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Schenectady Chiefs
City: Schenectady, New York
League: Atlantic Coast Hockey League
Founded: 1981
Operated: 1981-82
Home Arena: Schenectady Civic Center
Owner(s): Bob Critelli
General Manager: Pete Crawford
Head Coach: Pete Crawford
Franchise history
1981-82: Schenectady Chiefs

The Schenectady Chiefs were a professional ice hockey team in Schenectady, New York. They were a member of the Atlantic Coast Hockey League from 1981 to 1982.

They played their home games in the Schenectady Civic Center. The Schenectady Civic Center was unique in the sense that you had to enter the building through an adjacent drug store.[1]

Prior History[]

The Chiefs were initially a member of the newly organized Intercontinental Major Hockey League (IMHL), a league founded by Lou Bodnar, a local mutual funds broker, and Bob Critelli, a local businessman. The IMHL was to consist of five teams, but with the unnamed Pittsfield team unready to field a team, this forced Bodnar and Critelli to suspend operations of the league.


The Chiefs were admitted into the newly-created seven team Atlantic Coast Hockey League in September 1981. With the IMHL now indefinitely suspended, Critelli focused being the owner of the Chiefs and hired Pete Crawford as the team's coach and general manager. The Chiefs would play the first game in ACHL history, defeating the Cape Cod Buccaneers 5-2 on October 24, 1981 in front of a small crowd of 650 fans. The team was relatively successful on the ice, going 4-4 in its first eight games. However, Critelli had financial problems with the team. He could not produce the $15,000 performance bond, which was required by the league prior to the start of the season. The team suspended play and the league subsidized the Chiefs, primarily to help Critelli sell the team.

After an 8-2 loss against the Salem Raiders in front of 350 fans, officials decided to suspend the franchise again on November 11, 1981. The league attempted to move the franchise to Richmond without success. After no local buyers were willing to take over the team, the league held a meeting on November 15, 1981 in which they voted to terminate the Chiefs effective on the 16th. With six of their nine games being played at the Schenectady Civic Center, the Chiefs averaged less than 400 fans a game.[2]

Season-by-season results[]

Season GP W L T Pts GF GA Place Playoffs
1981-82a 9 4 5 0 8 38 45 6th N/A

a - Franchise terminated by league, 11-16-81


  2. Mancuso, Jim (2006). Hockey in the Capital District. Arcadia Publishing, 128. ISBN 0736051236. Retrieved on 2010-02-23. 

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