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Go To Homepage     The Hockey Blues Tradition
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Blues
Ian Malcolm, photo by Lewko Hryhorijiw
The Hockey Blues, one of the University of Toronto's oldest and most successful teams, celebrated their 110th anniversary during the new millenium 2000-01 season. The Blues were formed on January 15, 1891, and played their first game (a 2-0 victory) one month later, on February 17. Some 11 years later (1902-03), the Blues joined Queen's and McGill in the country's first intercollegiate hockey league. It was the McGill University men's hockey team which was the world’s first recorded, organized hockey club and played its first game on Jan. 31, 1877.

Since the Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union (CIAU) launched national hockey championships in 1963, the Blues have won 10 titles, including five straight from 1969 to 1973. Toronto's most recent national championship was in 1983-84, when the Blues defeated the Concordia Stingers 9-1 in the championship game. Only Alberta has managed to match the Blues in CIS Championships with its back to back victories of 1998 and 1999. As well as the national titles, Toronto has won 20 Ontario league titles since 1955, and a total of 41 titles overall. [As of July 1st, 1997, a new organization, Ontario University Athletics (OUA), was formed from its two predecessors of Ontario university sports, the Ontario Universities Athletic Association (OUAA) and the Ontario Women's Interuniversity Athletic Association (OWIAA).]  As of January 2002 the name of the CIAU has changed to CIS-SIC, Canadian Interuniversity Sport-Sport interuniversitaire canadien.

The late Conn Smythe was a former captain of the Blues while studying Engineering in 1915. In fact, when Smythe founded the Toronto Maple Leafs, he "borrowed" the familiar Blue and White sweater design for his new team. Smythe was also a coach of the Blues from 1923 to 1926, the first in a number of well-known personalities who have stood behind the Varsity bench. These include former Prime Minister Lester Pearson (1926-28), Ace Bailey (1935-40, 1945-49), Judge Joseph Kane (1962-65) and Mike Keenan (1983-84), who was coach and General Manager of the St. Louis Blues.

Tom Watt, the man responsible for nine of the Blues 10 national titles, and considered to be a major influence in Canadian hockey, coached the Blues from 1965-1979 and again in 1984-85. Watt was a member of the Canadian Olympic team coaching staff in 1980 and 1988, and has been head coach of the NHL's Winnipeg Jets, Vancouver Canucks and Toronto Maple Leafs.

Blues have also been prominent in international hockey circles. The Varsity Grads, a team of former Blues members, captured the Gold medal at the 1928 Olympic Games in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

The Varsity Blues participation in international hockey has taken the team to Poland, Austria, Germany, Switzerland and China. In 1990, Varsity competed in the Great Western Shootout tournament in Los Angeles and in 1993 the Blues travelled to the University of Wisconsin Christmas tournament. The following year, the Blues hosted the Can-Am Challenge Tournament in Varsity Arena, featuring NCAA favourites Cornell and Bowling Green, plus cross-town rival York Yeomen.

In 1968, the Blues earned the Bronze medal for Canada at the World Student Games. In February 1972, Blues thrilled a capacity crowd in Varsity Arena with a dramatic 5-1 victory over the USSR student national team. Goaltender Bruce Durno made a series of spectacular saves and centre John Wright collected three goals. Wright is one of Blues most decorated alumni, as he played on four consecutive CIS championship teams from 1969-72 and was named CIS tournament MVP three times. He received the U of T's Biggs Trophy in 1972 for "Leadership, Sportsmanship, and Performance" and after graduating played in the NHL with Vancouver, St. Louis and Kansas City.

At Varsity Arena, in November 1995, the Blues repeated a stunning victory in international hockey by defeating the Russian Junior team (5-2) in an exhibition game. Led by Scott McKinley and Jamie Coon, the Blues exerted so much continuous pressure in the opponents' zone that the Russians could not mount an effective attack for which they are so famous. At the Junior Championships, Russia would eventually take Bronze defeating the Czech Republic, with Canada taking its record-tying fourth consecutive Gold Medal defeating Sweden.

The Varsity presence in Olympic hockey continued during the 1980's. At Lake Placid in 1980, Tom Watt was a co-coach of Team Canada and the roster included no fewer than six Blues players: Warren Anderson, Dan D'Alvise, Cary Farelli, Joe Grant, Shane Pearsall and Stelio Zupancich. Anderson and current head coach Darren Lowe were Olympians four years later at Sarajevo and Lowe returned to the Blues, serving as captain in 1985-86 when he won the Biggs Trophy. Former Varsity players Dave MacLean and Ken Duggan were members of Team Canada which won the Gold medal at the 1987 Spengler Cup (Europe's most prestigious annual club tournament) played in Davos, Switzerland.

