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Chicago is the site for youth hockey this weekend.  The 95 AAA were accepted in the Nike/Bauer invitational tournament where there are 280 world teams gathered for the event.

Coach Haviland writes: “We start at 7 am playing the Power House club; DETROIT HONEY BAKED.  These kids are sponsored by Honey Baked Ham. Our second game we will play Detroit BELLE TIRE another fully sponsored team. The third game is against Toronto Nationals, then either the winner bracket or loser brackets. This competitions is incredible, great experience for our boys and great exposure for the whole club. The two Detroit teams play in the best youth hockey league in the country; the Midwest Elite Hockey League.   Honey Baked is rated #1 on National Ranking .com”   Follow the progress at  http://www.nikebauerinvite.com/  Good luck boys!

An overview of the most competitive youth league in the country from their website: 

In 1999, a core group of amateur hockey organizations broke away from the now defunct Michigan National Hockey League (MNHL) to form the Midwest Elite Hockey League. Under the guidance of then president and current Belle Tire Hockey Director John Kay, these members, in addition to those that were added in time, now make up the premier AAA Tier I developmental association in the United States.

Teams in the boys’ circuit range from Mite to Midget Major; the latter consisting of Belle Tire, Capital Centre Pride, Chicago Young Americans, Cleveland Barons, Compuware, Honeybaked, Kewadin Soo, Little Caesars, Marquette Electricians, Pittsburgh Hornets, Team Illinois and Victory Honda.

The competition among these squads is fierce, and the rivalries between the two Illinois based teams and five Detroit area teams, respectively, generate exciting hockey action.

Throughout the years, several players began their ascent to the National Hockey League by honing their skills with MWEHL organizations. Some familiar names include: Dallas Stars center and Michigan native Mike Modano; Al Iafrate; Pat Peake; Jimmy Carson; and Derian Hatcher, a former Detroit Red Wing and Motor City Mechanic (United Hockey League) defenseman who signed a contract in the summer of 2005 to play with the Philadelphia Flyers.

However, the goal of making it to the NHL is often unrealistic for most players, and that is why the MWEHL – our Midget Major teams send an average of 100 players to the college and junior ranks every year – stresses the importance of earning a solid education. For example, teams in the MM Division award scholarships to rostered players every year.

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