Monthly Archives: July 2021

Post #47– 7/29/21 – What Makes A Good Event, Congrats Joel!, AUG 1 APPROACHES, Sifters

In This Post…

  • What Makes A Good Event|
  • Congrats Joel!|
  • August 1 Approaches|
  • Sifters|

NCAA Coaching Changes… See all the coaching changes in one spot – HERE – on our google sheet. Announcements on new hires and recent openings can be found below in the Sifters section.

Stick Taps Section… We need your ‘Stick Taps’ suggestions! Have someone in the world of women’s hockey you think deserves some recognition? Let us know who they are and why you think they’re so deserving! Email us at: womenscollegehockey@gmail.com or tweet at us: @WMNSCollHockey. Our first Stick Tap goes out August first!

Online Directory of Recruiting Events/Leagues… We received several messages from event and league organizers wishing to get their events/league weekends/showcases listed in our online directory. So – we’ve created a google sheet with all the events that present good scouting opportunities we’re are aware of. You can find that list HERE. If you run a recruiting event or league and want to have us list it in our online directory, please click HERE and fill out our WCH.org recruiting event form.


What Makes A Good Event

In previous Pipeline posts, we’ve identified some of the frustrations NCAA college coaches have with some events and what they do – or do not – provide. There are plenty of events that fall well short of what might considered ‘a good event’ by NCAA coaches standards. Not providing printed rosters, too many teams participating, or too many rink locations, etc. are just some of the things that make events difficult for NCAA coaches to do their jobs.

In last weeks post about the Beantown Classic, we acknowledged tournament/showcase event operators don’t really have NCAA coaches as their main priority… getting a certain number of teams to pay the entry fee is. So, what actually makes a good showcase/tournament event? In no particular order, here are a few things NCAA coaches enjoy that make their jobs more efficient and will help the reputations of tournament/event operators.

NCAA coaches ‘mostly’ go where the talent is… NCAA Coaches are like mice following cheese, we’re always chasing who we think the best players are wherever they may be playing. Events that attract a competitive field of talent will get coaches to your event.

We put ‘mostly’ in quotes because there times when coaches will go to an event and watch a particular age group where they largely know nothing about who’s there, except knowing what the expected level of play is. Coaches can specifically identify players to add to a particular recruiting class list to continue to evaluate in the future. The Rush Showcase is a good example. This event (in non-COVID years) is held in Brampton, Ontario during early June with 600+ players entering grade 7-Post Grad from all around Canada, the US, as well as Europe. A great event to identify up and coming younger talent that coaches normally would not have watched during the previous hockey season. Plus, it’s all under one roof.

The less travel between arena locations the better… Preaching to the choir here, event operators dislike multiple locations too. NCAA coaches love it when they can stay at one arena location. That said, if multiple locations have to be used, NCAA coaches would rather see one entire age group play all their games on a particular day or for a whole event, at one arena location, rather than have an age group’s games be spread out over multiple arena locations, on multiple days, at multiple times. Bottom line – the less travel rink-to-rink coaches have to do, the better.

Printed rosters and coaches or player contact information… Can’t stress this one enough. Having printed, current, up to date team rosters or an event program and either coaches or player contact information is paramount. If the goal of an organization’s event is to provide opportunities for its participants to be scouted/evaluated by NCAA coaches and hopefully play NCAA college hockey- then do right by your participants and make it as easy as possible for that scouting/evaluation to happen. Dummy-Proof and professionalize your event!

Coaches love to see competitive games… Coaches want to see the best play against the best. While there is value in watching a more talented team play a weaker team, it certainly isn’t ideal for an entire event. Create schedules that have a competitive balance. Coaches can tell when organizations weaken their division or schedule so they can have a chance at ‘winning’ said event. Place all of your players into college hockey programs, and now you’ve really ‘won’.

Event format, time of year, and type of event… This one is important! There’s a bit to unpack here – so pay attention! #1 game format – 3 periods vs. 2 halves… Merritt to both, but if exposure to NCAA coaches is the priority for the event, you’d find most college coaches say ‘two halves’ is a better eval experience. Some events in the summer use this format already. We get not every event has the latitude to use the 2 halve method. But if using 2 halves, allow teams to defend each end of the ice. There is a big difference in how players manage the game when players have the ‘long change’. #2 Period length… Two-25 or 30 min. periods is a good amount of time for players to get into a rhythm. Running time under 25 mins, can be tough. #3 Zam times… 3 periods of play with ice cuts after each can make the game drag on. Ice cut after every 2 periods when 3 are being played, works ok, sometimes too. An ice cut after a half of less than 30 mins. probably isn’t needed.

Here is may be the most important. #4 Time of year and type of event… Understand that D-I coaches have to monitor how often they evaluate players and meet recruits face-to-face off of their campus. Under NCAA rules, D-I coaches get 7 ‘recruiting opportunities’ to evaluate players or meet them face-to-face off of their campus. No more than 3 of these 7 opportunities can be face-to-face meetings. This rule is per recruit coaches focus on to evaluate and per coaching staff, not per coach on staff. This rule goes into effect each year beginning Aug. 1 until the end of the academic year. However, from June 1 to July 31, D-I coaches are allowed an unlimited number of player evaluations. So, the timing of when your events occur does play a critical role in whether coaches decide to attend. Here’s how the type of event factors in. Games that are part of league play, like in the PWHL, JWHL, NEGHL, etc. or any other league event that is considered a ‘league contest’, each game played counts as 1 single evaluation opportunity of the 7 D-I coaches have. Tournaments, showcases, camps, and clinics are considered multi-day events by the NCAA and count only as 1 single evaluation opportunity no matter how many games are played during the event. Watch 7 players play 5 times at the NAHA Labor Day tournament–that’s only 1 evaluation used for every player evaluated at that event, not 5.

