North Bay, ON - Nipissing Lakers Athletics and the North Bay & District Girls Hockey Association (NBDGHA) have officially joined forces.
While there has been a long-standing relationship between the two groups, the association, which has been around since 1998 and was formerly called the Ice Boltz, will now be known as the Junior Lakers.
The new partnership will take effect to begin the 2023-24 season, with the NBDGHA grandfathering in the logo and colour change.
The two groups have worked together since the Lakers Women’s Hockey team was introduced in 2012-13 and a number of players have made the jump from the U18 AA team to the Lakers.
Lakers Women’s Hockey head coach, Darren Turcotte, is excited about the opportunities that lie ahead under the new partnership agreement.
“We are very excited about the partnership between the Nipissing Lakers and the North Bay & District Girls Hockey Association. We are very fortunate to have had 19 players from the NBDGHA play for us over the course of our first 10 seasons and we look forward to many more in the future,” Turcotte said. “This partnership will allow the Nipissing Lakers to help promote girls hockey in the area and make North Bay a true high-performance city when it comes to playing against other Provincial teams.”
NBDGHA president, Mike Brideau, echoed Turcotte’s comments, noting the eagerness to move forward on this new venture.
“The North Bay & District Girls Hockey Association (NBDGHA) is excited to be teaming up with Nipissing Athletics and becoming the Jr. Lakers. This agreement will give our players the opportunity to develop not only their hockey skills, but life skills while being mentored by the Nipissing Lakers Women's Team. This is a win-win for both NBDGHA and Nipissing,” Brideau said. “NBDGHA is entering its 25th year with the 2023-2024 hockey season and why not start it off with being the Jr. Lakers. To help commemorate the Ice Boltz name, the new Jr. Laker jerseys will have an Ice Boltz logo on the shoulders.”
Lakers forward and assistant captain, Maggie McKee, is excited to work with the next generation of female hockey players and potential Lakers.
“Having the Ice Boltz transition to the Jr. Lakers is a great honour for our university and our team. Having the opportunity to work with the young girls on and off the ice while persuing their hockey dreams the last couple of years has meant a lot to me as a Laker myself and now I believe the minor hockey program and university team will only continue to work together more often,” she said. “The game of hockey only continues to grow in the north and in North Bay and I believe seeing more and more players in Lakers uniforms will only continue to grow the game. I know myself and the team can’t wait to see the minor hockey players in Laker uniforms this fall.”
About the NBDGHA
The North Bay and District Girls Hockey Association is dedicated to creating a place for all girls, regardless of age and ability to participate in, and enjoy the game of hockey.
We are committed to providing our players with opportunities to develop their skills, and to play at a level comparable to their ability whenever possible.
About Nipissing University Lakers
Founded 1992, Nipissing University is located in North Bay, Ontario on a stunning 291 hectare escarpment surrounded by beautiful trails and lakes. Nipissing is a young vibrant University that offers a personalized environment where you can excel in academics and athletics.
Nipissing University Athletics is home to 14 varsity teams, including; Men's and Women's Cross Country, Men's and Women's Hockey, Men's and Women's Soccer, Men's and Women's Nordic Skiing and Men's and Women's Volleyball and Men's and Women's Basketball and Men's and Women's Rowing.
Nipissing is also home to Lakers Lacrosse, a program that competes in CUFLA. There are also a number of club sports, the intramural department is very popular and the department continues to grow every year.