North Bay Trappers played host to the Soo Thunderbirds on Sunday afternoon in a neutral site game that was held in Mattawa.
And the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League game drew a crowd of 303 to Mike Rodden Arena and Community Centre in Mattawa.
Mattawa, which is about 40 miles east of North Bay on the Ottawa River, is a possible destination for the Trappers for next season.
The Trappers — a flagship NOJHL franchise — have been told by the City of North Bay that its facility agreement will not be renewed after this season.
Playing at West Ferris Arena in North Bay, the Trappers have averaged 137 fans per game this season and several crowds have been below 100.
As for Sunday’s game in Mattawa, the seventh-place Trappers were upended by the NOJHL-leading Thunderbirds, falling by a 6-1 score.
But Trappers president David Beauchamp was happy with the support his team received in Mattawa.
“The crowd was great, just over 300 and the people were very, very nice,” Beauchamp told me. “They all commented on the level of play. It is unfortunate we had four regulars out of the lineup but the people seemed to still be excited.”
Mattawa will be home to another Trappers game tonight at 7 p.m. when the Elliot Lake Bobcats pay a visit.