Maine is known for its moose, its blueberries, and its lighthouses.
But, what about ice hockey?
Well, considering Maine is the northernmost state (besides Alaska), it’s very close to the Canadian hockey fanatics just across the border. Maine has long been known for their coastal culture, but hockey as a sport has played a solid role in the state, as they’ve had 3 professional hockey teams over the years.
In this article, I’ll show you what pro hockey teams are in Maine and what D1 college and junior teams compete in the state.
Pssssst! Are you curious about hockey teams in other U.S. states? You can learn more by checking out our other posts: What Hockey Team Is in Florida, What Hockey Team Is in Virginia, and What Hockey Team Is in Pennsylvania.
Let’s dive in.
Here’s What Hockey Teams Are In Maine:
While Maine doesn’t have an NHL team, they do have one pro hockey team: The Maine Mariners of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL). They also have some high-level college hockey teams like the University of Maine (NCAA Men’s D1). The state also has a few high-level junior hockey teams including the Maine Nordiques (NAHL Tier II).
Does Maine Have a Hockey Team?
So, what is Maine’s hockey team?
Maine has a wide variety of ice hockey teams. However, they don’t have an NHL team as the state is too small for an NHL market (almost 1.3 million people).
The top hockey team in Maine is a mid-level professional hockey team: the Maine Mariners of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL).
The Maine Mariners are the affiliated farm team for the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League (AHL) and the Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League (NHL).
The top college hockey team in Maine is the University of Maine (NCAA Men’s D1).
Does Maine Have an NHL Team?
So, will you find an NHL hockey team in Maine?
The short answer is, no. Maine’s population is just about 1.3 million people which is too small for an NHL team.
What NHL Team Does Maine Root For?
Maine has never had its own NHL team. However, the Pine Tree State still has a very active NHL fanbase.
The favorite NHL team in Maine is an easy choice: The Boston Bruins.
The Boston Bruins are the closest American NHL franchise to Maine (they’re located just south of Maine along the eastern coastline). Plus, Maine’s ECHL team – the Maine Mariners — is the minor league farm team for the AHL’s Providence Bruins and NHL’s Boston Bruins, so it makes sense that Maine would root for their major league affiliate.
What Hockey Teams Are in Maine?
So, what hockey teams are in Maine? The Pine Tree State has one professional hockey team and several college and junior teams as listed below:
While Maine has one professional hockey team, they unfortunately don’t have an NHL team. NHL fans in Maine typically cheer for the Boston Bruins since they’re the closest geographical NHL team in the U.S. and the Bruins are the major league NHL affiliate of Maine’s pro team – the Maine Mariners of the ECHL.
Maine doesn’t currently have an American Hockey League (AHL) team. The AHL is a high-level professional sports league just one step below the NHL.
However, Maine has had a total of two AHL teams in times past: The Portland Pirates and the Maine Mariners.
So, where did the AHL’s Maine Mariners play hockey?
The AHL’s Maine Mariners played their home games at the former Cumberland County Civic Center (now the Cross Insurance Arena) located at 1 Civic Center Square, Portland, ME.
In 1977, The Maine Mariners were introduced as the second-ever professional hockey team in the American Hockey League (AHL). They were also the only AHL franchise in league history to win the championship title – The Calder Cup – in their first two seasons (1977-78 and 1978-79).
Maine has one professional ice hockey team in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL). This is a mid-level professional sports league just one step below the AHL.
What is the name of the Iowa ECHL team? The Maine Mariners.
The Mariners are the affiliated farm team for the AHL’s Providence Bruins and the NHL’s Boston Bruins.
So, where do the Maine Mariners play? The Iowa Heartlanders play their home games at the Cross Insurance Arena located at 1 Civic Center Square, Portland, ME.
D1, D2, D3 College Hockey
While Maine doesn’t have an NHL team, they do have some high-level college hockey. The state has a variety of college hockey teams within D1, D2, and D3 levels that compete within the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA):
- University of Maine (NCAA Men’s D1)
- University of Maine (ACHA Men’s D2)
- Bowdoin College (NCAA Men’s D3)
- Colby College (NCAA Men’s D3)
- University of New England (NCAA Men’s D3)
- University of Southern Maine (NCAA Men’s D3)
- Thomas College (ACHA Men’s D3)
- Central Maine Community College (ACHA Men’s D3)
- Bates College (ACHA Men’s D3)
- University of Southern Maine (ACHA Men’s D3)
- Saint Joseph’s College of Maine (ACHA Men’s D3)
- University of New England (ACHA Men’s D3)
- Northern Maine Community College (USCAA JC)
While Maine is better known for its college hockey, it has a few junior hockey teams as well. Maine’s three junior hockey teams are spread across 2 leagues: The North American Hockey League (Tier II) and the United States Premier Hockey League (Tier II and Tier III).
There are a total of 3 junior ice hockey teams in Maine:
- Maine Nordiques (NAHL Tier II)
- Twin City Thunder (USPHL – NCDC Tier II)
- Twin City Thunder (USPHL – Premier Tier III)
Is There High School Hockey in Maine?
Maine’s top high school hockey league is Maine High School Hockey.
There are 32 total ice hockey teams broken up into 3 divisions: Class A (14 teams), Class B North (10 teams), and Class B South (7 teams).
- Edward Little
- MNTS Knighthawks
- South Portland
- St. Dominic
- Thornton Academy
Class B North
- Camden Hills
- Hampden Academy
- John Bapst
- Old Town/Orono
- Presque Isle
Class B South
- Cape Elizabeth
Is Hockey Popular in Maine?
Curious whether or not Maine is a big hockey state?
Well, overall, even though Maine is a smaller state (in terms of population), hockey is still quite popular.
Maine has one pro hockey team: The Maine Mariners (ECHL). Plus they have some great college hockey teams including one D1 hockey team: The University of Maine.
In 2022, WalletHub crunched the numbers to determine which cities were best for ice hockey fans. In the study, WalletHub ranked the top 72 cities in the U.S. They used 21 factors of what made a city a “good” hockey city. Key indicators included stadium capacity, ticket prices, and the performance of major teams.
Maine had one city that ranked in the top 72: Orono, ME. The city ranks #33 out of 72 American cities.
Are you curious to know more about hockey in other states across the U.S.? Don’t forget to check out our other full guide: Hockey Teams in Every U.S. State: Complete NHL & College List (2023).