Cowboys Hockey

1979

The Rookies

1979 Hat

Doug Collins gathers together a jaunty group of hockey players to enter a spring tournament at the then Burnaby 4 Rinks. They dub themselves “The Richmond Rookies” and lose every game.

Led by the senior May brother, Ron May, they regroup in the fall to form The Richmond Cowboys Hockey Club.

1979-80

Season 1

Ron Fontaine, while playing on Air Canada’s hockey team, invites Ron May and the Cowboys to join them in the Sea Island Recreational Hockey League playing out of Seafair Arena.

The rag-tag group of Cowboys finish their inaugural season in 1st place, with Terry Dennis winning the league’s high scoring title, with Clark Mitchell honoured as the league’s top goaltender. The Cowboys then defeat Air Canada to claim the Playoff Championship!

1980-81

No Fluke

Team 80-81

Cowboys prove it was not just beginner’s luck by winning the League Championship two years running!

1981-82

1982-83

1983-84

1984-85

Birth of the Seafair League

Seafair Action

After the demise of the Sea Island League, the Cowboys join the Seafair Senior Men’s Hockey League

1985-86

1986-87

Last Seafair Championship

Last Seafair Win

The Cowboys win the SSMHL League Championship. The next championship lies in wait many years ahead.

1987-88

Cowboy Tuesday

Cowboy Tuesday

They say If you remember it, you weren’t there.

As underdogs, the Cowboys knock off the league leading, “The Collectors” (later to become the Raiders of RIHL infamy) in the first round of the playoffs. The celebration spilled over from the dressing room across town into Silhouettes Night Club.

The bar closed, the owners went home but the Cowboys remained, with goaltender Billy Bates running the bar and no one at the till.

1988-89

Year of the Outlaws

Year of the Outlaws

It seems that Cowboy Tuesday took its toll on the Cowboys. They failed to gain a Playoff Championship that year, and as a new season approached, a dispute with the league president caused Cowboys’ manager Hap May to quit the league.

Doug Collins picked up the pieces, and rounded the team back up to come back into the league as the “Outlaws” - but Cowboys through and through.

1989-90

Back in the Saddle

Year of the Outlaws

The boys put the Cowboys jersey back on and celebrate their first decade of Cowboy hockey. The season end celebration features the predecessing "Old Boot Game" where the original team challenges the rookie cowboys. The party that follows at Randy May’s barn rivals “Cowboy Tuesday“ and sets the bar for any party to follow. The event solidifies the team and paves the way for many more years of Cowboy Hockey.

1990-91

1991-92

1992-93

1993-94

1994-95

Re-Branding

New Jersey

The Cowboys celebrate 15 years of hockey. However, at the season end party, John Savage points out that it is actually 16 years (you do the math). Nevertheless, a major celebration ensues and a brand new Cowboy Jersey is unveiled and a new generation of Cowboys is recognized.

1995-96

End of an Era

Rob Yates

The Cowboys play their last game at Seafair Arena. After the death of owner, Dr. George Yates, tax issues force his boys to close the doors and let the ice melt.

It’s a sad day for hockey and the Seafair League and Cowboys seek out a new home.

1996-97

End of an Era

Cowboy of the Year

The new Great Pacific Forum lures the 27 team Seafair League to North Delta with a promise of a better price than the new Richmond Ice Centre.

The Cowboys begrudgingly leave Richmond to play their first and last season at GPF.

Coach Jeff Cruickshank is presented with the first ever Cowboy of the Year Award.

The first Cowboys Father Child game is played.

David Collins

David Collins with the first ever official puck drop of the Father-Child Game

1997-98

Returning Home

When the Great Pacific Forum reneges on the deal and jacks up prices, Cowboys manager, Doug Collins urges the league to call their bluff and threaten to leave.

Fearing no where to go, the league continues at GPF, but the Cowboys leave out of principle with no where to go.

With just weeks to season start, the Richmond Industrial Hockey League invite the Cowboys to join their over 35 league. The Cowboys agree, provided they can keep their younger players.

1998-99

Season 20

The Cowboys play their actual 20th season!

Nobody notices

1999-2000

New President

RIHL

Doug Collins takes the helm of the Richmond Industrial Hockey League with a philosophy of highly competitive play with respect for your opponent and sportsmanship top priority.

The league will eventually see the highest caliber of senior hockey played in the Lower Mainland.

2001-02

Return to Glory

Glory

After a 15 year drought, the Cowboys finally sip from the golden Cup again, winning the RIHL Championship against their arch rivals, the Raiders.

2002-03

Coach Retires

Coach

After much soul seeking over the summer, long time coach, Jeff Cruickshank decides to go out on top and retires. The Cowboys start the new season feeling a bit lost, but not without room for a surprise party to honour Jeff’s long and dedicated service.

2003-04

2004-05

Cowboy Kids Grow Up

Cowboy II

Too young to join the Cowboys in the over 35 RIHL, Cowboy II is formed and the kids join the Coast Hockey League.

2005-06

Victory Again

Victory

Cowboys win their second RIHL Playoff Championship!

2006-07

Young Champions

Victory II

Cowboy II win the Coast Hockey Div 2 Championship!

2007-08

2008-09

Repeat the Feat

Victory II

Cowboy II wins their second Coast Hockey Div 2 Championship!

2009-10

New Life Begins at 50

Old Boys Jersey

30 seasons later, Ron Fontaine revives much of the original team, breathing new life into the Club. The Cowboys over 50 join the Richmond Oldtimers Hockey Club.

Some players come out of retirement and aging Cowboys are able to keep playing.

2010-11

2011-12

Jersey Retirement Night

New Jersey

A new Cowboy Jersey is unveiled for the younger team and Senior Cowboys are honoured by retiring their jerseys.

The Cowboys Barn of Fame is established.

2012-13

Captain Ron Takes a Break

Captain Ron

Long time Cowboy Leader, Ron Fontaine is forced onto the sidelines when diagnosed with a strange lung disease. Without a lung transplant the doctors give him 2 years to live. A year later he develops throat cancer, making a transplant a difficult proposition.

Ron is a stubborn guy... the cancer disappeared, he still has both lungs and he is breathing easier, as are we!

2013-14

Win Some Lose Some

Cowboy II Folds

Cowboy II folds as younger players graduate into the RIHL.

Cowboys win RIHL Championship and Playoffs!

Oldboys win ROTHC Playoffs!

2014-15

2015-16

Ironman Streak Ends

Bad Eye Day

Doug Collins misses a game for the first time in 22 years, just because he gets something in his eye.

2016-17

2017-18

2018-19

40th Season Barn Party!

Cows Come Home

As good a reason as any to have a party.