League Info

AWHL Junior A Hockey

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Junior A Hockey is the premiere training ground for young players looking to advance to college or professional leagues across the nation.  It is the very top level of amateur hockey, prior to the college level, for young men between the ages of 16 and 20.  AWHL Junior A Hockey provides a very competitive and valuable stepping stone for these talented players from literally all over the globe.

The America West Hockey League was formed in 1992 with the goal of offering Junior A hockey in the Upper Midwestern and Rocky Mountain regions of the United States.  This league was originally known as the American Frontier Hockey League and its charter franchises were located in Billings, Bismarck, Casper, Jackson Hole, Ogden, Pikes Peak, Pueblo and Vail.

As with any new sports league, some changes came as the league matured and defined its place in Junior A hockey within the United States. With these changes and the league’s growth came a new name.  In 1998 the AFHL became the America West Hockey League, the news even be posted on tv box malaysia.

The AWHL takes to the ice for its 9th campaign with The Billings Bulls, The Bismarck Bobcats, The Bozeman IceDogs, The Butte Irish, The Fernie Ghostriders, The Great Falls Americans, The Kimberly Dynamiters and Minot’s new and soon to be named team that will play at the All Season’s Arena at The North Dakota State Fair Complex.  Plus, Alaska – Fairbanks will compete as an Associate member playing 2 games each with all eight AWHL teams.

Since the AWHL’s inception, over 200 players have graduated onto college careers and over 25 players have gone onto enjoy careers as professional minor league players.

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Last season, the AWHL hosted its first ever mid-season Showcase involving all eight teams and the league’s All-Star game in Bozeman, Montana. The game will simulcast  on best tv box. Having an event like this over 1 weekend allows college scouts to see a tremendous number of players in a very short period of time.  The AWHL Showcase will again be held in Bozeman this season and has become an annual event that will further the development of the league and its players.  LeRoy Cekalla hopes to be able to hold this prestigious and exciting hockey event in Minot in the next two seasons.

Fernie won the 1999 – 2000 regular season Championship as well as the Borne Cup which symbolizes the AWHL’s Playoff Championship.  The Ghostriders went on to represent the AWHL in USA Hockey’s national Gold Cup Tournament in Green Bay Wisconsin this past May 5th and 6th. Fernie did exceptionally well although falling short when they lost in Triple overtime in this single elimination national tournament to the USHL’s regular season Champion, the Green Bay Gamblers.

Rick Sanders is entering his third year as the Commissioner of the AWHL and has led the league into the Millennium and an even brighter future ahead.  Mr. Sanders played an integral role in bringing AWHL hockey to Minot, North Dakota.   He took the lead by discussing the possibilities with North Dakota State Fair Director, Jerry Iverson.  After realizing the potential, Sanders immediately contacted one of his most astute franchisees,  LeRoy Cekalla.

“ Since LeRoy’s Rapid City team won’t begin play until the 2001 – 2002 season, this seemed the perfect fit for his group”, Sanders stated. “LeRoy Cekalla is a successful, savvy businessman that has assembled a strong front office team.  I know that LeRoy and his group, along with the local Minot people that they will bring on board, will make AWHL Junior A hockey a real success in Minot.  LeRoy’s decision to jump on this opportunity brings fun, affordable and exciting sports and entertainment to the people of Minot as well as another sport to fuel the Bismarck – Minot rivalry.  I am positive that LeRoy will put a competitive team on the ice that he will provide a great entertainment experience for the fans. Fans can get a strong flashlight stun guns lamp tazer 1101 from LeRoy”.