Eastern Hockey League (2013–)

Eastern Hockey League
Eastern Hockey League logo.jpg
Sport Ice hockey
Founded 2003
No. of teams 19 — EHL
13 — EHL Premier
Country  United States
Most recent
champion(s)
EHL — New Hampshire Avalanche (2018–19)
Premier — New England Wolves (2018–19)
Official website EHL EHLP

The Eastern Hockey League (EHL) is an American Tier III Junior ice hockey league with teams in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic United States. The EHL was officially announced on June 6, 2013, after the Atlantic Junior Hockey League welcomed six new members from the old Eastern Junior Hockey League and the AJHL re-branded itself under the EHL banner

The league prepares high school and college aged players for college and professional hockey. The league has hundreds of alumni that have gone on to play for NCAA colleges, various professional leagues, the CHL, and in Europe.

History

The Atlantic Junior Hockey League (AJHL or AtJHL) was part of the Atlantic Metropolitan Hockey League organization and was formed in 2003 with a stated goal to "meet the needs of the junior hockey community and the players it serves in the Eastern United States". The AJHL played its first season in 2003–04 with six teams that had previously played in the Junior B Metropolitan Junior Hockey League. On May 30, 2012 the AJHL announced that after nine years of being a part of the Atlantic Metropolitan Hockey League, the 12 AJHL ownership groups successfully became a stand-alone entity. After the split, the AJHL was managed and governed solely by the league owners.

In 2013, Tier III junior hockey leagues underwent a large reorganization that led to the dissolution of the Eastern Junior Hockey League and six of their former members joining the AJHL. Prior to the 2013–14 season, the AJHL re-branded to become the Eastern Hockey League (EHL).[1] The six members who came from the EJHL were the Boston Bandits, Connecticut Oilers, New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs, New York Apple Core, Philadelphia Revolution, and the Valley Jr. Warriors.

In December 2014, the EHL announced the Connecticut Nighthawks as an expansion franchise to start in the 2015–16. They also announced the formation of the EHL-Elite Division and that eight teams would participate in the first season composed of the former Junior B teams for EHL organizations. The formation of the Elite Division led to the previous Junior A members to be placed in the EHL-Premier Division. In May 2015, the North American Hockey League, a Tier II league, announced that the New Jersey Junior Titans and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights had been approved to elevate their organizations. After their promotion, the two EHL franchises went dormant.[2]

In March 2016, the EHL announced that it was changing the name of the Elite Division to 19U Elite Division for the 2016–17 season and doubling in size by adding eight more teams, mostly the prospect teams from the Premier Division's South Conference teams.[3] However, the 19U Elite Connecticut Nighthawks team were dropped from the schedule prior to their first season.

In December 2016, it was announced that six organizations (the Boston Bandits, Connecticut Nighthawks, Hartford Jr. Wolfpack, New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs, New Jersey Rockets, and the Northern Cyclones) would be leaving the EHL for the 2017–18 season for the United States Premier Hockey League (USPHL).[4] The Bandits, Rockets, and Cyclones had already been announced as adding free-to-play teams in the USPHL's National Collegiate Development Conference (NCDC) for the 2017–18 season.[5] All six organizations will add their Premier and Elite teams to the USPHL's Premier and Elite Divisions.

In February 2017, the EHL announced that they would expand[6] to make up for the teams lost to the NCDC. The first team announced was New Hampshire Avalanche, an organization that previously only had youth teams. Next, it was announced the league would be adding the teams from the North American 3 Atlantic Hockey League (the former Metropolitan Junior Hockey League). The six teams from the NA3AHL were the Central Penn Panthers, Jersey Wildcats, Long Island Royals, Metro Fighting Moose (who left for the USHPL after the announcement), New Jersey Renegades, and the return of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights. The league also listed the New Jersey 87's and Cape Cod-based Total Athletics. The one-year dormant New York Bobcats also returned as the Bobcats Royals as part of an organizational merger with the Long Island Jr. Royals of the NA3AHL. The Connecticut Oilers relocated from Norwalk to Hamden following the announcement that the ownership of the USHL's Cedar Rapids RoughRiders added a team called the Connecticut RoughRiders that will play out of the Oilers' former arena in Norwalk.[7]

In March 2017, the EHL announced their new divisional structure for the 2017–18 season with 16 teams in the Premier and 17 in the Elite,[8] although the Elite would decrease to 13 after the departures of the Connecticut Oilers Elite team, the Lehigh Valley Jr. Rebels, Long Island Royals, and Metro Moose. In May 2017, the league announced that they would reorganize their two-tier league with the top tier (formerly called the Premier) being only called the Eastern Hockey League and the lower tier being called the Eastern Hockey League Premier Division. The naming conventions were changed to put the emphasis on the top level league for college development.[9]

