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St. Albert Saints

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St. Albert Saints
Sgsaints
City St. Albert, Alberta
League Alberta Junior Hockey League
Operated 1977 (1977)-2004
Home arena Akinsdale Arena
Colors Red, white and gold
Franchise history
1963-1972 Edmonton Movers
1972-1974 Edmonton Mets
1974-1977 Spruce Grove Mets
1977-2004 St. Albert Saints
2004-present Spruce Grove Saints
Previous franchise history
1963-1972 Edmonton Maple Leafs

The St. Albert Saints were a junior ice hockey franchise based in St. Albert, Alberta, for twenty-seven seasons from 1977 to 2004. Before 1977, the team played in nearby Spruce Grove as the Spruce Grove Mets, and in 2004 the team again moved to Spruce Grove where they now play as the Spruce Grove Saints. In all its incarnations, the team has been a part of the junior 'A' Alberta Junior Hockey League.

HistoryEdit

The Saints began life as the aptly named Edmonton Movers, as one of the original franchises of the Alberta Junior Hockey League in 1963. Nine years later, the Movers merged with their cross-town rivals the Edmonton Maple Leafs (named after the more famous Toronto NHL club) and moved to the suburban city of Spruce Grove to become the Mets. However, the team's stay in Spruce Grove was short-lived, and by 1977 the team moved to another Edmonton suburb, St. Albert, where they became the St. Albert Saints.

In Edmonton, the team had already built up its share of history, winning two Carling Cups as the Movers in 1967 and 1968 and adding another two consecutive as the Mets in 1975 and 1976, with the 1975 incarnation also taking the national Manitoba Centennial Trophy. But in St. Albert, the team built up most of its most famous alumni and took its share of major championships, although it would never repeat the glory of the 1975 Mets on the national stage.

St. Albert Saints logo up to 1989

The Saints' old logo until the 1989 season.

The Saints won four league titles during their time in St. Albert, taking the 1981, 1982 and 1996 Carling Cups as well as the 1998 Rogers Wireless Cup. But it was its players that achieved the greatest fame, with the most famous undoubtedly being long-time NHLer and six-time Stanley Cup champion Mark Messier, who played one season with the Mets and one with the Saints. Other notable alumni have included longtime New Jersey Devils stalwart Ken Daneyko (who only played two games with the Saints), longtime Chicago Blackhawks player and current Blackhawks WGN-AM radio color analyst Troy Murray, and recent NHL standouts such as Steven Reinprecht, Stu Barnes and Mike Comrie. Players such as Fernando Pisani, Steven Goertzen, René Bourque and Jamie Lundmark have had workmanlike careers in the NHL, while other players such as Alexander Fomitchev have gone on to great success in other professional leagues.

Despite these successful players, the Saints were also involved in one of the most tragic incidents in junior hockey history, when a clean hit by a Saints player on Sherwood Park Crusaders forward and captain Trevor Elton resulted in the death of Elton. They were also involved in one of the most violent, a famous bench-clearing brawl on November 21, 1979, between the Saints and the Red Deer Rustlers. This brawl resulted in the suspension of several players, as well as Saints head coach Doug Messier and Rustlers' trainer Terry Sexsmith for getting a little too involved in the battle. Sexsmith was later banned from the AJHL for life.

DepartureEdit

As the 21st century rolled around, complaints increasingly began to grow that the Saints' arena, Akinsdale Arena, was of a calibre too low to occupy a junior 'A' franchise. Various newer arenas seating over a thousand, such as the Sherwood Park Crusaders' Sherwood Park Arena, the 2,000-seat Jubilee Recreation Centre, home of the Fort Saskatchewan Traders, and the vacant 1,200-seat Grant Fuhr Arena in Spruce Grove - which was expected to receive a significant upgrade - are all within a short drive of St. Albert. Akinsdale Arena, by comparison, was relatively old and very small, seating only 611 with room for 200 standing, the smallest capacity in the league. The arena also suffered in terms of parking, amenities, and quality of view.

