How did we get here?
A brief look back at our past.
It may surprise some to know that the Yarmouth Jr. A Mariners has a history that goes all the way back to 1976. Of course, the team wasn’t the Mariners back then and the team was not located anywhere near Yarmouth or the Mariners Centre. Nonetheless, the franchise that would eventually become the Mariners saw it’s first year of action in 76’ as the Cole Harbour Colts. The team would remain as the Colts until 1997, where the club would turn hands and become none other than the East Hants Penguins. In 2000, the Penguins were purchased by Paul Currie, moved to Dartmouth and named the Dartmouth DQ Blizzard.
Currie ran the franchise for two seasons in Dartmouth. Although the club fair reasonably well in the standings, attendance was poor and sponsorship support was thin as the team competed heavily with Major Junior and University hockey for attention. Currie quickly made a decision to relocate the team.
Altough it was not the only location considered, Yarmouth quickly becaome the front-runner and in 2002 Currie secured league approval and moved his team to Southwestern Nova Scotia where they would become the Yarmouth MotorMart Mariners. In their first season, the team managed to place third in the Bent and enjoyed immense fan and commuity support.
The 2003/2004 season was a memorable one for the team. The Mariners had a strong club and managed to plow through the playoffs with scoring from the likes of Jason Hedges, Steve Yetman, Grant Kenney, Matt Oxtoby and Justin d’Entremont. It was an exciting time for the team and their fans. However, the Mariners faced a very well coached Campbellton Tigers in the league final. Yarmouth split the first two games at home with the Tigers, but lost two in Campbellton. Returning to Yarmouth, the Mariners surrendered the championship to Campbellton. But even with the loss, fans stayed loyal and were delighted with the hockey they were treated to over that great season.
2004/2005 was the year Yarmouth hosted the Fred Page Cup. The Mariners dominated that season, ending up with 38 wins and just 14 losses, good for first overall in the league. The plan? Take a league title and carry the momentum into the Fred Page Cup. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be. In a strange turn of events, the Mariners were hit by a number of injuries at the worst time. In the first round of the playoffs, star goalie Matt Anthony was ousted from play with a knee injury. Soon after, his backup, Matt Bracegirdle would injur his groin. Losing both goalies, coupled with other injuries to key forwards, would prove too difficult to overcome as the Mariners fell to a strong Truro Bearcats in round two. Truro would go on to take the league title that season from defending Champions the Campbellton Tigers.
With a month to rest, heal and re-organize Yarmouth was ready for the Fred Page Cup. After defeating the Hawsbury Hawks in their first game, Yarmouth went 3-0 in round-robin play much to the delight of their fans. A key component to the three wins was the return of both Matt Anthony and Matt Bracegirdle. But in the Champiosnip game, Yarmouth came up short one goal and the Hawks would leave town with the Fred Page Cup.
In 05/06, long-time Assistant Coach Laurie Barron would take on the Head Coaching duties. Many key veterans had moved on from the previous year and the Mariners would find that they were to face a stronger Bent division than in previous seasons. Although the club had plenty of highs during the year, they would finish in 5th place, resulting in a 3 game mini-series with Truro. The Mariners managed to edge the Bearcats and move on, but fell to Amherst in the next round.
During 2006-2007, the Mariners had a difficult season, mired in last place in the MJAHL’s Bent Division basement. On April 3, 2007 the sale of the Mariners to East Hants Penguins (NSJHL) owner Jack Ross was completed and a new era of Mariners hockey would begin.
Following the sale of the team, the new organization quickly began to demonstrate its eagerness to return to winning form and its dedication to bringing quality Junior A Hockey back to Yarmouth and its loyal fans and sponsors. The new Mariners quickly unveiled a brand new logo and jersey and announced, to the surprise and extreme delight of many, that NHL legend Steve Kasper would take on the job of Head Coach with the very popular Laurie Barron as his Assistant. But they didn’t stop there. Over the spring and summer months, General Manager Jack Ross made numerous player movements, determined to bring in high-calibre players and instill a new belief that Yarmouth will again find itself at the top of Junior A hockey, not just in the Maritimes, but across Canada.
The core of the 2006/2007 team was all but completely changed and acquisitions of key players such as Alex Soucy, Brendon MacDonad, Danny Anger and numerous others offers Mariners fans brand new hope and a reason to cheer once again.
Season by Season Record
Season GP W L T OTL GF GA P Results
1998-99 48 10 36 2 - 163 264 24 8th MJAHL
1999-00 52 8 34 9 1 134 240 26 8th MJAHL
2000-01 52 20 23 3 6 193 226 49 7th MJAHL
2001-02 52 27 23 2 0 171 190 56 5th MJAHL
2002-03 52 24 22 1 5 251 246 54 5th MJAHL
2003-04 52 37 12 2 1 277 169 77 1st MJAHL
2004-05 56 38 14 4 0 263 151 80 1st MJAHL
2005-06 56 28 23 0 5 204 221 62 8th MJAHL
2006-07 58 17 35 0 6 209 306 40 10th MJAHL
1976-1997: Cole Harbour Colts
1997-2000: East Hants Penguins
2000-2002: Dartmouth DQ Blizzard
2002-Present: Yarmouth Mariners