Cochrane to host Polar Bear Classic 5-team preseason tournament



Release Date: Sunday, July 31, 2016

Cochrane to host Polar Bear Classic 5-team preseason tournament

SUDBURY, Ont. – The Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League announced Sunday that the Cochrane Crunch will be holding a five-team preseason tournament Sept. 1-4 at the Tim Horton Event Centre.

Joining the host Crunch in Cochrane at the first annual Polar Bear Classic will be fellow NOJHL member clubs, the Espanola Express, Iroquois Falls Eskis and Kirkland Lake Gold Miners as well as the Kingston Voyageurs of the Ontario Junior Hockey League.

A total of 13 contests will be held during the Polar Bear Classic, including the championship game on Sunday, Sept. 4 at 7 p.m. featuring the two semifinal winners from earlier that day.

“We are very excited to hold such a great event,” stated Crunch president, head coach and general manager Ryan Leonard.

“We here in Cochrane would like to show that our community has the potential to host future league, regional, Canadian Junior Hockey League and Hockey Canada events,” added Leonard.

“We have the hotel rooms and restaurants and the biggest component; the facility. The Tim Horton Event Center is in my mind one of the best venues for Jr. A hockey; north of Toronto. We have 60-inch replay screens in each section; we have the Bear’s Den which is four press boxes overlooking the venue with replay screens and a bar. Our facility does not have a bad seat in the house and we are a fully licensed facility. The event will bring in about 125 players and approximately another 125 visitors from parents and friends who will come watch and visit our community. This doesn’t include the many fans from neighboring communities of Iroquois falls and Kirkland Lake that are taking part,” summarized the Cochrane coach and GM.

Also included will be opening ceremonies for the Polar Bear Classic on Thursday, Sept. 1 will be a presentation by Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment in which a banner recognizing legendary Toronto Maple Leafs icon Tim Horton will be raised to the rafters of the venue that is named in his honour.

MLSE will also be making a presentation to the community of Cochrane at that time.

“The NOJHL recognizes the vision and commitment undertaken by Ryan Leonard and the entire Crunch organization for their efforts in staging this undertaking,” stated league Commissioner Robert Mazzuca.

“With four of our members clubs taking part along with Kingston of the OJHL, this will provide the fans in the region an opportunity to witness some high-end hockey action as a prelude to the 2016-17 season and will also offer scouts a chance to eye-up potential talent under one roof,” commented Mazzuca.

Polar Bear Classic tournament passes will be just $34 for four days and the 11 games with those six years of age and under being admitted free.

Opening night passes for the two match-ups on the Thursday will be $10 for adults, $8 for students and $6 for children over six. Cochrane residents will be admitted free to the Crunch – Voyageurs contest that evening as part of the MLSE banner presentation.

Day passes for the Friday, Saturday and Sunday will be $12 for adults, $10 for students and $8 for children over six.

The following is the Cochrane Crunch Polar Bear Classic game schedule:

NOJHL – Polar Bear Classic      
Preseason Tournament Schedule    
All games at Tim Horton Event Centre – Cochrane, Ont.    
Dates and times subject to change    
1 Thursday, Sept. 1 Iroquois Falls Espanola 6 p.m.
2 Thursday, Sept. 1 Kingston (OJHL) Cochrane 8:30 p.m.
3 Friday, Sept. 2 Iroquois Falls Cochrane 10 a.m.
4 Friday, Sept. 2 Kingston (OJHL) Kirkland Lake 12:30 p.m.
5 Friday, Sept. 2 Iroquois Falls Kirkland Lake 6 p.m.
6 Friday, Sept. 2 Espanola Cochrane 8:30 p.m.
7 Saturday, Sept. 3 Kingston (OJHL) Iroquois Falls 10 a.m.
8 Saturday, Sept. 3 Kirkland Lake Espanola 12:30 p.m.
9 Saturday, Sept. 3 Cochrane Kirkland Lake 6 p.m.
10 Saturday, Sept. 3 Espanola Kingston (OJHL) 8:30 p.m.
11 Sunday, Sept. 4 Polar Bear Classic 4th Overall Polar Bear Classic 1st Overall 10 a.m.
12 Sunday, Sept. 4 PBC 3rd Overall PBC 2nd Overall 12 p.m.
13 Sunday, Sept. 4 PBC Semifinal Winner Polar Bear Classic 1st Overall 7 p.m.