In a year when the Pittsburgh Jr Penguins challenged their members to step it up a notch by adding a Tier II Jr A level team to the Program, the player pool ran thin for our Jr B Premier and Jr Selects teams (our 3rd and 4th Jr teams in the program). With fewer players on each roster and with more than the norm being asked to move up a level, both teams were at a disadvantage all season long.
Things became difficult for both teams when injuries mounted and games were played without the full complement of healthy players while they each faced opponents that were returning large numbers of players to the same level teams. However, both teams are to be commended on their performance under the circumstances. And, as a result, those players will be in a much better position to compete in the 2010-11 season.
Now that the Club has overcome that skip of a beat that comes along with moving up the ladder, the outlook is good for the players that return for next season. Most will again be expected to move up level, but at least this time, the pool will become deeper. That will be largely because Jr Council has eliminated the Jr C level and the Club won\’t be managing the Tier I U16\’s next season.
For the 2010 season, the Jr Penguins will focus on managing just three teams; Jr B Premier in the CHA, Empire Jr B and the CSHL Jr A team. By streamlining the program to include only three teams, the tryouts will net a stronger and deeper core of returning and new players. Although the players were disappointed that their teams did not advance into the playoffs this season, they all made huge progress in player development which will help them achieve their goals for the new season.
New for 2010, the CHA Jr B Premier League will expand to include six new franchises with most coming from the Boston area. The League will increase to eighteen total teams which will expose the players to some new challenging programs. Similarly, there will be some minor changes in the Empire Jr B league where one of its weaker members will be selling and moving their franchise and a couple new programs may be added with membership approval pending.
In addition to some non-League and Tournament games, the Jr B Premier team completed its season at 9-22-4 while the Jr Selects were 7-18-1-1. The returning players will have something to build on as they challenge themselves against the new CHA and Empire Jr B competition in 2010.
To finish out the season, Brian Cersosimo will be coaching the Best -of-the-Rest All-Stars at the Nationals in Marlborough the last weekend in March. Pittsburgh will be represented by as many as four players on that team including the team\’s leading scorer forward Ethan Martin and forward Toby Nehnevajsa plus defenseman Jesse Grossman and Jeremy Todd. Congratulations to Coach Cersosimo and his players that were selected by the League.
For more information about the Pittsburgh Jr Penguins, visit us on line at www.JuniorPenguins.com.