Effort being made to bring junior hockey league back to life

Dave Kearsey dkearsey@thewesternstar.com
Published on October 27, 2016

The Junior Mariners in action back in 2012. A Port aux Basques man is trying to get a new junior hockey league started on the west coast.

©Gulf News file photo

Seeing junior hockey brought back to life on the west coast is something Shannon Battiste has been hoping to see for a couple of years, but he’s never been able to make it happen for one reason or another.

The 38-year-old Port aux Basques native is spearheading a drive to have a four-team junior hockey league formed on the west coast with Port aux Basques, Stephenville, Corner Brook and Deer Lake entering teams.

There hasn’t been any junior hockey for a couple of years in the gateway town because the four-team Central West Junior Hockey League folded.

Ever since its demise, Battiste has tried to get the league back on the go, but just couldn’t make it happen. He now figures it’s a good time to take another crack at it because there is no senior hockey on the west coast this winter, so diehard hockey fans have been left out in the cold when it comes to a decent brand of hockey.

He is the former president of the Port aux Basques Junior Mariners and knows people would love to see junior hockey make a return, because he fielded dozens of enquiries every year from people wondering if there will be any hockey in the town.

He was disappointed that he had to tell those people no.

Hockey is missed in the gateway town, so he’s willing to make another attempt at getting junior hockey back on the map on the west coast.

“I just want to see hockey back in town. We always had big support for it,” he said.

Battiste believes there are enough young hockey players in all four communities to form a competitive team. Anybody interested in rejuvenating junior hockey in the west can contact Battiste via email at battisteshannon@hotmail.com or call 1-709-695-8877.