The Varsity Blues hockey tradition combines competitive excellence with a high rate of academic success. For example, Steve Monteith, whose U of T career scoring records set over 30 years ago have not been seriously challenged (Goals - 102, Assists - 147, Total Points - 249, 1962-67,69) holds Varsity degrees in Commerce and Law. Andre Hidi, MVP of the 1983-84 CIS tournament, went on to play for the Washington Capitals and then earned an MBA from Stanford.

Several Blues alumni were honoured as members of the U of T Sports Hall of Fame. Lester Pearson and Sandy Somerville were Charter Inductees in 1987. Dr. William A. Dafoe, Joseph Sullivan, Don Carrick and "Biddy" Barr joined in 1988. Former athletics director Warren Stevens, a 1989 inductee, coached the Blues from 1933-35. Conn Smythe was inducted in 1990, together with Wally Halder, who was Blues captain in 1945-46, coach from 1949-51 and leading scorer on Canada's 1948 Olympic champion team.

Tom Watt and Steve Monteith joined the Hall of Fame in October, 1991, and the late William "Bear" Kennedy was a 1993 inductee. Walter Bean, a defenseman on Varsity's OHA team in 1927-28, and John Wright joined the Hall of Fame in 1994. Donald Bark, who set a Varsity career scoring record between 1945-48, and Beattie Ramsay, captain of Blues 1921 Intercollegiate, OHA and Allan Cup champions and a member of Canada's 1924 Olympic Gold Medallists, were inducted on November 8, 1995.

Adapted from The Varsity Blues 1995-96 Men's Hockey Program, page 3; the following statistics have all been gathered from the Varsity Blues Men's Hockey Programs, the University of Toronto yearbook, Torontonensis, and from a fascinating book on early history of athletics at the University of Toronto, Thomas Arthur Reed, The Blue and White: A Record of Fifty Years of Athletic Endeavour at the University of Toronto, Toronto: The University of Toronto Press, 1944, pp. 187-210. M. Kolarcik
T.A.REED, BLUE & WHITE 


         BLUES RECORD OF CIS CHAMPIONSHIPS
 1983-84
BLUES  9 
-- 
1 Concordia
 1976-77
BLUES  4 
-- 
1 Alberta
 1975-76
BLUES  7 
-- 
2 Guelph
 1972-73
BLUES  3 
-- 
2 St. Mary's
 1971-72
BLUES  5 
-- 
0 St. Mary's 
 1970-71
BLUES  5 
-- 
4 St. Mary's
 1969-70
BLUES  3 
-- 
2 St. Mary's
 1968-69
BLUES  4 
-- 
2 Sir George Williams
 1966-67
BLUES 16
-- 
2 Laurentian
 1965-66
BLUES  8 
-- 
1 Alberta
 
        CIS CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES
2002-03 ----
2001-02 ---- Western 4 - 3 Trois-Rivières (3ot, longest final in CIS history)
2000-01 ---- Trois-Rivières 5 - 4 St. Francis Xavier (2ot)
1999-00 ---- Alberta 5 - New Brunswick 4 (ot)
1998-99 ---- Alberta 6 - Moncton 2
1997-98 ---- New Brunswick 6 - Acadia 3
1996-97 ---- Guelph 4 - New Brunswick 3
1995-96 ---- Acadia 3 - Waterloo 2
1994-95 ---- Moncton 5 - Guelph 1
1993-94 ---- Lethbridge 5 - Guelph 2
1992-93 ---- Acadia 12 - Toronto 1
1991-92 ---- Alberta 5 - Acadia 2
1990-91 ---- Trois-Rivières 7 - Alberta 2
1989-90 ---- Moncton 2 - Wilfrid Laurier 1
1988-89 ---- York 5 - Wilfrid Laurier 2
1987-88 ---- York 5 - Western Ontario 3
1986-87 ---- Trois-Rivières 6 - Saskatchewan 3
1985-86 ---- Alberta 5 - Trois-Rivières 2
1984-85 ---- York 3 - Alberta 2
1983-84 ---- Toronto 9 - Concordia 1
1982-83 ---- Saskatchewan 6 - Concordia 2
1981-82 ---- Moncton 3 - Saskatchewan 2
1980-81 ---- Moncton 4 - Saskatchewan 2
1979-80 ---- Alberta 7 - Regina 3
1978-79 ---- Alberta 5 - Dalhousie 1
1977-78 ---- Alberta 6 - Toronto 5
1976-77 ---- Toronto 4 - Alberta 1
1975-76 ---- Toronto 7 - Guelph 2
1974-75 ---- Alberta 5 - Toronto 0, Toronto 3 - Alberta 2, Alberta 5 - Toronto 2
1973-74 ---- Waterloo 6 - Sir George Williams 5 (ot)
1972-73 ---- Toronto 3 - Saint Mary's 2
1971-72 ---- Toronto 5 - Saint Mary's 0
1970-71 ---- Toronto 5 - Saint Mary's 4
1969-70 ---- Toronto 3 - Saint Mary's 2
1968-69 ---- Toronto 4 - Sir George Williams 2
1967-68 ---- Alberta 5 - Loyola 4
1966-67 ---- Toronto 16 - Laurentian 2
1965-66 ---- Toronto 8 - Alberta 1
1964-65 ---- Manitoba 9 - St. Dunstan's 2
1963-64 ---- Alberta 9 - Sir George Williams 1
1962-63 ---- McMaster 3 - British Columbia 2
With their back to back national championships in 1999 and 2000, Alberta is tied with the University of Toronto Varsity Blues, each having 10 national championships to their credit..


