The Michigan Interscholastic Hockey League (MIHL) has again teamed up with the city of Trenton and Trenton Public Schools to present the Seventeenth Annual MIHL Prep Hockey Showcase. The Showcase, which features 40 top ranked high school hockey teams and players from Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio, will be held over three days: Thursday, February 2nd, Friday, February 3rd and Saturday, February 4th.
The Showcase is an important event that supports the mission of the Michigan Interscholastic Hockey League. MIHL President, Andy Weidenbach states, “The main goal of the MIHL is to promote quality high school hockey, strong competition and sportsmanship. The Showcase complements that mission. The first sixteen Showcases were tremendous successes and we are very optimistic about this year’s event. High school hockey in Michigan has experienced tremendous growth; accordingly, the Showcase has expanded from 12 teams to 40 teams so that we can continue our mission of providing exposure for the best of high school hockey.”
The MIHL Prep Hockey Showcase, clearly the premier high school hockey event of the season, benefits the teams, the players, the fans and the scouts. The competition is at a very high level and the fans will see some very entertaining games. Individual players get exposure to Junior A and college scouts and in turn the scouts are able to observe the largest accumulation of high school hockey talent in the state. Most of the Top Ten Rated (MHSHCA High School Hockey Rankings) teams in each of the three divisions will be participating in The Showcase (the top 6 rated teams in Division I, all of the Top Ten in Division II, 8 out of the Top Ten in Division III and all 9 of the Super Ten).
Over the last few years, there have been some positive developments in Michigan high school hockey as more and more of its players are showing up on the rosters of junior teams and Division I colleges. Several college coaches have commented that scouting the state of Michigan for hockey talent definitely includes high school players, noting that the MIHL Prep Hockey Showcase allows them to see the best teams and players in the state in a highly competitive environment. The general consensus is that it is very well organized event that allows the scouts to do their jobs efficiently. Many coaches and scouts state that the MIHL Showcase is “a must attend event.” At last year’s Showcase scouts representing every USHL and NAHL team were represented as were several Division III college hockey teams. Many of the leading Division I college hockey programs had one or two representatives in attendance and there were six NHL teams represented.
Three teams (Gabriel Richard, St. Ignatius (OH) and Romeo) will be making their first appearance at the MIHL Prep Hockey Showcase and five teams (Livonia Churchill, Allen Park, Stoney Creek, Forest Hills N/E and Novi) will be returning to the Showcase after an absence of a few years. This fits right in with the original goal of the Selection Committee according to Scott Lock, Chairman of the Selection Committee, “The selection process is getting more challenging as the level of play in Michigan high school hockey advances. In order to attract the scouting community, which is essential to meeting one of the objectives, we need quality teams and high skill level players participating in the Showcase. These new teams provide that element by adding to the strong competition and good sportsmanship that are the hallmarks of the Showcase.”
Mark Vellucci, Head Coach Novi High School is looking forward to the 2017 MIHL Prep Hockey Showcase after a few years absence, “It provides us the opportunity to play in two really competitive games. We have 17 players returning this season and the Showcase will give them valuable exposure to the scouting community. Our players will be excited and proud to represent Novi in the Showcase. As a coach, I am really looking forward to it.”
Patrick O’Rourke, Head Coach, St. Ignatius (Cleveland), “This is a huge step as we look to grow our program and become more of a regional power and not just a state power. The MIHL Prep Hockey Showcase gives us the opportunity to attain our goals. Our schedule immediately becomes strengthened and the benefits of the exposure for our players to the scouting community are immeasurable. When I informed the team that we would be in the MIHL Showcase this year they were more than enthusiastic. I think our off-season workouts just got a little more intense. We want to be ready.”
Weidenbach summed it up, “Sixteen years ago it was a very modest event and when we observe what it has become, we are very proud of what has been accomplished. The MIHL met its goals as a league and as a co-sponsor of the event. All teams, players and coaches of high school hockey in Michigan have benefitted. The Showcase is one of the results of our stated league mission. The MIHL would like to thank all of the schools, coaches, players, supporters and especially the Trenton hockey community (over 100 volunteers) who have joined with us to make the MIHL Prep Hockey Showcase what it is today.”
Ticket prices for the Showcase are:
Adults - $6.00 per day or $10.00 for a 3 day pass
Seniors and students - $5.00 per day or $8.00 for a 3 day pass.
Active Duty Military Personnel and their families will receive free admission with Uniform or Military ID!
For additional information go to: http://mihl.pointstreaksites.com/view/mihl/prep-showcase
or contact Pat Ronayne: 248 225 1264 or PJRonayne@comcast.net
PARKING: The success of the Showcase over the past few years has made this event a must see for all high school hockey enthusiasts. Its popularity has also created its own unique challenges. One of the biggest concerns has been parking. In order to minimize this problem, a free shuttle service will run continuously from the Trenton High School West Road lot and the Trenton High Student parking lot located off of Charlton to the Kennedy Arena. Additionally, parking and shuttle service is available at the Martenson Funeral Home and the Trenton Cultural Center Parking Lots. There is a $3.00 charge to park in the Kennedy Recreation Center parking lot. Utilizing the free shuttle service will help alleviate some of the congestion that has occurred in the past in the arena parking lot.