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Daily Dish: Tier III Nationals Update - Junior Hockey News

Published: Tuesday, 19 Mar 2013
By: Stephen Heisler  |  Web site: JuniorHockey.com

The Bellingham Blazers (NORPAC), Boch Blazers (ESHL), New Hampshire Monarchs (Empire), and defending champions Atlanta Knights (EJ-South) have all punched their tickets to USA Hockey's Tier III Junior Championships in Rochester after capturing their league championships.

Here is last week's breakdown of the tournament format.

Now let's take a look at the updates for each of the leagues.

AMERICAN WEST HOCKEY LEAGUE - The Helena Bighorns and Yellowstone Quake meet this week in the Lewis and Clark Cup Finals. Unfortunately for Yellowstone, it also appears that the Quake will be without the services of two of their top players after they were questionably suspended by the league. Go figure, Commissioner Mike Butters also owns and operates the Bighorns.

EASTERN STATES HOCKEY LEAGUE - The ESHL playoffs ended on Sunday with the Boch Blazers emerging as the league champions after beating the Boston Jr. Bruins 3-0 in the final.

EJHL SOUTH - The Atlanta Knights will get the chance to defend their 2012 National Championship as the EJ-South Champions after their 3-2 win over the Florida Eels Monday.

METROPOLITAN JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE - The New Jersey Rockets, Boston Junior Rangers, Richmond Generals, and Long Island Royals have all advanced to the March 22-24 Keegan Cup Finals.

EMPIRE JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE - The New Hampshire Monarchs will represent the Empire after beating the South Shore Kings 3-1 in Sunday's Championship game.

MINNESOTA JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE- The Wisconsin Rampage will meet the winner of today's Dells Ducks-Twin Cities Northern Lights battle in this weekend's Bush Cup Finals.

NORTH AMERICAN 3 HOCKEY LEAGUE- The St Louis Jr. Blues and Peoria Mustangs have advanced to the NA3HL Silver Cup Tournament while four other teams are leading their playoff series 2-0. Cleveland is up 2-0 on Toledo with game three tonight in Cleveland. Flint leads their series with Three River 2-0 with game three scheduled for Friday in Flint. North Iowa is up 2-0 over the Flying Aces with game three set for Thursday in Minnesota. Granite City is leading their series with the Blizzard 2-0 with game three scheduled for Friday in Alexandria.

NORTHERN PACIFIC HOCKEY LEAGUE - The expansion Bellingham Blazers beat the West Sound Warriors 3-1 on Sunday, capturing the league's Cascade Cup.

So as of now, we are starting to get a picture of how the divisions are stacking up.

The American Division

Helena Bighorns or Yellowstone Quake - American West Hockey League

Boch Blazers -  Eastern States Hockey League

Atlanta Knights - Eastern Junior Hockey League South

Keegan Cup Champion - Metropolitan Junior Hockey League


The National Division

New Hampshire Monarchs - Empire Junior Hockey League

Bush Cup Champion - Minnesota Junior Hockey League

Silver Cup Champion - North American 3 Hockey League

Bellingham Blazers - Northern Pacific Hockey League

 

JuniorHockey.com is the premier website dedicated to delivering the latest news and developing stories from junior hockey across North America, as well as providing online tools for junior hockey players and prospects. With over 330,000+ views in January, Juniorhockey.com has emerged as the internet's leading source of junior hockey news and information. 

Stephen Heisler resides in Puerto Penasco, Mexico with his wife, Maria, and their two children, Sonia and Tomas. Tune in to his Mexico based Classic Rock Station, GoPenasco Radio.








Discuss:

posted Mar. 19th, 2013 - 6:30am
Adam Janik says:
This is the T3 Jr A national championship? Or am I missing something? The Empire is a Jr B league, as is the Met and Eastern States league.

posted Mar. 19th, 2013 - 7:38am
Mike Johnson says:
The only people who throw around Jr A or Jr B classifications are the teams..Junior Hockey, as classified by USA Hockey:

Tier I - USHL
Tier II - NAHL
Tier III - Everybody else (Pay to Play)

This is the Tier III National Championship, and some of the leagues do not wish to compete (EJHL, AJHL) in this Championship.

posted Mar. 19th, 2013 - 7:45am
Jon Hosking says:
Correction: Cleveland is up 2-0 on Toledo with game 3 tonight.

posted Mar. 19th, 2013 - 8:51am
Stephen Heisler says:
Thanks Jon

posted Mar. 19th, 2013 - 9:12am
Adam Janik says:
So this is a national championship being played with teams that compete at the T3 Jr A level playing against teams that compete at the T3 Jr B level. What a fair and level playing field.

