Having a daughter who has played at the higher end of both levels I would agree that the pace of the game, reaction and decision time and top end skill level are the biggest difference. The play at T1 is more consistent as well because even at Nationals in T2 you would see teams with girls of highly varying experience and talent level. Most T1 teams seem much more evenly matched.
Some T2 teams take any and every girl that wants to play as opposed to most T1's having very competitive try outs. Some teams are limited to T2 simply because of geographic limitations such as the Texas team but often play at the higher tier level in tournaments. Others simply could not compete locally in T1 so they go T2 if they want to be National bound.
The other big difference my D found was ice time and practice. Particularly practice where the pace and difficulty is generally governed by the weakest player. T1 was much more overspeed, structure and systems than T2.
ARM's point is well taken - you can expose a group of athletes, some of whom have raw speed, and others who are not as gifted, to the same training protocol, and those who were slower will gain speed, but the faster ones will too.
The slower player will make the greatest gains by improving technique and power, but that doesn't mean that skater can ever be faster than the one who started with a genetic advantage if all else is equal.
Clearly there is room in the game for both speed and power players - Jen Hitchcock and Sam Faber come to mind as examples of both who used their individual attributes to be prolific goal scorers.
The pace of the D-1 game is faster, and it is a no brainer that a recruiter is going to look for the fastest player with the best skills because repetiton and teaching systems will improve puck handling and game sense more than speed. That said, a smart player who is not as fleet of foot can be very deceiving if they see the ice well, know where to go to create the best advantage, and move the puck well.
My old coach used to tell us "If you're quick, you don't need to be fast."
Last edited by DC78-82; 04-05-2012 at 08:32 AM.
I BELIEVE in our 'CATS!
The best way (for me anyway) to describe the difference between Tier I and Tier 2 is to look at the gap (bottom of curve) from the best player to the bottom player. The other players are in between, with majority of players in the middle (the top of that curve). That gap is much wider (say here in Texas) then say in MA. In MA you may have more girls towards the top end (3-5), then here (1 or 2).
To overcome that gap we played at the highest possible 19U level when we traveled. Nike Bauer & Polar Bear where always played at the AA level. Locally the girls played boys teams at the Midget A level and in 3 years were 4-40-6. Until Tier 2 started in 2009-10 season we played at Tier 1 and CO Selects soundly beat us in the RMD Tier I Championship each year. We were Tier 1 lite and the last 3 years have confirmed that. With this move to Tier 1 and playing in the Tier1 Elite league the team here will actively recruit players, both in and out of the state.
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