Schreiber on board with SIJHL

Schreiber will be part of the Superior International Junior Hockey League this coming season.
Bill MacLaurin, owner of the K&A Variety Golden Hawks, made the announcement at the league’s first-ever draft meeting Wednesday night at the Hockey Northwestern Ontario office in Thunder Bay.
“The good news that came out of [Wednesday] night’s meeting is we now have a fifth team,” said SIJHL vice-president Ron Whitehead, the only member left on the league’s executive.
“Bill MacLaurin was the fella involved with doing all the leg work and he informed us [Wednesday] night that they are absolutely and definitely in,” added Whitehead.
“In fact, they had someone there to draft for them, but as far as who is the president or coach and things like that, I do not know that information.”
No players from Fort Frances were drafted by the five teams Wednesday night, with the lone district player drafted being Jared Wood of Atikokan, who played a partial season with the Borderland Thunder last year.
Schreiber’s team will be called the Stars, “but that could be changed,” said MacLaurin, who also is hoping to see a change or addition to the team’s ownership.
MacLaurin currently is the lone owner of the team.
“Right now, it’s just me running the team,” he said. “Nobody would make the initial commitment, but I’m sure it’s going to come and that people will want to get on board.
“It’s a good hockey town and we’ll get some good support there,” added MacLaurin, who will be in Schreiber this weekend to “start putting things in place.”
News of a possible new team joining the league came last Wednesday when the SIJHL’s first-ever draft originally was slated, but MacLaurin approached the teams and asked that it be delayed until Monday.
Monday came and MacLaurin again asked for the draft to be postponed because the issue of “guaranteed ice” was still being discussed between himself and Schreiber’s council.
“They were just concerned with what my needs were from them and I said we have to have guaranteed ice and that was the first huddle,” he noted. “Now we’ve announced the team, and now it’s up to me now to go and find staff.”
The Schreiber Recreation Complex, which has a 750-person capacity, is owned by the town and so any group wanting to use the facility must get permission for council.
Schreiber had a council meeting this past Tuesday night, but Clerk Lila Cresswell told the Times she had not been approached by anyone to be put on the agenda about bringing an SIJHL team to the community.
The reason no one approached Cresswell was because MacLaurin had met with members of council Tuesday afternoon in “an informal proposal meeting” that was in-camera, with the result being that Schreiber was on-board.
“The Township of Schreiber is honoured to welcome Junior ‘A’ hockey to town!” Schreiber Mayor Don McArthur said in a letter to the SIJHL.
He could not be reached prior to press time today.
In related news, the Minot State University club hockey team of Bottineau, N.D. (about 150 km south of Brandon, Man.) will be part of the SIJHL on a partial schedule basis this upcoming season along with the Thunder Bay Bombers senior team—this year’s Allan Cup champions.
“It’s a for real deal,” said Whitehead. “Part of what Dryden and Fort Frances has been asking for was some diversity for the fans and we feel this will help supply them with that.”
“Bottineau is a good college team, and so it gives a different look and it’s good competition for our teams,” he noted. “And with the Bombers, it’s a mutual thing because it gives diversity to our fans and they need someone to play, so we’re trying to help them out.”
The Thunder formally announced last week that it would not ice a team in the SIJHL this coming season.