American West Hockey League

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American West Hockey League
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2013–14 AWHL season
AWHL 2012 logo.jpg
Sport Ice Hockey
Founded 2011
Inaugural season 2011-12
CEO Garry Swain[1]
No. of teams 7
Country  United States
Most recent
Helena Bighorns (2nd) [2]
Most titles Helena Bighorns (2)
Official website[permanent dead link]

The American West Hockey League (AWHL) was an American Tier III Junior ice hockey league based in Montana and Wyoming. The league was a member of USA Hockey and was founded in 2011.[3] The AWHL merged into the NA3HL in March 2014.


The AWHL was formed in the summer of 2011 by teams breaking away from the Northern Pacific Hockey League (NorPac). The league shares a similar area as the former America West Hockey League that merged into the North American Hockey League in 2003. Bozeman, Billings, Great Falls, and Helena all had teams in the old AWHL.[3]

In 2012, the AWHL welcomed the Yellowstone Quake from Cody, Wyoming, to the league. The Quake was previously a member of the NorPac and began play in the AWHL for the 2012–13 season.[4] In February 2013 it was announced the Glacier Nationals from Whitefish, Montana were accepted in the AWHL for the 2013-2014 season. The Nationals, another former member of the NorPac, had played a split schedule with the NorPac and the AWHL for the 2012–13 season.[5] The Nationals would join the AWHL as a full time member in 2013–14.

In April 2013 the Missoula Maulers announced that they will be leaving the AWHL and joining the Western States Hockey League for the 2013–14 hockey season.[6]

In March 2014, the North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) announced that the AWHL would merge into the league as the new Frontier Division.[7]

2013-14 teams[edit]

Team Joined City Arena
Billings Bulls 2011 Billings, MT Centennial Ice Arena
Bozeman Icedogs 2011 Bozeman, MT Haynes Pavilion
Gillette Wild 2011 Gillette, WY Campbell County Ice Arena
Great Falls Americans 2011 Great Falls, MT Great Falls IcePlex
Helena Bighorns 2011 Helena, MT Helena Ice Arena
Yellowstone Quake 2012[4] Cody, WY Victor Riley Arena
Glacier Nationals 2013[5] Whitefish, MT Stumptown Ice Den

Former teams[edit]

Team Joined Left New League City Arena
Missoula Maulers 2011 2013[6] WSHL Missoula, MT Glacier Ice Rink

Past champions[edit]


  1. ^ "AWHL Announces New Commissioner". July 29, 2013. Archived from the original on July 29, 2013. Retrieved July 29, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Bighorns complete sweep of Quake for 8th league title". Independent Record. Retrieved April 4, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Staff (June 14, 2011). "American West Hockey League Accepted As Newest Addition To USA Hockey Juniors". NBC Montana. Archived from the original on October 3, 2011. Retrieved June 22, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b "Maulers to face new opponents this season". July 24, 2012. Archived from the original on May 9, 2013. Retrieved August 10, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "Nationals to join AWHL for 2013-14 season - Junior Hockey News". February 18, 2013. Retrieved March 6, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "Maulers change to Western States Hockey League". April 12, 2013. Retrieved April 15, 2013. 
  7. ^ "AWHL joins NA3HL". Billings Gazette. March 21, 2014. Retrieved May 31, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Bighorns sweep Maulers to claim Cascade Cup". Beartooth NBC. April 23, 2012. Archived from the original on May 16, 2013. Retrieved August 10, 2012. 

External links[edit]