Junior hockey league adding Steamboat

Dale Strode
The Aspen Times

There’s a new player in hockey in Colorado.

Steamboat Springs will join the lineup in the Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League next season.

After an inaugural season of Tier-3 play in the USA Hockey heirarchy, league founder, league president and Aspen Junior Hockey director Shaun Hathaway announced the addition of Steamboat Springs to the junior league, citing a successful launch of the league last season.

The Aspen Leafs are charter members of the Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League.

Hockey veteran Troy Mick will lead the new franchise in Steamboat as president and managing partner. He’s currently the president and general manager of the Salmon Arm Silverbacks of the British Columbia Hockey League.

“We are very excited to bring junior hockey to Steamboat Springs this coming fall as proud members of the RMJHL,” Mick said. “With a passionate fan base for high school hockey, community support and high-quality facilities, Steamboat Springs provides the perfect fit to become a top-quality organization in the Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League.”

The city of Steamboat Springs and Steamboat Springs Youth Hockey Association both support the addition of the Tier-3 junior team.

“They are a perfect fit inside our existing footprint and the early support from both the community and town council has been overwhelming,” said RMJHL Commissioner Mike Gempeler. “With natural ski-town rivalries already established with Breckenridge and Aspen, the game-day atmosphere with be through the roof and there will be no better place to play junior hockey.”

The team will play at Howelson Arena at Howelson Hill, an Olympic-sized rink with accommodations for 1,000 spectators.

Misko Antisin, a veteran coach who recently served as the Salmon Arm Silverbacks assistant coach, was announced as the new Steamboat Springs head coach.

“This is a tremendous day for the RMJHL” said Hathaway.

“Troy Mick’s group strengthens our league’s credibility and raises the bar for all our member teams. We … look forward to working with Troy and his staff as we strive to become the strongest and most geographically responsible Tier-III league in the nation.”

The new team will join the Aspen Leafs, Breckenridge Bucks, and Grand Junction Glacier Yetis in the league with the Colorado Rampage and Pikes Peak Miners.