We strive to be the leading provider of educational sporting opportunities for girls in Northern Connecticut.

My my My my

Simsbury girls skate with UCONN players

Kayla Barglowski, Sarah Franklin, Mackenzie DuBois, Kate Campolieta, Ali Heubner, Maggie Grigely, Katie Grigely, Rebecca Grandahl, Julianna Bologa, Madeline Bologa, Abby Gardner, and Meaghan Barnett, all of Simsbury, were among girls from the Northern Lights Girls Ice Hockey Program (NLGH) who recently had the chance to skate with the UCONN women's varsity ice hockey team at Freitas Ice Forum in Storrs. The stands were replete with Northern Lights families cheering on the Huskie women in a lively match against the Niagara University (Niagara, NY) Purple Eagles women's ice hockey team. The fans got to see seven different Huskies score, taking UCONN to an 8-0 win. UCONN junior Katherine Van Deveire scored the eigl:J.th goal with just two seconds remaining in the third period, coming off of feeds from Liz Gallinaro and Jaclyn Hawkins.

The UCONN Huskies are coached by Heather Linstad, the only women's ice hockey varsity head coach that UCONN has ever had since the program's inception in 2001. A 1989 Providence College graduate, she currently stands fourth all-time in NCAA Division I victories among active coaches with 216 for her career. In December, she coached the Hockey East All-Stars in a game against the US Women's Ice Hockey Team. Four UCONN players, Kaitlyn Shain, Jennifer Houlden, Natalie Vibert and Jaclyn Hawkins were selected for the Hockey East roster.

Following the game, the UCONN players skated with the Northern Lights in a Skills & Fun Session. It gave the Northern Lights girls a chance to skate alongside top players recruited from across the US and Canada. It inc1uded pointers on stick-handling, proper positioning, puck control, and winning the face-off. NLGH goalie Chelsea Panek of Canton had the opportunity to try her hand at fielding shots with UCONN goaltenders Brittany Wilson and Kaitlyn Shain providing tips.

The partnering of aspiring young female ice hockey players with college players is integral to the future of women's ice hockey. Young female hockey players currently have no women's NHL to aspire to, thus their dreams center on the possibilities of playing college hockey, or for a very few, playing in the Olympics.

"The Northern Lights program philosophy is to develop the total athlete," noted Northern Lights President Ken Dixon. "We strive to help our players become self-confident, competitive, skilled athletes and at the same time stress scholarship, fair-play, teamwork, and fun. We believe that these are the qualities that will help our players develop into successful adults. This opportunity with UCONN gave the Northern Lights players a chance to see female role models with very high standards not only for their sport, but for scholarship and character as well."

The UCONN squad has excelled off the ice, with eight Huskies from the 2004-05 team being named to the Hockey East All-Academic team. Forward Lisa Beck, a 2006 grad, shared the honor for Hockey East Top Scholar. Athlete with a 4.0 GPA.

From Simsbury Post — February 3, 2006