NCCYHA is made up of almost 150 players, both girls and boys, participating on 20 different teams in six age divisions and in Junior Varsity and Varsity Hockey. We also offer an introduction to hockey where children with little or no skating experience can discover the fun and excitement of hockey. If you and your child might be interested the Learn to Play Hockey Program (formerly known as Crossrinks), please contact us.
Our home ice is the Steele Hall Ice Arena located on the campus of SUNY at Fredonia. This modern, 1100 seat facility, is also the home of the Fredonia State Blue Devils. With the exception of our two girls' teams which participate in the Great Lakes Girls Hockey League, all our teams are open to both boys and girls.
Our focus is on house-league competition and we encourage our players to first have fun. It is in this relaxed, non-competitive environment, that our players learn the basic skills of hockey. Our house divisions include Mosquito (Mini-Mite), Mite, Squirt, Pee-Wee, Bantam, and Midget.
For those players who are ready for something more, we also have PeeWee, Bantam and Midget Travel teams as well as associated Varsity and Junior Varsity teams representing area High Schools. The Association also chooses Select teams from each house division during the house season. These teams play in three or four tournaments and players get the feel of the travel hockey experience.
Timed with the opening of the brand new Steele Hall Ice Arena at Fredonia State College, a small group of people interested in starting a youth hockey program held their first organizational meeting in August 1984. At that meeting, Sam Drayo was elected as the 1st President, Bob Lyman as Vice President, and Sally Giambrone as Secretary and Treasurer. Other Directors and Members present were Mike McKinnon, Al Muck, Don Fadale, Dick Pachol, Jim Shaw, Jerry Carr, Gary Giambrone, John Kulpa, Jim Oakes, Phil Nocek and Pat Lyman. We owe them all a debt of gratitude. Without their pioneering efforts, we wouldn't have the great organization we have today! If you see any of them around town, please don't forget to say thank you. They should all be very proud of what they started.
With no money in the Treasury, the newly formed Northern Chautauqua County Youth Hockey Association was able to borrow $500 from their generous hockey colleagues, the Jamestown Laker organization. With that seed money, the fledgling NCCYHA was able to cover its' start up costs and began to get the kids ready to play hockey.
A lot of hard work went into starting a youth hockey league from scratch. Don Fadale designed the logo for jerseys and patches. Don, along with Jim Oakes, became the equipment managers and scoured Western New York for equipment. Al Muck took care of ordering and purchasing jerseys. Mike McKinnon led the crusade for donations from area groups and businesses. Dick Pachol began to plan for an invitational tournament which came to fruition in the league's second season. Just about everyone helped out with coaching and the referees were borrowed for a time, from Jamestown.
At the first registration held in the fall of 1984, 60 players signed up. Of those, 30 were in the Mite Division and the rest sprinkled among Squirts, Bantams and Midgets.
It all came together on January 19, 1985 when the Speedsters Mite team, coached by Bob Lyman, traveled to Jamestown to play the Association's very first official game. The kids were wearing brand new NCCYHA Rangers jerseys which had just been picked up the day before. The next week, Al Muck took the League's other Mite team, now wearing new Oiler jerseys, to Jamestown and won 1 - 0.
The rest, as they say, is history.
If you were there in the early years and have any recollections you would like to share, please e-mail us at email@example.com. Our thanks to Pat Lyman for digging through her records to find her personal accounts of the beginnings of the NCCYHA!
It seems hard to believe that the 2014-2015 season is the 31st season of NCCYHA hockey! Coming very soon, in January 2015, we will celebrate 30 years since that very first game! Keep watching this site for details of the celebration.
The NCCYHA fully supports the USA Hockey Zero Tolerance Policy.
We expect our players, coaches and spectators to be respectful to opposing players, coaches, officials and to the game itself.
Please read the entire text of the USA Hockey Zero Tolerance Policy It is well worth it!