The Week Ahead
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Ian McNally5 months ago
Hello 14B Families,
I just wanted to send a note on the EJEPL as I know you guys had a tough weekend on the road and it's frustrating to travel for games like that. There have unfortunately been scores like this within our EJ games across all divisions so far, with Princeton teams on both sides of it.
The EJ is a supplemental league to the NJYHL, which is our main league. We are only assigned so many NJ games each season and so we end up with many other weekends that we look to fill in our schedule with non-league games (why that is the case to begin with is another question/conversation!). In past years we would reach out to other clubs to set those non-league games outside of the NJ schedule. The difference this year is that the Black Bear rinks "AHF" league broke off to do their own thing (Stars, Jaguars, etc.), so the pool of teams we could schedule for additional non-league games has shrunk. The appeal to join the EJ then, is that it gives us those additional games we would be seeking anyway, against a variety of opponents, within a league format with standings/stats/playoffs and all that other good stuff, in theory.
The issue that some teams are facing for far is that the divisions are tougher to regulate since this league spans across multiple states. They don't call it A and B for instance because different states A and B levels might not match up. So the onus is on the clubs to place their teams appropriately. At the U14 level, the EJ has 5 divisions- Diamond, Gold 1, Gold 2, Silver 1, Silver 2. We entered our 14B team into the 5th division, Silver 2. With that being the case, it's confusing why we would play against teams that appear that much stronger than us when there are 4 other higher divisions that each could have entered. Again, we are unfortunately seeing this across 10U and 12U as well.
Looking forward, you guys have the EJ showcase, multiple games against Secaucus, and another weekend against Navy. With the showcase weekends, there has been an effort on the league's part to setup competitive schedules meaning that hopefully we draw the likes of Genesis and the LI Enforcers for this next one (since that hasn't been released yet though, I can't guarantee that's the case yet). Then I know that Secaucus got the best of us the first time around but looking at other scores since then, this is hopefully a more appropriate match-up for us in those coming games starting this weekend. The Navy series in Dec. is the one that does stand out as problematic still, so we can at least see if there is something the league can do to adjust that.
I just wanted to send this to offer a little more information about what the EJ is and why we are in it. I will also plan to be at Baker rink on Thursday night before your 8:15pm practice if anyone would like to follow-up about this or anything else going on!