Plans for Iroquois Falls fans

Randy Russon
April 19, 2017

Cochrane Crunch owner-general manager-coach Ryan Leonard has a plan for the 2017-2018 Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League season that includes the neighbouring town of Iroquois Falls.

Via sale and relocation of its NOJHL franchise to Hearst, Iroquois Falls is faced without having a junior hockey team to support for the first time since 1999 when the Eskis joined the league.

But Leonard and his wife Katherine (who does a lot of the marketing and administrative work for the Cochrane franchise) are offering to create what he calls “a great new relationship with Iroquois Falls.”

The effervescent Leonard, who actually played junior hockey for Iroquois Falls in its debut NOJHL season, has made a commitment to Cochrane’s neighbour town for the 2017-2018 season.

For starters, Leonard said the Crunch will commit to playing two exhibition games and two regular-season games in Iroquois Falls.

“There is no question Iroquois Falls is a hockey community and with it only being just under a 30-minute drive from Cochrane we will do our share to keep the fans there involved with the NOJHL,” Leonard told

“We started to see more and more Iroquois Falls residents at our games this past season and we even know a lot of them by their names. So, we look forward to hopefully working together in the way that small communities in the north should,” Leonard continued.

On that end, Leonard said he and his wife will be at the annual Trade Show in Iroqouis Falls on May 5-7 and will offer a special deal for fans who would like to purchase a season ticket for the Crunch.

For a regular-season ticket price of $175 to all 27 Crunch home games, a free bus service will also be provided from Iroquois Falls to Cochrane and back.

“We look forward to creating a special relationship with our neighboring community of Iroquois Falls and hope to see a lot of their faces next season at Crunch games,” summed up Leonard.

What you think about “Plans for Iroquois Falls fans”

  1. Ryan and Katherine,
    Way to go.
    Leave it to you to come up with some way to help
    out another hockey town.
    Hope you sell their residents many season tickets.
    Good luck.

  2. Mattawa is still without junior hockey too and hope Powassan will play some exhibition games there too. However, Iroquois Falls should get a team because it would be sad to see that arena empty.

  3. Randy there is not enough talk about how Al a Donnan screwed over the town now make that two with Mattawa… how can the league and other owners allow him to break his 5 year contract?

  4. Mattawa fans are clearly disappointed. It’s a small town with no mall, and there isn’t much to do except enjoy the scenery and go on hikes. It’s perfect for those who love nature. North Bay is only 45 minutes west of Mattawa, so junior hockey is very questionable to ever return with a very small arena. If David Beauchamp was allowed to keep his team, the Blackhawks would probably still be around. Not sure how the league allowed Al Donnan to take control of the them when he already owned three GMHL teams. This man clearly has no plan in any Hockey Canada sanctioned leagues. I don’t blame the fans in Iroquois Falls being upset and disappointed with Al Donnan. It will be hard for him to go grocery shopping in Iroquois Falls with everyone giving icy cold stares.

  5. There is no way that rink will sit empty next year. Something is going to happen. I can’t see Paul gagne just retiring and not doing anything in his power to bring a team back to his home town. 10 years ago that place was fairly packed.
    Close to 1000 fans every game. A fun place to play. Why was the attendence down so much that passed two seasons? I’m sure it had something to do with the rock and crunch so close to I.f. I’ve watched games from the stands and I’ve played games when that arena was rocking. There is no better jr rink in Ontario. Someone needs to take advantage of this and bring a team back to I.f.

  6. Thank you so very much. My husband and I where season ticket holds since the team moved there. We where devistated when they moved but at least you are offering hockey again even if it is only a few games. Your offer for ticket and a bus sounds really good. Thanks again.

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