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SIJHL approves expansion franchise for Spooner, Wis., in 2019-20

Wisconsin Lumberjacks, to join the SIJHL   Lake Superior News
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THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO – February 8,2019  (LSN)  The Superior International Junior Hockey League announced Friday that its Board of Governors has unanimously approved the acceptance of a seventh franchise in time for the 2019-20 season to be based in Spooner, Wis.

The addition of the new franchise will become official once receiving final approval from Hockey Canada and the Canadian Junior Hockey League.

USA Hockey’s Junior Council has already granted their endorsement and permission for the U.S.-based franchise, which will be dubbed the Wisconsin Lumberjacks, to join the SIJHL and become members of the CJHL.

"The SIJHL is thrilled for the opportunity to be returning to Spooner and the northwest Wisconsin area with the addition of the Wisconsin Lumberjacks,” stated SIJHL commissioner Bryan Graham.

“The local group, led by owner and team president Doug Lein, along with the staff at the Spooner Civic Center have shown tremendous vision and dedication in bringing SIJHL hockey back to the great fans of Spooner and the surrounding communities,” added Graham.

“We at the SIJHL look forward to a strong partnership for years to come and we’d like to express our thanks to USA Hockey’s Junior Council for their support of this venture in endorsing the Lumberjacks to join the SIJHL and become the 134th member of the CJHL."

The team’s ownership is also excited to be joining the SIJHL.

“Sophia Pinto and I are thankful for this opportunity to bring the SIJHL and Canadian Junior A hockey back to northwest Wisconsin and Spooner,” said Lein. “We look forward to continuing the tradition.”

“The City of Spooner and Washburn County along with Hayward, Cumberland and the surrounding Northwoods, is an area that loves their hockey. The Wisconsin Lumberjacks are looking forward to bringing that passion to the next level”, added Lein.

The Wisconsin Lumberjacks will call the Spooner Civic Center its home arena.

This 100,000 square-foot facility, which seats 1,500 fans, has undergone many improvements and renovations as of late and continues to open new areas of usage to the public.

Stadium seating is being added to the arena as well as many other amenity improvements throughout the facility.

“The Spooner Civic Center is extremely excited to have the opportunity to work with the Lumberjacks to bring Junior Hockey to the facility in 2019 and beyond,” offered Spooner Civic Center general manager Rick Saletri.

Lein went on to add that “Northland Family Holdings, the Lumberjacks parent company, and the arena ownership, Storage Rink, LLC., have come to terms on a usage agreement and look forward to working together. Both parties look forward to a long relationship in expanding the Northern Wisconsin Hockey culture.”

The SIJHL last had a team in Spooner back during the 2011-12 campaign where under then head coach and general manager Rod Aldoff, the Wisconsin Wilderness won back-to-back Bill Salonen Cups before relocating to Cloquet, Minn., in 2012-13 where they won a third straight league title and also went on to capture a Dudley-Hewitt Cup crown.

To reserve your priority spot to pick your season ticket seat location please visit

This list will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

For information about The Wisconsin Lumberjacks season tickets or other information, visit the team website or call Wisconsin Lumberjacks representatives at 715-939-1200.



Surging Brooks Bandits (AJHL) maintain grasp on No. 1 slot in CJHL Rankings
Thunder Bay North Stars (SIJHL) stay 2nd; Summerside Western Capitals (MHL) up to 3rd

CJHLl Top 20 regular season rankings for 2018-19  Lake Superior News

CALGARY, Alta. – February 4 , 2019  (LSN) – Boasting a franchise-record 22 consecutive victories, the Brooks Bandits (AJHL) once again maintain their firm grasp on the No. 1 slot in the latest Canadian Junior Hockey League Top 20 Rankings, announced Monday.

Brooks, 46-3-0, has already clinched the AJHL South Division title heading into a match-up Tuesday at the No. 19 Okotoks Oilers, who have 12 triumphs in succession to their credit.

Also riding a 12-game winning streak, the Thunder Bay North Stars (SIJHL) sit with an impressive 33-2-1-1 record to date.

Over in the Maritimes, the Summerside Western Capitals (MHL) are 12-0-1 since December 22nd and 31-5-0-1 overall as they move up to No. 3 in the 133-team CJHL this week.

The 38-5-1-3 Oakville Blades (OJHL) are the first side in their league to reach 80 points and are tabbed No. 4 nationally.

Manitoba features the Portage Terriers (MJHL) sitting in first place as they have gone 38-8-2-1 so far this season and remain No. 5 in the weekly listings.

The other CJHL squads in the latest Top 10 include les Cobras de Terrebonne (LHJAAAQ) at No. 6; the Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHL) No. 7; North York Rangers (OJHL) No. 8; Bonnyville Pontiacs (AJHL) No. 9, while the defending national Jr. A champion Chilliwack Chiefs (BCHL) crack the Top 10 in the country and pockets of the northern U.S.

The CJHL Top 20 Rankings (As of Feb. 4)

1. Brooks Bandits (AJHL) (1)
2. Thunder Bay North Stars (SIJHL) (2)
3. Summerside Western Capitals (MHL) (4)
4. Oakville Blades (OJHL) (3)
5. Portage Terriers (MJHL) (5)
6. Cobras de Terrebonne (LHJAAAQ) (6)
7. Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHL) (8)
8. North York Rangers (OJHL) (7)
9. Bonnyville Pontiacs (AJHL) (9)
10. Chilliwack Chiefs (BCHL) (13)
11. Swan Valley Stampeders (MJHL) (18)
12. Carleton Place Canadians (CCHL) (11)
13. Brockville Braves (CCHL) (10)
14. College Français de Longueuil (LHJAAAQ) (16)
15. Cobourg Cougars (OJHL) (15)
16. Yarmouth Jr. ‘A’ Mariners (MHL) (14)
17. Sherwood Park Crusaders (AJHL) (20)
18. Nipawin Hawks (SJHL) (19)
19. Okotoks Oilers (AJHL) (HM)
20. Penticton Vees (BCHL) (17)

HONOURABLE MENTION: Kindersley Klippers (SJHL); Hawkesbury Hawks (CCHL): Ottawa Jr. A Senators (CCHL); Inouk de Granby (LHJAAAQ); Titan de Princeville (LHJAAAQ)





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CJHL Hockey   Lake Superior News The Canadian Junior Hockey League is made up of the 10 Junior ‘A’ leagues across Canada. Representing 132 teams and over 3,000 players, the CJHL also boast over 2,800 alumni furthering their hockey careers at the NHL, AHL, ECHL, CHL, NCAA and CIS level across North America. 



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