A peek into the world of a AAA hockey team

Hockey in America is not as popular as other sports, but it is one of the most interesting to follow and be a part of. A team’s schedule can be very hectic with travel, games and schooling, but it can be such a fun thing to spend your time doing. A peek behind the scenes of a team is very eye opening and interesting to see. 

A normal schedule for the Pittsburgh Vengeance contains two to three practices and workouts during the week and a travel day, usually on Thursdays for the away games that coming weekend. Their home rink, the Alpha Ice Complex consists of their home ice sheet, their locker room and their gym for workouts. Throughout the season, the team takes about twelve road trips to complete their game schedule.  


The Pittsburgh Vengeance debuting their new alternate uniforms with a new color scheme.

The team is coached and trained by retired professional player, Sean Berkstresser. They workout in their gym prior to practices and then get on the ice for practice. Following a weekend of games and travel, the team meets in the film room to watch games from the weekend before, while discussing noticeable mistakes. 

Finish first gym used by the squad for pre-practice workouts.

The team travels constantly for league games, showcases and tournaments. With most of the players still being in high school, they tend to miss a lot of Fridays during the school week. To help with this, the team brings their school work with them on their road trips and attempts to get some done while away, so they are not behind upon their return.  

Coach Bus occasionally used for road trips.

While on road trips, the team travels with a strict dress code. They are to wear suits and dress clothes when in public. They are permitted to wear beanies in cold weather, but never a baseball cap. When spending downtime at their hotel, the team is permitted to dress in street clothes. 


A normal gameday schedule while on a road trip is as follows; 

  • A team breakfast at the hotel, followed by a possible team meeting 
  • A soccer warm-up game in the parking lot of the hotel 
  • Depart for rink about two hours prior to the puck drop 
  • Arrive at rink and change in to warm up clothes  
  • A game of soccer is played, followed by stretching 
  • Time to prepare for game, get dressed in gear 
  • Following the game, the team usually finds a place to all eat together and it starts all over again the next day 

This team is interesting to follow, with kids from all over the place who have grown a strong bond together and lots of travelling, which is a recipe for fun times. The team is currently in a dormant stage of their season, as they are heading into the winter break atop of the league’s standings, looking to win back-to-back league championships. 

The boys prior to a game at the Hershey Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
The team celebrating their 2017 NJPHL League Championship.