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OCN Blizzard

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City  The Pas, Manitoba
General manager  Doug Hedley (2016-17)
Location  The Pas, Canada
Colours  Blue, Red, White
Head coach  Doug Hedley (2016-17)
Founded  1996
OCN Blizzard thepasonlinecomassetsimagesOCN20Blizzardjpg
League  Manitoba Junior Hockey League
Home arena  Gordon Lathlin Memorial Centre
Arena  Gordon Lathlin Memorial Centre

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The Opaskwayak Cree Nation Blizzard are a Canadian Junior "A" ice hockey team from The Pas, Manitoba, Canada. They are members of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League, a part of the Canadian Junior A Hockey League and Hockey Canada. The team is owned by the Opaskwayak Cree Nation.

Contents

wikipedia ocn blizzard


History

The Blizzard were founded in 1996 by the Opaskwayak Cree Nation near The Pas, Manitoba. The team was a year in the making with the Cree Nation's eye on entering the SJHL. Their hockey development and recreation department spent many months prior getting the community members on board through community meetings and house to house visits. Boh Kubrakovich, Jim Smith and Nathan McGillivary spent time working with the SJHL prior to entering the current league MJHL. The Blizzard name and jersey was styled after the Utica Blizzard of the Colonial Hockey League. It was through a Blizzard like snow storm that the new directors of the team made it to Winnipeg to announce the team. During the press conference the directors decided to call the team the Opaskwayak Blizzard.

Founding directors were James Smith, Chief Frances Flett(late), Gordon Lathlin(late), Gilbert Lathlin(Rat), Nathan McGillivary and Recreation Director/Director of Hockey Boh Kubrakovich. A search for a Head Coach/Director of Hockey did not last long as the directors selected Gardiner MacDougall as their first choice to operate the newly established hockey club. Leonard Strandberg was then hired as the General Manager in 1996.

From the 1998-99 season until 2002-03, the Blizzard became the second team in MJHL history and the first team in over sixty years to win five straight Turnbull Cups as MJHL Playoff Champions. In the Anavet Cup Regional title, in succession, the Blizzard lost to the SJHL's Estevan Bruins in 1999, Lost to the Battlefords North Stars in 2000, the Weyburn Red Wings in 2001, defeated the Red Wings the next year, and then lost in 2003 to the Humboldt Broncos. When they won the Anavet Cup in 2002, it earned them the right to compete in Royal Bank Cup 2002. They finished the National Championship round robin with a 2-2 record. In the semi-final they defeated the BCHL's Chilliwack Chiefs 4-3, but lost in the National Final to the Halifax Exports 3-1.

Blizzard games are broadcast on local radio station CJAR 102.9 (CJAR-FM) and can also be heard online at www.thepasonline.com. Jaret Schneider is the current play-by-play announcer. Past announcers include Kurtis "Huddy" Hudson, Evan Hammond, Kris Menard, Jamie Smaller and Bradley Karp.

In December 2016, the Opaskwayak Cree Nation council declared its intention to cease the team's operations following the 2016-17 season. The MJHL is currently exploring other options to save the franchise, which would include finding a new ownership group. The Blizzards' board of directors were later granted permission to operate the team for another season, but without funding from the band council.

Season-by-season record

Note: GP = Games Played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, OTL = Overtime Losses, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against

