Author Topic: So Cal vs Mid West and East Coast teams  (Read 1280 times)


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So Cal vs Mid West and East Coast teams
« on: May 19, 2021, 10:04:47 AM »
Just an observation/opinion as how our So cal teams match up with the rest of the country.  Over the past season. My kids team (because of the pandemic) played in a good amount of tournaments outside of Cali and played in Nationals.  IMO, the difference is not so much in skill but in the physicality.  In looking at past results, mainly from bantams-midgets, our Cal teams were mainly in close games.  The difference i see in top 20 teams is finishing of checks.  Doesn't have to be a "blow" up but a forearm, a hip, some sort of contact in most contested plays.  Our kids are taught to pull up from hits.  That being done 30-40 times during a game will effect the the outcome of a game. Until our kids are coached and the way the games are officiated, i believe the dominance of the teams east of us will continue.


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Re: So Cal vs Mid West and East Coast teams
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2021, 06:41:57 PM »
It’s like you stole my thoughts. I had the same  feelings about my son’s team this “season”.


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Re: So Cal vs Mid West and East Coast teams
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2021, 09:20:40 AM »
Eh.   I feel its true to some degree.  Its also talent.   More talented kids get to the puck first, read plays better, and understand the flow of the game and how to set up for the next series of plays.   So not only do they rub a guy out, they also know what to do next before the get there.  Probably better conditioned too


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Re: So Cal vs Mid West and East Coast teams
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2021, 11:08:54 AM »
My experience agrees with yours.  There is an emphasis on physicality outside of California, and the referees allow that and demonstrate leniency towards the finishing of checks, so long as it's not a blatant hit from behind, obvious head contact, or boarding.  I don't know what they emphasize to the refs in california, but in Bantam major, my kid received a number of 10&2's on hard, but clean checks, and I saw the same thing occur to other players both on his team, and to opponents, when they were at times penalized for clean hits on our kids.  It got bad enough that my kid was suspended a game for 2 clean legal checks in a game where the ref was a complete idiot and maxed out the scoresheet with bad calls.  I think it was something like 24 penalties between the 2 teams.  I'd seen this same ref destroy a high school game earlier in the year with his officiating.  Another friend of mine, appealed a suspension of his kid, and with videos of the hits, got the suspension reversed, after the supervising official agreed that neither of the 2 checks should have been penalized.


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Re: So Cal vs Mid West and East Coast teams
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2021, 05:41:46 PM »
At AAA we tend to have a good distribution through the rankings. One or 2 top 25. A couple in 26-55. Maybe one or two in 55-110. Not a big difference in talent distribution I've seen.

What we don't have (usually) is the top 10-15 teams. Occasionally the Ducks, but not usually. Those teams are a level above, but that's mostly numbers. There are probably 1-5 kids in CA in any given year that could play at that level, but not enough for a team. If only 1 in 40 AAA kids can play at that level, it makes huge difference how many players there are around. And that goes for size too. With a smaller pool, we tend to have more small kids. Norcal in particular tends to create very small AAA teams.

Where I've seen a difference in physicality is versus teams from Canada. There is a clear difference in officiating between the countries. Hard checks that are called infractions here are let go up there. To some degree it's the same numbers issue - simply more qualified refs.


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Re: So Cal vs Mid West and East Coast teams
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2021, 11:12:31 AM »
I tend to agree regarding size and physicality, but IMHO there are many kids in California capable of playing at a Top 10 team level.  From what I have seen, Top 10 teams are largely
constructed with rosters where almost all of the players on the roster play at that high of level, or at least the players getting the great bulk of the ice time.   Teams here don’t tend to have that type of depth.


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Re: So Cal vs Mid West and East Coast teams
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2021, 08:56:51 AM »
It's all numbers, despite what so many people on this board choose to believe :-)

The enrollment figures are openly available on USAHockey.  At 17/18 (as an example) %6 of players in the US are in the Pacific District (which importantly also includes Alaska).  Other districts have twice the percentage and are made up of 1 or two states. The other factor is the best natural athletes here tend to play anything but hockey. They are high school quarterbacks, or baseball stars, etc. It's the hidden down side of being a bit of a 'niche' sport, and is not the case in Minnesota, MA, etc.

So any time people complain about California performance,  I just look at the numbers. At USHL, NAHL, etc, are we over or under represented. The answer is usually 'over' these days (I think because CA tends to have more money, and that makes a difference, and CA kids are a bit of a novelty. But that's all guess work).

So then you get the answer "But all the CA kids have to move!". Sure. Look at the drafts. Most kids at that level move. They are loaded up with prep school kids. All pure youth leagues are under represented. Even the ones from out East.

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Re: So Cal vs Mid West and East Coast teams
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2021, 05:37:21 PM »
sure, style of play has something to do with it, but socal would show better at all levels if 75% of the top kids stayed home through 16u rather than heading back east. we're losing 70-80 kids per birth year before age 16. close to three dozen 2006s already have left before midget even starts, about 90% of them aaa level kids.  :o