The History Of the Susquehanna Valley Hockey League


Dave Stamm and Nelson Gingerich with Mike Barrick

Hockey fans, we would like to introduce you to Mr. Michael Barrick.

 

In 1970 Mike brought his team, the Hampden Leafs, to the Sunbury ice rink. They used the facility to practice and play pick-up games.

 

Mike saw the the potential of the facility and how it could promote the sport of ice hockey.

 

Through his vision and tireless efforts, in 1973 the Susquehanna Valley Hockey League was established and the first season of league play began.

 

Mike was not only instrumental in the formation of the SVHL, he is the one who named it.

 

47 years after Mike first stepped on the ice here at Sunbury, the league continues to thrive, the caliber of play has improved, and youth hockey is prevalent.

 

The league would like to acknowledge his contributions and thank him for his efforts toward bringing ice hockey to the Central Susquehanna Valley.


The Central Susquehanna Valley Hockey League started in 1973. Paul Harro, Mike Barrick, Mike Robinson, and Mike Zechman were all involved with the construction of the league and were the main components in negotiating ice time with the rink to schedule games. Robinson and Zechman formed the Sunbury Suns and were one of the 6  original teams similar to the NHL.  The teams were:
Hampden Leafs, Sunbury Suns, Williamsport Loggers, Juniata Jays, Colonial Park Bruins, and Susquehanna University
Hampden was the class of league and rarely lost a game.  The Colonial 
Park Bruins became the Harrisburg Capitals when the Skatieum opened in 
Mechanicsburg and they dropped out of the league.
Paul Harro was the original referee and officiated the entire first 
season by himself. Roger Williams and Tom Kearns from Shamokin, as well as Mike Zechman eventually became on ice officials.
Mike returned to play for the Suns in 1981 - 82. The league at that point was still a full blown checking league which eventually morphed into a non-checking league, which was probably for the better. The original boards were nothing but uncapped plywood.
Below is a picture of the original Sunbury Suns and the rink sans real boards and a roof.  Also a picture of the 
Suns shortly after the roof was installed.
Throughout the 80s, teams such as the Freeburg Flyers and Stonington were both accomplished teams.  During those years, teams from Kreamer, Beaver Springs, Lewisburg, and Bloomsburg joined the mix.
Over the years, the three local Universities; Bucknell, Bloomsburg, and Susquehanna also participated in the league and were sometimes dominant forces.  Coldwell Bankers and Fogarty Homes were also team sponsors.  Feel free to name past teams in the Guestbook section of the website.
In the 2000s, new teams were MifflinburgSunbury Trash, CSC Credit Union (ISP), M.I. Knights, Vipers, River Rats, and the Sharks.

Past SVHL Champions:

Year# of TeamsRegular Season ChampionLeague/Tournament Champion
2017-2018 10 Weis Markets Predators
2016-2017 9 Predators Weis Markets
2015-2016 9 Weis Markets Weis Markets
2014-2015 8 Ink Spot Printing Mifflinburg Stars
2013-2014 6 Sharks Mifflinburg Stars
2012-2013 6 Mifflinburg Stars Mifflinburg Stars
2011-2012 6 Ink Spot Printing Mifflinburg Stars
2010-2011 6 Mifflinburg Stars Mifflinburg Stars
2009-2010 9 Bloomsburg University American Home Bank
2008-2009 8 Mifflinburg Stars Phoenix Rehab
2007-2008 Susquehanna University
2006-2007 Mifflinburg Stars
2005-2006 Phoenix Rehab
2004-2005 Mowery Excavating
2003-2004 Coldwell Banker
2002-2003 Coldwell Banker
2001-2002 Mowery Excavating
2000-2001 Coldwell Banker