Chinooks new name for NH Amateur Hockey Assn. team

SPEARFISH — The Northern Hills Amateur Hockey Association hockey team has a new team nickname, The Chinooks.

The name was chosen in online voting from three names, Chinooks, Peaks, and Lumberjacks.

Team colors will bear a close similarity to those of the National Football League’s Seattle Seahawks.

NHAHA President Mark Kazmer said the new team nickname is fitting for the area.

“It is something that is uniquely Spearfish with our Chinook winds that we have in the Northern Hills,” said Kazmer. “It was clearly something that the community felt good about because it kind of brands our self. It is definitely a name befitting Spearfish and the Northern Hills.”

Kazmer said plans are still in the works to come up with a team logo.

“We are trying out some different logos right now. We may do the same thing as we did with the team name where we have three variations that we bring out to the public, and let them vote on that as well,” Kazmer said.

The biggest hurdle for the association is finding a place where the Chinooks can call home.

“Right now it is all about the dirt for us to get a rink. We really need to find a place to build a rink and get that going. It’s more of a marathon than it is a 100-yard dash. We’ve taken a few steps, but it certainly going to be a longer race than it is a short race,” said Kazmer. “We‘ll probably start with the Mites and the Mini-Mites program, and we can do some of that with just some inter-team play, and we can do that on the Madison Ice Rink at the Spearfish City Park  Campground.”

The Mites are for kids 8 and younger, and the Mini-Mites team is ages 4 to 8.

“The Mini-Mites are not a traveling team and they kind of play each other,” said Kasmer. “We  have a try hockey free event scheduled for February.”

Kazmer said logistics the association has to plan games with the community in mind.

“W have to be cautious that we’re don’t monopolize that ice, because that’s a community ice, and not just one for the association,” Kazmer said.

The goal of the association is to have up to 110 players from Spearfish, Lead, Deadwood, Belle Fourche and Sturgis interested in playing hockey in the new association, and for two to three teams to play in a community league.

Keep checking the Northern Hills Amateur Hockey Association website,, for future team updates.

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