Town approves Espanola Express

May 12, 2015

The Town of Espanola has unanimously voted to accept the return of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League to its community for the 2015-2016 season, has confirmed.

Espanola mayor Ron Piche said the town has accepted a proposal from a local group led by Tom McCarthy, Jason Rapcewicz and Chad Clarke to play out of the Recreation Complex.

“The highly-anticipated return to the NOJHL will provide team stability and a strong sense of loyalty to our community,” said Piche.

The new team, to be called the Espanola Express, had already received an unofficial thumbs-up from the NOJHL and now awaits approval from the governing Northern Ontario Hockey League Association.

A veteran junior bench boss who played in 528 National Hockey League games (playoffs included), the aforementioned McCarthy will be head coach of the new Espanola Express, Rapcewicz will be the associate coach and Clarke will serve as general manager.

The poised return of Espanola to the NOJHL comes after a one-year hiatus.

As members of the NOJHL during the 2013-2014 season, the team known as the Espanola Rivermen led the league in attendance.

But former owner Tim Clayden pulled the Rivermen from the NOJHL to start the Canadian International Hockey League, which folded following its inaugural 2014-2015 campaign.

McCarthy, Rapcewicz and Clarke all had prior ties to the erstwhile Espanola Rivermen.

Clayden is not in any way associated with the new Espanola Express, said Clarke.

What you think about “Town approves Espanola Express”

  1. There are a lot of excited people in town with this news. Good to be back in the NOJHL with local games again that the fans can get to.

  2. Welcome back. Espanola is a hockey town and the fans will surely prove this again next season. My prediction is they lead the league in attendance again.

  3. Very happy to have hockey in our town, with some good people leading the way. I’ll be waiting for the announcement that season tickets are on sale.

  4. Congrat’s Espanola Express, Mayor and council in Welcoming and Supporting your new team, nice to see it all come together.

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