September 1, 2022
With the CCAA's golden anniversary on the horizon, planning for the occasion is essential. For the silver anniversary in 1999, banners were awarded to institutions for prolonged excellence in specific sports over the 25 year period based upon the 10-7-5-3-1 point system related to placement at national championships. More needs to be done for teams in 2024 when the CCAA marks its first 50 years.
With the creation of the CCAA Hall of Fame in 2014, an opportunity exists to induct the ten best teams - one from each tournament sport (cross country running, curling and golf) and one from each non-tournament sport (men's and women's basketball, men's hockey, men's and women's soccer as well as men's and women's volleyball). All ten have at least three teams that won consecutive national titles and more that won at least one national title during consecutive appearances at nationals as provincial champions.
Achievements such as level of dominance (including average scoring margin, winning percentage and winning streaks), sustained excellence (including consecutive titles at the provincial and national levels), triumphs over eventual CIAU/CIS/U Sports champions en route to a CCAA championship and success at international events can be used to identify the best team in a sport.
A determination of the best team in a sport can start at the provincial level. In this scenario, the selected team from each province could be compared against counterparts from across the nation to establish which team would be honoured. For men's hockey, teams from 10 instutitions in four provinces raised national championship banners between 1975 and 2001 would be in the mix.
The lone team from Nova Scotia to hoist the CCAA Championship Bowl, the 1977-78 College of Cape Breton Capers from Sydney, were the first post-secondary team from the Atlantic provinces to win a CCAA national championship. The Capers began a run of five conference titles in 1974 -- a year before they hosted the inaugural CCAA National Hockey Championship. From 1975 through 1978, the Capers won a national championship, placed third twice and fourth once with a winning percentage of .500 at nationals during their run as conference champions. The NSCC title run was also was a part of a CCAA record seven consecutive appearances at nationals.
Of the two Ontario teams to win a lone national championship, the 1975-76 St. Clair College Saints from Windsor posted a higher winning percentage (1.000), a wider average scoring margin (7.62 goals per game) and a longer winning streak (26 games) in the regular season and the post season. The average scoring margin is also the widest of the 22 CCAA national hockey champions. Beginning with the 1974-75 campaign, St. Clair represented the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association as conference champions for three consecutive seasons compiling a winning percentage of .667 at nationals. From November 1st, 1975 through February 17th, 1977, the Saints won 38 games and tied three more for the longest overall unbeaten streak in CCAA hockey history. During the OCAA title run, the Saints never placed lower than third at nationals and averaged a second place finish.
Two teams from Quebec combined to win three CCAA National Hockey Championships. The 1982-83 and 1983-84 Les Lauréats de Saint-Hyacinthe from Saint Hyacinthe were back-to-back national champions with a winning percentage of 1.000 at the CCAA sanctioned event. Unlike the 1982-83 Lauréats who were Fédération du sport scolaire du Québec champions, the 1983-84 Lauréats hosted nationals and fell short in their quest for back to back FSSQ conference titles..
Of the four Alberta teams to win back to back national championships, the 1984-85 and 1985-86 NAIT Ooks from Edmonton posted the highest winning percentage (.955), the widest average scoring margin (5.52 goals per game) and the longest winning streak (34 games) in the regular season and the post season. The winning percentage and the average scoring margin were the best of the nation's teams to win consecutive championships. The 34 game winning streak from October 26th, 1984 through October 18th, 1985 is the longest overall winning streak in CCAA hockey history. The 1984-85 and 1985-86 Ooks are also the only back to back national champions to win every post season game against provincial and national competition. From 1984 through 1987, the Ooks were four time conference champions in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference and posted wins in 10 of 13 games at nationals including a CCAA record seven in a row for a winning percentage of .769. During the ACAC title run, the Ooks also placed third and fourth at nationals.
In addition to winning all their post season games at the provincial and national levels in their CCAA championship seasons, the 1975-76 St. Clair College Saints and the 1977-78 College of Cape Breton Capers as well as the 1984-85 and 1985-86 NAIT Ooks have achievements that go beyond the CCAA and are are worthy of lasting recognition at the national level.
There's no place better to recognize the best teams at the national level than the nation's capital and there's no better time than the CCAA's 50th anniversary