AVHA History

A hockey league was formed in Apple Valley during the fall of 1969 as part of the Valley Athletic Association. Valley Region Hockey Association was incorporated as a separate entity in May of 1974, coinciding with the opening of Apple Valley High School. Also at this time, AVHA moved to the District 6 league to provide competition with many of the same teams the High School was playing. The Association was renamed the Apple Valley Hockey Association in 1985.

In late 1995, through continuous efforts of the AVHA Board, the ongoing encouragement of Councilman Tom Goodman, and the support of Mayor Will Branning, the approval was finally given and construction began at the Hayes Community Center site in May of 1996. AVHA raised $100,000 for the arena through individual contributions, fundraising, pull-tabs, and a special assessment. Opening date was December 15, 1996. A formal opening was held in early January, which included City officials and
the AVHA Board. Brown-Ferris Industries, through the sponsorship of Tom Bauer, contributed a new zamboni for the new rink. Hayes Arena quickly became the favorite place to have a game or practice because of the great lighting, pleasant atmosphere and big locker rooms. The summer of 1996 and 1997 saw the new arena used for lacrosse, indoor soccer, and rollerblade hockey
The Apple Valley High School girl’s program was started in 1994-1995. In their first year, they won the inaugural Girl’s State High School Tournament 3-1, over South St. Paul at Aldrich Arena. In February 1998, the AVHS Girl’s Hockey team once again captured the state title, beating Hibbing in overtime with a 1-0 score.

The Apple Valley High School boys’ team won the State Tournament in 1996, beating Edina 3-2 in the championship game after defeating Duluth East 5-4 in 5 overtimes in one of the most memorable games in high school tournament history. This was the longest state tournament game ever played.

With the 2010-2011 season, Apple Valley Hockey Association has joined District 8 of Minnesota Hockey, leaving District 6, as part of a statewide reorganization of Minnesota Hockey.