Since 1999, the Waywayseecappo Wolverines have not really been a usual player in the playoffs, but that is starting to change.
The past two seasons that ended up having a playoffs (not counting 2020-21), the Wolverines have qualified and this season makes it three straight years of playoff qualification, the most all-time, tied with the 2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09 seasons.
The Wolverines have never made it to the second round of the playoffs, but they have had some memorable moments along the way and some close calls.
As we get closer to the start of the playoffs against Virden, we take a look at how the Wolverines have fared over their playoff history.
2006-07 Season – 4-3 Loss vs. Dauphin
It was the first time the Wolverines made the playoffs in franchise history, and it took eight years to do it.
The Wolverines finished the year with a 25-33-1-3 record, good for fourth in the Sher-Wood Division, and went on to face the top of the division, the Dauphin Kings. Even though they were 34 points behind Dauphin, and a massive underdog, the Wolverines surprised many in the league by taking the eventual division champs to seven games. They unfortunately lost in the seventh game in Dauphin, but it marks the closest the Wolverines have gotten to the second round.
2007-08 Season – 4-3 Loss vs. Dauphin
By points, this remains the best Wolverines team in team history, and was the only squad that was able to host Game 1 in team history until the 2021-22 team did just that this year. The team was led by Sean Collins, Carter Davis and Jason Bowles, who were all top 6 in scoring that year.
Of course, with hosting Game 1, the Wolverines were able to host Game 7 as well as they took on the Dauphin Kings for the second straight year, but Dauphin was able to replicate their success even though they were 10 points back of Wayway during the season.
2008-09 Season – 4-0 Loss vs. Portage
The Wolverines made the playoffs for the third straight year, but this time it was a short stay.
After barely making the playoffs, and finishing fourth in the Sher-Wood Division, the Wolverines lost in four straight to the eventual MJHL champs, the Portage Terriers.
2010-11 Season – 4-2 Loss vs. Winkler
The Wolverines finished fifth in the Sher-Wood Division, but thanks to the playoff format which allowed a fifth ranked team in the division, to jump to the other division if they had more points than the fourth ranked team, they were able to cross over to the Addison Division (also the Eastern most division at the time).
The Wolverines took on the top ranked Winkler Flyers, and made it quite difficult for them. The Wolverines were able to win Game 1 and Game 3 in Winkler, but lost every home game in the series, a couple in overtime, to lose the series in six games. Four of the six games went to OT, and the only game that was decided by more than one goal was Game 6, when Winkler eliminated the Wolverines with a 3-1 win.
Game 3 in Winkler could be top Wolverines moment, as Shane Goodrunning won the game in OT, and moved the Wolverines to 2-1 series lead.
2012-13 Season – 4-2 Loss vs. Dauphin
The Wolverines finished fourth again in the Sher-Wood Division, and was rewarded by getting to play the best team in the division, the Dauphin Kings.
The Wolverines were able to get a 2-1 series lead though after a 3-2 OT win Game 2 at home, and a 4-3 win on the road in Game 3. But after that, the Kings took over beating Wayway 5-2, 7-1 and 6-1 on their way to getting to the MJHL Finals, before losing to Steinbach.
2013-14 Season – 2-1 Loss vs. OCN
In the 2013-14 season, the MJHL adopted a new playoff format, bringing in the Survivor Series that would allow the 5th place team in each division to jump the 4th place team to get into the playoffs via a best-of-three series.
The Wolverines, as a fifth seed, took on the OCN Blizzard in the league’s first such series, and won Game 1 in an overtime thriller. But the Wolverines couldn’t win the second game, and lost Game 2 and 3 by a score of 5-4 and 6-4.
The Blizzard would go on and get swept by Dauphin in the first round.
2014-15 Season – 2-0 Win vs. Dauphin; 4-0 Loss vs. Portage
For the first time in team history, the Wolverines ended up victorious in a playoff series, but it was the survivor series. They ended up beating Dauphin in two games, as the first game went to OT and Game 2 was a 5-3 win.
The “award” for winning the Survivor Series was a first round date with the Portage Terriers, who came into the series with a 53-3-1-3 record, and dominated the series in four straight games. The Wolverines scored one goal the entire series, in Game 1, and lost the games, 7-1, 9-0, 8-0, 7-0.
The Terriers team would host the RBC Cup that year, and go on to win the entire thing on home ice.
2015-16 Season – 2-0 Loss vs. Swan Valley
The Wolverines were ranked 10th in the league that year, and only made it to the Playoffs because of the Survivor Series, where they got beat in two straight games to the Swan Valley Stampeders.
If they won, the prize would’ve been playing the Terriers again, who came into the playoffs losing only 8 games all year.
2018-19 Season – 4-0 Loss vs. Portage
After two terrible seasons of missing the playoffs, including a 8-48-4 record the year before, the Wolverines, under new coach Taylor Harnett, surprised many by making the 2019 MJHL Playoffs.
Their prize once again though was to play the Portage Terriers in Round 1, which ended up being a sweep for Portage. It was a closer series than it might have looked, but the Terriers ended up going to the National Junior A Championships that year once again.
2019-20 Season – Losing 2-1 to Swan Valley before Covid-19 cancellation
The Wolverines had their best season since the mid-2000’s finishing fifth in the league and getting to play the Swan Valley Stampeders in the first round.
After losing Game 1 handily by a score of 5-0, the Wolverines came back in Game 2 and won their first playoff game since 2015 or 2013, depending on where you sit with the old Survivor Series. But Game 3 was a brutal 10-0 loss in Swan Valley.
Before the teams could play in Game 4 though, Covid-19 shut the season down and ended up cancelling the rest of the playoffs.
Of course 2020-21’s season was also shut down after only 10 games were played, but the Wolverines playoff history will continue this weekend as they take on the Virden Oil Capitals in the first round. This squad is hoping to give the Wolverines franchise their first taste of playoff success this time around and laying their claim as the best team in franchise history.