Hosted by the Cochrane Crunch of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League, the second annual Polar Bear Classic will be an expansion of the first, with a midget division added.
HockeyNewsNorth.com has confirmed that this year’s Polar Bear Classic will be held on Labour Day weekend and feature both a junior and a midget division.
On the junior side, teams will include the hosts from Cochrane as well as the Espanola Express and Kirkland Lake Gold Miners of the NOJHL and the reigning Polar Bear Classic champion Kingston Voyageurs of the Ontario Jr. Hockey League.
On the midget side will be the Kapuskasing Flyers, Timmins Majors and Soo Thunderbirds (minor midgets) of the Great North Midget Hockey League and the Rouyn-Noranda Citadele from Quebec.
Teams in both divisions will play a round-robin format. Games will be played in both Cochrane and nearby Iroquois Falls.
“We are very excited to be able to grow this to include eight teams and two divisions,” said Ryan Leonard, who is the owner, general manager and coach of the NOJHL Crunch.
“It’s a lot of work and a big time commitment but it’s all worth it in the end as it will have a huge economic impact in our community and it’s a great way to get to know your players and bond,” noted Leonard. “To run this event will cost the Crunch organization about $25,000. There is no entry fee for the teams.”
Fans wishing to attend can buy a $30 weekend pass or a $12 day pass, said Leonard.