Posted: October 4th, 2010
The Erie Blizzard has merged with the Niagara Fury in the first-year Continental Junior Hockey League.
League president Jim Cashman announced Monday that the Blizzard and the Fury will compete as a single team in the Tier III Junior A league. Cashman has not released the league’s new schedule, and it is unclear if any games will be played in Erie. A call to Ice Center of Erie general manager Steve Tuholski this morning was not immediately returned.
Cashman also announced in a posting on the league’s website that Syracuse and Indiana, Pa., will sit out the league’s inaugural season, which is scheduled to start Oct. 16. Johnstown, another franchise that had intended to play this season, earlier announced it would not field a team and might play in 2011-12.
Niagara — coached by Cashman, who lives in Fort Erie, Ontario — and the Alpena (Mich.) Thunder are the league’s remaining teams.
This is the fourth league Cashman has started that has struggled to gain footing. The four-team Gulf Coast Hockey League fell apart in 2001, Cashman said, because investors withdrew after 9/11. The North Eastern Hockey League played a shortened initial season, did not play in 2004-05, then re-emerged as the Continental Professional Hockey League. The CPHL season was called off before it was half finished. The NEHL was reinstated the next year, but shut down in January 2008.
- From staff reports
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