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New Jersey (EHL)

The Jersey Larks were the first pro hockey team in New Jersey but only played one season at the Haddonfield Ice House in 1960-61 in the Eastern Hockey League (EHL). They had moved from Washington the year prior and would leave for Knoxville to become the Knights the following year. However, they were the first to take the plunge in the New Jersey market and establish that it was in fact a hockey market, with the Jersey Devils of the EHL following them in 1961 and ultimately the state getting its own NHL team in the 1980s. 

After the Jersey Larks left for Knoxville, another team sprung up in their place in Cherry Hill, NJ at the Cherry Hill Arena in 1964. The Jersey Hockey Club would play there through 1972, when the WHA and NHL expansion flipped the hockey landscape on its head. In the EHL, they would have their most successfull season in 1966-67, losing in the finals. That year they were led by Rosaire Paiement who had 125 points in 72 games and went on to play a few years in the NHL for Vancouver. The team was also coached by Vic Stasiuk, who played in the NHL for many years including a successful stint in Boston. This team was another step in the history of New Jersey hockey, until the state finally got its own NHL team in the 1980s.