The Pleasant Prairie Eagles are one of more than 20 organizations who plan to field Mite teams this year in the new Chicago United Hockey League. Read more about the league on their website.
See below for more on the founding of the Eagles Hockey Association.
Dear Mite Hockey Parents,
We are excited to update you on the state of Mite (U6/U8) hockey not only in Pleasant Prairie but throughout the Chicagoland area.
Several years ago, USA Hockey (historically the governing body for amateur hockey in the U.S.) implemented what they called the American Development Model, or ADM. We have embraced many of the core elements of the ADM: incorporating small-area games in practice, station-based training, etc. Where we (and many of the youth hockey programs in Chicago) disagree with USA Hockey is with the belief that all Mite Hockey must be played on half sheets, or cross-ice. We believe a blended approach consisting of full and half-ice would be more beneficial and enjoyable. Unfortunately, and despite significant time and effort spent by our club and others to find a solution, USA Hockey has mandated a plan that we do not find workable.
The Pleasant Prairie Patriots Hockey Association and at least 18 other local youth hockey programs have been meeting and discussing this issue regularly while USA Hockey has continued modifying player development protocols, including imposing further game limits, over the past 3 years. We feel that the direction of USA Hockey on this issue is inconsistent with how we believe players at a young age should be developed in terms of skills and their love of the game. Our belief is that local clubs, with direction from their Boards, Hockey Directors, and Staff, are in the best position to determine the best course of action for their skaters.
After lengthy and careful consideration, a new organization has been established for Mites that will include a Travel program. The new organization is the Pleasant Prairie Eagles. The Eagles travel teams will compete in the new Chicago United Hockey League (CUHL). CUHL will include at least 18 other travel Mite organizations from the Chicagoland area which could exceed 45 teams. The new league will offer a full season of 24 full-ice games, plus round robin playoffs, from September to March. Tournaments for Mite Travel teams will be in addition to their regular season games. Almost 100% of Mighigan mites are under the AAU umbrella and they are anxious to come here for tournaments and/or practice games! The Eagles will continue to practice and play primarily at the RecPlex Ice Arena.
How will this impact your child? The short answer is: very little. All Mites will participate in either a House League or Travel program in the same way as in the past. The only noticeable difference will come with registration. Patriots Squirt, Pee Wee, and Bantam teams will continue to be affiliated with USA Hockey. The newly formed Eagles Hockey for Mite-aged players with be affiliated with AAU.
The new Eagles Hockey Association will provide a separate web site and registration process for all U6 through U8 players. Registration will occur through that separate web site and insurance will now be provided through the AAU. While there is much work to do between now and September 1st to organize this transition, we will make it as seamless as possible for you, the customer.
We will continue to communicate to you as more details become available. Please direct any questions to those listed below. Enjoy the remainder of your summer! Hockey season will be here before we know it!
Any questions please feel free to contact Brian Luburich.