It is with great pride and pleasure that the Sault Ste. Marie Michigan based hockey team, Soo Eagles announce they will be joining the North American Hockey League, (NAHL) effective for the 2012/2013 season. Beginning next season the Soo Eagles will be playing in the North Division with most of their opponents based in Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois. Soo Eagles owner Ron Lavin said, “We set out as an ownership group in June of 2010 to provide boys an opportunity to improve their game, grow as men, give back to the community, and provide a track to Division 1 and Division 3 college hockey programs. We wanted to embrace the City of Sault Ste. Marie and I believe we continue to demonstrate our commitment both on and off of the ice. We’ve made a lot of progress, but there’s a lot more to do. We’re proud to have compiled a Won 88, Lost 28, Tied 8 record. Winning the NOJHL Championship last year was very rewarding. We’re now starting the playoffs to defend our Championship. As we announced in the Fall, we decided to take the next step and make an application to the NAHL. We’re delighted they have accepted us but, the one thing we want to be sure everyone knows is that we are keeping the Soo Eagles hockey team right here in Sault Ste. Marie Michigan. Mayor Tony Bosbous, City Manager Spencer Nebel, and Parks & Recreation Director Dan Wyers have all been extremely supportive and helpful to us and we appreciate their support.
Mr. Lavin went on to say, “We want to sincerely thank the NOJHL for allowing us to be a member for the past 4 years. It was a privilege to play in the league and we appreciate all that they do for the game of hockey. We wish the NOJHL continued success in the future. Going forward, we take our responsibility very seriously and will continue to provide a first class hockey operation in Sault Ste. Marie Michigan. Our coaches, volunteers, billet families and education opportunities are all focused on helping the young men of the Soo Eagles reach DI and D3 college hockey levels. Working with the NAHL and Mark Frankenfeld has been a great experience. We look forward to a long, successful relationship that develops the growth of young men who decide to play in the NAHL, on and off of the ice. We’re very pleased with the extensive process that it took to be approved by the NAHL. It was a large hurdle and our team met the challenge. Being in the NAHL means we will expose our players to even more opportunities to develop their college hockey careers.
As an organization, we are making a significant financial commitment and are looking forward to the continued support of our local fans and sponsors. Without them, we couldn’t begin to take on this new project. It’s our goal to sell 300 season tickets for the upcoming year. You can purchase season tickets by calling the Soo Eagle office at 906-259-0522, on-line at www.sooeagles.net (available soon), or visit the Soo Eagles office at the Pullar Stadium. We also just confirmed our first tryout camp taking place at the Big Bear Arena in Sault Ste. Marie, May 11th through the 13th."
Local broadcast group Sovereign Communications will deliver live coverage of the Soo Eagles hockey games on their sports radio station, ESPN 1400 AM, again next season. Veteran hockey announcer John Bell will continue to bring fans the play-by-play action.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)