Canada has always been associated with hockey. And for good reason; hockey has a rich heritage in Canada, with numerous leagues and hundreds of teams competing at every level – locally, nationally and internationally.
Top Tier Niagara Hockey
Ontario teams represent in various leagues; one of the main governing bodies is the OHL (Ontario Hockey League), which is the junior competition for the state. Teams in the region also compete in the NHL, the top hockey league in the world.
Hockey fans finding themselves in Niagara Falls should take note of three teams in close proximity – two in the OHL, and one in the NHL – if they’re looking for a good local game.
Niagara Area Hockey Teams
Located just across the United States /Canada Border in Buffalo, New York, the Buffalo Sabres are a beloved club on both sides of the international border. For the past twenty years, they’ve played at the what is now known as the KeyBank Center. Despite not yet winning a Stanley Cup, they did pick up a Presidents’ Trophy in 2006–07 (for most points scored in a season) and are an up and coming team with playoff aspirations this season.
Based in St Catharines since 2007, the IceDogs are in the OHL junior league. This is one of the world’s main development leagues for players under the age of 18. Players that have jumped from the OHL to the NHL include John Taveres, Tyler Seguin and Jeff Carter. The IceDogs have always enjoyed strong support in the Niagara area, being cited as the best-attended team in the OHL based on the capacity percentage for six out of seven seasons at the Jack Gatecliff Arena – an accolade that helped the move to a larger stadium in 2014 in the Meridian Centre. They are regular division and conference strongmen, most recently winning the 2016 Eastern Conference Championship, although their rivals in the London Knights have kept them from an OHL victory twice in the past five years.
The latest incarnation, that is. These Hamilton Bulldogs joined the OHL for the 2016–17 Eastern Conference, replacing the previous Hamilton Bulldogs which were an AHL team. League semantics aside, locals have welcomed the new arrangement and they’re expected to quickly become division contenders. They play at the FirstOntario Centre in Hamilton, Ontario.
As you can see, Niagara is a great central location for any Hockey Fan.
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