Playoffs

  • 1997 Lost Final
  • OCN Blizzard defeated Portage Terriers 4-games-to-1 OCN Blizzard defeated Winkler Flyers 4-games-to-none St. James Canadians defeated OCN Blizzard 4-games-to-1
  • 1998 Lost Semi-final
  • OCN Blizzard defeated Portage Terriers 4-games-to-2 Winkler Flyers defeated OCN Blizzard 4-games-to-1
  • 1999 Won League, Lost Anavet Cup
  • OCN Blizzard defeated Dauphin Kings 4-games-to-none OCN Blizzard defeated Winkler Flyers 4-games-to-1 OCN Blizzard defeated Winnipeg South Blues 4-games-to-none MJHL CHAMPIONS Estevan Bruins (SJHL) defeated OCN Blizzard 4-games-to-2
  • 2000 Won League, Lost Anavet Cup
  • OCN Blizzard defeated Swan Valley Stampeders OCN Blizzard defeated Dauphin Kings 4-games-to-none OCN Blizzard defeated Winnipeg South Blues 4-games-to-1 MJHL CHAMPIONS Battlefords North Stars (SJHL) defeated OCN Blizzard 4-games-to-1
  • 2001 Won League, Lost Anavet Cup
  • OCN Blizzard defeated Swan Valley Stampeders 4-games-to-1 OCN Blizzard defeated Neepawa Natives 4-games-to-1 OCN Blizzard defeated Winkler Flyers 4-games-to-none MJHL CHAMPIONS Weyburn Red Wings (SJHL) defeated OCN Blizzard 4-games-to-2
  • 2002 Won League, Won Anavet Cup, Lost 2002 Royal Bank Cup final
  • OCN Blizzard defeated Swan Valley Stampeders 4-games-to-none OCN Blizzard defeated Portage Terriers 4-games-to-3 OCN Blizzard defeated Winkler Flyers 4-games-to-none MJHL CHAMPIONS OCN Blizzard defeated Kindersley Klippers (SJHL) 4-games-to-1 ANAVET CUP CHAMPIONS Third in 2002 Royal Bank Cup round robin (2-2) OCN Blizzard defeated Chilliwack Chiefs (BCHL) 4-3 in semi-final Halifax Oland Exports (MJAHL) defeated OCN Blizzard 3-1 in final
  • 2003 Won League, Lost Anavet Cup
  • OCN Blizzard defeated Dauphin Kings 4-games-to-none OCN Blizzard defeated Portage Terriers 4-games-to-1 OCN Blizzard defeated Southeast Blades 4-games-to-none MJHL CHAMPIONS Humboldt Broncos (SJHL) defeated OCN Blizzard 4-games-to-1
  • 2004 Lost Quarter-final
  • Portage Terriers defeated OCN Blizzard 4-games-to-none
  • 2005 Lost Quarter-final
  • Portage Terriers defeated OCN Blizzard 4-games-to-2
  • 2006 Lost Final
  • OCN Blizzard defeated Swan Valley Stampeders 4-games-to-1 OCN Blizzard defeated Dauphin Kings 4-games-to-3 Winnipeg South Blues defeated OCN Blizzard 4-games-to-1
  • 2007 DNQ
  • 2008 DNQ
  • 2009 Lost Quarter-final
  • Dauphin Kings defeated OCN Blizzard 4-games-to-2
  • 2010 DNQ
  • 2011 Lost Quarter-final
  • Dauphin Kings defeated OCN Blizzard 4-games-to-3
  • 2012 Lost Semi-final
  • OCN Blizzard defeated Swan Valley Stampeders 4-games-to-2 Winnipeg Saints defeated OCN Blizzard 4-games-to-2
  • 2013 Lost Semi-final
  • OCN Blizzard defeated Swan Valley Stampeders 4-games-to-1 Dauphin Kings defeated OCN Blizzard 4-games-to-3
  • 2014 Lost Quarter-final
  • OCN Blizzard defeated Waywayseecappo Wolverines 2-games-to-1 Dauphin Kings defeated OCN Blizzard 4-games-to-0
  • 2015 Lost Survivor Series
  • Selkirk Steelers defeated OCN Blizzard 2-games-to-0
  • 2016 Lost Quarter-final
  • Winkler Flyers defeated OCN Blizzard 4-games-to-1

    Retired numbers

  • #18 Cliff Duschesne
  • #22 Terence Tootoo
  • Notable alumni

    National Hockey League

  • Steve MacIntyre - Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers, Pittsburgh Penguins
  • Jordin Tootoo - Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Nashville Predators, New Jersey Devils
  • American Hockey League

  • Ryan Constant - Springfield Falcons, Hartford Wolfpack
  • Steve MacIntyre - Providence Bruins, Hartford Wolfpack
  • Konrad McKay - Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Hartford Wolfpack
  • Jordin Tootoo - Milwaukee Admirals
  • East Coast Hockey League/ECHL

