St. Stephen is working to bring home a junior 'A' hockey team

St. Stephen could have a junior 'A' hockey team hitting the ice by next year if everything goes well, according to resident Ted Colley.

Colley, who has been involved with hockey for years, told St.Stephen town council on Wednesday that he is currently speaking with two teams and if everything goes well, one of them could relocate to St.Stephen.

It's a lengthy process that is taking more time because one of the deals last summer "fell through at the 11th hour," he said.

Mayor Allan MacEachern said the town lost its team a few years ago. He said Colley, who was "part of hockey high-level in his original place that he lived," had contacted him to say he was planning to move to St. Stephen and wanted to know about the community's hockey scene.

Upon learning that the town did not have a team, Colley said he could help to bring one in, said MacEachern, adding that Colley's idea excited him, so he connected Colley with others in town who could help.

Colley said he connected with members of a group earlier known as the "St. Stephen Junior Hockey Club," and they began pulling their sources together to set up a team. He said the target is to "put two skates on the ice" by either September or October 2023.

More details will be announced once the team is finalized and everything gets "a green light," he said.

Colley also hinted that rather than branding the team "St. Stephen", it will be something along the lines of "St. Croix," as he has also been speaking with the council of neighbouring Calais, Maine, to get that community involved. The name will be decided by the residents of the St.Croix River area in a contest.

MacEachern said there's "a large amount of people" in town who are looking forward to having a hockey team to cheer for again. It will also be good for businesses, the local economy and the town, as it creates a lot of positive energy, he said.

Colley "has taken on the challenge," MacEachern said, "I am personally looking forward to seeing him put this together."

Rhythm Rathi, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Telegraph-Journal