TEAM ONTARIO 2: The Etobicoke Dolphins team was founded in 1999 and participated in its first regular season in 1999-2000 as the clearNET Lightning of the NWHL. The team was envisioned, by the partnership of Bill Williamson and Bob Simmons, to be a place for female players to play after their youth hockey and/or college days. Under the auspices of the Durham West Girls’ Hockey Association, the team competed in the NWHL even as the sponsor’s name changed in 2002 to TELUS to become the TELUS Lightning.
Without a major sponsor at the beginning of the 2005-06 season, the team was rescued by a group headed by Brandon Smith and continued to operate from Ajax in the Durham region as the Durham Lightning for the season. Following that season, it was clear the team’s survival depended on finding another major sponsor or owner; and this came in the form of Domenic & Joanne Serafino. A subsequent partnership was formed with the Etobicoke Dolphins Girls Hockey League.
From its first day, the team struggled against the established NWHL teams but began having consistent success in the 2005-06 season when the team had its first successful season with 27 wins. This was the first year in franchise history the club made the playoffs, eventually losing in the semifinals to the Brampton Thunder.
This season also has been a success. With a winning record, the Dolphins continue to battle the Mississauga Aeros for first place and will represent Ontario at the Esso Nationals in Salmon Arm, BC. In a year where all the national team players have returned to their teams, the Dolphins have shown they are true contenders and continue to attract high calibre players including Salmo, BC native Desi Clark.
The team is happy with the partnership in Etobicoke. With a growing fan base and huge support from the Dolphins Girls Hockey League, its president Colleen Muise has worked very hard to make the team a huge success in Etobicoke.
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Riley Wiwchar Manager, Events & Marketing | Responsable, événements