AP NEWS

Junior hockey on tap to return

May 19, 2019

Multiple sources have confirmed to The Journal Gazette that a press conference is slated for Monday to unveil plans for a new Junior A-level team that will participate in the United States Premier Hockey League.

The USPHL, founded in 2012, has 61 teams in various tiers and is considered the largest amateur hockey league in the country.

One such team in the USPHL is the Minnesota Blue Ox, which is based in Coon Rapids, Minnesota, and is owned by Bruce Boudreau, the coach of the NHL’s Minnesota Wild and a former player and coach with the Komets.

The Blue Ox produced Oskari Halme, who played last season for the Komets.

While plans for the new Fort Wayne team should come Monday : including the local ownership group, when it would begin play and what it’s name would be : it would skate at SportONE/Parkview Icehouse.

This wouldn’t be the first foray into such a type of team in Fort Wayne, which had the Federals from 2010 to 2015 at the Icehouse. The Federals played in the Great Lakes Junior Hockey League and Minnesota Junior Hockey League, which was partially absorbed by the USPHL.

Fort Wayne native Ian Harris was one player who ascended to the professional ranks from the Federals, playing in the ECHL for the Brampton Beast, as well as in the Southern Professional and Federal Hockey leagues.

The USPHL’s emphasis is elevating players’ games to a point where they can play in college or above.

The Icehouse is home to Fort Wayne’s youth, high school and adult hockey programs. And it’s where the Indiana Tech teams play.

jcohn@jg.net