THUNDER BAY, Ont. – The Superior International Junior Hockey League announced Thursday that the Sioux Lookout Flyers have suspended operations for the remainder of the 2012-13 season.
Citing a number of varying factors, including the resignation of head coach and general manager Derek Levanen and the lack of available players the Flyers’ organization felt it could not continue on this season at a competitive level.
The Flyers were 0-3 in their first three games of the season allowing a league-worst 23 goals while only scoring four times.
“My understanding is it’s a combination of recruiting and some sort of a mix-up between the coach and the ownership group,” stated SIJHL President/Commissioner Ron Whitehead.
“They found themselves short of players with an inability to get other players in a timely manner, so it looks like they’re going to take a leave of absence for a year and restructure,” added Whitehead.
The SIJHL and its remaining six-member clubs are now working diligently to formulate an updated league schedule, which is expected to be announced in the coming days.
“The league and member teams are working hard to complete an improved schedule that works well for all teams along with our fans and sponsors,” offered the SIJHL Commissioner.
SIJHL action resumes Friday on two fronts.
One match-up features the unbeaten Dryden Ice Dogs, currently ranked 6th nationally in the Canadian Junior Hockey League Top 20, heading to Hoyt Lakes to meet the Minnesota Iron Rangers, who are winners of two straight, at 7 p.m.
The other contest sees the Thunder Bay North Stars hosting the Fort Frances Lakers in a 7:30 p.m. start at the Fort William Gardens.
The following is the statement released by the Sioux Lookout Flyers in regard to their suspension of operations:
Sioux Lookout Flyers Press Release
The Sioux Lookout Flyers regret to inform the public that the Club has suspended hockey operations for the 2012-13 hockey season.
Due to a series of unfortunate events our organization has found itself in a position in which it is unable to continue in a competitive and professional manner for the season.
The Club has worked with all remaining players to help them secure spots on other teams for the hockey season.
We believe it was in the best interest of our fans, volunteers and sponsors to take a year leave of absence to restructure and hopefully come back next season stronger than ever.
The Flyers sincerely regret this and would like to thank the Town of Sioux Lookout, our fans, community sponsors and Billet families for their loyalty to the Flyers over the last four years.
We would also like to thank our volunteers and our Players for their hard work and dedication as we look towards a strong successful future within the game.
The Sioux Lookout Flyers Hockey Club again apologizes for any inconvenience that this may have caused.