Half season is for Varsity/Prep players. Once Thanksgiving hits all those players are gone to play real hockey for their respective schools. Full season players are left holding the bag. Post November teams have to scrape the barrel for available players and available opponents. Full season teams remaining after Thanksgiving are nothing more that young 14s who are still in 8th grade, 15s who weren't good enough to make their respective Varsity/Prep teams, and maybe 5 or so teams with glory chasing coaches and parents (both in T1 and T2) who want to make a run at Nationals by keeping their players together one last season before it all blows up for good. It's pretty sad really. 14U is the worst, its a bridge season between Youth and Midgets and everything you thought about youth hockey gets thrown out the window. Have fun!
My two cents, hopefully your kid is good enough for Varsity/Prep where his ice time goes way up (practices), and your ice bill goes way down. Use half season to get your bender fit enough to compete at tryouts for a rotation spot.
It depends on the team and your kid’s situation and ability. If your kid can play on quality varsity program, which is unlikely for a freshman, find the best half season team, otherwise, find the best full season team