Thunder Bay Flyers
Thunder Bay Flyers
City: Thunder Bay, Ontario
League: Thunder Bay Junior Hockey League/
United States Hockey League
Operated: 1980-2000
Home Arena: Fort William Gardens
Colors: Red, Black, Gold, and White
Head Coach: Jim Montroy, Mario Minoletti, Paul Mitchell, Dave Siciliano, Rick Adduono, Larry Wintoneak, Dave Bragnalo, Doug Colbon, Gary Wenzel, and Todd Jones
Franchise history
1980-1984: Thunder Bay Kings
1984-2000: Thunder Bay Flyers

The Thunder Bay Flyers were a Tier II Junior "A" ice hockey team from Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.


In 1980, Junior A hockey was resurrect for the first time since 1978 with the birth of the Thunder Bay Kings. From 1980 until 1982, the Kings played in the Thunder Bay Hockey League with the Allan Cup-contending Senior "A" Thunder Bay Twins, the Hardy Cup-contending Intermediate "A" Thunder Bay Blazers, and the Canadian Interuniversity Athletics Union's Lakehead University Nor'westers. Their first season saw them finish in second and meet the Intermediate Blazers in the league semi-final, which the Kings won 3-games-to-2. In the finals, they were swept by the Senior Twins 4-games-to-none. In the second year, the Flyers finished in third and drew the Blazers again. The defeated the Intermediates 3-games-to-1, to meet Lakehead University in the final. Lakehead shockingly upset the Twins 3-games-to-1 in the other semi. The Kings won the final in seven games to win the City Championship.

In 1982, the Thunder Bay Hockey League was disbanded. The Blazers folded into the Twins, and the Twins joined Manitoba's Central Senior A Hockey League. The Kings, with the newly formed Thunder Bay Hornets and the Schreiber North Stars Junior "B" hockey teams, the formed the Thunder Bay Junior Hockey League. The Kings won the league in 1983. In the 1983-84 season, the North Stars were replaced by the Jr. B Thunder Bay Maple Leafs. The Kings celebrated an 18-game perfect season before winning the city championship for the third straight year.

In 1984, the Thunder Bay Junior Hockey League folded. The Kings changed their name to the Thunder Bay Flyers and jumped to the United States Hockey League. The Hornets and Maple Leafs merged under the Thunder Bay Hornets banner and jumped to the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.

After the Thunder Bay Junior Hockey League folded in 1984, hockey players of the Hockey Northwestern Ontario region were left with few choices on where to play. Many players made the jump to the Ontario Provincial Junior A Hockey League or the current version of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League, some even made the jump to the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. Due to the region where Thunder Bay is, the league is closer to Manitoba and Minnesota than the closest franchises in the other Ontario Tier II Junior "A" Leagues.

With no leagues for the abundancy of top level players in Northwestern Ontario, to help stop the exporting of players to other regions, the Thunder Bay Flyers of the dead Thunder Bay League were kept alive. With no cost effective regional leagues to travel to play in, the closest being in Manitoba, the Flyers jumped the border -- they played in the top tier of American junior hockey, the United States Hockey League, with great success. From entering the league in 1984-85 to their exit after the 1999-2000 season, the Flyers are credited with four Anderson Cup regular-season titles in five years (1988, 1989, 1991, 1992) and two straight Clark Cup playoff championships in 1988 and 1989. No team under the leadership of Dave Siciliano (who coached in Thunder Bay from 1986-1993) finished lower than fourth or won less than 31 games out of a 48-game season.

Although their regular season were in the USHL, they came back to Canada for the playoffs to compete against the OPJHL and the NOJHL for the right to represent Ontario at the Centennial Cup. The Flyers won the Dudley Hewitt Cup in 1989, 1991, 1992, and 1995 to compete for the National title, they also made the 1988 Centennial Cup by default. The Flyers have also won 2 National titles. They won the 1989 Centennial Cup, defeating the Summerside Western Capitals then of the Island Junior Hockey League 4-1 in the final game, and they won the 1992 Cup, destroying the Winkler Flyers of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League 10-1 in the Cup final after smoking the Halifax Mooseheads (Maritime Junior A Hockey League) 8-1 in the semi-final.

The Flyers played their last game in 2000. The end of the Flyers sparked the creation of the Superior International Junior Hockey League. The SIJHL was created in 2001 to continue the tradition of the old Thunder Bay Junior Hockey League -- a multiple team, self-dependent, local Junior "A" hockey League. The league has been successful since its founding with its top team being the Fort William North Stars.

