Sault Ste. Marie’s new junior A hockey team has made another major coaching hire.
Gary Roach is joining the Batchewana Attack of the Canadian International Hockey League as an assistant to head coach Denny Lambert, HockeyNewsNorth.com has confirmed.
The 39-year old Roach played four seasons in the Ontario Hockey League as a top defenceman with the Soo Greyhounds. Roach, who was part of the Soo’s Memorial Cup championship team of 1993, closed out his OHL career in 1995 after he was acquired by the erstwhile North Bay Centennials from the Greyhounds at the trade deadline.
A fifth-round, National Hockey League draft pick of the New York Rangers in 1993, Roach went on to play at the minor-pro level in the American Hockey League, East Coast Hockey League and the United Hockey League and also spent a season with the Laurentian Voyageurs of Ontario University Athletics.
The hiring of Roach as an assistant coach under Lambert gives Batchewana a highly-respected, one-two tandem behind the bench.
Like Roach, the 44-year old Lambert also played for the Greyhounds. Lambert later spent eight seasons with the Hounds as a coach — five as an assistant and three as the head guy.
Lambert also made it to the National Hockey League as a hard-nosed left winger. Despite never being drafted, Lambert played in 504 NHL games.
Batchewana, which will plays its home games at Rankin Arena on First Nation land in the Soo, is part of the new, eight-team, Ontario-based CIHL.
Other members of the CIHL are Espanola Rivermen, Sudbury Royals, St. Charles Spirit, Central Ontario HTI Stars, Milton Battle Arts Cobras, Collingwood Ice and Colborne Cramahe Hawks.