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Jr Black Bears 2020-2021 Tryouts


Like many things these days, tryouts will look a little different this season due to COVID-19. U8 tryouts will take place as follows:



Saturday, August 1

10:20 -11:20 AM

Monday, August 3

6:00 - 7:00 PM

Wednesday, August 5

6:00 - 7:00 PM


TO BE CONSIDERED FOR A TEAM, YOU MUST REGISTER ON-LINE FOR TRYOUTS. No WALK-INS will be allowed. Please attend as many tryouts as possible.

 TRYOUTS ARE $75 and include 3 tryouts and a jersey. 

Players must arrive fully dressed including skates. NO LOCKER ROOMS will be available. Bathrooms will be open with limited facilities. 

Hockey bags will not be permitted in the building. Players should bring skates, sticks and water bottles only. There will be no lost and found. Items left behind will be disposed of.


There will be no parents or spectators allowed in the building. Only registered players, coaches and rink staff will be permitted. 

Temperature screening will take place at the front desk. Anyone with a temperature over 100.4 will not be permitted to skate. If a player is feeling any symptoms of illness, DO NOT COME TO THE RINK 

Masks must be worn by everyone.  Players will have the option to remove masks just before taking the ice. Coaches will be required to wear masks and gloves on and off the ice. 

Water fountains will not be operational. Please bring filled water bottles. 

Players will be dropped off at the front main entrance of the rink. This will be the only entrance to the facility. This entrance will be clearly marked. 

Rubber matting will be in place so players can walk from the designated drop-off spot to the front door.

Doors will be opened 15 minutes prior to the start of the session.  

Do not loiter outside the door. 

Players must EXIT IMMEDIATELY via the side doors on Rink 2 by Locker Room 7 when finished with tryouts.

2020-2021 Jr. Black Bears Teams

Check out details for the Junior Black Bears



Recent News

Nelson Hockey Association

Nelson Hockey Association Inc. was created in1997 as a non-profit youth hockey organization to teach the fundamentals of ice hockey, promote character development and physical fitness, and instill the principles of fair play and healthy competition. Founder and Director, Nelson Burton, has spent more than 40 years playing and coaching hockey. He has played the game at every level from neighborhood pond hockey in his native Canada all the way to the NHL and continues to play in a local men’s league.  Nelson’s goal is to provide a fun, competitive and inclusive environment for players to grow their skills, develop a love for the game and create life-long friendships.

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Nelson Hockey Association


Please be aware that registration and payment for all Nelson Hockey activities including but not limited to spring clinics, scrimmages, Give it Shot, Fundamentals, etc., MUST be done via SignUpGenius.  In light of the COVID-19 situations, we are limiting money handling and direct physical contact to the extent possible. 



Registration for tryouts for the 2020-2021 Jr Black Bears is now open. Tryouts for all players 10U-18U will take place the week of July 20th. Tryouts for 8U (players born 2012 or later) are expected to take place during the first week of August. The tryout fee will be $75 and will include a Jr Black Bears tryout jersey which will be yours to keep. All players wishing to be considered for a Jr Black Bears team must register. 

Registration for 2020-2021 Jr Black Bears


As you are aware, the ongoing situation with COVID-19 is impacting all hockey operations including tryouts. At this time, we are unable to provide a schedule for tryouts, but rest assured we are working on it and anticipate having a schedule by the end of next week. 

Due to the evolving situation and uncertainty regarding the upcoming season, we are unable to accurately predict the pricing for the 2020-2021 season. We can tell you that the season fees will not exceed the fees for 2019-2020. We know that COVID-19 has taken a financial toll on many families and our goal will continue to be to provide an affordable, quality hockey experience for our players. For those who may need some extra help covering hockey expenses, the Black Bear Youth Hockey Foundations is accepting applications for the 2020-2021 season. There are also scholarships available for goalies (ages 8-16) through the Martha Kennedy Memorial Goalie Scholarship. This funding is specifically for families impacted by the Corona virus.

The safety of our players, coaches and families continues to be of utmost importance and as such, we will continue to act in accordance with all state and local guidance, USA Hockey recommendations and Piney Orchard Ice Arena Procedures (see attached). While we recognize that the current situation is less than ideal, much like many of you, we are so grateful to be back on the ice and getting back to the sport we all love. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate this unprecedented scenario.

Nelson Hockey to Rebrand All Youth Teams as Jr. Black Bears starting Spring 2020

All Teams 8U-18U Will Incorporate New Name


ODENTON, MD – After more than 20 years as the Metro Maple Leafs, Nelson Hockey will rebrand its entire youth program and begin a new chapter as the Jr. Black Bears. The rebranding will begin in March. Formerly known as the Maryland Machine, spring tournament teams will bear the new name and logo. Tryout for spring hockey will take place the week of March 9th at the Piney Orchard Ice Arena. More info HERE.

Fall teams will follow suit with opportunities for every age and skills levels from beginners through the most competitive upper A and AA teams. Tryouts for the fall will take place week of April 25th.

 "The time is right for this change. We've built a great relationship with the Maryland Black Bears organization and we're looking to expand upon it moving forward. The change in name is just a small piece of that." said Nelson Burton, Director of Nelson Hockey and former Washington Capital’s Winger.  Maryland Black Bears players will be integrated into practice plans at all levels.  "We want our coaches to take full advantage of the gift of having these talented young men included in some of our practice sessions.  Not only are they an inspiration to our youth players but they can demonstrate skills that can help them raise their game," said  Burton.

The rebranding has the endorsement of the league. “My son started playing hockey in 2004 as a Metro Maple Leaf. As a hockey mom, former team manager and present CBHL Commissioner, I have personally watched the club grow through their various learn to play hockey programs and rink expansions,” said Debbie Moon, Chesapeake Bay Hockey League Commissioner.  “We, at the Chesapeake Bay Hockey League, are excited to have the Metro Maple Leafs rebranded as the Jr. Black Bears and welcome the Jr. Black Bears into the CBHL,” she added.

In addition to the name change, the Jr. Black Bears will have an increased presence at Maryland Black Bears games and events.  They will co-sponsor a kickoff fundraiser for the Maryland Black Bears’ Guns & Hoses at the Sky Zone in Bowie on February 19 with the team. "We love sharing our Piney Orchard home with the Maryland Black Bears and are beyond excited to continue growing this relationship," said Burton.

Nelson Hockey will continue to offer team opportunities to players at all levels.  They also offer “Learn to Play” and Adult League teams to players in Central Maryland.  The introduction of the Jr. Black Bears will complement and expand Nelson’s current programs.


Piney Orchard Set to Reopen

On Thursday, June 11th, Governor Hogan announced that ice rinks may resume operations at a reduced capacity beginning Friday, June 19th.  We have spoken to rink ownership and have been assured that Piney Orchard will be reopening on or about June 19th.  We are in the process of working with rink ownership and management to determine exactly what this means for resuming hockey activities. Once we have clear directions, we will be setting up a clinic schedule and sending that information out.   

We still do not have dates for tryouts as that is dependent on the PVAHA and the CBHL but we are confident that there will be a fall hockey season. We will continue to update you as information becomes available.

We look forward to seeing everyone back on the ice!