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AUBURN, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - Two youth hockey leagues are merging to create one of the largest youth hockey leagues in the state.

The Lewiston Area Youth Hockey League and Auburn Youth Hockey are combining, creating a league of roughly 700 players.

The operators of the leagues say they've discussed merging in the past, but those discussions were fast- tracked after the Portland Pirates youth program forced Lewiston Youth Hockey out of the Colisee, by buying all of the ice time for next season. Leaders of the Lewiston and Auburn youth leagues say merging will help them better serve their communities.

"With this combined effort, we'll be able to now do these same things for girls hockey," says Auburn Youth Hockey President Denise Berube,"Pool our resources together to provide opportunities for girls to participate in all girl teams at the travel levels, and at house levels, which was something we weren't able to do."

For information about tryouts, head to the Auburn Youth Hockey League's website.

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