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May 1, 2022

GREATER THAN GOLD

The achievements of CCAA championship teams can transcend a finish on top of the podium at nationals and exceed those of individual athletes. Yet, the CCAA Hall of Fame continues to shun its championship teams that sported perfect records against conference and national rivals in the post season.

Four provinces produced CCAA national hockey champions. The most dominant CCAA champions (based on winning percentage and average scoring margin per game in the regular season and post season) from three of the four provinces are prime examples of teams whose achievements went beyond a CCAA national championship.

The 1977-78 College of Cape Breton Capers of Sydney, Nova Scotia were the first post-secondary hockey team from the Atlantic Provinces to win a national championship. The Cape Breton Sports Hall of Fame honorees are also the lone team in a non-tournament sport from the Atlantic provinces to win a CCAA championship.

The 1984-85 NAIT Ooks of Edmonton, Alberta defeated the eventual CIAU champion York University Yoemen 5-3 in Adelboden, Switzerland to capture the Altjahres Cup on their way to a national championship. The Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame and Alberta Sports Hall of Fame inductees also participated in the post secondary hockey game with the highest attendance in Canadian history as 13,354 attended Face Off '85 at Northlands Coliseum.

The 1975-76 St. Clair College Saints of Windsor, Ontario (like the 1984-85 NAIT Ooks) won all their regular season and post season games en route to a national championship. While the Ooks won the most regular season and post season games of the five men's post secondary varisty hockey teams to accomplish the feat, the Saints have a better average scoring margin per game than the Ooks in the regular season and the post season.

Unlike the Ooks & Capers, the Saints have not received a call from an external hall. The Windsor/Essex County Sports Hall of Fame and the OCAA Hall of Fame do not enshrine teams. There is no equivalent to the Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame in Ontario. The odds of entering either the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame and Canada's Sports Hall of Fame are long at best as there are no post secondary teams among their ranks.

A team category in the CCAA Hall of Fame is long overdue. An opportunity was missed by the CCAA Hall of Fame to induct the 1977-78 Capers in the year that marked 45 years since they kicked off their national championship season.

Of the 222 North American men's post secondary varsity hockey teams (74 from NCAA Division I, 14 from NCAA Division II, 37 from NCAA Division III, 17 from the NAIA, 58 from U Sports and 22 from the CCAA) to reign as national chmapions, only five won all their regular season and post season games. The Saints were the third of the five to post a winning percentage of 1.000 and merit consideration for the next CCAA Hall of Fame class.


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