  • Ryan Constant - Adirondack Thunder, Stockton Thunder, Charlotte Checkers
  • Mike Gooch - Wheeling Nailers
  • Darcy Johnson - Long Beach Ice Dogs
  • Steve MacIntyre - Charlotte Checkers
  • Konrad McKay - Charlotte Checkers
  • Jamie Muswagon - Wheeling Nailers, Greenville Grrrowl
  • Ryan Person - Greenville Grrrowl
  • Terence Tootoo - Roanoke Express
  • Central Hockey League

  • Mike Gooch - Laredo Bucks
  • Konrad McKay - New Mexico Scorpions, Odessa Jackalopes
  • Donald Melnyk - Wichita Thunder, Laredo Bucks
  • Aaron Porter - Border City Bandits, Oklahoma City Blazers
  • Aaron Starr - Laredo Bucks
  • Matt Summers - Mississippi RiverKings, Laredo Bucks
  • Brian Tucker - Memphis Riverkings
  • David Victor - Wichita Thunder, Laredo Bucks
  • Justin Williams - Fort Worth Brahmas, Topeka Tarantulas
  • Michael Young - Amarillo Gorillas, Lubbock Cotton Kings, Tulsa Oilers
  • Southern Professional Hockey League

  • Andrew Gallant - Knoxville Ice Bears
  • Matt Leduc - Pee Dee Cyclones
  • Donald Melnyk - Knoxville Ice Bears, Louisiana IceGators, Richmond Renegades, Twin City Cyclones
  • Brett Needham - Richmond Renegades
  • Ryan Person - Jacksonville Barracudas, Asheville Aces
  • Brad Reaney - Richmond Renegades
  • Kiel Wilgosh - Columbus Cottonmouths
  • Colonial/United/International Hockey League

  • Darcy Johnson - Fort Wayne Komets
  • Steve MacIntyre - Quad City Mallards, Muskegon Fury
  • Jamie Muswagon - Port Huron Beacons
  • Brett Needham - Kalamazoo Wings
  • Ryan Person - Adirondack IceHawks
  • Aaron Porter - Muskegon Fury
  • Brian Tucker - Muskegon Fury, Madison Kodiaks
  • National Collegiate Athletic Association

  • Louis Chabot - Cornell University
  • Andrew Gallant - Manhattanville College
  • Mike Gooch - Neumann College
  • Danil Kalashnikov - Concordia College
  • Lem Randall - University of Maine
  • Tyler Scofield - Bemidji State University
  • Jon Stephansson - Minot State University
  • Mark Wallmann - St. Lawrence University
  • Paul Wallmann - St. Lawrence University
  • Kevin Wilson - Lake Superior State University
  • Canadian Interuniversity Sport

  • David Aime - Queen's University
  • Everett Bear - University of Manitoba
  • Barrett Brook - University of Guelph
  • Dave Brown - University of Manitoba
  • Nathan Bruyere - Lakehead University
  • Shayne Emmons -University of Regina
  • Cole Hunter - University of Manitoba
  • Dallas Jackson - University of Lethbridge
  • Barrett Labossiere - University of Manitoba
  • Jared Lang - University of Manitoba
  • Justin MacDonald - Lakehead University
  • Jamie Muswagon - University of Manitoba
  • Jonathan Romic - University of Windsor
  • Aaron Starr - University of Manitoba
  • David Victor - Acadia University
  • Justin Waskewitch - University of Regina
  • Michaek Young - University of Manitoba
  • Ligue Nord-Américaine de Hockey

  • Darcy Johnson - Sorel-Tracy Mission, Thetford Mines Prolab
  • Konrad McKay - Trois-Rivières Caron & Guay, Verdun Dragons
  • Federal Hockey League

  • Roger Tagoona - Dayton Demonz
  • Other

  • Jeremy Southwind- Winnipeg Jets ASHL
  • Barrett Labossiere - EC Die Adler Kitzbuhel, Austria
  • References

    OCN Blizzard Wikipedia


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