Mike, Yes, pay to play is T3 across the board. However there is a huge gap between the level of play in the Met and Empire league (Jr B) than in the rest of the field, (Jr. A)

What a joke. Putting Jr B teams against Jr. A teams just because its pay to play. And then being called the national champion. LOL.

posted Mar. 19th, 2013 - 9:34am
Adam Janik says:
Should be noted:
The Eastern States Hockey League is a level below the Empire, which is Jr B.
What we have here is the worst T3 Jr. A teams playing against the best Jr. B teams and one Jr C. team. Lets just all hope that the Empire team wins so we can all say, wow, the best Jr B team in the country beat the "best" T3 Jr. A teams.....

posted Mar. 19th, 2013 - 9:45am
Steve Miller says:
Adam, why are you always so negative? After all, these are KIDS playing hockey. Your EJ and AJ teams are too scared they will get beat so they will not come. That is garbage!!! You yuppies need to just play hockey and shut up with all the EGO trips. Gets old bud. Good luck to all tiers in playoffs and nationals.

posted Mar. 19th, 2013 - 9:48am
Adam Janik says:
I need to make a correction to something I said. "What we have here is the worst T3 Jr. A teams" is not accurate. They are the best teams from their respected leagues that decided to show up. Congrats and good luck to all. I just wanted to note how unlevel this playing field is.
Mike, you are incorrect. The EJHL "IS" in fact participating in this years national tournement. They just decided to send their best Jr. B team instead.

posted Mar. 19th, 2013 - 10:50am
Bill Mueller says:
Janik, you truly are a douchebag. You are willing to cut anyone's throat in an effort to boost your beloved EJ, even to the point that you cut off your nose to spite your face. How many families are lied to and promised the golden ticket to a full ride on some elite eastern D1 school through the EJHL, only to be fodder for the Empire and finance for the EJ? I know several families from Cali who are back east based on the "promise" and I guarentee they NEVER heard the term Jr B. What a joke.

Since I pay little attention to the EJ, can someone capable of coherent thought explain why the EJHL does not compete in the USA Hockey Tier 3 National Championship.

posted Mar. 19th, 2013 - 10:54am
Perry Hampel says:
Just a thought that the AAU teams are probably considered a Tier III level. Their National Championship goes April 5 -9 in Las Vegas. The Western States Hockey League - Northern States Hockey League and Midwest Junior Hockey league will send 2 teams each to the United Hockey Union (AAU) National Championships. The WSHL currently heading into their conference finals this weekend (best 2 of 3) to determine who will advance to the Thorne Cup final tournament. The Northern States will have all 7 teams in the playoffs with a single game elimination tournemant this weekend. First place Lake George Fighting Spirit having a bye to the semis. Finally the Midwest top 4 qualified for the playoff now on-going. THe playoff winner will join the league Champs Hartland Hounds in Vegas (final qualifier if Hounds win the playoffs too).

posted Mar. 19th, 2013 - 10:58am
Perry Hampel says:
Also a quick thought on the National Championships - didn't Atlanta have a team in the Empire League - but their "C???" team from the EJ South won it all??

posted Mar. 19th, 2013 - 11:00am
Perry Hampel says:
last year - I mean

posted Mar. 19th, 2013 - 11:13am
Adam Janik says:
Bill,
Fact. This national championship is comprised of Jr.A teams competing against Jr.B teams with one Jr.C team.
Fact. You know nothing about the EJHL so stop pretending like you do. You arnt impressing anyone.
You wanna know why the EJHL and AJHL dont participate. Look at the structure of the whole thing. A teams playing B teams playing C teams. Its a joke. The EJHL sent their B team to play. Get over it.

posted Mar. 19th, 2013 - 11:16am
Adam Janik says:
Bill,
Also, since you just proved you know nothing by stating you and your "friends" have never heard of junior B. GO to usahockey.com and look at the junior section. click on leagues and it will list all the junior b leagues in the US. Know your facts before you type nonsense and look like a douchebag

posted Mar. 19th, 2013 - 11:21am
Adam Janik says:
The empire league is the feeder league to the EJ. What does that tell you. Its JR B. Players that get cut from the EJ, play in the empire. Players that dont make the empire play in the eastern states. Its ok bill, ill explain it to you sence you know it all

posted Mar. 19th, 2013 - 11:40am
Stephen Heisler says:
Adam,
Since you know it all and I'm loaded with cash... let's make a bet. Show me where USA Hockey identifies Junior B, C, (D?)

Simply stated, the EJ got beat by St Louis Jr Blues a few years back, and have not been back since.

It's easier to say your the best than it is to prove it.

posted Mar. 19th, 2013 - 11:55am
Adam Janik says:
Stephen,
Can you do me one favor. Just one, please. Can you just acknowledge that there are in fact Jr. A teams playing Jr. B teams in this naional tournement? I know that you have enough brains and knowledge of the junior landscape to understand that the empire- though classified as t3 because they pay to play- is the B team to any EJ team. Can you just acknowledge this simple fact? Once you do, you will prove me correct. How can you say that the Met is capable of playing against the NA3? or say they are in the same playing field? IF you get cut from the ej, you play in the empire. Thats a fact for gods sake. What has to be said here to atleast acknowledge that, the norpac, for example, is registered a t3 Jr A team. The empire is not. DO you understand this?

posted Mar. 19th, 2013 - 12:11pm
Stephen Heisler says:
Adam,
It was your beloved EJ people that created this huge mess in the first place. Tier I,II,III without the letters was Dan Esdale's baby.

