NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Sports

December 21, 2012

The man with the plan

Yameen ready to take Port hockey program to next level

(Continued)

Yameen believes the CAL is moving more toward being a league for teams that play Division 2 and Division 3 schedules.

“I see the way the league is going, and it’s not what we want,” Yameen said. “If you look at some of the teams in the league, they’re scheduling four or five Division 3 teams. We want to play up, and continue to play up.”

Newburyport has had success against Division 1 and Division 2 teams over the last four seasons. The Clippers won the Division 2 title in 2009, and returned to the final game in 2010. Yet, they have failed to advance out of the first round of the Division 2 tournament each of the last two years. They have, however, posted a better-than-.500 record against Division 1 schools like Malden Catholic, Central Catholic and St. Mary’s over the last four seasons.

Yameen secured two opportunities for his team to play Division 1 teams over Christmas break, carrying on his tradition of finding the stiffest competition during his team’s non-league schedule. The Clippers will play in the Cape Cod Freeze-Out Tournament Dec. 26 and 27. The other three teams in the tournament will be Division 1 foes Barnstable, Braintree and Springfield Cathedral.

“I think these games are always good for us,” Yameen said. “A lot of Division 1 teams are hesitant to schedule us if they have aspirations of making the Super 8. It would hurt them tremendously to lose to a Division 2 team.”

The Super 8 is an exclusive tournament for the top eight Division 1 programs. Strength of schedule is weighed heavily in the consideration of the top eight teams. Wile, who led his team to a CAL title last winter, was unable to find a Division 1 holiday tournament for his team. The Vikings will play in one of the more competitive Division 2 tournaments on the North Shore — the Cape Ann Savings Bank Tournament, with Gloucester, Beverly and Marblehead.

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