Five youth associations, including Aspen Junior Hockey, have departed the Continental Divide Youth Hockey League (CDYHL), and will begin league play next season in the newly established Western Colorado Hockey League (WCHL). The WCHL was created to gain consistency with like-minded youth programs while simultaneously improving the travel schedule and future competitive options. The five-team league includes Aspen, Glenwood, Steamboat, Summit and Vail. All five programs are committed to a unified approach to player development, and are focused on providing the best hockey experience for the players.
WCHL teams will play a 16-20 game league schedule with home and home two-game series throughout the season. Supplemental non-league games will take place between WCHL and front-range CCYHL teams, with a targeted regular season game count between 20 and 24 games depending on the age level and division.
The WCHL is founded on the principles of USA Hockey’s American Development Model, and is committed to providing a competitive environment led by sportsmanship first. The new league will operate three age classes (10U Squirt, 12U Peewee, and 14U Bantam) at the A, B and C (House Recreation) divisions. There are plans to establish 18U and 16U Midget divisions for the 2019-20 fall season. By mid August, the WCHL season schedule will be complete, and its website (WCHL.co) will be up and running. Aspen Junior Hockey’s Executive Director Shaun Hathaway was instrumental in founding the new league, and will serve as the Vice President during the inaugural season.