Created: Fri, 13 Jun 2014 10:56:00 MST
Updated: Fri, 13 Jun 2014 11:15:25 MST
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - It seems it would be a safe bet to assume hockey is not one of the most popular sports in the Grand Valley -- but Tom Harmon, Director of Hockey at the Glacier Ice Arena, is aiming to change that. Harmon is bringing Junior A hockey to Grand Junction in the form of the GJ Coyotes.
USA Hockey, whose headquarters are in Colorado Springs, CO, gave Harmon the green light last week, and the Coyotes will start play at the Glacier Ice Arena in the fall of 2015.
The Coyotes will be part of the newly-founded Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League (RMJHL). All the teams in the RMJHL are within Colorado's state lines. Those teams include the Aspen Junior Leafs; the Colorado Thunderbirds out of Littleton, CO; the Colorado Rampage from Monument, CO; and the Pikes Peak Miners from Colorado Springs, CO.
Harmon says the founding of the Coyotes will be a great catalyst for interest in hockey in the Grand Valley.
"This is an extension of our youth hockey program, however, it is ran under the Tier Three USA Hockey Junior Council. It's going to be huge, having two teams on the Western Slope -- the Aspen Junior Leafs and the Grand Junction Coyotes -- it is going to be huge for hockey in the Valley," said Harmon.
The RMJHL needs a sixth team before the start of the 2015 season, but Harmon says he's confident that will happen.