|United States Premier 3 Hockey League|
|No. of teams||25 teams|
|Most recent champion(s)||New York Jr. Aviators|
|Most championship(s)||Florida Jr. Blades and New York Jr. Aviators 1 each|
The United States Premier 3 Hockey League (USP3) is an American junior ice hockey league. Founded in 2012, the USP3 has grown to 25 organizations from across the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. The USP3 was previously known as the Empire Division and was re-named the USP3 division for the 2015–16 season.
The league was originally founded on June 6, 2013, when it was announced that the USPHL would absorb the Empire Jr. Hockey League (becoming the Empire Division) and the newly formed Eastern Elite Hockey League (becoming the Elite Division).
During the 2014 off-season the USPHL lost the New York Applecore (Empire), but added the Providence Capitals (Elite & U16), Jersey Shore Whalers (Empire), and the Richmond Generals (Elite, Empire) organizations to increase the total number of organizations to 35 headed into the 2014-15 season.
The changes for the 2015-16 continued into April when the New York Aviators announced their decision to leave the USPHL and join the NA3EHL. The USPHL promptly re-assigned the Aviator franchise to Rye, New York and was renamed to the New York Dragons. In early April 2015, the Empire Division would expand to Daytona Beach, Florida with the Daytona Racers. Also in April, it was announced the Empire Division would be renamed as the USP3 Division. In late April 2015, the Charlotte Rush was announced as an expansion franchise by adding two teams, one in the Elite Division and one in the USP3; the Rush actually took the franchise rights of the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs. The East Coast Eagles were renamed the Carolina Eagles. The Bay State Breakers, Islanders Hockey Club, P.A.L. Jr. Islanders, Rochester Jr. Americans, and South Shore Kings stopped operating teams in the league. On August 27, 2015 the Adirondack Jr. Wings announced they were suspending the operations for their junior level team and continuing to operate the organization's team at the midget level.
In late April of 2016 the USPHL announced that the USPHL Midwest Division was being discontinued and that the teams would be moved to the United States Premier 3 Hockey League and the USPHL Elite Division for the 2016-17 season. Each league was adding 9 teams in what would become each league's Midwestern division.
In May of 2016, the league announce that the remaining four members of the Northern Pacific Hockey League would form the league's new Pacific Division. The teams will take part in two showcase events held by the league for the 2016-17 season and participate in the league's playoffs.
The league would be disbanded as part of the United States Premier Hockey League's reorganization for the 2017-18 season with most of the teams jumping to the USPHL Elite Division.
Final Member TeamsEdit
- Was known as Empire Division prior to the 2015-16 season
|2013–14||Florida Jr. Blades|
|2014–15||New York Aviators|
- ↑ USA Hockey agrees to sanction USPHL, major eastern mergers (6 May 2013).