A timeline of hockey, pre-Junior A, in Vernon & area can be found HERE
The Vernon Junior Canadians along with the Penticton Junior Vees, Kelowna Buckaroos and Kamloops Junior Rockets, four junior "B" teams, formed the Okanagan-Mainline Junior 'A' Hockey League in 1960*.(*1983-84 Program)
On December 15th, 1960 the Vernon News reported... "Vernon Minor Hockey Association president Bill Brown has been named coordinator of an Okanagan-Mainline All Star squad to contest the provincial junior 'A' playdowns with an eye to the Dominion Memorial Cup next spring. At the meeting in Kelowna, Monday, representatives from the four major Okanagan-Mainline cities decided to form a junior league which will kick off in Penticton Friday night with Vernon the visitor..."
While the All Star team wasn't successful in securing the Dominion Cup , the action did lay the foundations for the formation of a junior 'A' league.
Bill Brown becomes first owner of the Vernon Junior 'A' Franchise, Junior Canadians, for the inaugural 1961-62 Season.
On November 2nd, 1961 the Vernon News
reported.... "Vernon Junior Canadians
were edged 5-4 by the Kelowna Buckaroos Tuesday
night (October 31st) in a fast, hard-checking
thriller that was decided in a 10-minute overtime
Over 300 fans at Civic Arena were treated to hockey played with heart and played to win in the opening game of the newly formed Okanagan Junior "A" Hockey League..."
Vern Dye would manage the team while the coach for the first year would be local hockey legend Odie Lowe, R.S. 29GP-7W-21L-1T -- P.O. 5GP-2W-3L.
Statistics wise, it was not a very successful season for the Vernon Jr. Canadians ... success, was the fact, that they played their first season as a junior 'A' team.
It should be noted that the team was primarily made up of local area players throughout the 60's. Which is why the team lacked players, for some games, to due work, other commitments or an inability to make the game. It was also the reason that made the rivalries between the teams of the league more intense as the other club also supported their own local players.
If you have anything to add please, feel free to email me at ( admin "at" vernonjrahockey "dot" ca )
|VERNON JUNIOR CANADIANS|
|Rank||GP||W||L||T||PTs||GF||GA||GP||W||L||GF||GA||Result / Series-Score / Opponent|
|Lost Semifinals, 2-3 (Kelowna)|