With try outs just days away, and people’s inboxes being inundated with emails about new and exciting opportunities in youth hockey, many programs will advertise different things. In order to help folks sort through what this may mean to them we thought it might be helpful to provide some insight.
CHC is the Connecticut Hockey Conference; the governing body for USA Hockey in the state. The CHC currently has two member organizations that compete as Tier 1 programs. They are MidFairfield and the CT Wolfpack. These teams attract and select what would be considered the top 2 % of the players for a particular age group. At the midget Level there are additional Tier 1 teams that are predominantly made up of prep school players.
The CHC allows each program to declare their teams Tier 2, 3 or Open. Most organizations who plat ay Tier 2 (not all do) typically have a Tier 2 “A” team, a Tier 3 “A1” team and an Open Tier “B” team. Teams that are declared at CHC Tier 2 and 3 are deemed to be eligible to play for the state, regional and national tournaments of USA Hockey. These are often referred to as "tournament bound teams.”
If a program is not a CHC member they are still able to play games against CHC member teams but are not tournament bound and are only eligible to participate in CHC State Tournaments at the Open level. These programs may also be “for profit” organizations and may be more focused on winning the generation of revenue than they are on the development of young hockey players. These are pay to participate; not necessarily pay to play and often lead to a lot of travel as the pool of potential opponents is limited by the absence of a CHC membership.
In addition, we have seen a recent trend in the liberal usage of the “AAA” label and what it exactly means to an organization. Consensus opinion in hockey circles would say that most programs currently using the AAA label in CHC are essentially Tier 2 programs as described above. There are even programs currently operating in the state who refer to themselves as AAA and play what is essentially a Tier 3 schedule.
In other New England states AAA hockey is the norm and programs will have a AAA elite team, which is generally of Tier 1 quality, a AAA team that equates to a CHC Tier 2 and any number of AAA non-elite teams which are basically Tier 3 and/or 4 .
Recently, you may have seen a lot of news and emails about a newcomer to the marketing of youth hockey in the state; the EJEPL (Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League) - you can visit this site at www.ejepl.com. Take a minute to review the location of these teams and you can imagine what a typical weekend of travel hockey could look like. You will also see that some of these teams are AAA or Tier 2 hockey. Travel for hockey is standard, to travel around the Northeast for weekends at a time can be very expensive.
If your child is in the top 5 % in their age group, they should try out for one of the state's Tier 1 teams. These are great programs that serve top end players extremely well and, in most cases, they will find you if your child is truly a top caliber player. For the other 95% who want to develop as hockey players, and would prefer not spending their weekends at a Holiday Inn, select a program that offers a comfortable environment for your child to enjoy the game of hockey.
RiverHawks Come Close in States; Bantam A's to Regionals
Congratulations CT RiverHawks Bantam A – CHC Tier 2 Runner-Up
The CT RiverHawks Bantam A team took second place in the Connecticut Hockey Conference Tier 2 State Championship Tournament last weekend at the Northford Ice Pavilion. Despite a 3-1 loss to the Wonderland Wizards in the finals, our Bantam As will move on to play in the New England Tier 2 Sectional Tournament in New Hampshire at the end of March. Good Luck RiverHawk Bantam A!
The Mite A team concluded their season last weekend with a strong showing at the CHC Campbell Division Mite State Tournament in Northford. Despite a tremendous effort, the RiverHawks took second place falling 2-0 to the Yale Bulldog Mite A team. Congratulations on a great season!
The CT RiverHawk Mite B team also had a strong showing last weekend, placing second in the CHC Norris Division State Tournament held in Bolton. The Mite Bs played hard all weekend, advancing to the finals where they fell 5-2 to the Greater New Haven Warriors. Congratulations Mite B on a great season!
NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF HOCKEY OPERATIONS POSITION ANNOUNCED
The CT RiverHawks are excited to announce the appointment of Greg Maxey to the newly created position of Executive Director of Hockey Operations. In this role, Greg will work together with The Rinks and RiverHawks to grow and develop the hockey programs of both groups. This is a unique position in youth hockey which we feel will be a critical step in our efforts to improve our program as we recognize that today's youth sports environment requires more than the hard work of dedicated parent volunteers. We feel that the creation of this position is a valuable investment in the future of our program.
Greg's role will be to report jointly to the RiverHawks Board of Directors and the management of The Rinks, but will have a direct impact on the RiverHawks program as he will be responsible for:
· Establish new and innovative programs to enhance and improve the development of RiverHawks players
·Increase the competitive level of RiverHawks travel teams
·Responsible for the marketing of RiverHawks and The Rinks hockey programs
·Lead and instruct all travel related hockey skills, clinics and camps
·Establish new tournaments to be hosted at The Rinks which will benefit the RiverHawks program
·Conduct Coaching Clinics for RiverHawk House and Travel coaches
·Direct and oversee The Rinks Spring Madness and Jr. Islanders spring hockey programs and tournaments
Greg is the Head Coach of the Trumbull High School Hockey Team and has over thirty years of hockey experience. He has been leading the Trumbull hockey team since 1999 and has won several championship titles, and coaching awards.
He holds a Level 4 USA Hockey coaching certificate, SafeSport Training, High Performance Coaching Certificate and is a Level 3 official.
The RiverHawks will be setting up introductory meetings and hosting on-ice sessions with Coach Maxey as we get closer to tryouts in March.
We feel very strongly that the addition of Greg to the organization is an important step in the evolution of our program. Please join us in welcoming Greg to the RiverHawks and The Rinks Families.
Our goalie development program continues to flourish under the direction of Coach Pete Alfano. Under this program, our goalies have the opportunity to get specific goalie instruction from one of the area’s premier instructors – Justin Eddy. Each RiverHawks goalie is offered 2-4 sessions every month.
And you don't have to look far to see results, both within our program as well as with some of our recent graduates. In fact, three goalies have successfully broken into the High School goalie ranks with the help of this instruction over the last few years: Will Guttman with Trumbull High School, Bill Scovill with Notre Dame of Fairfield, and Ryan Wilson with Saint Joseph's High School. All are playing well for their teams and getting plenty of starts at their respective high school programs.
The Connecticut RiverHawks are proud of, and committed to, the continued success of our goalie specific instruction.