Season-by-Season RecordsEdit

Thunder Bay Hockey League 1980-1984
Season GP W L T OTL Pts Pct GF GA Result 1980-81 24 10 14 0 - 20 0.417 173 187 2nd Overall 1981-82 23 9 14 0 - 18 0.391 119 177 3rd Overall 1982-83 Statistics not available 1st Overall 1983-84 18 18 0 0 - 36 1.000 138 51 1st Overall
United States Hockey League 1984-2000
Season GP W L T OTL Pts Pct GF GA Result 1984-85 48 20 25 0 3 43 0.417 250 252 7th Overall 1985-86 48 15 32 0 1 31 0.312 210 300 8th Overall 1986-87 48 35 10 1 2 73 0.740 312 180 2nd Overall 1987-88 48 40 7 1 0 81 0.844 340 168 1st Overall 1988-89 48 40 6 2 0 82 0.854 340 189 1st Overall 1989-90 48 31 16 1 0 63 0.656 277 210 3rd Overall 1990-91 48 36 10 2 0 77 0.771 293 176 1st Overall 1991-92 48 36 11 1 0 74 0.760 265 173 1st Overall 1992-93 48 31 14 2 1 65 0.667 243 163 4th Overall 1993-94 48 26 20 1 1 54 0.552 214 203 6th Overall 1994-95 48 27 18 1 2 57 0.573 216 184 5th Overall 1995-96 46 13 29 1 3 30 0.293 136 202 11th Overall 1996-97 54 19 33 0 2 40 0.352 186 251 6th in North 1997-98 56 20 31 0 5 45 0.357 165 227 5th in North 1998-99 56 19 30 0 7 45 0.339 164 247 2nd in Central 1999-00 58 18 39 0 1 37 0.310 164 254 6th in East 798 426 331 13 28 0.534 3775 3379


  • Thunder Bay City Champions: 1982, 1983, 1984
  • Anderson Cup USHL Regular Season Champions: 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992
  • Canadian National Centennial Cup Championships: 1989, 1992
  • Clark Cup USHL Champions: 1988, 1989
  • Dudley Hewitt Cup Central Canadian Champions: 1989, 1991, 1992, 1995

Centennial Cups/Royal Bank CupsEdit


Round Robin
Pembroke Lumber Kings (CJHL) defeated Thunder Bay Flyers 7-4
Notre Dame Hounds (SJHL) defeated Thunder Bay Flyers 9-7
Halifax Lions (MJAHL) defeated Thunder Bay Flyers 6-4 (OT)


Round Robin
Thunder Bay Flyers defeated Vernon Lakers (BCJHL) 8-2
Summerside Capitals (IJHL) defeated Thunder Bay Flyers 5-4
Thunder Bay Flyers defeated Moncton Hawks (MJAHL) 6-2
Thunder Bay Flyers defeated Summerside Capitals (IJHL) 4-1


Round Robin
Halifax Jr. Canadians (MJAHL) defeated Thunder Bay Flyers 5-4
Thunder Bay Flyers defeated Sudbury Cubs (NOJHL) 10-4
Vernon Lakers (BCJHL) defeated Thunder Bay Flyers 3-2
Yorkton Terriers (SJHL) defeated Thunder Bay Flyers 5-4


Round Robin
Thunder Bay Flyers defeated St. James Canadians (MJHL) 7-4
Vernon Lakers (BCJHL) defeated Thunder Bay Flyers 5-4 (2OT)
Thunder Bay Flyers defeated Winkler Flyers (MJHL) 9-2
Halifax Mooseheads (MJAHL) defeated Thunder Bay Flyers 9-3
Thunder Bay Flyers defeated Halifax Mooseheads (MJAHL) 8-1
Thunder Bay Flyers defeated Winkler Flyers (MJHL) 10-1


Round Robin
Winnipeg South Blues (MJHL) defeated Thunder Bay Flyers 6-4
Calgary Canucks (AJHL) defeated Thunder Bay Flyers 6-0
Thunder Bay Flyers defeated Gloucester Rangers (CJAHL) 5-2
Thunder Bay Flyers defeated Joliette National (LHJAAAQ) 5-2
Calgary Canucks (AJHL) defeated Thunder Bay Flyers 5-3

Notable AlumniEdit

See alsoEdit

Preceded by
Notre Dame Hounds
Centennial Cup Champions
Succeeded by
Vernon Vipers
Preceded by
Vernon Vipers
Centennial Cup Champions
Succeeded by
Kelowna Spartans

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