SIJHL English River Miners Newest Team
THUNDER BAY – Sports – With the Superior International Junior Hockey League set to commence its 13th season Friday the SIJHL’s newest club, the English River Miners, are also gearing up to make their debut that same night as the club travels to nearby Dryden to take on the Ice Dogs at 7:30 p.m.
Here is a preview of the English River Miners: Boasting a line-up of players from across Canada and the U.S. and looking to bring energy and excitement wherever they play this year, the Ear Falls-based English River Miners will look to impress as they take to the ice to begin their first season in the SIJHL.
Under the guidance of head coach and general manager Kevin Kahoot, who spent a stint coaching the Thunder Bay North Stars last season, the Miners have a number of players that they will rely on as they look to gain a foot hold in the standings.
Leading the club while also earning the honour of being the teams’ first-ever captain is Royce King, who will be entering his final year of Jr. A hockey.
The Thunder Bay product was acquired from the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners of the NOJHL where he produced 27 points in 45 outings on 12 goals and 15 assists in 2012-13.
“Royce has quickly become a veteran presence the Miners needed,” stated the English bench boss and GM. “He is the team’s first captain and will be looked upon to bring a physical presence and scoring touch each game.”
Vincent Currao, 1994-born forward from New Jersey, will be looked upon to put up some offensive numbers for English River.
He led the Minnesota Junior Hockey League in goals last season with 39 in 48 games and was a league all-star registering 66 total points.
“He is a leader on and off the ice and at six-foot-two-inches and over 200 pounds, this skilled winger will get the attention of SIJHL fans,” offered Kahoot.
Another veteran forward looked to add a spark will be Californian John Morales. “John is a gritty centerman with soft hands and plenty of speed,” says Kahoot. “He has a bit of an edge to his game and his point-per-per game average and 80-plus penalty minutes last season, should make him a player to watch for this season.”
B.C. native Brendan Wilde was named an assistant captain of the Miners and brings with him Jr. A experience, who will be looked upon to provide leadership as well as be a key energy-type power forward.
Another skater on the squad is Taylor Bargar, a 1994 birth-year from California, who is described as a prototypical power forward that uses his speed and 195-pound frame each shift and provides intimidating force on the fore-check and is adept at scoring and setting up goals.
Looking to be the go-to guy between the pipes is netminder Eric Ouellet, who played a dozen games in the league last season as an affiliate of his hometown Thunder Bay North Stars.
“A young, quick goaltender, Eric brings SIJHL experience with him to the Miners,” stated Kahoot. “He will be looked upon to not only provide solid goaltending, but work with his team mates on helping them transition to a new league.”
After Friday’s inaugural SIJHL game at Dryden, English River moves on to Fort Frances Saturday as part of five straight on the road before their first-ever home opener Oct. 10 vs. Wisconsin.