News Local

Panthers in Port Hope again

By Jeff Gard, Northumberland Today

Junior C hockey is returning to Port Hope.

Yesterday, Ontario Hockey Association president Brent Ladds confirmed with Northumberland Today that the relocation of the Colborne Cobras junior C club to Port Hope, where they will be known as the Panthers, has been approved.

First, the OHA board gave the final stamp of approval for the Ontario Junior A Hockey League's Port Hope Predators to move to Trenton and then it supported the transfer of the Colborne organization to Port Hope.

"I'm very excited to be a part of bringing the Port Hope Panthers back to Port Hope," said director of hockey operations Paul Henry when reached for comment.

The Panthers were a Port Hope junior C team during the 1970s and '80s.

Henry confirmed that Dennis Lagrois, a resident of Ward 2 in Port Hope and owner of Ontario Truck Training Academy out of Oshawa and Peterborough, purchased the team.

Also, Tom VanBuren will be the head coach, he added. VanBuren was previously the coach and general manager for the Cobras franchise.

Henry noted that other managerial positions with the organization will be primarily filled with members of the former Colborne Cobras and Port Hope Predators.

Player-wise, the Panthers will have a strong local flavour.

"We have made a commitment to minor hockey and to the Municipality of Port Hope to have no fewer than seven kids from Port Hope on the team," Henry said.

Port Hope will play in the OHA's Empire Junior C league, which also includes the Amherstview Jets, Campbellford Rebels, Frontenac Flyers, Napanee Raiders and Picton Pirates.

"We're very excited to have this opportunity," Henry remarked. "Hopefully everyone will come out to support the Port Hope Panthers."

More details about the Panthers will be released in the near future.

WatchNorthumberland Todayfor more on junior C hockey coming to Port Hope.