Canadian International Hockey League
|Current season or competition:
2014–15 CIHL season
|Region(s)||Northeastern Ontario and Michigan|
The Canadian International Hockey League (CIHL) is a Canadian independent Junior A ice hockey league based in Northern Ontario, Central Ontario, and the Greater Toronto Area. The CIHL was a member of the United Hockey Union, a part of the Amateur Athletic Union, but became fully independent in November 2014.
The CIHL was officially announced on April 8, 2014 with the unveiling of its website. The league was started by Tim Clayden, current owner of the Espanola Rivermen, a team that just finished their first year in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League and then left.
In May 2014, the league was accepted into the Amateur Athletic Union's United Hockey Union. The AAU provides insurance and oversight to its leagues, but is not a recognized governing body of ice hockey by Hockey Canada or the International Ice Hockey Federation.
The league initiailly announced two other confirmed teams other than Espanola, the Bracebridge Phantoms and the Colborne Cramahe Hawks (formerly Bobcaygeon Bucks) from the Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League. A week after announcing Bracebridge as a team, the team decided to stay with the GMHL under new ownership.
The league has since announced the following teams for its inaugural season: Barrie Stars, Collingwood Ice, Milton Cobras, St. Charles Spirit, Greater Sudbury Royals, and Batchewana Attack. At the end of July it was announced that Barrie would not continue with the league. On August 27, the CIHL officially announced the Toronto Junior Hockey Academy as a league member.
On October 4, 2014, the CIHL kicked off its inaugural hockey weekend. The first ever puck drop took place in St. Charles, Ontario where the St. Charles Spirit hosted the Greater Sudbury Royals. The Spirit would win the first ever CIHL game 5-3. Starting half an hour later in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, the Batchewana Attack hosted the Espanola Rivermen. The Attack would take the game 6-2.
On November 10, 2014, the CIHL left the United Hockey Union and the AAU. In addition, the CIHL allowed its first American team into the league, the Kalkaska Rhinos. Within a week, the CIHL experienced an exodus of teams, seeing Collingwood, Colborne, Toronto, and Milton leaving the league to form their own AAU sanctioned league and St. Charles folding. In late November, the CIHL announced the formation of the Markstay-Warren Spirit Warriors, a new team despite picking up where St. Charles' schedule and win-loss record left off. After playing one game and losing 6-0, the Markstay-Warren Spirit Warriors joined the ever-growing list of former teams when they folded in order to send players to the Greater Sudbury Royals. This provided a boost to the winless Royals, who were also on the verge of folding.
|Batchewana Attack||Sault Ste. Marie||Rankin Arena|
|Espanola Rivermen||Espanola||Espanola Regional Recreational Complex|
|Greater Sudbury Royals||Capreol||Capreol Community Arena|
|Kalkaska Rhinos||Kalkaska, MI||Kaliseum Recreation Complex|
|Barrie Area Stars||Lefroy||Never played|
|Bracebridge Phantoms||Bracebridge||Never played|
|Colborne Cramahe Hawks||Colborne||2014||2014||Joined WUHL|
|Collingwood Ice||Collingwood||2014||2014||Joined WUHL|
|Milton Cobras||Milton||2014||2014||Joined WUHL|
|St. Charles Spirit||St. Charles||2014||2014||Folded|
|Markstay-Warren Spirit Warriors||Markstay-Warren||2014||2014||Folded|
|Toronto Junior Hockey Academy||Toronto||2014||2014||Joined WUHL|