According to reports I got back from my son, tryouts seemed to be going well. The first day they whittled the pack down to sixty and then to thirty. The remaining thirty would be fighting for a spot on the Varsity A team. Even if you ended up on the A or B squad, there was no guarantee you would stay there. A hard worker could earn his way up just as an A player could be sent down for any reason.
By the end of the week the coach divided the players into two teams for the Black and Gold intra-squad game, each consisting of four lines. The top two lines were the kids expected to make the A team.
Max was on the first line of one of the teams. That was a good sign and I was breathing easier.
I got a call from my son after the game telling me how it went. He made the A team. I was proud and relieved but not surprised at this point. I forget the details of how the game went but I believe it was close.
I already had my flight reserved and I flew in for Thanksgiving. I retrieved Max from school and headed up to Meredith about a half hour away to stay at Doug Hentz's house. Doug and his family were down in West Haven, Connecticut for the weekend. So it was just me and Max and the animals.
Max's roommate at Tilton was the starting goalie. I was a little surprised his family didn't invite Max over for Thanksgiving. Looks like it was going to be just me and him.
|Navio and Shamu|
I'd come in on Wednesday evening. We slept in on Thanksgiving morning. No hockey that day. The showcase started the next day.
There's a famous turkey farm and restaurant in Meredith named Hart's. I figured we go there for a holiday meal. We were hanging out watching football. It was around 1pm. I suggested we go eat. But nooo, Max wanted to watch more football. Ok. Whayevs. A little later I ask again. No, not yet. It was now going on 3:00 then 4:00 now nearly 5:00pm. Finally I got the kid off the couch and off to Hart's, which happened to stop serving at three o'clock. Nothing was open. We drove around. Of course I found a Chinese place but my picky eater would have none of that. We finally found an open tavern on Lake Winnipesaukee. So that's where we enjoyed chicken wings and a burger for our Thanksgiving dinner.
The Northeast Showcase started the next day. It was a collaboration between Pat Norton, the Tilton coach and Mike Addesa, who ran the Boston Advantage AAA program. The teams participating were a mixed bag of prep schools, junior teams, Midget AAA teams and Canadian "colleges" which is how they refer to their high schools.
I had played against Addesa when he coached Holy Cross back in my Uconn. He went on from Holy Cross to coach RPI to an NCAA national championship defeating Brett Hull's UMD Bulldogs in a 6-5 triple overtime thriller in 1985 in the semi final game and Providence College 2-1 in the championship. His coaching career ended in controversy as he was accused of using a racial slur against Graeme Townsend. Addesa went on to be a leader in youth and junior hockey in the Boston area. Here is a link to this incident.
Here are my notes of the showcase from the SoCal-hockey website:
Here was the line up for the Northeast Showcase Tilton Hosted this weekend.
The Varsity A team was Tilton Black. They went 4-0 in the round robin, beat Bridgeton Academy(all Post Grad School/team) in quarter finals 4-1 and Boston Advantage 3-2 in overtime.
Here's the overtime goal. Every player touches the puck in the space of about five seconds.
Lost 1-0 to Gilmour in the Final. Not a bad outing. This was the first weekend of live games. (2 15 minute periods was the showcase game format) A number of these teams have been playing since Labor Day. Nice mix of Prep, Canadian Prep and Tier and Junior teams in this showcase.
Califonia players were sprinkled throughout the rosters. Tilton has 3 skaters on the Varsity A and 3 on the Varsity B teams. They all did well.
Check out youtube for posting of clips from some of the highlights: Here's a nice shorty by Cody Marquis
South Jersey Raptors
Mass Maple Leafs
Academy St. Foy
Mass Maple Leafs (Red)
Academie St. Louis
I got stuck in holiday travel traffic and had to delay my flight home until Monday. I was trying to figure a way to extend my stay until the season opener on Wednesday against Exeter at Exeter. But I couldn't get a flight until Thursday and I couldn't justify being away from the office for so long. So I got home on Monday and anxiously awaited reports from the first game of the season.