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North American 3 Hockey League

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North American 3 Hockey League
Sport Ice hockey
Founded 1970's
No. of teams 48
Country(ies) Flag of the United States United States
Most recent champion(s) North Iowa Bulls (2016)
Official website

The North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) is an American Tier III Junior "A" ice hockey league that consists of 34 teams from Illinois, Ohio, Iowa, Michigan, and Missouri. The NA3HL is a member of USA Hockey, and the winner of the NA3HL's playoffs goes on to play for the National Championship.

League HistoryEdit

The league began as the a Junior B-level league known as the Central States Hockey League (CSHL), during the early 1980s it was known as Metro Detroit Junior Hockey League.[1] but returned to the CSHL name until 2010. The league moved up from Junior B to Tier III Junior A status in the summer of 2007 because it was considered to be one of the top Junior B leagues in the United States. The past four years, the St. Louis Jr. Blues proved their dominance on the national stage winning the national championship four years in a row. The Jr Blues made history during the 2006-2007 season. They were the first team to win four consecutive national titles, breaking a record that was set over 60 years ago.


CSHL logo

During the 2008-2009 season, it was announced that the Pittsburgh Jr. Penguins would be joining the CSHL for the 2009-2010 season, bringing the number of teams to 13. The league will return to 12 teams for 2010-11, as the Dubuque Thunderbirds franchise folded making room for the return of the Dubuque Fighting Saints in United States Hockey League.

On November 1, 2010 it was announced that the North American Hockey League would take control of the CSHL immediately. The NAHL-CSHL affiliation allows for a more structured Jr. hockey system to provide athletes with more opportunities to advance to college and pro hockey. At the time of the take over the league was renamed to the North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL).[2][3]

In May, 2011 it was announced that the Granite City Lumberjacks, Minnesota Flying Aces, North Iowa Bulls and the Twin City Steel would be joining the North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) beginning with the 2011-2012 season bringing the total number of teams in the NA3HL to 16. [4] [5]

In a press release dated June 17, 2013 the league announce plans to expand with 4 teams in South Division for the 2013-14 season (two franchises in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, one in Houston, TX, and Topeka, KS). The league also announced the formation of a West Division for the 2014-15 season (two teams in Southern California, one in San Jose, Ca, and one in Phoenix, AZ). [6]

The NA3HL and the American West Hockey League announced in March of 2014 that the AWHL was being merged into the league forming its new Frontier Division.

The league announced on April 1, 2014 that the Battle Creek Revolution were being rebranded as the West Michigan Wolves.

The league announced in May 2014 that it would add three teams to its southern division for the 2014-15 season, the Point Mallard Ducks based in Decatur, Alabama, the Texas Brahmas based in North Richland Hills, Texas to be run by the Lone Star Brahmas of the NAHL, and a yet to be named team based in Franklin, Tennessee, a suburb of Nashville.  The Flint Jr. Generals were sold to the same ownership group that owns the Coulee Region Chill.  The team is being relocated to La Crosse, Wisconsin and being renamed the La Crosse Freeze.


The league expanded to 34 teams and went to six divisions.

The league announced the addition of a franchise out of Sandy Point, Georgia (about 12 miles (20km) west of Macon, Georgia) to start play with the 2015-16 season but this team apparently fell through as no further mention was made of the franchise.

The league formally announced the addition of the Evansville Jr. Thunderbolts to the league on April 3, 2015.  The team will play in the South Division and be based out of the Swonder Ice Arena. The addition of Evansville will give the South Division 7 teams and the league overall 32 teams. The team is owned by the same ownership group that owns the Point Mallard Ducks organization.

The Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks were relocating to Wooster, Ohio and were to be renamed the Wooster OIlers (the organization originally had two teams with a second in the USPHL's Midwest division, which was eventually dropped.)

The Metro Jets franchise was relocating to Fraser, Michigan from Waterford, Michigan. The team did not announce any plans to change the team's name as both cities are in the greater Detroit area.

