New Senior ‘AA’ hockey team, Erin Outlaws, coming to town

ERIN – A new senior AA hockey team, the Erin Outlaws, is launching for the 2023-2024 season with the Ontario Elite Hockey League (OEHL).

The OEHL is a senior league formerly known as the WOAA (Western Ontario Athletic Association).

With tryouts approaching next month, organizers of the new team are keeping themselves busy with preparations.

“We are excited to see Saturday night hockey back for Erin residents to cheer on this season” stated Erin Outlaws co-president Ann Shanahan in a media release.

“We look forward to collaborating with local business owners to take the robust hockey culture this town is known for to the next level.

Shanahan told the Advertiser she expects the team to bring “great entertainment, great hockey and great community spirit” to the town.

Co-president Dusty Scott said his plan includes “[bringing] hockey back to town and keeping it here.”

He added in the press release team officials are “thrilled about the opportunity to join the OEHL,” adding “playing in this league will provide excellent camaraderie and competition for the team as we enter this new territory for Senior AA Hockey in Erin.” 

The history

Last year, the Erin Blitz came to town in the WOSHL (Western Ontario Super Hockey League) private league, bringing Saturday night hockey back to the community.

In April the team announced its is moving to Orangeville. 

Shanahan said the town was “real sad” about the news, as many residents enjoyed the weekend entertainment.

Earlier this month a player from the team reached out to Shanahan and Scott, saying they wanted to play in Erin and asked if the town would field a team.

After finding out they could get ice time, Shanahan said team officials were 100 per cent committed to the idea.

“Dusty and I want this for the Town of Erin. We want this for the players who played their hearts out last year and many of whom grew up in Erin,” she stated in an email to the Advertiser. 

“We want this even more for our town, the town we love that loves community, hockey and fellowship.” 

The Outlaws

Shanahan said the past few weeks have been busy with many people wanting to help the new team.

On Aug. 10, OEHL officials voted to accept the Erin Outlaws into the league.

“On Aug. 13 we met with head management of the team, we raised a glass of champagne, and the Erin Outlaws were born,” Shanahan explained.

The official launch date for the team is Oct. 14 at 7:30pm, at the season opener against Ripley at Centre 2000 in Erin. All members of the community and beyond are encouraged to attend.

Sponsorship packages are  available upon request, officials say.