NORWALK, Conn. Norwalk is just one day away from once again being the home of a semi-pro hockey team for the first time in 40 years.
The Connecticut Oilers host their first-ever home game at the new SoNo Ice House on Saturday. The Empire Junior League "B" team will kick off the first official ice hockey game at 5:30 p.m., while the semi-pro Oilers of the Eastern Junior Hockey League will drop the puck on its first home game at 8 p.m. Both teams take on the South Shore Kings of Foxborough, Mass.
Norwalk Mayor Richard Moccia and Gov. Dannel Malloy will speak at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday at 4 p.m. to officially open the SoNo Ice House.
Norwalk was the home of the Home Oilers, a semi-professional team that played at the old Crystal Rink on Crescent Street from 1959 to 1972. Norwalk had hockey teams as early as 1937.
Norwalk native Eric Lind, a former University of New Hampshire ice hockey standout and NHL draftee, will coach the Oilers. Lind sought out as many local players as he could find to build his team.
Local players include Dan McMullan of Ridgefield, Andrew Silard of Greenwich, Jack Gilson of Greenwich, Tosi Terai of Stamford, Troy Lynch of New Canaan, Shayne Bingham of Danbury and Reed Harper of New Canaan. Other players hail from all over, including Florida, California, Kansas and Canada.
Watch the video for interviews with Coach Lind, Silard and Harper.
Follow Eric Gendron on Twitter for The Daily Voice's latest coverage of Fairfield County sports.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.