9/18/2012 10:20:06 AM
By Ed Hruska
|Upcoming events |
Oct. 13-14: MYSA fall state soccer tournament
Oct 19-20: Exchange Volleyball Tournament
Oct. 28: Intermat JJ Classic Wrestling: October 28
Rochester has served as the host city of the USA Hockey Junior National Championship the past two years.
It will return here again in 2013, tentatively set for April 4-9. However, this year there is one big difference: the field will be reduced from 12 to eight teams competing for the national title.
USA Hockey leadership is working to distinguish this tournament as a pure battle of champions. Past tournaments have had up to three teams from one league participate. This year only the top team from each league will qualify to challenge for the honor of being champion.
This means that Minnesota Junior Hockey will send only one team. Our local team has one option – win in the manner that qualifies your team as the representative of your league. Will this be the winner of the league or the winner of the postseason playoffs? How leagues determine their top team is up to them to decide.
There are currently 10 leagues listed on the USA Hockey web site (www.usahockey.com/players/junior.aspx). The number of leagues can fluctuate each year. Two leagues have opted out of the 2013 championship, leaving the other eight to battle for the title.
I personally support this effort to rebuild the national tournament to the highest level. I like bigger tournaments based on the return on investment for our work as hosts, but I cannot argue with the strategy to make this event only for the league winners each year. It may also hurt the exposure of players not on the national qualifying teams. We had close to 40 college scouts at the 2012 tournament here to recruit players they watched.
The biggest downside to this decision is the increased challenge the Rochester Ice Hawks will face to make the field. If the Ice Hawks did not qualify it would give us eight teams here with no home town favorite to cheer on.
However, knowing the caliber of the quality organization and the winning tradition they bring out in their players each year, I believe they have a very good chance to be the representative from the Minnesota Junior Hockey League (last year they advanced as a No. 2 seed).
If they do, they will certainly have earned the opportunity to play in the national championship – a tournament full of the top eight teams in the country. Seeing only league champions battling it out in Rochester should create a very interesting weekend of hockey here in Rochester next spring!Amateur Update is a weekly column on amateur sports activities in southeastern Minnesota, provided by the Rochester Amateur Sports Commission.
There are comments -
New online comment policy
Postbulletin.com welcomes your comments. We've made changes recently to encourage more constructive and civil comments, and to prohibit abuse of comment privileges.
All comments are now screened by Post-Bulletin editors prior to publication. Comments that are libelous, defamatory, discriminatory or profane simply will not be published.
Thank you for your cooperation.
Logged in as: