Bethesda, MD – Black Bear Sports Group is proud to announce the Tier 1 Hockey Federation (“THF”), a new hockey federation designed to facilitate scheduling among rink owners in the Eastern U.S. and the clubs located in their buildings.Initially, the THF will have 12 Founding Members and approximately 80 teams from 9U-18U and will have teams from multiple states, USA Hockey Districts and Tier 1 leagues represented in order to provide the best competition for its members. There is no limit on the number of teams that a club can enter at each level and teams will be scheduled based on a preseason Spring parity event to provide balanced competitive games. The THF is the only example of an organization whose owners have stakes in every junior hockey league in the U.S. including the Tier 1 United States Hockey League, Tier 2 North American Hockey League, USPHL including the Tier 2 NCDC & its Tier 3 divisions and the Tier 3 Eastern Hockey League.

“Our tagline says it all: Competition, Exposure, Advancement, “said Black Bear Sports Group CEO and Founder Murry N. Gunty. “Our vision is to provide professional, full-time management focused on elite, balanced AAA competition at 9 U through 18 U with an emphasis on providing a pathway to college for our players. Every club has varying levels at each birth years – our goal is to use the THF to provide a great AAA experience for every club and every team.”

“Our THF core values will be centered on balanced competition, competitive games and limited travel for families who are concerned about costs,” said THF Commissioner and VP of Hockey for Black Bear Sports Group, Matt Kiernan. “Our unique product with an unbalanced schedule provides the ability to eliminate lopsided hockey games for the elite AAA hockey clubs on the East Coast. We are also committed to providing all participants with unparalleled, leading-edge scoring systems and player marketing platforms.”

Founding Members that have joined the THF thus far include Esmark Stars, Hartford Jr. Wolfpack, Flyers Elite, Mercer Chiefs, NJ 87s, NJ Jets, NJ Hitmen, MassConn United*, Palmyra Black Knights, Revolution Hockey Club, Team Maryland, and Westchester Express.

About Tier 1 Hockey Federation – The Tier 1 Hockey Federation is a scheduling partnership designed to provide elite-level competition through an unbalanced schedule among Tier 1 clubs on the East Coast. The THF is managed by full-time professional staff and initially has approximately 80 AAA teams from 9U-18U during its inaugural 2022-23 season. The THF brings together clubs from multiple leagues and states and is the only organization whose owners have stakes in every junior hockey league in the U.S. including the Tier 1 United States Hockey League, Tier 2 North American Hockey League and USPHL NCDC and the Tier 3 USPHL Premier Divisions and the Eastern Hockey League.

About Black Bear Sports Group. – Black Bear Sports Group, Inc. is a privately held company formed by Murry Guntyand Blackstreet Capital Holdings, LLC in 2015 that seeks investments in sports and entertainment facilities, teams, and youth sports events. Black Bear arenas are clean, professionally managed, and offer world-class recreational programs. Black Bear focuses on ice arenas in metropolitan areas with compelling demographics, a National Hockey League club presence, and arenas with existing youth hockey clubs. Black Bear not only features the ability to acquire healthy and stable arenas, but also the expertise required to turn around mismanaged or under-performing facilities. The largest owner/operator of ice rinks in the U.S., Black Bear’s footprint totals 30 facilities across the United States with 55 sheets of indoor ice, four indoor turf fields, 23 youth hockey clubs, four youth hockey leagues (Atlantic Hockey FederationAtlantic Girls Hockey FederationNational Girls Hockey League and Tier I Hockey Federation), the nation’s largest adult hockey organization (Foundry Adult Hockey) and three Junior “A” hockey franchises with membership in the USHL, NAHL, and EHL.

Contact: Matt Kiernan, VP Hockey, Black Bear Sports Group,

*MassConn United is a scheduling partner and not eligible for playoffs