Espanola Rivermen to bring NOJHL back to Manitoulin Island

LITTLE CURRENT–The North Bay Junior A Trappers and Espanola Rivermen will travel to Little Current this Saturday night to play a neutral site NOJHL regular-season game in the former home of the majestic Manitoulin Islanders.

The former NOJHL team, based out of Little Current, moved to Kirkland Lake in the summer of 2011. Both organizations are excited to bring Junior A hockey back to the Island for a mid-December regular season tilt.

“The North Bay Trappers are thrilled and to move our home game Saturday, December 14 to Little Current to play the nearby Rivermen,” said Jr. Trappers President David Beauchamp.

“The people of Manitoulin Island have been without Junior A hockey for a few years, and we expect a large crowd to take in the neural site game. We understand this takes away from our loyal fans that support us, so all season ticket holders that present their ticket from this game at our first home playoff game will be able to get in for free to our first game of the playoffs,” he added.

Tim Clayden, Trappers’ former chairman of the board and now team governor for the Espanola Rivermen, is thrilled to have his team part of this unique event between these two NOJHL rival teams. The Espanola Rivermen organization is very excited to support the Trappers in their game venue choice, playing in Little Current on Saturday, December 14 at 7:30 pm,” stated Mr. Clayden. “The Island is a huge resource for talented young hockey players and has a wealth of very knowledgeable junior hockey fans”

“Back in the day when we started the North Bay NOJHL Skyhawks, Manitoulin Island was at one time one of the best NOJHL supported teams, and myself, I don’t see that changing on the North Shore any time soon as we in Espanola have tremendous support now from the Island and many North Shore junior hockey fans. The Trappers have had some tough times this year off the ice, but on the ice they have a team that could win it all, and we know they like beating us. We plan to change that and welcome the opportunity to play the Trappers next week on Manitoulin Island in the town of Little Current,” said Mr. Clayden, whose Rivermen sport a 1-2 record against the Trappers so far this season.

The league has hosted other neutral site games in the past, and Mr. Beauchamp believes it’s a great initiative to help build interest in the NOJHL across Northeastern Ontario. “This game will showcase our great league and give back to a community who has a strong junior hockey following,” added Mr. Beauchamp.