Next year the EJ and Atlantic will both be participating as well, or face the loss of sanctioning.

The USPHL is no longer the junior council's responsibility, and that is exactly what Peter Masters and crew wanted.

If you want to insist on using letters, here is how I see it.

Major Junior
OHL
QMJL
WHL

Junior A
CJHL (all ten leagues)
USHL
NAHL

Junior B
EJ
Atlantic
EJ-South
NA3HL
MnJHL
AWHL
NORPAC
Canada's Jr B Leagues

Junior C
Empire
Metro
Canada's Jr C Leagues

Junior D
ESHL
House Hockey Players

posted Mar. 19th, 2013 - 12:18pm
Adam Janik says:
Well, thank you. In a wierd way you admitted, without admitting it, that yes there are teams playing in this tournement that dont play on an equal playing field. Which was my original point to begin with.

posted Mar. 19th, 2013 - 12:53pm
Bill Mueller says:
As a typical liberal politician would, you have completely mistated everything I said in my post, changed the argument by attacking me and gone off on some completely fabricated tangent.

Let's look at this step by step,

1. There are no Jr A, B, C, D.... south of the US/Canadian border.

2. The only thing I know about the EJHL, as I have admitted on the site, was told to me by one Div 1 university coach in Boston and 5 New England prep school hockey coaches (two of which you listed as elite and capable of competing in the NAHL) and what I've picked up on this website. In fact, my post says "Since I pay little attention to the EJ, can someone capable of coherent thought explain why the EJHL does not compete in the USA Hockey Tier 3 National Championship."

3. Please show where I said anything about me having never heard of Junior B.

4. As Stephen has pointed out, you are, in fact, wrong about the whole Jr alphabet on the USA Hockey website. Check it out yourself.

5. I understand completely how the feeder system is supposed to work. My point was simply that it is sold that way, but does not seem to be put into practice.

Janik, you are your own worst enemy. Keep it up buddy! Everytime you let loose with your verbal diarrhea, I and I'm sure most readers here just grin.

posted Mar. 19th, 2013 - 1:11pm
Perry Hampel says:
Stephen - your simple informative article has generated some very entertaining conversation.

posted Mar. 19th, 2013 - 1:19pm
Bill Mueller says:
It often does Perry, especially when you talk about the EJ!

posted Mar. 19th, 2013 - 2:14pm
Steve Love says:
AWHL, Quake players suspended prior to the 1st round of playoffs. From the Quake Facebook page.

posted Mar. 19th, 2013 - 2:30pm
Chris King says:
How would you classify the new U 20 USPHL league?

posted Mar. 19th, 2013 - 2:59pm
Perry Hampel says:
Tier 2.5????

posted Mar. 19th, 2013 - 3:04pm
Stephen Heisler says:
USPHL has opened an entirely different can of worms.

Anybody can form an adult hockey league. I think that they are going to have to stop saying u20 but it's not really a big deal.

How many 21+ year-olds are going to shell out $10,000 a year to play hockey? As long as each player turns 18 before Jan 1 of the current season, he is eligible for adult hockey.

This could be Peter Master's best move of all time.

posted Mar. 19th, 2013 - 3:53pm
Chris King says:
There are not enough players for all these leagues. Who do you think will field better team, EJHL or USPHL U20?

posted Mar. 19th, 2013 - 6:24pm
Stephen Heisler says:

posted Mar. 19th, 2013 - 7:33pm
Chris King says:
Not too confusing? Any rules for U20 rosters as far as age limitations? It will be interesting spring!

posted Mar. 19th, 2013 - 7:42pm
Stephen Heisler says:
20U registered under USA Hockey’s Senior League Registration Process in which players of birth years
1993, 1994 and 1995 are eligible.

posted Mar. 20th, 2013 - 7:23am
Mike Johnson says:
Bottom line, this is NOT Junior Hockey........

All it is another layer of Youth Hockey......
I assume this means that they will be playing under Youth Hockey rules, and NOT Junior Hockey rules, as governed by USAH.

If so, then the players are not allowed to wear half shields, they must follow the roster freeze date of 12/31 (Not February, as in Jr.)

This is not Tier 2.5, more like 3.5, a step down from Tier 3 (Pay to Play) playing by Youth Hockey rules, not Junior Rules. Why would I pay $10-12k to have my kid play another year of YOUTH hockey? Why would a Junior player want to go back to play Youth hockey?

