Manchester Regional Youth Hockey Association
For more than 50 years, the Manchester Regional Youth Hockey Association (MRYHA) has given boys and girls of all ages and abilities the opportunity to play, enjoy and compete in the sport of hockey.
In 1964, the Manchester NH Junior Hockey League was created with a mission of “teaching young boys between the ages of 6 and 13 inclusive the principles of good sportsmanship and of effective participation in the sport of hockey; (as well) to make young boys aware of and proficient in hockey and to build their character and physical fitness through winter sports.”
In 1973, the Board of Directors, under the presidency of Louis Farley, changed the corporation name to Manchester Regional Youth Hockey Association (MRYHA) with a stated goal of “providing effective opportunities for area youth, regardless of race, color or sex, to compete at all levels of youth hockey.”
For a time, MRYHA was one of the largest youth hockey programs in the country and, although it no longer holds this distinction, it still remains the largest and one of the oldest programs in the state of New Hampshire.
In its early days, the organization served as a feeder program for the local high schools and was mostly made of house league teams. Manchester would catch up to and compete with the programs that fed the high school teams at Berlin Concord and Hanover who dominated high school hockey for a long period of time.
Times have changed since then; however, MRYHA has stuck to its core. The program provides opportunities for any child who wants to play the game of hockey with programs ranging from “learn to skate” to the Flames travel programs, whose top-level teams compete at the Tier 1 level of USA Hockey.
Recently, MRYHA was the first organization in state selected by the Boston Bruins to participate in the “Little Bruins Program.” This program allows children ages 4-9 the opportunity to participate in the game of hockey.
Back in 1982, MRYHA hosted the National Midget Tournament, which ran from April 2-4. Competing teams hailed from New York, Philadelphia, Illinois, Alaska, Michigan, Massachusetts and Manchester.
In 1990, Manchester was selected to host another national tournament for the Bantam Division. Teams from Detroit, New Jersey, Chicago, New York, Alaska, Rhode Island, Cape Cod and Manchester competed. These tournaments included future NHL stars Pat LaFontaine and Ed Olczyk.
Over the years, the Manchester Flames/MRYHA organization has competed in several national championships, and winning Junior C national championships in 1985 and ‘86.
MRYHA has also produced many talented players who went on to have successful careers in both the collegiate and professional levels. A few of these players include Rand Pecknold, Jeff Serowik, Hubie McDonough, Kyle McDonough, Jeff Giuliano, Tim Schaller and Zach Sanford.
The Manchester Regional Youth Hockey Association is proud of its non-profit status and is run through the tireless dedication of volunteers. These volunteers range from a Board of Directors consisting of 14 members as well as more than a hundred coaches, managers and on-ice assistants.