AAHL

The All-American Hockey League was a hockey league that existed as the AAHL for three seasons, 1986-87, 1987-88 and 1988-89. The league was semi-professional, except for its second season, where it was minor pro.

History

Inaugural season

The All-American Hockey League originated from the Continental Hockey League that was formed in 1972. When the league folded in 1986, three of its members, the Danville Fighting Saints, Dayton Jets and Troy Sabres, went to form a new league to replace the folded one - the AAHL was born. Two other teams joined the upstart league; they were the Jackson All-Americans and the Downriver Stars. Danville won the regular season championship for that inaugural season, with their center Troy Nelson dominating the league with 67 goals and 69 assists (136 points).

Second season

In 1987, the AAHL and the Atlantic Coast Hockey League merged. The resulting league kept the name All-American Hockey League, but, as a result of the minor-pro status of the ACHL, the expanded league went from semi-pro to minor pro. The Virginia Lancers, the Carolina Thunderbirds, the Port Huron Clippers and the Johnstown Chiefs joined the league. Meanwhile, the Downriver Stars became the Michigan Stars for 14 games before folding and the Miami Valley Sabres appeared out of a merger between Troy and Dayton. Led by John Tortorella, the Lancers won the regular season title with 37 wins in 43 contests. However, it was Pierre Hamel's Thunderbirds who won the playoffs.

Third season

In its third and last season, the league was back to five teams and to its original semi-pro status. The Virginia Lancers, Carolina Thunderbirds and Johnstown Chiefs were gone; they had left to form a new minor professional league, the East Coast Hockey League. The Port Huron Clippers were gone too; the team had folded after the last season. The Lincoln Park Patriots and Springfield Capitols joined the last three survivors. The Sabres won the regular season. Following the season, the league ceased its activities and the five teams left disappeared.

Teams

Team Location Arena Tenure Notes
Danville Fighting Saints Danville, Illinois David S. Palmer Arena 1986-1989 folded
Dayton Jets Dayton, Ohio Hara Arena 1986-1987 folded
Downriver Stars Southgate, Michigan
Trenton, Michigan
Southgate Civic Arena
Kennedy Recreation Center
1986-1987 become Brownstown Township, MichiganMichigan Stars
Jackson All-Americans Jackson, Michigan Jackson Optimist Ice Arena 1986-1989 folded
Troy Sabres Troy, Ohio Hobart Arena 1986-1987 renamed Miami Valley Sabres
Carolina Thunderbirds Winston-Salem, North Carolina LJVM Coliseum Annex 1987-1988 join East Coast Hockey League
Johnstown Chiefs Johnstown, Pennsylvania Cambria County War Memorial Arena 1987-1988 join East Coast Hockey League
Miami Valley Sabres Troy, Ohio Hobart Arena 1987-1989 folded
Michigan Stars Brownstown Township, Michigan Ice Box 1987-1987 folded November 30, 1987
Port Huron Clippers Port Huron, Michigan McMorran Arena 1987-1988 folded
Virginia Lancers Vinton, Virginia LancerLot 1987-1988 join East Coast Hockey League
Lincoln Park Patriots Lincoln Park, Michigan Lincoln Park Civic Arena 1988-1989 folded
Springfield Capitols Springfield, Illinois Nelson Center 1988-1989 folded

Sources and References

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