December 1, 2022
Twenty five years ago, a 23 year old goaltender from Belleville, Ontario became the first player in the CCAA Level 2 Championship era to be honoured as a CCAA Tournament All Star in multiple seasons.
Chad Ford joined the Cambrian College Golden Shield in the fall of 1995 after concluding his junior eligibility with the Wellington Dukes. While the Golden Shield finished atop the regular season standings and won the OCAA championship, they returned home from nationals with silver. In addition to being named a CCAA Tournament All Star, Ford was honoured as a Second Team OCAA League All Star and a First Team OCAA Championship All Star
In the spring of 1997, Ford was honoured as the OCAA Top Goaltender, an OCAA First Team League All Star and an OCAA First Team Championship All Star while the Golden Shield placed first in the regular season and earned a berth at nationals after winning the conference championship. At the 1997 CCAA National Hockey Championships, Ford backstopped the Golden Shield to a national title and picked up hardware as a CCAA Tournament All Star and a CCAA Tournament MVP.
While the Golden Shield fell short in their attempt to three-peat as OCAA champions, they acquired a wild-card berth to nationals where they placed second. Meanwhile, Ford was named a second team OCAA All Star and the OCAA Top Goaltender at the provincial level and a CCAA Tournament All Star at the national level.
After three campaigns with Cambrian in the OCAA, Ford toiled in the minor pro ranks for three seasons. With the exception of one game in the International Hockey League as a member of the Chicago Wolves and two games in the East Coast Hockey League as a member of the Dayton Bombers, Ford bounced around the United Hockey League where he appared in 93 games for six different teams.
Ford had the opportunity to become a national champion at the senior level in 2007 and 2008, but it was not to be as the Whitby Dunlops were outscored in back to back appearances in the Allan Cup championship final.
The only hockey player to be named a three-time CCAA tournament all star is currently a sales rep with a distributor of medical and dental supplies in Southern Ontario.