Bradford Rattlers

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Bradford Rattlers
Bradford Rattlers.png
CityBradford, Ontario, Canada
LeagueGreater Metro Junior A Hockey League
Founded1971
Home arenaBWG Leisure Centre
ColoursGreen, Black, Yellow, and White
                   
General managerJohan Lundskog
Head coachJohn Duco
Franchise history
1971-1975Bradford Vasey Juniors
1975-1988Bradford Blues
1988-2006Bradford Bulls
2006-PresentBradford Rattlers
 
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Bradford Rattlers
Bradford Rattlers.png
CityBradford, Ontario, Canada
LeagueGreater Metro Junior A Hockey League
Founded1971
Home arenaBWG Leisure Centre
ColoursGreen, Black, Yellow, and White
                   
General managerJohan Lundskog
Head coachJohn Duco
Franchise history
1971-1975Bradford Vasey Juniors
1975-1988Bradford Blues
1988-2006Bradford Bulls
2006-PresentBradford Rattlers

The Bradford Rattlers are a Canadian Junior ice hockey team based out of Bradford, Ontario. They play out of the Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League. Recently, the Rattlers, known until now as the Bulls, were bought out by a local group of investors for the purpose of moving the team up to Junior "A" from the Georgian Mid-Ontario Junior C Hockey League.

History[edit]

The Bradford franchise was founded in 1971 as they joined the South-Central Junior "D" Hockey League. The league soon became the Central Junior "C", then the Mid-Ontario Junior "C", and finally after merging with the Georgian Junior "C" league became the Georgian Mid-Ontario Junior "C" Hockey League. Their team's first championship was the Junior "D" OHA Cup in 1973. They won the All-Ontario Junior "D" title by defeating the Mitchell Hawks 4-games-to-1. That summer, the SCJDHL was promoted to Junior "C". In 1980, Bradford won their league and went all the way to the Clarence Schmalz Cup All-Ontario Final. In the end, they lost out to the Leamington Flyers 4-games-straight. In 1986, they made it all the way back to the All-Ontario final only to lose to the Norwich Merchants 4-games-to-3. In 1989, the Bulls struck gold. They won their league and then followed it up with a 4-games-to-2 series victory to defeat the Hanover Barons to win their only ever Clarence Schmalz Cup. The Bulls won the league again in 1998, but did not reach the All-Ontario Final. The Most valuable Player of the playoffs was Noah Bell, who was drafted into the Ontario Hockey League a year later by the Sudbury Wolves.

Bulls' Logo

The Bradford Bulls were bought out towards the end of the 2005-06 season by a local party who owned an independent Junior "A" travelling team known as the Toronto Rattlers. The Rattlers toured the United States playing games in junior hockey tournaments and against college teams from 2004 until 2006. A number of alumni received US college offers and Russian Kirill Tulupov was taken by the New Jersey Devils in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.

The new ownership group wanted the thirty-five-year-old Toronto-Area franchise moved up to the Ontario Provincial Junior A Hockey League, but when the Ontario Hockey Association turned down the request the team walked away from the OHA. Under the new name "Rattlers", the team is now a member of the Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League.

2006-07[edit]

The Bradford Rattlers first ever game in the GMHL was against the South Muskoka Shield on September 15, 2006 in Gravenhurst, Ontario. The Rattlers dismantled the Shield, winning by a score of 10-1. Andreas Goetz picked up the team's first ever Junior "A" victory in net. Their first home game was on September 17, 2006 against the Toronto Canada Moose, a 5-3 win.

On September 24, 2006, the Bradford Rattlers became the last undefeated team of the GMHL's inaugural season, moving to 5-0-0-0, defeating the (until then undefeated) Richmond Hill Rams by a score of 3-1. The winning streak lasted until October 15, 2006, 10-0-0-0, as the Rattlers picked up an overtime loss to the King Wild. The Rattlers still had yet to lose a game in regulation. On January 21, 2007, the streak ended. Entering the game against the Deseronto Thunder the Rattlers had compiled a 27-0-0-4 record. At one point, the Thunder were leading 5-2 but in typical Rattler fashion, Bradford came back. The comeback was not enough as they lost for the first time ever in regulation by a score of 6-5. Their league record of 31 straight games without a regulation loss will be a challenge to ever surpass.

