The new Canadian International Hockey League has confirmed that Colborne Cramahe Hawks and Milton Battle Arts Cobras have cleared the United Hockey Union screening process and will ice teams effective the 2014-2015 campaign.
CIHL president and founder Tim Clayden, who also owns the Espanola Rivermen — formerly of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League — said he expects to announce four more teams to the new loop within the next week to 10 days.
Clayden said three of the teams will be from Northern Ontario and be part of a geographical alignment with Espanola, which left the NOJHL after leading the league in attendance in 2013-2014 and finishing in third place in the regular-season standings under veteran coach Tom McCarthy.
As members of the sanctioned UHU, under the umbrella of the Amateur Athletic Union, the new CIHL is affiliated with three American-based leagues — Midwest Jr. Hockey League, Northern States Hockey League and Western States Hockey League.
The Ontario-based CIHL and the MWJHL will combine to play host to a pair of Showcase Tournaments in 2014-2015, the first of which will be in the hockey hub of Traverse City, Michigan.
The MWJHL is a nine-team league, eight of which are from Michigan.
At any rate, following is a brief outline of the two recent, officially-processed teams into the CIHL.
COLBORNE CRAMAHE HAWKS
Owned by retired, high-ranking Canadian military officer Dan Fisher, the Hawks will play their home games out of the Keeler Centre in Colborne, Ontario.
Mike Jeschke, a resident of nearby Cobourg, will be the coach and general manager of the Colborne entry.
“W are extremely excited to be part of the CIHL,” said Jeschke. “I can tell you that the community of Colborne Cramahe is anxiously waiting for the start of the inaugural CIHL season.”
Jeschke, who grew up in Cobourg, is a former player in the Ontario Jr. Hockey League and has coached teams in Minden River and Midland.
MILTON BATTLE ARTS COBRAS
Well-known World Wrestling Entertainment superstar Anthony Carelli — who goes by the ring name of Santino Marella — is the owner of the Milton team that will play out of the John Tonelli Sports Centre.
Steve Boulanger will be the general manager of the Battle Arts Cobras and former Division 1, National Collegiate Athletic Association defenceman Jeff Caister will be the assistant GM.
The 29-year old Caister played two seasons at Wayne State University and two more at St. Lawrence University before embarking on a four-year career in the minor pro ranks.
The team is presently taking resumes for the head coach position.