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Bad Weather, Long Travel No Problem for Bay State Breakers

By Carl Chimenti, 04/08/17, 3:30PM MDT


Little challenges no factor in team’s run to nationals

TROY, Mich. -- Extreme snowfalls on the east coast become national news when cities like Boston or New York get hit with dozens of inches of powder.

For the Bay State Breakers, whose home rink is just south of Boston in Sandwich, Massachusetts, it’s simply a way of life.

Considering the team has players that already travel long distances to be there for games and practices, even on a good weather day, the weather can make it even more challenging. But that doesn’t faze the coaches or players, nor the parents, in getting the girls on time to the hockey rink.

It certainly didn’t stop them on their way to qualifying for the 2017 USA Hockey Girls Tier II 14U National Championships in Troy, Michigan.

“There are plenty of times when we receive lots of snow, but you get used to it because New England is part of the country where you have to be ready for that,” said Breakers Head Coach Brian Kennedy. “As hardy New Englanders, we deal with it.”

While weather conditions are just temporary, one might think that maybe the many miles that some of the kids and parents travel to get to practice or the game would be a deterrent. Not so, says Kennedy.

“We have a number of girls that travel between 20 and 40 miles to get to our home rink and you would think we would get a call off from maybe 6 or 7 players for any given practice or game schedule but that’s not the case here,” explained Kennedy. “We have a commitment from everybody, both the girls and their parents.”

For example, Macey White, an eighth-grade honor student who is one of two goaltenders for the Breakers, is one of the long-distance travelers, but she never calls off or is a no-show. Attending important things like practice, regular season games or her teammates keeps her coming.

“Macey is a three-sport varsity athlete at her local high school in Sandwich,” said Kennedy. “She is really proud of the fact that she does not miss any hockey-related activities. She just loves to be with her teammates and nothing stops her from coming to the rink. She is just an amazing girl and one of many on our team that makes that kind of a commitment.”

The Breakers completed a very strong season and most of the girls have 2003 birth years.

They are a very proud group who continually work very hard and progress to get better. That hard work has paid off for the team as they completed the nationals round robin with a 2-1 record that left them tied for second place in their division, one point away from the first-place Nova Ice Dogs.

The Breakers qualified for the playoffs and will start post season play at nationals against the North Shore Vipers on Sunday afternoon.

Kennedy rewarded the team with a few field trips, highlighted by seeing the U.S. National Women’s Team win gold at the IIHF Women’s World Championships in nearby Plymouth.

“We took the girls to a Ford plant to see how the Ford F-150 truck is built,” said Kennedy. “We also … plan to take in a Detroit Tigers game this weekend as they play the Boston Red Sox. All in all, a little Michigan culture and I think the girls really enjoyed it.”

Kennedy also praised the tournament organizers for a great effort. He just marveled at how smooth the week had gone. “This has been a fantastic tournament,” stated Kennedy. “It’s been run so very well. Detroit youth hockey has gone above and beyond, doing a fabulous job that they should be really proud of.” 

Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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2017 USA Hockey National Championship Sites

Division Location Host Dates
Youth Tier I (14U) Scottsdale, Arizona Arizona Amateur Hockey April 6-10, 2017
Youth Tier I (15-year-olds only) Scottsdale, Arizona Arizona Amateur Hockey April 6-10, 2017
Youth Tier I (16U, 18U) Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Pittsburgh Penguins Elite April 6-10, 2017
Girls Tier I Rochester/Macomb, Michigan HoneyBaked Hockey Club April 6-10, 2017
Women's A, B, C Rochester/Macomb, Michigan HoneyBaked Hockey Club April 6-9, 2017
High School Cleveland, Ohio Cleveland Suburban Hockey March 22-26, 2017
Girls Tier II Troy, Michigan Troy Youth Hockey Association April 6-10, 2017
Youth Tier II (14U) Coral Springs, Florida Florida Panthers Ice Den April 6-10, 2017
Youth Tier II (16U) Frisco, Texas Texas Amateur Hockey April 6-10, 2017
Youth Tier II (18U) Lansing, Michigan Lansing Hockey Club April 6-10, 2017
Sled San Jose, California Sharks Ice April 6-9, 2017
Adult Rec Men's Wesley Chapel, Florida Florida Hospital Center Ice April 20-23, 2017
Adult Rec Women's Ellenton, Florida Ellenton Ice and Sports Complex April 27-30, 2017