By the 2002-03 season, it was becoming clear that the Saints would be moved, with Barrhead or the oil town of Leduc frequently cited as potential locations. The team was even forced to play out its last games in Edmonton's Bill Hunter Arena, where it never drew crowds of less than double Akinsdale's maximum capacity.[1]

Despite rumours that the St. Albert city council under mayor Richard Plain was to approve the construction of a new multi-use facility including a 1,700-seat arena (one that would eventually be approved for over $40 million in 2004), the Saints moved to Spruce Grove to start the 2004-05 AJHL campaign.

Season-by-season recordEdit

Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T/OTL = Ties and overtime losses, SOL = Shootout losses Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against

Season GP W L T/OTL SOL GF GA Pts Finish Playoffs
1966-67 32 25 3 4 - 228 118 54 1st AJHL
1969-70 50 19 27 4 - 160 227 42 5th AJHL
1970-71 50 9 36 5 - 165 282 23 6th AJHL
1971-72 48 16 30 2 - 187 239 34 6th AJHL
1972-73 60 25 33 2 - 257 315 52 5th AJHL
1973-74 60 30 27 3 - 280 254 63 3rd AJHL
1974-75 60 44 16 0 - 368 220 88 1st AJHL
1975-76 60 35 22 3 - 312 258 73 2nd AJHL
1976-77 60 35 23 2 - 263 235 72 4th AJHL
1977-78 60 38 21 1 - 318 264 77 2nd AJHL
1978-79 60 39 20 1 - 311 250 79 3rd AJHL
1979-80 59 34 23 2 - 313 237 70 3rd AJHL
1980-81 60 33 24 3 - 285 250 69 2nd AJHL North
1981-82 60 46 14 0 - 338 199 92 1st AJHL North
1982-83 60 41 19 0 - 372 239 82 1st AJHL North
1983-84 60 37 23 0 - 340 276 74 2nd AJHL North
1984-85 60 36 20 4 - 333 260 76 2nd AJHL North
1985-86 52 31 20 1 - 297 248 63 1st AJHL North
1986-87 60 37 20 3 - 307 241 77 2nd AJHL North
1987-88 60 42 18 0 - 320 206 84 1st AJHL North
1988-89 60 28 29 3 - 264 262 59 3rd AJHL North
1989-90 60 16 41 3 - 245 328 35 5th AJHL North
1990-91 56 30 23 3 - 197 201 63 4th AJHL
1991-92 60 37 20 - 3 278 254 77 4th AJHL
1992-93 56 34 20 - 2 269 224 70 3rd AJHL
1993-94 56 21 34 - 1 210 253 43 7th AJHL
1994-95 56 29 23 - 4 232 235 62 4th AJHL
1995-96 60 38 17 - 5 268 194 81 3rd AJHL
1996-97 60 34 22 - 4 226 221 72 3rd AJHL
1997-98 60 42 15 - 3 311 184 87 1st AJHL
1998-99 62 43 19 - 0 286 202 86 1st AJHL North
1999-00 64 19 43 - 2 209 315 40 6th AJHL North
2000-01 64 37 21 6 - 227 190 80 3rd AJHL North
2001-02 64 42 12 10 - 254 169 94 1st AJHL North
2002-03 64 38 20 6 - 250 196 82 2nd AJHL North
2003-04 60 36 22 2 - 210 187 74 2nd AJHL North

