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.

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