Twin Soo rivalry nenewed

Soo Thunderbirds of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League and Soo Eagles of the North American Hockey League will resume the Rollie King Cup series after a two-year hiatus, officials from both teams have confirmed.

The cross-border Soo teams established the Rollie King Cup during the 2011-2012 season when both were members of the NOJHL.

But the series was halted by the Northern Ontario Hockey Association when the Eagles left the NOJHL for the NAHL effective the 2012-2013 campaign.

The series between the Twin Soo teams honours the late Rollie King, a Michigan Soo native who crossed the International Bridge in the mid-1960s to play for the Soo Greyhounds when they were members of the NOHA. King then served the United States of America in the Vietnam War and later died of leukemia before his 30th birthday.

The resumption of the Rollie King Cup between the Thunderbirds and Eagles has officials from both teams pleased.

“We know how happy this will make the family of Rollie King,” said Eagles owner Ron Lavin. “The Soo Eagles would like to thank NOJHL commissioner Rob Mazzuca for stepping up and helping to revive the Rollie King Cup series.”

Eagles coach-general manager Bruno Bragagnolo added that the resumption of the Rollie King Cup series between his team and the Thunderbirds “is a long time coming. We enjoyed the rivalry we had with the Thunderbirds when we were in the same league. It will be great to be able to play them again for the Rollie King Cup.”

And Thunderbirds general manager Kevin Cain noted that, “We have missed playing the games against the Eagles. I know how much fans on both sides of the St. Mary’s River used to enjoy the great Thunderbirds-Eagles rivalry.”

The teams will play a two-game series on Friday, September 5 and Saturday, September 6, both at Pullar Stadium in the Michigan Soo.

Advance tickets can be reserved by calling the Soo Eagles office, 906-259-0522.

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