Breck Bears junior hockey team fold before season opener |

Breck Bears junior hockey team fold before season opener

Call it the shortest hockey season in Breckenridge history.

On Thursday, Sept. 29 — just a day before the Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League season began — the brand-new Breckenridge Bears junior hockey team postponed the home opener against the Aspen Leafs. By the morning of the opening series, the RMJHL confirmed the team would not be playing for the 2016-17 season.

“The Breck Bears officially folded yesterday (morning) for the upcoming season,” RMJHL director of communications Sarah Sweeney told the Summit Daily. “We are in the process of replacing them for the 2017-18 season with a different group.”

The Breck Bears were the latest replacement team for the Breck Bucks, the town’s first RMJHL team and one of eight teams founded for the league’s inaugural season. The Bucks ended the 2015-16 season in third place behind the champion Aspen team, but undisclosed disagreements between the Bucks owner, officials with the league and the town of Breckenridge put an end to the team shortly after the season. It looked like Breck would be without a team for the league’s second season.

In August, Joe Dibble and Kyle Forte of Wisconsin’s Janesville Jets announced they would bring junior hockey back to town with the Breck Bears. As reported by the Summit Daily, the two envisioned the Bears as a feeder team for the Jets, a Tier 2 team in the North American Hockey League (NAHL). RMJHL officials did not confirm why Dibble and Forte decided to disband the team before play began.

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