The Ducks are Decatur’s hometown ice hockey team!
At first glance it might not seem like a hockey town, but when the city of Decatur and TPH hockey announced that the Point Mallard Ducks were coming to town, Alabama’s first and only junior ‘A’ hockey team, the community response was overwhelming. The sport that has grown quickly in North Alabama now has a home in Decatur.
The Point Mallard Ducks compete in the NA3HL, a league emerging as the premier tier III destination in junior A hockey with teams throughout the South, East, and Midwest from Texas to Massachusetts. All the Ducks’ home games are held at Point Mallard Ice Complex.
Unlike other collegiate athletes, very few hockey players make the jump straight from high school to NCAA hockey, especially at the Division 1 level. Take a look at the University of Alabama Huntsville’s roster and the importance of junior hockey is evident, with every single player coming to UAH after at least one year of juniors.
Junior hockey serves as an opportunity for young players to grow and develop, on and off the ice while they pursue their dream of playing at the NCAA level. The chance to help young athletes realize this dream is one big reason why the Ducks are so excited to be a part of Decatur and Point Mallard Park, and Coach Winkler and his staff are working to build something special. With the support of TPH hockey and the community, the Ducks are led by Owner/President and UAH alum Ryan McCormack.
Fans will notice something a little different at Ducks games, with all of their home games being played at the Point Mallard Ice Complex down the road from the world-famous water park. Unlike NCAA and high school hockey, junior players wear visors or ‘half-shields’ and the game goes by the same rules the pros do. That means fast, exciting hockey – and yes, the occasional fight.
There is a great atmosphere at junior hockey games, and there will be no shortage of excitement on and off the ice in Decatur when the Ducks play in Point Mallard.
Entering its seventh season in 2016-17, the North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL), one of six USA Hockey-sanctioned Tier III Junior leagues, serves as one of the top training grounds in the country by providing the best coaching, exposure and developmental vehicles available for student-athletes in its classification.
The primary mission of the NA3HL, which is managed organizationally by the NAHL, is to provide a structured developmental environment for student-athletes whose youth options are limited but are still reaching their potential and have aspirations of playing in the NAHL or United States Hockey League (USHL) and eventually the NCAA or American College Hockey Association (ACHA).
The management and coaching staff of the Ducks is already hard at work planning family-friendly events and special themed nights to honor both the community and the sport with the goal of providing a great product on and off the ice. Season tickets are on sale now, and can be purchased on the Ducks official website pointmallardducks.com.
The Point Mallard Ducks are excited and privileged to be Decatur’s hometown team. The Ducks are pleased to bring high-level hockey competition to Decatur and look forward to welcoming local residents to their games!