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Nipissing Warriors headed to Hockey Hall of Fame

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It’s a big honour for the Nipissing Warriors hockey team.  Anisninabek News is reporting that the team is being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.   The induction is thanks to the work of Les Couchie, a former Nipissing Warriors player.   Couchie told Anishinabek News that shortly after a documentary was made about the Warriors, he’d heard about a Residential School that was added to the Hall of Fame and thought why not the Warriors as well.  Couchie contacted his friend Ron Ellis, who played for the Toronto Maple Leafs during the 1960s and 1970s.  Ellis was the go-to guy because nowadays he’s the Program Director for the Hockey Hall of Fame Development Association.  Ellis sent Couchie’s inquiry to Phil Pritchard, who is the Hall of Fame’s Vice President of the Resource Centre and Curator.  Pritchard is also known as “The Keeper of the Cup” as in Stanley Cup, the NHL’s coveted trophy for hockey supremacy.   It didn’t take Pritchard long to get back to Couchie saying the Warriors will be added to the Hall of Fame.  Anishinabek News says Couchie was asked to start collecting as much Warriors’ memorabilia as possible to make up the Hall of Fame exhibit.  Pritchard also had a specific non-Warrior request.   He was looking for Mike Penasse’s jersey from when he played for the Philadelphia Firebirds.  Penasse was a former Nipissing Warrior who almost made it to the NHL.  Anishinabek News says Pritchard called the former Warrior player who gladly donated his number 20 Firebirds jersey.  Couchie himself will also be donating some items to the Hall of Fame.  He’s giving his jacket to the exhibit as well as a game-winning hockey puck he took home from one of his many Warrior games.

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