Running events are hard work and aren’t easy to run. But by doing most of what is mentioned above, you’ll have coaches that can do their jobs more efficiently and participants who feel like you have their best interests at heart.

Congrats Joel!

USA Hockey announced on Wednesday, July 28 that University of St. Thomas (WCHA) Head Coach Joel Johnson, will be the Head Coach of the 2022 US Women’s Olympic Hockey Team. This will be Johnson’s first trip behind the bench at the Olympics. Needless to say it’s been a busy month for coach Johnson taking over a new D-I program at St. Thomas and now being tabbed to lead the US as they prepare for Worlds and the Olympics. Joel becomes just the 5th Women’s Olympic Hockey Head Coach in US history as he joins some elite company in Ben Smith ’98, ’02, ’06, Mark Johnson ’10-current Wisconsin Head Coach, Katey Stone ’14-current Head Coach at Harvard, and Robb Stauber ’18. This is just the 3rd time a NCAA Women’s D-I Head Coach has named to lead Team USA. You can read more on Johnson’s hire from USA Hockey HERE.

August 1st Approaches

Official and Unofficial Visits for Recruits Entering Grade 11 Begin Sunday… Sunday is a big day in the NCAA recruiting world and in Division I women’s ice hockey as recruits who are entering grade 11 in the fall are allowed to take official as well unofficial visits on an institutions campus while being able to meet with members of the coaching staff as well as have off-campus contact with coaches. Prior to Aug. 1, recruits in entering grade 9 or 10 have been able to visit campuses on their own at their own expense. Contact with the coaching staff has been prohibited however until this Sunday.

Prior to about 2006 or 2007, the official visit was a major important part of the recruiting process. Recruits used it as a serious factor in their decision making process to get to see what like was really like as a potential player in a particular program. That went away when players began committing early. The official visit seemed to happen more often after the commitment was made during grade 12 to meet future teammates etc., it was more of a ‘fun’ visit. When the NCAA rules changes and allowed official visits in the junior year, the official visit became more important again.

Much like the June 15th call date, coaches have a priority list of recruits they will offer the opportunity for an official visit, and in a lot of cases, unofficial visits as well. With official visits, coaches use recruiting funds to pay for travel – and in the new post recruiting COVID era, dollars need to be spent wisely and budgeted against recruiting trip travel for the coaching staff. Why would a staff limit who they invite for an unofficial visits since they don’t have to pay for travel? Time. Every coaching staff has their own way of organizing and planning their visits, but unofficial visits can take just as much time as officials. The problem post COVID is there are more players who want to visit than ever and staffs have only so much man power and time to devote. So, to keep some sanity and eyes on the recruiting trail with evaluations, not everyone who wants an unofficial visit with time spent with the coaching staff will get the opportunity.

One thing we know for sure come Sunday, it’s going to be a very time for coaches.

Sifters

Krampade All-American Scholars Announced… The American Hockey Coaches Association announced its 5th Annual Krampade All-American Scholar Awards earlier this month. 385 women playing Division I hockey received this distinction by maintaining a minimum of 3.65 GPA in both academic semesters during 2020-2021. A full list of awards winners in each conference can be found HERE.

NCAA Players Dominate Hockey Canada Summer Camps… Hockey Canada recently announced its summer camp rosters for its National Development Team and U18 Next Gen Team (2003’s). 54 players either play at or will enter an NCAA program this fall. Of the 5 D-I NCAA conferences, the ECAC leads the way with 29 players attending camp. You can view the National Women’s Under-18 Team Summer Camp (NextGen) roster HERE and the National Women’s Team Development Team roster HERE.

Something Familiar, Something New… Minnesota Gopher Head Coach Brad Frost announced the addition of 2 Assistant Coaches who will be joining him behind the bench this season. Natalie Darwitz returns for her 2nd stint as an Assistant Coach with the Gophers. Natalie worked with Frost in 2008-09 and again in 2010-11 after the 2010 Olympics before moving on and eventually taking over as Head Coach at D-III Hamline University. Also coming to Ridder via Hamline will be Darwitz’ Assistant Coach Jake Bobrowski. Bobrowski is no stranger to women’s hockey in MN having coached at the Girls HS level for several years as a head coach and then as an Assistant on Darwitz’ staff at Hamline for the past 6 years.

USA Hockey Names U18 National Festival Roster… 32 players will tryout and compete at the USA Hockey Women’s National Festival in Blaine, MN Aug. 5-14. This group of 32 was selected from the U18 Select Camp that was recently held in St. Cloud. You can see the list of U18 Festival players HERE. Of the 32 players, 12 represent Minnesota, 5 from the Central, 5 from Michigan, 4 from the Mid-America, 2 from the New England, and 1 each from Massachusetts, New York, Northern Plains, and Pacific Districts.

Until Next Time…


Grant Kimball is founder and contributing writer at Women’s College Hockey.org. He currently beginning his 3rd season as an Assistant Coach with the Yale University women’s hockey program. Grant has developed an experienced perspective in the world of women’s ice hockey, having coached and recruited players from across the globe during his 25+ year amatuer and NCAA coaching career. He has coached in 6 different NCAA DIII and DI conferences for various institutions in the NCHA (D3), the CHA, WCHA, Hockey East, ECAC, and the Ivy League (DI). Beyond coaching, Grant served as a site representative for the 2019 NCAA quarterfinal of the D-I NCAA Tournament. He also currently serves as an Officer with the American Hockey Coaches Association as Vice President of Membership and sits on the AHCA’s Women’s Hockey Executive Committee.

Post #46 — 7/22/21 – Website Update, Beantown Observations, Sifters


NCAA Coaching Changes… See all the coaching changes in one spot – HERE – on our google sheet. Announcements on new hires and recent openings can be found below in the Sifters section.

