The new Canadian International Hockey League has added an eighth team — and fourth from Northern Ontario.
Under the ownership of the father-son duo of Dr. Martin Beals and KB Beals, the Greater Sudbury Royals will be based out of the Capreol Community Arena.
The younger Beals, a Sudbury area businessman, said he and his dad want to bring “a level of much-needed entertainment to local hockey fans in the Capreol, Hanmer and Val Caron area.
“We believe the community will have a sense of pride and ownership in the Royals,” Beals added. “Community interaction is important to our agenda and we welcome local businesses and patrons to be a part of it.
“My dad and I would like to say that we are very happy to be part of the founding fathers of the CIHL with president Tim Clayden,” Beals continued.
The elder Beals will serve as president of the Royals and his son will be director of operations.
Meanwhile, the Royals have signed their first two players and both are area products with prior junior experience in the Greater Metro Hockey League. They are 1994 birth-year goalie Jake Mactaggart and 1995 birth-year forward Paul Recollet.
Mactaggart played three seasons of junior in the GMHL while the 6-foot-5, 220 pound Recollet — who answers to the nickname Little Bear — is coming off his first year in the junior ranks.
Mactaggart hails from Sudbury while Recollet is a native of Wahnapitae First Nation.
The Royals become the CIHL’s fourth Northern Ontario-based team joining the Espanola Rivermen, St. Charles Spirit and Sault Ste. Marie-based Batchewana Attack.
Other members of the now-eight-team CIHL are Central Ontario HTI Stars, Colborne Cramahe Hawks, Milton Battle Arts Cobras and Collingwood Ice.
The CIHL is a member of the sanctioned United Hockey Union which operates under the umbrella of an Amateur Athletic Union that was founded more than 125 years ago in 1888.
Besides the CIHL, three other junior hockey leagues are members of the UHU. They are the Midwest Jr. Hockey League, Northern States Hockey League and Western States Hockey League.
The MWJHL is geographically linked to the CIHL and boasts nine teams, eight of which are located in Michigan.
Michigan-based teams in the MWJHL are Alpena Flyers, Berkley Bruins, Detroit Fighting Irish, MC Monarchs, Michigan Ice Dogs, Soo Firehawks, Traverse City Hounds and West Michigan Freeze. The Illinois-based Decatur Blaze is the other MWJHL team.
The MWJHL and the new CIHL are scheduled to co-host multiple showcase and invitational tournaments before and during the upcoming 2014-2015 season.