IHSA Junior League was held for the second year with all four Premier League Clubs represented in 2016 / 2017.
The core of the team remained the same from the first season which created a great environment on and off the ice. From the first season 2015/16 we had a few of players promoted to play A and B Grade and have fitted well in the Club and these players were the backbone of our team this summer. As we started back in September 2016 and with the normal Christmas, New Year break and won the Grand Final game played against the Blackhawks which happens to be the same team we defeated last year in the Grand Final.
We lost some players due to age from the first season but this opened some new spots in our team for some new players that again fitted in perfectly and performed above their age and experience. The development as players and people has been very enjoyable to be a part of and the dedication and commitment shown to the team and each other was amazing. We have used a group chat to keep in touch over the summer with each other to also connect off the rink was important for the growth of our team.
Team support got us through the tough times as we missed games due to the rink melting and shutting down on and off with different issues. Delayed and missed games were being made up at the end of the season and this was difficult for all players to attend all games. When the time came for Finals we battled hard to win in the last minute of overtime to give us the chance to defend our trophy.
I have been very impressed the standard of play has increased on so many levels over the two years and this is evident in our National Junior League Team (Adelaide Generals) playing so well at a national level. I would like to add that our Falcons IHC members have been split over the four teams to level out the four teams for the past two seasons. I would like to congratulate these players on playing as well as they can in other club’s uniform. As you may notice our 2015/16 team wore old Falcons uniforms and this year we wore a set of donated uniforms from IHA which were the green Falcons 2016/17 team.
We have created the solid stepping stone for the players to go from junior levels now through our club’s youngest team into senior ranks and onto our Premier League team and beyond to AIHL or higher.
Congratulations to all players, coaches and officials in the Under 22 League and thanks to IHSA for making all possible!
Coach - Corey Smith