October 8th and 9th will be the 6th Annual IIHF Girls Hockey Weekend across the country. It is intended to be a celebration of Girls Hockey and to provide an opportunity and awareness of the sport to those with interest. (Check out USAHockey.com for details...)
We have decided to join the celebration by hosting our 1st Annual Girls Hockey Night in West Hartford from 5-8 pm on October 8th at Veterans Memorial Rink in West Hartford.
Our U14 and U19 girls' teams are playing back to back games that afternoon and we want to get everyone out to the rink to both support our girls, but also to show support for and generate interest in Girls Youth Hockey.
Our U12 team is not playing that weekend, but will be involved in leading the off-ice activities, which will include a bake sale, T-Shirt sale, and Chuck A Puck competition. All proceeds will go toward Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Additionally, we plan to organize an intermission event between the 2 Girls' games to showcase some of our younger girl talent from our Mite program.
Planning is actively underway and all volunteer help is welcome. Please reach out to Jenn Trent, Jess Fehl, Heather McGann, and Kathleen Wiggenhauser with interest or ideas.
The following Wolves have been selected for the 2016-2017 Mite B Travel Team. Thank you to all that came to tryouts.
Those listed above, please register for the Mite B Travel team Here
The first Mite B team practice will be Saturday September 24th at 8:30am at Vets.
Please note that Hamden Sports will be holding its final fitting also Saturday Sept 24th from 12:00-2:00 at Vets rink. This is intended for Mite B players and those interested in playing on the Squirt/Peewee House team. Players will be fitted for track suits, shells, jerseys and socks. If you are unable to attend, you can go to Hamden Sports at your convenience. Since our uniforms are a special order, it is important we get the orders in as soon as possible.
Please see the attached information provided by USA Hockey. This is mostly intended for players and families that are new to hockey and have questions about equipment.
We will be providing more information shortly about a potential equipment exchange opportunity provided by WHYHA.
Parents’ Guide to Buying Equipment
08/19/2016, 11:00am MDT
By Michael Rand - Special to USA Hockey
For a parent of a new hockey player, entry into the sport can be an intimidating experience. And that feeling can start long before the first goal or even first skate blade hits the ice.
That’s because outfitting your youngster – 6U, 8U, whatever age they might be starting – requires equipment that’s specific to hockey. A basketball parent buys a pair of shoes and a ball, while a hockey parent is looking for head-to-toe gear.
Fortunately, Scott Aldrich – USA Hockey’s manager of hockey operations and longtime equipment man – is here to provide some tips and demystify the process.
Foremost on the minds of parents is making sure their kids stay safe on the ice. To that end, there are a few things in particular to pay attention to when it comes to equipment:
A good helmet is clearly an integral part of safety. Modern helmet technology has advanced to the point that some are better than others at mitigating concussion risk, though Aldrich also cautions that there is no such thing as a “concussion-proof” helmet. Aldrich also notes that it’s not only about quality but a proper fit. “You don’t want to buy too big just for the future and the chance to grow into it,” he said. “You want to make sure that if your child falls, the helmet stays securely on the head.”
Along the same lines, it might be tempting to buy skates that your ever-growing child can grow into and use for a longer period of time, but skates that are too big can also pose risks, both safety and developmental. “You can go to the top of the scale or just get things started with a beginner pair,” Aldrich said. “But the fit is most important. We see kids with skates that are two sizes too big and they don’t have an opportunity to develop their skating fundamentals correctly, or their stopping ability. And it just makes it harder for them to succeed on the ice, which is the opposite of what you want for beginning players.”
A good pair of elbow pads, Aldrich says, is a good investment since beginning skaters tend to fall backwards and often hit the ice with that part of the body first. Same goes for a good pair of hockey gloves. “For beginners, their hands will likely be on the ice quite a bit and you don’t want to have accidents with fingers or hands, so gloves are important,” Aldrich said.
Keeping Costs Down
Outfitting your child safely while also trying to work several pieces of brand-new equipment into your budget can be tricky, particularly for young players who are growing – and outgrowing their gear – at a rapid rate. But there’s good news: beginning players can almost always perform well, and sometimes even better, in used equipment. Just make sure it’s in good shape so the protection isn’t compromised.
