Youth sports have started returning from the COVID-19 shutdown, and many organizations are making plans to resume play. The National Girls Hockey League is thrilled to share that our 2020 NGHL Connecticut Face-Off is ON.
Last year over 800 players, representing 52 teams participated in our college exposure camp and the Labor Day tournament. Thanks to the amazing success of that event, we are back this fall!
The event runs September 4 -7 in Simsbury, Connecticut at the International Skating Center of Connecticut (ISCC), home of the largest all-girl Tier 1 & Tier 2 program in Connecticut, the Northern Lights. This location allows easy access to Bradley International Airport.
We are closely following all of the guidelines outlined by each state regarding youth tournaments, Additionally, if you are traveling from another state, you will need to check the travel guidelines in place for the state you are traveling to.
LOCATION: International Skating Center of Connecticut (ISCC), 1375 Hopmeadow Street, Simsbury, CT
DATES:September 4 - 7, 2020
DIVISIONS: 12U, 14U, 16U & 19U with a 4 game guarantee
The Connecticut Northern Lights are proud to announce that Lexi Pfalzgraf has committed to Boston University for the 2020-2021 season.(ACHA) American College Hockey Association.
"Lexi is an all around athlete with outstanding hockey IQ, work ethic, and strength of character," says Coach CJ. "She's a calm and motivational presence on the bench and she consistently leads her team through critical moments on the ice. Her compete level is off the charts and she's there to set the example of how to earn the shift and win the battles. Lexi is an incredibly bright student and we are confident that she is going to have much success at BU and beyond. Lexi has worked diligently to reach this opportunity and is well-deserving of all the good things coming her way!"
Lexi says, "I'm so excited to continue my hockey career with the ACHA hockey team at Boston University! I'm so grateful for all the support I've received from my coaches and teammates at the CT Northern Lights over the years. I've met some of my best friends through hockey and the Lights, and for that I am grateful. I can't wait to continue my academic and hockey career at Boston University!"
"Lexi has played with the CT Northern Lights for the past ten years, and has grown tremendously as an athlete," says Coach Giordano. "She is a dependable player that can switch seamlessly between offense and defense, and provides great support to all of her teammates. She brings great morale to the team, and is a strong role model to the younger girls within the organization. She has passion and a strong work ethic, which has driven her success both on the ice and in the classroom. We know that Lexi will find success at Boston University next year."
Congratulations Lexi! We are so proud and wish you continued success at Boston University!
Warren has committed to Becker College for the 2020-2021
The Connecticut Northern Lights and Coach Giordano are proud to announce that Alyssa Warren has committed to Becker College for the 2020-2021 season.
Coach Dan Giordano says, "I'm very excited for Alyssa to continue her studies and NCAA hockey career. She has always maintained a Team First attitude, on and off the ice. The Hawks will be glad to have her on the team as they play in the Colonial Hockey Conference NCAA D3."
Alyssa says, "I am happy to announce that I am committed to furthering my education and athletic career at Becker College. I will be majoring in Health Science focusing on pre-medicine. I would like to thank all of my coaches and teammates on the Lights for helping me grow as a player and teaching me to be a better teammate. I am beyond excited to begin the next chapter of my life thanks to the endless support and help from my friends and family."
Coach Anthony says, “Alyssa has been a strong component for the Northern Lights defensive core. She’s developed her skills over the years and has built a strong hockey IQ. She’s a player that steps up and rises to the occasion for key moments in big games and always plays her hardest. Alyssa will do great at the next level!”
THE NGHL IS THRILLED TO SHARE THAT THE CT NORTHERN LIGHTS WILL JOIN THE LEAGUE FOR THE 2020-21 SEASON.
The CT Northern Lights is the only all-girls ice hockey Tier 1 and Tier 2 hockey program in Northern Connecticut and Western Massachusetts. The program is committed to supporting the development of young women as athletes, leaders, and members of society through a competitive hockey environment that instills life values such as teamwork, sportsmanship, a consistent work ethic, and respect for self and others.
