The Eagles have landed.
Superior International Junior Hockey officials confirmed Thursday a new franchise has been approved for the Ear Falls/Red Lake area, and will join the circuit in 2013-14.
The news comes on the heels of reports the league is losing its top team, the Minnesota Wildnerness. JuniorHockey.com reports the Wilderness have agreed to move to the North American Hockey League, following the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League's Soo Eagles, who flew the coop after the 2011-12 campaign. The Wilderness are set to embark on a national title hunt at the Royal Bank Cup Saturday in Summerside, P.E.I.
The SIJHL's newest team, who haven't decided on a name, will be headed by coach and general manager Kevin Kahoot, who last season coached the Thunder Bay North Stars before being replaced mid-season by Todd Howarth and later Jordan Smith.
“The new Eagles franchise thanks the SIJHL for the opportunity to become a strong and vital partner for years to come,” Kahoot said in a release.
“We look forward to working with all the teams to make this league a strong, competitive one that consistently displays an exciting brand of Junior A hockey.”
The Eagles will call Ear Falls Arena home and are expected to dress in black, white, gold and orange uniforms.
“The SIJHL is pleased to welcome our newest franchise to the league,” said Ron Whitehead, league president, in a release.
“An instant rival for one of our original franchises, the Dryden Ice Dogs, the Ear Falls/Red Lake area of Northwestern Ontario is a good fit geographically and we look forward to working with the Eagles organization heading into the 2013-14 season and beyond.”