Plattsburgh Pioneers Apparel
Shop our collection of unique Plattsburgh Pioneers apparel, one of the most short-lived franchises in hockey history. Check out our selection of Plattsburgh Pioneers jerseys, t-shirts, and other items and read the history of the team below. We are an American small business dedicated to bringing back the history and designs of fondly remembered and long-lost hockey teams from throughout hockey history.
Plattsburgh Pioneers History
presented by Vintage Ice Hockey
Who were the Plattsburgh Pioneers?
The Plattsburgh Pioneers were the first entry of the QMJHL into the United States (1984-85) and may be the best example of what a league with poor expansion procedures looks like. Their tenure did not go well to say the least. The league decided to not give the team an expansion draft, and thus the team ended up being stocked with mostly low-level American players.
Their debut was a home game on November 15, 1984 against the Hull Olympiques, which had future NHLers Luc Robitaille and Stephane Richer on the team. The Pioneers on the other hand had a group of players that were the guys that they could find. It was a hard fought and closely played game at the Plattsburgh State Fieldhouse. The Pioneers were rough and tumble and kept themselves in the game anyway they could, to the disappointment of the visitors. Miraculously, the Pioneers would force overtime against a vastly superior team, losing 7-6 in OT. That would be good enough to earn a point in the standings.
Unfortunately, that was the highlight of the Pioneers season. After that game their coach quit and they wouldn't earn another point, losing their next 16 games in regulation with a goal differential of -128, averaging an 11-3 loss each game. The Pioneers folded after their 17th game and the Q did not acknowledge the team's statistics or games in the standings, and has never expanded to New York again. The league would expand to Maine in 2003, the first expansion into the United States since the Pioneers took the ice in 1984.
For a rare treat, check out the video below. It's a quick news clip from that fateful game against Hull. Aside from a couple blurry black and white pictures, it's easily the best look we have at what the Pioneers' jerseys looked like. Also, keep your eye out for #15 in dark blue, Luc Robitaille.
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