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CSHL Showcase A Success Yet Again

October 27, 2010

The Central States Hockey League Showcase converged on Burton, Mich., last weekend as Ice Mountain Arenas hosted the annual league event from Oct. 22-25.

All 12 teams in the Tier III Junior A circuit played four games in four days in front of fans, families and numerous college and junior scouts.

The showcase changes locales each season and Ice Mountain, along with the Michigan Mountain Cats franchise, received praise for this year’ s event.

“ This is a great facility and the Mountain Cats have been very gracious hosts,” said Metro Jets head coach Jason Cirone. “ This was a great weekend and it was put on well. The only change I’ d like to see is each team play four different teams, instead of just two teams, but for travel reasons, I understand that.”

Over the course of the showcase, scouts came and went and not just from area teams as two teams from the Central (Ontario) Junior Hockey League (Pembroke and Brockville) had scouts in the building as well as a coach from Fitchburg State, a Division III school in Massachusetts. NAHL scouts were also in and out of the rink all weekend.

“ Like anything else, the exposure that the kids get from multiple sources, whether it’ s North American Hockey League teams, or D-III schools or D-I club teams, gives everybody an opportunity in a short window to see them playing four games in a row,” said Queen City Steam head coach Don Biggs. “ (The showcase) starts the process of moving some of these kids up to the next level.”

As for the showcase schedule with each team playing four times, Biggs noted that “ it is what it is.”

“ One thing you have to realize is that not a lot of these schools (that scout the CSHL) have a big budget,” explained Biggs. “ If that’ s what we have to do to get these guys to come watch our kids play four in four, you have to suck it up and you have to do it.”

“ This is just a great opportunity and a great venue to see all the teams in our league,” added Toledo Cherokee head coach Scott Syring. “ In terms of the competition, all the games have been pretty competitive. There were a couple lopsided games, but for the most part, it has been a very competitive showcase. In terms of having all 12 teams in the building every single day, it’ s a fantastic opportunity for our league to be able to showcase itself and showcase the talent we have in this league. That’ s the one thing I’ ve heard feedback from with scouts is that from the guys that haven’ t seen our league before, they have told me they’ ve been very impressed with the overall talent and that’ s the important thing.

“ These scouts get the chance to see not just one or two guys by going to one building and watching one game, but they get to see the top 10 or 15 players. I think that’ s a huge advantage for the league from that standpoint.”

Biggs also said that the CSHL is a very underrated league and that while it has flown under the radar for several years, that statement is starting to change, and for the better.

“I think the whole reason we got into this was because we wanted to give kids opportunities to go to school and hockey was secondary,” Biggs said. “ This league is a great outlet for these kids to go out and open some eyes and if these kids get nothing else other than a four-year education and getting a great start in the real world, then we’ ve done our jobs.”

CSHL SHOWCASE RESULTS

Friday, Oct. 22
Metro 3, Mountain Cats 2
Toledo 8, Battle Creek 3
Chicago 10, Cleveland 1
Queen City 5, Peoria 4 (OT)
Pittsburgh 5, Quad City 2
St. Louis 5, Flint 4 (SO)

Saturday, Oct. 23
Peoria 6, Metro 4
Chicago 7, Flint 4
Pittsburgh 9, Battle Creek 4
Cleveland 3 St. Louis 1
Toledo 6, Quad City 4
Queen City 4, Mountain Cats 0

Sunday, Oct. 24
Pittsburgh 5, Quad City 3
St. Louis 5, Flint 2
Chicago 7, Cleveland 2
Peoria 4, Queen City 2
Mountain Cats 3, Metro 2
Toledo 4, Battle Creek 3

Monday, Oct. 25
St. Louis 4, Cleveland 3 (OT)
Quad City 8, Toledo 7
Peoria 7, Metro 4
Chicago 7, Flint 3
Pittsburgh 11, Battle Creek 1
Queen City 6, Mountain Cats 1

 
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