Federal Hockey League adds two expansion teams for next season

Federal Hockey League officials on Tuesday announced the addition of two expansion teams for the 2011-12 season, with the new clubs to be based in Illinois and Vermont.

The Vermont-based Green Mountain Rock Crushers will be joining the entry-level circuit along with a yet to be named team based in Danville, Ill. The league also said that other expansion teams are also being considered.

The Rock Crushers will play at the Ice Haus Arena at Jay Peak Resort and will be Vermont’s first professional hockey team, according to league officials.

Details regarding the other expansion team in Danville will be announced when the franchise holds a press conference later this month.

The expansion teams will take the ice in late October in the entry-level league, joining the Rome Frenzy and six other franchises. The other teams are the Akwesasne Warriors, Cape Cod Barons, Danbury Whalers, New York (Brooklyn) Aviators and the Thousand Islands Privateers.

Last month Rome Frenzy owner and general manager Brian Hall announced that the league was capping its inaugural season at 46 games because of an "extremely unbalanced schedule between the FHL’s Northern Division and Southern Division."

The Rome club went 11-28-7 overall and failed to qualify for the playoffs.

The playoffs are now under way, with Akwesasne holding a 2-1 lead over the Thousand Islands Privateers in the best-of-five North Division finals. Game 4 is scheduled on Friday at Thousand Islands, and a fifth game, if needed, would be played on Sunday in Akwesasne.

The winner will advance to the championship series against the winner of the Southern Playoffs between Danbury and the New York Avaiators. That best-of-five series will begin on Friday in Brooklyn.