WSHL announces Cold Lake Hornets


Jr. A team to hit the ice next season in Cold Lake, head coach named

The Cold Lake Hornets will be making their debut this upcoming season.

Earlier this month, the Western States Hockey League (WSHL) named Steve Thomson as the head coach and general manager of their new Jr. A team: the Cold Lake Hornets.

President and commissioner for the WSHL, Ron White, said the inspiration behind the name was 4 Wing Cold Lake.

“A big part of the community is the air force base, and that happens to be the airplane the air force base flies currently. We sought an appreciation from the air force base, and the new commander was very generous and pleasant. He said he’d love to see us use the name the Hornets.”

As a former military member who was previously posted at 4 Wing, the logo for the team is another tie-in for Thomson.

“I spent a short time here many years ago, and Cold Lake has changed,” he noted. “It’s changed for the better, and it’s much bigger… Cold Lake has done a phenomenal job (growing), and when I was walking through the Energy Centre and outside of it, there were so many people utilizing the facility. Cold Lake is a great place.”

His familiarity with the area  and knowledge of the sport were among the reasons why Thomson submitted his application. He’s looking forward to reconnecting with people he met when he was stationed there before.

Thomson has an extensive background in hockey. He has coached at the college, university, junior, and youth levels in Canada and the United States. His main focus for his players is skill development. He has worked with youth to prepare for the NHL and international levels.

“I have a passion for helping players meet their goals. I love the game, and I would rather not be doing anything else,” he expressed.

When the WSHL was considering coaches who would lead the Hornets in their first season, White said Thomson’s experience and capabilities put his name to the top of the list.

“Things that I expect him to be in tune with, he’s got a grip on, and he would be able to be the local general manager and head coach.”

Quality recruiting is a priority for Thomson ahead of the team’s first puck drop.

“It’s a world league, and we have players that have the ability to come from all over the world. This is about developing and getting players to the next level, be it college or pro. I want to work with players that are prepared to put in the work for their own professional development and success. Ultimately, that’s going to lead the team to success.”

Both White and Thomson are looking forward to what the team can do in their first season.

“We’re excited to provide great entertainment options, and we’re excited to provide role models for youth players and youth in general. We look forward to seeing everybody at the rink, around town, and we’re just excited and grateful to be part of the community,” Thomson added.