The Heartland Dragons Hockey Association (Heartland) officially launched April 1, 2017 as the newest Mississauga Hockey League (MHL) community association. Heartland provides minor hockey development and competition for boys and girls 4 to 18 years of age. The Association home rink is the Paramount Fine Foods Centre. The Heartland Dragons evolved through the merger between two well-respected and historic organizations, Credit Valley Minor Hockey Association and Cooksville Minor Hockey Association.
The inaugural President of the Heartland Hockey Association was Dan Tanaka and the current President is Robert Day.
The Cooksville Hockey Association initially began in 1945-46 as the Cooksville Athletic Club and later changed to the Cooksville Sports Club (CSC). The club was founded by Jack Belleghem, Albert Belford, Jim Newman, Gordon Harris, Charlie Copeland, Carson Crothers and Jim Kingsbury.
There was no local league at that time, so the one team, a Minor Midget team, coached by “Tait” Courtney, was entered into the Toronto Hockey League (THL). The following season four teams were entered into the THL, but in 1947 the MHL was formed with teams playing in a league in Mississauga.
In the early 1950’s the CSC became the Cooksville Hockey Association with Dr. A.W. Wood as its President. In 1954, Art was responsible for the design and introduction of the mouthguard into minor hockey. These mouth guards evolved into the face protection now worn throughout the world. In 1967 the M.H.L. requested the areas to adopt Association colours and Cooksville took the colours of the local high school, the burgundy and white.
MHL Hall of Fame members from Cooksville are: “Marsh’ Marshall, Jack Belleghem, Dr. A.W. Wood, Al Hicks, Frank Schryver, and the late Ed Hobley and Joe Brooks. Dan Tanaka was the last President of Cooksville.
Credit Valley History
In 2005-2006, the Credit Valley Wolves Hockey Association evolved from the Malton Minor Hockey Association, which had been founded in 1949. Ivan Elliott was the last President of Malton. MHL Hall of Fame members from Malton are: Jack Weech, Morley Peeling, Alex MacPherson, Greg Anaka, Bill Peeling, Keith Cornell, Ed Armstrong, John Emo and Bob Willcocks. Robert Day was the last President of Credit Valley.