1985-86 Guelph Platers Hockey Club
There is no doubt this edition of the Platers qualifies as one of the greatest rags to riches stories ever in Junior hockey history. An expansion franchise just four years earlier, they had struggled for respectability before exploding during the 1985-86 season. With coach Jacques Martin at the helm, this club took advantage of a teachers’ strike in the fall of ‘85 to work on their team defense. They learned to approach each game in a very workman-like manner, each player understanding his role clearly. As the season wore on it became more and more apparent that this team was for real and at the deadline, General Manager Rob Holody made a trade that paved the way to the championship. Gary Roberts and goaltender Andy Helmuth came to the Platers and Roberts’ leadership and offensive ability was the last ingredient needed to make this team a winner. They marched through the Ontario Hockey League playoffs beating Belleville in the final. At the Memorial Cup, all-star performances from defenseman Steve Chaisson and goaltender Steve Guenette lead the Platers to a win over Luc Robitaille’s Hull Olympiques in the final game.
The team, captained by Guelph native Paul Brydges, had several players who went onto NHL careers – Gary Roberts, Steve Chaisson, Kerry Huffman, John McIntyre, Steve Guenette, Lonnie Loach, and of course, coach Martin.
Inducted into the Guelph Sports Hall of Fame April 29, 1996