When asked if used skates are a viable option for parents on a budget, Aldrich said, “There certainly are places out there that offer used skates and it’s a good option – one that can definitely be utilized.”
One advantage of used skates is that they are usually more pliable, allowing a greater degree of initial comfort and ankle flexion.
Likewise, other pieces of equipment, like hockey pants, shoulder pads and shin pads are candidates to be found second-hand – again and again, as other parents just like you trade up for new sizes. Many youth hockey programs have used equipment exchange programs or surplus gear. Don’t hesitate to ask if you’re in need of something.
“If you do your homework and your due diligence in shopping, you can find slightly used anything,” Aldrich said.
Ultimately, the prohibitive expense of hockey equipment, especially at the younger ages, is a bit of a misconception. While it’s possible to spend heaps of money, it’s far from essential. Quality used gear is widely available and it won’t hurt your youngster’s chances of becoming a great hockey player.
One piece of equipment that might seem pretty obvious is the stick. How hard can it be, right?
Well, actually it’s one of the tougher things to buy – or at least buy properly.
“It’s another area where if you’re a parent not familiar with the game, it can be tough,” Aldrich said.
The first choice is the blade curvature. For the youngest beginners, a straight-blade stick (no curve) is best. If you’re past that stage and shopping for a curved stick, you need to know if your child shoots righty or lefty, but there’s a nuance in hockey. Ideally, a player’s top hand on the stick should be their dominant hand. For natural righties, that means their right hand should be the top hand – and that means they shoot left in hockey parlance, necessitating a lefty curve. But that’s the opposite of how they might swing a baseball bat or a golf club, so they could already be more comfortable playing hockey with their non-dominant hand high on the stick if they’ve already been swinging with the left shoulder leading. At that point, it’s likely best to simply let them continue with whatever is most comfortable and purchase their hockey stick accordingly.
Beyond the curvature, there’s also the matter of stick length. Off-the-rack hockey sticks should be cut to fit the player’s height. Too long and they’ll be unable to shoot or stick handle properly. Too short and it’ll impair their skating posture and puck control. As a general guideline, cutting the stick so it stops at the chin of a player in socks and shoes (or the top of the collarbone of a player in skates) is ideal.
Lastly, there’s the consideration of stick flex.
“A good rule of thumb for any player is that the flex of his or her stick should be less than half of their body weight,” said Kenny Rausch, USA Hockey’s director of youth hockey. “And if the stick is cut down (to a shorter length), that increases the flex rating, so it’s important to take that into consideration.”
So, for example, if your 8-year-old is 60 pounds, a stick flex in the 20-25 range would be ideal, especially if you’re cutting the stick down.
And when it comes to stick shopping, it’s not a bad idea to start out with a base-model stick until you figure out just how serious your child is about the sport. Beginning players, with their light weights and limited muscular development, really can’t take advantage of the selling points in high-end sticks anyway.
“It becomes a cost thing, especially if you have a beginning youth player,” Aldrich said. “They do make a high-end youth stick, but there are lower-cost options, especially for a beginner, that will perform fine. The stick doesn’t make the player.”
Do Your Homework
Decision-making should be governed by wise, honest information. Aldrich emphasizes that parents should arm themselves with plenty of information – regardless of how much they think they already know. They should also be willing to consult with experts who will ultimately help get their kids ready for the ice. That could mean things like going to a hockey store for a proper skate fitting. That could also mean comparison-shopping online for prices, but making sure to try gear on before committing to it.
“I would strongly encourage parents to be present unless you have some knowledge of the equipment,” Aldrich says. “These stores have become pretty good at fitting. For me, working with higher-end players here at USA Hockey, I always like to see things fit. That’s an important aspect overall – as well as the cost. You have to look at your own budget and your own situation. There are always options."
For those families looking for a release to a different organization, please complete a 'Release Registration', accessed under 'Register Online' on the left navigation - or by clicking here.
In order to have a player released, any/all WHYHA-owned equipment must be returned, and the family must be in good financial standing with the association. Please allow up to two weeks for a release to be processed - this includes time for WHYHA and CHC to process.