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The Eagles

Hockey, at the senior level, has been supported in Stony Plain for nearly 60 years. The love of the game, at this level, continues to grow for both players and spectators alike. Stony began its senior hockey in a four-team league, in the early 1930s, when they teamed up with clubs from St. Albert, Fort Saskatchewan and Leduc. The league 'paused' for the duration of World War II, until 1946, when the hockey action came back to Stony Plain. The team gained its present name of the 'Eagles' in the decade of the 60s, when they played in a league with teams from Drayton Valley, Wabamun, Onoway, Whitecourt and Calmar. The coach of the team, Earnie Johnston, is credited with giving the club its name.

In the early 60s, the Eagles played in the Highway 16 West League. In 1966, with the Centennial Arena under construction, the club joined the Edmonton Central Hockey league. In October, of that year, with the new rink half constructed, it collapsed due to high winds. As a result the Eagles were forced to play their home games in Edmonton, and to practice on a slough alongside Highway 16. That was the first year the club played at an intermediate 'A' level, and since then they have played at the 'AA' and now the 'AAA' levels.

In the 1982-83 season, the Eagles began to accumulate their share of Provincial titles. That year, they won the Vin Stanley Trophy as the Northern intermediate 'A' champs, and then followed that up with the provincial championship by beating Lethbridge for the George H. Harvie memorial Trophy. The Stony Plain representatives continued their march toward the Hardy Cup by defeating Quesnel, B.C. in the best-of-five series of interprovincial play. However, that was as far as the winning went that year, as Winnipeg downed the Eagles in a best-of-seven Western Canada final, and captured the Edmonton Journal Cup. In the 1986-87, season the Eagles went all the way to the final of the Hardy Cup, but were beaten in straight games by Miramichi, N.B., in the 'AA' final, after beating B.C. and Saskatchewan.

1992 was the first year the Stony Plain Eagles moved up to the Senior 'AAA' and began competing for the Allan Cup. Saint John, New Brunswick hosted the tournament and after a challenging round robin, Stony Plain beat the Charlottetown Islanders to qualify for their first ALLAN Cup final. Leading 3-2 going into the third period versus the hometown Vitos, the Eagles seemed poised for victory. However the hometown Vitos skated away with a 5-3 decision. It would turn out to be the first of 5 Allan Cup final Game losses for the Eagles over the next 12 years.
In 1993 Senior AAA Hockey in Canada appeared to be in trouble. The Eastern leagues and teams folded and the Allan Cup tournament needed a home. Thanks to hard work and determination a Western only Allan Cup was competed for in Quesnel, BC. A disappointing loss in the third game against Quesnel left the Eagles on the outside looking in and they failed to even qualify for the semi- finals. On the bright side 1993 saw the likes of Rob Sklaruk, Marc Kronewitt, and Marshall Kronewitt join the team. Highlights of the season included road trips to Whitehorse and Fairbanks Alaska.

The building of a contender for the 1994 season started with Stony Plain trying to find a more competitive schedule. As luck would have it, the ACAC had a team fold and welcomed the Eagles into their regular season.The Eagles would fare well against their younger college foes, compiling a 14-1-1 record. The Alberta-BC playdowns were hosted by the Stony Plain Eagles as they faced off against the Penticton Silver Bullets. After a convincing 3-1 series win the Eagles were off to the Allan Cup in Warroad Minnesota. Stony Plain came up short agian losing to the hometown Lakers in the semi-final game. Notable rookies on the 94 team included Brent Gitzel and Lonnie Spink.

In 1995 the Stony Plain Eagles hosted their first Allan Cup. The East was represented by the Truro Bearcats playing in their first ever Allan Cup. In what was probably the most heart breaking loss in the Eagles early years, the host squad was beaten 3-2 by the powerful Warroad Lakers in front of an overflowing crowd at Centennial Arena. 1995 was also the first year that the Eagles competed in the Chinook Hockey League.

1996 Allan Cup was a repeat of the 1995 season with Eagles losing in the final to the Warroad Lakers in Unity, Saskatchewan.

The 1997 Allan Cup was hosted by the Powell River Regals. The Eagles experienced a similar fate as in 1993 and were eliminated after losing the first two games against Warroad and Truro. Interestingly, the third game of the round robin saw the Stony Plain Eagle against the Powell River Regals with AB/BC championship still up for grabs. The Eagles prevailed with a 3-2 OT victory which was little consolation as the Regals hoisted the Allan Cup.

In 1998 the Eagles went to Powell River to compete for the W.D. Mackenzie Cup. The Eagles were defeated three games to one. 1998 saw many new faces that are still with the Eagles today including Mike Tavaroli, Scott Mackee, Craig Kibblewhite as well as the Leckelt brothers, Dan and Lindsay. The Eagles were successful in capturing their 6th straight Provincial Championship.

