ROCHESTER, Mich. — The USA Hockey Tier 1 Nationals are taking place here for the 16-U and 18-U divisions this week, and the Boston Jr. Eagles 16-U squad is an intriguing title contender after winning the Massachusetts district championship in November.
Though the split-season team has not really played much together since beating the North Suburban Wings in Marlboro to culminate a strong run of fall hockey, there is enough talent with this group of ’05 and ’06 players, which includes two prospects who recently were in Plymouth, Mich., to participate in the U.S. National Team Development Program’s annual selection camp. The 2006-born forward Teddy Stiga (Sudbury, Mass.) and defenseman Owen Keefe (Saugus, Mass.) acquitted themselves well, and now are back in Detroit to try and help lead the Eagles to victory against stiff competition.
The team was coached in the fall by former player agent Kent Hughes before he was hired by the Montreal Canadiens to replace Marc Bergevin as general manager. Hughes is now here to scout the event. He will resume his duties behind the bench with Paul Cannata. They have a balanced team that can score and keep other teams off the scoreboard, but face some real challenges against other nationally-ranked 16-U teams who have played the full season together in the top Tier 1 AAA midget hockey circuit.