SOURCE: World Hockey Association

May 21, 2007 09:00 ET

The World Hockey Association Announces the Fort Vancouver Pioneers to Join the WHA -- WHA to Operate as a Junior A Hockey League in 2007-2008

VANCOUVER, BC -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 21, 2007 -- The World Hockey Association (PINKSHEETS: WHKA) reported this morning that the 2006-2007 Cascade Cup Champions, the Fort Vancouver Pioneers of Vancouver, Washington have joined the WHA as it transitions to a Junior A Hockey Association for the 2007-2008 hockey season. The Pioneers were formerly a part of NORPAC and recently finished their season ranked sixth in the nation as they went 2-1 at the Silver Cup National Tournament held in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Fort Vancouver achieved four milestones this past season. The team had a 50-6 overall record and was the first NORPAC team to ever win 50 games in a single season. They went 11-1 in the playoffs and Nationals. The team was 2-1 at the National Tournament Finals and finished the season ranked sixth in the Nation.

The WHA also confirmed recent stories circulating in Canada that it would operate as a Junior A Association for the 2007-2008 hockey season. The plan to operate in the Junior A arena was created in the early Spring but due to a variety of factors, a decision was made to withhold the official announcement of the move to Junior A hockey until today.

WHKA CEO Ricky Smith, stated, "We couldn't be more pleased than we are at the moment. We believe Fort Vancouver's decision to move to the WHA confirms our league's model as being highly attractive to established and highly successful franchises like the Pioneers. Fort Vancouver's organization will bring a level of expertise to the WHA which we expect should become infectious to some of our new franchises."

Joseph Loftgren, President of the Fort Vancouver Pioneers, commented, "The Pioneers are very excited to become part of the World Hockey Association. We looked at the WHA's plans and came to the conclusion that by joining the WHA, we could become part of a hockey league that has a very strong future in North America. We also expect the competition in the league will be fierce next season as we know there will be many quality franchises playing under the WHA Junior A umbrella."

Loftgren added, "The WHA stands for the same things we do. They emphasize academics as well as strong hockey skills development. They have great coaching and we believe they are going to dominate Junior Hockey in the very near future. I do not want to take any thunder away from Bobby Hull or Ricky Smith, so I will let them fill in the rest of the details at a time they see fit."

Garry Unger, General Manager and Head Coach of The New West Minster Whalers, last season's WHA Champions, said, "All of us in the WHA are looking forward to the competition offered by The Pioneers. Fort Vancouver is a quality franchise and we expect them to always put tough teams on the ice. It will be our pleasure to face off against them. They should help to create some great rivalries in the league.

About the World Hockey Association:

The World Hockey Association created the WHA Hockey League to promote the sport of hockey. The WHA Hockey League is the successful combination of hockey and education & will create opportunities for the talented student athletes 15-20 years of age to showcase their skills in a highly competitive environment.

The single most important element of the WHA is the successful combination of hockey and education. Players in the WHA are expected to treat their academic education as a priority equal to their athletic development. Each team is expected to combine a high level of competition with a commitment to education.

With a planned schedule of more than 50 games, practice time, off-ice conditioning and public appearances, players should be well prepared for their next level of hockey, whether it is at the college and university level, or as a professional.

The 2007-2008 season will feature a transformation to Junior A Hockey and a significant expansion. The result will find the WHA firmly established in British Columbia, Alberta, and the Northwestern United States.

As a listed company on the Over-The-Counter Pink Sheets our mission is to provide a financially sound economic model that is responsible to WHA investors, coaches and staff, and the junior hockey players participating on each team. Fan satisfaction is a primary consideration in our decision making process


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Contact Information

    Ricky Smith
    989 794 6444