Ice Hockey Wiki
North Eastern Hockey League
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North Eastern Hockey League logo
Sport Ice hockey
Founded 2003
Country(ies) Flag of the United States United States
Flag of Canada Canada
Ceased 2008

The North Eastern Hockey League was a semi-professional league from 2003 until 2008. It was created by entrepreneur Jim Cashman, who served as league president. The NEHL was built to focus on giving players that were not quite ready for the ECHL, United Hockey League (now the International Hockey League) and the Central Hockey League a place to play and develop after their Junior and college careers had finished. In the 2003-04 season 9 total players moved up to the "AA" level and remained there and 6 of those players came from the York IceCats alone.


The League started with 4 franchises, the York IceCats out of York, Pennsylvania, Jamestown Titans out of Jamestown, New York, Mohawk Valley Comets out of Whitestown, New York and the Poughkeepsie Panthers out of Poughkeepsie, New York. After very low attendance in the first few games in Poughkeepsie, the team was to be relocated to Connecticut and renamed the Connecticut Cougars but negotiations with an arena broke down and the Cougars finished as a road team for the remainder of the season.

When concerns of Comets players not being available for the final month of the season due to their summer jobs starting, Coach Brett Boake requested a schedule change and the season was shortened a month. The Comets decided 2 days before the playoff weekend that they were not going to participate as not enough players were available and they had financial concerns.

With the Comets as the league regular season leaders, they were to get a bye straight to the finals, which was to be played on Sunday. York and Jamestown (the second and third place teams) were to play on the Saturday to see who went on to face the Comets. Once the Comets had informed the league that they would not be playing, the league changed the playoff structure. York and Jamestown would play a 2 game series that weekend. If there were a tie after the 2 games they would play a 20-minute mini game.

York won the opening game, 8-5. Jamestown defeated York 9-1 in the second game and then won a 20-minute tiebreaker game 6-1. As league champions, the Titans received the Herb Brooks Memorial Trophy.

The league went dark for the 2004-05 season, then attempted to return in 2005-06 as the Continental Professional Hockey League with teams in Canada and the United States.

The regular 44-game season was supposed to start in early November 2005, was postponed, saw 6 games played, and was cancelled in mid-December 2005.

In the 2006-2007 season, The New England Stars finished first with a record of 20-0, and cruised in the Championship series beating the Mohawk Valley Icecats 2 games to 0 (8-5 and 9-2) to capture the 2006-2007 NEHL Crown.

The league announced on January 23, 2008 that it was suspending operations for the remainder of the 2007-08 season.


Team Location Arena Tenure Notes
Jamestown Titans Jamestown, New York Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena 2003-2004 fold
Mohawk Valley Comets Whitestown, New York Whitestown Ice Facility 2003-2004 withdrew at start of playoffs; franchise rights sold and return as Rome, New York based Copper City Chiefs
Poughkeepsie Panthers Poughkeepsie, New York Mid-Hudson Civic Center 2003-2004 attempted to relocate to Connecticut but are unable to secure become Connecticut Cougars travelling team during season
York IceCats York, Pennsylvania York City Ice Arena 2003-2004 relocated to St. Catharines, Ontario;become St. Catharines IceCats
Connecticut Cougars N/A N/A 2003-2004 travel team, unable to secure ice time in either Cromwell or Simsbury, Connecticut
Philadelphia Comets N/A N/A 2005-2005 travel team
Pittsburgh Pounders Warrendale, Pennsylvania Bladerunners Ice Complex 2005-2005 relocated to Danville, Illinois; become Danville Pounders
St. Catharines IceCats St. Catharines, Ontario St. Catharines Sportsplex 2005-2005 relocated to Utica, New York; become Mohawk Valley IceCats
Sault Ste. Marie Stampede Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan Pullar Stadium 2005-2005 fold
Danville Pounders Danville, Illinois David S. Palmer Arena 2006-2007 relocated to Brighton, Michigan; become Kensington Valley Pounders for 2007-08 season
Findlay Freedom Findlay, Ohio Sky Bank Arena 2006-2008 fold
Mohawk Valley IceCats Utica, New York Utica Memorial Auditorium 2006-2007 relocated to Simcoe, Ontario; become Norfolk IceCats for 2007-08
New England Stars Danbury, Connecticut Danbury Ice Arena 2006-2007 fold
Copper City Chiefs Rome, New York John F. Kennedy Civic Arena 2007-2008 join Eastern Professional Hockey League (2008) but fold before season starts
Kensington Valley Pounders Brighton, Michigan Kensington Valley Ice House 2007-2008 were to be called Detroit Pounders; but quickly renamed to Kensington Valley Pounders; fold with league
Norfolk IceCats Simcoe, Ontario Talbot Gardens 2007-2008 fold with league
New Jersey Sabres ? ? ? 2007-2008 ? Listed on league standings on league website after season ended but done appear anywhere else


Previous NEHL

A previous league was also known as the North Eastern Hockey League during the 1978-79 season. This league renamed itself the Eastern Hockey League for the 1979-80 season.

External links

This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at North Eastern Hockey League. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Ice Hockey Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported) (CC-BY-SA).