North Stars Coach Steps Down

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North Stars coach steps down

The Thunder Bay North Stars junior A hockey club announced head coach Todd Howarth was stepping down from his position on Sunday, citing personal reasons.

"The ownership grow and players of the Thunder Bay North Stars wish Todd well in his future endeavours," North Stars president and co-owner David Dubinsky said in a statement posted on the Superior International Junior Hockey League’s website Sunday evening. "A further announcement will be made regarding Coach Howarth’s interim replacement in due course."

Howarth, a 41-year-old Dryden native, has coached the North Stars organization since the 2002-03 season. Over the past nine seasons, he led the team to five Bill Salonen Cups (SIJHL championships) and seven appearances in the league finals.

Howarth’s biggest success came in 2006 when he helped land the North Stars to a Dudley-Hewitt Cup title and to within one goal of reaching the Royal Bank Cup national final.

Prior to coaching, Howarth played seven years of professional hockey, including five seasons with Thunder Bay’s Colonial/United league entry in the mid-1990s.

Since being sold by primary owner Gerald Bannon last year, the North Stars have struggled on the ice. They failed to reach the SIJHL finals for the first time in eight years last spring and are currently 22-15-5 this season — a distant third in the league standings.

The North Stars host the Wisconsin Wilderness on Wednesday at Fort William Gardens.

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