Stick Taps Section… We need your ‘Stick Taps’ suggestions! Have someone in the world of women’s hockey you think deserves some recognition? Let us know who they are and why you think they’re so deserving! Email us at: womenscollegehockey@gmail.com or tweet at us: @WMNSCollHockey. Our first Stick Tap goes out August first!

Online Directory of Recruiting Events/Leagues… We received several messages from event and league organizers wishing to get their events/league weekends/showcases listed on our online directory. So – we’ve created a google sheet with all the events that present good scouting opportunities we’re are aware of. You can find that list HERE. If you run a recruiting event or league and want to have us list it in our online directory, please click HERE and fill out the WCH.org recruiting event form.


In This Post…

  • Website Update|
  • Beantown Observations|
  • Sifters|

Website Update

The goal of Women’s College Hockey.org, along with our Pipeline blog, was to create a comprehensive one-stop-shop educational online resource for anyone interested in learning what it takes to play NCAA women’s college hockey. We looked and researched to see if anything existed. We didn’t really find anything. Nothing existed if you were starting from scratch and knew nothing as to how to go about playing. No site that walked you through everything. Thus, Women’s College Hockey.org was born.

Prospective NCAA players, their families as well as Youth/High School/Club coaches now have a comprehensive resource to educate themselves about what it takes to play NCAA women’s college hockey. You’ll learn everything from what levels of play exist, how NCAA women’s ice hockey is organised, how the NCAA recruiting process works, as well as important NCAA rules and timelines to be aware of.

It all starts from our homepage where you’ll see menu options with dropdown page links taking you to different sections of our website.

Men’s college hockey has the website College Hockey Inc., an educational online resource for those interested in learning what it takes to play men’s NCAA D-I hockey and the path to the NHL. These guys are a little more than just a website however, having a 12-member board of directors and being financially backed by USA Hockey through a grant provided by the NHL. Whereas Women’s College Hockey.org, is a 1-man operation backed by passion and dedication to helping those who have no other option to turn to, for the information they seek.

But hey, if USA Hockey and the NHL want to financially back Women’s College Hockey.org – I’m all ears.

Until then, we’ll continue to update our pages and publish our popular Pipeline blog posts helping you navigate the world of NCAA women’s college hockey. Some website pages are complete, some are still in the works. Rest assured, our site will be fully functional for the coming hockey season. If you know of anyone looking for info about playing NCAA women’s college hockey – point them in our direction – they won’t be disappointed!

Beantown Observations

The 12th edition of the Beantown Classic tournament has come and gone which saw many NCAA D-I and D-III coaches come to evaluate the talent. Here’s a recap:

  • Canadians Come South… Last years event did not take place due to COVID and this years event was absent teams from outside the US. There were several Canadians – 41 by our count scanning rosters – who came down individually to compete on other teams. Players from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia inked Beantown rosters. 41 is a number we get just from looking at the previous team info from last season. The number is probably more like 60. There were Canadians who play on teams in the US, at Prep. School for example, that were hard to account for.
  • COVID Effect On Level of Play? Comments from various college coaches in attendance about the level of play ranged from, ‘pretty decent’, to ‘hard to watch at times – it’s summer hockey’, to ‘it’s awful’. Not super positive. Why so negative? A watered down field? Sure – there were over 1,900 players there. But perhaps we’re seeing some effects of COVID. Did COVID play a role in the delay of skill development and personal improvement for most? Could be. There wasn’t a uniform hockey season last year – most players probably didn’t get on the ice or have the ability work and train as much as they normally would have. With recruiting opening up for D-I coaches June 1 – a lot of players signed up for every showcase and exposure event they could fit into their schedule. Not enough time spent training and actually improving individual skills perhaps? Coaches can tell when their watching good hockey. Compete and pace level shows, puck management shows, passing shows, puck decisions/play away from the puck shows, scoring chances get created, etc. It seems like there was a drop off in those areas a lot of the time. Lack of teams – full teams – from Canada didn’t help either.
  • College Coaches Feeling Frustrated… Tournament operators who run events the size of Beantown are in it for one reason – to make money. Which is fine, everyone is entitled to make a living, even running hockey tournaments. The opportunity for girls to get recruited and play college hockey is not the major priority for these guys or events. So when some of the things that college coaches get to make their jobs more efficient–like having one arena to stay at vs. having to travel to 3 or 4, or having accurate rosters with coaches names and contact info available–go by the wayside and don’t get provided, it’s a frustrating experience for them. Yet again, Beantown provided no printed rosters, multiple arenas used for the same age group, missing roster information – like jersey numbers, names, positions, and no names of coaches or contact info, you bet college coaches left Beantown a bit frustrated. How easy would be it be to spend the twenty-two cents per page for some double-sided copies and a staple to create a roster packet for coaches? Heck, charge a buck or two and they pay for themselves. We get it, it’s a big event, we get teams won’t be on-time with their information. We know the schedule is a juggling act. But let’s be honest, if college coaches don’t come, Beantown doesn’t exist. Or at least not in the same way it currently does with 130 teams. What kind of value are teams receiving beyond their 4-game guarantee for the close to $2K entry fee? We spoke about this exact issue in a previous post. Events need to start serving the audience that allows them to bring in their revenue – just a little bit. Do so, and you have an event college coaches probably like/enjoy and will come back to.
  • Some Should Have Been in St. Cloud… The USA U18 Select Camp began Saturday in St. Cloud which obviously conflicted with Beantown. It looked there were a few players at Beantown that should have gotten the invite to St. Cloud by the way they played. Hard to think these players got missed.
  • The Dark Side… The dark colored numbers on dark jersey colors is still an issue. If you’re going to an event to give your players a chance to play in front of college coaches, PLEASE, have jersey numbers that contrast in color to the main jersey color so coaches can actually read them. We also saw multiple players who had to use tape on the back of the jersey to make the correct number. Come on coaches, managers, or whoever is in charge of the jerseys – do right by your players, get a jersey with a proper number.
  • Fashion Backward… We were surprised to see the number of adults–women and men–(we assume parents of players participating??) who wore baseball cap type hats BACKWARDS. It would be interesting to know where these backwards hat wearing folks are from… is this a west coast thing or a new fashion trend sweeping the country? Interesting to see nonetheless.

