More than a decade ago a group of business owners and hockey fans in the South Muskoka region came together and decided to join a new and exciting venture.
The group entered a franchise in the Greater Metro Junior Hockey League. The team which takes its name from the strength and vitality of the Precambrian Shield, joined the Bradford Rattlers, Deseronto Thunder, King Wild, Nipissing Alouettes, Richmond Hill Rams, and Toronto Moose for the inaugural 2006-07 season.
While some of these teams have moved (King Wild is now the Wiarton Rock; Toronto Moose is now the Toronto Ice Jets), left the league (Deseronto and Richmond Hill) , South Muskoka has stayed true to its moniker, standing strong and firm like the very Precambrian Shield it was named after.
However, year one was not a particularly good one for the Shield , as the team won only 4 times in its 42 game season. The faith of the team paid off the following season, as the Shield posted their first .500 season with a 19-18-5 record, giving local fans hope that better things were to come. They didn't have to wait long for their trust to be rewarded. The Shield took off in the 2008-09 season capturing the regular season title with a 38-4-1 record, and winning the Russell Cup in a 6 game final over the Deseronto Storm. The team would go on to reach the cup finals the next two seasons, losing in 2010 to the Storm in a seven-game battle, which featured the final game in front of more than 1,500 fans, the largest GMHL crowd to date; and to Elliott Lake in 2011.
South Muskoka is the only team in league history to reach the cup finals three consecutive years, and has never lost more than 13 times since its second season, a legacy that is hard to find in any junior hockey league anywhere.
The team will now have a third banner to display this season, as the team compiled a record of 36-5-1 during the 2015-16 season to win the tough North Division.
Since its inauguration back in 2006 the team holds a winning percentage of more than 72%.
There is a reason why the Shield organization has been so successful for so long ... THE PLAYERS. Our players buy into our game plan and expectations of them on and off the ice. It is a privilege to be a member of this historic franchise and everyone from volunteers, arena staff, coaches, sponsors, fans and players take pride in wearing the Shield logo and representing the club. We hold ourselves to a high standard and want to see our players succeed.
One of our most recognized accomplishment so far has been Nikita Jevpalovs who is playing in the San Jose Sharks organization. He currently plays for their AHL affiliate, San Jose Barracudas. Nikita joined us as a young 16 year old where he honed his skills for a year before moving on to play Major Junior hockey in the QMJHL. This is just one of many examples of how young raw talent joins the Shield for a year or two of development and growth before moving on to college or professional ranks. We are very proud of all our players that have worn the Shield jersey and represented our team and community with respect.
It is this commitment to excellence that has made the South Muskoka Shield one of the preeminent franchises in the history of the Greater Metro Hockey League.