The Michigan-based Kalkaska Rhinos, an independent junior hockey team that is coached by Krzysztof Oliwa, who won a Stanley Cup in 2000 as a fearsome left winger with the New Jersey Devils, will play their first-ever home games this weekend.
The Rhinos will play host to the unbeaten Batchewana Attack of the new Canadian International Hockey League on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Kaliseum Recreational Complex in Kalkaska.
The Oliwa-coached Rhinos have played seven games thus far this 2014-2015 season against teams from the CIHL and the Midwest Jr. Hockey League and have a respectable record of 3-4. The Rhinos have two wins against the Detroit Fighting Irish of the MWJHL and another over the Sudbury Royals of the CIHL.
Batchewana has a regular-season record of 5-0 in the eight-team CIHL.
As the 41-year old Oliwa is a retired National Hockey League veteran of 442 career games, Batchewana head coach Denny Lambert is no stranger to “The Show” either.
The 44-year old Lambert played in 504 NHL games and like Oliwa, was a rugged, high-energy left winger.