Sifters

Canada Is Opening Up… Canada announced earlier this week fully vaccinated US citizens may travel to Canada for non-essential purposes beginning August 9. Travelers will need proof of a negative COVID test result within 3-days of entering Canada and show proof of being fully vaccinated. This is good news for hockey. Each province will have to decide if teams from outside Canada will be allowed to play. The Ontario Women’s Hockey Association has been very mum on how it will handle the upcoming hockey season. There is speculation it will not allow US teams to travel to Ontario to play games or participate in tournaments. We posted links in last weeks post to each of the province’s Hockey COVID updates.

October Stoney Creek Showcase… With hockey opening back up across Canada, planning is in the works for an October 15-17 Stoney Creek Showcase event with 26 Junior/PWHL clubs and 34 U18AA/Midget clubs. No announcement has been made on when tryouts or league play may start for either the PWHL or Lower Lakes Female Hockey League. A mid-October event would certainly be heavily attended by NCAA coaches.

JWHL Plans… The Junior Women’s Hockey League, which operates with teams on both sides of the US/Canadian border, is planning to commence its season in late September/early October. US teams will play one another in the US at various locations. Canadian teams will do the same in Canada until early December or January. It’s expected by late 2021 or early 2022, teams will be allowed to cross borders and play games sanctioned by both USA Hockey and Hockey Canada. The JWHL Challenge Cup and JWHL Playoffs are scheduled to take place this season as well. Check out our Recruiting Event Online Directory dates & locations link at the top of today’s post.

USA Hockey Announces Olympic Centralization Roster… 3 goaltenders, 9 defensemen, and 15 forwards have been named to the USA Hockey Olympic Centralization Roster. A 23 player roster will be chosen to go to Beijing and compete in the 2022 Olympics in late December or early January. You can see the 27-player residency roster HERE. Of the 27 players named, 1 has yet to start her NCAA career. 8 players still have NCAA eligibility remaining and will be away from their college teams for 2021-2022. Of the 8, 4 have eligibility remaining at Wisconsin, 2 at Minnesota, 1 at BU and 1 at BC.

Coaching Changes Update…

  • Syracuse has named former University of Wisconsin standout Claudia Kepler as an assistant coach. You can read more on Claudia’s hire HERE.
  • SUNY-Morrisville is looking to hire an assistant coach.
  • Norwich University has hired former Vermont volunteer assistant coach Taylor Willard as their full-time Assistant Coach. You can read more on Willard’s hire HERE.

Until Next Time…


Grant Kimball is founder and contributing writer at Women’s College Hockey.org. He currently beginning his 3rd season as an Assistant Coach with the Yale University women’s hockey program. Grant has developed an experienced perspective in the world of women’s ice hockey, having coached and recruited players from across the globe during his 25+ year amatuer and NCAA coaching career. He has coached in 6 different NCAA DIII and DI conferences for various institutions in the NCHA (D3), the CHA, WCHA, Hockey East, ECAC, and the Ivy League (DI). Beyond coaching, Grant served as a site representative for the 2019 NCAA quarterfinal of the D-I NCAA Tournament. He also currently serves as an Officer with the American Hockey Coaches Association as Vice President of Membership and sits on the AHCA’s Women’s Hockey Executive Committee.

Post #45 — 7/16/21 – Coaching and International Updates, Beantown, Sifters

NCAA Coaching Changes… See all the coaching changes in one spot – HERE – on our google sheet. Announcements on new hires and recent openings can be found below in the Coaching Carousel Update section.

Stick Taps Section… We need your ‘Stick Taps’ suggestions! Have someone in the world of women’s hockey you think deserves some recognition? Let us know who they are and why you think they’re so deserving! Email us at: womenscollegehockey@gmail.com or tweet at us: @WMNSCollHockey. Our first Stick Tap goes out August first!

Online Directory of Recruiting Events/Leagues… We received several messages from event and league organizers wishing to get their events/league weekends/showcases listed on our online directory. So – we’ve created a google sheet with all the events that present good scouting opportunities we’re are aware of. You can find that list HERE. If you run a recruiting event or league and want to have us list it in our online directory, please click HERE and fill out the WCH.org recruiting event form.


In This Post…

  • Coaching Carousel Update |
  • International Update|
  • Beantown Classic Begins|
  • Sifters|

Coaching Carousel Update

D-III Trine University in the NCHA is looking for an assistant coach. Jessica Convery has left the program to pursue other interests.

Nicole Renault was added by Providence College as an Assistant Coach. Nicole was a former Asst. at Long Island University from their beginning in 19-20 until now.

Princeton University has added Shelly Picard as an Assistant Coach. Picard played at Harvard from 2011-2016 and replaces Melanie RUzzi who was hired as Brown’s new Head Coach. You can read more on Picard’s hire HERE.

Minnesota-Duluth has tapped Laura Schuler to fill its vacant assistant coach opening. This will be Schuler’s second tour of duty as an Assistant Coach with the Duluth. She was on staff with Shannon Miller as an Assistant Coach. You can read the press release HERE.

Dartmouth has announced the hiring of Nina Rodgers as an assistant coach to finalize its coaching staff. You can read more on Nina’s hiring HERE. Nina a MN native, spent 2 years at the Univ. of MN before transferring and finishing her career at BU where Liz Keady Norton was an Assistant Coach during Nina’s Senior year.