Hearing that a MAJOR piece of the Resolution between the EJHL and the 4 USPHL rogue teams (Hitmen, Islanders, Jr Bruins, South Shore) is that they put the “highest caliber” players on their EJHL teams. So the BEST 18-20 year olds will be rostered on the EJ team, why the HELL would I pay money to play on the USPHL???? If I were a SCOUT, which team would I follow......Hint, the one with the BETTER players....


posted Mar. 20th, 2013 - 7:41am
Christian Poulsen says:
Note to self: Buy new helmet

posted Mar. 20th, 2013 - 8:30am
Stephen Heisler says:
Mike,
You are dead wrong.

They are playing and registering under adult hockey rules, not youth hockey rules.

If you think the best players will be at the EJHL level, step away from the pipe.

Look what team Peter Masters himself is coaching:
http://www.bostonjuniorbruins.com/2013-2014-plans/


posted Mar. 20th, 2013 - 8:57am
Christian Poulsen says:
USPHL Adult U20 teams: we have adult summer leagues here that have a couple of teams made up of Juniors (T1, T2, T3) and some MM AAA players (all friends) that rampage through the adult leagues and tournaments.
If these USPHL U20 Adult teams want some diverse summer exhibition games, come to Colorado.
Might even be able to hook up with a couple of adult teams sprinkled with Pro and D1 players and a team or two made up of mostly ACHA college players.
Anyway, I suppose since this USPHL U20 is an adult thing, they won't be able to compete (by rule) in any Junior National Championships....Hmmmmm

posted Mar. 20th, 2013 - 9:41am
Bill Mueller says:
This appears to be just another way to milk the same cow. Just how big is the talent pool?

posted Mar. 20th, 2013 - 9:53am
Christian Poulsen says:
Stephen, my brain is on overload (and 3 cups of coffee!) Is this USPHL Adult U20 the only (or will it be the only) league of this classification in the country? Am I right in assuming these teams will not be playing any other Junior teams? Is a new niche being created using the USAH U20 Adult thing? (that I assumed was always used for 18 to 20 yr olds that played off season rec.)
And why?


posted Mar. 20th, 2013 - 10:23am
Christian Poulsen says:
Interesting, I am picturing an attempt at a "pay to play" TI, TII league within this adult classification.
But (if you all know my rants) I still ask: will they be playing any other Junior teams (be it T1, T2, or T3) and their champion be in any of the National Championships to prove it?
Or is the whole USAH Junior "Tier" thing evolving?
Or, again like Bill asked, is it another way to milk the same cow and is the talent pool that big?

PS Just askin', and now I'm going to my happy place (not sarcsm Coach Pronger)

posted Mar. 20th, 2013 - 10:42am
Stephen Heisler says:
In reality, it's just a good way to operate outside the jurisdiction of the Junior Council.

Expect a lot more programs of this type to pop up, the USPHL does not have any type of exclusivity.

Heck, the NAHL should look at this possibility. If you can live without the babies and stick to three birth years, 93-95, the idea has a ton of advantages.

posted Mar. 22nd, 2013 - 10:13am
Mike Johnson says:
Stephen,

Can you confirm the rumor that the NAHL is looking to add all of the EJHL teams, excluding the Hitmen, Jr Bruins, Middlesex Islanders, and South Shore......

posted Mar. 22nd, 2013 - 10:16am
Stephen Heisler says:
That was a discussion at the Winter Meetings, it was going to be called the NAEHL, but the Junior Council put that group back together for the 2013-2014 season. Now it appears that the wheels are falling off again.

Have also heard about discussions concerning the Atlantic and remaining EJ teams also going to the adult level of play.

Nuts.

posted Mar. 26th, 2013 - 6:45pm
Dave Panek says:
Stephen,
Where would you put the AAU leagues on this list?
Stephen Heisler writes:
------
If you want to insist on using letters, here is how I see it.

Major Junior
OHL
QMJL
WHL

Junior A
CJHL (all ten leagues)
USHL
NAHL

Junior B
EJ
Atlantic
EJ-South
NA3HL
MnJHL
AWHL
NORPAC
Canada's Jr B Leagues

Junior C
Empire
Metro
Canada's Jr C Leagues

Junior D
ESHL
House Hockey Players




posted Mar. 26th, 2013 - 9:04pm
Stephen Heisler says:
Pay to Play Jr B

posted Mar. 27th, 2013 - 8:20pm
Stephen Heisler says:
Anthony G,
Feel free to repost when you come back with a real name.

