North Eastern Hockey League logo
|Country(ies)|| United States|
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 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.
|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|
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