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Dear GSC members,

As many of you know, over the last several years, the GSC girls’ hockey program has made significant progress in creating a more competitive girls’ program.  We have hired Shannon Doyle to oversee our program and have invested in additional professional coaching and skills sessions.  Jessica Weiner spear-headed our first all-girls mite team in 2020-2021 which ultimately grew to three teams this past season.  And our 13U girls team had a fantastic season, culminating in winning their D1 CGHL tournament.

While our growth over the past two seasons has been nothing short of remarkable and we continue to look for ways to supercharge our progress and growth, all of this has been happening over a backdrop of increasing competition from for-profit organizations that recruit many of our top players and a low number of girls hockey players overall that make fielding two balanced teams unachievable.  And fielding one team at each  U10, U12, and U14 level in 2022-2023 would have been difficult given numbers.  We have looked at different ways to combat this trend but have realized the challenges of accomplishing our goals within the constraints of a membership cap (250).

As we worked through the next step for our girls’ hockey program, in early 2022 we were approached by representatives from the Mamaroneck girls program, who also share a similar history of success while dealing with increasing competitive challenges.  Mamaroneck has specifically struggled with girls leaving to play at CJR in recent seasons.  The players most common reason for leaving has been that Mamaroneck is a local program without depth, and the allure of playing for a “Tier 1” program.

The GSC Hockey Committee has been working diligently with Mamaroneck over the past several months to develop a plan for merging our girls travel hockey programs.  We have been comfortable partnering with Mamaroneck based on their strong history, similar philosophies and great people.  The boards of both programs approved this merger.  The new program, team name, logos and colors will be finalized in coming months based on input from our girls hockey players.

We have put in a lot of work over the last two months to confirm that this pivot is in the best interest of our girls and families and should provide a better overall experience than what we can provide today.  The following pages of this letter will hopefully answer the majority of your questions about our newly formed girls travel hockey program.  If you have additional questions, please email to schedule a call: gschockeycommittee@greenwichskatingclub.org

 

Best Regards,

The GSC Hockey Committee

 

 

FAQ’s

What: The Greenwich Skating Club girls travel hockey program is merging with the Mamaroneck girls travel hockey program.  Team name, logo and colors to be released over the coming months based on input from girls hockey players.  Mamaroneck girls’ program has players from all over Westchester County.  While The new program will be an open program, it will initially focus on its current base of GSC and Mamaroneck players.

Age Levels and Teams: The program applies to age levels 10U, 12U, 14U, 16U and 19U.  The GSC programs that are affected are U10-U14.  The initial goal will be to have two competitive, balanced teams at each age level and potentially more in the future.  Mite girls will continue to play in the existing program at GSC.  We will also continue to maintain a developmental house league program at GSC for any members that are not ready for travel hockey, or do not want to commit to a travel schedule.

Why:  Partnering fixes our numbers issues and adds significant ice availability to our girls’ program, which improves the girls experience while also freeing up GSC ice for other programming and events.  The partnership will also help GSC and Mamaroneck assemble competitive, balanced teams in light of the increasing competitive environment.  Our players and families will greatly benefit from having two or more teams at each age level which can only occur this upcoming season with a merger.

When: This will take effect immediately with tryouts this spring and fully commence with the 2022-23 season.  With each team, we will plan pre-season get togethers to promote team bonding.

Where: When GSC opens in late October, practices and games will be split between GSC and Hommocks Park Rink (13 miles from GSC).  In September and October, the majority of practices/games will be at Hommocks in addition to Hamill and other outside rentals.  As a side benefit, this will help scheduling of outside ice for all our GSC programs in September/October.

Governance: The new program will have a board which consists of three members from GSC and three from Mamaroneck.  In year 1, the GSC board members will include Jessica Wiener, Brent Brower and John Unger.

GSC Membership: A key goal for our GSC membership is to find more ice.  This merger provides additional ice time that benefits our girls and all our other programming.  We will maintain the club’s policy of requiring Greenwich residency (or child attending school in Greenwich) to join the club.  Any players that are not GSC members will not have GSC club access (free skate, free hockey, training ice, etc.) other than for practices/games.

Schedule and Leagues: The top teams at each age level will play a competitive schedule throughout CT, NY and Mid Atlantic/New England, and will be eligible to play in the NY state championships.  14U and above will be eligible to play in NY states and Nationals.  Second teams at each age level will play in the CGHL (CT Girls Hockey League).

10U and 12U - all teams will initially play in the CGHL.  In the future, we will evaluate if top teams are a good fit for the AGHF.

14U – the top team will play in the AGHF (https://atlanticgirlshockeyfederation.com/).  Many games will be played against closer teams in the league including Brewster, Hartford and Massconn.  Road trips will be scheduled to play multiple games in a weekend against teams in a specific area such as Philadelphia.  The 14U second team will play in the CGHL.

16U and 19U – these teams will play a split season schedule to accommodate prep/high school players, though there will be some Sunday practices/games during prep/high school season.  We will evaluate appropriate leagues once teams are finalized after tryouts.  Options to consider include NYSAHA, AGHF and CGHL.

 

Coaching

We will continue to provide the best girls coaching roster in New England and beyond.  Initial committed coaching roster is below, with additional coaches to be added.

Director of Girls Hockey

Shannon Doyle

Director of Goaltending

Brooke Wolejko

10U

Henry Higdon

Jessica Wiener

12U

Sarah Hughson

Brent Brower

14U

Lloyd Polanish

Hannah Beattie

Nina Danforth

16U/19U

Nikki Friesen

Janka Hlinka

 

Tryouts and Team Placement:

All tryouts will be evaluated by an independent panel of experienced hockey players and coaches.  Parent coaches will not evaluate their own children.  Team placements are based on tryout performance, reports from prior season coaches and character.  All GSC players will be placed on a travel team.  The only exception is that beginning players may be placed in travel development.

 

Tryout Dates:

10U (2012, 2013 birth years)

·       Tuesday, March 29 at 6:40pm – 7:40pm at Hommocks Park Rink, Larchmont

·       Thursday, March 31 at 6:40pm – 7:40pm at Hommocks Park Rink, Larchmont

12U (2010, 2011 birth years)

·       Tuesday, March 29 at 7:50pm – 8:50pm at Hommocks Park Rink, Larchmont

·       Thursday, March 31 at 7:50pm – 8:50pm at Hommocks Park Rink, Larchmont

14U (2008, 2009 birth years)

·       Wednesday, April 6 at 6:40pm – 7:40pm at Hommocks Park Rink, Larchmont

·       Friday, April 8 at 7:50pm – 8:50pm at Hommocks Park Rink, Larchmont

16U (2006, 2007 birth years) and 19U Split Season (2003 – 2007 birth years)

* must attend any 2 of 4 sessions, 2008 birth years may attend by invitation *

·       Thursday, April 7 at 7:50pm – 8:50pm at Hommocks Park Rink, Larchmont

·       Wednesday, April 13 at 7:20pm – 8:20pm at Terry Conners Rink, Stamford

·       Thursday, April 14 at 7:40pm – 8:40pm at Terry Conners Rink, Stamford

·       Tuesday, April 19 at 6:45pm – 7:45pm at Hommocks Park Rink, Larchmont

 

 

Tryout Registration:

Registration will be available starting Monday, March 20th.  An email will be sent to all members with a link to the registration page.