On Tuesday January 15th your Timmins Rock will take on the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners Jr “A” Hockey Club and Honour the Timmins Northstars.
In 1973 the Porcupine Community Hockey League was operating as a competitive recreational league in the City of Timmins with six teams.
Interspersed on those teams were players who had played at higher levels of hockey including the NHL, AHL, OHL and college.
At the same time, a loosely organized Intermediate C League called the Mattagami Hockey League was operating in Northern Ontario involving teams in Hearst, Kapuskasing and Iroquois Falls.
In 1973, a group of individuals led by the Late Bill Moffat, and Joe Campbell, decided to approach the Mattagami League and inquire if they would be interested in forming an Intermediate A league with Timmins being an additional team.
Later that year, the Northland Intermediate Hockey League (NIHL) was formed and play began the following year.
The Timmins team took shape and was called the Northstars. The reason behind the name was because the first half of the season, the team had no uniforms and no money – so Rick Young who had come on board as an executive member loaded the Kidd Creek Northstar sweaters and socks until the team could outfit itself. There was no public contests or creative methods in the name selection. It was soley out of need.
With the Allen Cup, which at the time, involving Senior A teams and representing the top level of amateur hockey championship in Canada no longer being contested, Intermediate hockey now represented the highest level of amateur hockey leading to a national championship and the Hardy Cup.
During their 11-year history, the Northstars captured 8 league championships, (1975-76-77-78-80-81-82-83) and six NOHA championships (1976-77-78-80-81-83), three All-Ontario Championships (1980-81-83) and One Eastern Canada Championship in 1983 which led to the All-Canadian Finals in Winnipeg in 1983 when the team was coached by former NHL player and Coach Bep Guidolin.
Prior to 1979, the Eastern Canada Hardy Cup was contested in a tournament format involving teams from the NOHA, OHA, ODHA, Quebec Amateur Hockey League, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and PEI. The Northstars hosted that event in 1976-77 where Embrum Panters from Ottawa were crowned champions with the Northstars finishing with a bronze. On one other occasion, the Northstars attended the tournament format in Fredericton, NB when Campbellton Tigers won and Charlottetown PEI when the Charlottetown Islanders won.
Over the existence of the Timmins Northstars, the fans of our city where treated to some of the best hockey played at the McIntyre Arena with players who had played in the NHL, OHL, WHA, AHL and college ranks providing the entertainment.
The team was blessed, down through the years, with many high profile men joining an executive and providing guidance through the journey. In the later years, the face of the team became the late Bill Moffat on the hockey side while Joe Campbell stepped back to the run the business side.