A new senior hockey team is eyeing to officially hit the ice this fall with the Central Interior Hockey League (CIHL).
The Nechako North Stars is awaiting to receive its final approval by BC Hockey, said Michael Simoes, one of the many working on the organizational aspect of building a team.
“It was a bit tough,” Simoes said. “We were pretty excited to go in the first year getting everything worked out, and then when the season eventually did get cancelled by the league, it was definitely disappointing putting the work in, but makes it a bit easier this year to get going for the season.”
After the CIHL cancelled its 2020/21 season as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the league is planning to return this fall, said president Ron German.
The senior AA team will feature players from Vanderhoof and Fort St. James.
Fort St. James was previously home to a men’s senior team—the Fort St. James Stars that played in the CIHL until folding nearly two decades ago. Vanderhoof also used to boast its own CIHL team, the Omineca Ice.
Between 30 to 40 potential players have already expressed interest in joining.
“The community has been pretty open to us — both Vanderhoof and Fort St. James have been great,” Simoes said.
“I think people are excited to have a Saturday night event to go to and to watch some hockey all over again.”
The team is continuing to seek sponsorship and volunteers. Anyone interested can reach out to their Facebook page titled Nechako North Stars Senior AA.