Mark Digby has been named Head Coach at Oswego State University. Digby was wearing the ‘Interim’ tag during the 2020-2021 season after longtime Head Coach Diane Dillion announced her retirement in June of 2020. Digby spent time with the men’s team at Oswego prior to being named as Associate Head Coach with the women’s program prior to the 19-20 season.

International Update

Future World Championships in August… Someone took notice and thought holding the top level IIHF senior women’s world championships in August was a good idea. So much so, that the IIHF will vote in September to keep the top level event in August during olympic years beginning in 2022. This allows for both the Olympics and World Championships to happen in the same year. Worlds traditionally has been held in April/May, but in an Olympic year, Worlds was NOT an IIHF scheduled event. You can read the story the IIHF announced back in June HERE.

Putting the sports’ best players on the world stage at a time when traditionally there is no hockey on TV, is a brilliant idea. Hockey in August has a good ring to it, it stays away from any major sport championship event (that we’re aware of) and it aligns well with most countries summer development camps. Would be interesting to see it happen.

Time for a U20/U22 Type of World Championship Event? And Speaking of IIHF events, is it time to create a U-20/U22 Women’s World Championship event? The men have the World Juniors in late December and early Jan. Perhaps an event in August during non-Olympic years could be done? Again – it aligns nicely with most county’s development camps as mentioned above. The IIHF already sponsors a U18 age level event. Other than the almighty dollar, budgets, etc., there are too many positives. One can hope…

2022 U18 World Championships In Sweden… Although not published yet on the IIHF website, the Swedish Ice Hockey Federation website lists the IIHF U18 event being held January 8-16 in the cities of Lingköping and Mjölby Sweden. The event was supposed to take place last year but was cancelled due to the pandemic.

2021 Canadian U18 National Championships… The annual event has yet to be officially scheduled and announced according to Hockey Canada’s website. However, in a September 3, 2020 update on HC’s website, a return to Dawson Creek, British Columbia in 2021 was being planned for. Unlike USA Hockey’s National Championships that occur in March/April with local club teams competing, the Canadian National Championships are basically provincial all-star teams with the best U18 players selected by their province after a lengthy evaluation and selection process. The Championship game is broadcast nationally on TSN. We’ll keep you updated on any announcements.

Beantown Classic Begins

One of the summer’s most popular tournaments for college recruiters begins this weekend in Marlborough, MA – The Beantown Classic. Upwards of 130+ teams in 4 different competitive age brackets takes place Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. While no Canadian registered teams are attending this year, there will be a contingent of Canadian players participating individually on various teams. Now that Canada has relaxed its COVID quarantine rules, Travel is easier for fully vaccinated Canadians as they don’t have to quarantine for 14-days upon their return to Canada. Beantown will be one of the summers largest and may be most important event for college coaches to scout – especially for DIII teams. Rarely do you get a collection of this many players in one locale. If an average team roster has 18 players on it – that’s 2,340 players to scout – which is what makes this event also such a challenge for college recruiters.

For a few weeks now the ‘come watch me play’ emails from prospective recruits have been filling up college coach email inboxes. Unfortunately, college coaches can’t possibly get to watch everyone who emails them. Truth is, most coaches have a plan heading into an event like this because of its sheer size. Some will only watch who’s on their own priority list, some will only watch a specific age group, some may do a combination both. Bottom line – this is not an easy event to scout for coaches. Add in multiple rink locations sprinkled 15-30 mins. away from one another and it can become a logistical nightmare.

Also absent from Beantown this year will be U.S. players at the ’22, ’23, and ’24 birth year selected for the USA Hockey U18 Select Team Camp beginning this weekend in St. Cloud. D-I coaching staffs will have to divide and conquer which events to send coaches to have coverage. It will be interesting to see how many scouts and from which schools, will be in attendance.

Sifters

2021-2022 Schedules… D-I conferences and some team schedules are being announced. Links to D-I NCAA conference schedules can be found below.

More league schedules to come.

Robert Morris Reconsiders… Earlier this week Robert Morris University announced it was in talks with the Pittsburgh College Hockey Foundation as to how it could resurrect the women’s and men’s hockey programs it cut in May. You can read developing details HERE.

Canada Open to The USA by Mid-August… Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau remarked last night fully vaccinated Americans could be able to enter Canada for non-essential travel as early as mid-August per a Bloomberg news report. You can read that HERE. This is good news for hockey coaches. Obviously each province has to get its protocol in place with return to play, but all-in-all, good news for hockey with Canada on the verge of reopening.

Until Next Time…


Grant Kimball is founder and contributing writer at Women’s College Hockey.org. He currently beginning his 3rd season as an Assistant Coach with the Yale University women’s hockey program. Grant has developed an experienced perspective in the world of women’s ice hockey, having coached and recruited players from across the globe during his 25+ year amatuer and NCAA coaching career. He has coached in 6 different NCAA DIII and DI conferences for various institutions in the NCHA (D3), the CHA, WCHA, Hockey East, ECAC, and the Ivy League (DI). Beyond coaching, Grant served as a site representative for the 2019 NCAA quarterfinal of the NCAA Tournament. He also currently serves as an Officer with the American Hockey Coaches Association as Vice President of Membership and sits on the AHCA’s Women’s Hockey Executive Committee.

Post #44 — 7/9/21 – Coaching Update, Stick Taps, Running a Showcase, Sifters

In This Post…

  • Coaching Carousel Update |
  • New ‘Stick Taps’ Section |
  • So You Want To Run A Showcase|
  • Sifters |

Coaching Carousel Update

Over the last several weeks we’ve reported all of the coaching changes taking place at the DI and DIII levels this summer. Why all the movement – due to what reasons you might ask? Interesting question.

