First Wetaskiwin Icemen Team
Most Successful Icemen Team To Date
Finished Second in the League
Lost in the Seventh Game of League Playoffs
Win-Loss: 31-5 League, 9-4 Playoffs
In 1991 the Wetaskiwin
Icemen Hockey Team was formed and their Mission was to provide young
athletes between the ages of fifteen and twenty-one the opportunity to
develop their knowledge and skills in the game of hockey, and to assist
young persons in the advancement of their educational and occupational
goals, so as to produce well rounded, community oriented leaders of
sound character and integrity. This year marks the 25th Anniversary of
the Icemen Hockey Association and in the twenty-five years of the team’s
existence over 400 players have had a chance to play Junior B hockey in
Wetaskiwin. Also, about twenty players have been awarded over $15,000
in scholarships. The 1991-92 Iceman Team is being inducted not only
because it was the first team but because it was the most successful in
the team’s history and laid the groundwork for the teams to come.
In the late 1980’s, there
was a large number of excellent and enthusiastic midget hockey players
in Wetaskiwin, but no local team for them to play on once they turned
seventeen. These players had been very successful at the Bantam Level
and had won consecutive Provincial titles in 1986-86 and 1987-88. In
fact, these two teams were inducted into the Wetaskiwin & County Sports
Hall of Fame in 2011. Nine of those Bantam team members were on the
1991-92 Icemen Hockey Team. Twenty-one players on the 1991-92 Icemen
Team came through the Wetaskiwin Minor Hockey Association programs.
Impressive 31-5 Win-Loss
Record First Year
Strength Throughout Team
The 1991-92 Icemen Team
was very competitive considering they were a first year team in the
Northeast Junior Hockey League. They were embraced by the community and
over 700 fans were on hand for their home opener. Brian Brown had led
the boys in their Bantam Provincial titles and because of his coaching
credentials, his brand of leadership, and his winning history he was
chosen as first coach of the Icemen. With coach Brown at the helm the
team practiced hard, traveled much, and as well maintained great
discipline and tenacity in order to keep improving. They had strength
throughout the team from goal-tending to solid defensemen and a great
group of up front skaters.
In exhibition games before
the league play commenced the new Icemen were undefeated. The team ended
the regular season with an impressive 31-5 win-loss record for a solid
second place finish in the league. They attended numerous tournaments
throughout the hockey season, were very competitive at all events, and
won the Calgary Invitational Junior B Tournament. The Icemen were well
represented at the League All Star game in the middle of the season.
Five players, two coaches and one manager traveled to Lloydminster to
take part in the league’s All Star Game.
Icemen Steal the Show at
League All Star Game
In the quarter-finals of
the league playoffs they defeated Slave Lake and in the semi-finals
defeated the Vegreville Rangers. They went undefeated in both series
and advanced to the league finals against the Lloydminster Bandits who
were the defending League and Provincial champions. In the league
finals the Icemen won the first two games against the Bandits. As the
playoffs continued, the Bandits won the next two games to tie the series
and then each team won one more game taking the finals to game seven.
After a great battle the Icemen lost 5-2. Lloydminster advanced to the
Provincials and then to the Western Canadian Championships. They won
both series without a loss. In the 1991-92 season, the Icemen were the
only team to defeat the Bandits.
Examining the roster of
the 1991-92 team, one would see a large number of individuals that went
on to coach and referee hockey in minor, junior, and senior hockey
leagues thus giving back to the sport they loved and to the organization
that allowed them to play this great game.
After four years in the
North East Junior Hockey League, the Icemen joined the Heritage Junior
League for two years. For the last nineteen years the Icemen have
played in the Capital Junior Hockey League. The Icemen teams play and
participate in the spirit of competition, some rivalry, and great
sportsmanship. In the fourteen team league the Icemen have represented
Wetaskiwin well and have acted as dedicated and proficient athletes as
well as good ambassadors for the City of Wetaskiwin.
To date the Icemen have
the largest fan and sponsor support in the league. They average close
to 200 people at every game and in play-offs they have filled the arena.
The formation of the Icemen Junior B Hockey team filled a void in the
Wetaskiwin community and this successful organization inspires and
provides role models for the younger hockey players of Wetaskiwin.
Large Fan Base and Sponsor
Cheers Icemen to Another 25 Years
We congratulate the Icemen
organization for their efforts during the last twenty-five years and
their contribution to Wetaskiwin’s sporting community and history. The
1991-92 Icemen provided the community with an exciting brand of hockey
and their sportsmanship, their tenacity in playing the game and their
achievements set the tone and provided a positive example for the teams
of the next twenty-five years. It is with great pleasure that we
induct 1991-92 Icemen into the Wetaskiwin & County Sports Hall of Fame.
Team members included:
Coaches, Managers, Trainers, Staff
Manager: Wayne Hardy