Hockey parent (no login) Posted Nov 30, 2008 8:04 PM
Here are some honest answers to your very good questions.
As with all teams there are some good points and bad points. One of the good points is that the games have a decent pace and are very physical but the bad news is that many of the games resemble a type of "goon" hockey! For instance, pull up the score sheets of almost any game and you will see that they average between 20-25 penalties per game(translation: a lot of elbows, roughing, fighting and very physical play) Also, if you are not on the penalty kill or power play unit, you will find yourself sitting the bench for much of the game.
1. It can be disappointing playing the same 6 teams week after week with no real outside measure to see just how good you really are. It can be easy to think that you are an excellent team when you only are measuring yourself against a very small section of hockey players in the area. I know people will say that these Junior teams should play AAA Midget Major teams to see just how good they really are but that in reality will never happen. All I can say is that each person should judge for themselves after having watched one of these Junior C games versus a AAA team from other states. We all know that there are very very talented hockey players throughout the US playing in many different levels that are not "Junior C".
2. Is Ice time a problem? Absolutely a problem! Most teams average 4 lines and 8 defensemen...you figure it out! Even in blowout games, these coaches play their favorites. Bottom line is only about the business of winning and by how much! Furthermore, there is a constant floating roster with new players being added and old players being dropped in a fashion that resembles a "revolving door"! As for coaching, this team is no different than any other team - all coaches have their good points as well as their unbelievable blind spots!
3. Is it worth the money? The fee is about $6500.00, which is reasonable when you consider it covers all the ice time, travel and hotel bills.
4. Does everyone pay admission? Yes, everybody pays but each of our families have been given 2 free tickets to each of our home games.
5. The experience, to date, is both positive and negative. Definitely more negative though. The schedule is very grinding with a tremendous amount of travel and practices during the day. If someone has played at the AAA level, they will be used to this type of schedule, however, if they have not, the demand will be quite shocking. As to the level of play, I have to be honest, "this is only one families opinion", the level of hockey in this league is simply not as good as in the AAA ranks. While our team is doing well this season, there is simply no way to know just how good we are until we play other midget major teams from around the country. We should not be scared to play these teams because there is only one way to truly measure a teams talent and that is to drop the puck and let the boys play. I am glad the team has won 25 games but in the end this league needs to expand to inclue many more teams, include exhibition games against AAA clubs and participate in numerous tournaments, if it is going to gain the respect from the Illinois hockey community.