posted Apr. 2nd, 2013 - 8:55am
Alex Smith says:
After reading what all you had to say about this years national tournament and more specifically all the Junior leagues around the country I have to put in my two cents:
1.) The EJ is hands down the best Junior A Tier 3 league in the country, look at the frozen four this coming weekend, Jeremy Langlois (Quinnipiac) was the teams leading score a couple seasons in a row and played for the Hitmen in the EJ. This is just one EJ alumni playing for the NCAA national championship this coming weekend.
2.) When the EJ did compete at Nationals, they won every year, I played for the Hitmen for two of those years when we lost to the New Hampshire Monarchs back to back seasons, (yes I am a washed up hockey player).
3.) During my "Junior" career I played in the WSHL (two years) from 15-17, then went on to play in the NAHL, 17-18, then CHOSE to go to play for the Hitmen in the EJ. I can honestly say that the level of hockey in the EJ can compete with MOST of the NAHL. The Hitmen team I was on, as well as the Monarchs could have competed with the top teams in the NAHL no doubt in my mind. My Hitmen team went on to send 8 players to NCAA Divison 1 schools, 12 if you count both years.
4.) Finally, a huge reason why the EJ is choosing not to compete this year is the cost to travel to Minnesota, the years the Monarchs and Hitmen competed in the finals it was a short bus ride to Marlborough Mass where they were held. What motivation does the EJ have to travel to Minnesota and play against a lower level of competition. They are just fine with the skill and talent in their own league and having all the NCAA Division 1 scouts from eastern schools attend their games. I'd be willing to bet that during the EJ playoffs and the EJ finals where the Hitmen beat the Islanders, there were 5 times the amount of college scouts than there will be in Minnesota watching these other teams.
FACT: Monarchs and Hitmen from their 2012 teams sent 19 players to Division One schools. In the NAHL St. Louis and Amarillo, (arguable the top two teams in the league) sent a combined 18.




posted Apr. 2nd, 2013 - 9:15am
Stephen Heisler says:
Alex,
Travel costs go both ways, and the EJ/Atlantic leagues have said they would not compete with the rest of the leagues if the event was staged in Boston every year.

The last time the EJ competed, they got beat, and have not been back since.

Even Peter Masters and his group have been forced to face the realities, they were never going to face adequate competition from the rest of the EJ teams. Now we have the USPHL.

posted Apr. 2nd, 2013 - 10:25am
Christian Poulsen says:
Well, much like my NCAA BB bracket, my T3 and AAU "brackets" are hurting except for my "big fish" Helena and now North Iowa.

And like I said earlier "Helena wins and then stops by NJ but like a neighbors house on Halloween, knocks on the door of a dark house and nobody answers".
Please! If Bellingham can spend the $ to FLY from the west coast for the earned privilege to play in the USAH T3 National Championships, so should every T3 league champion in the USAH system, no matter what their level of play or excuse.

Note: I learned from this site and in Randy's opinion, the levels of play vary between the 10 Jr. A leagues in Canada. I wonder how many of their league champions ditch out on the opportunity to compete for the Royal Bank Cup?

PS: No "slam" from me on the players. I wonder what the answer would be if you asked every player on any T3 league champion if they want to continue on to the National Championships (sarcasm)

posted Apr. 2nd, 2013 - 11:20am
Alex Smith says:
Stephen,

I should not have stressed the travel cost as much as I did, because you are right, all the other teams are paying their way as well. Just my opinion, but I do not think its worth it for the EJ/AJ teams to travel there. Not sure why the EJ and AJ would not compete if it was held in Boston every year, perfect location. It's close enough to all the teams in each league and in a good location for eastern division one schools to attend the tournament.

Good ol' Peter Masters. Was always fun playing the Bruins because of the rivalry between him and Toby Harris from their BC days.

And I now realize how little I've been paying attention to Junior because until now I had not heard about this USPHL. Soooo if I understand correctly the teams will all stay in the EJ but have a few other teams (not as good I assume), playing in the USPHL. This is all getting to confusing. Somebody enlighten me on what this league is.


posted Apr. 2nd, 2013 - 11:32am
Stephen Heisler says:
Today's Dish on the subject:
http://www.juniorhockey.com/news/news_detail.php?new

Read this from the Boston Jr Bruins site

2013-2014 Plans
Teams Set to Compete in USPHL, EJHL, Empire & Mass Select

MARLBORO-MA-The Junior Bruins have firmed up their plans for the 2013-2014 season. See the attached press release as well as info below.

USPHL PRESS RELEASE

Level: 20U
League: USPHL
Coach: Peter Masters

Level: Junior
League: EJHL
Coach: Mike Anderson

Level: Junior
League: Empire
Coach: Nevin Hamilton

Level: 18U full season
League: USPHL
Coach: Chris Masters
**National Bound**

Level: 16U full season
League: USPHL
Coach: Topher Bevis
**National Bound**

Level: 18U split season
League: Mass Select League
Coach: Andy Powers/Chris Masters

Level: 19U split season
League: Independant
Coach: Marc Busenberg

Level:14U
League: EHF
Coach: Keith Hughes/Topher Bevis
**Minutman Flames team
http://www.bostonjuniorbruins.com/2013-2014-plans/


I think it's really clear what is going down.

