Saturday, September 06, 2008

Junior Jungle: Central Divison Pilot Underway

The OPJHL’s new Central Division had its inaugural game Friday night at St. Michael’s College School Arena between the St. Michael’s Buzzers and Markham Waxers. Commissioner Mike McCarron dropped the puck between Buzzer captain, Greg Miller and the Waxers' Giancarlo Iurio took the ceremonial faceoff as the captains from the six other Central Division pilot project teams watched on from the red carpet.

While The Buzzers jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead, the Waxers mounted a fierce comeback with three straight goals before Greg Miller's hat trick goal turned the tide back in the Buzzers favour and they eventually won 7-3. Bryan Black had two goals for the Waxers.

Looking on was Michigan Wolverines associate coach, Mel Pearson. When asked about the new pilot project he said, “It is too early to tell but I am hoping that this division will get other teams (around the league) to buy into the same philosophy and ideas (behind the creation of the Central Division).

The game also marked the debut of Buzzers coach Greg Kelly.


Jordie Dwyer said...

Okay, I know Tier II hockey quite I'm curious about what exactly is this pilot project?
Seems this post left out one of the five W's....

sager said...

Hi Jordie,

Here's Neil's original post outlining the Central Division.

Basically, the OPJHL used to have four conference -- East, West, North, South ... the problem was that a 35-team league tended to be very watered-down, compared to the AJHL or BCHL.

The Central Division's supposed to bring together the best-run programs that are magnets for the NCAA-track players. I believe they also want to use fewer 20-year-olds than in other leagues, among other things.

Jordie Dwyer said...

Ahhh...okay, got it...And to tell you the truth - The AJ and BC leagues are getting might bit watered down lately. So much so that the AJ president told me in the spring (when the Traders were trying to get their team back) that if the league were to say lose one or two teams - they might not be replaced.
As for BC, they aren't the powerhouse they were seven or eight years ago.
Oh, and for those of you that were wondering about the SJHL, they league isn't what it used to be either, since they can't seem to attract the talented Midget AAA players from their province anymore. Quite a number from last season are in the AJ this season.

sager said...

Everyone seems to be in a crunch to find capable players, all though junior hockey .... too many teams, increased costs of playing on a rep team, burnout, people having smaller families, lower percentage of babies being born male ... ton of factors.

John Edwards said...

Not to mention the fact that the Major Junior leagues are up over 60 teams now and that there are close to 60 NCAA D-I hockey teams. It wasn't that long ago that the number was closer to 45 for each.