NA3HL announces new team in Norwich, Connecticut
The North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) has announced that it has approved the membership of the Norwich Sea Captains, who have purchased the inactive Skylands Kings membership. The Norwich Sea Captains are located in Norwich, Connecticut and will begin play in the NA3HL’s East Division beginning in the 2021-22 season.
“We are excited to add another team to the NA3HL’s East Division. The Norwich Sea Captains have the benefit of having experienced ownership and an experienced Head Coach and General Manager, so the foundation for success has already been set. Their addition will further the depth of the NA3HL’s East Division, which has quickly established itself as an exciting one to watch with some great talent in an area that features a very large and diverse scouting pool,” said NA3HL Commissioner Blake MacNicol.
The Norwich Sea Captains are owned by Next Shift LLC, led by George Chalos, who also owns the NA3HL’s Long Beach Sharks. The team will play out of the RoseGarden Ice Arena in Norwich, CT.
The Norwich Sea Captains have also announced Kevin Cunningham as the team’s new Head Coach and General Manager. Cunningham, a native of Doylestown, Pennsylvania, brings a wealth of experience to the organization as both a Collegiate, Prep School, and Junior Hockey Coach. For the past two seasons, Cunningham has served and Head Coach and General Manager for the NA3HL’s Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks. Previous stints for Cunningham include the Connecticut Chiefs, Cheshire Academy (Prep), Wesleyan University, and Connecticut College. Kevin also served on the staffs on the Division I level for the women’s programs at Ohio State University, Providence College, and Brown University.
"I am thrilled to take on the challenge of building a new NA3HL program in Norwich. The rink is perfect for the league and the location is right in the middle of the East Division footprint, which will allow us to spend less time on a bus and more time on the ice as well as help foster natural rivalries with the other five members of the division, all right in the middle of the New England college hockey scene. I believe that this league offers tremendous opportunities to its players and I look forward to competing on the ice while at the same time offing our players a fantastic experience, significant development and the opportunity to advance to either the NAHL or college hockey," said Cunningham.
The RoseGarden Ice Arena will serve as the home of the Sea Captains. The team will have a dedicated locker room and utilize the on-site workout facility as part of their off-ice conditioning program. The location of the arena offers a plethora of opportunities for players when they are not practicing. The City of Norwich, with a current population of a shade over 40,000, is home to Three Rivers Community College as well as numerous additional educational and employment opportunities for Sea Captain players. The city was settled in 1659 and has a rich history as a significant shipping and railroad hub since that time.