Category Archives: IIHF World Championships

Post #55 – 9/22/21 – The Adjustment, Pre-Season Polls, Sifters


NCAA Coaching Changes… Keep up with all the coaching changes across D-I and D-III HERE.

Give Someone a Stick Tap… Know someone in women’s college hockey who’s work needs some recognition? Nominate them for WCH.org’s monthly ‘Stick Tap’ HERE or Email us at: womenscollegehockey@gmail.com

Recruiting Events/League Online Directory… Find all the recruiting events on WCH.org right HERE. Want to add your event? Click HERE to fill out our WCH.org event form.


In This Post…

  • The Adjustment Phase|
  • Pre-Season Polls |
  • Sifters |

The Adjustment Phase

If you are one of those players moving up an age level this year, from U14 to U16 or U16 to U19, how are you feeling about your game so far? A little off or frustrated you’re not playing as well as you thought you would… Overwhelmed with all those new skills & systems to learn… Not playing as much as you would like… No time yet on the PP or PK… does everyone you play against seem bigger, faster, stronger???

Well, if you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above – welcome to the Adjustment Phase.

Just about everyone, at every level hockey, has some kind of adjustment. Youth players all the way up to NHLers have adjustment periods – seldom is anyone immune from it. We’ll answer exactly what the adjustment phase is, how long it can last for, and why it’s probably the most critical period of your hockey development. The ‘Adjustment Phase’ is really just a period of time during ones hockey development where a player might struggle with certain elements of the game as they move from one level to another.

May be the pace of the game is too fast to handle and you struggle to make good decisions. Or you aren’t physically strong enough to handle the much older/stronger competition.

Yes – the adjustment phase is excruciatingly frustrating at times, who wants to play poorly, right? Players hate when this happens, that is until you understand how it can help you. It’s kind of like taking a test in school… if you knew what questions were going to be on the test before you took it, that would really help, right? Well, if hockey is the test, then the adjustment phase are the ANSWERS! When players go through the adjustment phase, they learn what they need to focus on in order to improve and hopefully get to a point where they can impact the game on a consistent basis at the new level they are at. The time it takes to get to that point can vary greatly however.

If we knew how long the adjustment phase lasted, someone would be a gazillionaire. There’s a lot that goes into how long this takes. For some players it could take weeks to get adjusted, or months, or the better part of a full season. It’s going to be different for everyone. Genetics plays a role, learning ability plays a role, work ethic, desire, mental mindset, and the list goes on. What can help accelerate passing by the adjustment phase? Tough to come up with a full-proof answer but, here are a few things you can do to possibly shorten the length your adjustment may take.

  • Know what your coach wants to see in your play
  • Evaluate your game with video (if possible), so you can see how what your coaches are describing… or perhaps in this case, not seeing so you can identify what you’re struggling with
  • Identify the skills needed to accomplish your goals
  • Create an action plan and timeline to work on the skills necessary

Bottom line, the Adjustment Phase could be the most important piece to your hockey development. It’s a necessary part of the process of playing well at the level you’re at. The more you understand how to approach it – the better you’ll be the next time it comes around.

Pre-Season Polls

It’s that time of year, Pre-Season Coaches Poll time. The NCAA D-I season starts up for real this weekend with games that count, and each conference has announced its pre-season coaches poll. In addition, USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine publish a weekly Top 10 poll during the season.

Like with most pre-season polls, there is nothing to go on from this year. These for the most part, are purely based on last seasons records, key player departures as well as recruited additions. The WCHA, CHA, and ECAC have announced their pre-season coaches polls which are below. We’ll get you Hockey East and the NEWHA once they are officially announced.

Sifters

New NCAA Stat Site To Replace Collegehockeystats.net… Long time statistical college hockey website collegehockeystats.net, a favorite among college hockey coaches and fans, will no longer be updating statistical season data. 20-21 was its last year in service. The website will however, still remain and any of its prior year statistical data will be available. CHS filled a huge void and was the ‘Go-To’ college hockey online resource for live scores, game stats, game line-up charts, conference standings, and any number of college hockey stats. Taking its place will be a NCAA branded site found here: https://stats.ncaa.org/. We have provided a limited overview of the NCAA site and included a comparison vs. collegehockeystats found HERE. The NCAA site tracks many of the same data, there are some major differences as well. A detailed description of how to get certain data is outlined in the form also.

