The Sylvan Lake Senior Pirates have docked their ship for good.
After just one North Central Senior Hockey League season in Sylvan Lake the team has set sail and become the Blackfalds Senior AA Wranglers.
Vice President Cody Lemon says they didn’t want to relocate the team, but were forced to due to lack of ice time.
“If we had the option we probably would stayed in Sylvan if the Junior B team didn’t move there because we would’ve got our ice there…,” said Lemon in a phone interview, “… it was a touch decision to move for sure, but like I said, we just kind of did what we had to do.”
Lemon said the new Junior B team, the Sylvan Lake Wranglers, has a packed season and it didn’t seem feasible for the Pirates to have a chance at being in Sylvan Lake.
He explained the junior team plays over 30 games a year, plus practices, which will take up a significant amount of ice time alongside minor hockey.
“We wanted to have a Senior AA team there because Sylvan was great for that, we had lots of fans at the end of the season coming in and stuff,” Lemon said. “I just want people to know that we didn’t want to leave, we just kind of had to leave.”
“We did kind of have a footing going there and the way it was going we were working on getting all our home ice time there too, so it wasn’t really easy for us,” added Lemon.
The relocation allows the newly minted team a base to work from, and Lemon says they are staying positive and are hoping to have a good year.
He says although Sylvan Lake is losing its Senior AA team, the town will still have plenty of good hockey to watch being an alumni of the Heritage Junior Hockey League himself.
“I’m excited for Sylvan to get a Junior B team too, they deserve that,” said Lemon.