|South Muskoka Shield|
|League:||Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League|
|Home Arena:||Bracebridge Memorial Arena|
|Colors:||Red, Black, and White
|General Manager:||Gord Carey|
|Head Coach:||Dallyn Telford|
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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.
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 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.
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.
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. 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"
- 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”
- Naz Marchese Award
- An annual award “to the forward who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest ability at the position of defensive forward”
- Mark Trost Award
- An annual award “to the defenseman who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest ability at the position”
- Ken Girard Award
- An annual award “to the GMHL coach adjudged to have contributed the most to his team’s success”
- Gerry St.Onge Award
Team Captains[edit | edit source]
[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]