The Rattlers finished the season in first place, earning a bye into the league semi-final. Their semi-final opponent was the Deseronto Thunder. The Thunder game out flying, winning the first two games of the series. With their backs almost against wall, the Rattlers pulled themselves together and won the next four games straight to earn the right to play in the league final. The league final was against the league's second seeded King Wild. The Rattlers squeaked out Game One with a 2-1 victory. Game Two saw the Wild come alive with a convincing 6-3 victory to even the series. The Rats came back on fire and won Game Three 5-0. Game Four and Five went to overtime with Bradford winning 2-1 and 4-3, respectively, to win the Bradford Rattlers the first ever Bob Russell Cup as GMJHL Champions.

The Rattlers faced the WHA Junior West Hockey League's New Westminster Whalers for the short-lived National Junior Hockey Alliance's "Alliance Cup," the only year in which this competition was contested. The Rattlers swept the series 3-games-to-none.

2007-08[edit]

On December 30, 2007, the Rattlers hosted the Moscow Selects All-star team in an exhibition game. The Selects won the game by a score of 8-4. This was the second game of seven that the Moscow team played against different GMJHL clubs.

In 2007-08, the Rattlers challenged their 31-game record for regular season games without a regulation loss (one season), but came up short with a still impressive 28-game streak with a 5–3 January 6 loss to the Deseronto Storm. The Rattlers did, however, set a new league record for regular season games without a regulation loss (multiple seasons) with 38. This also marked the end of the longest winning streak in GMJHL history of 27 straight wins.

The Rattlers began the 2008 playoffs against the Toronto Canada Moose, whom they swept. They then defeated the South Muskoka Shield 4-games-to-1. In the league semi-final, they swept the Elliot Lake Bobcats, and in the league final they swept the Innisfil Lakers to win their second straight Russell Cup.

2008-09[edit]

On January 5, 2009, the Rattlers played off against Kazakhstan's Torpedo UST-Kamenogorsk Under-18 squad in Shelburne, Ontario. At one point leading 5-0, the Rattlers played a lot of their younger players in the second half of the game. The final score was 6-5 for Bradford.

The Rattlers finished the 2008-09 season with the second best record in the South Division and third best in the league. In the playoffs, the Rattlers first met the Toronto Canada Moose. After winning the first two games, the Moose came back and took game three and four of the best-of-5 series to force a decisive game five. The Rattlers overcame the potential upset and won the series 3-games-to-2. In the division semi-final, the Rattlers drew the pesky Deseronto Storm. The Rattlers took game one, but in game two and three the Storm took control. The Rattlers had to win game four to prolong the best-of-5 series, and succeeded with a 5-1 victory. The next morning it was announced that the Deseronto Storm protested the result of game four due to a roster violation by Bradford. Upon review of the league, the result of game four was overturned and the Rattlers were disqualified from the remainder of the playoffs.[1]

2012-13[edit]

The 2008 championship passed and in the four following years four different teams would claim the Russell Cup as GMHL. In those four years the Rattlers would fail to reach the finals in each of those years. The 2012-13 campaign would turn out to be a season for the ages. The Rattlers would turn in the league's first ever undefeated season with a 42-0-0-0 record. There would be a black mark on this season though. In late 2012, the Rattlers competed in the league's showcase tournament in Bracebridge, Ontario. They turned in a less than stellar performance and were ejected from the tournament, along with longtime rival South Muskoka Shield, for a brawl and an off-ice altercation involving crowd members and ejected players that caused a police investigation. The Rattlers perfect season allowed the a date with the 8th seeded Lefroy Wave. Sweeping the Wave in 3 games extended the Rattlers winning stresk to 45 games. They played the Bobcaygeon Bucks next, sweeping them in 3 games and extending their streak to 48 games. In the South Division final, the Rattlers faced the Orangeville Americans and swept them in 4 games. The series victory gave them a record of 52-0-0-0 so far that year. The perfect streak was snapped the very next game in the league final by the Temiscaming Titans 7-6 in overtime. Bradford would win Games 2 and 3 to extend their record for streak of games without a regulation loss to 55 games before that streak was ended in regulation in Game 4 by the Titans. The Rattlers would win Games 5 and 6 and the series to claim their third Russell Cup.

