United Hockey Union

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United Hockey Union
United Hockey Union.jpg
SportIce hockey
Founded2012 (2012)
AffiliationAmateur Athletic Union
ChairmanKeith Knoll
CEORon White
Official website
United States

The United Hockey Union (UHU), founded in 2012, is a group of ice hockey leagues in North America. The UHU is overseen and insured by the Amateur Athletic Union. Neither body is recognized by USA Hockey, Hockey Canada, or the International Ice Hockey Federation.


In 2011, the AAU expressed interest in sanctioning junior ice hockey leagues. Until this time, USA Hockey was the only governing body of ice hockey in the United States and is still the only organization recognized by the International Ice Hockey Federation.

In the summer of 2011, the Western States Hockey League (WSHL) defected from USA Hockey to join the AAU. As a test case, their 2011–12 season went without a hitch. In 2012, they were joined by the Northern States Junior Hockey League (NSHL) and the Midwest Junior Hockey League (MWJHL). At this point, their partnership, under AAU supervision, was named the United Hockey Union.

The UHU finished off the 2012–13 hockey season with the first-ever UHU National Junior Hockey Championship. The UHU Championship went to the WSHL's Idaho Jr. Steelheads in its inaugural run, with the Steelheads going undefeated in a six-team tournament held in Las Vegas, Nevada in April 2013.

In May 2014, the UHU added a fourth league, the Canadian International Hockey League (CIHL).[1] In July 2014, the Canadian Independent Junior Hockey League (CIJHL)[2] of British Columbia applied for AAU sanctioning as well, but despite the sanctioning, the league shuttered its doors in September without playing a single game.

On September 10, 2014, the NSHL left the AAU umbrella. On November 10, the CIHL also left the AAU umbrella over insurance and expansion disagreements. In turn, half the CIHL broke away and formed the World United Hockey League as UHU members. In March 2015, the MWJHL announced it was joining the United States Premier Hockey League (a USA Hockey-sanctioned league) as part of its new Midwest Division starting in the 2015–16 season.[3]

In 2015, the AAU announced that WSHL had been promoted to "Tier II" and that it was adding a "Tier III" prospect league for WSHL development teams called the Western Prospects League.[4] Despite using the USA Hockey sanctioning terms of Tier II and III, the UHU-sanctioned leagues continued to operate under pay-to-play terms (called tuition) similar to USA Hockey Tier III or Hockey Canada Junior A guidelines.

In 2016, the UHU added two new junior hockey leagues; the Canadian Premier Junior Hockey League[5] and the National College Prospects Hockey League,[6] The CPJHL planned to have no more than 12 teams centered around Barrie, Ontario, for the 2016–17 season and would start the season with eight teams. The NCPHL began its season with six teams. With the launch of these two leagues and several WSHL teams' affiliating with the NCPHL, it appeared the Western Prospects League had been dissolved.

On September 5, 2016, the UHU announced they would be launching a free-to-play Tier I league for the 2017–18 season. The new league was to consist of six founding teams affiliated with the current Tier II and Tier III leagues. On September 12, the new league was announced as the Central One Hockey League (C1HL) and composed of six WSHL organizations: the Colorado Jr. Eagles, Casper Coyotes, El Paso Rhinos, Ogden Mustangs, Oklahoma City Blazers, and the Springfield Express,[7][8][9] although Ogden was later removed. However, sometime in early 2017, the C1HL website was taken down, replaced near the end of the year, and removed again in March 2018. Some teams have since mentioned that the launch of the C1HL had been postponed to the 2018–19 season.[10] The UHU has also announced plans to launch a western Canada-based Tier II league in 2018, called the Western Provinces Hockey Association,[11] that began play as the Provinces Division of the WSHL in 2018–19.


League Level Joined Teams Most recent champion
Western States Hockey League Tier II Junior 2012 23 El Paso Rhinos
Canadian Premier Junior Hockey League Tier III Junior 2016 7 Essa Stallions

Former members[edit]

Junior National Championships[edit]

Year Champion Runner-Up Score Location
2013 Idaho Idaho Jr. Steelheads California Bay Area Seals 5–1 Nevada Las Vegas, Nevada
2014 Texas El Paso Rhinos Idaho Idaho Jr. Steelheads 6–3 Nevada Las Vegas, Nevada


  1. ^ "AAU's United Hockey Union Formally Approves CIHL". Junior Hockey News. May 24, 2014.
  2. ^ "CIJHL Formally Submits Application to Join the AAU". Junior Hockey News. July 12, 2014.
  3. ^ "Midwest Junior Hockey League Joins USPHL Mid-West Junior Hockey Division". USPHL. March 10, 2015. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved March 31, 2015.
  4. ^ "WSHL to Become Tier II Hockey League Share". WSHL. May 21, 2015.
  5. ^ "The New Kid on the Block: Canadian Premier Junior Hockey League". OHL Writers. March 21, 2016.
  6. ^ "NCPHL About". NCPHL. Retrieved April 18, 2016.
  7. ^ "Rhinos Announce New Tier 1 Hockey Team". El Paso Proud. September 13, 2016.
  8. ^ "Re-Formed CHL Returning To OKC". KFOR-TV. September 14, 2016.
  9. ^ "Casper Coyotes rise to top level of amateur hockey". Casper Star Tribune. September 18, 2016.
  10. ^ "Blazers Announce Operational Change". Oklahoma City Blazers. May 15, 2017. Archived from the original on July 11, 2018.
  11. ^ "WPHA homepage". WPHA. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  12. ^ "United Hockey Union Welcomes NCHA". United Hockey Union. 18 July 2014. Archived from the original on 20 December 2014.
  13. ^ "NAHL announces the formation of the NA3EHL". NA3EHL. 17 October 2014.
  14. ^ "Phony SEAL, Phony League?". Junior Hockey News. 27 August 2012.

External links[edit]

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