Nearly 130 locations across the United States celebrated the sixth annual International Ice Hockey Federation World Girls’ Ice Hockey Weekend this past Saturday and Sunday (Oct. 8-9).
The IIHF World Girls’ Ice Hockey Weekend is an opportunity to celebrate female participation in the sport. The goal of the event is to grow the game through a variety of events that aim to introduce beginners to basic skills in a positive, fun and safe environment; provide more opportunities to play ice hockey; teach fair play, sportsmanship and teamwork; create new friendships; and develop a lifelong love of the sport. Events hosted included youth hockey clinics featuring the American Development Model, jamborees, Try Hockey for Free opportunities, female-only tournaments, introductory informational sessions about the sport and other hockey-themed gatherings.
Decatur Youth Hockey, Central Illinois Girls Hockey, Northbrook Bluehawks, Wilmette Braves, Admirals, Franklin Park, Glenbrook Girls High School and Sabre Girls Hockey all hosted successful events this weekend. Here’s a quick wrap-up of some of the events that took place in Illinois:
The Decatur Youth Hockey Association partnered with the new Central Illinois Girls Association to host Girls Only Try Hockey For Free events on both Saturday evening and Sunday morning. DYHA President, Kim Taylor stated, “The Central Illinois girls served as mentors for the girls that came out on Saturday evening, and our Bantam team was a great help at our event on Sunday morning. We introduced 10 new girls to hockey! It was a very successful event for us.”
The Admirals Girls partnered with Chicago Blackhawks Youth Hockey to host a memorable day for local girls. Girls were invited to watch the Admirals 12U vs. Hawks 12U and Admirals 14U vs. Glenview Stars 14U games and then hit the ice for a free American Development Model style skate. Girls attending were also treated to face and nail painting, pizza and desserts! Kendall Coyne was on hand to talk with the girls and take photos with her Olympic medal. Carla Pentimone, the Admirals Girls Hockey Director said, “Hockey isn’t just a game; it’s a lifestyle and the future is bright for girls hockey!”
Franklin Park hosted a “Bring a Friend” event on Saturday. This all-girls hockey event featured a free skating clinic and pizza party. “We had 25 girls attend! The “Bring a Friend” event was so successful that we hope to bring the girls that attended together and form a 10U tourney team,” says Brit Volini, Assistant Arena Manager of Franklin Park.
“Our girls’ teams are highly active in the community, both supporting local charities and helping to bolster the growth of our girls’ hockey programs in the Chicagoland area,” said Pam Flores of the Metro Girls Hockey League. On Sunday, October 9, the Glenbrook High School Girls helped the Wilmette Braves and Northbrook Bluehawks 8U and 10U girls during a skills competition and scrimmage. Afterwards the younger girls enjoyed a pizza party and were able to watch the Glenbrook High School Girls’ weekly practice.
Sabre Girls Hockey hosted their 2nd Annual High Performance College Showcase October 7-9 at Rocket Ice Arena. Over 300 girls from 11 different states competed at the 16U and 19U level over the course of the weekend in front of 8 NCAA Division III and 7 ACHA college coaches. The highlight of the weekend was the two hour College Seminar where the girls learned of the myriad of opportunities available to them after high school, what it takes to play college hockey, as well as participate in an informative question and answer session. “We were incredibly lucky to have Kendall Coyne join us during the College Seminar. She is an incredibly engaging speaker and gave the girls participating in the Showcase this weekend invaluable advice and information,” said Sabre Girls Director, Gretchen Cockey.
Those taking part in the festivities this past weekend were encouraged to share their experiences by posting photos and stories on USA Hockey’s Facebook page and on Twitter using the hashtag #girlshockey.
In all, thirty-three states hosted activities as part of the sixth annual IIHF World Girls’ Ice Hockey Weekend.
NOTES: Teams from the NHL and NCAA are among those that celebrated the IIHF World Girls’ Ice Hockey Weekend … Participation in girls and women’s hockey in the United States has increased by nearly 35 percent in the past decade and USA Hockey has more than 73,000 registered female players.
Categories: Girls' Hockey