PlayoffsEdit

  • 1971 DNQ
  • 1972 DNQ
  • 1973 DNQ
  • 1974 Lost Semi-final
Red Deer Rustlers defeated Edmonton Mets 4-games-to-none
Spruce Grove Mets defeated Calgary Canucks 4-games-to-1
Spruce Grove Mets defeated Drumheller Falcons 4-games-to-3 AJHL CHAMPIONS
Spruce Grove Mets defeated Bellingham Blazers (BCJHL) 4-games-to-2 ALTA/BC CHAMPIONS
Spruce Grove Mets defeated Selkirk Steelers (MJHL) 4-games-to-2 ABBOTT CUP CHAMPIONS
Spruce Grove Mets defeated Guelph CMC's (SOJHL) 4-games-to-2 CENTENNIAL CUP CHAMPIONS
Spruce Grove Mets defeated Red Deer Rustlers 4-games-to-2
Spruce Grove Mets defeated Taber Golden Suns 4-games-to-none AJHL CHAMPIONS
Spruce Grove Mets defeated Nor'Wes Caps (PJHL) 4-games-to-1 ALTA/BC CHAMPIONS
Spruce Grove Mets defeated Prince Albert Raiders (SJHL) 4-games-to-1 ABBOTT CUP CHAMPIONS
Rockland Nationals (CJHL) defeated Spruce Grove Mets 4-games-to-1
  • 1977 Lost Quarter-final
Taber Golden Suns defeated Spruce Grove Mets 4-games-to-none
  • 1978 Lost Semi-final round robin
St. Albert Saints defeated Red Deer Rustlers 4-games-to-3
Third in semi-final round robin (1-3) vs. Fort Saskatchewan Traders and Calgary Canucks
  • 1979 Lost Semi-final round robin
St. Albert Saints defeated Taber Golden Suns 4-games-to-1
Third in semi-final round robin (2-2) vs. Calgary Canucks and Fort Saskatchewan Traders
  • 1980 Lost Semi-final
St. Albert Saints defeated Fort Saskatchewan Traders 3-games-to-none
Red Deer Rustlers defeated St. Albert Saints 4-games-to-1
St. Albert Saints defeated Red Deer Rustlers 3-games-to-1
St. Albert Saints defeated Sherwood Park Crusaders 4-games-to-2
St. Albert Saints defeated Taber Golden Suns 4-games-to-3 AJHL CHAMPIONS
St. Albert Saints defeated Penticton Knights (BCJHL) 4-games-to-1 ALTA/BC CHAMPIONS
Prince Albert Raiders (SJHL) defeated St. Albert Saints 4-games-to-none
St. Albert Saints defeated Hobbema Hawks 4-games-to-none
St. Albert Saints defeated Fort McMurray Oil Barons 4-games-to-none
St. Albert Saints defeated Calgary Spurs 4-games-to-3 AJHL CHAMPIONS
St. Albert Saints defeated Penticton Knights (BCJHL) 4-games-to-3 ALTA/BC CHAMPIONS
Prince Albert Raiders (SJHL) defeated St. Albert Saints 4-games-to-1
  • 1983 Lost Semi-final
St. Albert Saints defeated Sherwood Park Crusaders 4-games-to-none
Fort McMurray Oil Barons defeated St. Albert Saints 4-games-to-1
  • 1984 Lost Semi-final
St. Albert Saints defeated Sherwood Park Crusaders 4-games-to-3
Fort Saskatchewan Traders defeated St. Albert Saints 4-games-to-3
  • 1985 Lost Quarter-final
Fort Saskatchewan Traders defeated St. Albert Saints 4-games-to-2
  • 1986 Lost Quarter-final
Fort McMurray Oil Barons defeated St. Albert Saints 4-games-to-1
  • 1987 Lost Final
St. Albert Saints defeated Fort McMurray Oil Barons 4-games-to-2
St. Albert Saints defeated Sherwood Park Crusaders 4-games-to-3
Red Deer Rustlers defeated St. Albert Saints 4-games-to-2
  • 1988 Lost Final
St. Albert Saints defeated Fort McMurray Oil Barons 4-games-to-2
St. Albert Saints defeated Hobbema Hawks 4-games-to-2
