United States Amateur Hockey Association
Founded1920
Ceased1925
Replaced byAmerican Hockey Association
No. of teams8 to 15
CountryUnited States

The United States Amateur Hockey Association (USAHA) was an ice hockey governing body in the United States from 1920 to 1925, which operated at an amateur level. The league was filled with predominantly Canadian-born players, but struggled to achieve consistent attendance figures in the days before large arenas with artificial ice. The association disbanded in 1925, with some teams eventually joining the American Hockey Association, and one team joining the National Hockey League.

History

USAHA president William S. Haddock.
USAHA president William S. Haddock.

The United States Amateur Hockey Association (USAHA) was founded on October 25, 1920 in Philadelphia. The International Skating Union of America which had governed ice hockey until then, resolved to turn over control of the sport with the approval of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU). The USAHA also inherited the existing affiliation agreement with the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA), which allowed teams from the USAHA to play against teams in either the AAU or the CAHA.[1]

William Samuel Haddock from Pittsburgh was elected the first president of the USAHA. The original eight teams in the USAHA included the Pittsburgh Yellow Jackets, and teams from Boston, Cleveland, New York City, Philadelphia, and three from Minnesota including Duluth, Eveleth, and Saint Paul. Later additions were the Boston Athletic Association, the Fort Pitt Hornets, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, and three transfers from the American Amateur Hockey Association which included teams from Calumet, Houghton and Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.[1]

The USAHA divided its team into three divisions for the first two seasons, with teams grouped in the east, the mid-west and northwest. From 1922 onward, the association was grouped into eastern and western divisions.[1] Persistent disagreements between the USAHA and the CAHA led Silver Quilty to cancel the agreement in 1925.[2] The USAHA disbanded after the 1924–25 season. The Pittsburgh Yellow Jackets joined the National Hockey League, and the western teams were reorganized as the Central Hockey League in 1925, which later became the American Hockey Association in 1926.[1]

The association had faced difficulties with consistent refereeing, and the lack of suitable ice for the whole season since most teams played on natural outdoor ice surfaces instead of arenas. The Minneapolis Arena, and the Duquesne Gardens in Pittsburgh were the largest rinks at the time. The association also struggled with attendance figures due to the varying arena capacities.[1]

Teams

Boston Athletic Association team in 1920–21.
Boston Athletic Association team in 1920–21.
Boston Pere Marquette team in 1921–22. Top row left to right: E. Anderson, Jim Healy, Frank Storey, Billy Roach, Alec Campbell, Bernie Healy, J. Collins (trainer), Spike Doran. Bottom row left to right: Johnny Murphy, Frank Synott, Arthur Donahue, Farrell Conley, Eddie Enright.
Boston Pere Marquette team in 1921–22. Top row left to right: E. Anderson, Jim Healy, Frank Storey, Billy Roach, Alec Campbell, Bernie Healy, J. Collins (trainer), Spike Doran. Bottom row left to right: Johnny Murphy, Frank Synott, Arthur Donahue, Farrell Conley, Eddie Enright.

Players

USAHA players were predominantly Canadians, with the St. Paul and Duluth teams being the exceptions. Rosters were typically small and ranged from nine to twelve players, and teams did not usually have an alternate goaltender.[1]

Notable players from the USAHA include:[1]

Player gallery

Champions

United States Amateur Hockey Association regular season and playoff champions.[3]

Season Regular season champions Playoff champions
1920–21 Group One: Boston A.A.
Group Two: Cleveland
Group Three: Eveleth
Cleveland
(14-12 on total goals)
1921–22 Group One: Boston Westminsters
Group Two: St. Paul
Group Three: Canadian Soo*
Boston Westminsters
1922–23 Eastern division: Boston A.A.
Western division: St. Paul
Boston Athletic Association
1923–24 Eastern division: Boston A.A.
Western division: Pittsburgh Yellow Jackets
Pittsburgh Yellow Jackets
1924–25 Eastern division: Fort Pitt Hornets
Western division (1st half): Pittsburgh Yellow Jackets
Western division (2nd half): Eveleth
Pittsburgh Yellow Jackets

*Canadian Soo was ineligible to compete for the U.S. championship, so group runner-up Eveleth entered the playoffs instead.

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "United States Amateur Hockey Association". Vintage Minnesota Hockey. Retrieved 2019-01-16.
  2. ^ "S.P. "Silver" Quilty Re-elected Leader". Winnipeg Tribune. Winnipeg, Manitoba. March 25, 1925. p. 12.Free to read
  3. ^ Godin, Roger A. (2005). Before the Stars: Early Major League Hockey and the St. Paul Athletic Club Team. Minnesota Historical Society Press. pp. 183–185. ISBN 0-87351-476-9.