Posts Tagged ‘Nor-Pac’

That would be a whoops on my part. Billings and Helena are part of the American West Hockey League now, having left the NorPac.


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Starting today, Rochester (MN) is the host for the USA Hockey Tier III national Tournament. Pretty darn cool. It’s from March 29th to April 3rd. Here’s the schedule (PDF).

If you so desire, you can keep track of the tourney here on Pointstreak.

I’m pretty darn interested in it, but won’t be going.

I’m interested, since the Helena Bighorns are involved; Helena was in the NAHL before, so I’ve seen them before, they’re now in the NorPac. The Billings Bulls are also an ex-NAHL team who’s now in the NorPac, who I’ve seen before.

Minnesota teams involved (from the MN Junior Hockey league) are: Northern Lights and Rochester Ice Hawks.

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I’m on a junior hockey kick right now, so I’m going with it.  Somewhere around 2004 I discovered this thing called “junior hockey”.  Prior to that I had heard of it, but really didn’t know what it was.  Not entirely sure how I discovered it, but since then I’ve grown some appreciation for it. 

Probably the biggest thing I’ve learned about junior hockey is that change happens all the time:  teams move from city to city, teams move from league to league, teams change names, teams discontinue.  When it comes to sports I suppose the term conservative fits;  I’m generally against rule changes, teams moving etc.  Yet, when it comes to junior hockey I don’t mind the changes.  While I like seeing the same teams, the changing in teams is sort-of refreshing to me, not sure why that is.  Maybe it’s similar to Han Shot First!!!! , which although I really like Star Wars I really don’t care if Han shot first or second or never.

For junior hockey, I started out following the NAHL to begin with.  Here’s what happened to the NAHL teams since I began following (using Wikiedia as a guide, which I risky of course):

  • Billings Bulls:  Moved from from the NAHL to the Nor-Pac and now are in the American West Hockey League
  • Bozeman Ice Dogs:  Same story as Billings
  • Helena Bighorns:  Same as above
  • Texarkana Bandits:  Still in NAHL, moved from Texas to St. Louis, now known as the St. Louis Bandits.
  • Farg0-Moorhead Jets:  Team disbanded
  • Southern Minnesota Express: A mess, but still in the NAHL (actually in the NAHL twice now).  First team moved to Detoit (MI) and became known as the Motor City Machine, now in Jamestown (NY) and are the Ironmen.  A second unrelated NAHL team started and were known as the Owatonna Express.  They moved to Odessa (TX) and became the Odessa Jackalopes.
  • Toledo Icediggers:  Still in NAHL, moved to Alpena (MI) and then to Corpus Christie (TX) and are now the Icerays
  • North Iowa Outlaws:  Still in NAHL, moved to Onalaska (WI) and are known as the Coulee Region Chill
  • Springfield Spirit:  Still in the NAHL, moved to Wasilla (AK) and then moved to Palmer (AK) and became the Avalanche
  • Santa Fe RoadRunners:  Still in the NAHL, moved to Topeka (KS)

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