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 HockeyNewsNorth.com.
“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.