The game of youth hockey continues to thrive in Western Pennsylvania. While the past ten to fifteen years have been growth stages for the sport, organizations and officials continue to take it to the next level. Along with the creation of the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods, the most recent example of a highly skilled hockey program sprouting up in Western PA is the Pittsburgh Selects.
The Pittsburgh Selects are a top-notch spring hockey program, consisting of eight teams. They include the 2000-2005 birth years, with two teams at the 2003 and 2005 levels. These teams are mostly for developmental purposes, while the 2003 and 2004 Selects are the only squads who will be competing in tournaments. The remaining teams will be strictly practice teams, focusing on skill and skating development.
From May 3 to May 5, the ’03 and ’04 Selects headed to Toronto to compete in the Top Tier Tournament, where they competed against other elite spring clubs in their age groups. This was the first of two major tournaments in which they will be competing. The other will be the Ronald McDonald tournament in Toronto from June 7 to 9.
The 2003 Selects will then have an opportunity to make Team Pennsylvania for the 2013 BRICK International Super Novice Tournament in Edmonton. Team Pennsylvania will feature the top 10-year-old players in the state and will compete against teams from Canada and the U.S. at the West Edmonton Mall July 1-7. A familiar face for hockey fans in the state of Pennsylvania will behind the behind the bench, as former Penguins and Flyer Mark Recchi will be calling the shots for the Keystone squad.
The Pittsburgh Selects will offer yet another quality outlet for highly skilled players to stay on the ice during the warm weather seasons, while also receiving exceptional coaching and training.