THUNDER BAY, Ont. – Exciting news from the Superior International Junior League.
The SIJHL announced on Friday that its Board of Governors has unanimously approved the acceptance of the seventh franchise in time for the 2019-20 season to be based in Spooner, Wisconsin.
The addition of the new franchise will become official once receiving final approval from Hockey Canada and the Canadian Junior Hockey League.
USA Hockey’s Junior Council has already granted their endorsement and permission for the U.S.-based franchise, which will be dubbed the Wisconsin Lumberjacks, to join the SIJHL and become members of the CJHL.
“The SIJHL is thrilled for the opportunity to be returning to Spooner and the northwest Wisconsin area with the addition of the Wisconsin Lumberjacks,” stated SIJHL commissioner Bryan Graham.
“The local group, led by owner and team president Doug Lein, along with the staff at the Spooner Civic Center have shown tremendous vision and dedication in bringing SIJHL hockey back to the great fans of Spooner and the surrounding communities,” added Graham.
“We at the SIJHL look forward to a strong partnership for years to come and we’d like to express our thanks to USA Hockey’s Junior Council for their support of this venture in endorsing the Lumberjacks to join the SIJHL and become the 134th member of the CJHL.”
The team’s ownership is also excited to be joining the SIJHL.
“Sophia Pinto and I are thankful for this opportunity to bring the SIJHL and Canadian Junior A hockey back to northwest Wisconsin and Spooner,” said Lein. “We look forward to continuing the tradition.”
“The City of Spooner and Washburn County along with Hayward, Cumberland and the surrounding Northwoods, is an area that loves their hockey. The Wisconsin Lumberjacks are looking forward to bringing that passion to the next level”, added Lein.
The Wisconsin Lumberjacks will call the Spooner Civic Center its home arena.
This 100,000 square-foot facility, which seats 1,500 fans, has undergone many improvements and renovations as of late and continues to open new areas of usage to the public.
Stadium seating is being added to the arena as well as many other amenity improvements throughout the facility.
“The Spooner Civic Center is extremely excited to have the opportunity to work with the Lumberjacks to bring Junior Hockey to the facility in 2019 and beyond,” offered Spooner Civic Center general manager Rick Saletri.
Lein went on to add that “Northland Family Holdings, the Lumberjacks parent company, and the arena ownership, Storage Rink, LLC., have come to terms on a usage agreement and look forward to working together. Both parties look forward to a long relationship in expanding the Northern Wisconsin Hockey culture.”
The SIJHL last had a team in Spooner back during the 2011-12 campaign where under then head coach and general manager Rod Aldoff, the Wisconsin Wilderness won back-to-back Bill Salonen Cups before relocating to Cloquet, Minn., in 2012-13 where they won a third straight league title and also went on to capture a Dudley-Hewitt Cup crown.
To reserve your priority spot to pick your season ticket seat location please visit wisconsinlumberjacks.com.
This list will be on a first-come, first served basis.
For information about The Wisconsin Lumberjacks season tickets or other information, visit the team website or call Wisconsin Lumberjacks representatives at 715-939-1200.