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09-04-2009, 03:35 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Playa Herradura, CR
Country: Costa Rica
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Silver Sticks is not US based.

This is a tough question because you limit the choices to USA based tourneys. No doubt they will still include foreign teams.

Leaving aside the state/regional and national playoffs, and assuming your focus is on AAA hockey, it is hard to go wrong with the MI based tournaments. That said, I am a bit embarrassed I cannot name them. I have/had 2 kids in AAA for years. When younger the Silver sticks was the a goal, and so was the Marly (toronto). As they grew older the Chicago AAA tourney (I think Bauer) was big for them and of course nationals is always the biggest goal.

Our family has been to a ton of these tournaments. The biggest US title is w/o question nationals(we have been sooooooooooooooo lucky to see both our sons win this title). After that I believe it is the Bauer AAA tournament in Chicago. Minny's is definitely the high school state playoffs.

Over-all for youth hockey the Silver Sticks is big, but the Quebec international Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament is the biggest tournament around.

Specifically to the US follow these 2 principles and you will be fine:

1) Itis all about what teams are in a tournament. If we did not see a good number of certain teams such as Honeybaked,Belle Tire, Little Caesars, Shattuck (over-rated as they are), Brampton, Marlies, Americans, etc. we moved on. Tournament particiption rotates. It is all about who is there.

2) Whichever tournament your kids is playing is the biggest, baddest tournament in the USA, planet, universe, etc. Enjoy THAT one.

Qick story - The national medals are framed with a photo of them receiving the medal and in their rooms. The only 2 displayed for family and friends were choosen by them. It was not the biggest tournament, not even close. Both choose their very first medal. OK, both happend to be plaques, but you get the point. It is a great ride if you sit back, stay quiet and enjoy. Too many get caught up in the politics. My oldest went to successive national camps. We politiely declined future invites and, in fact, our younger son does not particpate in these build up "select" camps. For us, it was not fun. Both are having fun. One is in the WHL now and the other will soon move on to junior hockey.

Good luck and remembertheyare PLAYING hockey not "working" hard to win.

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