The Connecticut Northern Lights Girls Hockey program was founded in 2000 as part of the Avon-Canton-Farmington-Youth-Hockey organization. Connecticut Northern Lights Girls Hockey, then known as Avon Girls Hockey, had only one U-15 team in the 2000 - 2001 inaugural season. In the 2002 – 2003 season, Northern Lights also added an additional U-15 team and launched the Learn-to-Play and Learn-to-Skate (Foundation) program which was the first team called the Northern Lights. The Northern Lights became a standalone program in the 2003-2004 season. The program moved to the Newington Arena in Newington, CT for the 2003 – 2004 season and started a U-12 team and also a High School team. In the 2004 – 2005 season Northern Lights moved to the International Skating Center of Connecticut in Simsbury, CT, where the Northern Lights call home today. The Northern Lights continues to grow and offer programs to girls of all ages and abilities throughout the state of Connecticut.
The Lights have a great history of players who have gone on to play college hockey. Below is a list of their most recent alumnae and some of their current players who have college commits.
Rylie Griffith - Connecticut College (2020)
Grace Melanson - Nichols College (2020)
Nora Birmingham - Assumption College (2020)
Kori Bartko - Western New England (2020)
Samantha Kulman - Kings College (2020)
Ellen Cook - Utica College (2020)
Maddy Manser - Nichols College (2020)
Carly Duval - Assumption College (2020)
Samantha Ostrowski - Sacred Heart University (2020)
Abby Harris - Manhattanville College (2020)
Jill Croteau - Western New England (2020)
Julia Swanson - Assumption College (2020)
Andy Chancio - UNE tryout offer (2020)
Luci Alissi - Keene State (2020)
Audrey McMillen - Bentley College (2020)
Brigitte Goeler-Slough - Wesleyan University (2019)
Aishling Cavanaugh - Salve Regina (2019)
Meghan Stepka - University of Rhode Island (2019)
Katheryn Pettibone - Nichols (2019)
Kathleen Olmstead - Grand Valley State University (2019)
Jacqueline Howlett - Anna Maria College (2019)
Kelly Worthington - R.I.T. Club (2019)
Georgia Kraus - Dartmouth (2019)
Lindsay Madigan - University of Rhode Island (2019)
The Connecticut Northern Lights are proud to announce that Caitlyn Caldon has committed to Sacred Heart for the 2020-2021 season.
Coach CJ says, "Caitlyn has been a backbone for the Northern Lights U19 Silver team for the past two seasons, and I have personally had the chance to watch her develop as an athlete since her U14 year. She brings remarkable athleticism to the crease and she's bailed her team out in the net more times than I can count. When everyone is holding their breath, Caitlyn finds a way to make a glove save or stop the breakaway to keep us in the game. Even more, Caitlyn shows up to every game and every practice ready to compete and make her team stronger in front of her. We couldn't be more proud of her for earning a spot at SHU and can't wait to see how her hockey career continues to progress in college!"
"I'm beyond excited to have the opportunity to attend Sacred Heart and play on their women's ice hockey team. This is an opportunity I have always dreamed of," says Caitlyn. "It was the Northern Lights that prepared me for this opportunity. Without these past few years on the Lights, I don't know where I would be and for that I would like to thank Coach CJ and Coach Dan for always supporting me and shaping me into the goalie I am today."
"Caitlin has been a great goalie for our program," say Coach Giordano. "She comes to the rink prepared, and is always willing to put in the extra effort to work on her skills. She's very passionate about the game, and encourages her teammates to step up and play their best as well. She genuinely cares about the people around her, and has a natural ability to build morale in any situation. Sacred Heart is very fortunate - they are gaining a great student athlete."
Good luck to you Caitlin! We are so proud and look forward to seeing all that you accomplish at Sacred Heart!
The Connecticut Northern Lights are proud to announce that Mackenzie Lynch has committed to the University of Connecticut for the 2020-2021 season.
