GRAND FALLS-WINDSOR, NL – Two young men from Grand Falls-Windsor have been recruited to play for the Bracebridge Pioneers in Bracebridge, Ont.
Michael Hurdle, 18, and Darrell Penton, 16, were asked to play on the team by assistant general manager Brad Lewis. Lewis is also from Grand Falls-Windsor and is well known in the hockey community.
Hurdle and Penton have played hockey together for most of their lives through minor hockey and the Exploits Valley High Eagles high school team.
Knowing they would be playing together made the move a little less nerve-wracking for them, Hurdle said.
The two were asked to play for the Pioneers without having to try out.
“I have watched both Darrell and Michael play minor hockey over the years and I know what kind of a skill set they possess,” said Lewis. “But I also know what kind of people they are, which contributed to me recruiting them for our club.
“Both young men are great on and of the ice, which is very important for a new team in a small community. “
Hurdle and Penton are currently the only players from Newfoundland and Labrador on the team.
The Pioneers, part of the Canadian Premier Junior Hockey League, is both a junior team and an expansion team, Lewis explained. The league is made up of 12 teams from Ontario and the State of Pennsylvania.
Both young men told the Advertiser they are looking forward to playing hockey in this league and the chance of being scouted.
Scouts attend various games throughout the season and the league holds two showcase camps where scouts attend in large numbers to view the teams and their players.
The league also provides an opportunity for players to attend colleges and universities.
According to Lewis, “43 players from our league received US college scholarships last season, and a number of players advanced to play in the OHL.”