So why the change? The NCAA is transitioning away from a very popular game stats software program called StatsCrew and moving to a new software program called LiveStats.

Marmer and Roth Selected to Work With Boston Bruins… Quinnipiac Player Development and Operations Director Danielle Marmer and Holy Cross Associate Head Coach Meredith Roth have been selected to participate in the Boston Bruins Diversity & Inclusion Scouting Mentorship Program. The 9-month project aims to use members of the Bruins’ operations staff to increase the mentee’s pursuits in scouting and or a professional career in hockey. You can read the official Bruins’ announcement HERE.

U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Museum Game Announced… The Minnesota Golden Gophers will host St. Cloud State University Nov. 20th in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Museum Face-Off Classic. Puck drop is set for 3pm cst.

Speaking of Minnesota, the Gophers program turns 25-years this year.

US Allows Non-Citizens To Travel By Air To US In November… The U.S. Gov’t announced Monday starting in November fully vaccinated non-US citizens will be able to fly to the US. A negative COVID test will be required within three days of arrival. The land border between the US and Canada remains shut-down for another month until Oct. 21. We can’t seem to find much in the way of specifics with the new US guidance regarding Canadians. We will keep you updated as more is known.

IIHF World Championships Moves to August… Women’s hockey just got a nice boost from the IIHF as it is moving the top level Women’s World Championships Tournament to August in Olympic years beginning with 2022. Denmark has applied to be the host country in 2022. It’s a move that makes a lot of sense coming off the sports most high profile event at the Olympics. The best get to showcase themselves on the world stage 6 months later at a time of year when there is a hockey void on TV. No other league in the world that garners a TV audience, are usually playing games in August. You can read the IIHF official announcement HERE.

Until Next Time…


Grant Kimball is founder and contributing writer at Women’s College Hockey.org and 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 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.

Extra Post — 8/20/21 – IIHF Women’s World Championship Stream Info


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 college hockey you think deserves some recognition? Let us know who they are and why you think they’re so deserving! You can fill out our online submission form right HERE or Email us at: womenscollegehockey@gmail.com or tweet at us: @WMNSCollHockey. Stick Taps go out the first post of every month so stay tuned!

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.


In This Post…

  • IIHF Women’s World Championship Stream Info|

What…

How to watch the IIHF Women’s World Championships:

Where

In the United States ESPN + will stream all games of the 2021 IIHF Women’s World Championships that ARE NOT televised on the NHL Network.

In Canada, TSN Direct will be streaming all games live

TSN requires a Canadian physical address in order to subscribe.

Links

ESPN+ can be found HERE.

fuboTV, a popular streaming service carries the NHL Network. They have a 7-day free trial which appears to include access to its entire 157 channel lineup. You can find their link HERE.

Worlds Schedule…

You can find a complete tournament schedule link HERE. Today’s games are:

TimeGroupVisiting TeamHome Team
2:00PMBCzech RepublicDenmark
6:00PMACanadaFinland
9:30PMAUSASwitzerland
All times Eastern Standard Time. All games played at WinSport Arena

Lots of NCAA players and coaches taking the ice today for their respective countries. In additional Joel Johnson and Courtney Kennedy of Team USA, Denmark is coached by Peter Elander who spent time as the Associate Head Coach at the University of North Dakota and at Ohio State from 2010-2018. Elander, who is Swedish also was Head Coach of the Swedish Women’s Olympic Team in 2006 and 2010. Elander took over as Head Coach of the Senior Women’s National program for the Danes in 2019.

Until Next Time…


Grant Kimball is founder and contributing writer at Women’s College Hockey.org and 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 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.

Post #49– 8/18/21 – D-I 21-22 Season Update, A 3rd Wave?, Sifters

In This Post…

  • D-I 2021-2022 Season Update|
  • A 3rd Wave?|
  • 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 college hockey you think deserves some recognition? Let us know who they are and why you think they’re so deserving! You can fill out our online submission form right HERE or Email us at: womenscollegehockey@gmail.com or tweet at us: @WMNSCollHockey. Stick Taps go out the first post of every month so stay tuned!

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.


