RMJHL’s Yetis go dormant for ’16-17 season
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In year two, the Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League (RMJHL) will begin the season with six teams instead of seven, and a 42-game regular-season schedule (plus playoffs).
The Grand Junction-based Glacier Yetis will not be included during the 2016-17 campaign. Struggling to field players, the RMJHL Board of Directors placed the Yetis franchise in dormancy for the upcoming season.
According to RMJHL commissioner Mike Gempeler, the decision was difficult, but necessary.
“It’s tough placing the Yetis in dormancy for the season, but without the necessary confidence, the Board made an honest and professional business decision to preserve the integrity of the league,” said Gempeler. “We look forward to starting the season with six solid teams September 30.”
The Yetis, who call the Glacier Ice Arena in Grand Junction home, have the opportunity to regroup and apply for reinstatement for the 2017-18 season. For this to occur, the RMJHL bylaws require a formal request with an updated business plan and budget, which is reviewed and voted on by the Board of Directors.
“Although we are all very disappointed with this outcome, we hope to see the Glacier Yetis rebound and remain a long-term partner of the RMJHL,” added RMJHL president Shaun Hathaway. “We are fully committed to provide the assistance needed to ensure a stable and strong program exists in Grand Junction in 2017-18 and beyond.”
After the news of the Yetis departure, the league quickly readjusted and released its 2016-17 game schedule. The six-team league will play 42 regular-season games starting Sept. 30 and ending March 4. The top four teams in the final standings will compete in a best-of-three semi-final playoff series. The finals, also a best-of-three series, are scheduled for March 17-19.
Regular-season RMJHL games mirror the scheduling format, with two-game weekend series played on Friday and Saturday nights.
The six active RMJHL teams in 2016-17 are the Aspen Leafs, Breckenridge Bears, Colorado Rampage (Monument), Colorado Thunderbirds (Denver), Pikes Peak Miners (Colorado Springs) and the Steamboat Wranglers.