By Will Kowalski, Battle Creek Enquirer
The Cereal City's first-ever professional hockey team, the Battle Creek Revolution, has been put on ice.
At least for the time being. Yet as a result, the local ice hockey scene -- especially at the youth and young-adult levels -- is experiencing a revival. A revival that local leaders in the hockey community are hoping will continue for many years to come.
Here's a quick scoreboard update of the local ice hockey scene:
The pro Battle Creek Revolution team, as well as the Class A All-American Hockey League the Revs had played in for the past three seasons, has disbanded. The pro Revs won the AAHL's Davidson Cup championship last season, and had first- or second-place regular-season finishes in all three of their campaigns. But because of league structural problems, the pro Revs and the AAHL are currently on hiatus.
The Battle Creek Junior Revolution Tier 3 Junior A hockey team for players age 16-20, which became a member of the North American 3 Junior Hockey League (3HL) in their inaugural season last year will look to grow with the hiring of Richard Keyes to run the Junior Revs program. Keys is the new head coach and general manager of the Junior Revs.
Keyes, 36, is a former standout player from the Kalamazoo area who played collegiately at Michigan State University and professionally for nine seasons at several locations and levels -- including with the K-Wings. Keyes comes to B.C. after running the Kalamazoo Institute of Ice Hockey youth and adult programs for the past five-plus years.