Long-time assistants moving up to become head coaches is one reason. Keady Norton, Ruzzi, Watchorn, Kindret, and Johnson check that box. DIII Assistants moving up to the DI level is another logical guess. Although at last check, only 3 DI assistant hires out of 27 openings are coming from the DIII ranks. Thus far, Marty Sertich will stay at St. Thomas on Joel Johnson’s new staff, Elizabeth Wulf moves from Wesleyan to fill UCONN’s opening, and Mollie Fitzpatrick moves to Boston University from Norwich. Alums coaching at their alma mater, Sam Faber at UNH is the only one so far.

We’ve put together a google sheet to keep track of who has departed, who has been hired, and which jobs are still open. You can click HERE to to see the list which we will update as more announcements are made.

Time to Give Out Some ‘Stick Taps’

There are so many great people doing good things at every level in women’s hockey–minor/youth hockey, the NCAA,–coaches, administrators, equipment managers, athletic trainers, media personnel, and so many others. At WCH.org, we feel it’s time for them to get some recognition.

Coming in August, our blog will feature a new section called, ‘Stick Taps‘, taken from the hockey vernacular as an ode-to-all things-good-in-hockey. Each month, we’ll give out some Stick Taps to honor those good deeds done by the folks within our game who are making a positive impact. But we need some help!

We want to know form you–our loyal readers–who you think deserves some Stick Taps recognition. All you have to do is email us your suggestions and a little background info on your suggestion, to: womenscollegehockey@gmail.com or tweet at us to @WMNSCollhockey and use the hashtag #WCHsticktaps. Submissions should be made by the 25th of each month and we’ll announce our new Stick Taps the 1st of each month. We look forward to hearing from you!

So You Want To Run A Showcase

It seems like there are more recruiting exposure type events popping up than ever before. COVID has had something to do with that. NCAA DI coaches were stuck at home for 14+ months due to the NCAA recruiting ban. But the amount of recruiting events starting up has been steadily increasing over the years. It seems everyone is trying to get their piece of the summer event pie and make some $. Which is all well and good, but only to a point.

These events aren’t easy to run – especially since some of them have literally hundreds of players participating. Event operators would not be able to attract the kind of numbers they do, if not for the college coaches who show up to work these events. In blunt terms, college coaches are the hook so event organizers can market to the hockey playing masses–“Look, see all the NCAA DI and DIII coaches who will be working my event, come be seen!” And it’s a tactic that works quite well.

Running an event takes organization like no other, great communication, college coaches to staff the event, and good players to attract college coaches to come and evaluate/scout your event. All of this isn’t easy. We’re coming up on our 6th week of normal recruiting activities since the NCAA cancelled its COVID recruiting ban. Some of the reports we’re hearing from DI and DIII coaches about events they’ve worked or attended have been down right astonishing to hear. We’ll keep event names out if it, but here’s a sample.

  • Not paying coaches who worked an event
  • Event organizers lying outright about the ages and caliber of participants
  • The promise of lodging taken away after coaches arrived to work an event and the promise of 5 star accommodations which turned into a road-side motel
  • No roster information provided
  • Different pay scales for certain coaches who work the same event and do the same amount of work

Again, just a sample of what we’re hearing. So, if you do want to run a recruiting event and hire college coaches to work it, here are some things you can do to ensure you’re treating college coaches – and your event – right.

  • Don’t lie – about anything – ever. Communicate early and often. No detail is too small.
  • Put everything in writing (email) to coaches about what their work responsibilities are – and whattt you expect our of them. Spell it out.
  • Communicate what you are providing in terms of compensation. Explain pay scales, when coaches will be paid and how (check/Venmo etc.), whether its a stipend or a per game/practice amount. Define any travel expenses that are covered like lodging, meals, airfare/car rental, etc.
  • Pay well. In some cases, coaches have to take vacation time work private camps. You don’t want coaches losing money by working your event. Don’t assume their recruiting budget is covering their travel – in many cases, especially on the DIII side – travel to/from camps isn’t covered.
  • Provide a list of participants as early as possible to college coaches, those working your event and not. A talented player group will attract a good amount of coaches who will show up to scout and evaluate who’s there.
  • If you’re event spans most of the day, provide meals for your staff so they don’t have to leave the rink.
  • Provide participant contact information to coaches… there is a reason you’re having the event in the first place, right? To get them seen by college coaches. Well – give college coaches the info to contact your participants!
  • Provide rosters with accurate information – first/last name, position, birth-year or HS grad year, previous team, current team etc. This is vital for parents of participants – they want to know college coaches have this info!

The list could go on. We’ll provide an update as to the quality of events that took place this summer in a future post.

Sifters

Online Directory of Hockey Recruiting Events/Leagues… We received several messages since our last post from event and league organizers wishing to get their event on our list. So – we’ve created a google sheet with a list of recruiting events and leagues that present good scouting opportunities we’re are aware of. You can find that list HERE. If you run a recruiting event or league and want to have us list it in our online directory, please click HERE and fill our the WCH.org recruiting event form.

Mercyhurst Head Coach Mike Sisti… Received a contract extension. Terms were not disclosed. Sisti, who has been the only coach in Mercyhurst history, eclipsed the 500-win plateau this season and will begin his 23rd behind the bench this coming year. You can read the official announcement HERE.

Domencio Promoted… Providence Friars Assistant Coach Alison Domenico has been promoted to the position of Associate Head Coach. Domenico has been with the Frias for the previous 3 seasons. You can read Providence’s official announcement HERE.

Where is Canada at with Hockey? You can read where each province is at in regard to its restart of hockey. Just click on the province name for the most recent COVID update.

