Youth hockey in Erie began in 1964 by founders Al Ziebarth, Wally Walworth, and Bob Williams. The Glenwood Ice Rink, now called the John M. Cochran Arena (JMC) named after the founder of the Erie Zoological Society, is where the youth program took residence in what was one of the first year-round indoor rinks in the USA.
Taught by the Erie Lion's pros, the youth program amassed many laurels. In 1970, the Erie Midgets Lions team was the first U.S. team to win a Silver Sticks Midget Championship. The favorite son of Erie Hockey is Rick Chartraw, who played his way through amateur hockey in Erie all the way to 5 Stanley Cup Championships in his professional career with Montreal, Los Angeles, New York Rangers, and Edmonton.
In 1978, the Erie Youth Hockey Association became independent from the Zoological Society. Since then EYHA continued to grow to be one of the largest amateur youth organizations in the United States. Erie Youth Hockey is home to over 500 members and offers a diversity of programs for boys and girls ages 4-17. It's programs of Travel, House, Cubs, Select, Girls and Adult has made it possible for hockey, the fastest game on earth, to thrive in Erie for more than 40 years.
Curious about the history of hockey in Erie, PA? Here is the 1966-67 Erie Lions Hockey Annual publication. The document is scanned in page by page. Take a look at what hockey was like almost 50 years ago in Erie!