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Toronto Marlies return to Newmarket for pre-season game

For the first time since 1991, the Maple Leafs’ farm team will play on what used to be its home turf in Newmarket in partnership with the newly rebranded Central York Panthers

For the first time since 1991, the storied Maple Leafs’ farm team, the Toronto Marlies, will play one of its pre-season games on what used to be its home turf in Newmarket.

Central York Girls Hockey Association president Richard Clarke today announced that the Marlies’ Sept. 29 pre-season game will be played at the Ray Twinney Recreation Complex, in support of the large and successful girls hockey organization that has grown to just shy of 1,000 members from its humble beginnings in Aurora 25 years ago.

“The Marlies have been committed to helping promote and grow female hockey, so our partnership was an easy choice,” Clarke said at a news conference held July 25 at Ray Twinney. “Being able to bring the Marlies home to Newmarket to play the first American Hockey League (AHL) game since 1991, when Ray Twinney was their home ice and they were known as the Newmarket Saints, is a wonderful, nostalgic thing that we are able to offer the community that is steeped in rich hockey tradition.”

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A portion of the proceeds of the Marlies game that finds the team taking on the Rochester Americans in late September will help support the activities of the Central York Girls Hockey Association.

From 1986 to 1987 and 1990 to 1991, the Marlies, then known as the Newmarket Saints, played out of the 3,700-seat arena known as the Newmarket Recreation Complex. The Saints made the playoffs only once in their five-year history, having been defeated by Adirondack in their only playoff appearance in 1988 to 1989, according to the Marlies’ website.

Newmarket produced players Daniel Marois, Jeff Reese and Tie Domi, who all went on to play for Toronto in the NHL.

“The Central York Girls Hockey Association and the Toronto Marlies have had a relationship over the years with many of our teams supporting the Marlies at their home games at Coca-Cola Coliseum,” Clarke said. “And they’ve been able to get up-close with the players on the ice.”

Clarke today also unveiled the association’s new logo, which includes a rebranding of the former Aurora Panthers rep team to the Central York Panthers.

Newmarket Deputy Mayor Tom Vegh said the town is “absolutely thrilled to have professional hockey coming back to Newmarket”.

“We look forward to more partnerships that will help promote female development in hockey,” Vegh said.

The Central York Girls Hockey Association promotes and develops female hockey players in York Region aged between four and 65. Junior-level players are eligible for post-secondary scholarships that make it possible for them to play varsity hockey.

Members and executives of the local girls hockey organization were on hand today to announce the Marlies fundraiser, as were elected officials from Aurora and Richmond Hill.

The female hockey organization serves the communities of Newmarket, Aurora, King, Bradford West Gwillimbury, East Gwillimbury, Sharon, Whitchurch-Stouffville, and Richmond Hill.

Tickets are $35 and give you access the Sept. 29 pre-season game at Ray Twinney at 4 p.m., as well as entry to the Marlies’ family day game at Scotia Arena on Feb. 17, 2020 at 3 p.m., where the team will go head to head with the Binghamton Devils.

Visit here for tickets and more information.


Kim Champion

About the Author: Kim Champion

Kim Champion is a veteran journalist and editor who covers Newmarket and issues that impact York Region.
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