New name, same lofty goals for Steel City Ice Renegades
TribLIVE Sports Videos
In the offseason, the Amateur Penguins and Junior Penguins organizations rebranded themselves.
The offshoot of the Am Pens Tier I and Tier II squads — the Steel City Ice Renegades — is ready to do battle in 2012-13.
The Midget 18U AA squad is no exception, as head coach Rusty Hodge is excited to see what his 16 players can accomplish in games both in and out of the Pittsburgh Amateur Hockey League.
“So far, everything is going well,” Hodge said. “They have to come together and play as a team, as any successful team does. You have to have that team approach.
“You go back a couple years ago, and the New York Rangers had the most talent you could possibly get, but they did poorly. Talent is not everything. The ability to get the players to come together and feed off each other is the key.”
The Renegades 18U AA players formed their foundation for this season through open tryouts over the summer.
The team is a mixture of players from the Junior Pens 16U AA team, the Amateur Pens Midget A Major Black squad and other youth organizations in the Pittsburgh region.
“At this age level, you sometimes develop cliques where one group will hang out together and another four or five guys will hang out,” Hodge said.
“Hopefully, that all goes away after the first tournament. You go away for two or three days, and they are together and away from mom and dad and their comfort zone. They seem to grow up a little bit and bond with all the others.”
The Renegades were scheduled to begin their 20-game PAHL slate last weekend with a pair of contests.
In addition to the PAHL schedule, they will play in a junior prospects league and travel to games throughout the Midwest.
Those teams also will come to Pittsburgh, and local fans will be able to see a number of top youth hockey matchups.
“How competitive we will be outside the PAHL, I don't know,” Hodge said. “There are some very strong teams in Detroit, Chicago and Minnesota.”
Hodge said the team's strength will be its overall speed. How the players can incorporate that speed into the rest of the game, he said, will be key to how successful they can be.
“They just have to get the plays running smoothly and get disciplined when they are on the power play or the penalty kill or they are on a breakout or they are back-checking,” he said.
“You have to play the scheme the coach wants you to play. It's early, and we're working to develop a system that fits the speed and their talents.”
Hodge said his players are glad to finally be playing games and in the mode to pick up wins towards the playoffs in February and March.
“They will be competitive,” Hodge said. “They are a good bunch of kids, and they are excited to be playing.”
Michael Love is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- WM wrestling rebuilding after losses to graduation
- Salvation Army edges closer to campaign goals
- Chryst returns home, named football coach at Wisconsin
- Pederson’s 2nd tenure as the athletic director at Pitt comes to abrupt end
- Starkey: Pederson had to go at Pitt
- Mt. Lebanon history center project gets OK
- Art review: ‘Obsessions’ at Space gallery in Pittsburgh’s Cultural District
- Steelers, young and old, thirst for opportunity to reach the postseason
- Federated Investors forecasts optimistic scenario for growth in economy, markets
- Toast of the Town: Explore Lawrenceville’s many watering holes
- Valley New Dispatch spotlight athletes: Highlands’ Ashlyn Jonczak, Cheswick Christian Academy’s Ben Pollock