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Didn’t you hear? Denver is the new Hockeytown. Credit the Colorado Avalanche, currently on a run of five consecutive playoff appearances, including last season’s Stanley Cup victory. Or you could give the nod to the University of Denver Pioneers, nine-time NCAA champions and last year’s winner. Heck, you could even tip your cap to the Denver East High School Angels, who also brought home the state and national titles last year.
Contribute your own successes to the state by climbing out of the stands and getting in on the action—because the mile-high hockey scene isn’t just for spectators. From pick-up ice hockey to organized floor leagues, there are dozens of opportunities for benders and snipers alike. Here, a roundup of the top adult hockey leagues and pick-up spots around the Front Range.
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Rocky Mountain Hockey League
For more than 40 years, folks have been hitting the rink with the Rocky Mountain Hockey League. Now featuring more than a dozen divisions, there’s a squad for everyone: beginners, B-leaguers, over-40s, and more. Most matches are played at the Ice Ranch in Littleton and the year-old South Suburban Sports Complex in Highlands Ranch. Note: Dedicated teams and schedules mean a slightly more competitive style of play than other teams here. Players can still sign up for the 20-game winter season (which runs until mid-March; $550 registration fee) or next year’s shorter, 10-game summer season (May through mid-August).
South Suburban Amateur Hockey League
Along with year-round free-skate and drop-in sessions, Denver’s South Suburban Parks and Rec hosts its South Suburban Amateur Hockey League out of its sparkling new, 206,000-square-foot Sports Complex facility (featuring three sheets of ice) and the Family Sports Center in Centennial. The amateur league kicks off every fall season in October and summer season in June with a medley of co-ed and women-only divisions. Free agents interested in playing this fall must register before rosters freeze on November 1.
University of Denver Adult Hockey League
Skate the same ice as the reigning champion Pioneers in the University of Denver’s co-ed weekly adult rec league at Joy Burns and Magness arenas. The beginners’ rec league plays on Tuesdays and Thursdays; the main league faces off every Sunday. Drop-in sessions are also available. Logan O’Connor wannabes can sign up any time, and registration is $500 per player for the season. If you’re new to hockey, grasp the basics of power skating, stick handling, and more with the Pios’ adult Learn to Play sessions ($220 for an eight-class series).
Big Bear Adult Hockey League
Winter season is kicking off, and Lowry’s Big Bear Ice Arena hosts matchups nearly every night of the week for beginner, intermediate, and advanced teams (there are also lunchtime leagues). Players can register for $499 (or $199 for goalies).
Inline and Roller Hockey
Lace up at one of Skate City’s four Denver metro area roller rinks or the Xfinity Sports Arena in Colorado Springs for beginner, intermediate, and advanced league play. Skate City’s hockey memberships cost $25 a month; if needed, gloves, helmets, and shin guards are also available at no additional cost. For more information or to register for a team, contact staffer (and former inline hockey pro) CJ Yoder at email@example.com.
Parker Parks & Recreation
Hit the sport court at the Parker Fieldhouse for men’s and co-ed five-versus-five inline hockey or ball hockey (registration starting at $85). The inline enrollment fee is $800 for the fall season (October to late December) or winter season (late January to late 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 leeway in choosing 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 searching for fellow fanatics in your area, check out any of these social media groups and rec clubs.