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King Rebellion becomes Ontario Junior Hockey League's newest team

OJHL board approves relocation from Brantford, with Junior A team playing out of the new state-of-the-art recreation centre next fall
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Editor's note: This article has been updated from its original version to clarify that the King Rebellion is the first Junior A team in King Township. The Schomberg Cougars Junior C, founded in 1969, were the first junior team in King.

The King Rebellion is the newest team in the Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL), the league has announced.

Approvals have been granted to move the OJHL’s Brantford 99ers franchise to King Township for the 2024-25 season.

“On behalf of the OJHL board of governors, we are excited with the relocation of Brantford to the King Township market,” OJHL commissioner Marty Savoy said in a news release.

“The community, in working through the details of the relocation, has gone above and beyond to welcome our franchise, which will be known as the King Rebellion and we are confident the team will be successful in King Township," he added. 

“I am extremely excited beyond words in relocating the Brantford 99ers hockey team to King Township for the 2024-2025 season. The team will become the King Rebellion,” said Rebellion governor Willa Wang.

“I would like to thank in particular Marty Savoy and Chris Vanstone from the OJHL, and Chris Fasciano and Jonathan Bell from King Township for their unwavering  support  and guidance in making this a reality," Wang added. “King Township has been fantastic and we are looking forward to working closely with their minor hockey teams and becoming involved in community events throughout the year.”

“We are thrilled to welcome the King Rebellion to our community,” said King Township Mayor Steve Pellegrini.  “This relocation not only adds to our vibrant sports culture but also creates new opportunities for our local athletes. We look forward to cheering on the Rebellion at the Township-Wide Recreation Centre (TWRC), a carbon neutral, state-of-the-art facility that reflects our commitment to sustainability and community engagement.”

The name Rebellion was  chosen to align with the existing King Township Minor Hockey Association’s rep program team name. The team's name also pays homage to the Lloydtown Rebellion of 1837, which was part of the Upper Canada Rebellion.

King Township has a population of more than 27,000 people.

The King Rebellion will play their home games at the new recreation centre, which is slated to open in the fall of 2024. The team's inaugural home opener will occur in September, with the exact date to be determined.

The Rebellion will be coached by Mark Joslin, who was named the 2023-24 OJHL coach of the year and was a finalist for this year’s CJHL coach-of-the-year award.

Joslin took over as head coach of the Brantford 99ers in the summer of 2023. Under his leadership, the 99ers’ record went from 5-46-1-2 in 2022-23 to 26-26-0-4 this past season.

His four previous seasons with the Toronto Patriots included being named OJHL executive of the year in 2018. He has also coached with the OJHL’s North York Rangers, Aurora Tigers, Pickering Panthers and Stouffville Spirit.

“We’re excited to move into a nice, small community that has not had a junior (A) hockey team before,” said Joslin, a lifelong resident of York Region. “The league and the township have been very supportive. There is so much potential all around in King.”

Joslin said the township provided upgrades to the Rebellion, including construction of “an OHL-quality dressing room with individual stalls” and the installation of a clock over centre ice in the new arena.

The Rebellion will be involved in the community, Joslin said, beginning at a festival in King next month. Players will also assist at minor hockey practices during the 2024-25 season.

The TWRC, where the King Rebellion will play, will include an aquatics centre, two NHL-sized ice rinks, an artificial turf fieldhouse and a multi-use community space.