Season-by-Season Standings[edit]

Bradford Rattlers in away jerseys
SeasonGPWLTOTLGFGAPResultsPlayoffs
1971-723016122-168144344th SCJDHLLost Semi-final
1972-73292045-17599472nd SCJDHLWon League, Won OHA Cup
1973-74302334-208106501st Central G1Won League, Lost CSC SF
1974-75312362-223100482nd Central G1Won League, Lost CSC QF
1975-763217105-159132394th Central G1Lost Final
1976-77281783-175147373rd Central G1Lost Final
1977-783218131-175145373rd MOJCHLLost Final
1978-793216124-----363rd MOJCHLLost Final
1979-80403361-298136671st MOJCHLWon League, Lost CSC Final
1980-813624120-247142482nd MOJCHLWon League, Lost CSC QF
1981-82403451-328154692nd MOJCHLLost Semi-final
1982-83362970-221138581st MOJCHLWon League, Lost CSC QF
1983-843322110-185137442nd MOJCHLLost Quarter-final
1984-85352672-247123541st MOJCHLWon League, Lost CSC QF
1985-86343121-314137631st MOJCHLWon League, Lost CSC Final
1986-87343040-278121601st MOJCHLWon League, Lost CSC SF
1987-883420131-216164413rd MOJCHLLost Final
1988-89362790-266143542nd MOJCHLWon League, Won CSC
1989-903420131-193150412nd MOJCHLLost Final
1990-913417152-----364th MOJCHLLost Semi-final
1991-92Statistics Missing
1992-9338171470196178413rd MOJCHL
1993-944026131-229188532nd MOJCHLLost Final
1994-95362790-----542nd GMOHL
1995-964426171-220159533rd GMOHL
1996-973620151-198193414th GMOHL
1997-983624102-202138501st GMOHLWon League
1998-993621141-188170434th GMOHL
1999-003621132-178174443rd GMOHL
2000-0136161532155150355th GMOHL
2001-02364281391210128th GMOHL
2002-033619845164159474th GMOHLLost Quarter-final
2003-0436151830142146336th GMOHL
2004-0540191452144127455th GMOHL
2005-0642142332148205337th GMOHL
2006-0742371-4266121781st GMHLWon League, Won Alliance Cup
2007-0842374-1314110751st GMHLWon League
2008-0943346-3284132713rd GMHLLost Quarter-final
2009-1042346-2273150703rd GMHLLost Semi-final
2010-11422614-2239178544th GMHLLost Semi-final
2011-1242316-5221127673rd GMHLLost Semi-final
2012-13424200030195841st GMHLWon League

(*) Standings Incomplete.

Playoffs[edit]

Bradford Rattlers defeated Deseronto Thunder 4-games-to-2 in semi-final
Bradford Rattlers defeated King Wild 4-games-to-1 in final
Bradford Rattlers defeated New Westminster Whalers 3-games-to-none in Alliance Cup
Bradford Rattlers defeated Toronto Canada Moose 4-games-to-none in bye round
Bradford Rattlers defeated South Muskoka Shield 4-games-to-1 in quarter-final
Bradford Rattlers defeated Elliot Lake Bobcats 4-games-to-none in semi-final
Bradford Rattlers defeated Innisfil Lakers 4-games-to-none in final
Bradford Rattlers defeated Toronto Canada Moose 3-games-to-2 in division quarter-final
Deseronto Storm defeated Bradford Rattlers 3-games-to-1 in division semi-final
Bradford Rattlers defeated Brock Bucks 3-games-to-none in quarter-final
South Muskoka Shield defeated Bradford Rattlers 4-games-to-1 in semi-final
Bradford Rattlers defeated Deseronto Storm 3-games-to-none in quarter-final
South Muskoka Shield defeated Bradford Rattlers 4-games-to-3 in semi-final
Bradford Rattlers defeated Lefroy Wave 3-games-to-2 in quarter-final
Sturgeon Falls Lumberjacks defeated Bradford Rattlers 4-games-to-none in semi-final
Bradford Rattlers defeated Lefroy Wave 3-games-to-none in division quarter-final
Bradford Rattlers defeated Bobcaygeon Bucks 3-games-to-none in division semi-final
Bradford Rattlers defeated Orangeville Americans 4-games-to-none in division final
Bradford Rattlers defeated Temiscaming Titans 4-games-to-2 in final

Clarence Schmalz Cup Appearances[edit]

1980: Leamington Flyers defeated Bradford Blues 4-games-to-none
1986: Norwich Merchants defeated Bradford Blues 4-games-to-3
1989: Bradford Bulls defeated Hanover Barons 4-games-to-2

Notable alumni[edit]

Blues

Rattlers

External links[edit]

References[edit]