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I have a son playing U14 platinum this year with another kid (2011) that will be there in a few years. My experience this year has been great but that is because the coach has a full roster with kids showing up to practice the 2nd half of the year. We have played a lot of games plus tournaments and with friends who went the Elite full season path this year all I hear is complaints about the 2nd half being a big disappointment between very small amount of games and no one at practice. The level of play is a slight step down from platinum in years past most notably at the bottom of the division otherwise the top half is still good hockey. We are a family just trying to enjoy one more full season and it has been awesome. My son is good not great and will transition to 1/2 season next year with HS being his focus before he heads off to college. If you're an 09 parent looking at U14 next year and need full season look for one of the top platinum teams and a coach that is prepared to build a roster with the right mix of kids. If you go down the Elite path be prepared for a 2nd half of the season filled with 6 player practices and travel to distant rinks for games on Sunday afternoons.
I can only assume MHR is accurate bc coaches love their rankings but look at the game count post Thanksgiving for some of the Elite full season teams compared to Platinum Tier 1. Since Thanksgiving (game counts reported to MHR)...
Rats Full Season = 8
Railers = 9
Islanders Full Season = 6
TG Elite = 11
Eagles T1 = 19
TG T1 = 21
Huskies T1 = 16