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A Bleacher Report on the Game of Hockey

Updated on September 12, 2017

Street Hockey

Development and Youth Hockey
Development and Youth Hockey | Source

Roller Hockey Career Stats (2 championship games)

(click column header to sort results)
Season and Team  
Goals and Assists  
Winter 2002 - Maroon
3 - 0
Summer 2003 - Ducks
16 - 0
Roller Hockey Career Totals (all kids) - 24 wins, 37 loses, 1 tie - 132 goals, 0 assists

Street Roller Hockey

Season 1

Since moving to Pennsylvania in April of 2000, there has always been a love for hockey in their blood. They started off playing street hockey with the neighborhood kids in the Spring and Summer seasons. I can even remember when we (the parents) organized development teams that played a regular season on each of the three development streets (all gear was required). The mothers held the draft and made the tee shirts while the fathers acted as the referees - the pay was low but we got front row seat to watch all the games :)

In the first year of play there were three teams and our child co-captained the Ducks team. Because it was the first season and we did not know what to expect, the three teams played each other one time (each on their own home street). The plan was to have the top two teams play in the development championship game. In that year the Ducks and the other top team (both with a record of 1 win, 1 loss, 1 tie) were co-champions because we never got the final game in due to weather conflicts. The Ducks eventually won a single tie-breaker game played late in the same year. One child finished with 16 goals and 0 assists and was thrilled that he played in his 2nd championship game of his short career. The other championship game was from an indoor roller hockey league that he played the year before in which his team took first place.

Season 2

The following season there were five development teams and each team had to designate the nearest corner as their home "street" instead of their home street. The now two year old league had grown to the point that parents all lined up in the yards to watch their children in the evening Summer games. I remember that there were 10 games in the schedule and each team was required to play on one of three corner streets to count as an official game. In this particular year our child played for the Avalanche and his team wound up with a record of 4 wins, 6 losses, 0 ties. One child finished with 85 goals and 0 assists. Those Summer days are long gone but the memory we have of watching the kids play remains.

Ice Hockey Career (Pee-Wee)

Wins - Loses - Ties
Goals - Assists
St. Louis Blues (minor)
5 - 5 - 1
0 - 1
Buffalo Sabres (major)
4 - 8 - 2
1 - 6

In House Ice Hockey - 1st Period

In house Ice Hockey is a term used to describe teams that play in a particular rink in a league sponsored by that rink. The talent can range from experienced (A) players to entry level (C) players.

The kids were now too old for the local indoor roller hockey league and too big for development street hockey so we signed them up for an In house ice hockey league (level Pee-Wee Minor) at a local ice rink. After having played roller hockey for four seasons, picking up ice hockey was a smooth transition for most of the kids. The only adjustments that the kids had to make was the cross over for turns and stopping.

Ice hockey registration and upward movement is done with the birth year of the individual not necessarily the skill level of the individual. The following levels exist for ice hockey and each level has a Major and Minor to differentiate between first year and second, at that age level.

  • mite minor - first year at mite level
  • mite major - second year at mite level
  • squirt minor, major
  • pee-wee minor, major
  • bantam minor, major
  • midget minor, major (16 and under)
  • midget minor, major (18 and under)

In their first ice hockey season they were selected for the Blues (a "C" level team) and the transition was easier than I expected. The team did not do too well completing a 10 game schedule at 5 wins and 5 losses but it was fun watching the kids adapt to the transition from roller hockey to ice hockey. During this season, one child did however get his first career ice hockey assist during the Blues season as an offensive wing. It was after this season and during a local Firecracker tournament that the same child got his first two ice hockey goals - A thrill even today when I watch the video from my Play Station Portable (after I converted it to the proper format).

Middle and High School Ice Hockey

Middle School A
Middle School A | Source
Junior Varsity A
Junior Varsity A | Source
Varsity All star game
Varsity All star game | Source

Ice Hockey Career (School)

(click column header to sort results)
Wins - Loss - Ties  
Goals - Assists  
Middle School (B)
10 - 13 -6
6 - 5 (3rd place)
Middle School (A)
28 - 20 - 7
1 - 4 (2nd place)
Junior Varsity (B)
10 - 2 - 0
5 - 4 (1st place)
Junior Varsity (A)
20 - 26 - 7
7 - 6 (1st place)
Junior Varsity (AA)
3 - 15 - 0
0 - 1
*Varsity (AA)
14 - 7 - 3
2 - 4
*-Assistant Captain

School Ice Hockey - 2nd Period

From Middle School (B level) through High School (Varsity AA) we saw the kids make a real transition from teenagers to young adults and the game of ice hockey helped shape their character. In the school years we saw the kids dedication to the game, we saw the development of well balanced players and we saw our school tax dollars at work. There were some great school teams and some not so great school coaches. We saw a Middle School (A team) loose a championship game because the coach only rotated his top two lines in offence and defence. By the time the third period rolled in, the kids from the two lines were so tired they could not skate well enough to compete for a win. We also saw a Junior Varsity (B team) and a Junior Varsity (A team) win championships in two seasons with a well coached team style of play.

While there were two different styles of coaches between Middle School and Varsity the kids were not deterred from playing a sport they loved. In the end of the school ice hockey years, the championship teams were great to watch, the all star games were fun for the kids and the ice hockey friends they made are still friends today.