On May 21, 2015 the league added the Rochester Ice Hawks (formerly of the recently defunct Minnesota Junior Hockey League) as an expansion team for the 2015-16 season.

On May 22, 2015 the league announce the addition of the Lafayette, Louisiana based Louisiana Drillers as an expansion team.  The team will play out of the Planet Ice facility in Lafayette.

on June 15, 2015 the Topeka Capitals announced they were relocating to Atlanta, Georgia and were being renamed the Atlanta Capitals.  The team will play at the Center Ice Arena.  The move was made due to the league issuing a deadline for the team to commit to the league for 2015-16. The team was at an impass with arena management over a new lease.

In early August the Dallas Jr. Stars were renamed the Euless Jr. Stars  when the organization was sold.

The league announced that it would add the North American 3 Eastern Hockey League en masse as full members for the 2016-17 season.

On May 22, 2016 a published report on the website [1] indicated that the league had approved the addition of a team to be known as the Missoula Bruins. Missoula has been the home of the Missoula Maulers of the Amateur Athletic Union-sanctioned Western States Hockey League since 2007 (joining from the American West Hockey League in 2013 after being founded in the NorPac in 2007. Apparently, the Maulers organization had decided to disband earlier in the month due to a lease dispute with the Glacier Ice Rink's operators. [7]

On May 24, 2016 the NA3HL announced that the Minnesota Flying Aces franchise had been sold to the owners of the Brookings Blizzard and Alexandria Blizzard (Chris and Mitri Canavati). As part of the announcement of the sale, the team was relocating to the Willmar Civic Center Arena in Willmar, Minnesota for the 2016-17 season.

Also on May 24th, the league announced that the Sugar Land Imperials had been sold to the same group that purchased the Chicago Bulldogs a few days earlier, and would be relocated to College Station, Texas and would become known as the College Station Spirit.

On May 26, 2016 the Wilkes-Barre Miners announced they were returning to Binghamton, New York and would be relabeled as the Binghamton Jr Senators which is the name the team had from 2005 to 2010 when the team was a member of the Atlantic Junior Hockey League.


Many prominent college and pro hockey players have played in the CSHL at one point in their careers, including 2007 Hobey Baker finalist Eric Ehn (Metro Jets), Colorado Avalanche forward and 2010 U.S. Olympian Paul Stastny (St. Louis Jr. Blues) and Chris Butler (St. Louis Jr. Blues), now in the Calgary Flames' organization.

Current TeamsEdit

Realigned for 2015-16 season

Central Division
Team Location Arena
Chicago Jr. Bulldogs Romeoville, Illinois Canlan Ice Sports Arena
La Crosse Freeze La Crosse, Wisconsin Green Island Ice Arena
North Iowa Bulls Mason City, Iowa North Iowa Ice Arena
Rochester Ice Hawks Rochester, Minnesota Rochester Recreation Center
Wisconsin Whalers Madison, Wisconsin

