Category Archives: Stick Taps

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.