D-I 2021-2022 Season Update

21-22 Season could in theory could start today… Hard to believe but yes, the NCAA D-I season here. Franklin Pierce University of the NEWHA begins classes today, Aug. 18. The NCAA rules allow teams beginning with the first day of classes or Sept. 15, whichever is earlier, to have up up to 4 hours of on-ice skill related activity per week. Most D-I programs will be up and running by Sept. 13th, that’s when Union and Dartmouth begin classes. Especially for the programs that did not have a season last year due to COVID, you can bet they’ll want to begin their seasons as soon as NCAA rules allow. There are also some programs that take a little slower approach and opt for a few days to go by, especially for freshmen, so everyone can get their bearings before jumping into the team schedule as to not overwhelm.

We went online and compiled a list of when each D-I school starts undergraduate classes… not taking into account COVID, some unknown delay like an athletic department policy, or scheduling error, here is a ‘fairly accurate’ (according to the internet anyway) list of dates when programs can get back on the ice if they so choose HERE.

NCAA 1st Official Practice Date… Contrary to the above mentioned 4-hours per week of on-ice skill work, Sept. 18 is actually the first official practice date in NCAA women’s ice hockey for the 2021-2022 season. That’s when all D-I programs, minus Ivy League schools, are allowed to begin their regular season allotment of up to 20-hours per week of required athletic activity–on-ice practice, strength & conditioning, team meetings, video sessions, team building, etc. The first official practice date for Ivy League institutions will be Oct. 1.

First D-I Games Just 37 Days Away… The first slate of games are scheduled for the weekend of Sept. 23-26 – just 37 days away. On Thursday Sept. 23, St. Lawrence travels to take on Penn State to kick off the 2021-2022 NCAA season. It’s customary for programs to schedule an exhibition game prior to the NCAA season beginning. After going through D-I online schedules, we are unable to find any exhibition games scheduled so far. Certainly we’re all hoping the season altering COVID restrictions are behind us and teams across all divisions (and in all sports) can have a safe normal season without interruption.

COVID Fallout – Large Rosters… As expected team roster sizes for the 21-22 season are bigger on average than in prior years. We went to every programs official website to look at 21-22 rosters that were posted. Thus far Harvard has the largest at 34 players. Not all teams are accounted for and there could be roster additions and even deletions as school begins. We’ll put together a comprehensive list once all teams rosters are finalised.

A 3rd Wave… Of Coaching Changes?

Historically the month of August and into September bring a few late coaching changes. A head or assistant coach leaves abruptly and bam, schools are left scrambling to find a replacement. This year is a bit different with more coaching changes than we’re ever seen. But that doesn’t mean we’re done with seeing some movement. Case in point, D-III Nichols College just announced an opening for their Head Coach position as Sam Fallon has resigned to take a similar position at a prep school. I expect a few more surprises. You can find our complete list of coaching departures and hires from this year HERE. As classes begin, programs are announcing recent hires… more on those below.

  • Mercyhurst University has hired Scott Spencer as an Assistant Coach. Spencer knows the CHA well as he was the first D-I Head Coach at Lindenwood University. Prior to Lindenwood, Spencer has coached at Ohio State, Robert Morris University, and Bemidji State on the men’s side. You can read more about his hire HERE.
  • Union College has filled its two Assistant Coach positions and has hired Chris Ardito and Breanne Wilson-Bennett. You can read Union’s official announcement HERE. Ardito comes to Union after having spent the past 3 seasons as the Head Girls Hockey Coach at Vermont Academy. Wilson-Bennett was a former player at Colgate during Head Coach Josh Sciba’s time as an Assistant at Colgate.
  • William Smith announced the hiring of former Dartmouth Assistant Coach Matt Cunningham as its next Head Coach. Cunningham spent the previous two seasons with ‘The Big Green’ in Hanover. You can read more on Matt’s hiring HERE. Cunningham who is originally from Phoenix, AZ played his college hockey for Minnesota State-Mankato. He will be the 3rd Head Coach in Heron history.

While not a NCAA coaching announcement, we’re glad to see former Robert Morris University Head Coach Paul Colontino land a new job in Hockey. Colontino was recently hired as Vice President of Hockey Operations and U19 Girls Head Coach at Selects Academy. You can read more on Colontiino’s delima to move to Selects HERE.

