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USA Hockey Sanctions CHA's Premier Division to Junior B Status

--- press Release ---
USA Hockey Sanctions the CHA's Premier Division to Junior B Status

 

June 9th, 2006, Chesapeake, VA
by George Wolfe

Junior Whalers and CHA Premiere Division to compete at the Junior B classification for Upcoming season.
The Hampton Roads Junior Whalers continue to receive good news this week. Early today at the USA Hockey Junior Council Meeting, the CHA Premiere Division, the division that the Junior Whalers will participating in this season, has received Junior B status within USA Hockey. The CHA will now compete with six other Junior B leagues across the country for the Silver Cup National Championship Trophy. The Silver Cup trophy has been in the hands of the Central States Hockey Leagues St. Louis Junior Blues for three straight seasons.

The move to Junior B comes just days after the Junior Whalers were granted status into the Premiere Division of the CHA from the Board of Governors. This is a huge accomplishment for the first year Junior Whalers program to be able to compete at this level. The Junior Whaler's vision, when they started the program, was to start at Junior B and then move to a Junior A program in the next few years. In the course of a week the organization is now half way to its goal and moving at a speed that no one could have predicted. Hampton Roads Junior Whalers Owner Pat Cavanagh had this to say...

..."We are very excited to have made so much progress in a short period of time. This is a great day for hockey and the players in our area."

Junior B hockey in the United States is a huge feeder of players to both Junior A leagues in the country... the North American Hockey League (NAHL) and the United States Hockey League (USHL). It also moves many players into good Division III college programs across the country. The move to Junior B will now give the Junior Whalers a larger pool of players to recruit from coast to coast. The primary objective for younger players on the Junior Whalers will be to move them up to the Junior A level and for the older players to get them to top Division III collegiate institutions.

According to Pat Dunn, AHL Norfolk Admirals Vice President and Executive member of the Whaler Nation Youth Program,...

..."The past few years has seen Junior B hockey in the United States start to grow and acquire many of the top younger players in the country. For the Junior Whalers, this is going to be a huge test but one that Head Coach Brent Agrusa is more then prepared for. Agrusa has coached at both the Junior B and Junior A level in the Central States Hockey League and the North American Hockey League and is no stranger to success at both levels. At the Junior B level, Agrusa turned the Metro Jets of the CSHL from last place to one of the top teams in the country in just one season. At the Junior A level Agrusa put together over 100 wins in three seasons with the Helena Bighorns of the NAHL and three straight playoff appearances. In those three seasons Agrusa moved over 30 players into college hockey and many others into the pro circuit. It was the most productive era the city of Helena had seen in its ten plus years of Junior A hockey heritage. Brent is also known as the person that was instrumental in putting the team together the past two seasons for the Bighorns affiliate club the Queen City Cutthroats which has won two straight NORPAC Junior B championships."

The Junior Whalers have selected 13 players to its squad so far and will look to add the remaining players to its team at its next tryout camp July 7-9. Head Coach Brent Agrusa had this to say about the news in the past few days... "I am very excited for the organization and the league to now be competing at the Junior B level. This is a great step for hockey in the Hampton Roads area and there is still more to come. I am confident that we will compete hard and make the area proud of its new Junior B team."

The change to Junior B will now give the CHA all star team the opportunity to compete in the Junior B All Star Weekend in Minnesota in November. This event will draw many of the Junior A and College scouts to see the top players in each league compete against each other. Hampton Roads Junior Whalers Head Coach Brent Agrusa has been selected as one of the coaches to represent the CHA in the tournament.

USA HOCKEY SANCTIONED JUNIOR B LEAGUES FOR THE UPCOMING SEASON

Jr. Whaler Tryout Set For July...
The next open tryout will be held Friday, July 7th through Sunday, July 9th at the Chilled Ponds Ice Sports Complex in Chesapeake, VA. This tryout is open to any player regardless of prior year team affiliation. The fee for the tryout is $200.00. Please download and complete the tryout registration form at the link provided below and coordinate payment prior to June 30th, 2006. Limited space remains on each tryout team. Teams will be filled on a first come, first serve basis once the tryout registration form is received with payment in full.

Download the Junior Tryout Registration Form

Registration forms and payment can be dropped-off directly to the Chilled Ponds Ice Sports Complex. Additionally, registration forms can be mailed or FAX'd to the following:

Mailing Address: FAX Number:
  • Payment Methods:
Chilled Ponds Ice Sports Complex
(Attn: Junior Whalers)
1416 Stephanie Way
Chesapeake, VA 23320
(757)-420-2375
  • Personal Check
  • Cash
  • Money Order
  • Credit Card (Master Card or Visa)
  • Tryout Schedule:

    Friday, July 7th:

    • 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm Registration & Team Assignment
    • 8:00 pm - 9:20 pm Team #1 vs Team #2
    • 9:30 pm - 10:50 pm Team #3 vs Team #4

    Saturday, July 8th:

    • 11:00 am - 12:20 pm Team #1 vs Team #3
    • 12:30 pm - 1:50 pm Team #2 vs Team #4
    • 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm Off Ice Testing
    • 6:00 pm - 7:20 pm Team #1 vs Team #4
    • 7:30 pm - 8:50 pm Team #2 vs Team #3

    Sunday, July 9th:

    • 11:00 am - 12:20 pm Team #1 vs Team #2
    • 12:30 pm - 1:50 pm Team #3 vs team #4
    • 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm Player Meetings

    For more information, please contact on the following:

    • Brent Agrusa, Junior Whaler Head Coach: brent.agrusa@whalernation.com
    • Chilled Ponds information kiosk: (757) 420-4488
    • Junior Whaler website: www.jrwhalers.com

    It's time to challenge yourself to be the best you can be. Do you have what it takes to be a Junior Whaler?



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