USPHL Announces Relocation Of Minnesota Moose To Spooner, Wisconsin As The Northwest Express

Upon moving from Minnesota to Northwest Wisconsin, the team will adopt a new identity as the Northwest Express.

USPHL Announces Relocation Of Minnesota Moose To Spooner, Wisconsin As The Northwest Express

SPOONER, WI — The United States Premier Hockey League (USPHL) is pleased to announce the relocation of the Minnesota Moose to Spooner, Wis.

Upon moving from Minnesota to Northwest Wisconsin, the team will adopt a new identity as the Northwest Express. This transition will see the team continuing to compete in the highly competitive Midwest West division from their new home at the Spooner Civic Center.

The Spooner Civic Center, the largest rink in northwest Wisconsin, will now serve as the hub for the Northwest Express. This state-of-the-art facility boasts not only an expansive ice sheet but also a full-size gym, banquet halls, and a newly established bar and restaurant operated by the Express ownership. This extensive facility will offer an enhanced experience for both players and fans.

Building Community Ties

The Spooner Area Youth Hockey Association has expressed enthusiastic support for the arrival of the Northwest Express. Nikki Perkins, representing the association, shared, “Spooner Area Youth Hockey Association is excited to welcome the Northwest Express to the Spooner Civic Center for the fall of 2024. We look forward to building a relationship between our youth hockey program and the Express to continue to grow hockey in the community of Spooner, Wis. We are eager to work together to support the development of all skaters and provide the most positive experience for both the youth and the Junior A hockey team.”

Integrating into Spooner

Located in the heart of downtown Spooner, the Civic Center provides a strategic location for the Northwest Express to integrate into the community. The team is eager to engage in various volunteer opportunities, such as collaborating with the youth program, initiating book clubs, and more. Known for its lakes and cabin country, Spooner offers a unique environment for the team to establish their new hockey legacy.

Leadership and Continuity

The Northwest Express will maintain continuity with key personnel staying on board. Team Owner Joe Dibble, General Manager Jon Jonasson, and Head Coach Nic Leibold will continue in their previous roles, ensuring a smooth transition. The ownership structure will also remain unchanged, providing stability and continuity for the team.

Head Coach Nic Leibold expressed his excitement about the move, saying, “I am excited about this new chapter. The Moose had a great history in Blaine, and I look forward to the success that continues with the Express in Spooner. It will be a great experience for the players to come to the community and grow not just as hockey players, but also develop as young men. We feel this is an important aspect of junior hockey as these guys work toward their goal of college hockey.”

Team Owner Joe Dibble shared his personal connection to Spooner, stating, “We are excited about the move of our hockey program to the Spooner community starting in the Fall of 2024. Spooner has a rich history of Junior A Hockey, and we look to add to that with a new look and exciting brand of hockey. I was fortunate to spend time in the Spooner community as a player, along with bringing the Moose to Spooner for a short stint during COVID-19. Spooner is a special place to me, and I am excited to share that same experience with the players of the Northwest Express. The Northwest Express will be very involved in the community in many different aspects from assisting in youth hockey, volunteering at elementary schools, and any other way the team can find volunteer opportunities within the City of Spooner.”

About the United States Premier Hockey League

Founded in 2012, the United States Premier Hockey League (USPHL) is comprised of over 150 teams, fielding more than 20,000 players aged 8-21 in more than 100 organizations across the North, South, Midwest, West, and Canada. Our Junior Divisions consist of the National Collegiate Development Conference (NCDC), a tuition-free, Tier 2 Junior hockey division, and our Premier and Elite Divisions, all geared toward college and pro placement.

Our Youth and Midget divisions (operated through the Tier 1 Hockey Federation) field full season 9U through 18U teams. The USPHL has sent over 8,000 players to all levels of college hockey including over 3,300 into NCAA college hockey and over 200 players into NCAA Division I hockey. The USPHL has also had 17 players who played in the NCDC drafted by NHL teams.

Last Update: Jun 02, 2024 2:20 pm CDT

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