Sifters

RMU Update… Speaking of Paul Colontino and the Robert Morris program, it seems the RMU administration has put the brakes on a reboot of the program until the 2022-2023 season, if at all. Tim Benz of Trib Live gives an update on where things stand with both the women’s and men’s program. You can read that HERE.

North Dakota Women’s Program Lawsuit Gets A Boost… 11 former University of North Dakota women’s hockey team members sued The University of North Dakota System for shutting down the women’s hockey program back in March of 2017. Well, they got some good news last week. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has reversed a 2019 decision by the North Dakota District Court which originally dismissed the case for what it called ‘a failure to state a claim’. The Eighth Circuit stated, “Ultimately, we conclude that the district court’s primary reasons for dismissing the complaint rested on an incorrect view of the law,”… “But given a level playing field, or in this case, a properly smoothed ice rink, the athletes may be able to state an actionable Title IX claim.”

Shortly after the University of North Dakota women’s hockey was shut down, a group of 11 former UND women’s hockey players sought legal action by filing a discrimination lawsuit against the University of North Dakota System and asked to reinstate the program on the grounds the decision was in violation of Title IX.

You can read more on this story HERE with an article that appeared in the Grand Forks Herald written by Brad Elliott Schlossman. Brad used to cover the women’s team during its existence.

2021 World Championships Get Underway… The IIHF officially announced the tournament is a go. 1,047 PCR tests were conducted in the Calgary bubble since teams arrived and all were negative.

Pre-Tournament games begin today, you can find today’s schedule HERE. Team USA takes on Russia at 2pm EST and Canada plays Finland at 6pm EST. Both games will be broadcast LIVE on the NHL Network. Get the full NHL Network Women’s World Championship telecast schedule HERE. It looks like all US and Canadian games will be broadcast live.

While official team rosters won’t be announced until tomorrow, IIHF.com did post a list of 250 players who came with each country to Calgary. You can find that list HERE. By our count, there are a total of 31 players who are listed on NCAA rosters, 1 U Sports player (U Sports is Canada’s version of the NCAA), and 5 players still in high school.

D-III Update… With D-I programs starting their seasons in a matter of days, the D-III season isn’t far behind. NCAA rules don’t allow D-III coaches to get on the ice with their teams until October 15th but you can bet teams will be getting organised well before that with Captains practices, strength & conditioning workouts, and plenty of team building, etc.

  • New this year for the NESCAC is the ability to begin practice when the Oct. 15th hits. It has been customary for NESCAC teams to begin practice Nov. 1.
  • We are hearing rumors that InStat, a video analytics company, has signed a few deals with D-III conferences for this coming season. InStat provides game video breakdown and scouting services to a bulk of the NCAA D-I and D-III women’s and men’s teams. This will make pre-scouting your opponent much easier as well as adding a level of player development. We can remember the days of VHS tape to tape recordings that had to be done and then Fed-Exed out to your next opponent. How times have changed.
  • Mike O’Grady, Head Coach at Chatham University announced the hiring of Lila Toczek as his new Assistant Coach.

Tweet of The Week… Kelly Rider, Head Coach at Curry College, had one of the more interesting Tweets from college coaches this past week. Given WCH.org’s mission – which is in part to help educate parents, players, and coaches, her post seems very appropriate. Please take a look and click on the photo to expand. We’re not sure where she got the list from – but we’d love to know!

Until Next Time…


Grant Kimball is founder and contributing writer at Women’s College Hockey.org and 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 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.

Post #48– 8/12/21 – Visits and Communication, Mailbag Monday, Stick Taps, Sifters

In This Post…

  • Recruiting Visits and Communication|
  • Mailbag Monday|
  • Stick Taps|
  • 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 college hockey you think deserves some recognition? Let us know who they are and why you think they’re so deserving! You can fill out our online submission form right HERE or Email us at: womenscollegehockey@gmail.com or tweet at us: @WMNSCollHockey. Stick Taps go out the first post of every month so stay tuned!

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.


Recruiting Visits & Communication

It’s that time of year. Mid August is just about here and the desire for recruits to take unofficial and official visits grow with each passing day. Although the NCAA clearly defines what Unofficial visits are and what is allowed to occur, we would argue there are actually different types of unofficial visits. Every coaching staff has their own philosophy on how to structure and schedule their unofficial visits. But with literally hundreds of players asking coaches to take a visit, they all can’t be the same. We identify a few of those ‘different’ types of visits below as well as give a few tips on how to approach your communication with coaches on the visit subject.

