Rugged CIHL rivalry

December 2, 2014

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.)

What you think about “Rugged CIHL rivalry”

  1. I like the style of play that Denny has the Batchawana team playing and the Games that I have seen Batchawana play against Kalkasska and Espanola have been good Games w. lots of excitement. Besides RR there is not much coverage of the new team and we don’t know that much about the Sudbury team for instance.

  2. Rivalrey will keep getting better & better the way I see it alreddy some bad blood beteween players from both side’s.

  3. Thanks Randy very much as well I love the site I lived in North Bay and now down south this allows myself to keep up with the northern teams no matter what league they play in thanks again Shawn

    1. Shawn,

      Was just told that the Royals have their insurance renewed with the CIHL handler — and that there are new partners within the Sudbury ownership.

      Thanks for the nice words.



  4. Randy no problem thanks again for the info .The only reason I asked about the Royals was that I saw the games for the weekend coming in the WUHL and the Royals were shown on that Schedule – then it was pulled down .Thanks for the update and once again I love the site Shawn

  5. What is the status of the newly formed Markstay-Warren Spirit Warriors? I notice they are not on the schedule.

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