Michigan Sault hockey hub


By
February 11, 2021

There are four high profile hockey teams that are based in the small town of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, which has a population of less than 14,000 full-time residents.

They include the Lake Superior State University Lakers, the Soo Eagles juniors, the under 18 Soo Indians, and the Sault High Blue Devils.

And following clearance from the state of Michigan, high school hockey has finally been able to begin the 2020-2021 regular season. Thus, the return to play of the Sault High squad.

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Sault High hockey set to go


By
February 10, 2021

High school hockey in the state of Michigan has been cleared to begin the 2020-2021 season.

Tim Ellis

And the Sault High Blue Devils will begin play tonight against the visiting Cheboygan Chiefs with a 7:00 match at Big Bear Arena.

All Sault High games will be broadcast live on local radio station Eagle 95.1 http://EagleRadio951.com with Tim Ellis calling the play by play and his brother, Clayt Ellis, providing the colour commentary.

Four other games are on the slate for Sault High this month and they are as follows.

…[read more]

Telling it like it is


By
February 9, 2021

If I had a dime for every time I spoke my mind and got in trouble for it, I would have at least a couple hundred thousand extra dollars in my bank account.

Just like if a player could speak his mind about a coach and not have to worry about being labelled as a trouble maker and either be released or traded.

Or if a coach could reasonably criticize a referee without fear of reprisal from not only the ref himself but from the league in the form of a fine or suspension.

…[read more]

Tales of an old hockey writer


By
February 5, 2021

It has been a few years in the making.

And now, my book, Tales Of An Old Hockey Writer, is slated to be published and ready for release at some point in 2021.

The book will date back to the mid 1970s when I first became a paid member of the media after a mediocre departure from Sault College where I really liked English classes with Neil Carter and learned a few things in Broadcast Journalism from Tom Iley.

…[read more]

Final playoff push for Kovacs


By
February 1, 2021

Bronson Kovacs

Sault Ste. Marie product Bronson Kovacs has had his wish granted to join a playoff contender in the Erste Liga pro hockey loop.

The 30-year old defenseman has been transferred to MAC Budapest from the Dunaújvárosi Acélbikák Steel Bulls.

Kovacs noted that as this is his sixth and final season of playing pro in Hungary, “I was granted my release so I could sign with a contender for my last playoff push.”

…[read more]

Nick Porco with Texas Stars


By
January 27, 2021

Nick Porco

As the Ontario Hockey League remains in limbo as to when or if the 2020-2021 season will begin, junior age players from the various teams are, in the meantime, getting opportunities to play pro.

One such prospect is Nick Porco, a 19-year old left winger from Sault Ste. Marie who is a member of the OHL’s Barrie Colts and a National Hockey League draft pick of the Dallas Stars.

…[read more]

Jack Kopacka packs his bags


By
January 27, 2021

Former Soo Greyhounds winger Jack Kopacka has had his National Hockey League rights transferred.

The 6-foot-2, 200 pound Kopacka, who had three productive seasons with the Greyhounds after being an eighth round pick at the 2016 Ontario Hockey League priority selections draft, is now the NHL property of the Ottawa Senators following a trade today with the San Jose Sharks.

…[read more]

NHL staffs plentiful Soo crew


By
January 19, 2021

There is more to the current Sault Ste. Marie connection to the National Hockey League than the many players who are either from the Soo or who played for the Ontario Hockey League Greyhounds.

A lot more.

As a matter of fact, there are in excess of 20 guys with a link to the Soo who are part of NHL staffs as coaches, general managers and scouts.

…[read more]

RIP, George Wood


By
January 18, 2021

George Wood

We have lost another good one.

Just 53 years old, George Wood passed away suddenly on Sunday, leaving behind a loving family including parents, wife, sons and many others.

Quietly active in the community as a business owner and low-key hockey parent, George typified a good, simple, humble guy — someone who was happy just to talk about his family, fish, hunt and have a beer.

…[read more]

SIJHL reacts to lock down


By
January 16, 2021

Kam River Fighting Walleye and Thunder Bay North Stars, in action prior to the government lock down. (photo by Gary Moskalyk)

The commissioner of the Superior International Jr. Hockey League did not mince words in addressing the Ontario government’s latest lock down and state of emergency edict.

SIJHL commissioner Darrin Nicholas has issued a terse statement on behalf of the northwestern Ontario based league.

…[read more]

At home on a back yard rink


By
December 30, 2020

Brothers Brett and Nik Rossetto

No access to indoor arenas due to the current shutdown relative to COVID-19 hasn’t kept the Rossetto hockey family of the Sault off the ice.

To be sure, this could well define the classic ‘love of the game’ phrase.

