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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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|
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!
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.
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.