North American 3 Atlantic Hockey League
|Founded||1966 (as Metropolitan Junior Hockey League)|
|No. of teams||6 (presently re-organizing)|
|Country(ies)||United States (USA Hockey-sanctioned)|
|Most recent champion(s)||Philadelphia Junior Flyers (2015–16)|
The North American 3 Atlantic Hockey League is a USA Hockey-sanctioned Tier-III junior hockey league based in the Northeast region of the United States with teams located mostly between the New York City and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area. The league was announced in April of 2016. It is a reorganized version of the Metropolitan Junior Hockey League which had run from 1966 to 2016. The league is being operated by the North American Hockey League (NAHL). The set up is similar to what was done with the Northern States Junior Hockey League when it was taken over by the NAHL and was renamed the North American 3 Eastern Hockey League prior to the 2014-15 season and being then merged into the North American 3 Hockey League for the 2016-17 season.
The reorganization arose out of the Eastern Hockey League (EHL) making their developmental league (EHL-Elite Division) in to the EHL 19-U Elite Division. This move caused 8 members of the Metropolitan Junior Hockey League to join that league. All eight organizations already had teams in the main EHL league and the move made operations easier for these organizations.
As of mid-April 2016; the league is still re-organizing. The league presently has 6 confirmed members with 2 members (New Jersey Colonials and North Jersey Avalanche) from 2015-16 being uncommitted. The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights of the Tier-II North American Hockey League are trying to get USA Hockey permission to operate a Tier-III team in the league for 2016-17 as well. Several other new members have been mentioned as possible for the 2016-17 season.
On July 1, 2016 the Exton Bulls youth hockey program announced on their Facebook page that they were accepted to play in the NA3AHL for the 2016-17 season. The organization previously only sponsored youth hockey.
According to a July 26th posting on the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights facebook page that listed the team's schedule the league is planning on playing with 7 teams for the 2016-17 season. The New Jersey Junior Titans appear to have withdrawn and the Exton Bulls are confirmed in the league. No mention is made of the New Jersey Colonials or the North Jersey Avalanche on the schedule posted. The league appears to have each team playing a 36 game schedule (3 home and 3 away against each other member) for the season. The Titans, Colonials, and Avalanche websites make no mention of being a member of the NA3AHL.
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