Travel Ice Hockey

Glacier tournament in between games
Glacier tournament in between games | Source
Glaciers play at the Spectrum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Glaciers play at the Spectrum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | Source
Raiders play in Rochester, New York
Raiders play in Rochester, New York | Source
Raiders win tournament in Maryland
Raiders win tournament in Maryland | Source
Wildcats play at The Class of 23 rink in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Wildcats play at The Class of 23 rink in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | Source
Wildcats get second place in Virginia tournament
Wildcats get second place in Virginia tournament | Source

Ice Hockey Career (Travel)

(click column header to sort results)
Wins - Loss - Ties  
Goals - Assists  
Glaciers (Bantam major)
1 - 22 - 1
0 - 1
Raiders (Midget 16U minor)
14 - 27 - 2
7 - 4
Wildcats (Midget 18U minor, major)
29 - 60 - 10
13 - 19
Raiders - 1 Tournament first place, Wildcats - 1 tournament second place

Travel Ice Hockey - 3rd Period

The first year we were exposed to travel ice hockey was Bantam Major (second year Bantam). The kids wanted to play ice hockey so they tried out for a travel club called the Glaciers and made the team as offensive players. The skill level between school and club was quite noticeable as the club players were more skilled than their school team - a challenge they willingly accepted. This was the first time the kids played two ice hockey leagues in a single fall season (school and travel). Aside from the places we visited during the season, and their continued desire to improve their skills, the whole first travel season was a bad experience for all of us. There is a saying that we learned over the years from ice hockey - "If your coach comes to practice and skates in jeans, the team is not a team being coached". Needless to say I had never seen the travel ice hockey coach in anything but jeans and the record spoke for itself. Just as in life, a sport dealt the kids a huge speed bump on the road to their careers. It was interesting to be part of this experience because it allowed the parents to see how the kids handled disappointment.

This next fall season the kids were invited to play for another travel ice hockey team and this time it was Midget Minor. We hesitated, based on our previous bad experience with travel ice hockey, but elected to accept the invitation. They tried out and made the Raiders 16U team as offensive players and we never looked back on the sport. From the first day of try outs to the last game played it was a tremendous experience for the kids. The team finished in the middle of the pack in terms of the standings but the tournament they won in Maryland and the trophy one of our kids received for "Most Courageous Player" did wonders for the development toward adulthood and as a hockey players. It was the Midget travel hockey program, the friends they made and all the places we visited that will forever be etched as the starting point in their young careers. In their last year of eligibility for 16U, the kids tried out for a different travel hockey club after receiving word that the Raiders folded.

The kids tried out and made the Wildcats 18U team as offensive players and had another tremendous experience with Midget minor hockey. The team again finished in the middle of the pack in terms of the standings but the the trophy one of our kids received for "Most Improved Player" validated the desire to stay with a sport they so love. The coach was liked by the kids and the kids still enjoyed playing the game, so they stayed with the Wildcats travel team to complete their youth hockey years. The Wildcats program was excellent and the kids received a tremendous amount if ice time. This Midget major fall season though would bring more life and ice hockey experiences than they imagined. The team was not committed to playing ice hockey but our kids did not mind because they still wanted to play.

Ice Hockey - Over Time (OT)

Those youth ice hockey years brought upon new challenges altogether and not necessarily related to hockey - there were the months of driving with a Junior license, shaving weekly then daily, hanging with their friends, changing girlfriends, holding onto jobs, maintaining good grades, studying for SATs and preparing for college. Aside from children who drove themselves to practices, we also began to see changes in maturity. The priorities shifted to their jobs (to pay for gas in their cars that they bought with their own money), high school (to maintain a grade point average to get into the college of their choice) and passion (they managed to pursue their college ice hockey dreams).

I even remember when we looked at colleges for the kids and I remember the day when college ice hockey coaches came to see them play. A Pennsylvania college ice hockey coach told us on one of our kids, at a near by college showcase, that he liked the way the kid kept his feet moving and he has good ice vision. He said "I am looking forward to having [enter kids name here] play for us at [enter college name here]". This meant a great deal to the kids and to us because it validated their choice to attend early morning games and late night practices, through the years.

I have been fortunate to coach my kids and help them grow in a sport that they love to play. For two seasons I coached roller hockey and stood on the sidelines teaching the kids how to play a game (win or not). For another two seasons I played a referee in the development hockey league teaching the kids fair game play. The school and travel ice hockey years I watched from the stands but helped the kids learn how to handle different game situations and politics in sports.

The years of being a spectator and watching the kids grow was a wonderful experience and now they all understand that there is mental and physical skill necessary to achieve a goal. Even if you are not able to coach or play with the kids, make sure that you attend the games and participate from the sidelines. The spectator perspective you can give the kids is well worth the passion they will pursue.

Cheers, OPA

College Ice Hockey

A DII school
A DII school | Source

Ice Hockey Career (NCAA but not Frozen Four)

(click column header to sort results)
Wins - Loss - Ties  
Goals - Assists  
@ - college division III
11 - 12
1 - 1
# - college division III
12 - 8
0 - 4
$ - college division III
13 - 11
1 - 13
%^ - college division III
10 - 12
1 - 8
&* - college division III
8 - 12 - 1
7 - 10
@$ - second place in the division III finals, # - recipient of the Captain Award, $ - College Showcase Tournament winners, % - Assistant Captain, ^ - recipient of the Leadership Award, & - Captain, * - recipient of the Sportsmanship Award

© 2012 mts1098


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