They are separated by about 150 miles of rugged northern Ontario roads.
And to be sure, the Batchewana Attack and Espanola Rivermen are establishing a rugged Canadian International Hockey League rivalry.
The top two teams in the CIHL met twice last weekend in a pair of one-goal grinders.
Playing at home, Espanola got shutout goaltending from Trevor Kalinowski — formerly of the Metro Jets of the North American 3 Hockey League — and eked out a 1-0 shootout triumph.
Batchewana then took a home-ice win of its own, a 2-1 decision to improve its first-place record to 14-0-1 heading into a home game against the Sudbury Royals this Sunday at 4 p.m. at Rankin Arena.
Espanola holds down second spot with a record of 11-6, having won four of its last five outings.
Both Batchewana and Espanola are coached by respected men who each played in more than 500 National Hockey League games.
Denny Lambert — who also played and coached in the Ontario Hockey League with the Soo Greyhounds — is Batchewana’s head coach.
And Tommy McCarthy, who as a player was a first-round pick to both the OHL (Oshawa Generals) and NHL (Minnesota North Stars), is Espanola’s bench boss.
Lambert and McCarthy — who have a mutual admiration for one another — both describe the Batchewana-Espanola rivalry as one that is “intense” and will become “more intense moving forward.”
Gotta love it.
PHOTO: Espanola Rivermen coach Tommy McCarthy. (Photo by Ali Pearson.)