Espanola Express Jr.”A” hockey club
The Espanola Express Jr,”A” hockey club is dedicated to developing and promoting our student athletes both on and off the ice as we nurture and teach using hockey as a vehicle to equip our players with the proper tools to become successful in their hockey career as well as preparing them for success in their life to come. We pride ourselves in the amount of development our players achieve over the course of a season as a hockey player, but also as we help guide our players in their journey to becoming young men.
We strive to create a positive hockey culture and create a competitive team every year so that our incredible, loyal fans can enjoy on a regular basis.
Our hockey club is a community based organization where we will be as active in the community as much as possible. We have several programs applied over the years from the “captains community chores where players help out community members with chores around the house and yards, nothing to big or too small, to helping at the food bank, visiting the local public schools or helping with the local habitat for humanity build. The list of involvement is endless and is a key integral tool in teaching our players various lessons and responsibilities. We feel it is extremely important to give back to the community that truly makes it all possible for our players to live and achieve their dreams and goals.
Our staff works diligently to promote our players to schools and a higher level of play. We have a proven formula that allows us to help our athletes achieve their goals of continued hockey at a post secondary level, or at a higher level of their choosing year after year.
Espanola is a town in Northern Ontario, Canada, and is the seat of Sudbury District, with approximately 5500 citizens. It is situated on the Spanish River, approximately 70 kilometers west of downtown Sudbury, and just south of the junction of Highway 6 and Highway 17, leading to the largest fresh water island in the world, Manitoulin Island which is located 40 kms south of Espanola. Espanola was founded in the early 1900s as a company town for the employees of the Spanish River Pulp and Paper company, a subsidiary of the Mead Corporation, which opened a pulp and paper mill there. The town expanded quickly becoming a bustling company town with a hotel, school and theatre. In 1927, Abitibi Power and Paper Company acquired the Spanish River Pulp and Paper Mills. Changing economic conditions brought on by the Great Depression forced the closure of the Spanish River facility in 1929.
Espanola became a ghost town until the Second World War, when the mill site became a camp for German prisoners of war. During the final years of the Hepburn government, it sought to stimulate employment in Northern Ontario in order to stabilize its political position. In that regard, it encouraged negotiations between Abitibi and Kalamazoo Vegetable Parchment Company of Parchment, Michigan which resulted in the sale of Abitibi’s Spanish River facility (at that time its largest non-economic asset) in 1943. It subsequently resumed operation as the KVP Company, producing specialty kraft paper. In 1966 KVP was bought by Brown Forest Industries, a division of Charles Bluhdorn’s industrial conglomerate Gulf and Western Industries. The Brown Forest Industries operation was later sold to E.B. Eddy, who operated the mill until June 1998. Now owned by Domtar, it continues to be the town’s largest employer.
The Espanola Recreational Center is a state of the art, recently built community facility, with a 600 seat arena. Onsite facilities include weight and cardio training center, gymnasium, pool, hot tub, racquet ball courts, dedicated dressing room with team common area and public library. The Recreational complex is conveniently located right next door to both the English and French High Schools.
The Espanola Express Jr.”A” Hockey Club is a Tier II Jr.”A” hockey club and is a member of the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) governed by Hockey Canada. The Express plays in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League (NOJHL). The NOJHL is 1 of 10 Jr.A hockey leagues in Canada and 1 of 4 in Central Canada. The championship team of the NOJHL moves on to play against the winners of the OJHL and SIJHL for the Dudley Hewitt Cup. The winner of that tournament goes on to represent Central Canada in the Canadian National Championship the RBC Cup. The NOJHL consists of 12 teams with 2 divisions of 6.
Our regular season is 54 games long with 27 home games and 27 travel games. When our schedule allows we will practice 5 times per week, 2 optional skates and 3 required skates. We will play on average 2-3 games per week. Our players will benefit from our dryland training program as well as full use of all the weight and cardio training facilities and complex amenities, as memberships are included in team fees. Our players will have access to a dedicated dressing room with a common area at the complex.
Billeting is a very integral part of our team, we feel it is important to have a positive nurturing environment for our players to develop as hockey players and young men. We are lucky in Espanola to have so much support from the community and have such a great selection of billet families to give the support of a family away from home. Our billeting coordinator is in constant communication with the players and billet families to ensure a positive environment at all times. All of our billets are screened by the team.
Our team philosophy is family first, vocation and education second and then hockey third. Being able to balance and maintain the first two, will allow the player to excel in the third. Most team events and the schedule is designed around the high school schedule. Players will have access to the local English and French High School, the Cambrian college satellite campus, night school (once per week classroom) and ged/upgrading facility. Cambrian College and Laurentian University campuses are located only 40 minutes east of Espanola.
Our staff is dedicated to promoting our players to the next level of their choosing. Most of our players focus is to advance to NCAA, ACHA and CIS post secondary education while continuing to play hockey for 4 more years. Our staff has a proven formula that works year after year in promoting our players to the next level. We utilize many tools from impressive online promotion,, writing weekly letters to different schools to using our extensive network of hockey people to have our players seen. Guiding our student-athletes how to navigate the schools to fit their needs and then how to stand out from the crowd is our approach to player promotion.