In 1999 the Eagles hosted the Allan Cup for the second time. New Eagles included current captain Dylan Dellezay and Rob Hayne. After a hard fought provincial playdown with always tough Innisfail, the Eagles anxiously awaited the Allan Cup Tournament. After opening with a 6-3 win over London, and a 3-3 tie with Lloydminster, the table was set for another Eagles - Regals classic to see who would receive a bye directly into the Championship game. The Eagles fell behind early but after Kory Kocur tied the game at 2 with a rocket to the top shelf that eluded the Regal goalie the Eagles were on their way. They would hang on to win 5-3. After Powell River defeated Lloydminster in the semi another epic Stony vs Powell showdown loomed.In the final the Eagles came out and riding the energy of the sold out crowd, they dominated the first period jumping out to a 4-0 lead on goals by Mike Tavaroli, Scott French, Scott Mackee and Brent Gitzel. After Tavaroli added the Eagles fifth goal early in the second the Eagles appeared ready to sip from the cup for the first time. But as always the Regals refused to quit, and after a third straight goal stunned the Eagles and their crowd, the Regals came on even more.With the Regals pressing and the score 5-3 a sheet of plexi-glass was smashed and the remaining 2 minutes of time left in the second period was added to the third. Many people believe that this momentum break was a critical factor in the Eagles winning there first ever Allan Cup in front of there hometown supporters. Captain Darwin Bozek proudly hoisted the legendary trophy and at last the Allan Cup was at home in Stony Plain. Scott Mackee was named MVP of the Allan Cup. 1999 was also the year that the Eagles and Pentastar started their relationship as the Eagles players and families participated in the Farmers day parade on the flat bed of a Pentastar Commando.

2000 again saw the Eagles compete against Innisfail to capture there 9th consecutive Provincial Championship. With a trip to Powell River the Eagles were not able to defend there Allan Cup final losing to the Regals 3-1 in the Alberta- BC playdown. New additions included Brad Kronewitt, and Sandy Mackenzie


With a unprecedented 10th Provincial Championship and 3-0 sweep of the defending Allan Cup final Champion, Powell River Regals the 2001 Eagles were off to Sarnia, Ontario for their 8th Allan Cup Appearance. After going 0-2 in the first two games the Eagles played the 1-1 Dundas McCoys and prevailed 4-2 and advanced to the semi-final. The hometown Petrolia Squires prevailed 3-1 in a hard fought defensive battle.

The 2001-2002 Stony Plain Eagles saw much adversity. After the passing of General Manager Bill Saunders in October, the Eagles devoted the season to him with only one goal in mind, to win another Allan Cup. Provincial Playdowns were heavily contested with the Eagles requiring a come from behind OT win over Spirit River prior to securing there 11th provincial title. At the Allan Cup, the Eagles split the first 2 games of the tournament in Powell River. The Eagles beat the St. Georges Garaga in the third game of the round robin to advance directly to the Allan Cup final. Again it was not to be as the Eagles lost to the Garaga 4-2 in the final. New additions included Tate Locke, Dave Marcinyshin, Darcy Skinner, and Ryan Hoople.

The 2002-2003 Stony Plain Eagles won their 12th straight Senior AAA provincial Championship beating longtime rivals Innisfail Eagles 3 games to 1. After a convincing 3 games to 0 sweep of Powell River, which saw the Eagles play an amazing 8 period stretch with out giving up a goal, the Eagles were off to Dundas Ontario. The Eagles advanced to the semi-final via a win over the hometown Dundas Real McCoys. In the Semi-finals the Eagles played a solid defensive game with score 0-0 heading into the third. With goals by Rob Sklaruk, Dan Leckelt and Scott French the Eagles advanced to the final with a 3-0 victory. Stony Plain lost for the 5th time in 6 Allan Cup finals to Ile des Chenes 3-2 in 2OT.
Stony Plain Eagles' Allan Cup

Record

Won Cup in '99
Played in 11 Allan Cups
Played in 6 Allan Cup Finals
Did Not Advance to Semi-Finals Just Twice

91-92 Saint John's N.B.
Lost in Final to Vito's New Brunwick 6-2

92-93 Quenel B.C. Champion
Lost 2 won 1 D.N.A. to Semi-Final Whitehorse

93-94 Warroad Minnesota Champion
Lost 4-0 in Semi-Final to Warroad Warroad

94-95 Stony Plain A.B.
Lost 3-2 in Final to Warroad

95-96 Unity Saskatchewan
Lost 6-1 in Final to Warroad

96-97 Powell River B.C. Champion
1 Tie 2 Losses D.N.A to Semi- Final Powell River

98-99 Stony Plain A.B.
Won Allan Cup 6-3 Over Powell River in Final

2000-2001 Sarnia Ont. Champion
Lost 3-0 to Petrolia Squires in Semi-Final Lloyd

2001-2002 Powell River B.C.
Lost in Final 4-2 to Garaga

2002-2003 Dundas Ont.
Lost 3-2 in Final in Double OT to Ile-des Chenes North Stars

2006-2007 Stony Plain A.B. Champion
Lost to Lloydminster 5-4 in Semi-Final. Lloyd


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