 280 151 73 2nd GMHL Lost Final
2011–12 42 29 9 4 255 126 62 4th GMHL Lost Semifinals
2012–13 42 27 13 2 219 168 56 4th GMHL Lost Div. Semifinals
2013–14 42 33 6 3 324 152 69 3rd GMHL Lost Div. Semifinals
2014–15 42 35 6 1 302 149 71 1st North Div. Lost Div. Final
2015–16 42 36 5 1 277 117 73 1st North Div. Lost Div. Final
2016–17 42 26 10 6 248 142 58 3rd  North Div. Lost Div. Semifinals
2017–18 42 14 24 4 143 173 32 8th  North Div. Lost Div. Quarterfinals
2018–19 42 14 25 3 145 213 31 9th North Div. Lost Preliminary Round
2019–20 42 13 26 3 144 238 29 9th North Div. Lost Preliminary Round


League Award Winners[edit | edit source]

  • Norm Clark Award
An annual award “to the forward who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest ability at the position"
  • Flag of the United States Travis Saltz 2009
  • Sportsmanship Award
An annual award “to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability”
  • Flag of Canada Dylan Sontag 2009
  • Flag of Canada Dylan Sontag 2010
  • Naz Marchese Award
An annual award “to the forward who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest ability at the position of defensive forward”
  • Flag of Canada Chad Meagher 2009
  • Flag of Canada Chad Meagher 2010
  • Mark Trost Award
An annual award “to the defenseman who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest ability at the position”
  • Flag of Canada Adam MacBeth 2010
  • Ken Girard Award
An annual award “to the GMHL coach adjudged to have contributed the most to his team’s success”
  • Flag of Canada Dallyn Telford 2010
  • Gerry St.Onge Award
An annual award “to the goaltender adjudged to be the best at his position”
  • Flag of Canada Mark Wardell 2010

Team Captains[edit | edit source]

  • Flag of Canada Adam Avision 2006
  • Flag of Canada Garrett Hamel 2006-07
  • Flag of Canada Chris Vandertas 2007-09
  • Flag of Canada Chad Meagher 2009-Present

External links[edit | edit source]


References[edit | edit source]

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