Post #124 – 8/18/23 – Friday’s Sifters
Little lobs of news and info from around the world of women’s college hockey and beyond
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It’s been a busy week with lots of activity. Here is what’s happening in today’s Sifters edition.
-Lots of last minute coaching and staff hires to announce.
-USA Hockey and Hockey Canada are battling it out in their Under-18 and Collegiate Team 3-game series in Lake Placid.
-The IIHF Women’s Division 1A World Championships are set to begin (finally) in China
-The NCAA Women’s and Men’s rules committee makes a tweak to video review
-Leadership changes coming for the American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA)
Let’ get to it!
Staff news to announce at… Amherst, Augsburg, Franklin Pierce, Keene State, King’s College, Merrimack, Middlebury, MN-Duluth, UNH, Penn St. x 2, RPI, St. Cloud, Syracuse, and Vermont
August is usually a busy month for hiring announcements due to university budgets opening up for the new academic year. There seems to be about a 50/50 split between hiring announcements vs. open positions needed to be filled.
Here’s what I have this week… In the NCAA and on the Professional side
In The NCAA
Amherst College and Head Coach Jeff Mathews has announced the hiring of Kaylain Kelly as an Assistant Coach. Kelly is a graduate and former captain of Worcester State.
Augsburg College and Head Coach Michelle McAteer has announced that former Wisconsin-Stevens Point Nicole Neuberger will be the new Graduate Fellow Assistant Coach.
Franklin Pierce has announced it is hiring for a Graduate Assistant Coach position.
Keene State College, a new D-III program starting in 24-25, is hiring its inaugural Head Coach to build the program.
Merrimack College has announced 2 new Assistant Coach hirings – Danielle Blanchard, former UMASS-Boston Head Coach and Yale/Plattsburgh Assistant. And Stephanie Wood, former Director of Hockey and Head Coach at Austin Prep high school and managing director at the Islanders Hockey Club.
Middlebury College and Head Coach Bill Mandigo announced the hiring of Emily McNamara as its new Assistant Coach. McNamara spent the last 11 seasons as the Head Coach at Hamilton College. She now returns to her alma matter for a 2nd tour of duty with Mandigo as an Assistant Coach.
With McNamara’s departure, Hamilton now needs a Head Coach.
King’s College has announced it is seeking applications for its 2 Graduate Assistant Coaches.
Minnesota-Duluth and Head Coach Maura Crowell has announced the hiring of Mark Breiter as its Director of Operations. Breiter spent the last season with the NHL’s St. Louis Blues as the Equipment Assistant Manager. Prior to his stint in St. Louis, from 2017-2022 he was the Equipment Manager for the MSU-Mankato Women’s Hockey Program.
The University of New Hampshire is seeking applications for Director of Women’s Hockey Operations.
Penn State and Head Coach Jeff Kampersal has promoted volunteer goaltending coach Ben Halford to the position of Assistant Coach and has named former RIT, Dartmouth, and Boston University operations manager Olivia Fox as Director of Hockey Operations.
RPI has announced it is seeking applications for a full-time Assistant Coach.
St. Cloud State University and Head Coach Brian Idalski has announced the hiring of ’06 Husky alum Billy Hengen as its new Assistant Coach. Hengen comes to St. Cloud after winning a MN Class AA State Title with Gentry Academy last season.
Vermont and Head Coach Jim Plumer announced the promotion of Alex Gettens to Associate Head Coach and the addition of Assistant Coach Victoria Blake. Blake comes to UVM after a 4-year assistant stint at Sacred Heart.
In The Pros
The Kitchener Rangers of the OHL have hired former Syracuse Defender Lindsay Eastwood as their Manager of Communications and Team Services.
The Pittsburgh Penguins of the NHL have hired former Minnesota Gopher and US Gold Medalist Amanda Kessel as the inaugural participant in the new Penguins’ Executive Management Program. The program provides a one-year opportunity to work alongside executives within the Penguins partnership, marketing, communication and broadcast departments, as well as hockey operations.
