We already have eight teams confirmed for this year’s Men’s “A” division at the 20th Anniversary Bauer World Outdoor Ball Hockey Championshis including the Toronto Leafs (winners in 2015,2014,2008,2007,2005), Niagara Rebels (2014) and Niagara War Pigs. Penn Hill Arsenal, Barrie Flyers, Ottawa Godfathers are early registrants as well. Bauer is once again assisting with the prize presentation and Rogers TV will again showcase Sunday afternoon coverage. With 60 teams and over 1,000 players just in Barrie, where else would you want to be September 23-25?
There have been no shortage of awesome games since 1996 in all of the divisions offered, but a special game at a special moment was the 2014 Men’s “A” final that saw the Niagara War Pigs up 2-1 with less than 2 minutes to play in their quest to win their first Men’s “A” WOBHC. The Toronto Leafs scored to tie it and send it to overtime. 5 more periods of end to end action saw both teams with major scoring chances every period, but nothing went in. In the 8th period of the game, Chrissy Morrison beat an exhausted Bram Leggatt to end the game 3-2 and send the Leafs to their fourth Championship and first in six years. These teams would meet again in 2015 with the Leafs prevailing for their 5th WOBHC Men’s “A” Championship.
In the early years, The St. Catharines Wizards dominated this event winning five of the first seven years from 1996-2003. The Montreal Red Lite in 2002 led by Sandro Morello and Paul Roy, and The Niagara Falls Cheaters led by Jim Beckhos in 1999 were the only teams able to knock off the Wizards. 2004-2011 saw Toronto teams take the lead with the Toronto Leafs (2005, 2007, 2008) and Toronto Metro Rangers (2004, 2009, 2011) taking 3 Championships each. Scott Chieffo’s Pittsburgh Bad Company in 2006 and a young team of St. Catharines Stars in 2010 led by Eric Tardiff and Iain Downes disturbed the domination of Toronto teams.
In 2012 Bobby Houser’s Leominster Red Star rolled to victory and the Barbas and Minor families (Niagara Rebels) dominated in winning the 2013 title as they also launched onto the national scene with a serious run at the Canadian Nationals. The Toronto Leafs came roaring back to life in 2014 and 2015 to win 4 and 5... and they will be gunning for a record 6th title in 2016 having just won the 2016 Summer Tier 1 League Championship this week with a dominating win over the Niagara Rebels in the Finals.
We look forward to seeing you in Barrie as we celebrate the Men’s and Women’s events September 23-25. The Over 35 and Coed WOBHC will happen October 14-16 in Niagara and we will finish up the year with the Bauer Clash of the Titan’s November 25-27 in Niagara with a $ 16,000 cash prize pool with 16 of the best teams in North America competing for cash.