…[read more]

Noah Zeppa to Renfrew


By
December 19, 2020

Noah Zeppa is an OHL draft pick of the Soo Greyhounds

At last, the wait and see game is over for Noah Zeppa.

A Sault Ste. Marie native, the 5-foot-11, 170 pound goalie with a December, 2002 birth date has signed with the Renfrew Wolves of the Central Canada Hockey League.

Zeppa will report to Renfrew in early January.

…[read more]

Pee Wee Penguins on ice


By
December 18, 2020

Minor hockey may not be the same as it plays and practices in modified form relative to COVID-19.

But there are still many happy faces to be found.

…[read more]

Christmas and the Canadiens


By
December 10, 2020

It was 1958, when I was six years old — and still believed in Santa Claus — that I have my first memory of Christmas and hockey.

I had asked Santa Claus for a Montreal Canadiens jersey for Christmas and I remember my Dad and Mom telling me that they would try to make sure that I got one.

Puzzled, I said to my Dad that I thought it was up to Santa Claus whether I got the Canadiens jersey or not.

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RIP, Andy Mantha


By
December 7, 2020

A true gentleman and a hockey legend from his playing days of many years ago with the Soo Greyhounds, Andy Mantha has passed away at age 94.

After retirement from the game, Andy would become a long-time fixture on Greyhound hockey broadcasts as a commentator alongside legendary CKCY Radio play by play man Harry Wolfe.

…[read more]

Good old days of Jr. B hockey


By
December 7, 2020

There were rabid rivalries with games that were high scoring and penalty filled as part of a rough and tumble junior B league with teams in towns that highlighted local and area hockey players.

Games were played in cold rinks where fans braved the chills of winter to hoot and root for the home team and boo and hiss the visitors.

Before there was the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League, there was the International Jr. B Hockey League with teams such as the Blind River Beavers, Chapleau Huskies, Elliot Lake Vikings, Marquette Americans, Soo Indians, Soo Thunderbirds, Thessalon Flyers and Wawa Travellers.

…[read more]

Denny digs the NOJHL gig


By
December 3, 2020

Denny Lambert

He has played the game at its highest level, suiting up for more than 500 National Hockey League games in what was an inspiring, improbable rise to the top.

He was later an assistant and head coach of eight seasons in the Ontario Hockey League for the same team that he played for, the Soo Greyhounds.

And now, 50-year old Denny Lambert is combining a career as a police officer with being the first year head coach of the Soo Thunderbirds of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.

…[read more]

Cross-river return for Szabo


By
December 2, 2020

Dylan Szabo (20) and the Soo Indians celebrate a recent victory

After skating for several seasons on the Ontario side of the St. Mary’s River at Sault Ste. Marie — including the past two in the Great North Under 18 Hockey League — Dylan Szabo has returned home to play for the AAA Soo Indians of the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association.

A 2003 birth year forward who is well known for his hustle and work ethic, the 5-foot-11, 175 pound Szabo developed his game over the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 terms playing for coach Jamie Henderson and the Soo Jr. Greyhounds.

…[read more]

Catch the ace for SMHA


By
December 1, 2020

Mike Creedon, who is the first year president of the Sault Major Hockey Association, hopes to make the game more affordable to more players, especially at the elite level.

…[read more]

Walleye shoots past the Stars


By
November 28, 2020

Trenton Morriseau

Trenton Morriseau hit for the hat trick and Talon Thomas tallied twice as the expansion Kam River Fighting Walleye made its official debut on Friday with a 6-2 win over the defending champion Thunder Bay North Stars.

The game marked the start of the 2020-2021 regular season in the Superior International Jr. Hockey League.

…[read more]

SIJHL season set to start


By
November 27, 2020

Red Lake Miners and Dryden Ice Dogs begin regular season play this weekend. (photo by Patrick Boucha)

Four of the five northwestern Ontario based teams from the Superior International Jr. Hockey League will begin regular season play this weekend.

Kam River Fighting Walleye and Thunder Bay North Stars will play a home and home set as will the Dryden Ice Dogs and Red Lake Miners.

…[read more]

Flint to Leamington


By
November 25, 2020

Top prospect goalie Chazz Nixon has been assigned by the Flint Firebirds of the Ontario Hockey League to the Leamington Flyers of the Greater Ontario Jr. Hockey League.

The GOJHL has been cleared by the Ontario Hockey Federation to begin regular season play in January while the OHL has targeted February as its planned start date.

…[read more]

Such a good, good man


By
November 22, 2020

Jim McAuley

He defined kindness and generosity with a trademark, friendly smile and the warmest of hearts.

