Alabama Slammers (hockey)

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Alabama Slammers
Alabama Slammers hockey logo.gif
Sport Hockey
League World Hockey Association 2
Active 20032004
Home arena Pelham Civic Complex
Record 34-26
Coach Garry Unger
Website defunct
This article is about the hockey team. For the women's football team, see Alabama Slammers.

The Alabama Slammers were a professional ice hockey team which was a member of the World Hockey Association 2 (WHA2) and played their home games at the Pelham Civic Complex. The Slammers, like the other five teams in the league, were purchased or founded by real estate mogul David Waronker. They were coached to a 34-26 record by former NHL center Garry Unger, but defeated by the Macon Trax in the semifinal round of the WHA2 playoffs. The league folded after one season. Half the remaining teams moved to the Southern Professional Hockey League, but the Slammers and two others folded.

History

The World Hockey Association 2 was founded in 2003 as a minor league farm system for the proposed revival of the World Hockey Association (WHA). While the WHA2 was established, the WHA never got off the ground.

In May 2003, the WHA2 announced Birmingham had been granted a franchise, however Birmingham Jefferson Civic Center officials stated they would not sign a lease until the WHA2 settled disputes with the Atlantic Coast Hockey League (ACHL) over Waronker pulling four teams from that league to join the WHA2. The two leagues announced an agreement later in the month. Shortly thereafter, Taylor Hall, president of Alabama Professional Hockey, announced an agreement for Birmingham's WHA2 team to play at the 3,500-seat Pelham Civic Complex arena. On June 10, Hall introduces Garry Unger as the team's head coach. On July 29, the team's name was announced as the Alabama Slammers.

The WHA2 season began in November. The Slammers got off to a rocky start, losing their first four games, although two were close, one being lost in overtime and the other in a shootout. The Slammers then won the next four games. Ultimately, they went on to a 34-24 record in the regular season, which was second in the league. Sadly, they lost their first two playoff games in April 2004 to the Macon Trax, eliminating them.

After the conclusion of the season, the WHA2 announced it was folding and the teams would be joining the reincarnated Eastern Hockey League. (This league ultimately became part of the Southern Professional Hockey League.) The WHA2 board of governors cited a lack of support, direction, leadership, and proven ability to see the WHA materialize into a major professional hockey league.

Over the spring and summer, the Slammers attempted to renew their lease at the Pelham Civic Complex, but the city refused until their debts from the first season were paid. The Slammers, attempting to bring in new investors, said they had to have the lease extension before they had the money to pay the debts. This catch-22 situation continued until the team could no longer pay its employees, including coach Unger. Finally, on August 3, the team announced it was suspending operations.

2003–04 roster

  • #30 Jamie Ronayne
  • #34 Jeff Kilgore
  • #17 Bobby Quinnell
  • #18 Jorin Welsh
  • #29 Mark Loeding
  • #7 Stephane Desjardins
  • #2 Tom Wilson
  • #9 Tony Patterson
  • #3 Doug Mann
  • #15 Hugo Belanger
  • #27 Chad Peck
  • #16 Jeff Coulter
  • #8 Justin Schabes
  • #61 Mike Craigen
  • #24 Ryan Prentice
  • #11 Jeff Mead
  • #19 Doug Lawrence
  • #44 Everett Caldwell
  • #22 Jaroslav Kresec
  • #91 Jason Renard
  • #15 Jeff Cheeseman

2003–04 record (34-26)

Regular Season
Date Opponent Result Score
11/7/2003 Jacksonville Barracudas L 2-5
11/8/2003 Jacksonville Barracudas L 1-2 (OT)
11/21/2003 Orlando Seals L 3-5
11/22/2003 at Macon Trax L 7-8 (shootout)
11/23/2003 at Lakeland Loggerheads W 5-4
11/26/2003 at Lakeland Loggerheads W 4-2
11/28/2003 Lakeland Loggerheads W 5-4 (OT)
11/29/2003 Lakeland Loggerheads W 3-1
12/5/2003 Orlando Seals L 3-4
12/6/2003 Orlando Seals W 2-1 (shootout)
12/12/2003 at Jacksonville Barracudas L 4-6
12/13/2003 at Miami Manatees L 3-4 (shootout)
12/14/2003 at Miami Manatees W 4-3 (OT)
12/18/2003 at Orlando Seals L 2-3
12/19/2003 Lakeland Loggerheads W 6-4
12/20/2003 Macon Trax L 4-6
12/26/2003 Macon Trax W 9-3
12/27/2003 Macon Trax W 4-3 (shootout)
12/31/2003 at Jacksonville Barracudas L 4-6
1/2/2004 Miami Manatees W 5-3
1/3/2004 Lakeland Loggerheads W 3-0
1/8/2004 at Orlando Seals W 4-1
1/9/2004 Miami Manatees W 4-2
1/10/2004 Miami Manatees L 3-7
1/11/2004 at Macon Trax L 3-4
1/15/2004 Jacksonville Barracudas W 2-0
1/16/2004 at Miami Manatees L 1-3
1/17/2004 at Orlando Seals W 5-3
1/18/2004 at Macon Trax W 5-3
1/23/2004 at Miami Manatees L 1-5
Regular Season cont'd
Date Opponent Result Score
1/24/2004 at Lakeland Loggerheads W 5-2
1/29/2004 at Lakeland Loggerheads L 3-4
1/30/2004 at Jacksonville Barracudas L 3-7
1/31/2004 at Macon Trax W 2-1
2/6/2004 Macon Trax L 2-3
2/7/2004 Macon Trax W 3-2
2/12/2004 Macon Trax W 5-3
2/13/2004 Jacksonville Barracudas W 3-1
2/14/2004 Jacksonville Barracudas L 1-3
2/19/2004 at Orlando Seals W 7-6 (OT)
2/21/2004 Macon Trax L 3-4
2/24/2004 at Jacksonville Barracudas L 3-4
2/26/2004 Lakeland Loggerheads W 5-2
2/28/2004 at Miami Manatees W 6-5 (OT)
2/29/2004 at Macon Trax W 3-2 (shootout)
3/4/2004 Jacksonville Barracudas W 4-1
3/5/2004 Lakeland Loggerheads W 7-4
3/12/2004 Orlando Seals W 5-1
3/13/2004 Lakeland Loggerheads W 9-5
3/14/2004 at Orlando Seals L 2-4
3/19/2004 at Lakeland Loggerheads W 4-3
3/20/2004 Orlando Seals W 3-1
3/21/2004 at Jacksonville Barracudas L 1-8
3/26/2004 at Macon Trax L 3-4 (OT)
3/31/2004 at Jacksonville Barracudas W 3-1
4/2/2004 Miami Manatees W 9-1
4/3/2004 Miami Manatees W 8-4
4/4/2004 at Jacksonville Barracudas L 2-6
Regular season results: 34-24
Semi-final Playoffs
Date Opponent Result Score
4/7/2004 at Macon Trax L 2-7
4/8/2004 Macon Trax L 2-4
Post season results: 0-2
Preceded by:
Birmingham Bulls (ECHL)
Pro Hockey in Birmingham
20032004
Succeeded by:
Birmingham Bulls (SPHL)

External links

References