SIJHL expands to U.S.

Dan Falloon

The brass of the Superior International Junior Hockey League is breathing a sigh of relief after receiving some good news.
The executive committee of USA Hockey has allowed a pair of American-based expansion franchises—the Spooner (Wis.) Wilderness and the Duluth (Mn.) Clydesdales­—to join the Canadian-based SIJHL.
USA Hockey originally had rejected the applications but decided yesterday to let the teams enter the league after an appeal.
The additions boost the SIJHL from a four-team loop to a six-team circuit.
The SIJHL operated as a five-team league last year, but the K&A Wolverines of Thunder Bay folded at the end of the season.
Fort Frances Lakers’ head coach Wayne Strachan is thrilled with the decision, saying it will give some variety to the schedule rather than have a simple rotation of Sioux Lookout, Fort William, and Dryden coming through the Ice For Kids Arena.
“All four Canadian teams were prepared to go at it with the four teams, but what kind of schedule would we have had?” wondered Strachan.
“It’s great for the league and the players of the league to have this happen,” he enthused.