USA Hockey and Hockey Canada Clash In Lake Placid
Both groups will play the 3rd and final game tomorrow, Saturday in Lake Placid. The Under18’s play at 3pm with the Collegiate Select/Development group at 6pm.
Older Players A Factor?
- Team Canada U-18s have a decidedly older group as compared to Team USA. Canada has only five 2007 born players while the US has 10 players born 2007 or earlier… eight 2007’s and two 2008’s.
- All but 3 members of Team Canada’s U18 Team played last season at the oldest amateur age group allowed in each players’ respective province.
- Of 24-rostered players, Team USA’s Select 18 team has 13 players that played at the USA Hockey Under 16 age group last season .
- Canada’s Development Team has 8 players who have yet to play a NCAA game.
- The USA Hockey Collegiate Select Team has 3 Graduate players, 12 Seniors, 0 Juniors, 6 Sophomores, and 1 incoming freshman.
- In terms of accumulated NCAA points from last season… Team USA’s Collegiate Group is led by Yale Senior Elle Hartje with 52 total points, the D corps had 34 G’s, 121 A’s for 155 PTS. The Forward group had 176 G’s, 229 A’s for 405 PTS.
- Canada’s Development Team is led by Clarkson Senior Forward Anne Cherkowski with 52 total points.
IIHF Division 1 Group A World Championships Aug. 20-26
Shenzhen, China will play host the next weeks IIHF Women’s Division I Group A World Championships.
Austria, China, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, and Slovakia are participating countries. The tournament kicks off with Netherlands taking on Norway at 1pm local time.
Some countries will have live streams available. You can find the names of services HERE on the tournament home of the IIHF website.
There will certainly be NCAA players both past and current in this event. Once rosters are made public I’ll have a breakdown.
Rules Committee Removes Too Many Players On Ice For Video Review Rule
Last week, sighting ‘significant confusion’, the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved a recommendation from the Women’s and Men’s Ice Hockey Rules Committee where: “Having too many players on the ice when a goal is scored on the ensuing play has been removed from the list of plays that can be reviewed by video in NCAA men’s and women’s hockey for the 2023-24 season”.
“Despite attempted education during the 2022-23 season, rules committee members think the rule is better managed by the on-ice officials and should not be part of the instant-replay criteria,” reads the NCAA announcement.
Leadership Changes Coming To AHCA
The American Hockey Coaches Association is the official Ice Hockey coaches association recognized by the NCAA of women’s and men’s programs participating in divisions I and III.
Starting with the upcoming 2023-2024 season, The AHCA will add 2 new Vice President positions to its leadership structure of Officers. One VP of Women’s Issues and one VP for Men’s Issues.
These two positions will help serve as conduits between the women’s and men’s coaching body of Division I / III and key stakeholders within the NCAA, member conferences, conference commissioners, and various sport specific NCAA committees. In addition, these people will help streamline communication and participation in important initiatives for both sides of the game.
Joe Bertagna enters his final year as AHCA Executive Director, a position he has held for more than 30 years. Joe will step down and take on a media relations role in for the start of the 2024-2025 season.
The process to find a successor for the Executive Director position has begun.
Until Next Time Everyone… Be Well and take Care,
-Streams for games in the ECAC can be found HERE. Subscriptions will be necessary to watch games.
-Streams in the WCHA can be found HERE. Subscriptions will be necessary to watch games.
-Streams in Hockey East this year can be found HERE. Hockey East once again is streaming all game live and for FREE.
-Streams for CHA games with the exception of Penn St. can be found HERE. Paid subscriptions will be necessary to watch games.
-Streams for NEWHA games can be found at each teams’ website. Subscriptions may be necessary to watch games.
NCAA Coaching Changes… Keep up with all the coaching changes across D-I and D-III HERE.
Grant Kimball is founder and contributing writer at Women’s College Hockey.org and beginning his 4th 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 amateur and NCAA coaching career. He has coached at 6 NCAA DIII and DI programs 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.