This past weekend the the Doubl- A Squirts Bayshore Bruins hockey team out of Traverse City accomplished something special as they were able to travel out to Alpena and knock off some of the top tier teams to advance to the state championships.
Obviously these boys work very hard through the week and practice on-ice average of 3 hrs per week while off ice 2 hrs with conditioning, strength and hockey hands. Its up to the individual player to make themselves better which they must be doing to advance this far.
It is not uncommon for a Traverse City team to make it to states, but all three "AA" is truly a rarity. These amateur teams pull players from many different surrounding areas including Cadillac and Gaylord (just to mention a few) and that is just what kind of commitment the players and parents have.
The squirt and peewee teams are playing in the Little Caesars amateur hockey league (local) and spend most weekends on the road playing in the Detroit area. The bantam team is playing independently this year which requires spending an exorbitant amount of time on the road traveling. That means the players and coaches must remain disciplined, to make sure that the kids are able to keep up with schoolwork while preparing for their games..
In addition to the players, these teams also have some of the best coaching available. That includes assistance from former NHL stars like head coach Dallas Drake for Bantams and pee-wee coach Brian Rolston who recently played for the Boston Bruins during their 2012 Stanley Cup run.
I caught up with the Bayshore Bruins Head Coach Mike Peters to talk about the teams incredible accomplishment and what he expects in the states finals.