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AA East - West Challenge

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For the upcoming AA East - West Challenge hosted by UPMC Feb. 7th - 9th, does anyone know how the western PA teams were selected?

16UAA - East teams with MHR# in the state - Philadelphia Genesis #1, Delco # 5, Lehigh Valley # 11 vs West teams Southpointe #6, North Pittsburgh #16 and Preds #19

14UAA - East teams with MHR# in the state - York #8, Blazers #9, Lehigh Valley #13 vs West teams Mt. Lebo #4, North Pittsburgh # 6, #27 Allegheny

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When were the rosters selected?  If it was 3 months ago the rankings could have changed or teams could have turned them down

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I don’t think that WPA teams are “selected.”  You just signup!  Has nothing to do with rankings.

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There are 2 Lehigh Valley team, black and orange. Black team is the better team. I am surprised they are ranked #11

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8 hours ago, OrrWhat said:

I don’t think that WPA teams are “selected.”  You just signup!  Has nothing to do with rankings.

This. It's not advertised well by PAHL. For Western PA, at the scheduling meeting preseason, Darcee asks AA teams who is interested. If you don't know what it is, a coach could be taken off guard. Not sure how the selection goes from there or how many teams signal their interest, but I wasn't under the impression that there is a stampede of teams wanting to do it.  I think I've seen it mentioned in PAHL meeting notes, too, so your organization's liason may have been told to send word back to the AA coaches that they are to tell PAHL if interested. Not everyone wants to do a tournament at this time or travel east/west. For 14u, Allegheny's ranking may not be great in comparison to the other teams, but they have improved a lot over the season as reflected by recent scores and competitive games, so they very well could be a sleeper team, which would be fun. That age group tended to have its good games and bad games and be a little inconsistent in general this season, as reflected by the standings. Tight race to make the playoffs. MHR isn't the be all end all, but it is helpful.

And at 16u...that is when tournaments seem to become very dicey as the number of kids playing travel hockey seems to significantly diminish as they exit the sport, so who knows what the interest level was.

I remember this question being asked on this board by a coach from the East of the state at the beginning of the season, and it seemed there is a different selection process out there. Here, your AA coaches need to have it on their radar right from the beginning. If it is the year where your age group has to go East, I bet some coaches don't want to use it as a travel tourney.

My oldest did it once, and both my kids are doing it this year. I wasn't under the impression that teams are knocking down PAHL's door to do it, so there might not be much 'selection'. PAHL pays for half of it, so there should be interest, I would think. It's an odd time of year, and I don't know what interest there is on either side of the state to travel.

It is a fun concept...you only play teams from the other side of the state, so it's not like you travel far to play the Foxes, which I hate when you meet a local team at a travel tourney. So it is ok to root for your fellow PAHL teams to beat those Eastern teams. 😉

PAHL could do a much better job of advertising it and talking it up. I've seen a lot of bewildered faces at the scheduling meeting when she asks. And is it even mentioned on the website?

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3 hours ago, Saucey said:

This. It's not advertised well by PAHL. For Western PA, at the scheduling meeting preseason, Darcee asks AA teams who is interested. If you don't know what it is, a coach could be taken off guard. Not sure how the selection goes from there or how many teams signal their interest, but I wasn't under the impression that there is a stampede of teams wanting to do it.  I think I've seen it mentioned in PAHL meeting notes, too, so your organization's liason may have been told to send word back to the AA coaches that they are to tell PAHL if interested. Not everyone wants to do a tournament at this time or travel east/west. For 14u, Allegheny's ranking may not be great in comparison to the other teams, but they have improved a lot over the season as reflected by recent scores and competitive games, so they very well could be a sleeper team, which would be fun. That age group tended to have its good games and bad games and be a little inconsistent in general this season, as reflected by the standings. Tight race to make the playoffs. MHR isn't the be all end all, but it is helpful.

And at 16u...that is when tournaments seem to become very dicey as the number of kids playing travel hockey seems to significantly diminish as they exit the sport, so who knows what the interest level was.

I remember this question being asked on this board by a coach from the East of the state at the beginning of the season, and it seemed there is a different selection process out there. Here, your AA coaches need to have it on their radar right from the beginning. If it is the year where your age group has to go East, I bet some coaches don't want to use it as a travel tourney.

