Batchewana Attack will cross the International and Mackinac bridges later this week and head south along Interstate highway 75 to the Detroit area for a showcase tournament.
The Denny Lambert-coached Attack, which leads the Canadian International Hockey League with a record of 28-0-1, will take part in the showcase event that is being hosted by the Detroit Fighting Irish of the Midwest Jr. Hockey League.
A top three team in the seven-member MWJHL, the Fighting Irish has moved multiple players to the American Collegiate Hockey Association and Division 3, National Collegiate Athletic Association levels over the past few years.
Fighting Irish coach-general manager Dan Vasquez told HockeyNewsNorth.com that more than 20 representatives from higher-level programs including ACHA, NCAA Division 3 and Tier 2 junior have confirmed they will be in attendance at the showcase, which will be held Friday through Sunday at the Ice Box Sports Centre in the Detroit suburb of Brownstown.
Espanola Rivermen and Kalkaska Rhinos are among the other teams who will compete at the showcase.
The Detroit showcase will be the second for the Attack in 2015. Last month, Batchewana took part in a showcase event at Kalkaska and defeated the Central Michigan University Chippewas in the championship game.
Under Lambert, who played and then coached in the Ontario Hockey League with the Soo Greyhounds and skated in more than 500 National Hockey League games in between, Batchewana has been a solid franchise for the first-year CIHL, which plans to add teams in northern Ontario and northern Michigan for the 2015-2016 season.
To be sure, the Attack has a number of players who are on the radar of higher-level junior leagues and American schools.
Of the players on the Attack roster are a number from the Sault Ste. Marie area.
Local-area talent on the Batchewana squad includes forwards Darian Pilon, Drake Pilon, Jacob Palmerio, Jesse Delavalle, Jacob Boisvenue and Grant Syrette, defencemen Adam Baggs, Shane Zorzit, Cade Nolan and Jeremy Solomon and goalie Chris Lindsay.
Baggs, a 1998 birth-year defender, is already an Ontario Hockey League draft pick of the Niagara Ice Dogs.
PHOTO: Jesse Delavalle of the CIHL’s Batchewana Attack. (Photo by Ali Pearson.