Northwest Junior League expands to 8 teams

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

The Northwest Junior Hockey League is expanding to eight teams for the coming 2022-23 season.
The Beaverlodge Blades return to the league after leaving in 2017-18 while La Crete joins as a new franchise. Both teams were accepted at the league’s meeting May 1.
The coach of the North Peace Navigators, Jody Menssa, is pleased the league is expanding.
“I think it’s good for the league,” he says.
“Adding two teams is always better for attracting players. Healthy teams makes it more competitive.”
He also looks forward to playing different teams, something he adds fans will also anticipate.
Menssa says the league is in good shape and attracting more attention, especially after the Fort St. John Huskies won the British Columbia junior title.
“They have a very good program, they are provincial champs,” he says.
Regarding La Crete, Menssa says it is a very passionate fan base.
“I would think [players] would look forward to going up there,” he says.
“I’m looking forward to it,” he adds. “It will be a fun atmosphere.”
Over time a rivalry may develop.
He also praises La Crete’s hockey programs.
“I know how devoted they are to their hockey.”
Menssa says the league has not decided on a scheduling format next season. Whether there will be two divisions, and whether teams will play weekend doubleheaders in La Crete given the travel distance, are to be determined at a future meeting. Doubleheaders are not foreign to the league. The Navigators and Huskies play one weekend doubleheader at each opponent’s arena once each winter.
Michael Mercredi is no longer the league president after stepping down. Rob Humida of Dawson Creek is now in charge. Efforts to contact him were unsuccessful.

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