AUSTIN, Minn. – The Rochester Ice Hawks are getting a new owner and a new name.
The Austin Bruins announced Wednesday they have reached an agreement to purchase the NA3HL franchise and gotten the approval of the Rochester Parks and Recreation Board. The Ice Hawks will be renamed the “Rochester Grizzlies” and become an affiliate pipeline for its NAHL parent club in Austin.
“We are truly excited to be a part of the community here in Rochester,” says Craig Patrick, co-owner and founder of the Bruins franchise. “The Bruins organization has always stood for service in schools, youth hockey and other volunteering opportunities. We are looking forward to continuing these and other traditions such as ‘Paint the Rink Pink’ that will benefit the community.”
The Grizzlies will now be a training ground for prospective players for the Bruins, a model seen elsewhere in the NAHL and NA3HL, including the Coulee Region Chill and La Cross Freeze.
“We want to create the ‘destination’ for all things Junior hockey in Southeast Minnesota,” says Mike Cooper, co-owner of the Bruins. “Having teams in both markets allows us the chance to utilize the best talent that the region has to offer. We look forward to being part of the Rochester community and helping out in schools and youth hockey.”
Patrick and Cooper say they hope to attract more young hockey players from southeast Minnesota to the Bruins development system.
“We will strive for excellence on the ice and off,” says Patrick. The hockey goal every season is to win the National Championship. Our entertainment package and in-game fun will make it a great night out for all.”
A search for a coaching staff for the new Rochester Grizzlies is underway.