There’s a bit of a chill in the air which to some, means hockey season is here.
Let the games begin.
The puck will drop on the 2014-2015 North American Hockey League regular season for the Soo Eagles when they play host to the Janesville Jets tonight at 7:30 at venerable, refurbished Pullar Stadium. The two teams will also face off on Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Pullar.
Meantime, in exhibition play of note, the new Canadian International Hockey League will take to the ice tonight at 7:30 at the Espanola Recreational Complex when the Rivermen play host to the Batchewana Attack. Admission is $5 plus plus a food bank donation. The two teams will then meet again on Sunday at 2 p.m. at Rankin Arena in Sault Ste. Marie with a $5 admission price.
And Detroit Fighting Irish of the Midwest Jr. Hockey League will put itself to a pair of home-ice tests when it plays host to the Eastern Michigan University Eagles tonight and the University of Toledo Rockets on Saturday night. Both games have 8 p.m. start times at the Ice Box Sports Center in the Detroit suburb of Brownstown.
The Eagles begin the ’14-15 NAHL season determined to return to the playoffs after falling just short in the hotly-contested North Division in 2013-2014.
Coach Bruno Bragagnolo’s Eagles feature several seasoned skaters led by defencemen Kristofers Bindulis and Darren Brady and forwards Nick Belger, Chase Matson, Denver Pierce, Brad Pung and Sandis Zolmanis.
Returning defenceman Michael Caruso will begin the season on the injured list as he recovers from off-season shoulder surgery.
Newcomers of note for the Eagles include homegrown, 1996 birth-year forwards Chase Gamelin and Will Gauthier, both of whom have future commitments to play for the Lake Superior State University Lakers of the Division 1, Western Collegiate Hockey Association.
Also new to the Eagles is 1994 birth-year goalie Sean Keating, who played with the Pembroke Lumber Kings of the Central Canada Hockey League in 2013-2014.
PHOTO: Chase Matson returns to the forward lines of the Soo Eagles for a second season.