Hockey Canada Announces U18 Camp Dates and Selections… Hockey Canada announced it’s U18 Evaluation Camp will be held July 29-August 5. A list of camp attendees can be found HERE. Interesting to note there are 27 selections from the PWHL out of the 46 total selections. 10.8 % of camp is made up of 2005 birth dates (5 in total) all others are 2004 birth dates.

The Men’s Side of the WCHA Folds… As of July 1, 2021 the men’s hockey WCHA conference folded as 8 league members will move to the new CCHA. That left two Alaska schools, Fairbanks and Alaska-Anchorage the loan remaining teams in the WCHA. Fairbanks will operate as an independent this coming year as it weighs its options. Anchorage has suspended its men’s hockey program for the 21-22 season as the university figures out the best course of action. You can read the story HERE.


Grant Kimball is founder and contributing writer at Women’s College Hockey.org. He currently beginning his 3rd season as an Assistant Coach with the Yale University women’s hockey program. Grant has developed an experienced perspective in the world of women’s ice hockey, having coached and recruited players from across the globe during his 25+ year amatuer and NCAA coaching career. He has coached in 6 different NCAA DIII and DI conferences for various institutions in the NCHA (D3), the CHA, WCHA, Hockey East, ECAC, and the Ivy League (DI). Beyond coaching, Grant served as a site representative for the 2019 NCAA quarterfinal of the NCAA Tournament. He also currently serves as an officer with the American Hockey Coaches Association as Vice President of Membership and is on the AHCA’s Women’s Hockey Executive Committee.

Post #43 — 7/2/21 – Coaching Update, Recruiting News, Advisors, and Sifters

In This Post…

  • Coaching Carousel Update |
  • Recruiting News Du Jour |
  • Family Advisors & Recruiting Services, Are They Worth It? |
  • Sifters |…

Coaching Carousel Update

As of July 2, there are 17 D-I and 3 D-III assistant coaching positions open or yet to be announced. Here are the programs that have filled positions thus far and those who still have openings.

Division I Head / Assistant Coaching Hires

  • Boston University – Hockey East – Has hired Kirstin Matthews as an Associate Head Coach and Mollie Fitzpatrick as an Assistant Coach.
  • Brown University – ECAC – Has hired Melanie Ruzi as its new Head Coach as well as Justin Simpson and McKenna Newkirk as Assistant Coaches.
  • Dartmouth College – ECAC – Has hired Elizabeth Keady-Norton as its new Head Coach and Stephanie Moberg as an Assistant Coach.
  • University of New Hampshire – Hockey East – Has hired Samantha Faber as an Assistant Coach
  • Quinnipiac University – ECAC – Has hired Brent Hill as an Assistant Coach.
  • St. Anselm College – NEWHA – Has hired Jessica Kindret as its Head Coach.
  • St. Thomas University – WCHA – Has hired Joel Johnson as it Head Coach as well as Bethany Brausen and Marty Sertich as Assistant Coaches.
  • Stonehill College – NEWHA (Start Fall of 2022) – Has hired Tara Watchorn as its Head Coach.

Division I & III Head / Assistant Coach Openings

  • University of Connecticut – Hockey East – 1 Assistant Coach – OPEN – We are hearing an announcement will be made in the next day or so.
  • Dartmouth College – ECAC – Has 1 Assistant Coach – OPEN. A selection has been made and an announcement coming soon.
  • Mercyhurst University – CHA – 1 Assistant Coach – OPEN
  • Merrimack College – Hockey East – 1 Assistant Coach – OPEN
  • University of Minnesota – WCHA – 2 Assistant Coaches – OPEN
  • University of Minnesota-Duluth – WHCA – 1 Assistant Coach – OPEN
  • Princeton University – ECAC – 1 Assistant Coach – OPEN
  • Providence College – Hockey East – 1 Assistant Coach – OPEN – Hearing a selection has been made and an announcement will be made shortly.
  • RPI (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) – ECAC – 1 Assistant Coach – OPEN
  • Stonehill College – CHA – 2 Assistant Coaches – OPEN
  • Syracuse University – CHA – 1 Assistant Coach – OPEN – A selection has been made and an announcement will be coming soon.
  • Union College – ECAC – 2 Assistant Coaches – OPEN
  • Long Island University – NEWHA – 2 Assistant Coaches – OPEN

Division III Head / Assistant Coach Openings

  • Bowdoin College – NESCAC – 1 Assistant Coach – OPEN
  • Colby College – NESCAC – 1 Assistant Coach – OPEN
  • Trinity College – NESCAC – 1 Assistant Coach – OPEN

Recruiting News Du Jour

Stoney Creek Cancels 2021 Showcases… Word came this week to NCAA coaches the 2021 Stoney Creek Bantam/U14, Midget/U16 and University/U19 Showcases have been cancelled. Usually held in the first 3 weeks of September, Stoney Creek usually attracts some of the best talent across each age level from around North America. Sighting a slow reopening from Ontario, there is just too much uncertainty as to when minor hockey will start back up.

In lieu of the Stoney Creek Showcases not happening, there are other events scheduled for September in the US that will take place. A list of events we are aware of for the 21-22 season is listed below beginning in September. We will update this list as time goes on.

Other events will be added once confirmed.

USA Hockey National Development Camps… The 16/17 camp ended today. Team Royal and Black led their respective groups with identical records of 3-1-0. According to Twitter, it looks like Royal took home the title.

Full standings can be found below. Links to team rosters and stats can be found HERE. 5 forwards, 4 defensemen, and 4 goalies will be selected to attend the U18 Select camp. These players will come from the 16/17’s and 15’s camps. The 15’s get underway July 10 with the U18 Select camp beginning July 16.

We will be curious to know how heavily scouted the event was by college coaches. We’ll have a recap next week.

Family Advisors and Recruiting Services, Are They Worth It?

