NA3HL Approves Exapansion

May 31, 2016

Originally Posted by NA3HL

The North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) has announced that it has approved a new expansion team, the Missoula Junior Bruins, to begin play in the 2016-17 season in Missoula, Montana. 

Missoula, a former AWHL market prior to its merger with the NA3HL in 2013-14, lies directly in the heart of the NA3HL Frontier Division footprint of Montana and Wyoming, which will now consist of eight teams. The Junior Bruins will be the league’s 48th member club overall.

“The city of Missoula has a fantastic hockey community and tradition, and it fits perfectly into the NA3HL’s Frontier division,” said NA3HL Commissioner Denny Scanlon.

The team is owned and operated by Jason and Liz DiMatteo. The team will play its home games out of Glacier Ice Rink. Glacier Ice Rink is located on the grounds of the Missoula County Fairgrounds. The Missoula Area Youth Hockey Association (MAYHA), a nonprofit organization, operates the rink.


“Missoula is a great hockey community and we are excited for the opportunity to be involved in MAYHA’s programs,” Bruins owners Jason and Liz DiMatteo stated. “We look forward to building a strong partnership with youth hockey and creating support for the new Missoula Junior Bruins in the NA3HL."

Jason DiMatteo brings a solid hockey background to his new role, having coached teams and managed ice rinks throughout the state. The Bruins have named Marcus Baxter as head coach and general manager and Joren Johnson will be the assistant coach.

Missoula is located at the western edge of Montana approximately 45 miles from the Idaho border and is Montana’s second-largest city, behind Billings. Missoula is also home to the University of Montana.

A presentation to and final approval by the USA Hockey Junior Council is expected by June 10th.