posted Apr. 2nd, 2013 - 11:53am
Alex Smith says:
Stephen,

Verryyy interesting. So from what I got out of your article, Masters as well as Harris and Tromblay, are joining this new league in hopes of progressing players to be able to make the EJHL more competitive. The whole part of the junior team staying in the EJ is throwing me for a loop though.

posted Apr. 2nd, 2013 - 12:01pm
Stephen Heisler says:
The top level players will be in the USPHL 20U
The next level, or second group of players will be in the EJHL
The third level players will be in the Empire
Than we have the 18U and 16U USPHL Levels and down from there.

posted Apr. 4th, 2013 - 7:22am
Adam Janik says:
"During my "Junior" career I played in the WSHL (two years) from 15-17, then went on to play in the NAHL, 17-18, then CHOSE to go to play for the Hitmen in the EJ. I can honestly say that the level of hockey in the EJ can compete with MOST of the NAHL. The Hitmen team I was on, as well as the Monarchs could have competed with the top teams in the NAHL no doubt in my mind."
Spoken from a former players mouth. Funny, how Stephen picks his battles

posted Apr. 4th, 2013 - 7:35am
Adam Janik says:
Below is the best post ever. Funny, not one of my haters had anything to say to a former player who played in BOTH leagues and gave an honest assessment on level of play and this "so-called" national championship

Alex writes,

"After reading what all you had to say about this years national tournament and more specifically all the Junior leagues around the country I have to put in my two cents:
1.) The EJ is hands down the best Junior A Tier 3 league in the country, look at the frozen four this coming weekend, Jeremy Langlois (Quinnipiac) was the teams leading score a couple seasons in a row and played for the Hitmen in the EJ. This is just one EJ alumni playing for the NCAA national championship this coming weekend.
2.) When the EJ did compete at Nationals, they won every year, I played for the Hitmen for two of those years when we lost to the New Hampshire Monarchs back to back seasons, (yes I am a washed up hockey player).
3.) During my "Junior" career I played in the WSHL (two years) from 15-17, then went on to play in the NAHL, 17-18, then CHOSE to go to play for the Hitmen in the EJ. I can honestly say that the level of hockey in the EJ can compete with MOST of the NAHL. The Hitmen team I was on, as well as the Monarchs could have competed with the top teams in the NAHL no doubt in my mind. My Hitmen team went on to send 8 players to NCAA Divison 1 schools, 12 if you count both years.
4.) Finally, a huge reason why the EJ is choosing not to compete this year is the cost to travel to Minnesota, the years the Monarchs and Hitmen competed in the finals it was a short bus ride to Marlborough Mass where they were held. What motivation does the EJ have to travel to Minnesota and play against a lower level of competition. They are just fine with the skill and talent in their own league and having all the NCAA Division 1 scouts from eastern schools attend their games. I'd be willing to bet that during the EJ playoffs and the EJ finals where the Hitmen beat the Islanders, there were 5 times the amount of college scouts than there will be in Minnesota watching these other teams.
FACT: Monarchs and Hitmen from their 2012 teams sent 19 players to Division One schools. In the NAHL St. Louis and Amarillo, (arguable the top two teams in the league) sent a combined 18."

posted Apr. 4th, 2013 - 9:17am
Christian Poulsen says:
"Funny, not one of my haters had anything to say....."
Adam, also try reading and computing this forum.
Maybe start with the posts after this young mans post you copied (and I guess you think I didn't read or answer)
On 4 occasions I have had 2 concussions, 3 skull fractures, a subdural hematoma, and even I can do that.....Har

posted Apr. 4th, 2013 - 9:18am
Stephen Heisler says:

posted Apr. 4th, 2013 - 10:09am
Adam Janik says:
christian,
lol, simply put, you make me laugh. In a good way. Keep it up.

Stephen,
You are correct. There was a posting of it on the bottom of the site. Not one mention from you though.

posted Apr. 4th, 2013 - 10:23am
Stephen Heisler says:
The EJ's Klein has direct access to this site. He posts pretty much whatever he wants, when he wants. I've never edited a single word of his copy. As for it's location, every article starts out at the top of the news feed, old news slides off the page when it gets old.

The EJHL is not an advertiser nor contributes a single dollar to this site. So why do I do it? Because it is the right thing to do.

I'll touch on EJ issues when I feel the need, I felt the need a few days back in regards to the USPHL after having a long conversation with one of their leaders, did you miss that story too?

I've got a picture in my head when I see your name. You are hockey's version of the nagging ugly sister of a hot girlfriend. All you do is bitch and complain. By all means, go start your own EJ lovefest site, I'm sure there will be thousands of followers.

posted Apr. 4th, 2013 - 10:39am
Michael Wood says:
I agree that there is a large disparity within the EJ and that certain coaches would want to address that. But is there not within the NAHL and other leagues too? I don't see Portland fielding a competitive USPHL team when they could not at the EJHL level. I think the gentlemen who want better competition are very good at their jobs and will find themselves in the same predicament again.

posted Apr. 4th, 2013 - 10:44am
Christian Poulsen says:
Adam, simply put in a stolen SNL Dana Carvy "Church Lady" way: "Well isn't that special"!
You also make me laugh (sometimes)
I'm here both to learn and help you out of the darkness Adam...go towards the light.

posted Apr. 4th, 2013 - 11:04am
Stephen Heisler says:
Michael,
In the NAHL this season, outside of Amarillo, any team could beat any other team on any given day.