Teams

EHL teams

Eastern Hockey League
Conference Team Arena Location Joined
New England Boston Junior Rangers Breakaway Ice Center Tewksbury, Massachusetts 2004
Connecticut Chiefs Newington Arena Newington, Connecticut 2013[a 1]
East Coast Wizards Edge Sports Center Bedford, Massachusetts 2014
New England Wolves Merrill Fay Arena Laconia, New Hampshire 2005[a 1]
New Hampshire Avalanche Ice Den Arena Hooksett, New Hampshire 2017
Railers Jr. Hockey Club Worcester Ice Center Worcester, Massachusetts 2019
Seacoast Spartans The Rinks at Exeter Exeter, New Hampshire 2019
Seahawks Hockey Club Tony Kent Arena South Dennis, Massachusetts 2017
Valley Jr. Warriors Haverhill Valley Forum Haverhill, Massachusetts 2013
Vermont Lumberjacks Leddy Park Arena Burlington, Vermont 2003[a 1]
Walpole Express Rodman Arena Walpole, Massachusetts 2005
Mid-Atlantic Connecticut RoughRiders SoNo Icehouse Norwalk, Connecticut 2017
New Jersey 87's Middletown Sports Complex Middletown, New Jersey 2018
New York Apple Core Brewster Ice Arena Brewster, New York 2013
North Carolina Golden Bears Garner Ice House Garner, North Carolina 2018
Philadelphia Junior Flyers Ice Line Quad Rinks West Chester, Pennsylvania 2008
Philadelphia Little Flyers IceWorks Skating Complex Aston, Pennsylvania 2003
Philadelphia Revolution Revolution Ice Gardens Warwick Township, Pennsylvania 2013[a 1]
Team Maryland Piney Orchard Ice Arena Odenton, Maryland 2018
  1. ^ a b c d Relocated franchise

EHLP teams

EHL Premier Division
Conference Team Arena Location Joined
New England Boston Junior Rangers Breakaway Ice Center Tewksbury, Massachusetts 2015
Connecticut Chiefs Newington Arena Newington, Connecticut 2018
New England Wolves Merrill Fay Arena Laconia, New Hampshire 2015
New Hampshire Avalanche Ice Den Arena Hooksett, New Hampshire 2019
Railers Jr. Hockey Club Worcester Ice Center Worcester, Massachusetts 2019
Valley Jr. Warriors Haverhill Valley Forum Haverhill, Massachusetts 2015
Vermont Lumberjacks Leddy Park Arena Burlington, Vermont 2015
Walpole Express Rodman Arena Walpole, Massachusetts 2015
Mid-Atlantic New Jersey 87's Middletown Sports Complex Middletown, New Jersey 2017
New Jersey Renegades Flemington Ice Arena Flemington, New Jersey 2017
New York Bridgemen Staten Island Skating Pavilion Staten Island, New York 2019
Philadelphia Little Flyers IceWorks Skating Complex Aston, Pennsylvania 2017
Philadelphia Revolution Revolution Ice Gardens Warwick Township, Pennsylvania 2016

Former teams

  • Binghamton Jr. Senators — AJHL, 2006–10. Relocated and became Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights.
  • Boston Bandits — EHL, 2013–17. Joined the USPHL and its National Collegiate Development Conference.
  • Boston Bulldogs — AJHL, 2004–12. Relocated and became Boston Junior Rangers.
  • Brewster Bulldogs – 19U Elite, 2016–17. Joined from the Metropolitan Junior Hockey League. Junior organization merged with the New York Apple Core.
  • Central Penn Panthers – EHLP, 2017–2019. Joined from the North American 3 Atlantic Hockey League.
  • Connecticut Nighthawks — EHL, 2015–17. Joined the USPHL and its National Collegiate Development Conference.
  • Connecticut Oilers — EHL 2013–17 - franchise purchased and relocated to Newington and re-branded Connecticut Chiefs.
  • Hartford Jr. Wolfpack — Charter member of the AJHL/EHL, 2003–17. Joined the USPHL Premier Division.
  • Hudson Valley Eagles — AJHL, 2005–07.
  • Jersey Wildcats — EHL Premier, 2017–18. Joined from the NA3AHL in 2017, not listed in 2018.
  • Lehigh Valley Jr. Rebels — 19U Elite Division, 2016–17. Returned with an EHL team in 2018–19, but were removed by the league early into the season due to using an ineligible player.[10]
  • Laconia Leafs — AJHL, 2005–13. Renamed New Hampshire Lakers but went dormant for 2013–14 season. Relocated to Waterville Valley, New Hampshire, in 2014 and returned as the New England Wolves.
  • New Hampshire Junior Monarchs — EHL, 2013–17. Joined the USPHL Premier Division.
  • New Jersey Junior Titans — Charter member of AJHL, 2003–04. AJHL team dormant from 2004 to 2012. Returned from 2012 to 2015. EHL team went dormant again in 2015 after organization joined the NAHL.
  • New Jersey Rockets — AJHL/EHL, 2004–17. Joined the USPHL and its National Collegiate Development Conference.
  • New York Bobcats — Charter member of AJHL, 2003–16. Was not listed for the 2016–17 season but returned in 2017 as the New York Bobcats Royals as part of their merge with the Long Island Jr. Royals. Not listed again for 2018–19.
  • North Jersey Avalanche — Charter member of AJHL, 2003–04. Returned to only fielding a team in the Metropolitan Junior Hockey League in 2004.
  • Northern Cyclones — AJHL/EHL, 2004–17. Joined the USPHL and its National Collegiate Development Conference.
  • Portland Jr. Pirates — AJHL, 2004–12. Jr. Pirates organization purchased an Eastern Junior Hockey League franchise and joined the EJHL.
  • Washington Jr. Nationals — Charter member of AJHL, 2003–14. Relocated and became Vermont Lumberjacks.
  • Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights — AJHL/EHL, 2010–15. EHL team went dormant in 2015 after organization joined the NAHL. Returned in 2017 before leaving again for the North American 3 Hockey League in 2019.

