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Yes. During the 1984-85 season, led by General Manager, Sam McMaster, and Head Coach, Terry Crisp, with a record of 54-11-1 generating 109 points, an OHL record, the Soo Greyhounds were the clear winner of the league at first overall. They clinched the top spot on February 24. Even more amazing was the perfect home ice record of 33-0, which still stands today. The team’s leading scorers were Wayne Groulx (59-85-144), Graeme Bonar (66-71-137), Chris Felix (29-70-99), Mike Oliverio (38-48-86), Bob Probert (20-54-74), and Derek King (35-38-73).
Right from the start of the season, both McMaster and Crisp announced that this was the year to go for it all. They traded for two goaltenders, Marty Abrams and Scott Mosey, tough winger, Bob Probert, goal scorer, Wayne Presley and strong defenceman Rob Vecchia. There was Hollywood drama as the Greyhounds fought for their perfect home ice record. Anyone, who follows hockey closely, understands that so many things can interfere. An extreme example took place on a road trip scheduled for Thursday night, March 7, in Hamilton, Friday night, March 8, in Kitchener, and back home to play Windsor on Sunday night, March 10. However, the league changed the schedule to accommodate Global TV to televise a Saturday afternoon game in Hamilton instead of the Thursday night game. This meant that we would have to play Friday night and Saturday afternoon on the road and then travel home and play the next night against Windsor. Despite a brawl in Hamilton that created a situation that we would be going into that third game minus our suspended coach and seven players due to injury and suspensions, great teams find a way to win and we did. The last home game of the season was against the talented London Knights. After falling behind 3-1 in the first period, the Hounds came back to win in overtime on a goal by Chris Brant.
We went on to represent the OHL, for the first time, at the Memorial Cup tournament. Although we played hard, winning was not to be. However, it was an amazing year!
Next week, the answer to the following question: What was it like to make it to the Memorial Cup tournament three years in a row and win it on home ice?