The Calgary Hitmen Hockey games are crowd-pleasing sports spectacles that defy the team's mere dozen years of history.
On May 7th-2010 the Team (seen on the left ) won it's second Championship of the Western Hockey League!!
The victory was over the Tri-City Americans, who were a formidable opponent.
Now they are off to wrestle the coveted Memorial Cup from a yet to be determined Eastern Team next week, and if successful they'll be the Canadian Hockey League Champions.
In 1995, eighteen private investors created the junior ice hockey team as part of the Western Hockey League's expansion.
Born and bred in the city of Calgary, the Calgary Hitmen Hockey Team boast an impressive pedigree as the brainchild of talented sportspeople.
Original owners include two National Hockey League notables, Calgary Flames right wing Theoren Fleury and Colorado Avalanche center Joe Sakic, as well as former WWF World Heavyweight Champion Bret "Hitman" Hart.
A Calgary native, Hart is the source for the team's name as well as its original pink and black team colors, which the wrestler wore in the ring.
The Calgary Hitmen Hockey Team now wears white, black, copper, and red, but ownership remains in the sports realm, as the Calgary Flames purchased the Hitmen in June of 1997.
The Calgary Hitmen Hockey Team shares the Calgary Flames' ice hockey rink, playing its home games at the 18,742-seat
located on the Calgary Stampede grounds at 555 Saddledome Rise SE.
Whether they're playing at this home rink or skating on out-of-town ice, the Calgary Hitmen sport a bit of historical controversy on their uniforms.
When the Calgary Hitmen Hockey Team unveiled its original logo, the image was so popular that fans clamored to purchase any merchandise that bore the trademark goalie mask-clad skater brandishing a hockey stick.
Some league officials and media people, however, thought that the icon bore a disturbing resemblance to Jason Voorhees, the fictional mass-murdering and mask-wearing villain of the Friday the 13th slasher-film series.
Citing the logo as too violent, the objectors prompted the creation of a new logo featuring a starburst design, but it was so unpopular that both ticket sales and merchandise purchases slumped.
Former owner Bret Hart credits the appeal of the original logo with much of the Hitmen's success, even speculating that if the new one hadn't been retired after a year to reinstate the old one, the team may not have survived.
We'll never know if this is true, but the Calgary Hitmen have certainly made a good case for believing that their success has nothing to do with their logo and everything to do with their sportsmanship.
The introduction of the team in 1995 marked the return of junior ice hockey to the city of Calgary, and it didn't take the Hitmen long to skate their way to sports fame and remind everyone of what the city had been missing.
In May of 1999, after only four years in the rink as a fledgling expansion team, the Calgary Hitmen won the Western Hockey League Championship.
Here's a quote from the Hitmen's website summarizing this year's phenomenal season:
1998 - 1999 WHL Champions
On May 7th, 1999 the Hitmen captured the WHL Championship. The Hitmen beat the Kamloops Blazers 5-2 in the Game Five of the WHL Final. A WHL record Playoff crowd of 17,139 packed the Pengrowth Saddledome.
The Hitmen became champions in only four years in the WHL.The Hitmen won the WHL by eliminating the Kootenay Ice in Round One, Red Deer in Round Two, Prince Albert in Round Three and Kamloops in the Championship Series.
The win over Kamloops advanced the Hitmen to the Memorial Cup in Ottawa. In the Championship Game the Hitmen lost 7-6 to the Ottawa 67's in Overtime
The Calgary Hitmen have been scoring goals beyond the immediate context of the skating rink, as players continually recognize the support of their fans and participate in activities that benefit the city.
Team members contributed hundreds of hours to various charitable causes, including Food for Thought Floor Hockey and Literacy for Life Reading Programs.
Each month, the Calgary Hitmen donate tickets and memorabilia to more than 150 community events.
With such an impressive record both on and off the ice,
it's hard to come up with a good reason why you shouldn't visit
for tickets and get yourself to the "Dome" to watch some exciting Calgary Hitmen hockey.
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