"Mackenzie brings every aspect of positive energy and consistency on defense that our team could ask of her," says Coach CJ Kenney. "She's played an incredibly solid and physical game in front of the net and in the corners. She leverages her speed and is confident to rush the puck to generate offense for us when we need it. She's a delight to have on the bench and in the locker room as well - she supports her teammates and gets us through tough moments, often by finding a way to make everyone laugh! Her accomplishment of going on to pursue Nursing at UCONN and continue her hockey career is applaudable and she's earned it through her hard work and dedication to her studies and athletics. Congatulations Mackenzie!"
Mackenzie says, "I am beyond excited to attend UCONN in the fall as a Nursing major in the honors program, and even more excited to have the opportunity to continue playing the sport I love! I want to thank all of my coaches and teammates who have made this possible, and a special thank you to my parents for the countless hours they spent driving me and watching my games. I cannot wait for this next chapter of my life and hockey career!"
"Mackenzie is a solid player and strong student. When playing defense, she has done a great job of clearing the zone, and isn't afraid to join the rush and generate scoring opportunities. UCONN Women's Ice Hockey participates in the American College Hockey Association (ACHA) and it will be a great opportunity to keep playing competitive hockey, while focusing on her school work. She takes her studies seriously and has a warm care-giver mentality, which makes Nursing a natural fit for Mackenzie. UCONN's School of Nursing is very fortunate to have her in their program. We expect that she will do great things with both school and hockey," says Coach Giordano.
Congratulations Mackenzie! We can't wait to see all that you accomplish at UCONN!
The Connecticut Northern Lights are proud to announce that Audrey McMillan has committed to Bentley University for the 2020-2021 season.
"Audrey has been core to the Lights success on the U19 Silver team over the past two years," says coach CJ. "She is the definition of a leader - she works hard all the time, she motivates her team, she sets an example and she supports the Lights community completely. Younger players look up to her as a role model and her coaches lean on her for success and driving team chemistry. Audrey always answers the call on the ice, on the bench and in the locker room, and she's been such an anchor for me personally as a coach since I've joined the Lights organization. We are so proud of her and know she has a bright future ahead of her at Bentley. Way to go Captain!"
Audrey says, "I am extremely excited to be attending Bentley University this fall! I want to thank my family, friends, teammates and coaches for supporting me throughout my Lights career. Especially CJ, Dan and my Dad, who have all helped me both on and off the ice to become a better hockey player. Over the past seven years, I have met some of my best friends and have many great memories playing with the Lights. I can't wait to continue my hockey and academic career at Bentley."
"Audrey is just the best," says Coach Giordano. "She is a strong, hard working forward with great hockey sense, and can be depended on in key game moments. Audrey is what you want in a captain - she will play anywhere you need her, leads by example, and motivates her teammates to bring their best game to the ice. She brings a strong work ethic and drive to both her game and academics - Bentley is very fortunate to have her. Good Luck."
Congratulations Audrey! We cannot wait to see what you do at Bentley!
The Connecticut Northern Lights are proud to announce that Rylie Griffith has committed to Connecticut College for the 2020-2021 season.
Rylie has been with the Northern Lights since 2014. Coach Giordano says, "Rylie is a very strong skater and excellent on defense, but also has good offensive skills. In some of our big games she was able to shut down our opponents' top players and score some goals. Rylie has great hockey sense and always puts her team first. I am very proud of Rylie for getting into a great academic school and hockey program, and I look forward to seeing her play at the next level."
"I am so thankful for the Northern Lights!" says Rylie. "This organization helped me transition into girls hockey and I have learned so much from my teammates and coaches. I owe so much to the Giordano family, who have taught me how to be a good hockey player, teammate, and person. I would also like to thank my family for everything they have done for me."
Congratulation Rylie! We cannot wait to see what you accomplish at Connecticut College.
The Connecticut Northern Lights are proud to announce that Julia Swanson has committed to play at Assumption College for the 2020-2021 season.
"Julia has been an absolute pleasure to coach this season and she is a staple of our defensive presence. She's incredibly tough and resilient, and she pushes herself to compete with off the charts intensity during every single shift. She's gritty and smart," say Coach CJ. "She creates speed on the breakout which has been huge for us this season. We know that Assumption is going to love having her on the bench and we're confident that she'll bring all of her outsanding capabilities to their lineup. Julie - great job, keep doing what you're doing!"
