The Cochrane Crunch junior hockey team has been on the ice practicing for the past two weeks, under new owner an coach Tom Nicolau.

He agrees it’s not the best year to buy a team, but the time was right for him.

“I’ve always wanted to own a team,” Nicolau tells My Cochrane Now Dot Com.  “I’ve been looking the past ten to 15 years.”

Niicolau says he’s in Cochrane for the long term.  He’s renting a house for now, and will buy, next spring or summer.

“The hardest part right now is trying to get some help here to bring sponsors back (to the team,” he notes. “A lot of our sponsors are waiting for what’s happening with the COVID-19 and when we’re starting.  It hasn’t been easy, but the welcome’s been great.”

Nicolau says starting depends on the NOJHL and its COVID-19 protocols.

“All I can say right now is, I’m hearing now non-contact. I have a pretty fast team, not overly big team, but it is a fast team. Until we start playing, we will see.”

Nicolau has been in the hockey business for 25-plus years, running hockey schools and icing tournament teams.