Championships

EHL (formerly AJHL/EHL-Premier)

Season Regular season Playoff National Tournament result
AJHL
2003–04 Hartford Jr. Wolfpack Washington Jr. Nationals
2004–05 Boston Bulldogs Boston Bulldogs
2005–06 New York Bobcats New York Bobcats
2006–07 New York Bobcats New York Bobcats New York Bobcats lost Semifinal game vs. New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs (EJHL)
Northern Cyclones lost Semifinal game vs. Bay State Breakers (EJHL)
[11]
2007–08 New Jersey Rockets
Portland Jr. Pirates
Northern Cyclones Northern Cyclones lost Semifinal game vs. New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs (EJHL)
New Jersey Rockets eliminated in Round Robin
[12]
2008–09 Northern Cyclones Northern Cyclones Northern Cyclones and New York Bobcats eliminated in Round Robin[13]
2009–10 Northern Cyclones Walpole Express Walpole Express and New York Bobcats eliminated in Round Robin[14]
2010–11 Walpole Express Walpole Express Walpole Express lost Semifinal game vs. Helena Bighorns (NorPac)
Northern Cyclones eliminated in Round Robin
[15]
2011–12 Walpole Express Walpole Express No representatives sent to nationals[16]
2012–13 Northern Cyclones Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights No representatives sent to nationals[17]
EHL Premier
2013–14 New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs Northern Cyclones Northern Cyclones lost Semifinal game vs. North Iowa Bulls (NA3HL)
New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs eliminated in Round Robin
[18]
2014–15 Philadelphia Little Flyers Vacant
Connecticut Oilers wins vacated
Northern Cyclones lost Div. 1 Championship game vs. North Iowa Bulls (NA3HL)[19]
2015–16 Philadelphia Little Flyers New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs Tier III National Tournament not held
2016–17 Philadelphia Little Flyers Philadelphia Junior Flyers
EHL
2017–18 Philadelphia Revolution New Hampshire Avalanche Tier III National Tournament not held
2018–19 Philadelphia Little Flyers New Hampshire Avalanche

EHLP (formerly -19U Elite)

Season Regular season Playoff National Tournament result
EHL-19U Elite
2015–16 New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs Boston Jr. Rangers Tier III National Tournament not held
2016–17 Vermont Lumberjacks Philadelphia Revolution
EHLP
2017–18 Boston Jr. Rangers Boston Jr. Rangers Tier III National Tournament not held
2018–19 Boston Jr. Rangers New England Wolves

See also

References

  1. ^ EHL (June 6, 2013). "Announcing The Eastern Hockey League". EasternHockeyLeague.org. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
  2. ^ "EHL History". EHL. Archived from the original on August 8, 2015. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  3. ^ "EHL Announces New 19U Elite Division For 2016-17". Eastern Hockey League. March 2, 2016.
  4. ^ "USPHL Consolidating Tier III Junior Hockey in the East". USPHL. December 22, 2016.
  5. ^ "USPHL Announces New Tuition Free Hockey Division for 2017-18 Season". Junior Hockey News. October 6, 2016.
  6. ^ "2017-18 League Expansion". EHL. February 18, 2017.
  7. ^ "CT RoughRiders Press Release". Cedar Rapids RoughRiders. March 6, 2017.
  8. ^ "2017-18 Divisional Structure". EHL. March 23, 2017.
  9. ^ "EHL Announces New Two-Tier System". EHL. May 5, 2017.
  10. ^ "The Death Pool – EHL Kills Off Lehigh Valley After Catching 22 Year Old Illegal Player". TheJuniorHockeyNews. December 4, 2018.
  11. ^ "2007 Tier III Junior A Nationals". Pointstreak. Retrieved August 21, 2015.
  12. ^ "2008 Tier III Junior A Nationals". Pointstreak. Retrieved August 21, 2015.
  13. ^ "2009 Tier III Junior A Nationals". Pointstreak. Retrieved August 21, 2015.
  14. ^ "2010 Tier III Junior A Nationals". Pointstreak. Retrieved August 21, 2015.
  15. ^ "2011 Tier III Junior A Nationals". Pointstreak. Retrieved August 21, 2015.
  16. ^ "2012 Tier III Nat. Championships". USA Hockey. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  17. ^ "2013 Tier III Nat. Championships". USA Hockey. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
  18. ^ "2014 Tier III Nat. Championships". USA Hockey. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
  19. ^ "2015 Tier III Junior Nat. Championships". USA Hockey. Retrieved September 17, 2015.

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