"I want to thank all of the coaches who have coached me during my years as a Light," says Julia. "I have played for the Northern Lights since I was 7 and have played with some of the same teammates for years. I'm so excited to move on and play at the next level at Assumption. I would also like to thank Dan and CJ for all of their guidance and support, as well as my family and friends who have watched me grow up playing hockey."
Coach Dan Giordano says, "Julia plays solid defense, always putting the defensive zone first. She has great speed and can generate offense when needed. Julia is a great teammate and a strong role model for the program. No matter how hard I am on Julia, she always responds with a smile. Assumption is very lucky to have her as an incoming student-athlete."
The Northern Lights wish the you the best of luck, Julia! We cannot wait to see what you accomplish!
The Connecticut Northern Lights are excited to announce that Sam Ostrowski has committed to Sacred Heart for the 2020-2021 season.
Coach CJ says, "Sam is the type of player that every coach wants on their bench. She's speedy, smart, and tough on the ice, and her hockey IQ is essential to her ability to deliver every single shift. Sam always comes to the rink ready to compete and takes her game extremely seriously, which is an asset to being competitive and drives our standards and expectations. Sam has been a key factor to our success this season and we think Sacred Heart is incredibly lucky to have her. Way to go Sam!"
"I am so excited to play Division 1 hockey at Sacred Heart University next year, a dream of mine ever since I was younger," says Sam. "I want to thank the entire Northern Lights organization, all of my coaches (especially Dan and CJ), my family, and all of my teammates for always supporting me. I'm so happy to have learned so much these past three years and I'm excited for what the future holds!"
"Sam was a big part of our success last season at Nationals. Her offensive skill is strong due to her quick feet and speed. She isn't afraid of hard work and keeps a great attitude at all times. Her strong work ethic will take her far at Sacred Heart," says Coach Giordano.
Congratulations Sam! We cannot wait to see what you you do at Sacred Heart!
The Connecticut Northern Lights are proud to announce that Maddy Manser has committed to Nichols College for the 2020-2021 season.
"Maddy Manser has delivered steady leadership by example for the Lights during her past two years as captain. She's physical, determined, and helps the team through big moments on defense, setting the tone and doing everything she can to help us succeed," says Coach CJ. "Maddy brings a level mindset and positive perspective that keeps the team focused and on track. We couldn't ask for more from Maddy and know she has much success coming her way in her college career at Nichols!"
Manser is excited. "Thank you to all my coaches, parents, my friends and family for all their support in getting me to where I am now. I'm beyond excited to have the opportunity to play hockey with Nichols and I cannot wait for what my future holds!"
"Manser plays very aggressive defense, and is a true leader on and off the ice. Being a smaller defenseman has never stopped her from playing a hard aggressive game. Her speed, grit and tenacity will be a huge asset when she plays at Nichols," says Coach Dan.
Good luck to you Maddy, we can't wait to see what your future holds at Nichols!
The Connecticut Northern Lights are pleased to announce that Jill Croteau has committed to Western New England University for the 2020-2021 season.
"Jill demonstrates superior speed and quick decision making on defense," states Coach CJ. "She is someone we rely upon heavily to help us stay competitive in games and she quite often generates offense for us. She's a complete player with a strong spirit and sense of humor. Jill has been an absolute pleasure to have in the locker room and on the bench, and we are confident she'll make an impact at Western New England!"
"I can't wait to be a part of the first ever womens hockey team at Western New England!" exclaims Croteau. "This opportunity is truly unique and exciting, and I am so grateful to Dan for bringing me into the Lights organization and to CJ for making this possible. I am so excited for what is to come, and I want to thank everyone at the Lights who have become like family over the past few seasons."
"Jill plays solid defense, has good offensive skills and is always willing to do extra to improve her game. She has a fiery spirit and always maintains a positive attitude. She will bring a lot to Western New England, and I wish her luck," says Coach Giordano. "Oh, and I'll let Coach Zimmerman at WNE know that when you are on road trips, you can't stop at any pet stores."
