Roanoke Valley Rebels

Roanoke Valley Rebels
Roanoke Valley Rebels 1973.gif
City Salem/Roanoke, Virginia
League EHL (1967–1973)
SHL (1973–1976)
Operated 1967–1976
Home arena Salem Civic Center (1967–1976)
Roanoke Civic Center (1971–1976)
Colors Blue, red, white
              
Affiliates NHL (1971–1972)
WHA (1972–1976)
Franchise history
1967–1970 Salem Rebels
1970–1976 Roanoke Valley Rebels
Championships
Playoff championships 1973–74 (SHL)

The Roanoke Valley Rebels were a minor league professional ice hockey team based in the Roanoke Valley in Virginia. The team first played in the Eastern Hockey League and then joined the Southern Hockey League. The team was originally known as the Salem Rebels from 1967 to 1970, playing at the Salem Civic Center in Salem, Virginia.[1] In 1971, the Rebels began splitting home games between Salem at the newer and larger Roanoke Civic Center in Roanoke.[2][3]

The team name recalled Johnny Reb, a national personification of the Southern United States. The team logo resembled the Battle Flag of the Confederate States of America. The Rebels were founding members of the Southern Hockey League in 1973 after the Eastern Hockey League ceased operations, and won the James Crockett Cup in 1974.[4] After nine seasons of play, the team ceased operations in 1976.[5]

History

The first Salem Rebels game was played October 24, 1967, and Salem won 3–1 over the Jacksonville Rockets.[3] Most of the players lived in a mobile home park across, near the Lakeside Amusement Park.[3] Dave Lucas was coach the team's first coach, but struggled for the first two seasons and missed the playoffs both years.[1] Colin Kilburn was brought in to coach in 1969, and improved the team to second place in the southern division, but lost in the first round of the playoffs.[1] Kilburn coached the next two seasons to third place finishes, and first round playoff losses.[2] The Rebels affiliated with the Philadelphia Blazers in 1972 and the parent club assigned Gregg Pilling to coach. The Rebels finished first place in the southern division, won two playoff series, and finished runners-up in the 1973 EHL finals.[2]

In 1973, the Rebels became a charter team in the Southern Hockey League due to travel costs to the multiple northern teams in the EHL for the 1973–74 season. Pilling stayed on as coach and the team roster featured eleven French Canadians, including the league's most valuable player, Claude Piche.[3] The Rebels finished first place in the regular season, and won the James Crocket Cup in the playoffs.[5] Pilling was named the SHL Coach of the Year for 1973–74.[3] Bill Needham coached the 1974–75 season, and the team dropped to fourth place and a first round playoff loss.

Team operator and league commissioner, Gene Hawthorne, filed for bankruptcy protection for the team July 14, 1975,[6] and the Rebels were obtained by local oil distributor, Henry Brabham. Player-coach Jack Chipchase led the Rebels in the 1975–76 season, finishing fourth place, and a first round playoff loss. The Rebels ceased operations after the season.[5] Salem eventually got another team in the Salem Raiders of the restarted Eastern Hockey League in 1980 and the Rebels branding was revived for an East Coast Hockey League team from 1990 to 1992.

Major league affiliations

The Rebels were affiliated with the National Hockey League in the 1971–72 season, and with the World Hockey Association from 1972 to 1976.[7][8]

Years Affiliations
1971–72 Philadelphia Flyers
1972–73 Philadelphia Blazers
1973–74 Vancouver Blazers
1974–75 Houston Aeros, Winnipeg Jets
1975–76 Calgary Cowboys, San Diego Mariners, Winnipeg Jets

Notable players

Notable players for the Salem Rebels (EHL 1967–1970),[9] the Roanoke Valley Rebels (EHL 1970–1973),[10] and the Roanoke Valley Rebels (SHL 1973–1977),[11] who also played in either the National Hockey League or the World Hockey Association.

Results

As recorded in the Internet Hockey Database:[1][2][5]

Season Lge GP W L T Pts Pct GF GA PIM Standing Playoffs
1967–68 EHL 72 11 53 8 30 0.208 211 432 880 6th, Southern Did not qualify
1968–69 EHL 72 24 45 3 51 0.354 240 321 786 5th, Southern Did not qualify
1969–70 EHL 74 37 27 10 84 0.568 279 266 1272 2nd, Southern Lost in round 1
1970–71 EHL 74 31 34 9 71 0.480 257 303 1071 3rd, Southern Lost in round 1
1971–72 EHL 73 30 33 10 70 0.479 241 266 968 3rd, Southern Lost in round 1
1972–73 EHL 76 40 25 11 91 0.599 345 276 1629 1st, Southern Lost in finals
1973–74 SHL 72 53 19 0 106 0.736 366 244 1458 1st, SHL Won championship
1974–75 SHL 72 29 41 2 60 0.417 296 304 1037 4th, SHL Lost in round 1
1975–76 SHL 72 29 28 15 73 0.507 239 238 1224 4th, SHL Lost in round 1
TOTALS EHL 441 173 217 51 397 0.450 1573 1864 6606 1 division title 1 runner-up
TOTALS SHL 216 111 88 17 239 0.553 901 786 3719 1 league title 1 championship

References

  1. ^ a b c d "Salem Rebels hockey team statistics and history". hockeydb.com. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  2. ^ a b c d "Roanoke Valley Rebels hockey team [EHL] statistics and history". hockeydb.com. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  3. ^ a b c d e Turner, Bill (2017-10-02). "Pro Ice Hockey Celebrates 50th Anniversary In Roanoke Valley". The Roanoke Star. Retrieved 2018-04-04.
  4. ^ "Southern Hockey League [1973-1977] history and statistics". hockeydb.com. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  5. ^ a b c d "Roanoke Valley Rebels hockey team [SHL] statistics and history". hockeydb.com. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  6. ^ "Roanoke Rebels are Bankrupt". Petersburg Progress. Petersburg, Virginia. July 15, 1975. p. 8. Free to read
  7. ^ "Roanoke Valley Rebels Parent Team affiliate history". hockeydb.com. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  8. ^ "Roanoke Valley Rebels Parent Team affiliate history". hockeydb.com. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  9. ^ "Salem Rebels all-time player list". hockeydb.com. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  10. ^ "Roanoke Valley Rebels [EHL] all-time player list". hockeydb.com. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  11. ^ "Roanoke Valley Rebels [SHL] all-time player list". hockeydb.com. Retrieved 2018-02-02.

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