         BLUES RECORD OF OUA CHAMPIONSHIPS
(Ontario University Ahtletics)
1992-93 1971-72 1963-64 1950-51 1926-27 1919-20
1983-84 1970-71 1961-62 1947-48 1925-26 1914-15
1981-82 1969-70 1958-59 1946-47 1924-25 1912-13
1977-78 1968-69 1957-58 1939-40 1923-24 1910-11
1976-77 1967-68 1956-57 1931-32 1922-23 1907-08
1974-75 1966-67 1955-56 1928-29 1921-22 1906-07
1972-73 1965-66 1954-55 1927-28 1920-21  
Highlighted years indicate CIS Championship titles (which began with the 1962-63 season) in addition to the OUA Championship (which began with the 1902-03 season). In 1975-76, when the Blues did not capture the OUA Championship, they still went on to win the CIS Championship title.

 
CAPTAINS SINCE 1981 
2009-10 ---  1999-00 --- Steve Richmond 1989-90 --- Tom Warden
2008-09 ---  1998-99 --- Joel Zinn 1988-89 --- Ben Shepherd
2007-08 ---  1997-98 --- Paul Handley 1987-88 --- Chris Callaghan
2006-07 ---  1996-97 --- Jamie Coon 1986-87 --- Jim Byrne
2005-06 ---  1995-96 --- Scott McKinley 1985-86 --- Darren Lowe
2004-05 ---  1994-95 --- Scott McKinley 1984-85 --- Darren Boyko
2003-04 ---  1993-94 --- John Andersen 1983-84 --- Mike Todd
2002-03 --- Steve Murphy 1992-93 --- Tom Diceman 1982-83 --- Stelio Zupancich
2001-02 --- Steve Murphy 1991-92 --- Mark Haarmann 1981-82 --- Stelio Zupancich
2000-01 --- Steve Murphy 1990-91 --- Chris Vickers

For a list of Blues captains from 1890 to 1940 go to T.A.REED, BLUE & WHITE 


         LEADING SCORER
2002-03 ---
2001-02 --- Ian Malcolm  — 19 goals, 22 assists for 41 points in 24 games
2000-01 --- George Trifon — 12 goals, 16 assists for 28 points in 24 games
1999-00 --- George Trifon — 16 goals, 17 assists for 33 points in 26 games
1998-99 --- Paul Handley — 11 goals, 11 assists for 22 points in 26 games
1997-98 --- Kent Williams — 16 goals, 21 assists for 37 points in 26 games
1996-97 --- Kent Williams — 18 goals, 19 assists for 37 points

1995-96 --- Jamie Coon — 26 goals, 33 assists for 59 points in 41 games
1994-95 --- Jamie Coon — 23 goals, 24 assists for 47 points in 39 games
1993-94 --- Ted Wilson
1992-93 --- Jeff Daniels
1991-92 --- Glenn Clark
1990-91 --- Mark Haarman
1989-90 --- Steve Boyd
1988-89 --- Steve Boyd

         BEST DEFENSEMAN
2002-03 --- 
2001-02 --- Mark Hynes

2000-01 --- Mark Hynes
1999-00 --- Joel Zinn
1998-99 --- Joel Zinn
1997-98 --- Joel Zinn
1996-97 --- Sandy Sajko