Coulee Region beat Austin. Fresno has beaten Wenatchee and Fairbanks.

Michigan was in the playoff hunt until the last month of the season.

This simply has not been the case in the EJHL. The Hitmen, Jr Bruins and Kings knew they would win 70% of their games when the schedule was first released. Competition enhances development. Statistics are meaningless if they are racked up against teams that are unable to ice a competitive product.

posted Apr. 4th, 2013 - 11:45am
Bill Mueller says:
Ah Janik, the ultimate April FOOL, you're back. Hey, how many posts did you have on that thread, 4 or 5? And that was before the sun was up on the left coast. HAHAHAHAHA What a goober. I digress...

Hey goober, you know why I didn't respond to Alex Smiths posts? He made a clear and concise statement, although slightly unsupported, and then entered into a discussion with Hiesler that was informative. Smith never bagged on another league, never put down other competition. He actually wrote like an educated logical adult. You, on the other hand, have a bus load of "haters" because you come on here swinging your tired, old, full of holes commitment argument like a blind man with a bag of hammers.

You know Janik, I didn't even read the April fool thread that threw you into a tirade. I simply read the title, called BS then set out to point out what a fool you, again, proved yourself to be. Hey Stephen, can you recover all the posts you erased again and again and again?

posted Apr. 4th, 2013 - 11:52am
Bill Mueller says:
Just a side note that you're gonna love Janik. According to two EJHL coaches in two seperate emails, my son has been identified as a "top junior recruit". Now, is the EJ scouting the NAHL, or are they just throwing a wide net?

posted Apr. 4th, 2013 - 1:00pm
Christian Poulsen says:
Well that was close from what we could tell.

OK Adam, are you tuned in? Next up is the NA3 North Iowa Bulls and the NH Monarchs (Empire). I gotta say Stephen has me nervous on this one so I'm creating an "out" in my skull: If NH wins they probably suited up some idle players from their EJ team LOL?

Here's some interesting between game "ramble" to me: If you look up the population of Rochester then take away the employment numbers of the Mayo Clinic then take away the hotel and restaurant numbers, the population would be about 1
Cool town though.

I'm not there so I have no burger report but there is a restaurant (Danish I think) right downtown on or near a corner that has a breakfast items called Panakokins? that are really good

(had to change that, no pun was intended)



posted Mar. 26th, 2014 - 4:01am
Todd Squillante says:
Really, so the East Coast is so good, they do not need or want to play in the Nationals unless it's on their home turf? Can't afford to travel to the middle of the country like everybody else. How do you scrape up enough money to find a way to play? Maybe we can all donate so you can make the trip next time. You win the Championship every year I have heard from a few posts. Maybe you should find a way to play in Tier I Junior, instead of stacking your Tier Ill Junior teams.

I am yawning, back in the day when I played, half my Midget team got recruited to play Tier l Junior A at age 15-16 including myself in the USHL. That was in Colorado, where I have heard we just don't compare. Yawn. You realize us Washington guys play in the Vancouver, BC, Canada leagues during our youth correct? Guess they do not know how to play hockey there either. You are boring me really.

Only one way to be the National Champion, got to play the game and win it. Otherwise we do not care to listen.

posted Mar. 26th, 2014 - 7:11am
Christian Poulsen says:
Cool Todd. A blast from the past (a year ago). I would have loved you posting then as I tried to subdue the "East Coast Janik" in this @#$$ing contest.

Anyway, this was interesting to go back over and things turned out very similar to what was posted on this thread.

Since then I posted my "Hallelujah rant" (The East is coming back to USAH T3 Nationals!!) and here is the scoop: (many teams are "in" but not all yet so yada, yada, yada (my pecking finger is tired)
And FYI (in case your not up to date) The 3 AAU leagues including the "Big Fish" WSHL is a separate animal and their thing is also in full swing right now.

Tournament Brackets
Red
American West Hockey League
Host/Playoff Winner
Minnesota Junior Hockey League 1
USPHL - Premier

White
Eastern Hockey League
NA3HL 2
NPHL
USPHL - Elite

Blue
Metropolitan Junior Hockey League
Minnesota Junior Hockey League 2
NA3HL 1
USPHL - Empire

Tournament Schedule Will Be Posted Soon

posted Mar. 26th, 2014 - 3:21pm
Brad Szottlinger says:
Bill Mueller writes:

1. There are no Jr A, B, C, D.... south of the US/Canadian border.



Do you mean that participate in USAH play?



