July 31, 2017
Hello hockey fans! We want to keep you up to speed again this season on arena and franchise changes in the world of North American college, pro, and junior hockey. Hockey season will be kicking off in early September with most of the Tier 2 Junior A leagues taking to the ice by the second week in September. We will take a look at the 10 leagues that make up the CJHL as well as the NAHL in the States. The USPHL is rolling out the NCDC Conference, which is in effect a Tier 2 league, but we will save that discussion for another time. Take a look at what is happening as far as arena and team changes as well as alternate venue and neutral site contests so you can make the most of your hockey travels, and maybe have the chance to attend a game in a place that you hadn't thought about before. We will start out in the U.S. and then head out west and cover half of the CJHL in this edition of the Plus/Minus Arena Report.
Kay Yeager Coliseum Wichita Falls, Texas. The Wichita Falls Wildcats are for sale or are looking to relocate, but this North Texas city will sit without a hockey tenant this season.
IceWorks Aston, Pennsylvania. The Aston Rebels are moving about 20 miles up the road to Philadelphia. Folks in Aston will still have former NCAA D3 champion Neumann University, as well as the EHL's Philadelphia Little Flyers to cheer for.
Class of 1923 Arena Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Aston Rebels will now be known as the Philadelphia Rebels, and will play at this interesting arena that is also home of the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University ACHA clubs. We'll see how the move to the city works for the Rebels.
Overall the NAHL will see 23 clubs take the ice this season, one less than last season.
Class of 1923 Arena in Philly will host the NAHL this season. Photo- Bill Rudolph for Roaming The Rinks
Out West, the BCHL will hit the ice this fall with 17 clubs, all playing in their same locations as last season. The quality of hockey and fan support in this league is excellent, and many of the arenas in the league are first-class.
In Alberta things remain status quo, with the same 16 teams staying in the same locations as last season. A couple neutral and alternate site games spice things up, but those venues have also seen some action in the past.
Max McLean Arena Camrose, Alberta. The AJHL showcase is in Camrose this season, and will see Max McLean Arena be called into action in addition to the Kodiaks normal home of Encana Arena. The showcase is September 29-October 1st.
Strathmore Family Centre Strathmore, Alberta. The Calgary Canucks have several alternate site games in Strathmore this season, as they have done for the last couple seasons.
Fenlands Banff Recreation Centre Banff, Alberta. A neutral site game takes place in one of the most beautiful towns in Canada as Bonnyville takes on Canmore in Banff on November 21st.
On the prairies in Saskatchewan there are no home venue changes among the 12 member clubs. The league is once again aggressive this year in trying to spread their product to some smaller and indigenous communities with quite a few satellite games as they are referred to by the league.
Legends Centre Warman, Saskatchewan. The league showcase comes to Warman again in late September, giving fans a chance to catch quite a few games over a couple of days.
Harry O. Memorial Arena Midale, Saskatchewan. The Notre Dame Hounds play satellite games here including one on November 4th.
Grenfell Regional Park Arena Grenfell, Saskatchewan. Notre Dame also has a game in Grenfell on Novermber 18th.
Chief Denton Memorial Multiplex Ochapowace Nation, Saskatchewan. Yorkton and Estevan will play a game on the Ochapowace Reserve at this very nice arena on December 9th.
Chief Denton Memorial Multiplex on the Ochapowace Nation in Saskatchewan will see SJHL action on December 9th. Photo Ochapowace.com, credit photographer unknown
Macklin Arena Macklin, Saskatchewan. Macklin will get in on the action as Kindersley plays a couple satellite games here during the season.
Unity Community Centre Unity Saskatchewan. Unity has a well known senior hockey team, but will also play host to a couple of Kindersley Klippers satellite games as well.
Pinehouse Arena Pinehouse Lake, Saskatchewan. The northern village of Pinehouse will see action again this season as the LaRonge Wolves take on Battlefords on December 9th here.
Balcarres Arena Balcarres, Saskatchewan. Balcarres will host a game between Melville and Battlefords on January 20th.
Spiritwood & District Recreation Centre Spiritwood, Saskatchewan. This town of approximately 1000 people will see Battlefords and LaRonge do battle on January 27th.
In Manitoba things will remain the same with 11 teams in play this season in the same location as last season. Fans will get to enjoy quality hockey across the province in this league.
Next time we will pick up with the remaining CJHL leagues as the season approaches. Plan those road trips now.