Good luck at Western New England, Jill! We know that you will do great things!
The Connecticut Northern Lights are pleased to announce that Carly Duval has committed to Assumption College for the 2020-2021 season.
"Carly has created an identity around being one of the hardest working, fiercest and most dedicated players in the Lights program," says Coach CJ Kenney. "She is absolutely fearless on the ice and her positivity and competitive desire to win are contagious. Carly is always the first one to show up and the last to leave at practice - we have to kick her off the ice! It is that work ethic that has earned her the opportunity to play college hockey. Carly, we will miss you and wish you the best of luck at Assumption!"
"I want to thank all my coaches, especially CJ and Dan, my parents, my brothers, the rest of my family and my teammates for supporting me and pushing me to succeed," says Carly. "Thanks to the Lights for making me the player I am today and for making my deram of playing college hockey possible. I'm super excited to continue my hockey career next fall at Assumption College."
"Carly is a player with excellent speed which is a key attribute to her being a successful hockey player. She always puts the team first, and her dedication to improving her game has produced great results. We wish Carly all the best in her future with Assumption," says Coach Giordano.
Congratulations Carly, we wish you success in your college career!
Congratulations to our CT Northern Lights ‘07 and ‘08 girls
Congratulations to our CT Northern Lights ‘07 and ‘08 girls on being selected for USA Hockey New England District Futures Development Camp. The girls will be heading to Burlington, VT next month to represent Connecticut and the CT Northern Lights at this highly competitive camp along with other top ‘07 and ‘08 female players. We are proud of you!
The Connecticut Northern Lights are proud to announce that Nora Birmingham has committed to Assumption College for the 2020-2021 season.
"Nora is a champion of the Northern Lights culture of hard work, positivity, and outstanding sportsmanship," says Coach CJ Kenny. "Beyond that, she is an incredibly dependable player on the ice and has contributed speed, strength, goal scoring and high energy to the U19 Silver lineup this year. She has worked hard for the opportunity and has earned the priveledge of playing hockey in college. We wish her luck and continued success at Assumption!"
Nora says, "I am so excited to continue my hockey career at Assumption College next year and to be part of the first women's hockey team at Assumption! I am so thankful for the Northern Lights organization, my teammates, my coaches and my family, who have all helped me reach my goal of playing college hockey."
"Nora is a strong player with excellent stickhandling skills and a powerful shot," says Coach Dan Giordano. "She is a two-way player with a Team First mentality. She has been accepted into Assumption's prestigious nursing program, which is one of the top programs in New England. The Northern Lights are so proud that she was accepted into a great academic program, and that she can continue to compete at a high level of hockey."
Congratulations Nora! We wish you much success in your college career!
The Connecticut Northern Lights are proud to announce that Ellen Cook has committed to Utica College for the 2020-2021 season.
"Ellen is a model athlete for outstanding work ethic, character, and consistency," says Coach CJ. "She is the type of player that we rely on in big moments and her attitude is always steady, confident, and composed. Ellen always shows up focused and ready to play and she will immediately make an impact at Utica because of her dedication to the game and her development. We wish her much success!"
"I’m so excited for the opportunity to play at Utica next year. I’m also very thankful for my teammates and coaches who have always believed in me and for my parents who made so many sacrifices. I am especially grateful for Coach CJ, Coach Dan and the Northern Lights organization!" says Ellen.
"Ellen is a true team player and can be asked to play forward or defense in a moments notice. She was a key factor in our run last year in the U16 National tournament. We wish her all the luck at Utica, and we will continue to follow her college career," says Coach Dan.
Good luck to you Ellen! We can't wait to see your success with Utica in hockey and beyond!
The Connecticut Northern Lights are proud to announce that Sam Kulman has committed to Kings College for the 2020-2021 season!
