Well the Prof spent an interesting Saturday watching a Division I game. Overall it was an OK game, the first period was a bit scrambly, the second was better and evenly played by both teams. The play broke out in the 3rd and was very exciting with great goaltending in both ends and both teams scoring even strength. A powerplay decided the game, much like last nights Leaf game, with an empty net closing the game off.
Well what did I see? I spent the 2nd period looking at the roster of one of the teams specifically and logging their ice time and player utilization. There were no power plays so that is not a factor in this info. The team had a roster of 24 players with 4 of them not dressed for various reasons. They were in the stands as could be seen by their coats. This leaves 20 dressed including the back-up goalie. There were 6 D and 13 F. Four of the D got the bulk of the icetime, the 5th got a fair chunk while the 6th saw spot duty. Only one of the D was a freshman and I'll let you guess who that was. As for the forwards the same situation, two lines got the bulk of the work, the third line a fair rotation while the fourth line, all freshmen, saw spot duty. The 13th forward only saw 3 shifts but at least she was dressed.
An interesting aside. One of the players played for Durham Midget AA last year but no where would you see this mentioned in the programme. As for the ills of that team last year they were easily seen again with floating play and a brain cramp of a penalty in the offensive zone in the 3rd period that almost allowed the opposition to tie the game. Did she see any ice after that? I'll let you decide.
So your point Prof? Just this, always remember this is not club hockey. Everyone in the Junior AA pays the same amount of money which entitles everyone to if not equal ice at least fair ice. Once you get to College this is all out the door and you must get your head around this as they are paying you and therefore call the shots. At the Division I level you will have to earn your ice time. At the Division III level it is a whole different thing. Most of you can fairly expect to step into a Division III Programme and play right away, maybe not on the 1st line but in a meaningful way. Most Division III schools have small rosters and every player must make a meaningful contribution.
As many of you are discovering, from talking to people at a Junior AA this weekend as well, the Division III schools and the Canadian Schools are recruiting much more in Ontario than they did in the past. Financial Aid is in my opinion a much better way to go than a Scholarship anyway as you can dictate your future rather than some coach deciding for you.
After all it is your life.