Because there are Jr. B teams south of the boarder sanctioned by USAH in a situation that would probably be similar to the one Wenatchee would have if they went into the BCHL

posted Mar. 28th, 2014 - 2:55pm
Pete Judge says:
I'll be up at Nationals this year, definitely looking forward to seeing what the East can do against the rest of the country this year. My "East Coast Bias" wants me to say the Junior Bruins are the best team at this tournament, but we will definitely see.

posted Mar. 28th, 2014 - 3:18pm
Christian Poulsen says:
Looks like we're just waiting for the NA3 Champion and Runnerup. Hope there are links to the live tournament score sheets on this site (like last year) (hint, hint) for both USAH and AAU National Championships. Also hopefully the scorers tables know what they're doing at both (unlike last year)


posted Mar. 28th, 2014 - 3:29pm
Pete Judge says:
Well, for whatever it's worth you can throw me a follow on twitter and I'll be doing my best to live-tweet the action (twitter.com/PeteJudgeJH)

posted Mar. 28th, 2014 - 3:42pm
Christian Poulsen says:
Thx Pete. Though if I don't dish out the bones for Fast Hockey (but I usually do for the finals) I really like to follow the game scoresheets.
But that's when you can tell when Hockey people aren't at the "table" (like a PP goal with the wrong corresponding penalty time input or a "shorty" but 5 on 5 players on the ice are listed, etc.)

Serenity now.



posted Mar. 28th, 2014 - 5:30pm
Christian Poulsen says:
So Pete, who wins tomorrow, BC or DU? (Smiley Face here)

posted Mar. 28th, 2014 - 6:19pm
Pete Judge says:
BC in a landslide ;)
I'm a huge Gaudreau fan, and have been tracking Demko since he was 14 or 15 and I first heard about him. Gaudreau alone is enough to carry BC through most of the tournament I think.
I have Union taking it all though

posted Mar. 28th, 2014 - 6:35pm
Christian Poulsen says:
I'm pretty close with a Junior Player that is also a Gaudreau fan (but knows and played since kneehigh with some Pioneers)

DU is my "darkhorse" and they pull out the upset tomorrow!

I'm too chicken to pick the Champs until after these regionals though LOL (Wisconsin/North Dakota is big tonight)

But I'm recording that because now its time to tune in the Archman

Drop that puck!

posted Mar. 29th, 2014 - 2:34pm
Christian Poulsen says:
Uh oh Pete, I already made a bet on DU but I just got a message from another 5 and a half foot, buck and half player that Johnny Gaudreau will tear DU apart...Puck drops in a half an hour on that one (and Union 1, Providence 0 with about 4 min left in the 1st)

posted Mar. 29th, 2014 - 3:15pm
Adam Janik says:
Boston Jr Bruins and/or any other USPHL team that shows up will be the T3 national champions...end of story and I will be there to witness it.

posted Mar. 29th, 2014 - 5:09pm
Pete Judge says:
"BC in a landslide".... I know my college hockey!

posted Mar. 29th, 2014 - 6:26pm
Christian Poulsen says:
Yeah well we'll see (One thing I know is you of the NorthEast think you know (smiley face here)
...you got Union and I can't decide at this point to pick North Dakota or Minn. (C'mon, I had to be a homer and give DU a nod!) But some NAHL alum playing pretty good for Robert Morris right now but I think too late as Minn. already lit it up.

UMass Lowell with "Bucky" at goal (Odessa Jackalopes) and some Roadrunner! connections! will be tough with their experience from last year but yes, I guess I'll man up and go with the Sioux.

posted Mar. 30th, 2014 - 7:44am
Adam Janik says:
BC will win it again, no doubt. Union looks good but BC is just to strong. Once everyone leaves and goes pro after the season, the new ones will come in and do it again.

posted Mar. 31st, 2014 - 9:26am
Christian Poulsen says:
The T3 National schedule is now complete (The NA3 Champion and RU are decided)

If anything, as we can see, the East's "realignment" last off season now brings 6 of the 12 representatives to the table and the MnJHL and NA3HL bring both their Champion and Runnerup ("awarded" for meeting in the final last year)

As Robert posted for the NAHL (except his picks are wrong!) I will second it with a "good Luck to all" for T3.

http://assets.ngin.com/attachments/document/0053/774

There we go. My laptop has got major problems so I'm limited for a while (Hey!, I heard that!!)

posted Apr. 1st, 2014 - 11:33am
Christian Poulsen says:
Weird, the above is gone and here is what's up today

http://nationals.usahockey.com/page/show/1152245-sch

It looks like the semis and the final are all on Olympic Ice

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* Article disclaimer: This site may contain advice, opinions and statements from various authors and information providers. Views expressed in this article reflect the personal opinion of the author, Stephen Heisler, and not necessarily the views of JuniorHockey.com. JuniorHockey.com does not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any advice, opinion, statement or other info provided in the article, or from any other member of this site.





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