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North Pittsburgh 16U and 14U supplemental tryouts


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3 hours ago, twoboys said:

I don't think many kids can do it unless the top birth year is weak.  At best one or two kids can do it in an organization.  SHAHA 07 played up.  They had a more competitive year than 07 Badgers who ran the table and won both banners.    

People that I know that went the Icemen route have been pretty happy with the coaching.  I do agree at some point they get disillusioned with the team's performance.

It's one thing to be happy with coaching, and another to know what you're looking at. 

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9 hours ago, nemesis8679 said:

They had a more competitive year than 07 Badgers who ran the table and won both banners.    

The scores of SHAHA games may have looked competitive, the games themselves really were not. At least not against the better teams. As for Allegheny, it's a tough call but it must have been fine developmentally as the were competitive at 14U States.

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17 hours ago, dazedandconfused said:

The Icemen issues not withstanding, the management group at FP didn't do themselves any favors this season by requiring all Yeti players to purchase all new on ice apparel materials even if the player was not in need. Jerseys, socks, shells and practice jerseys. I know a couple of families and it did not sit well as the pricing structure seemed a bit on the overpriced side according to them. This was especially true when a family hadn't had any costs associated with this stuff in their plans.

That stinks. Hockey is so expensive as it is. 

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1 hour ago, dazedandconfused said:

The scores of SHAHA games may have looked competitive, the games themselves really were not. At least not against the better teams. As for Allegheny, it's a tough call but it must have been fine developmentally as the were competitive at 14U States.

That is true. They dominated their division but would have struggled a bit at AA. That is a good little team. I heard they are playing independent this year. Anyone know if they are trying AAA? I hope not.

But how many times have we seen the BY team of rising players have an abysmal season playing up in AA? Probably because lower skilled players are playing on the team who aren't AAA  Then you risk losing those kids the next season. I've definitely seen that. Again, because PAHL is not set up for BY and again, not having the numbers and the smaller rural areas who can't field that kind of team.

I don't know what the solution is. It's hard for organizations to navigate it and I still think it hurts this area's development. I don't think a push for more travel and more expense grows the game overall. But parents want it.

Maybe regional AA BY teams that play a shortened season in PAHL against each other? East, west etc, they play each other twice and add teams from other areas/states. Where you live dictates which team you try out for. Name good coaches for each. Give that 'AAA' travel experience and other perks. Rural players can travel in to play if they make a team, so those kids get a chance to play on a true AA team and go to Nationals. MidAm remains the same, any team who wants can enter so if there is a ton of talent, those other kids can compete nationally. Add more teams if there is enough by talent to play. Would that entice back the faux AAA players?

We may see that model anyway if Blackbear has its way. All they need is a rink that lets them access players in the north. They sure did their best to pick up RMU.

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28 minutes ago, Saucey said:

We may see that model anyway if Blackbear has its way. All they need is a rink that lets them access players in the north. They sure did their best to pick up RMU.

I wouldn't be surprised if the Blackbear league made its way to Pittsburgh. I think it would generate interest in the families looking for something a little different. As long as they are okay with traveling to NJ a lot. 

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Most kids figure this out for themselves at the U16 level.  School becomes more important, kids are getting jobs and girlfriends.  Kids that still want to play high level competitive hockey are playing at PPE/Esmark or they are going to Boarding Schools or the are Billet kids somewhere.  

I will say that the landscape in Pittsburgh may be changing.  Black Bear Sports may bring a different mentality to the area and challenge the status quo.  I have long been a supporter of PPE, however it seems like starting with 06 BY they may not have the stranglehold they used to have on the local market.

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53 minutes ago, forbin said:

I wouldn't be surprised if the Blackbear league made its way to Pittsburgh. I think it would generate interest in the families looking for something a little different. As long as they are okay with traveling to NJ a lot. 

It looks like the AHF might be a good thing for SWPA.  I like the idea of the showcase tournaments they offer.  Although some might say it will just dilute the level of teams. More options in AAA or AA will mean weaker quality of teams!  I could see the Allegheny Badgers, SP Rebellion and Viper Stars opting for some form of AHF league play in 21-22.  At least there might be something else to talk about other than PAHL in SW PA.

