The ever-growing Canadian International Hockey League is officially at six teams — with a seventh to be announced on Saturday.
The latest to join the newly-formed junior league — one in which Canadian and American players will share equal status as non-imports and teams can utilize as many as 12 Europeans and unlimited 15-and-16 year olds — is the Collingwood Ice.
Collingwood joins the Espanola Rivermen, St. Charles Spirit, Central Ontario HTI Stars, Colborne Cramahe Hawks and Milton Battle Arts Cobras as members of the CIHL, which is affiliated with the sanctioned United Hockey Union under the umbrella of the Amateur Athletic Union.
“On behalf of the Town of Collingwood, I wish great success to this new CIHL team, and look forward to seeing them on the ice in the Eddie Bush Memorial Arena,” said Peter Dunbar of the Collingwood Parks, Recreation and Culture department. “I’m confident that the team will provide great opportunities for upcoming players and provide great entertainment for local hockey fans.”
Owner Tim Dickieson, who will also serve as general manager of the Ice, is a businessman from the Collingwood-Wasaga Beach area who has been involved in hockey for over 40 years from his early playing days with the Toronto Red Wings to a junior career that included stops with the Alliston Hornets, Markham Waxers and Charlottetown Eagles.
Dickieson has previous experience as a junior hockey owner in Ontario.
“The CIHL will open to a new quality level of play for our area youngsters and the town of Collingwood and surrounding area junior hockey fans. Collingwood and area fans will get a chance to watch an international brand of play while having a team that will now include local talent too,” said Dickieson.
The Ice has a shared commitment with the Town of Collingwood to play out of storied Eddie Bush Memorial Arena for at least the next two seasons, CIHL president and founder Tim Clayden confirmed.