In possibly the longest-anticipated and worst-kept-secret in league history, the Federal Hockey League has officially welcomed Mentor, Ohio to the league as its sixth-and-final team of the 2018-19 season.
Please welcome, the Mentor Ice Breakers.
Since late-March, BLH had been on the hunt for public news of any kind regarding a major-tip given by a high-level source at the FHL that said the league was prospecting a “suburb thirty-minutes outside of Cleveland, Ohio”.
After Rovitz and I searched endlessly, we finally hit a ping back in late April, as an intern with the Mentor Civic Center accidentally gave us all-of-a-confirmation in saying that any announcement on the city getting a team should come from the league, and that the league has talked to Mentor Ice Arena.
Since then, it’d been absolute silence on the home-front. Scott Brand, the mastermind behind the expansion effort, has publicly teased that a city in Ohio was getting a team, but nothing more official that we could push the trigger on. Despite our numerous number of sources who came through with what now can be called reliable and accurate information.
This delay for Mentor went through troubles of finding local ownership, coming to a lease agreement, league-officials allegedly getting so aggravated they were ready to pull the plug before Brand mediated, awaiting a liquor license, and everything else imaginable.
Now, today, July 23, the league has FINALLY announced that Mentor is official.
The Mentor Ice Breakers will be Coached and General Managed by long-time Port Huron Prowlers big-name Joe Pace Sr., who has been with the team since 2017.
Joe Pace Jr., his son, will take over the same roles with the Prowlers for the coming season.
The Ice Breakers name is one of the more unique names in the Federal Hockey League history, and immediately sets the team apart. The team’s official colors are Columbia Blue, Navy Blue, White, and Silver, with a shark logo.The team can be found on Facebook here and Twitter here.
This is the third team that the FHL has located in Ohio (Dayton, twice), and becomes the sixth-team for the season. With Mentor’s arrival, North Shore will officially lose its franchise.
Welcome aboard, at long last, Mentor! With Pace Sr. running the show, we anticipate a great product on and off the ice. We excitedly await more details on the team.
We anticipate the FHL schedule will be released in the next couple hours.