Different types of ‘Unofficial’ Visits… You won’t find these defined in the NCAA manual, rather these visit types are actually based on the priority coaches have for the player who wants to visit and the amount of time available as well as which coaches will be around campus. 1) There are Unofficial visits that seem more like Official visits, 2) There are Unofficial visits with some or very little to no facetime with members of the coaching staff, and 3) There are visits where you won’t spend any time with the coaching staff at all–you are basically on your own.

We’ll call #1 ‘The Proper Visit’. This is the type of visit where you are invited to campus (the invite is key!) by the coaching staff and what occurs is more akin to what takes place on an ‘Official’ visit. That is to say recruits get a top notch experience with lots of facetime with the coaching staff, strength coach, perhaps athletic trainer, and even current players, other coaches in the department, academic or financial aid personnel. A tour of campus and athletic/team facilities led by one or even all coaches on staff, may be a driving tour of the area around campus. Of course–facetime with the coaching staff for a good discussion on how the recruit fits into the programs’ recruiting plans is the main event. Possibly even an overnight stay might be part of the visit plan depending on time if year. Bottom line, the coaching staff wants you there and they set everything up for you-usually.

Unofficial visit type #2, we’ll call this the ‘Soft Visit’. This is the type of visit where there is probably some facetime with a member (or entire) coaching staff, but not a ton. Or may be the coaching staff directs you to the admissions office for your campus tour and to set up academic meetings. An invite from the coaching staff could or could not happen, but the classic situation here–is when there is no initial invite from the program but rather the recruit basically invites herself to visit. One of the coaches may respond with – yea, sure – we can make that work. There is usually a discussion had at some point where questions can be asked/answered and potentially some direction from the staff on where they see the recruit fitting into their plans. But there are legit reasons why visits get set-up this way… 1) the recruit may only have a particular day to visit that conflicts with the coaches’ schedule. 2) The coaching staff may know absolutely nothing about the recruit and this is how they handle visits of this nature. 3) The player may simply just not be a high priority–and coaches do have to prioritize who they want to spend their time with. It can’t be everyone who wants a visit – that could be a full-time job in itself.

Visit type #3 is the ‘Self Directed’ visit… This type of visit happens when either a recruit has contacted the hockey program to see if visiting is possible but hasn’t gotten a reply back… or just wants to visit the school on her own and does not contact the hockey program she is doing so. In both cases – the recruit winds sets up all the appropriate appointments herself–tour of campus, academic meeting, may be financial aid, even potentially with the coaching staff. The coaching staff basically has no involvement, and unless the recruit communicates to the staff she would like to set up a time to chat about the hockey program, it’s doubtful the staff will even know you’re on campus. Sometimes the admissions office alerts coaches if a recruit indicates an interest in playing a sport (usually asked by admissions to the recruit). But as the name indicates, this type of visit is all directed by you.

Communication with Coaches About Visits… There are generally some Do’s and some Don’ts when communicating with coaches about visits to their school. Here are some tips that can help you in the process. And in doing so, you’ll learn some pretty important information which should help you in your process. You potentially are going to know exactly where you fall on that school’s priority list.

Do’s…

  • Use Email First… It’s a great respectable option to open up the lines of communication with coaches about your desire to visit the school–especially if you’ve never communicated with anyone on staff before. If you don’t have a prior relationship, email is best instead a text or a phone call. Be sure to add a bit about your hockey and academic background, like what position you play, what team you play for, what year you are graduating, your GPA, perhaps intended academic area of interest, as well as your contact info and preferred method of communication desired.
  • Communicate You Want to Visit Campus… Let the staff know you want to visit their school by asking if you can take an unofficial visit. Be sure to include what you might want to accomplish on the visit, like a tour of campus, athletic/hockey facilities, meet with the coaching staff and or a current player, admissions and or financial aid office etc. Asking does 2 things – one, it gives coaches a chance to see you are organized and two – it gives the staff a chance to respond and set something up with you.
  • Be Prompt If You Get A Response Back… If you get a reply back about your request to visit, be prompt in getting back to the coach who communicated with you and include any information the coach was asking for.
  • Be On-Time and Look Nice… You’ve got your visit date all set and a time to meet the staff… DON’T BE LATE! Things happen, so if your arrival time needs to adjust because of traffic, wrong turn, something unforeseen etc. be sure to communicate with someone on staff so they can be aware. Dress for the occasion… you are meeting for the first time people who could potentially change the trajectory of your life. Appearances matter, so dress like the visit is important to you. It’s not a formal event of course, but don’t show up looking like you just came from the gym either.

