Shootout
By Victor Fernandes Erie Times-News staff blogger
Staff writer Victor Fernandes has ice in his veins. Hockey – he plays it, coaches it and provides the region's best coverage of it.   Read more about this blog.
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Posted: November 3rd, 2011
HOCKEY UPDATE: Blizzard leave CJHL, will play as independent

The Erie Blizzard have chosen to leave the much-maligned Continental Junior Hockey League, coach Curtis Prue confirmed Thursday. The Blizzard will be an independent team for the rest of the season.

“We’re not playing in the league because there’s only two teams,” Prue said of the CJHL, a Tier III Junior A league that has developed a poor track record in less than two seasons of existence. The league had only two teams last season after the Blizzard merged with the Niagara Fury, of Niagara Falls, Ontario.

Prue said the team needs to sever ties with the CJHL in order to reach its goal of a 25-game season. The Blizzard began this season with three games in eight days against the Fury, the league’s only other team.

Officials have contacted club teams in the American Collegiate Hockey Association and junior teams from other leagues. Prue said he has contacted Tom McKinnon, coach of Mercyhurst College’s club team.

Prue said the Blizzard could travel to Dallas, Texas, the first weekend in December to play games against teams from the Tier III Junior A Western States Hockey League. “Nothing is booked yet,” Prue said.

After this season, Blizzard officials want to join a new league. Prue pointed to the Great Lakes Junior Hockey League, a Junior B league based in Indiana and Michigan, and Ontario-based Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League.

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