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Old 08-03-2008, 10:59 PM
2,542 posts, read 6,323,107 times
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Okay, its a little early for this--we probably won't get the job there--but I'm curious and when I'm curious, I just don't leave things alone!

I have heard that Eagle River has a great hockey program. Is this true? Is it true for all ages? Also, if it is really good, do they make room for all levels? My son is passionate about hockey (poor guy, we don't even have an open ice rink within a couple hours of us now), but so far he has been a little slow on the ice. For his benefit, he is a bit shorter than most kids his age but I don't want to see him benched all the time either. Along that line, what is the overall feeling of the program--are they in it to win, or to build good teams or promote sportsmanship, etc.?

Also, what is the cost? We paid $100 last year for the IP program in the MI town we were at last year. Plus a $200 deposit toward 10 or 15 volunteer hours. But the price went up after the first year ($200, then $300). At the same time, I have heard of other towns where the program has been free except for volunteer hours.

From the last paragraph, you can guess my son is only 5 (turning 6 before the season starts). However, he has been absolutely passionate about hockey since he was 23 mo. (no kidding), and if we end up in Eagle River, we are hoping to stay there for the long haul. Anyhow, hockey has been a major factor in our lives since he discovered it, and if we move back to hockey-land, it will again, so these questions are pretty relevant if we move back.

Thanks to anyone taking the time to answer my curiousity!
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Old 04-07-2009, 12:19 PM
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I grew up in Eagle River and played hockey there from a Mite to High School. The program is outstanding. I've been away for over ten years, but try to follow what goes on from a distance. When I played, we were usually AA, with anywhere from 9 to 15 kids on the roster. I played with the same guys throughout, and we had a blast beating teams from Madison, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis.
At Northland Pines (the high school in Eagle River), we advanced to the State tournament three out of four years, playing and beating schools with 4-5 times the enrollment of ours.
I would say it is one of the more historic and prestigious hockey programs in Wisconsin, evident by the fact that our arena houses the Wisconsin Hockey Hall of Fame.
Not sure how the youth programs are doing, but Pines has been down of late. Not sure why.
Eagle River was a great place to grow up. Nothing to worry about in terms of crime. I probably spent more time on a snowmobile and a boat than in a car. The chain of 28 lakes is just awesome.
Schools are very good. With Chicagoans paying high property taxes on their lake homes, the schools have plenty of money for the schools (and not many kids!).
The only 'problems' I had with Eagle River is that it's far from any city. Getting culture was tough, but mabye that's different now compared to the 80's and 90's.
I still get up there once a year in the summer and always feel like I'm home. I miss rolling out my front door into wilderness or onto my pier, and hearing absolutely nothing (maybe a loon, waves, and wind). You just don't have to worry about anything! We never locked our car or house. No need to.
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Old 04-08-2009, 02:25 AM
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Thanks for your feedback. We didn't get the job--the first go-round, but the person declined and now it is open again. We have long thought that the Eagle River area would be a good spot for us, so here is hoping the second time is the charm!

Both my husband and I grew up within 2 hours or so of Eagle River, so we prefer ER for the same reasons you stated. And because of that--and all the small towns we have lived in since--we aren't worried about the lack of culture aspect of it. I think we have done pretty well so far on that front.

How was the sportmanship on the teams while you were there? With such a well-performing program, I worry about exclusion for lesser talented players. Also, do you know if there is a girls' high school team as well? Okay, I just had to take a huge breath. If we do indeed get lucky and move back, I am going to become such the hockey mom. Yikes!
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Old 07-22-2009, 08:42 AM
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Yes there is a girls high school team. The team, Northland Pines Eagles, made it to the state tournament in 2008. The talent in the Eagle River area is very good and one player (who played on the boys high school team before the girls team was created), Jinelle Zaugg played on the first two NCAA National Championship teams for the UW-Madison Women's hockey team. Also, Jinelle is competing for a spot on the 2010 USA Women's Olympic team.
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Old 07-24-2009, 09:48 PM
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If you want good hockey, MN has ALOT more to offer than WI. Just sayin'.
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Old 08-25-2009, 11:25 PM
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2008-2009 season the boy's team stunk!! Why they switched coaches I will never know! Northland Pines should've stayed with the coach from before. i think the kids respected him and wanted to win. But, the news will always cover the boys team... winners or LOSERS
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