Don’ts

  • Leave Spelling/Grammar Mistakes… Make sure you proofread your emails and any written communication back to coaches. Eliminate spelling/punctuation mistakes, and PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE… make sure you address the email to the correct coaches at that particular school! You have no idea how many emails coaches get with the wrong names of coaches or the school.
  • Expect Coaches to Meet With You Because You Show Up On Campus… Often times recruits will just stop by campus, find there way to the hockey office, poke their head in and ask to meet and get shown around. Unless you’re a future olympian, this is generally not a good idea. Just because you took the time to visit campus on your own doesn’t entitle you to a sit down with the staff. Especially during the season, the days for coaches are jam packed and the schedule is tight. If you are coming to visit campus, send them a note and wait for a reply.
  • Ask for an official visit… Official visits are paid for by the school, so the staff decides who they will offer an Official visit to. Asking for one is a bit presumptive, especially if you’ve never communicated with a particular coaching staff before. Best to let the staff invite you on one rather than you ask for one.

Mailbag Monday

Mailbag Monday… There’s a new Women’s College Hockey Pipeline blog post coming on Monday’s where we’ll be answering your questions about women’s NCAA college hockey. Ever had a question about women’s college hockey but just never had the opportunity? May be a question about the recruiting process or how coaches plan practices? Now you can get your questions answered in our new ‘Mailbag Monday’ question and answer series. Each Monday we’ll select a few questions to answer submitted by our loyal readers. It’s easy, just click HERE to submit your questions by Friday and we’ll answer them the following Monday. So get those questions ready and ask away – Start HERE!

Stick Taps Go To…

With August now upon us, we will begin announcing our Monthly ‘Stick Taps’ winners during the first post of each month. Anyone connected to the game of women’s NCAA college hockey and who is doing ‘good work’, can be nominated. Who can nominate someone–YOU CAN–our loyal readers! There are lots of people in this game who deserve recognition of their work. All you need to do is fill out our ‘Stick Taps’ online nomination form HERE.

So, without further ado, the July Women’s College Hockey.org inaugural ‘Stick Taps’ go to: Joel Johnson for being named Head Coach of the 2022 US Women’s Olympic Hockey Team and Brian Idalski for being named Head Coach of the 2022 Chinese Women’s Olympic Hockey Team.

Joel Johnson, just named to his first Division I head coaching position in July taking over the University of St. Thomas program of the WCHA, is no stranger to USA Hockey. He served as Head Coach of the US Under-18 Team from 2015 to 2018 winning 4 Gold Medals. Also in 2018, Johnson led the US Under-22 Team to a 3-game series victory vs. Canada. In addition he helped guide the US Senior National Team as an Assistant Coach to a 4-Nations Cup victory. In 2019 he also helped lead Team USA to an IIHF World Championship. Johnson was just recently named Head Women’s Hockey Coach at the University of St. Thomas. Prior to that, Johnson spent the better part of his coaching career as the Associate Head Coach of the Minnesota Gophers Women’s program where he helped guide them to 6 NCAA National Titles.

Brian Idalski was the former Head Women’s Hockey coach at the University of North Dakota from 2007-2017 before the program was abruptly shut-down. Idalski, a U.S. citizen has never coached in an IIHF sanctioned event for USA Hockey, is no stranger to success behind the bench as a head coach. Idalski started his head coaching career at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point where he won 108 games during his five years there ending with two trips to the NCAA’s and a 3rd place finish in his final year. After 2 years as an asst. coach at St. Cloud University, Idalski took over as Head Coach of a University of North Dakota team that went winless the season prior to his arrival. During Idalski’s ten years at UND, he put the program on the national map as it became a nationally recognized and ranked. While at UND, he coached the fighting Hawks to 5 straight 20-win seasons, amassed an overall record of 169-156-39 which included 2 NCAA appearances in 2014 and 2015. The 2014 NCAA appearance included an EPIC triple OT loss in the 2014 NCAA quarter-final to Minnesota who went on to an undefeated season.

