1991-92 Kamloops Blazers
Induction Year: 1995
It’s almost impossible to build a dynasty in junior hockey, because of the high rate of turnover of players, but the Kamloops Blazers of the early 1990s came as close as anyone.
Coached by Tom Renney, the 1992 Blazers cruised to the best regular season record in the Western Hockey League, with 51 wins and four ties in 72 games. Their road to the Memorial Cup took them through Tacoma (winning four games to none), Seattle (4-2) and Saskatoon (4-3). The Memorial Cup itself opened on a sour note for the Blazers, who dropped a 6-3 decision to the Ontario Hockey League Champion Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in round-robin play.
Kamloops rebounded for wins over the Quebec Major Junior League representative from Verdun, and the host Seattle Thunderbirds, to earn a berth in the semi-finals. An 8-3 romp over Seattle in the semis assured Kamloops of a trip to the championship game, and another shot at the Greyhounds. A closely-fought final came right down to the last minute of play, before the regular season and playoff scoring leader Zac Boyer buried the winning goal in a 5-4 Blazer victory.
Other players of note on that championship team included netminder Corey Hirsch, the Western Hockey League’s Top Goaltender and Player of the Year, as well as a first-team all-star in both the regular season and Memorial Cup; Scott Niedermayer, who was a WHL and Memorial Cup first team all-star, and Memorial Cup Most Valuable Player; and blueliner Darryl Sydor, who earned a berth on the WHL’s first all-star team.