The Thorold Jr. B Blackhawks have moved to Port Colborne for the season, but hockey is still alive and skating in Thorold.
On Saturday Oct. 22, the Thorold Minor Hockey U21 B team will be kicking off their season at the Frank Doherty Arena, in a game against the Tavistock Titans.
“The team is made up of a mix of local players,” says coach Kory Yungblut, in an interview with ThoroldToday. “There are not a lot of U21 teams around so if you live close here they’re directed to come play with us. There are a lot of returning players from Thorold as well.”
As ThoroldToday reported, the U21 BB team won the Ontario Minor Hockey Association (OMHA) Championship in April.
At the home opener on Saturday, Thorold Minor Hockey will unveil the U21 BB 2022 OMHA Championship Banner, as well as the PeeWee BB 2020 OMHA Championship Banner.
“We’re going to do a little presentation at the beginning of the game and drop the banners,” explains Yungblut. “[Mayor Terry Ugulini] is going to come out and say a couple of words. Once they’re up the city plans on leaving them there.”
Yungblut credits the success of Thorold Minor Hockey on the provincial stage to its development program.
“We have a lot of good quality coaches that have come up and helped develop players,” he says. “Right now we have a couple NHL ex-Ice Dogs. One is ex-Ice Dog captain Anthony DiFruscia. He’s helping coach. In the hockey school, we have J.J. Martin who has played Jr. B in Thorold. We have a lot of good quality coaches in the development program. It helps develop right.”
After their recent OMHA win, the pressure is on the U21 B team to deliver an outstanding performance this season.
“They’re going to have a target on their back,” Yungblut says. “They’re the team to beat.”
The U21 B team will be playing all their home games at the Frank Doherty Arena this season. Admission to the games is free. For an up-to-date schedule, head to their website.