Congrats to Joel and Brian on their well deserved career achievements. Perhaps we’ll see these two outstanding coaches go head to head in Beijing?

Sifters

Idalski Heads Up Team China in 2022 Olympic Games… As mentioned above, former North Dakota Head Coach and current Vaneke Rays bench boss Brian Idalski has been named 2022 Women’s Olympic Head Coach for Team China. The move was announced by the Chinese State Administration of Sports in late July.

Here is a great piece by Grand Forks Herald reporter Brad Elliott Schlossman about Idalski’s rise to become China’s choice in Beijing–just click HERE.

IIHF Worlds Update… The IIHF World Championships are set to take place in Calgary in little less than 2 weeks after having been postponed back in May due to COVID concerns. The US is looking to defend its 2019 World Championship title, and 6th since 2012. The official IIHF Worlds event website can be found HERE. All Team USA games will be broadcast on The NHL Network – you can find that schedule below.

Team USA is coached by Joel Johnson, Head Coach at the Univ. of St. Thomas and assisted by Courtney Kennedy, Associate Head Coach at Boston College, and Brian Pothier. Pothier may be a bit unknown in the women’s coaching world but he does have a vast playing experience at the NHL/AHL level and has worked with Team USA Women’s teams in the past. You can find a link to his bio HERE.

Several NCAA players with eligibility remaining will play in this tournament for various countries. Rosters have not been named for each country except for Canada and Team USA. Here’s a look at who from Team USA Team Canada still have NCAA eligibility left. Once additional rosters are names, this list will be updated.

FirstLastPositionCountryLast TeamNCAA Years left
CaylaBarnesDTeam USABoston College2
NatalieBuchbinderDTeam USAWisconsin1
CarolineHarveyDTeam USANAHA White U194
JesseCompherFTeam USABoston University1
BritaCurlFTeam USAWisconsin2
LaceyEdenFTeam USAWisconsin4
AbbeyMurphyFTeam USAMinnesota4
GraceZumwinkleFTeam USAMinnesota1
SarahFillierFTeam CanadaPrinceton2
AshtonBellDTeam CanadaUniv. MN-Duluth1
EmmaMaltaisFTeam CanadaOhio State University1

Coaching Changes… Long time D-III coach Jackie MacMillan has decided to step down from her post as head coach at The College of St. Scholastica to pursue other opportunities. Assistant Coach Julianne Vasichek will take over and become the 2nd Head Coach in program history. You can read more on Jackie’s departure HERE.

Former Brown assistant coach Melissa Kraus (Paluch) has been named Associate Head Coach at Trine University. Head Coach Tom Hoffman made the announcement August 10. Kraus is returning back to the midwest as she was a star player at Lake Forest College and coached there for two seasons before heading off to Brown for the 19-20 season. You can read more on Kraus’ hire HERE.

Stonehill Hires Myers… Tara Watchorn has announced the hiring of assistant coach Megan Myers. Myers had spent the previous five season as an Assistant Coach at D-III Becker College. You can read more about Megan’s hiring below.

Conference Schedules Released… Hockey East and the NEWHA have finally revealed their season schedules. In Hockey East, the season begins September 24th with 3 games as LIU visits UCONN, Minnesota State travels to Merrimack, and Maine heads to Hamden, CT to take on Quinnipiac. You can view the composite Hockey East season schedule HERE. The NEWHA – New England Women’s Hockey Alliance has their composite schedule which you can find HERE. In addition to LIU @ UCONN the Sept 24-26 weekend, Sacred Heart hits the road and travels to the North Country to take on Clarkson.

Olympic Medal Payouts… Speaking of the Olympics, did you know many countries pay their medal winning athletes? In some countries – it’s a hefty payout. Here a list of the top paying countries and what they pay.

NCAA D-I Women’s & Men’s Conferences Tackle Social Justice Issues… Lastly, this story appeared on NCAA.org about NCAA D-I Women’s and Men’s hockey conferences joining together to make playing NCAA Hockey more Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive. The story features UNH Goaltender Nikki Harnet. You can read her story and how NCAA conferences are trying to help HERE.

Until Next Time…


Grant Kimball is founder and contributing writer at Women’s College Hockey.org and 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 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.