March 7, 2012

Juniors Journal: Is the USHL coming to New England?

By Shawn Hutcheon

The rumors began to make their way around New England hockey circles on March 1. They were confirmed the next day and created quite a buzz at the New England Prep School Ice Hockey Championships. 

Long time head coach of the Eastern Junior Hockey League’s New Hampshire Junior Monarchs, Sean Tremblay, announced to his players that he is leaving the organization after this season’s playoffs have ended.

Tremblay is in his tenth season as coach of the Monarchs. During that span, his teams have won six Dineen Cups as EJHL champions. He has developed over 100 Division I NCAA players and close to 50 Division III players. Nine former Monarchs have been drafted by National Hockey League teams.  

Tremblay is leaving the friendly confines of Hooksett, N.H., for Tyngsboro, Mass., where he will take over the reigns of the New England Huskies.

Tremblay is a big player in changes that the Huskies are making. They are changing their name to Middlesex Islanders and strong rumor winds were blowing among scouts at the tournament that the Huskies will move from Skate 3 Arena in 2013 to take up residence at Merrimack College where the club will become an expansion franchise in the United States Hockey League.

It is also rumored that the USHL will welcome new franchises in two or three other New England states for the start of the 2013 season. Such a move would seriously change the climate of junior hockey in the region.

The New England Hockey Journal will follow this very closely.

In other junior hockey news, the EJHL’s Capital District Selects have been sold by Jim Salfi to a group including former University of New Hampshire star Eric Lind. Lind, a Connecticut resident, will move the team from Albany, New York to Avon, Connecticut. The franchise will play out of a new arena, the SoNo Ice House. The team’s new name will be the Connecticut Oilers.

New York Apple Core is heading north from Long Island to Brewster, N.Y. The organization will keep the Apple Core name.

Finally, the Green Mountain Glades have been sold to the ownership group that owns the Portland Jr. Pirates which plays in the Atlantic Junior Hockey League. They will move the Glades to Saco, Maine and rename them the Portland Jr. Pirates. The new Pirates will be members of the Eastern Junior Hockey League.