Ice Hockey, like every top-level sport, requires big commitment from both parents and players.
Over the past several weekends, this has proved to be the case for many individuals vying for a spot on their perspective Central State Development hockey teams.
As mentioned in previous blogs, Missouri Youth Hockey has become a dominant force. Steve Brickman, a long time active member for Missouri hockey, recalls back when he first started in the mid-80s. “There wasn’t a team in St. Louis at tier II or at the tier I level in most cases, that could go out of town to Wisconsin, Chicago or wherever and be competitive. But now, we are looked upon as one of the strongest hockey markets per capita based on our numbers.”
This past season, Affton sent three teams at the tier II levels to Nationals. The year before that, Chesterfield won midget major and midget minor tier II National titles, which was the third midget major championship and the midget minor’s first.
The Central States Developmental Hockey League (CSDHL) is a competitive league organized for the elite Tier II hockey teams within Amateur Hockey Association of Illinois and the Central States region. It is affiliated with USA Hockey and field’s teams at the Squirt, Peewee Minor, Peewee Major, Bantam Minor, Bantam Major, Midget Minor and Midget Major Levels. It offers players the opportunity to compete against the best AAA and AA talent around the country, especially within the Midwest.
The CSDHL program includes excellent handpicked coaching, additional ice opportunities (practices & games), and the opportunity to participate in high-level tournaments, beyond the scope of traditional AA programs. The league prides itself on promoting player development and the highest standard of sportsmanship and academic excellence.
Being a part of the CSDHL requires a high level of commitment. CHA conducts tryouts in June and teams skate from August through March. Teams that qualify for USAH National Championship (Bantam, Midget Major, and Midget Minor) can expect to skate until early April.