Crunch hunch pays early dividends

January 11, 2016

Cochrane Crunch coach-general manager Ryan Leonard played a hunch that family advisor David Maciuk would come through with a high-end skater.

With one available spot on his roster and seeking an elusive impact player, Leonard put in a call to Maciuk and was rewarded with Brenden Van Sweden, a 1997 birth-year forward from Michigan.

Van Sweden, formerly of the Springfield Jr. Blues of the North American Hockey League and a 2013 Ontario Hockey League draft pick of the Saginaw Spirit, had just recently enlisted Maciuk as his agent and was looking for a place to play.

Up in Cochrane, where the Crunch was already in first place in the East Division of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League, the relentless Leonard hooked up with Maciuk, who delivered the 6-foot, 185-pound Van Sweden.

Van Sweden, to be sure, has paid immediate dividends for Cochrane with three goals and an assist in his first two games with the Crunch — both victories.

“Dave Maciuk found me a what I was looking for in Van Sweden,” Leonard told “Sometimes a player just needs to be given a chance and so far, in two games, Brenden has exceeded our expectations.”

Van Sweden adds to an already-strong Crunch lineup as heading into play this week, Cochrane leads the East Division standings with 59 points from a record of 28-5-3.

Cochrane’s 59 points has the Crunch in second place in the NOJHL’s overall standings, six points back of the league-leading Soo Thunderbirds.

What you think about “Crunch hunch pays early dividends”

  1. The Soo T-Birds must be hearing footsteps. The Crunch just added a player who can score, and addition by subtraction by dealing a player who can’t score but does takes too many penalties. They just got a lot better, and revenge for last year’s final has to be on their minds…

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