Shawinigan is the only franchise in QMJHL history having yet to move to new pastures, although since it was founded in 1969, the team has had its share of ups and downs.
In just their second season in the League, the Shawinigan Bruins reached the final, but fell to the eventual Memorial Cup champion Remparts in five contests.
In 1973-74, the team changed its name to "Dynamos", but the team would still fall on tough times, missing the playoffs four consecutive seasons. Prior to the 1978-79 season, the team changed its name to "Cataractes".
After a ten-year span in which the franchise would win but a single playoff round, the team reversed the trend in the spring of 1983 as the Cataractes defeated the St-Jean Castors in the quarter-finals in four contests.
The following year, as the organization got ready to host the Memorial Cup Tournament, the franchise won its first regular season crown. Shawinigan would eventually fall in the final to the WHL's Prince Albert Raiders.
In the mid-1980's, two extraordinary gifted offensive players terrorized opposing defences: Patrice Lefebvre and Stephan Lebeau.
Lefebvre remains the top scorer in QMJHL history with 595 points while Lebeau scored 280 goals, the second highest total in League history behind only Mike Bossy (309). Moreover, Lebeau is only the second player to have scored eight goals in a single game, a 20-5 win over the Verdun Canadien Junior on December 22, 1986.
Starting in 1993-94, the franchise would enjoy nine straight winning seasons. Also in 1993, it was the arrival of a young defenseman, Stéphane Robidas; he became the team captain, and his 245 points, in career, are always the team record for a defenseman.
Head coach Denis Francoeur, who took over the bench boss duties in 1996, is recognized as one of the organization's brightest builders. With 656 games under his belt, he owns the longevity record for most games coached with one team. Moreover, during his career, he maintained a .591 winning percentage.
In 2000-01, the team wins a club-record 54 games, which enables them to capture their second regular season crown. Marc-André Bergeron would establish a new record for most goals scored by a defenseman with 42.
More recently in 2008-09, the City of Shawinigan inaugurated a new 4,125 seat arena, the Bionest Centre - now renamed Centre Gervais Auto - . Since December 27, 2008, the Cataractes have made it their new home, leaving behind the Jacques-Plante arena, which was erected in 1937.
In May 2009, this franchise reached the League final for the 2nd time in franchise history. The Cataractes pushed the series to Game 7, which they finally lost to the Drummondville Voltigeurs.
The MasterCard Memorial Cup tournament was held in Shawinigan in 2012. In front of their overexcited fans, the Cataractes won the Final Game, 2-1 in overtime, with the winning goal scored by Anton Zlobin, assisted by captain Michaël Bournival.
In the spring of 2016, the Cataractes went into a Final series for the third time in their history, but the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies won the President Cup 4 games to 1.
In the 2022 playoffs, the hockey gods led the Cataractes to an extraordinary opportunism. Simply unstoppable in overtime with 7 consecutive wins - a new QMJHL record - the Shawinigan Cataractes won the President Cup for the very first time in their 53rd season in the QMJHL. Captain Mavrik Bourque was awarded the Guy Lafleur Trophy as "Most Valuable Player" of the playoffs with 25 points in 16 games. Pierrick Dubé and Xavier Bourgault each scored 12 goals, most of them in key moments of a game, either on the power play, late in the game to tie the score, or to make the team win in overtime. Bourgault alone scored 3 times in overtime, a new record in a single playoff year for a QMJHL player. And let's not forget the performance of goaltender Antoine Coulombe, whose confidence and consistency were reassuring for his teammates who were sometimes dominated in terms of shots on goal, especially in the early stages of all games played in the Final Series.
At the 2022 Memorial Cup in Saint John, NB, the Cataractes put up a fight against all their opponents, with a record of 2 wins and 2 losses. In the semi-finals, the Cats suffered a heartbreaking 4-3 overtime loss to the Hamilton Bulldogs; as a small consolation, on an individual level, Mavrik Bourque (7 points in 4 games) earned a spot on the All-Star team for the final end-of-season competition in the Canadian Hockey League, while the hosting club, the Sea Dogs, presented the Memorial Cup to their fans.
The team's notables over the years include: Claude Dolbec, Ron Lapointe, Stephan Lebeau, Patrice Lefebvre, Stéphane Robidas, Marc-André Bergeron, Jason Pominville, Denis Francoeur, Cédric Lalonde-McNicoll, Michaël Bournival, Anthony Beauvillier, Samuel Girard, Mavrik Bourque...