Calgary Canucks defeated St. Albert Saints 4-games-to-1
  • 1989 Lost Quarter-final
Sherwood Park Crusaders defeated St. Albert Saints 4-games-to-2
  • 1990 Lost Quarter-final
Calgary Canucks defeated St. Albert Saints 4-games-to-3
  • 1991 Lost Quarter-final
Fort McMurray Oil Barons defeated St. Albert Saints 4-games-to-none
  • 1992 Lost Quarter-final
Fort Saskatchewan Traders defeated St. Albert Saints 4-games-to-3
  • 1993 Lost Semi-final
St. Albert Saints defeated Calgary Canucks 5-games-to-2
Fort Saskatchewan Traders defeated St. Albert Saints 4-games-to-3
  • 1994 Lost Semi-final
St. Albert Saints defeated Fort Saskatchewan Traders 4-games-to-3
Olds Grizzlys defeated St. Albert Saints 4-games-to-none
  • 1995 Lost Quarter-final
Sherwood Park Crusaders defeated St. Albert Saints 4-games-to-1
St. Albert Saints defeated Sherwood Park Crusaders 4-games-to-3
St. Albert Saints defeated Olds Grizzlys 4-games-to-none
St. Albert Saints defeated Fort McMurray Oil Barons 4-games-to-3 AJHL CHAMPIONS
Vernon Vipers (BCHL) defeated St. Albert Saints 4-games-to-3
  • 1997 Lost Semi-final
St. Albert Saints defeated Sherwood Park Crusaders 4-games-to-2
Fort McMurray Oil Barons defeated St. Albert Saints 4-games-to-2
St. Albert Saints defeated Olds Grizzlys 4-games-to-2
St. Albert Saints defeated Calgary Canucks 4-games-to-3
St. Albert Saints defeated Fort Saskatchewan Traders 4-games-to-2 AJHL CHAMPIONS
South Surrey Eagles (BCHL) defeated St. Albert Saints 4-games-to-2
  • 1999 Lost Final
St. Albert Saints defeated Grande Prairie Storm 4-games-to-1
St. Albert Saints defeated Lloydminster Blazers 4-games-to-3
Calgary Canucks defeated St. Albert Saints 4-games-to-none
  • 2000 Lost Preliminary
Fort Saskatchewan Traders defeated St. Albert Saints 3-games-to-1
  • 2001 Lost Quarter-final
St. Albert Saints defeated Sherwood Park Crusaders 3-games-to-none
Grande Prairie Storm defeated St. Albert Saints 4-games-to-1
  • 2002 Lost Quarter-final
Grande Prairie Storm defeated St. Albert Saints 4-games-to-2
  • 2003 Lost Final
St. Albert Saints defeated Lloydminster Blazers 4-games-to-1
St. Albert Saints defeated Grande Prairie Storm 4-games-to-1
St. Albert Saints defeated Sherwood Park Crusaders 4-games-to-1
Camrose Kodiaks defeated St. Albert Saints 4-games-to-3
  • 2004 Lost Preliminary
Lloydminster Blazers defeated St. Albert Saints 3-games-to-1

Maple Leafs recordEdit

Season GP W L T/OTL SOL GF GA Pts Finish Playoffs
1966-67 32 11 15 6 - 128 146 28 4th AJHL
1969-70 50 23 20 7 - 215 217 53 4th AJHL
1970-71 50 24 21 5 - 241 222 53 4th AJHL
1971-72 48 16 29 3 - 192 231 35 5th AJHL

PlayoffsEdit

  • 1971 Lost Semi-final
Lethbridge Sugar Kings defeated Edmonton Maple Leafs 4-games-to-none
  • 1972 Lost Semi-final
Calgary Canucks defeated Edmonton Maple Leafs 4-games-to-3


ReferencesEdit

NotesEdit

  1. Saints give up on St. Albert, St. Albert Gazette, April 17, 2004.


This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at St. Albert Saints. 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).


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