My oldest did it once, and both my kids are doing it this year. I wasn't under the impression that teams are knocking down PAHL's door to do it, so there might not be much 'selection'. PAHL pays for half of it, so there should be interest, I would think. It's an odd time of year, and I don't know what interest there is on either side of the state to travel.

It is a fun concept...you only play teams from the other side of the state, so it's not like you travel far to play the Foxes, which I hate when you meet a local team at a travel tourney. So it is ok to root for your fellow PAHL teams to beat those Eastern teams. 😉

PAHL could do a much better job of advertising it and talking it up. I've seen a lot of bewildered faces at the scheduling meeting when she asks. And is it even mentioned on the website?

Great points, and I agree the marketing of this tournament has been lackluster at best.  You would think there would have more said about it since the games are at UPMC, local teams are playing teams they haven't played before and the local hotels getting a boost in business with eastern teams making the trip.  Seems more interesting than a Hockeytime event with all local teams.

I know MHR is only a guide however for the U14 level PAHL is well represented with some of their top teams.  Don't know much about Allegheny but who knows in a tournament like this.

Thanks for the comments.  

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I wish the East-West Challenge existed when I played in PAHL. We ran into a few DVHL teams at various tournaments over the years; they were always hard working and had exceptional talent -- would've been a good test to play in this tournament before States in March.

Agree with you guys about PAHL's lack of a selection process, though -- especially since the DVHL typically sends its top teams. I'd much rather see #26 Foxes and #29 Armstrong at the 16U level than #151 North Pittsburgh and #185 Preds (assuming the Foxes and Armstrong showed interest). Regardless, should still be a good tournament!

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The west teams were originally hand selected by PAHL in preseason.  While most teams were honored by the selection, they preferred to control their own travel destiny.  Several teams didn't want a mandated trip to Philadelphia in February so they skipped out of the nomination.

Also, at14uAA, 16uAA, 18uAA - everyone is gearing up for PAHL playoffs and Mid-Am.  Those are the prize tourneys for AA kids.

Here are some ideas to drive interest in cross state competition.

1. Hold the games halfway in between, like at PSU/Pegula.  This alleviates the burden of a cross state drive.

2. Since AA teams are chasing another better trophies, switch the format so that it becomes a single A state championship.   Run it in March after local playoffs.  It could be opt-in like Mid-Am, or maybe you earn a spot - take PAHL A Major Black playoff champion and finalist and combine them with DVHL A champion and finalist and have a 4 team tournament in early March to crown a PA single A champion.  

3. Add a skills competition.

4. Make it an all-star format.

 

 

 

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Jack Handey said:

Also, at14uAA, 16uAA, 18uAA - everyone is gearing up for PAHL playoffs and Mid-Am.  Those are the prize tourneys for AA kids.

This tournament would be an excellent tune-up for PAHL playoffs and States.

 

9 minutes ago, Jack Handey said:

Hold the games halfway in between, like at PSU/Pegula.  This alleviates the burden of a cross state drive.

Agreed.

 

9 minutes ago, Jack Handey said:

3. Add a skills competition.

4. Make it an all-star format.

Another thing I wish existed when I played. Would've been awesome to have an all-star showcase with the best PAHL AA players each year.

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56 minutes ago, RegDunlop7 said:

This tournament would be an excellent tune-up for PAHL playoffs and States.

That's one way to look at it but as a coach do I really want a possible throwdown (and a meaningless one at that) right before playoffs?  Maybe if it was in January.

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My kids have played in this.  Never thought it was a big deal.  It is just more hockey.  I think the reason why it isn't more popular is because Pittsburgh to Philly is a brutal drive.  The 14U championship ends at 4:50.  That drive home is going to suck even if you win.   

And saving half of a tournament fee is not much of an incentive.  Especially, if you are the team traveling. 

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On 1/31/2020 at 1:43 PM, twoboys said:

My kids have played in this.  Never thought it was a big deal.  It is just more hockey.  I think the reason why it isn't more popular is because Pittsburgh to Philly is a brutal drive.  The 14U championship ends at 4:50.  That drive home is going to suck even if you win.   

And saving half of a tournament fee is not much of an incentive.  Especially, if you are the team traveling. 

I think the 10u and 12u are both in Hershey which isn't too bad for either side. 

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Genesis won 16u over the Pittsburgh Predators 3 to 0.

North Pittsburgh won 14u 3 to 1 over the Blazers.

Allegheny Badgers won 12u in double OT. That was a great division with lots of good competition.

I don't know what happened for 10u, couldn't find any results.

 

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