High School Ice Hockey:
Wednesday, November 20, 2002
By Mike Costantino
As we reach the halfway point of the SJHSIHL season, there are a few surprises, mostly in Tier 2. With so many Tier 2 teams, thirteen in all, there are two divisions, the Olympic and American. Cherry Hill East, previously a Tier 1 team, leads the American and St. John Neumann also a previous Tier 1 team, leads the Olympic division. Last years champion of Tier 2, West Deptford has struggled and just recently won their first game. Tier 1 has only five teams since Washington Township left to compete in another league. In an effort to have the five schools in Tier 1 compete at that level, the league has scheduled crossover games with schools from Pennsylvania.
Now I understand the concept of the competition, but with the unusual amount of Tier 2 teams, why couldn't the league after the first half of the season re-evaluate teams that are competing in Tier 2 and place them in Tier1? Now I'm sure the dissenters would say that it's not possible with the scheduling, but isn't the ice reserved ahead of time? Wouldn't the fans be better served to see a 5-4 game instead of an 8-0 blowout? There is no doubt the attendance at the varsity games are down this year. Part of the problem is there are no rivalries. Another issue could be the start time with some Tier 1 games scheduled at 5:30, a time when people are either driving home or eating dinner. I don't profess to have the answers, just a few questions.
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