Oregon Ice Arena

East Division
Team Location Arena
Metro Jets Waterford, Michigan Lakeland Ice Arena
Pittsburgh Vengeance Harmarville, Pennsylvania Bladerunners- Harmarville
Southern Tier Xpress Jamestown, New York Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena
Toledo Cherokee Toledo, Ohio Team Toledo Ice House
West Michigan Wolves Battle Creek, Michigan Revolution Arena
Wooster Oilers Wooster, Ohio Alice Noble Ice Arena
Frontier Division
Team Location Arena
Billings Bulls Billings, Montana Centennial Ice Arena
Bozeman Icedogs Bozeman, Montana Haynes Pavilion
Gillette Wild Gillette, Wyoming Campbell County Ice Arena
Glacier Nationals Havre, Montana Havre Ice Dome
Great Falls Americans Great Falls, Montana Great Falls Ice Plex
Helena Bighorns Helena, Montana Helena Ice Arena
Missoula Bruins Missoula, Montana Glacier Ice Rink
Yellowstone Quake Cody, Wyoming Victor J. Riley Arena
Midwest Division
Team Location Arena
Cincinnati Thunder Evendale, Ohio Cincinnati Gardens
Evansville Jr. Thunderbolts Evansville, Indiana Swonder Ice Arena
Nashville Jr. Predators Franklin, Tennessee A-Game SportsPlex
Peoria Mustangs Peoria, Illinois Owens Recreation Center
St. Louis Jr. Blues Affton, Missouri Affton Ice Rink
South Division
Team Location Arena
Atlanta Capitals Atlanta, Georgia Center Ice Arena
College Station Spirit College Station, Texas Spirit Ice Arena
Euless Jr. Stars Euless, Texas Dr. Pepper StarCenter (Euless)
Louisiana Drillers Lafayette, Louisiana Planet Ice
Point Mallard Ducks Decatur, Alabama Point Mallard Ice Complex
Texas Jr. Brahmas North Richland Hills, Texas NYTEX Sports Centre
West Division
Team Location Arena
Alexandria Blizzard Alexandria, Minnesota Runestone Community Center
Breezy Point North Stars Breezy Point, Minnesota Breezy Point Hockey Center
Granite City Lumberjacks Sauk Rapids, Minnesota Rhino Deck Area East
New Ulm Steel New Ulm, Minnesota New Ulm Civic Center
Willmar WarHawks Willmar, Minnesota Willmar Civic Center Arena
Coastal Division
Team Location Arena
Cape Cod Islanders Dennis, Massachusetts, Falmouth, Massachusetts Tony Kent Arena, Falmouth Ice Center
East Coast Minutemen Salem, New Hampshire Salem ICenter
L/A Fighting Spirit Lewiston-Auburn, Maine Androscoggin Bank Colisée
Maine Wild Biddeford, Maine Biddeford Arena
New England Stars Tyngsborough, Massachusetts Skate 3 Arena
Northeast Generals Canton, Massachusetts Canton Sportsplex
Long Beach Sharks Long Beach, New York Long Beach Ice Arena
Northeast Division
Team Location Arena
Binghamton Jr Senators Binghamton, New York Ice House Sports Complex
Jersey Shore Wildcats Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey Jersey Shore Arena
Lockport Express Lockport, New York Cornerstone Arena-Heinrich
Roc City Royals Rochester, New York Webster Ice Arena
Skylands Kings Stockholm, New Jersey Skylands Ice World
Syracuse Stampede Morrisville, New York Morrisville Iceplex


Silver CupEdit

  • 2016-North Iowa Bulls
  • 2015-Granite City Lumberjacks
  • 2014-North Iowa Bulls
  • 2013-North Iowa Bulls
  • 2012-Granite City Lumberjacks

Hurster CupEdit

  • 2011-Chicago Hitmen
  • 2010-St. Louis Jr. Blues
  • 2009-Dubuque Thunderbirds
  • 2008-Dubuque Thunderbirds
  • 2007-Dubuque Thunderbirds
  • 2006-St. Louis Jr. Blues
  • 2005-St. Louis Jr. Blues
  • 2004-St. Louis Jr. Blues
  • 2003-St. Louis Jr. Blues
  • 2002-Metro Jets
  • 2001-Metro Jets
  • 2000-St. Louis Jr. Blues
  • 1999-Toledo Cherokee
  • 1998-Motor City Chiefs
  • 1997-Toledo Cherokee
  • 1996-Motor City Chiefs
  • 1995-Toledo Cherokee
  • 1994-St. Louis Jr. Blues
  • 1993-Wayne Chiefs
  • 1992-Downriver Blades
  • 1991-Wayne Chiefs
  • 1990-Metro Jets
  • 1989-Lytes Rustlers
  • 1988-St. Louis Jr. Blues


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