In youth travel hockey, the 2017 Eastern Regional Silver Stick Tournament is one of eighteen qualifying tournaments in the United States. Regional champions move on to the International Finals competing against other regional champions.
This year, 102 teams including 1,702 players and 347 coaches and managers traveled near and far to compete in Maryland over Thanksgiving weekend for a chance to play in the Silver Stick International Finals in Forest, Ontario Canada. Seven of those teams traveled from Austin, Texas. While most of the Texas Junior Stars and their families flew out east, a handful of families actually drove the 1,545 miles to attend the three-day tournament.
Searching for a tournament that had everything
Jason Maurer, Coaching Director for the Austin Metro Hockey Association states, “As an organization, we wanted to go to a tournament that would have more meaning and importance for us like a Silver Stick, along with the chance to advance to Canada and play at a national level. We also wanted all of our teams to be able to participate so we could support one another. This tournament had all of the levels and age groups we needed allowing our whole program to attend.
Cost consideration was a factor as well. Many of our families have more than one player in other divisions. So to be able to travel together was more feasible than doing separate tournaments. Coming east to the Baltimore/WashDC area was also a plus. Being that it was the holiday week, we could arrive before the tournament and take in the many sights we don’t get to see regularly. Many of us made it into a family vacation.”
Easy Tournament Registration through StatMonsters.com
As Coaching Director, Maurer registered for the Eastern Regional Silver Stick Tournament early in the season before travel tryouts were completed. Without team managers in place, registration of all seven teams fell to Maurer.
“I found the StatMonsters.com registration tool super easy to use and pretty self-explanatory. It was great having everything in one place. Unlike other tournaments, with StatMonsters I could click a button to make a payment, add a roster, etc., with minimal paperwork needed and I could do it all online. It was a big timesaver.”
During tournament weekend, Maurer continues, “I used StatMonsters.com as a resource for restaurants and things to do between games. That’s where I found the Rockville Town Square. Coming from Texas, it was very helpful.”
3 days, 5 venues, 10 sheets of ice
Travel Team Manager newcomer, Casandra Carreno, in the Squirt B division was pleasantly surprised when she arrived at the Frederick venue. “Everyone at the rink was so knowledgeable and helpful. When one of our players forgot a glove back at the hotel, they immediately provided a pair to borrow,” recalls Carreno.
Three-time Travel Team Manager, Jen Olson’s Peewee A Team played at the Columbia, Frederick, and Laurel venues. She adds, “We’ve always heard good things about Eastern Regional Silver Stick. The tournament ended up being very well run, games were on time, and the scores were updated quickly. We’d definitely come back.”
Maurer sums up his experience in Maryland stating, “We came to the Eastern Regional Silver Stick Tournament because we wanted to create memories for our families and players. And we achieved that. Our teams’ success blew me away. I was excited to see us perform so well. We had a great time and would definitely do it all again.”