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Colorado Hockey Hub

Introduction to Tier I Hockey

By Andy Atencio, 04/16/15, 9:45AM MDT


Does your daughter have aspirations of playing NCAA DI, NCAA DIII or even professional women’s ice hockey? The playing opportunities available to high performance female student-athletes vary significantly from their male counterparts at the next level, as do the pathways to obtain these highly sought out roster positions. While opportunities in women’s ice hockey continue to expand, they are still limited as compared to men’s ice hockey. It is very important that prospective female student-athletes and parents understand the recruitment process and the various pathways that exist to be recruited to compete on a team at the next level. Women’s ice hockey recruitment begins as early as the middle school age level (14U) and coaches and scouts rarely attend youth “boys” tournaments in search of their next female student-athlete. In fact, girls that play on teams competing at the Tier I level have the highest rate of placement of student-athletes into DI women’s college hockey programs (ex. JWHL DI Yield 10.28, 2010 – 14).

There are many misconceptions about girl’s ice hockey. It’s not competitive. There is no exposure for girls on girl’s teams. Girls don’t develop into strong, skilled players unless they play the boys game.  These misconceptions are simply not true. The women’s game is fast, skilled and physical, especially at the highest levels.

Colorado Select Girls Hockey Association would like to invite all female players interested in learning what a model girl’s ice hockey program looks like to an informational Town Hall Meeting on Saturday, April 18th at Edge Ice Arena, in Littleton, CO at 6 p.m. The Select is sponsoring this session to provide female players and parents an opportunity to learn about girls’ ice hockey at the highest competitive level.

The meeting will cover in detail the developmental differences between female and male athletes; best practices of on-ice and off-ice training; the Junior Women’s Hockey League (JWHL); and how collegiate recruiting for female student-athletes works. Players who are 14U – 19U (2002 – 1996 birth year) are also able to participate in a FREE off-ice training session as well as a FREE on-ice training session with the Select Tier I coaching staff. At the completion of the high performance on-ice session, players and parents are invited to participate in a Town Hall Meeting to learn about girl’s ice hockey at the highest level.

Where: Edge Ice Arena
6623 S. Ward St.
Littleton, CO 80127

When: Saturday, April 18th
3:15 – 4:15 p.m. Off-ice Session (2002 – 1996 birth year)
4:45 – 5:45 p.m. On-ice Session (2002 – 1996 birth year)
6 p.m. – 7 p.m. Town Hall Meeting (All Ages)

2015-16 Select Tier I Coaching Staff:
Karen Rickard - 19U AAA (DI University of Wisconsin, MBA, MS)
Eric Mayhew - 16U AAA (Division III Fitchburg State, ECHL, OHL)
Evan Minnick - 14U AAA (DI Colgate, EWHL)
Mark Sample – Select Goaltending Director
Mike Egebrecht – Select Strength & Conditioning Director

The Town Hall meeting will focus on the challenges and rewards of Tier I hockey along with providing an understanding of NCAA DI, DIII and ACHA recruitment and professional women’s ice hockey opportunities. This open session will also focus on addressing player and parent questions about Tier I girls’ ice hockey.

If you have questions about this event, please don’t hesitate to contact Kendall Hanley, Director of Hockey, at or Karen Rickard, Assistant Director of Hockey / 19U AAA Head Coach at Tier I tryouts for 14U, 16U and 19U will be held May 16 – 17th at Edge Ice Arena.