ARCHIE BROWNING SPORTS CENTRE - ESQUIMALT
1151 Esquimalt Road
Esquimalt, BC V9A 3N6
YEAR BUILT - 1961
SEATING CAPACITY - 1,500
Archie Browning Sports Centre is the oldest arena on Vancouver Island. Originally known as the Esquimalt Sports Centre, it was built in 1961 with Grace Patrick, the wife of Lester Patrick, on hand for the opening ceremony. In 1992, The arena was renamed the Archie Browning Sports Centre in honour of the late Archie Browning who was a lacrosse star and prominent citizen of Esquimalt. The arena is home to the Victoria Cougars of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League (VIJHL) and Eve’s of Destruction of the Premier Roller Derby League.
Archie Browning Sports Centre was the former home to three British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) teams – Esquimalt Buccaneers (1982-83), Victoria Warriors (1990-1993) and was the temporary home of the Victoria Salsa (now Grizzlies) before they moved to the Bear Mountain Arena (now the Q Centre) in 2004.
Victoria VIJHL Cougars
The Cougars joined the VIJHL in 1998 and are one of the most successful franchises in the league. They have won the league Championship (the Brent Patterson Memorial Trophy) seven times and the BC Provincial Junior B Championship (The Cyclone Taylor Cup) in 2007.
Justin Courtnall, son of Geoff Courtnall, played for the Cougars in 2005/06. In 2007 Courtnall was a 7th round draft pick of the Tampa Bay Lightning. He went on to play for the Victoria Grizzlies, Boston University and won a ECHL Kelly Cup championship in 2015/16 with the Allen Americans. Justin is now working as a Commercial Real Estate Broker with Rubicon Representation in Dallas, Texas.
Rob Milliken - One of the top players in BCHL history. In 1993 he led the Victoria Warriors in scoring and won the BCHL Top Defensemen trophy. He still holds the BCHL record for most career goals by a defenseman (85) and is eighth in games played (273). He was the head coach of the Victoria Salsa from 2001 to 2003, a scout with the Victoria Royals from 2011 to 2014 and continues to coach with the Victoria Racquet Club.
Craig Didmon - has been the Victoria Grizzlies head coach since 2015/16. He played 59 games and scored 45 points for the Victoria Warriors in 1990/91.