A much respected, benevolent gentleman who was well known and well liked, he shunned the limelight even though he was so active in the community as a businessman, volunteer and philanthropist.

He had a love for dogs and a soft heart for the less fortunate and he gave so much in so many ways and asked for nothing in return.

…[read more]

Happy for hockey hoopla


By
November 17, 2020

Celebrating the return of hockey, in this case, the NOJHL.

Covid-19 is a crisis, a change in the way we live our lives that can’t be under-stated.

How we cope with the pandemic and the so-called new normal of every day existence is a reality that we are facing and, hopefully, adapting and adjusting to in these uncertain times.

And while we do not know if the return to play of, for example, the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League can be sustained over the course of the 2020-2021 regular season, it is at least a start.

…[read more]

Indians blank Little Caesars


By
November 16, 2020

Goalie Logan Raffaele had back to back shutouts for the Soo Indians

What a weekend!

Soo Indians of the under 18 AAA Michigan Amateur Hockey Association fashioned a perfect 2020-2021 regular season set on the weekend with a pair of home ice triumphs.

The Indians blanked Detroit Little Caesars by 2-0 and 4-0 scores.

…[read more]

SIJHL is returning to play


By
November 2, 2020

Junior hockey is back in business in northwestern Ontario.

To be sure, the Superior International Jr. Hockey League has confirmed that is has received approval from Hockey Northwestern Ontario, the Thunder Bay District Health Unit and the Northwestern Health Unit to begin play on a modified basis.

To that end, the SIJHL has set up a slate of exhibition games ahead of an anticipated regular season schedule.

…[read more]

New scouting gig for Soo boy


By
November 1, 2020

Mike Dawson

As a medium size defenseman at 5-foot-11, 180 pounds, Mike Dawson made it to the Ontario Hockey League through hard work and perseverance.

A seventh round pick of the Kingston Frontenacs from the Soo Legion midgets at the 1990 priority selections draft, Dawson went on to play three full seasons in the OHL.

He later played five seasons of Atlantic Canada university hockey in total at both Acadia and St. Mary’s followed by two years of pro hockey in Holland and another in the minor pro, Central Hockey League.

Now 47 years of age, the Sault Ste. Marie product has taken his work ethic and knowledge of the game to an ongoing full-time scouting position in the National Hockey League.

…[read more]

Angelo Bumbacco passes away


By
October 28, 2020

Angelo Bumbacco

Sault Ste. Marie and its wide ranging hockey family has lost an absolute legend of the game.

Hockey News North has confirmed that the iconic Angelo Bumbacco has passed away at the age of 88.

Born and raised in the Sault, Bumbacco was to undergo hip surgery on Tuesday but he died before going into the operating room, according to a family member.

…[read more]

All new Hockey North Show


By
October 17, 2020

There will be significant changes to the Hockey North Show when the well established program returns to the airwaves in mid November for its annual 25 week gig.

For one, the Hockey North Show with Randy Russon and Brad Coccimiglio is moving to a new radio home, Eagle 95.1 — on line via www.eagleradio951.com — from its former ESPN 1400 spot.

As well, the Hockey North Show will be broadcast live on Wednesdays from 5-6 p.m. (as opposed to Tuesdays) and as a bonus, all editions will be recorded and archived on www.eagleradio951.com as well as the Eagle 95.1 Facebook page for replay on demand.

…[read more]

Practice time at Soo Pee Wee


By
October 12, 2020

Restrictions relative to the coronavirus have delayed the start of the minor hockey season as it pertains to the actual playing of league games.

But, for instance, in Sault Ste. Marie, teams in the various age categories have been holding weekly practice and skill sessions and scrimmages that are organized and under the watchful eyes of coaches.

Soo Pee Wee Hockey League has put together teams in age categories that include under 7, under 9, under 11 and under 13.

…[read more]

No contact beats no hockey


By
October 11, 2020

Remember the days, not so long ago, when fighting was such a big and entertaining part of junior hockey and goons and enforcers were just as popular — maybe more — than the skilled players?

Well, fighting is now a very small part of hockey to the extent that when a scrap breaks out, it almost looks awkward, not to mention foolish.

And as players and coaches and fans have adapted to the sharp decline in fighting, they can probably similarly adjust to hockey without contact for as long as the coronavirus remains the health risk that it currently is.

…[read more]

Ex-NOJHLer drafted to NHL


By
October 7, 2020

Phillipe Daoust

This looms as a feel good story.

Speedy forward Phillipe Daoust, who skated for the French River Rapids of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League as a rookie during the 2018-2019 season, has become a National Hockey League draft pick.