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17 hours ago, twoboys said:

I don't think many kids can do it unless the top birth year is weak.  At best one or two kids can do it in an organization.  SHAHA 07 played up.  They had a more competitive year than 07 Badgers who ran the table and won both banners.    

People that I know that went the Icemen route have been pretty happy with the coaching.  I do agree at some point they get disillusioned with the team's performance.

Shaha and Allegheny had a lot of common opponents playing outside PAHL from a quick look at myhockeyrankings. so the 20 games that shaha played in pahl and struggled with made them more competitive? i heard a lot of shaha kids were taken out in the ambulance from the beginning of the season to the very end with broken bones. like someone else mentioned the mid-am results that I looked up showed two totally different teams. just my findings, anyway.

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On 6/29/2021 at 10:32 PM, NPGH Director of Hockey said:

That's correct

@sadday4hockey I'm following you. That year they had the varsity "tournament team"  All kids left NP who played NA hockey that year. I believe it was 2018-19 season maybe? I remember that season and the talks around NA doing the hybrid PIHL/Tourney team and why players left amateur teams. So your statement appears accurate. 

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1 hour ago, sadday4hockey said:

Yes, and thank you for the verification. I knew it occurred but some folks are just in denial or afraid to get on the "bad side" of the Coach.

Agreed - once you are on that particular coach's "bad side" there is no point of return and said player's HS playing days are over.

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5 hours ago, hockeyisgreat said:

It looks like the AHF might be a good thing for SWPA.  I like the idea of the showcase tournaments they offer.  Although some might say it will just dilute the level of teams. More options in AAA or AA will mean weaker quality of teams!  I could see the Allegheny Badgers, SP Rebellion and Viper Stars opting for some form of AHF league play in 21-22.  At least there might be something else to talk about other than PAHL in SW PA.

Not to completely derail this thread but building of this comment: Looking at how the AHF is structured I think it would be a really smart move for those organizations at Black Bear rinks to join the AHF as a supplemental program.  Looks like they play 2 showcases (8 total games) and 8 AHF regular season games, that you could easily schedule in 2 or 3 weekend trips to NJ/MD/ Eastern PA. It appears the majority of the teams in the AHF also play in their local travel league as well.

So using 12U as the example your looking at (20) PAHL regular season games, 4-5 weekend trips to AHF territory for 16 more games total (showcases and league games). Maybe throw in another local tournament and one to Buffalo or whatever for an additional 8-10 games and you have a nice 44-46 game schedule with some variety in travel and teams played. From my perspective that sounds pretty sweet.

@bb2j3z since you're involved in the Rebellion, what are your thoughts on this idea?

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Posted (edited)
42 minutes ago, forbin said:

Not to completely derail this thread but building of this comment: Looking at how the AHF is structured I think it would be a really smart move for those organizations at Black Bear rinks to join the AHF as a supplemental program.  Looks like they play 2 showcases (8 total games) and 8 AHF regular season games, that you could easily schedule in 2 or 3 weekend trips to NJ/MD/ Eastern PA. It appears the majority of the teams in the AHF also play in their local travel league as well.

So using 12U as the example your looking at (20) PAHL regular season games, 4-5 weekend trips to AHF territory for 16 more games total (showcases and league games). Maybe throw in another local tournament and one to Buffalo or whatever for an additional 8-10 games and you have a nice 44-46 game schedule with some variety in travel and teams played. From my perspective that sounds pretty sweet.

@bb2j3z since you're involved in the Rebellion, what are your thoughts on this idea?

 AHF is starting out as an alternative to the EJ as supplemental games/showcases for SEPA and NJ teams.  Notice that it is the teams in the area that are owned by the rinks.  Those rinks were renting ice to the EJ for their showcases and those clubs were buying ice for their EJ games.  Running the league themselves brings that revenue and cost structure totally under their control.  The clubs will also still participate in their local Tier 2 leagues (DVHL, NJYHL, etc.).  For now, it should reduce travel and cost for the teams also. 

Another benefit for the teams is that they don't travel to Boston, only to play in a showcase with teams from the area.  As @forbin mentioned, it could be a good option for SWPA teams as well, if it can replace some of the other travel that you guys are doing.

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Posted (edited)

Speaking of Black Bear and how they'll impact the youth hockey landscape in Pittsburgh, there's been some talk that they recognize the need for a legit Tier I program in the south hills. With the second sheet of ice coming to Southpointe (owned by Black Bear), I would guess that would be the landing spot.

