Detroit Fighting Irish, formerly of the Midwest Jr. Hockey League, now of the U.S. Premier Hockey League, is establishing an under-18, midget AA team for the 2015-2016 season.
The AA midget team will serve as a feeder club for the Fighting Irish juniors.
Veteran Detroit area bench boss Mike Wylie will be the head coach for the Fighting Irish midgets.
Dan Vasquez, general manager for the Fighting Irish program, said the establishment of a midget AA team under the banner of the junior hockey emblem will assist hockey’s growth in the Downriver area of Detroit.
“First of all we welcome Coach Wylie and feel that the decision by Fighting Irish owners Lisa and Mark Cruz is a big step and reinforces the commitment to develop, maintain and grow youth hockey in the Downriver area.
“It further adds to our commitment to the ownership of our facility, the Brownstown Sports Complex, and its youth association, Nitro Hockey, to participate and create opportunities in youth hockey for players of all skill and age levels — not only for the present but for the future.
“The Fighting Irish organization has a firm belief and practice of mentorship and community involvement which goes from top to the bottom and we feel that this is just a natural progression step for our organization. Several players from Coach Wylie’s teams played for the Fighting Irish during the 2014-2015 season and we feel that his development process is conducive to our beliefs and approach,” said Vasquez.
The Fighting Irish operation will now fall under the governing bodies of the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association and USA Hockey.
The Fighting Irish midget and junior teams will begin joint prospect skate sessions in April and hold open tryouts in June. And the two Fighting Irish teams will hold joint training and practice programs once the 2015-2016 season begins.