From Sault This Week
By Randy Russon
Skaters with recent experience in the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League and Superior International Jr. Hockey League are among those who have signed up to play for the 2021-2022 edition of Sault College Cougars.
The only Canadian men’s team in American Collegiate Hockey Association’s Division 2 ranks, Sault College has lined up a regular season schedule slated to begin on Oct. 23.
To be sure, it is quite an impressive list of incoming players at Sault College via both the NOJHL and SIJHL and primed for duty with veteran head coach Mike Hall and the Cougar men.
Among those on the Sault College roster are forwards Parker Morgan, Caleb Wood and Noah Boman from the Soo Thunderbirds and other former NOJHLers such as forwards Jacob Bumbaco (Soo Eagles) and Matt Capisciolto (Soo Eagles and Timmins Rock) and defencemen Keaston Blais (Cochrane Crunch) and Jordan Ritchie (Espanola Express and Elliot Lake Wildcats.)
Meanwhile, arriving at Sault College from prior service in the SIJHL are defenceman Jace Pitawanakwat (Kam River Fighting Walleye and Red Lake Miners) and twin brother forwards Austin Cardinal (Wisconsin Lumberjacks and Thunder Bay North Stars) and Ryley Cardinal (Wisconsin and Thunder Bay.)
Also new to Sault College is forward Hunter Buzzi, who played in both the NOJHL and the SIJHL. Buzzi skated in the NOJHL for Cochrane and prior to that, lined up for the Fort Frances Lakers of the SIJHL.
The northern lads represent part of the recruiting class for the upcoming season led by Sault College manager of hockey operations Mark Hebert and local/regional scout Charly Murray. Both Hebert and Murray have a lengthy past with teams in the NOJHL and remain well connected.
Sault College was forced to opt out of action during the 2020-2021 season because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
But as of now, the Cougars tentatively have 25 games on the card for the 2021-2022 regular season campaign.
(Originally published at https://www.saultthisweek.com/sports/local-sports/northern-look-for-sault-college-cougars)