Minnesota Junior Hockey League

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Minnesota Junior Hockey League
Minnesota Junior Hockey League logo.jpg
Sport Ice hockey
Founded 1974
No. of teams 17
Country  United States
Most recent champion(s) Dells Ducks (2014-15)
Most titles Rochester Ice Hawks (6)
Official website MNJHL.com

The Minnesota Junior Hockey League (MnJHL) was a USA Hockey-sanctioned Tier III junior ice hockey league operated out of Minneapolis-Saint Paul.

History[edit]

Established in 1974, the MnJHL developed players 20 years old and younger for over 40 years. Many MnJHL players, coaches and officials alumni have moved on to college hockey and professional hockey leagues.

Since the inaugural season, the MnJHL had expanded up to 17 teams in the 2014–15 season with teams in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio.

The league has a history of USA Hockey national championship teams. League members won national championships six times in the 1990s.

In 2012, the MnJHL expanded outside of the Minnesota and Wisconsin areas adding teams from the Great Lakes Junior Hockey League. The GLJHL switched from USA Hockey to the Amateur Athletic Union and eight of its teams refused to go with it. The eight Great Lakes Division teams formed their own division in the MnJHL while the original teams compete in the Minnesota Division. The Great Lakes Division would be renamed the Central Division prior to the 2014–15 season.

The league also expanded into southern Minnesota for 2012–13. Steele County Blades, based in Owatonna, were approved by the league board and play out of Four Seasons Centre.

The United States Premier Hockey League announced on December 18, 2014 the formation of a Midwest Division to begin in the 2015–16 season by adding the entire Central Division of the MnJHL.[1] By the end of the season most of the remaining teams in the MnJHL (all teams other than the Rochester Ice Hawks and the dormant Twin Cities Northern Lights) had announced their intentions to join the USPHL Midwest. On April 29, 2015, it was announced that the league had disbanded for the 2015–16 season.[2] On May 21, 2015, the Rochester Ice Hawks were approved to join the North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) to begin playing in the 2015–16 season. In June, the Wooster Oilers would drop out of the USPHL and only field a team in the NA3HL using the Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks franchise it had purchased on February 12, 2015.[3][4] Prior to starting their first season in the USPHL, the Ironwood Fighting Yoopers and Minnesota Owls announced they would go dormant for the 2015–16 season due to lack of players, the Crystal Lake Rampage were replaced with the Chicago Cougars, the Fort Wayne Federals were replaced with the Indiana Attack, the Hudson Crusaders were renamed the SCV Magicians, the St. Louis Frontenacs were renamed the St. Louis Storm but ceased operations prior to their first season, and the Maple Grove Energy were relocated to become the Blaine Energy

Teams at the conclusion of the 2014–15 season[edit]

Minnesota Division
Team City Arena
Dells Ducks Lake Delton, Wisconsin Poppy Waterman Ice Arena
Forest Lake Lakers Forest Lake, Minnesota Forest Lake Sports Center
Hudson Crusaders Hudson, Wisconsin Hudson Civic Center
Ironwood Fighting Yoopers Ironwood, Michigan Pat O'Donnell Center
Maple Grove Energy Maple Grove, Minnesota Maple Grove Ice Arena and Community Center
Minnesota Owls Isanti, Minnesota David Johnson Civic Arena
Rochester Ice Hawks Rochester, Minnesota Rochester Olmstead Recreation Center
Steele County Blades Owatonna, Minnesota Four Seasons Centre
Central Division
Team City Arena
Illiana Blackbirds Dyer, Indiana Midwest Training & Ice Center
Marquette Royales Marquette, Michigan Lakeview Arena
St. Louis Frontenacs St. Louis, Missouri FSI Shark Tank Arena
Tri-City Ice Hawks Bay City, Michigan Bay County Civic Arena
Wisconsin Rapids Riverkings Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin South Wood County Rec center
Wooster Oilers Wooster, Ohio Alice Noble Ice Arena
Dormant during the 2014–15 season
Crystal Lake Rampage Crystal Lake, Illinois Crystal Ice House (CIH)
Ft. Wayne Federals Fort Wayne, Indiana Lutheran Health Sportscenter
Twin Cities Northern Lights Bloomington, Minnesota Bloomington Ice Garden


Former teams[edit]

Playoff champions[edit]

Season League/Bush Cup Champion National Tournament Qualifier
1973–74 North St. Paul[5]
1974–75 West St. Paul
1975–76 West St. Paul
1976–77 Bloomington
1977–78 West St. Paul
1978–79 Wayzata
1979–80 West St. Paul
1980–81 Wayzata
1981–82 North Suburban
1982–83 North Suburban
1983–84 West St. Paul
1984–85 North Suburban
1985-86 Edina Jr. Stingers
1986–87 Tri-Metro Whalers
1987–88 Tri-Metro Whalers
1988–89 North Suburban Hawks
1989–90 West Suburban Kodiaks Northland Voyageurs
1990–91 Tri-Metro Whalers
1991–92 Northland Voyageurs
1992–93 West Suburban Kodiaks
1993–94 North Metro Owls
1994–95 Minneapolis Kodiaks
1995–96 Minneapolis Kodiaks
1996–97 Jr. Kodiaks
1997–98 North Metro Owls South Suburban Steers
1998-99 East Metro Lakers
1999–00 Iron Range Yellow Jackets
2000—01 Iron Range Yellow Jackets[6]
2001–02 Iron Range Yellow Jackets
2002–03 Twin Cities Northern Lights Dubuque Thunderbirds
2003–04 Dubuque Thunderbirds Minnesota Ice Hawks
2004–05 Minnesota Ice Hawks Dubuque Thunderbirds
2005–06 Minnesota Ice Hawks Twin Cities Northern Lights
2006–07 Minnesota Ice Hawks Minnesota Owls
2007–08 Minnesota Ice Hawks Minnesota Owls
2008–09 Minnesota Ice Hawks Granite City Lumberjacks
2009–10 Rochester Ice Hawks Twin Cities Northern Lights
2010–11 Granite City Lumberjacks Hudson Crusaders, Rochester Ice Hawks
2011–12 Twin Cities Northern Lights Rochester Ice Hawks
2012–13 Twin Cities Northern Lights[7]
2013–14 Marquette Royales Dells Ducks
2014–15 Dells Ducks Dells Ducks

National champions[edit]

  • 1989–90: Northland Voyageurs
  • 1991–92: Northland Voyageurs
  • 1992–93: West Suburban Kodiaks
  • 1994–95: Minneapolis Kodiaks
  • 1996–97: Jr. Kodiaks
  • 1998–99: East Metro Lakers

References[edit]

External links[edit]