Logan Lake will soon have its own representative in the BC Intercollegiate Hockey league, when the Logan Lake Miners kick off their inaugural season in 2022-23.

With a close proximity to both Merritt and Kamloops, the independent organization will draw student athletes from both Thompson Rivers University and Nicola Valley Institute of Technology.

BCIHL President Chris Munshaw said the league is “thrilled” to add their third new organization in the past five years.

“Mike and his organizing group have done a fantastic job working with us over the past year and putting together a strong application. Their core values centred around community, respect and character align with ours and we believe they have a head start on a successful program.

“The Miners are honing in on a deep talent pool of graduating junior hockey players in the Okanagan, as well as across BC and Alberta, many of whom are looking for opportunities to compete and study closer to home rather than the traditional American university hockey routes many Canadians take.”

With a schedule set to begin in October of this year, the Miners, led by Head Coach Mike Carlsen, will call the Logan Lake Recreation Centre their home.

They join Simon Fraser University, Vancouver Island University, University of Victoria, and the Okanagan Lakers as the fifth franchise in the league, which draws solely from a pool of students enrolled in full-time post-secondary courses.

“We believe the close-knit community, the facility and the team behind the team are a great foundation, and that Logan Lake will make a nice home with a lot of unique opportunities in the future,” said Munshaw.

Despite COVID-19 restrictions, the BCIHL is looking to continue to expand its sights to other university regions across British Columbia.

“We’re seeing significant growth in interest from high performance student-athletes who are genuinely committed to education and leading successful careers,” said Munshaw.

“I think that’s reflected in the growth of the (Canadian Sport School Hockey League) now at 94 teams, both accredited and private, ranging from U15-U18. We’ll evaluate every opportunity to tap into this interest and accept new teams, but we are focused on the ones that align with our values and enhance the future of the BCIHL.

“We’ll continue to work closely with USports programs to enhance our exhibition tournament schedule and promote university/college hockey across BC.”

A pair of neutral site games were played last weekend at the Logan Lake Recreation Centre between the Lakers and Vancouver Island University, giving Logan Lake residents a taste of the competitiveness to come in the fall.