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Crusaders, Saints ink affiliation deal

The Hudson Crusaders of the Minnesota Junior Hockey League and the Central Wisconsin Saints of the Great Lakes Hockey League announced this week they have agreed to an affiliation between the two teams.

The Crusaders and the Saints, who are located in Stevens Point, will play two exhibition games during the team's training camps in September. Both teams will also provide coaching assistance to the other during the team's try-outs.

Hudson is a Tier III A junior hockey team with a track record as a developmental stepping stone for players moving on to NCAA college teams and higher level junior programs in the U.S. and Canada.

"This association will allow us to have a larger footprint in the development of players, particularly with younger players," Hudson General Manager Harry Urschel said. "The goals of the two organizations are aligned for success. We welcome the Saints as a partner in the development of talent."

Joe Zuniga, general manager of the Tier III B junior Saints, said, "This is a fantastic opportunity for our organizations to develop a long-standing relationship that will, without a doubt, maximize the development of our players. We are excited to work together in our partnership for success."

The Crusaders play their home games at Hudson Hockey Arena at 1820 Hanley Road. The team is composed of players 18-21 years of age with a few high school-age players participating in pre-high school season.

The Crusaders are a 501 c (3) educational corporation dedicated to a mission of advancing participants to college hockey. They are also strategic partners of the Hudson Youth Hockey Association.

The Hudson staff consists of Don Babineau, coaching director/head coach; Ted Urschel, associate head coach; and Marc Hanson, Nick Adamek and Elliot Hogue, assistants. Dean and Pete Talafous of Total Hockey USA direct the Crusaders' off-ice program.

The Crusaders' Web site is and their try-outs begin June 12-13 and July 10-12. The regular season starts in late September.