There's also been talk of the South Pittsburgh Rebellion running AAA teams out of Southpointe under the Rebellion name. Easier said than done but the thinking is that it's ridiculous how many south hills (USC, Bethel, Lebo, Canon Mac, TJ, Peters, SF) players travel north to Pens or even the Vengeance. I swear some of those birth years have more south hills kids than not. The new southern beltway that will be open this fall makes Southpointe a simple drive even for kids in the West A, Robinson, Moon areas as well.

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49 minutes ago, RJUSHL said:

Speaking of Black Bear and how they'll impact the youth hockey landscape in Pittsburgh, there's been some talk that they recognize the need for a legit Tier I program in the south hills. With the second sheet of ice coming to Southpointe (owned by Black Bear), I would guess that would be the landing spot.

There's also been talk of the South Pittsburgh Rebellion running AAA teams out of Southpointe under the Rebellion name. Easier said than done but the thinking is that it's ridiculous how many south hills (USC, Bethel, Lebo, Canon Mac, TJ, Peters, SF) players travel north to Pens or even the Vengeance. I swear some of those birth years have more south hills kids than not. The new southern beltway that will be open this fall makes Southpointe a simple drive even for kids in the West A, Robinson, Moon areas as well.

But no south hills AAA team will have the crest on their jersey, or the marketing of the northern AAA team. 

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Posted (edited)

Sigh. Most likely just adds to the alphabet soup. Do people really think AAA talent is hiding in the South Hills because of an willingness to travel north that is not already playing as high as they could?

But not surprising, Blackbear has their AAA options....

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Saucey said:

Sigh. Most likely just adds to the alphabet soup. Do people really think AAA talent is hiding in the South Hills because of an willingness to travel north that is not already playing as high as they could?

But not surprising, Blackbear has their AAA options....

I think to a small degree, yes, some AAA talent is hiding in the South Hills, especially in the younger (2011, 2010, 2009, 2008) birth years. And I do think travel plays a big role in that. It's always funny how each year some of the better AA teams at Preds, SHAHA, and Southpointe lose kids to the Pens or Vengeance. Preds 09 team is an example of this. Many times the kids that are lost are not the best ones on their AA teams, they're just the ones willing to spend hours and hours driving to practice each week. And an indirect result of this commute time is that these kids turn into one sport athletes at a young age. The commuting doesn't allow time for football, soccer, etc.

It'll be interesting to see if it happens, but I can see the point that a AAA type program in the south hills could be a huge magnet. It's not easy to get from from Bethel to Alpha Ice for example. 45 minutes on a good day, 1 hour+ during even moderate traffic. A 15 minute drive to Southpointe would be a huge benefit for a lot of kids and families. 

What I wonder is how much of a hand Black Bear would have in this? Would the new Rebellion spearhead the effort, or would it mainly be guided and directed by Black Bear? Not sure how those relationships work.

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On 6/30/2021 at 5:39 PM, twoboys said:

I don't think many kids can do it unless the top birth year is weak.  At best one or two kids can do it in an organization.  SHAHA 07 played up.  They had a more competitive year than 07 Badgers who ran the table and won both banners.    

People that I know that went the Icemen route have been pretty happy with the coaching.  I do agree at some point they get disillusioned with the team's performance.

I heard the13U coach last year was really good.  I heard parents were pretty satisfied with him.  Not so much with the 15U, 16U, and 18U teams from what I hear.  Apparently there was not enough discipline carried out. Threats and consequences to players were made but never followed through with.  A few dad's mentioned that only the kids that continued to train outside of the organization throughout the year improved.  Others did not.  

