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Ice Hockey 

     It's a big deal Upstate.     

Hockey is a very popular sport for fans and participants of all ages.

There are youth hockey programs, high school tournaments, excellent college teams and professional leagues.

The Buffalo Sabres are one of three NHL teams in the state, along with the NY Ranger (NYC) and the Islanders (Long Island).

The NHL’s primary development league is the American Hockey League (AHL), which has four teams Upstate in Rochester, Syracuse, Utica and Binghamton.  Each of these teams is affiliated with an NHL club for purposes of player development.  Think Triple-A Baseball’s relationship with the MLB.

The East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) is a level below the AHL and has a team in Glens Falls.

If you’re a hockey fan, Upstate New York is the place to be!


 NHL Buffalo Sabers

NHL Eastern Conference

The team was established in 1970, along with the Vancouver Canucks, when the league expanded to 14    teams. 


AHL Binghamton Devils

NHL New Jersey Devils Affiliate

The Devils begin playing in Binghamton in the 2017-18 season.  They moved from Albany.. They are the top minor league affiliate of the NHL New Jersey Devils.


AHL Utica Comets


NHL Vancouver Canucks Affiliate

The Comets' franchise, one of the oldest professional hockey franchises in existence, dates back to 1932,      when the team was known as the Quebec Beavers.

AHL Rochester Americans

NHL Buffalo Sabres Affiliate

The "Amerks" areowned-and operated affiliate of the NHL Buffalo Sabres.  They are the fourth-oldest franchise in the AHL


AHL Syracuse Crunch

NHL Tampa Bay Lightening Affiliate

The Crunch has been providing family fun entertainment and hard hitting action at downtown's War Memorial Arena at Oncenter since 1994.


ECHL Adirondack Thunder

NHL New Jersey Devils Affiliate

The Thunder enter their third season of ECHL play, following two consecutive playoff berths, including reaching second round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs in 2016, the first time since 1994 that an Adirondack team won a playoff series.  

Learn more about Sports Upstate


Hockey Basics

Ice hockey is a contact team sport played on ice, usually in a rink, in which two teams of skaters use their sticks to shoot a vulcanized rubber puck into their opponent's net to score points. The sport is known to be fast-paced and physical, with teams usually consisting of six players each: one goaltender, and five players who skate up and down the ice trying to take the puck and score a goal against the opposing team.

Ice hockey is most popular in Canada, the United States and Eastern Europe, Scandinavia and Russia. Ice hockey is the official national winter sport of Canada, and enjoys immense popularity there.  The National Hockey League (NHL) is the highest level for men's ice hockey and the strongest professional ice hockey league in the world.  The NHL Buffalo Sabres are based in Buffalo, New York, and are very popular with hockey fans, the community and tourists.

The Stanley Cup, emblematic of ice hockey club supremacy, was first awarded in 1893 to recognize the Canadian amateur champion and later became the Championship Trophy of the NHL. The sport was played for the first time in the Olympics in the Olympic Games of 1920.

The NHL has a Minor League system similar to that of MLB Baseball.

The American Hockey League (AHL) is a 30-team professional ice hockey league based in the that serves as the primary developmental league for the National Hockey League (NHL). Since the 2010–11 season every ALH team has an affiliation agreement with one NHL team. When NHL teams do not have an AHL affiliate, players are assigned to AHL teams affiliated with other NHL teams.   New York State is home to AHL teams in Binghamton, Rochester, Syracuse and Utica.

The ECHL (formerly the East Coast Hockey League) is a tier below the American Hockey League.  There is an ECHL team in Glens Falls, New York.

The ECHL and the AHL are the only minor leagues recognized by the collective bargaining agreement between the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players' Association, meaning any player signed to an entry-level NHL contract and designated for assignment must report to a club in either the ECHL or the AHL.