|Smiths Falls Bears|
|City:||Smiths Falls, Ontario|
|League:||Central Junior A Hockey League|
|Home Arena:||Smiths Falls Memorial Centre|
|Colors:||Gold, Black, and White|
|Head Coach:||Bill Bowker|
|General Manager:||Bill Bowker|
The Smiths Falls Bears are a Junior "A" ice hockey team from Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada. They are a part of the Central Junior A Hockey League. They were original members, but then left Smiths Falls in 1976. The current team rejoined the league in 1985, with a short two-year stint in Lanark.
- Smiths Falls Bears 1961 - 1976
- Smiths Falls Bears 1985 - 2000
- Lanark Thunder 2000 - 2002
- Smiths Falls Bears 2002 to Present
The Smiths Falls Bears trace back to when the Central Junior Hockey League was formed in 1961 under the act of the Montreal Canadiens. The Bears are one of the oldest franchises in Canadian Junior A hockey, despite a 9-year leave of absence from 1976 to 1985, and a 2-year absence from Smiths Falls as part of a re-location to Perth, and being known as the Lanark Thunder from 2000-2002. When the Bears first surfaced, the team wore maroon and white - identical colours of the American Hockey League's Hershey Bears. The Bears won their first Art Bogart Cup in 1965 as Central Junior Hockey League champions. The Bears won back-to-back CJHL championships in 1974 and 1975. In 1976, the Bears took a leave of absence from the league. In 1985, the Bears returned to the league wearing the colours black, gold, and white - identical to the Pittsburgh Penguins uniforms in the 1980's. In the early 1990's, the Bears went back to their original colours of maroon and white, but with grey. In 1998, the Bears changed their colours to teal and black, which confused CJHL supporters around the league. In February 2000, the Smiths Falls Bears lost all their equipment in a dressing room fire at the Smiths Falls Memorial Centre. The equipment was replaced through donations and charities and the Bears finished off the 1999-00 season. In the summer, the Bears announced to relocate to nearby Perth, Ontario and became the Lanark Thunder. The new owner promised to draw attendance at the Perth & District Community Centre for the 2000-01 season. The Thunder drew a decent attendance, but attendance dropped in their second season causing financial trouble. The Lanark Thunder folded after the 2002 playoffs. The Smiths Falls Bears returned as an expansion team for 2002-03, because the Lanark Thunder ceased operations. Most of the Lanark players went on to play for the Bears, while other players were recruited through the expansion draft. The Smiths Falls Bears missed the playoffs in their first three years back. In December 2004, a new head coach Bill Bowker was assigned to turn the team around. The Bears won just 1 game before January 2005, and fans were criticizing the team's performance and asked what was wrong with the team and how long they would be in Smiths Falls. The coaching change paid off as the Bears made the playoffs four-consecutive years. Their best post-Lanark Thunder season was 2007-08, when the Bears made the CJHL finals after knowing off arch-rivals [Brockville Brave]] in 6 games to compete against the other arch-rivals Pembroke Lumber Kings. The Lumber Kings won the finals in 5 games. In July 2008, three Bears were chosen in the NHL Draft. Mike Bergin (Dallas Stars); Nicholas Tremblay (Boston Bruins); and Mark Borowiecki (Ottawa Senators) became the first trio of players from the same CJHL club to be chosen in the NHL Draft.
On February 27, 2010, the Smiths Falls Bears played their final game at the Smiths Falls Memorial Centre as the Bears will move to a new arena that is currently near-completion.
- Fred Brathwaite - Former NHL Goaltender now playing in Russia.
- Joe Dipenta - Anaheim Ducks Defenceman.
- Steve Poapst - Former NHL Defenceman.
- Steve Valiquette - New York Rangers Goaltender.
- Billy Smith - Hall of Fame New York Islanders Goaltender.
- Jason York - Longtime NHL Defenceman
- Mike Bergin- NHL draft pick (Dallas Stars)
- Nicholas Tremblay- NHL draft pick (Boston Bruins)
- Mark Borowiecki- NHL draft pick (Ottawa Senators)
Note: GP = Games Played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, OTL = Overtime Losses, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against
|1961-62||28||10||14||4||-||--||--||24||6th OHDJHL||Lost Semi-final|
|1962-63||32||10||9||3||-||140||124||43||2nd OHDJHL||Lost Final|
|1963-64||32||13||16||3||-||--||--||29||6th OHDJHL||Lost Quarter-final|
|1964-65||36||29||5||2||-||175||75||60||1st CJHL||Won League|
|1965-66||36||20||9||7||-||177||123||47||4th CJHL||Lost Semi-final|
|1966-67||50||22||20||8||-||186||176||52||2nd CJHL||Lost Final|
|1967-68||40||21||15||4||-||197||143||46||2nd CJHL||Lost Final|
|1968-69||40||20||11||9||-||157||123||49||2nd CJHL||Lost Semi-final|
|1971-72||48||29||17||2||-||250||208||60||1st CJHL||Won League|
|1973-74||50||30||17||3||-||301||240||63||1st CJHL||Won League, Won CC|
|1974-75||50||27||16||7||-||287||222||61||2nd CJHL||Won League, Won CC|
|1976-85||Did Not Participate|
|2005-06||59||18||31||5||5||193||250||46||4th in Yzerman||Lost quarter-final|
|2006-07||55||25||23||5||2||199||200||57||4th in Yzerman||Lost semi-final|
|2007-08||60||41||15||4||0||280||183||86||2nd CJHL||Lost final|
|2010-11||62||27||29||-||6||191||229||60||8th CCHL||Lost Quarter-final|
|2011-12||62||30||30||-||2||220||240||62||8th CCHL||Lost Quarter-final|
|2012-13||62||36||22||-||4||235||183||76||7th CCHL||Lost Quarter-final|
|2013-14||62||41||17||-||4||238||174||86||2nd CCHL||Lost Final|
|2014-15||62||28||26||3||5||173||206||64||5th of 6 Robinson|
7th of 12 CCHL
|Lost Prelim. Round, 1-2 (Raiders)|
|2015-16||62||38||22||0||2||220||170||78||4th of 6 Robinson|
6th of 12 CCHL
|Lost Quarterfinals, 0-4 (Hawks)|
- CJHL Bogart Cup Championships: 1965, 1972, 1974, 1975
- Eastern Canadian Fred Page Cup Championships: None
- CJAHL Royal Bank Cup Championships: None
- Fred Brathwaite
- Joe DiPenta
- Rob Dopson
- Randy Pierce
- Steve Poapst
- Ken Richardson
- Billy Smith
- Steve Valiquette
- Ron Ward
- Jason York
- Rod Zaine
- Mark Borowiecki
|This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Smiths Falls Bears. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Ice Hockey Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported) (CC-BY-SA).|