From Coach CJ - "Sam has been an anchor on defense for the Lights for the past two seasons. She is incredibly reliable and demonstrates high hockey IQ against all levels of competition. We count on Sam to continuously make the smart and simple plays and she does an outstanding job protecting the front of the net and breaking us out of the zone quickly. Sam is a remarkable teammate with a top tier attitude and King’s is very lucky to have her. Way to go Sam!"
"I’m very excited to continue my athletic and academic career at King’s College," says Kulman. "I want to thank my family, friends, and coaches for all the support and guidance they’ve given me over the years! I would especially like to thank Coach CJ for her dedication and hard work over the past three seasons in guiding me to become the player I am today. I am also grateful to the entire Lights Organization for helping me achieve my goal of playing college hockey. I can’t wait to be a Monarch!"
"Sam is a hard worker, and is a consistent force on the team. She is an aggressive defenseman that plays strong in her zone," says Coach Giordano.
We all wish you the best of luck in your academics and athletics at Kings College!
The Connecticut Northern Lights are excited to announce that Grace Melanson has committed to Nichols College for the 2020-2021 season.
"Grace has been key to the Lights success the past two seasons," says Coach CJ. "She brings strong work ethic, offensive presence, speed and skill on the ice. Her character as a teammate is noteworthy - she keeps her composure and drives positivity and confidence in the locker room. We look forward to her continued success at Nichols!"
"I am so excited to continue my hockey career at Nichols College! I am so grateful for everything the Northern Lights has taught me. I'd like to thank my family, coaches, and teammates for their support along the way, especially Coach Dan who has guided me on and off the ice."
Coach Dan says, "Grace has been with our program for many years, and has been a big player in our organization's success. She is a strong force on the ice, and can be relied on during big game moments. She always comes to the rink ready to work, and pushes herself and her team harder when faced with adversity. Grace is a great role model to all of the players within the organization, and a prime example of what it means to be a Lights player."
All of us here at NLGH wish you continued success Grace!
The Connecticut Northern Lights are proud to announce that Abby Harris has committed to Manhattanville College for the 2020-2021 season.
"I'm so excited to continue my hockey career at Manhattanville, and I'm very grateful for the many years I spent with the Northern Lights and all the coaches and teammates who have taught me and believed in me. And I especially want to thank my family who have supported me through the years," says Abby.
"We are very proud to see Abby moving forward with her hockey career at Manhattanville," say Coach CJ. "She has brought tenacity and relentless effort to our lineup and contributes to the positive culture of our team and the Lights program, both on and off the ice. She'll bring extreme coachability, speed, offensive presence and strong character to the Valiants. Best of luck Abby!"
From Coach Dan Giordano - "Abby joined the Lights program back in 2007. She has always maintained a Team First attitude, on and off the ice. For a smaller player, she has always played a big game. She has fast feet and is a impact player during critical moments in the game. Manhattanville currently sits in third place with an 11-2-1 record in the 12-team NCAA D3 United Collegiate Hockey Conference"
The Northern Lights Hockey Organization wishes you the best of luck and success Abby!
The Connecticut Northern Lights are excited to announce that Kori Bartko has committed to Western New England for the 2020-2021 season.
"Kori has been a cornerstone of leadership and positive energy for the Northern Lights," says Coach CJ. "She is a highly valuable contributor on the ice, and most importantly, Kori is humble, hard working, motivated, and highly aware of and accountable for the way she plays the game. You never have to tell Kori that she needs to work harder, check her ego, put her team first... Kori always demonstates her grit and tenacity over and over again. Kori wil be an invaluable addition to the team and we wish her the best of luck."
"I am so excited for the opportunity to be a part of the first ever Women's Ice Hockey team at Western New England and to play under Coach Zimmerman! I just want to thank all of my coaches, family, and friends for pushing me hard to this next level!"
Coach Dan says, "Kori has been with the program for over five years, and a big part of our success. I'm very excited for Kori to continue her studies and NCAA hockey career. The Golden Bears will be glad to have her on the team as they play in the NCAA D3 Commonwealth Coast Conference this upcoming season."
All of us here at NLGH wish you continued success Kori!