Attack headed to Detroit

February 2, 2015

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 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.

What you think about “Attack headed to Detroit”

  1. A lot of the PeeWee teams have been playing in tournaments down there. It would be cool to catch an Attack game on the road! Going to check out the schedule on their website.

  2. Randy, do you who else is participating in this tournament, other than the three CIHL teams and the Detroit team?

    1. espofan,

      Motor City Monarchs of the MWJHL are also in the tournament. They are in second place in the MWJHL, just ahead of Detroit.



  3. I know he’s not on your side of the International Bridge, but Chris Skinner is a “local” player having played with the Sault Michigan Hockey Association and three years for Soo High prior to playing for the Attack.

    1. Scott,

      Thanks for that info, I was not aware of Chris’s Michigan Soo background. Always good to get more info on players. Thanks, man.



      1. Sure hope these American boys get promoted to the scouts like the Ontario boys do. They are a big part of the Attack team as well.

        1. Why wouldn’t they get promoted to the scouts the same way? I do believe that two American kids on the Attack both got “promoted” all the way up to the Tier 1 junior, USHL earlier this season.

    1. Brian P,

      Yes, all games on You can see the schedule by clicking on the Detroit Fighting Irish advertisement that appears with the other ads on the right hand side of this website.

  4. First let me begin by saying that I am a follower of the NOJHL and have never seen a CIHL game so I cannot compare the two. Seccondly, I enjoy reading your articles Randy, but I must say there seems to be quite a bias towards the CIHL. Your article about the state of affairs in Blind River paints a pretty bleak picture yet much written about the CIHL talk about their struggles, yet leave us believing that much better days lay ahead. From what I can see it’s been a trainwreck! Started with 8 teams, down to 3, not counting those that came in partway and left. Thirdly, how many more times do we have to read about the 3 CIHL coaches and their combined NHL experience, and how good they are etc… They may very well be good coaches but I think the NOJHL has some real good ones too. How about Smith with the Thunderbirds, pretty good record, first place last year, tied for first this year or very close. How about Taurean White in Mattawa? Playing .500 hockey in their last 14 games with wins over both the Soo and Kirkland. That team started the year 0-11 under a former coach. Let’s not forget the expansion Elliot Lake Wildcats under head coach Nathan Hewitt. Only three points behind the Soo albeit the Soo has a game in hand. With 28 wins to their credit so far I’m sure they have raised a few eyebrows. How about Marc Lafleur in Kirkland? League champs in only their second year and leading the league this year. Enough said, I don’t believe that NHL experience is a prerequisite to being a successful coach. Just look at Babcock, Hitchcock and Trotz. Let’s compare them to Denis Savard, Mario Tremblay and The Great One!

    1. I compare my way, you compare your way. The difference is I sign my full name and you don’t. But you can, if you choose to.

  5. Signing my full name or not is completely irrelevant. At no time did I speak negatively of the 3 CIHL coaches. I was making a point that the NOJHL is a solid competitive league with their fair share of good coaches and a lot of quality players. I assumed Hockey News North meant hockey news north. If your mandate does not include covering any of the NOJHL teams other than the Thunderbirds then just say so. It would make sense given what I’ve read so far.

    1. You make your point, I make my point. And my mandate is truly none of your business, none at all. If you do not like what you read here, then don’t read it.

  6. Ouch!! And I thought that I was quite respectful! Oh well, thanks for the pleasant chat… Enjoy the rest of the season, I know I will.

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