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Blue Jackets Open Training Camp

September 5, 2007 - United States Hockey League (USHL) - Ohio Junior Blue Jackets News Release

Columbus,OH- The Ohio Junior Blue Jackets of the United States Hockey League opened it 2007-08 training camp this afternoon at the Dispatch Ice Haus . The Junior Blue Jackets, Ohio's only Tier 1 Junior A team, began practice with 27 participants battling to make a 23 man roster by October 1st.

The Junior Blue Jackets are beginning their second season in the USHL, play a 60 game schedule playing its rivals in the Eastern Division from Indiana (Indianapolis), Chicago, Green Bay, Waterloo, IA, Cedar Rapids, IA . The squad will also face teams in the USHL Western Division from Omaha, NE, Lincoln, NE Des Moines, IA, Sioux Falls, SD, Sioux City, IA and Tri- City (Kearney, NE). Last season the Junior Blue Jackets were 13-40-7 for 33pts , fifth place in the Eastern Division, they were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.

The USHL gears itself toward putting players in college and helping them earn scholarships, the emphasis on education is foremost for all teams. Individual teams' academic coordinators work to make sure players have the academic capability to succeed in the classroom as well as on the ice. For players who are still in high school, teams work closely with local school officials to develop class schedules that keep players on pace for graduation and college entrance requirements.

USHL games are regularly scouted by NHL teams, NHL Central Scouting, and Division I-III universities. Because playing junior hockey often requires a player to move to the team's city, the teams help arrange housing and part-time jobs. Community involvement by the players is also encouraged by each team. Players are not paid for performing in the USHL.

League Goals

* Provide talented young players and officials an opportunity to participate in competitive hockey * Provide considerable training time, quality coaching and involve players and officials in national and international competition * Provide players exposure to college and professional coaches * Further players educational goals while developing their hockey skills * Maintain a strictly amateur status with USA Hockey, CCHA, ECAC, Hockey East, WCHA and other organizations

The Junior Blue Jackets placed five of its players to Division 1 Universities in its inaugural season. In 2007-08 the team will feature at least 7 players with full scholarships for the 2008-09 season, with more commitments during the season.

The Junior Blue Jackets are coached by Jack Fritsche. He is the uncle of current Columbus Blue Jacket forward Dan Fritsche and The Ohio State University forward, Tom Fritsche. Coach Fritsche has an extensive background in International Hockey, playing in Switzerland for over 20 years and representing the United States in various international tournaments.

The Junior Blue Jackets assistant coach will be Josh Harrold. The Kirtland Hills, OH native played defense for the Miami University Redhawks ()1995-99. He has extensive pro experience in both the American Hockey League and the East Coast Hockey League.

he Junior Blue Jackets training camp roster feature 26 kids from Switzerland (2), Quebec (1), Ontario (1),New York(2), Michigan(5), Colorado(1), California (2),Illinois(4), Wisconsin (1), Pennsylvania(1) Minnesota(1) and Ohio(7).

The Junior Blue Jackets will be playing a 30 game home schedule with 21 game being at the Dispatch Ice Haus and 9 games at Nationwide Arena as part of a double header in conjunction with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Tickets are $12.00 for adults and $5.00 for students 17 and under. Group discounts are available ( 10 or more) by contacting614-246- PUCK.

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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