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Sorry about that. It was around 5am, I agree Boston breakers and eagles are also National type programs in the neghl. No disrespect intended. Good players on all these teams.
Above poster gave a good concise post on the league and the top programs. I know the Colorado programs mostly played all the Midwest teams including my daughters old team. I will give you the major differences you are going to find out here. We have been out here for 3 years after moving from Detroit where my daughter played AAA for 3 years.
$- this is a big one. Midwest hockey is ridiculous expensive. I have never paid more than $3,500 to play Tier one out here. Back home we paid anywhere from $15-$17,000 all in. It was usually is broken out by -Card signing($9-$10K), Uniform package ($1,200)-3 sweaters, pants, helmet, gloves, socks, off ice workout gear, Travel Gear, Winter coats, Pink jerseys for Pink the rink etc. $1,000 slush fund, $1,000 coaches fund and it will say right in the contract prepare to pay $6-8,000 on travel. Here you get your jerseys and socks and you can buy other swag if you want but its not mandatory. You also have so many good teams right here in the state that your travel is pretty easy. Her current team participates in a labor day and Columbus day tourney and that is it. In Detroit we would do a minimum of 6 tournaments with 2 being in Detroit and travel at least 2 of the 4 weekends overnight.
Game counts- Midwest you almost always play 65-70 games a year. Out here we usually play 35 or so if you are at the age of split season. In Detroit it was broken out by hours. We were promised 130 hours of ice time. If you played 70 games that equaled 70 hours and therefore you were going to get another 60 hours of practice time. Off ice does not count against those hours.
Practices- usually 2 a week here and some skills offered. Back home it was 3 x a week and 2 x a week off ice everything provided by the club (MANDATORY). I cant stress this part enough-Girls play multiple sports out here! You will see girls who cant make practices or tournaments because they have other things going on.(I think this is a good thing) That would have never flown in Detroit. Out there when you sign the card it is emphasized that you will only play for one team and you will be at every practice and off ice as well as all the tournaments and games unless you are ill. All other sports take a back seat.
Teams- Back home it was one team at each birth year as you described. Very cut throat. 70 girls line up in the Spring to try to get a spot. No birth years. 20 make it and the others move on to try at different clubs or dont play AAA that year. Out here as mentioned there are a plethora of clubs at each age group at each program. Seems the last few years the push is birth year teams. Very popular at the 14U age with all the big clubs having 13 and 14 age #1 teams and then multiple combined teams as well. You need to ask about this. You didnt mention if your daughter was a major or minor birth year. Just understand because if you come out and make the "2nd" team it may actually be the "1st" team for her age group. Its a concept that was very foreign to us when we got here but seems to work well here. It will get very confusing for you when you here the minor birth year teams play tier 2 hockey. In the Midwest its almost seen as a failure to play tier 2 hockey and its frankly not very good. It is not that way at all out here. The big powerhouse programs minor birth year teams are really good. They all play each other. There were two minor birth year teams playing last weekend right before my daughters team took the ice and they were both exceptional. Really good girls hockey. The program director can explain the age group and tier 1 vs tier 2 national bound rules etc.
Split season- Hockey takes off in September as you are used to. Practices and games are played on a normal schedule that you would be used to until the end of November. At that time the girls will almost all play with their prep or high school team. Practices are still held during that time but the teams are usually combined as there are very few players that attend. Games are usually only played on Sundays as you wouldnt be able to field a team on the other days. Prep is very big out here and on our team about 90% of the girls attend. Prep in the Midwest is rare and the team carries on like normal Sept-March. High school was also not big in the Midwest except Minnesota which is its own animal. There is a "juniors" option out here that I wont bother explaining but ask about it. Point is you better have something in the pipeline during those months ( prep or high school).
Tryouts- Here they start the Monday after Nationals and you go 3 or 4 times and teams are picked. That Midwest crap of having to play the 6 week Spring league for the team you want to try out with is such bull**** and a $ scam.
Those are the main differences I can think of that you will face. Which is better? I dont have an answer for you. We enjoyed our 3 years playing in Detroit and we have enjoyed our 3 years playing in MA with the same team. Do you due diligence and call programs directors and coaches and get a feel for it all. Welcome to Massachusetts.
You really just took the time to write that?
We could use more people like that on here. Imagine instead of vaccine and politics BS that someone took the time to legitimately try to help someone moving here. What a novel concept.
For someone looking into prep schools in the next year or so, what are the better options for schools in MA/NH? Both Hockey and Academics. Thanks for your help! New to girls prep.
Thank you to all that replied. To the Detroit guy I really appreciate you explaining the differences. Very helpful. I feel like I have a nice starting point to reach out.
Have a great season.
Not knowing where you are going to end up, I think the following should help if you are going south and north of Boston. I don't know the landscape up north all that well.
South Shore: If you are planning on moving to any where south of Boston you are going to have a ton of options. Literally if you were to drop a pin at Hingham MA (02043) you will have the following options less than 30 min. Tier 1 (NEGHL): Spitfires (Foxboro), Bay State Breakers (Kingston) and Bridgewater Bandits (Bridgewater). Tier 2: All mentioned prior have a T2 teams however there are other programs outside the NEGHL that have a lot of talent but might not be at the T1 level. Those teams would be Boston Advantage, Jr. Terriers (first year in the NEGHL) and Lady Militia (first year but do have u19 and u16 programs)
North Shore: Tier 1 (NEGHL) Boston Jr Eagles, Assabett, Wizards, Charles River, Islanders and NS Vipers. Tier 2 again all programs listed prior have T2 options. Looking outside the NEGHL, the ESGHL has some really solid talent at the Tier 2 level. In fact I believe last year the Wings or Pioneers were ranked 20th in the country for Tier 2. Then you have another program Valley Jr. Warriors making a lot of noise.
My .02 is this. If you have a daughter that is a Tier 1 level the NEGHL will be you best bet. If your daughter is a T2 you will have a lot more options even if it is outside the NEGHL.
Also keep in mind Tier I where you are may be equivalent to Tier 2 here.