TRENTON - Local fans can rest assured they will be able to witness high quality junior hockey for many years to come.
The Trenton Golden Hawks signed a new three-year agreement, with an option for five additional seasons, with the City of Quinte West Thursday morning.
Hawks' assistant general manager John McDonald said team owners Rod Finney and Sandy Smith are in it "for the long haul".
"We're all excited about the future of this team in Trenton and are looking forward to the coming season and many seasons after that," McDonald said.
The Hawks are coming off the most successful Ontario Junior Hockey League regular season in franchise history after finishing first in the East Division with a record of 36-7-6. However, a disappointing second round playoff exit at the hands of the Cinderella Kingston Kimco Voyageurs has head coach and general manager Jerome Dupont retooling the team for the 2012/13 campaign.
The Hawks have 17 players eligible to return from last year's squad, but Dupont expects only about 10-12 of those players to be back when the main training camp opens Aug. 20 at the Community Gardens.
Among the players expected to return are goaltender Andrew Winsor, defencemen Randy Gazzola, Shawn Crowley, Mackenzie Scott and Derek Van Ness, and forwards Spencer MacCormack, Shawn Hulshof, Andrew Parks, Krystian Yorke, Nolan Martin, and Daryl Thomson.
To date, Dupont has added goaltender Colin Furlong, defenceman Robbie Hall, and forwards Brady Wiffen, Jordan Minello and Josh Timpano to his roster, and he's not done yet.
Furlong, 19, is a 6-foot, 170 lb. southpaw from Cambridge who went 20-12-4 for the Guelph Hurricanes of the Greater Ontario Jr. B Hockey League last season. Hall, 20, is a 5-foot-11, 185 lb rearguard from Schaumburg, IL, who nine goals and 28 assists for 37 points plus 67 penalty minutes in 56 games for the Smiths Falls Bears of the Central Canada Hockey League last season. Wiffen, 18, is a 6-foot-2, 180 lb. centre from St. Mary's, ON, who had 27 goals and 26 assists for 53 points plus 28 pims in 51 games for his hometown St. Mary's Lincolns of the GOJHL last season. Minello, 19, is a 5-foot-11, 190 lb. winger from Sweaburg, ON, who had 16 goals and 32 assists for 48 points plus 74 pims in 43 games for the now defunct Huntsville Otters of the OJHL last season. Finally, Timpano, 20, is a 5-foot-11, 185 lb winger from Orillia, who led the Cambridge Winter Hawks of the GOJHL in scoring last season with 25 goals and 61 assists for 86 points plus 86 pims in 51 games.
Dupont has entered two teams in the annual Senior Chowder Cup tournament set for July 19-22 in Boston.
After two weeks of training camp, the Hawks will open their exhibition schedule Friday, Aug. 31 when they host the Brockville Braves of the CCHL at 7 p.m. at the Gardens. They will host the New Jersey Titans on Saturday, Sept. 1 at 2 p.m. and then head to Kemptville Sunday, Sept. 2 to face the CCHL's 73's at 2 p.m.
The Hawks will also be attending the Woodchuck Classic Tournament in Burlington, Vt. Sept. 7-9, before opening the 55-game regular season on Monday, Sept. 10 in Markham against the Waxers. Their home opener is set for Friday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. when they host the Aurora Tigers