The crutch of it, IMO, is that Pittsburgh could be more of a hockey hotspot attracting more scouts if politics were not an issue.  In addition to the Pens and sometimes Esmark, Pittsburgh could have probably 2  very competitive AAA teams if the best players were selected for only those couple teams.  Obviously this can't happen because there are 5-6 AAA teams in the region.  Way to many.   Another problem is take for example, the 16U Preds team last year leave the Preds and a coach brings over half that team to the Vengeance, were all those kids better than the ones that tried out?  Not so, but those kids make it anyway therefor diluting the talent and weakening the team.  Another example is that kids won't make a team because tryouts overlap with anther association and if you miss just ONE of an associations tryout because it was the last day of tryouts at another association, no matter your kids talent, they will not make the team.  Apparently this happened on the 18U Icemen team.  A dad was told that his kid didn't make it because he missed the first night of tryouts because he was trying out at another association.  Really?  As the dad said,  his kid was never guaranteed a spot on the Icemen team so why should he put his eggs in one basket?   You would think that an organization who wants to compete at AAA level, such as the Icemen, would want to take the top players?  Apparently not so.  That is why organizations like the Icemen will never have a winning program and that is why you always see a large turnover of players at these, as some call it here, faux AAA associations.   

This will always be a problem and the decision to be made for a kid that really wants to move on to higher levels of hockey after AAA is get out of Pittsburgh.  Politics are everywhere but if your kid didn't grow up "in the click" or made a higher level team at a fairly younger age (13 or 14), joining a AAA team at say 15U or 16U and up will not happen unless your kid has skills like Sidney Crosby, and sometimes because of politics even that kid won't make it.    

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17 hours ago, nemesis8679 said:

But no south hills AAA team will have the crest on their jersey, or the marketing of the northern AAA team. 

Don't underestimate this comment.  Remember for the vast majority of kids, playing AAA is for their parents pride (Dad had very little if any success in athletics and he can now live through little Johnny) and for water-cooler talk.  The average Joe knows the Pens (in my opinion hence why the black teams did so well for so long until people saw thought he ripoff) and MAYBE the Vengeance but not the other teams floating out there.   What good does it do to say my kid plays AAA preds if Jim in the cubicle next to me says his kid plays preds too (even if it's B!!!).  That would be a big blow to the go too much to take.  

 

Rebellion?  No way. Pens (even if it was a B team with little chance of winning games) - ABSOLUTELY 

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, some AAA talent is hiding in the South Hills, especially in the younger (2011, 2010, 2009, 2008) birth years

I don't think we should be overly worried about young birth years. Technically there is no AAA at those levels. Just get good coaching and privates, then worry about AAA at bantams. That's the way it used to be.

 

 

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51 minutes ago, Saucey said:

I don't think we should be overly worried about young birth years. Technically there is no AAA at those levels. Just get good coaching and privates, then worry about AAA at bantams. That's the way it used to be.

The only worry is needless and excessive practice travel distance multiple times per week for the families that want to commit to AAA hockey in their younger years. I agree with Black Bear (if it really is how they feel) that the south hills needs a high level option for these kids, above and beyond what PAHL offers. Right now all of those options are very far for south hills kids.

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44 minutes ago, RJUSHL said:

The only worry is needless and excessive practice travel distance multiple times per week for the families that want to commit to AAA hockey in their younger years. I agree with Black Bear (if it really is how they feel) that the south hills needs a high level option for these kids, above and beyond what PAHL offers. Right now all of those options are very far for south hills kids.

Doesn't the South Hills have AAA teams already?  Lebo 08 is AAA.  06 SHAHA is AAA.  Can't get a straight answer about 07 SHAHA.  Some say it is independent?  Is that AAA?  Preds have plenty of AAA teams.  No way the parents in control of those teams move to Southpointe.

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4 hours ago, 3 Boys said:

an organization who wants to compete at AAA level, such as the Icemen,

They've been competitive once. With the 02 team through 16U. Since then, I think it's safe to say that the most important thing on their list is filling rosters and in turn keeping the lights on and coffers full.

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2 hours ago, RJUSHL said:

The only worry is needless and excessive practice travel distance multiple times per week for the families that want to commit to AAA hockey in their younger years. I agree with Black Bear (if it really is how they feel) that the south hills needs a high level option for these kids, above and beyond what PAHL offers. Right now all of those options are very far for south hills kids.

That's my point. Don't do AAA at those ages.

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2 hours ago, sadday4hockey said:

They've been competitive once. With the 02 team through 16U. Since then, I think it's safe to say that the most important thing on their list is filling rosters and in turn keeping the lights on and coffers full.

Yep...and that team was brought over by the new rink owners/coaches from NP the season after they were ranked #1 in MyHockey Rankings for Tier 2.

 

 

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