Hall of Fame 2023 inductee: 1966 Bobcaygeon Ti-Cats Junior D Hockey Club

Sports Advocate

By Lindsay Advocate

Memories of the 1965-66 Bobcaygeon Ti-Cats Junior D Hockey Club season continue to be cherished amongst teammates and fans. File photo.

By Amanda Tayles

Some teams just have that unique “it” factor; a group of individuals which form a sum of parts but together are able to achieve great success. The 1965-66 Bobcaygeon Ti-Cats team was such team. For four of the five years the veterans of the team were together they made provincial finals, but its was in 1966 that they reached the summit and came out all Ontario champions. Leading into the season, the winning squad built on their core by bringing in new recruits, and it must have been the finishing pieces they needed to make the team complete, as they defeated Blenheim, Ontario in the provincial championship challenge through six games.

Even though the season at the Bobcaygeon Arena was short, being delayed until late October/early November as a result of the hunting season drawing coaches and rink staff away, it didn’t hinder the team and come playoffs it was packed to the brim and beyond – a rumoured 1,400 fans at a single game. According to former player Ken Griffin, their success could be attributed to how they bonded on and off the ice.

“It was the way everybody always got together and played as a team and socialized together.” Even though a few of the players had already started their own families, with five of the players’ wives pregnant at the time of the championship, hockey was a passion and Griffin was overjoyed to go out a winner in his last year of eligibility with so many teammates that had become close friends. Some went on to further their hockey careers, including goalie Joe Junkin who would make it all the way to the Boston Bruins just two years later, but most stayed or returned home to the area, with many giving back to the sport over the years. Griffin himself was a referee for over 25 years, and his wife Sharon (a fellow inductee in 2003) was a volunteer with the Ontario Minor Hockey Association as well as local minor clubs. Though 12 of the players have since passed, the memories of the 1965-66 season continue to be cherished amongst teammates and fans.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.