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Didn’t you hear? Denver is the new Hockeyville. Credit the Colorado avalanche, currently on a streak of five straight playoff appearances, including winning the Stanley Cup last season. Or you could give the nod to the University of Denver Pioneers, nine-time NCAA champions and last year’s winner. Heck, you might even tip your cap up Denver East High School Angelswho also won state and national titles last year.
Contribute to your own statewide successes by stepping out of the stands and into the action, because the One Mile Hockey scene isn’t just for spectators. From pick-up ice hockey to organized leagues on the ground, there are dozens of opportunities for masters and snipers. Here’s a roundup of the best adult hockey leagues and pickup spots around the Front Range.
Rockies Hockey League
For over 40 years, people have frequented the Rocky Mountain Hockey League rink. Now featuring more than a dozen divisions, there’s a team for everyone: rookies, B-leaguers, over 40s, and more. Most games are played at Littleton’s Ice Ranch and the year-old Highlands Ranch’s South Suburban Sports Complex. Note: Dedicated teams and schedules mean a slightly more competitive style of play than the other teams here. Players can still sign up for the 20-game winter season (which runs until mid-March; $550 registration fee) or the shorter 10-game summer season. next year (May to mid-August).
South Suburban Amateur Hockey League
In addition to year-round recreational and public skating sessions, Denver’s South Suburban Parks and Recreation hosts its South Suburban Amateur Hockey League in its sparkling new 206,000 square foot sports complex (featuring three ice pads) and the Family Sports Center at Centennial. The amateur league kicks off each fall season in October and the summer season in June with a mix of co-ed and women-only divisions. Free agents interested in playing this fall should Register before the lists freeze on November 1.
University of Denver Adult Hockey League
Skate on the same ice as the Pioneers, defending champions, of the University of Denver’s weekly mixed adult recreational league at Joy Burns and Magness arenas. The Recreational Beginners League plays on Tuesdays and Thursdays; the main league meets every Sunday. Walk-in sessions are also available. Logan O’Connor wannabes can register at any time, and registration is $500 per player for the season. If you’re new to hockey, learn the basics of power skating, stickhandling and more with the adult from Pios. Learn to Play Sessions ($220 for a series of eight classes).
Big Bear Adult Hockey League
The winter season kicks off and Lowry’s Big Bear Ice Arena hosts games most nights of the week for beginner, intermediate and advanced teams (there are also lunchtime leagues). Players can join for $499 (or $199 for goalies).
Inline and roller hockey
Lace up your laces at one of four roller rinks in Denver’s Skate City metro area or Colorado Springs’ Xfinity Sports Arena for beginner, intermediate and advanced league games. Skate City hockey memberships are $25 per month; if required, gloves, helmets and shin guards are also available at no additional cost. For more information or to sign up for a team, contact staff member (and former inline hockey pro) CJ Yoder at [email protected]
Parker Parks and Recreation
Hit the sports field at Parker Fieldhouse for men’s and mixed five-on-five inline hockey or ball hockey (registration from $85). The online registration fee is $800 for the fall season (October to the end of December) or the winter season (late January to the end of March).
Rocky Mountain Roller Hockey League
Play year-round on regulation-size rinks at Lakewood’s Foothills Fieldhouse with Rocky Mountain Roller Hockey, an indoor league that’s been doing it for 25 years. Four divisions give you the leeway to choose the level of competitiveness you want (registration is $165), and drop-ins and free agents are welcome.
Pick-up hockey and more
If you’re looking for something with a little less commitment or are still looking for other fanatics in your area, check out one of these social media groups and hobby clubs.