Northern Lights U14A Plays Canadian Team
The Connecticut Northern Lights Girls Ice Hockey Program U14A team played against the Stanstead College Girls Ice Hockey Team at the International Skating Center in Simsbury on November 11.
Stanstead is a co-educational private boarding/day secondary school for students in grades 7-12 in Stanstead, Quebec, Canada. Well-known for its outstanding boys ice hockey program, Stanstead decided several years ago to develop a strong girls program as well. This fall, Stanstead Girls Hockey Head Coach Adam Spirk and Assistant Coach Dugie Ross decided that their hockey program had sufficient momentum to test itself against elite teams in the US. Stanstead has a five-day break in November, and the coaches were able to line up a whirlwind hockey tour. They arranged for five games over four days against elite girls ice hockey programs in Connecticut. They wanted to give their girls an opportunity to test themselves against some of the US teams who compete in Tier 1 (i.e., compete for a national title)
One such team is the CT Northern Lights U14A team, coached by Chuck Breese of Suffield. Along with Assistant Coaches Scott Daniels of Southwick and Joe Gozzi of Suffield, Coach Breese felt this was a great opportunity for their team as well. Coaching styles and play can vary, and this would provide a chance for the girls to see some of that firsthand, and to try adjusting their play in response.
The game was marked by sharp passing, quick skating, and many odd-man rushes. The open style of hockey contributed to a high-scoring game with the Northern Lights emerging victorious. The score, however, was less important than the pleasure that both teams took in this match. The girls' shared passion for hockey was an immediate bond. After the game, the Northern Lights families hosted a reception for the Canadian team and their coaches and chaperones. The Canadians commented on how enjoyable their time in the States has been and how welcoming and friendly the US teams have been. Both the Northern Lights and the Stanstead players agreed that their time here was too short and that the only solution is a re-match next year.