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Hockey Has Been Flourishing in W. Va.

In 2016, when Dalton Haas took office as the USA Hockey Mid-American District Vice President of West Virginia, hockey was on the decline. Since then, you wouldn’t recognize that today, with the sport of hockey tripling.

As a native of Wheeling, Haas has been playing hockey since the age of 4 and still plays the sport today.

He was recently re-elected for a second term on the USA Hockey Mid-Am District Board as the Senior Vice President of West Virginia.

To win this position one must receive a majority of the votes from all of the organizations from their home state. One of the major accomplishments that was completed over the last year was the formation of the West Virginia Hockey League, the new governing body of hockey in West Virginia.

This organization has opened up the door for every association to be included in the Bob Otten WV High School Hockey State Championship.

At the past state championship, the first board was elected with Haas being elected the first President of the state organization, as well as Zach Hill from the Charleston Hockey Association being elected Vice President, Ted Snyder from Martinsburg as secretary, and Mike Smith from Morgantown as the treasurer.

With the new WVHL implemented, West Virginia will have two teams representing the state in the USA Hockey Nationals in Michigan this coming April. Both of these teams will carry the name “Team West Virginia” and will be made up of the best players from across the state.

One team will be the classification of 16U (16 and under) where Haas will serve as the head coach and the other will be under the classification of 14U (14 and under) where Zach Hill will be the head coach.

Outside of Haas’s leadership of organizing hockey, he has also secured funding for over three new ice arenas coming to the state, one of which will be a three-pad facility, large enough to host the USA Hockey Nationals.

“Having more arenas in the state can only help our growth and bring more opportunity to West Virginia” Haas says. “My main goal now is to host the USA Hockey National Tournament and with what we are bringing into the state, it will now be possible.”

Haas will be traveling before the start of the season to review the new properties for the arenas, and also meeting with all of the organizations to get to know the players and parents.

“I want every single family that is a part of an organization in our state to have the chance to meet me so that they get to know me but also to reassure them that they can reach out to me at any time.” Haas said. “I’m honored to have both of these positions and I believe that we will be able to continue to achieve great things for the sport in our state.”

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