Soo Eagles v. Michigan Warriors

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Tuesday, 13 March 2012 17:18

By: Randy Russon - Mika Media

I've been covering junior hockey since 1975.

Which, if nothing else, it means that I've been around a while.

At any rate, I have this feeling that when the Soo Eagles join the North American Hockey League effective the 2012-13 season after four years in the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League, they are going to develop a rabid rivalry with the Flint-based Michigan Warriors.

The Warriors will be the Eagles closest NAHL North Division rival -- a straight 285-mile shot from the Soo to Flint along I-75 -- and both teams will be competing for many of the same players in northern and mid Michigan.

Besides, the Eagles will want to show their I-75 brethren that small-town Soo can compete with the big boys from Flint.

As a sportswriter, I'm looking forward to the Eagles-Warriors rivalry and I know that hockey fans in the Soo are very much anticipating the NAHL level of junior hockey.

By the way, the Eagles going to the NAHL next season means the Twin Soos will now be home to teams from four high-end leagues.

On the Michigan side will be the Eagles and the Division 1, National Collegiate Athletic Association Lake Superior State University Lakers. On the Canadian side are the Ontario Hockey League Soo Greyhounds and the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League Soo Thunderbirds.

If that doesn't make us a 'Hockeytown' of high standards, I don't know what will.

Meantime, I'm already planning ahead to the 2012-13 season and Eagles v. Warriors; small-town Soo v.  fire-brand Flint.

And let me add that if the Eagles can average 700 fans per game at Pullar Stadium, the Warriors should be able to double that in Flint.

Because as much as the Soo is definitely a 'Hockeytown', I have to believe that Flint is as well.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 March 2012 17:23