1995-96 --- Sandy Sajko 
1994-95 --- Russ Davidson 
1993-94 --- Ken Stark 
1992-93 --- Tom Diceman 
1991-92 --- Tom Diceman 
1990-91 --- Chris Vickers
1989-90 --- Chris Vickers 
                    /Mark Haarmann 
1988-89 --- Chris Vickers

          DR. WILLIAM A. DAFOE TROPHY - Most Valuable Player (MVP)
2002-03 --- 
2001-02 --- Ian Malcolm

2000-01 --- Jamie Bruno
1999-00 --- Jamie Bruno
1998-99 --- Joel Zinn
1997-98 --- Rob Dykeman
1996-97 --- Jamie Coon

1995-96 --- Jamie Coon 
1994-95 --- Jamie Coon 
1993-94 --- John Anderson 
1992-93 --- Paul Henriques 
1991-92 --- Paul Henriques 
1990-91 --- Chris Vickers
1989-90 --- Steve Boyd 
1988-89 --- Ben Shepherd 
1987-88 --- Ben Shepherd 
1986-87 --- Chris Callaghan 
1985-86 --- Jim Byrne

         BEST ALL-AROUND FORWARD
2002-03 --- 
2001-02 --- Ian Malcolm

2000-01 --- Steve Murphy
1999-00 --- Steve Murphy
1998-99 --- Paul Handley
1997-98 --- Peter Andrikopoulos
1996-97 --- Jamie Coon

1995-96 --- Jamie Coon 
1994-95 --- Jamie Coon 
1993-94 --- John Anderson 
                   /Ted Wilson 
1992-93 --- John Anderson 
1991-92 --- Doug Cherepacha 
1990-91 --- Doug Cherepacha 
                    /Joe Rampton
1989-90 --- Doug Cherepacha 
1988-89 --- Tom Warden 
                    /Dean Haig

         ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
2002-03 --- 
2001-02 --- Steve Hoar

2000-01 --- Ian Malcolm
1999-00 --- George Trifon
1998-99 --- Mark Cooper
1997-98 --- Stuart MacKinnon
1996-97 --- Briano DiRezze

1995-96 --- Kent Williams 
1994-95 --- Peter Andrikopoulos 
1993-94 --- Dan Bellissimo 
1992-93 --- Kyle Mussmacher 
1991-92 --- Greg Van Sickle 
1990-91 --- Jeff Daniels
1989-90 --- John Andersen 
1988-89 --- Steve Boyd

COACHES OF THE BLUES
Darren Lowe 1995-
Paul Titanic 1985-1995  one league championship, 1993
Tom Watt 1984-1985
Mike Keenan 1983-1984 -- CIS championship, league championship
Gord Davies 1982-1983
Bill Purcell 1981-1982  league championship
Gord Davies 1979-1981
Tom Watt 1965-1979 -- 9 CIS championships, 11 league championships
Joe Kane 1962-1965  one league championship, 1964
Jack Kennedy 1953-1962  six league championships, '55, '56, '57, '58, '59, '62
Bill Wade  1951-1953 
Wally Halder 1949-1951  one league championship, 1951
Irwin W. (Ace) Bailey 1945-1949  two league championships, 1947, 1948
War Years
1940-1945  no official teams
Irwin W. (Ace) Bailey 1935-1940  one league championship, 1940
Warren Stevens 1933-1935 
F.G. Sullivan 1931-1933  one league championship, 1932
J.C. (Red) Porter 1928-1931  one league championships, 1929
Lester B. (Mike) Pearson 1926-1928  two league championships
Conn Smythe  1923-1926  three league championships
W.B. (Beattie) Ramsay 1922-1923  league championship
Dr. W.A. (Bill) Dafoe 1920-1922  two league championships
Frank Carroll 1919-1920  league championship
War Years
1915-1919  no official teams
Dr. Roy Thomas 1913-1915  one league championship, 1915
Dr. W.E. Gallie 1909-1913  two league championships, 1911, 1913 
On record, the first coach of the Blues is Dr. W.E. Gallie. He was president of the club and "assisted" in coaching already in the 1908-09 season. T.A. Reed mentions Gallie as the coach for the 1909-10 season, but probably because the team withdrew from competition that year, he was listed as official coach starting only from the 1911-12 season. Prior to 1909 it seems that coaching was done by any of the club officers. Coaching would involve managers, presidents and perhaps even the captains. For a fascinating early account of the history of ice-hockey and specifically of the Blues see, Thomas Arthur Reed, The Blue and White: A Record of Fifty Years of Athletic Endeavour at the University of Toronto, Toronto: The University of Toronto Press, 1944, pp. 187-210. T.A.REED, BLUE & WHITE 

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