Coach Doug Peters had the Bruins reach the Ontario finals 3 out of his first four years. In his 4th year he only had 5 players from the previous year to build the team around, and yet they managed to end the regular season at the top of the league with a 15-3 record.
They accomplished this feat through a process of team building that involved a remarkable Christmas hockey tour of Switzerland. The educational potential was enormous but a positive attitude was established long before the trip. This was a very unique experience at the time and the Bruins performed with pride, skill and clean play, which were a credit to the college and the Canadian game of hockey.
They completed the tour with a record of 3 wins and 2 losses and were acknowledged to have displayed outstanding sportsmanship throughout the series.
As the hosts for the 1977 National tournament, the Bruins were guaranteed an opportunity in the Nationals no matter how they fared in OCAA play. Psychologically that was a bit of a problem for the Bruins. They met the St.Clair Saints (’76 National Champions) in the Ontario final and lost.
They were tagged “the Back-Door Bruins”, but soon proved, however, that they deserved a shot at the championship by the way they performed throughout the tournament- both on and off the ice.
Rated as underdogs by most of the college national teams, the Bruins came up with a win over Dawson College of Quebec to earn a spot in the tournament. Their next game was a semi-final against the college of Cape Breton which saw them fight for five periods in what was described as the most exciting game of the tournament. They won the game 4-3 to advance to the championship final. The Bruins had their hearts in the right place for the final, but they left a lot of their legs in that double overtime semifinal win. The Bruins tournament schedule required them to play 3 games in 3 nights, an impossible task when facing an outstanding Red Deer Kings team in the final, losing 5-1.
John Falcon was a First-Team All Star and All-Canadian and was the team’s leading scorer that season. Steve Cronkwright was the team MVP and goaltender Bill Allen won the Coach’s Award.
Many criticized the teams so called “back door” entry in the college nationals as host club but all who witnessed their overall performance that year can rest assure that the team left the Oakville Arena by the front door after their final game.