The 6-foot, 165 pound Daoust, who has a November, 2001 birth date, was a surprise pick of the Ottawa Senators in the sixth round of today’s NHL draft.

…[read more]

Junior hockey variances


By
October 6, 2020

Return to play scenarios for junior hockey in Ontario are contrasts in distinction.

Players like Cameron Walker of the Espanola Express of the NOJHL are awaiting word on a potential return to play

For example, while teams in the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League and the eastern Ontario based Central Canada Hockey League are on the ice holding drills that vary from skill sessions to non contact scrimmages, members representing the Ontario Hockey League remain in a dormant state relative to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both commissioner Robert Mazzuca of the NOJHL and CCHL commander in chief Kevin Abrams are maintaining a wait and see attitude as they keep in touch with public health officials and their respective governing bodies while overseeing their respective leagues during these unprecedented times.

…[read more]

They call him Captain Kovacs


By
October 2, 2020

Bronson Kovacs

Dunaújvárosi Acélbikák Steel Bulls have named veteran defenseman Bronson Kovacs their team captain for the 2020-2021 season.

Based in Central Hungary, the Steel Bulls are part of the Erste Liga professional hockey league.

The 2020-2021 campaign, which begins shortly, will mark the sixth season of pro hockey in Hungary for Kovacs, who is a 30-year old native of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

…[read more]

Hockey North Show on 95.1


By
October 2, 2020

A seasonal mainstay of the airwaves since 2013, the Hockey North Show is planning its return for the upcoming season via Eagle Radio 95.1.

The plan is for the Hockey North Show to be on air a week in advance of when, for example, the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League begins play for the 2020-2021 campaign.

The NOJHL, along with minor hockey in the Twin Sault and northeastern Ontario areas, will be focal points of the Hockey North Show.

…[read more]

SPWHL return to play guide


By
September 29, 2020

Minor hockey has made a return in Sault Ste. Marie with teams selected for skill and practice sessions in the various age categories. Following is a return to play guideline as issued by the Soo Pee Wee Hockey League.

…[read more]

Hockey is back in town


By
September 22, 2020

Across Canada, return to play guidelines are either in place or about to be observed as players in various levels of hockey are back on the ice.

As an example, minor hockey is back in Sault Ste. Marie, at least in the form of organized team sessions that have been slated at various local rinks.

…[read more]

OHL to Austria pro league


By
September 16, 2020

Daylon Groulx

A durable, honest, hard nosed, two way right winger has turned three full seasons in the Ontario Hockey League into a professional contract in Austria.

Daylon Groulx, who would be going into his overage season in the OHL, has instead opted to turn pro as a 20-year old.

The 6 foot, 185 pound Groulx finished up his OHL career with the Ottawa 67’s in 2019-2020 after being acquired from the Owen Sound Attack for three draft picks.

…[read more]

First T.J. Aceti award winner


By
August 22, 2020

Cash Rowswell, with the parents of T.J. Aceti, Rose and Tony (photo by Mary Desimone)

Cash Rowswell has been selected as the first ever winner of the T.J. Aceti Goalie Award.

Young Rowswell was presented with the award today at an emotional, albeit informal backyard gathering.

A goalie who competed at the pee wee major AA level within the Sault Major Hockey Association during the 2019-2020 season, the 13-year old Rowswell was the unanimous choice by a four person committee as the winner of the T.J. Aceti Goalie Award from a group of eight other local puck stoppers.

…[read more]

New gig for John Parco


By
August 16, 2020

John Parco

A successful three season run at the helm of the Soo Thunderbirds of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League has turned into a new challenge for high end coach John Parco.

The soon to be 49 year old Sault Ste. Marie product has signed a two-year contract with the Italian Ice Hockey Federation.

In his new role, Parco will be the director of hockey development for the Italian Federation.

…[read more]

Family advisors of choice


By
August 12, 2020

They are known as family advisors and/or player agents. And when I am asked by parents of hockey players — which is rather often — as to who I would recommend as a family advisor, I give them the names of three management groups that I have had good and lengthy dealings with.

…[read more]

What’s with the handshakes?


By
August 10, 2020

I fully expected the Toronto Maple Leafs to defeat the Columbus Blue Jackets in the fifth-and-deciding game of their preliminary round, National Hockey League playoff series.

Leafs and Blue Jackets shaking hands (during COVID-19) after Game 5 of their NHL playoff series

After all, the Leafs had stunned Columbus in Game 4 with an improbable 4-3 overtime win after rallying from a 3-0 deficit with less than four minutes to play in the third period.

But what I didn’t expect — aside from the Leafs coming up flat in a 3-0 loss in Game 5 — was that players from both teams would remove their gloves and shake hands following the decisive match.

…[read more]