Winnipeg Voyageurs

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Winnipeg Voyageurs
2016-2017 Winnipeg Voyageurs season
Winnipeg Voyageurs logo
Conference Western
Division Plains
Founded 2011
History Winnipeg Voyageurs (2011-present)
Arena Riverside Arena
City Winnipeg, MB, Canada
Team colors Blue, Red and Gold

              

Owner(s) Pierre Riel (male American bison)
RL General Manager Paul Shep
RL Head Coach JWolfman
General manager Neo Tomasi (male leopard)
Head coach Esmee Farai (female common eland)
Assistant coach Phil Dawson (male great grey owl)
Lead trainer Madeleine Tetrault (female black bear), Terry Crombie (male black wildebeest)
Championships 0
Conference titles 0
Division titles 2 (2013, 2014)

The Winnipeg Voyageurs are a Canadian professional basketball team based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The Voyagers are a member club of the Plains Division of the Western Conference in the Furry Basketball Association (FBA). The team plays their home games in the Riverside Arena. The Voyagers are one of two Canadian teams; the Edmonton Totems joined the Voyagers in that respect through a relocation in 2012.

Granted franchise and the summer of 2011

On June 14, 2011, FBA commissioner Sterne Davids (Weasel) granted a franchise to the city of Winnipeg in an official press conference. This message was welcomed warmly by thousands of fans watching the announcement at the Forks. At the same time, the Rocky Mountain Royals demoted to the D-league to make way for the then nameless team.

On August 8th, the name and colors were officially unveiled by owner Pierre Riel (Bison). The new team would be named the Voyageurs, and adopt a blue, red and gold color scheme. The colors were inspired by Winnipeg's pro sports teams wearing blue at home, red for the hat worn by many French-Canadian fur traders during the 1800's, and gold for the Golden Boy statue standing on the top of Manitoba's legislature. According to Riel, the team needs to have an identity differing from all FBA teams, and be made from Manitoba's past and present.

The new jerseys were unveiled on October 15.

At the 2011 FBA Draft, the Voyageurs selected Zoie Wilds with their second overall pick. Also drafted were Antony Rufkin and Sonja Tinker.

Inaugural Season - 2011/2012

The Voyagers opened up their inaugural season to a sold out arena in Winipeg on November 11, 2011, against the Galveston Sand Dollars. In the first regular season FBA game played in Winnipeg, the Voyagers fell short in a 111-102 defeat. While the club started their first FBA season with a loss, the game was attended by legendary Canadian players such as Angus McColl and the game was received positively by the fans.

The Voyageurs lost their first two games before winning against the Kansas City Clefs 113-96, taking in the first two points as a new franchise. Thoughout the first half of the season, the Voyageurs struggled to keep up with the top teams, but managed to secure an 8th place playoff spot by week 12 with a 18-19 record. The main core of the team was still molding together, under helpful leadership of the now retired Marcus Wa-Tenza Jr. (Lion).

Progressing throughout the season, the Voyageurs managed to catch a groove and win a few times in a row often, going as high as 5th during week 18, with the help of the smashing Zoie Wilds and the rest of the team, including Bruce Bounder and Doug Dramson. Winnipeg struggled here and then as the season approached the end, but in the final week, they secured the 7th seed in the West, barely passing the Spokane Rapids as the Voyageurs clinched a date with the 2nd seeded Santa Fe Whips in the first round.

The first playoff experience would be unlike any other for the young team, as it would define them as one of the great up and coming teams in the FBA. Trailing 2-0 after the first two games in New Mexico, Winnipeg gained its strength back from the home crowd, tying the series up, sending the city into great joy. Game 5 was lost, but it would set up for a great series of endings. Game 6 saw the Voyageurs forcing Game 7 through a daring three-point attempt by their star guard Zoie Wilds, who managed to drain the final shot of the game into the bucket, winning the game for the Voyageurs by 3. Game 7 was a firey affair in Santa Fe, as the home fans were baffled by Winnipeg's great plays and efforts to stay alive in the series. It would be a heartbreaker for the young team, as Santa Fe won the game in the dying seconds of the match, winning 94-93. Two points separated the Voyageurs from the second round of the 2012 FBA playoffs.

While the first round exit was disheartening, it left a great mark in the FBA and basketball in Canada. Suddenly, the Voyageurs were the talk of the town. The country buzzed from the young roster, who was hungry to win and showing it on the court every night. This sparked a popularity boost in the sport within the country, and a new rival would emerge in the off-season to challenge the Voyageurs for the Canadian crown: the Edmonton Totems.

Current Roster

Winnipeg Voyageurs Roster
Starters
Point Guard Shooting Guard Small Forward Power Forward Center
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7 Derek Kim (Kkachi, G) 11 Theodore Sanftner (Prairie Dog, G) 95 Yves Carbonneau (Arctic Fox, G/F) 33 Kevin Malka (Giant Pangolin, F) 19 Xavier Saffiren (Greyhound, C)
Bench
Guard Guard Forward Swingfur Bigfur
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13 Mike Timmids (Pronghorn, G) 10 Alyssia Silverman (Red Vixen, G) 66 Chantal Magnano (Slender Mongoose, F) 51 Leroy Wyatt (Terrier Mutt, F/G) 29 Tanner Muldoon (American Badger, C/F)
Reserves Deep Reserves
Forward Forward Center Guard Swingfur
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15 Greg Saffiren (Greyhound, F) 77 Mary Wooten (Sheep, F) 1 Rex Kearsarge (Alligator Snapping Turtle, C) 50 Rachelynne Stubb (Hinny, G) 3 Riley Forgets Nothing (Raccoon, G/F)
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