We were asked this exact question recently by one of our readers and feel it is a great topic of discussion. As the girls’ game grows, so too does the opportunity for youth/minor hockey players to enter into relationships with ‘Family Advisors’ and use ‘Recruiting’ service companies to help them with their college recruiting process. First, let’s define some terms and some NCAA rules.

The typical ‘Family Advisor’ is usually a person who helps guide recruits and their families through the college recruiting process. Usually for a paid fee, which can vary from under $100 in some cases all the way into the thousands, the Advisor provides a certain set of services–much of it the form of direct communication to provide advice, direction, player evaluation analysis, as well as being a conduit between the recruit/family and college coaches.

A ‘Recruiting Service’ is usually a company who helps market the player to college coaches and programs through emails and online account profiles for players to manage. These companies generally don’t provide a singular person the player/family has direct access to on a regular basis for specific communication. Generally these recruiting services allow players, for a fee, to create online profiles with personal, athletic, academic information, as well as uploaded video to be posted to their profile. Usually college coaches have free access to these player databases and can search by specific criteria like, GPA, height, geographic location, position, etc.

The actual ‘marketing’ these recruiting companies do often comes in the form of emails rather than phone calls, but sometimes both. Emails are tailored to specific schools, with specific players who might be a good fit foor that particular school and hockey program. Emails are then sent to college coaches with link to each player who fits the program and college coaches can access their online profiles.

Recruiting service type companies have different pricing structures, and with each comes a different set of services. Some companies have a trial free account to get started all the way to several hundreds of dollars even into the thousands.

NCAA Rules to Know… Under D-I NCAA Rules, recruits and their families are not allowed to enter into contractual agreements with ‘Agents’. Here is the ncaa rule on use of Agents below:

12.3.1 General Rule. [A] An individual shall be ineligible for participation in an intercollegiate sport if he or she ever has agreed (orally or in writing) to be represented by an agent for the purpose of marketing his or her athletics ability or reputation in that sport. Further, an agency contract not specifically limited in writing to a sport or particular sports shall be deemed applicable to all sports, and the individual shall be ineligible to participate in any sport.

20-21 NCAA manual, page 71

While prospective college hockey players are not allowed to have agents, they are allowed to have ‘family advisors’, even if she/he is also an agent. Bottom line, pay attention to the language used. An agent will render you ineligible, an ‘Advisor’ won’t.

Who should use a family advisor or recruiting service? A family advisor or recruiting service could be a good option if you A) Live in a geographically challenged area and have not been exposed to playing in front of college coaches. B) You are from outside North America and unfamiliar with how the US / NCAA college system works. C) You play boys hockey. D) You are completely freaked out by the process because you are uneducated about it and don’t know anyone who can help you become educated. If you fall into one of these categories, use of a family Advisor/Recruiting service could prove helpful.

Our take is this: Women’s College Hockey.org does not have a particular stance on whether prospective college hockey players should have a family advisor or use a recruiting service. It’s not up to us to tell you how valuable using one of those options may be. But we do get asked the question quite often and what we will say is this:

  • Do your homework before entering or signing into any agreement. Know what services you will be provided and the cost of each.
  • If thinking about using a family advisor, look at more than one and get references.
  • Know how recruiting service companies will ‘market’ you and how they decide to who they will market you to.
  • Utilize your current or former coaches as resources to ask questions and get opinions from.
  • Be careful of guarantees… A Family Advisor or Recruiting service will never get you a scholarship or spot on a college roster. your workin the classroom, on the ice, and how good of person you are will accomplish that.

Sifters

We’d love to hear from you! Have a specific topic you’d like to see Women’s College Hockey.org cover? More video of women’s hockey? Youth, High School, or Club hockey more often? Let us know what you’re interested in! Just drop us an email to: womenscollegehockey@gmail.com or tweet at us to @WMNSCollHockey. We love hearing suggestions from our readers – we’ll do our best to make it happen.

Hockey Canada… Has announced its National Teams’ Summer camp schedules. The Women’s U18 Team camp will be held July 29 – August 5, 2021 in Calgary, Alberta at the Markin McPhail Centre – Joan Snyder Arena. The camp will have 2 teams of U18 hopefuls. Also as a part of camp will be a team of 2003’s. You can see the complete camp Schedule HERE.

Cornell’s Derraugh to coach with 2022 Canadian Olympic Team… Cornell University Head Coach Doug Derraugh was named an Assistant Coach with Canada’s 2022 Women’s Olympic Team set to compete in Beijing, China. Hockey Canada made the announcement May 13 which can be read HERE. Canada is a country which centeralizes their team leading up to the Olympic Games, meaning they will spend the better part of the 21-22 season training, practicing, and playing together. A Cornell press release indicates Derraugh will be heading back to Ithaca after the World Championships at the end of August. It was not stated when Derraugh would leave Cornell for Team Canada and the Olympic Games.

North of The Border… Canada recently announced that Canadian nationals who are fully vaccinated can travel outside of Canada and return without having to quarantine for 2-weeks upon their return. Travelers must take a have a negative COVID test upon their return. Wondering if that means more Canadian players will be coming down to the US to participate in events like Beatown, etc.

Hockey East… Has 2 graduate internship opportunities for anyone looking to gain experience in media relations or business operations. You can find information HERE.

RMU Legal Representation… The women’s and men’s Robert Morris University hockey teams that were recently discontinued now have legal representation. Attorney Jeffrey L. Kessler, a partner in the New York City law firm of Winston & Strawn, will represent a coalition of Robert Morris University men’s and women’s players. Kessler has a good track record in high profile sports related cases having successfully defended Tom Brady against the NFL and received a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court decision versus the NCAA. You can read more HERE.

Until Next Time… Have a great weekend everyone!