Was a great org to start a hockey at mite/mosquito. Or a good place if your kid started later. Not sure what they are doing now, but they seem like they are having a difficult time competing with the jr. railers and maybe the central mass outlaws for kids. They used to have upwards of 10 teams per age level, but not anymore.
Honestly, everyone on this board talks about town hockey, but there is no such thing as town hockey in central mass. There just aren't enough kids. And once the Westborough league went to just serving mites, programs like the jr Crusaders suffered.
This is where the jr Crusaders model broke. Their niche was town hockey for this area, but they attempted to throw the "aaa/elite" label on their top team at each age group. They made hockey very confusing to a lot of parents. And let's face it, most kids/parents in this org just want to play and are lucky if their kid is still interested in the sport at the age of 13.
For me, the move away from Crusaders was due to the fact a programs like the Outlaws, Railers, Flames, and Northstars (the region's "select" teams) offer 4 things: coaches who can skate and have played at least HS hockey, parents who want their kids to be competitive and practice outside of regular team skates, a defined schedule for the entire year in August, and a chance to play with kids at your level (whether that be PHL, white, black, elite).
But if yout kid is starting out or late to the party, jr.crusaders, triboro, demons, starhawks/Shrewsbury (now colonials), and even north central mass, are all good starter orgs. Then you can take the plunge to more competitive teams in the area.
It's not about driving distance, because the Valley league is essentially a travel league too. Long gone are the days a kis who just wants to play can head over to westborough and play their game sunday AM and still have the entire day to do family things. Now it's truly a commitment for anyone who plays hockey. That's sad.
Honestly, there is no such thing as club hockey in Central Mass.
Railers and Outlaws are merely town programs masquerading as club teams.. and doing a decent job of it.