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The 2008-09 UJHL season is the inaugural season of the United Junior Hockey League. The league was originally planning on eight teams based in expected to consist of eight teams. The Delaware Thunder, New Jersey Ice Hoppers, Penn Enforcers, South Jersey Raptors and Wooster Oilers were to transfer from the America East Hockey League and three expansion franchises were to be placed in Findlay, Ohio, Jamestown, New York and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
In June 2008, the league announced that the New Jersey Ice Hoppers, South Jersey Raptors and the planned Pittsburgh franchise were no longer expected to compete in the UJHL. The league also announced the addition of the Elmira Jr. Jackals from the Empire Junior Hockey League and that the Delaware Thunder had moved to Elkins Park, Pennsylvania and renamed themselves the Philadelphia Thunder. Near the end of June, Elmira announced that they decided to join the league for the 2009-10 season instead of 2008-09.
In August 2008, the league announced that they would accept four Canadian teams consisting of prep schools and small colleges that fielded junior teams in Quebec. The Harrington Icebreakers, Saint Lawrence Lions, Team Ulysse and Draveurs de Trois-Rivières were originally planning to enter the America East Hockey League until the league went dark over the Summer in 2008.
In February 2009, all four Canadian teams left the league. In March 2009, as the playoffs were begin, three of the remaining five teams left the league as well, leaving only Philadelphia and Wooster.
Team GP W L T OTL GF GA P North Team Ulysse* 24 15 5 4 - 106 92 34 Saint-Lawrence Lions* 24 15 8 1 - 106 69 31 Harrington College Icebergs* 24 8 11 5 - 85 86 21 Trois-Rivieres Draveurs* 24 4 18 2 - 46 100 10 South Jamestown Jets** 46 30 11 5 - 285 215 65 Findlay Grrrowl** 44 19 19 6 - 194 191 44 Wooster Oilers 44 18 19 7 - 206 226 43 Penn Enforcers** 46 11 29 6 - 168 245 28 Philadelphia Thunder 42 10 30 2 - 137 216 22
(*) denotes teams that left and formed own league. (**) denotes teams that folded.
On October 17, 2008, the UJHL announced that the 2008-2009 All-Star Game would be played at Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena in Jamestown, New York, home of the Jamestown Jets. All-Star weekend lasted from January 16 through 17, with a round robin tournament consisting of the Findlay Grrrowl, Jamestown Jets, Penn Enforcers, Philadelphia Thunder, Saint Lawrence Lions and Wooster Oilers that took place on both days. The showcase was followed by a skills challenge and the all-star game itself. The Eastern Conference defeated the Western Conference 11–5 and Dave Grimard of the Saint Lawrence Lions was named the game's Most Valuable Player. Only players whose teams competed in the All-Star Showcase games were chosen to the All-Star Game.
- Jamestown Jets defeated Penn Enforcers 2-games-to-?
- Findlay Grrrowl defeated Wooster Oilers 2-games-to-1
- (3-4 OT, 8-3, 6-3)
Independent Quebec PlayoffsEdit
- Team Ulysse defeated Trois-Rivieres Draveurs 2-games-to-none
- (9-0, 8-7)
- Saint-Lawrence Lions defeated Harrington Icebergs 2-games-to-1
- (6-3, 2-4, 4-2)
St. Lawrence refuses to play Team Ulysse in Final over an incident in November 2008, withdraws and is replaced by Harrington.