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New Hockey Program Initiatives 
 
The Hockey Committee would like to start by saying we REALLY miss hockey right now and cannot wait for the Club to open again! While there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel, the timing of tryouts is still unclear as Connecticut Hockey Conference, under USA Hockey, has suspended all play, including tryouts, until further notice. And many rinks that operate year-round do not expect to open before the end of June. With that information, we now expect to hold tryouts in September. We know all players will be rusty before tryouts. To help players stay connected with hockey and to prepare for next year, our 2020-2021 coaches at each age-level will reach out in May to all players signed up for tryouts to introduce themselves and offer training tips and fun challenges. The goal is to have periodic communication with the players to keep them connected to the Club and the sport they love while also improving their skills in the off-season. We also make every effort to provide practice ice to help players get ready closer to tryouts. Stay tuned for more information on that.
 
Now, we would like to look forward. The Hockey Committee is excited to announce next year’s initiatives. The GSC mission is for our children to develop a love for the game of hockey, develop age-appropriate hockey skills, and learn the value of sportsmanship, hard work, and character building through athletic competition. The goal is that our children will learn these valuable lessons through proper instruction and by watching the behavior and attitudes of their coaches and parents who supervise and support their activities. We are announcing the following initiatives to continue to improve the coaching and skill-delivery of our programs.
Welcome Ian Tarrant, Our New Mite and Hockey Skills Director
Ian Tarrant will be joining the Greenwich Skating Club as our new Mite and Hockey Skills Director. He will oversee our mite program and help implement best practices for our age-level practice progressions and to organize our new weekly skills sessions. Ian has been coaching hockey for a decade, three years at GSC, and is a familiar face to Greenwich hockey parents. In addition to all the significant contributions he has made to Fairfield County youth hockey coaching, most recently, Ian coached the GSC Wings Squirt A-Team to a hugely successful season in 2019-20, where the team won the CHC Tier 3 State Championship. Ian attended the Berkshire School and played for Western Connecticut State University. Please welcome Ian back for this fourth season at GSC and his new role!
 
Mite Program Improvements 
With Coach Ian come several other exciting new additions to make our Wings program the best in the area! The 2020-21 Season will include two team practices and one skills session practice each week, with next season featuring fewer teams on the ice for each practice session, so more room and an ever-better player/coach ratio. Our top two teams will move to the Chelsea Piers Sunday, half-ice league, and the balance of our teams will continue to compete on Saturdays in Chelsea Piers cross ice league. We have added two additional Saturday game ice slots at Sono Ice House's studio rink. Sono is where all our Mite teams will have a regular and balanced supplemental game schedule, plus we will continue to have Saturday afternoon home games in the prime Skating Club 3:15 pm time window. The Top mites plan to go back to Clifton Park in March for the Mite Madness Tournament. 
 
In addition, we are creating a girl's Mite program given the demand for this and many examples supporting the idea that the comradery and experience of an all-girls team is more important than any playing ability gap that might exist when we combine all of the mite girls on one team. 
 
ADM Skill-Based Practice Progression 
Coaching manuals based on USA Hockey’s American Development Model (“ADM”) which focus on age-appropriate skill-based practice progressions will be provided to coaches of all level teams. The ADM model will help coaches continue to strive toward the most efficient and impactful learning model for our players. The ADM model will also help us better monitor skill progression as our players rise through the ranks to ensure they are ready for our top teams or to take the next step after graduating from the GSC programs. 
 
Mental Toughness Curriculum
We will be working with Dr. Wally Bzdell ("Doc Wally") to provide age-appropriate mental toughness training and coaching instructions throughout the season. Mental toughness training will include a pre-season coaching seminar and coaching strategies for our coaches to use with our players during the season. The goal is to ensure our coaches use the right coaching strategies and that our players learn the appropriate tools to set and achieve goals and to deal with adversity. Doc Wally has 25 years of mental toughness training, is a NYS licensed psychologist, and USA Hockey Level 5 Coach. Doc Wally works with numerous D1 hockey programs and NHL players, and has coached a NYS championship team and currently coaches 14U AAA and high school levels. Doc Wally played hockey at Union College.
 
Added Skills Session 
We will be adding weekly skills sessions for next season to focus on improved power skating, stickhandling, shooting, and passing. We will have three practices per week in September and from October through February, two practices per week plus a skills session for players that want to improve their skills. Coach Ian will implement age-level skills progressions throughout the year.
 
GSC Shooting and Stickhandling Station
We are excited to announce a new addition on our GSC property. We are planning to add an outdoor shooting and stickhandling station modeled after many of the summer hockey camps. This station will allow teams to cycle through shooting and stickhandling drills and will provide our players with the opportunity to have 3 to 4 weekly practices, two of which are 100% skill-based. We hope to create an environment at the Club which encourages our players to practice on and off-ice and decreases driving for parents currently taking their kids to other facilities for this type of training.
 
Coaching Slate For 2020-2021
We are excited to announce next year’s coaching slate. We believe we have some of the best coaches in CHC, who understand GSC’s mission, appreciate the role hockey can play in youth development, and they LOVE HOCKEY! We are projecting that we will have one Bantam team, two Peewee teams, two Squirt teams, one U14 team, one U12 team, and one U10 team
 
Bantam A
George Genise (“Coach”) and Zach Zannino (“Coach Z”)
Coach Genise has been coaching for over 40 years and has coached all age levels from mite through midgets, including stints with St. Mary High School and Greenwich High School. George has been a rock for the Club and has consistently produced top CHC Tier 2 teams, regardless of the talent level in any given year. He and Coach Zannino have coached together for six years and are a great team focusing on skill progression and developing an understanding of hockey strategy and team play. George and Zach build teams based on concepts of commitment, accountability, development, and respect. Zach is a GSC lifer, playing Mites through Bantams at the Club and has coached for ten years, 6 of which have been at GSC. Also back for another Bantam A season are Coach Chris Rurak and Coach Rich Stine. Chris has coached his two sons at the Club for many years and is the head coach of the Greenwich Cardinals Varsity team. Rich is a seasoned goalie coach that has been with our program for many years.  Please welcome this stellar coaching staff back for another successful season. 
 
Peewee A 
Greg De Spoelberch (“Coach Despo”)
Coach De Spoelberch has been coaching for three years. Greg's enthusiasm for hockey is evident in the locker room and on the ice, and his ability to connect with our kids is uncanny. Greg attended Brunswick and was a four-year letter winner and served as captain his senior year, earning All-New England first-team honors. Greg attended Princeton University and captained the club hockey team from 2003-2004. Please welcome Greg back for his fourth-year coaching at the Club.
 
Peewee B
Jimmy Marzullo (“Coach Zullo”)
Coach Marzullo grew up in Greenwich and started his coaching career when his daughter was beginning skating in Dorothy Hamill’s house league and then onto the Greenwich Panthers. For the last four years, Jim has coached GSC Squirts and Peewees. Jim is also the Junior Varsity Head Coach and Varsity Assistant Coach at Greenwich High School. Assisting Coach Marzullo is Coach Kevin Straub. Kevin played hockey growing up and has been coaching at the Club for the last several years alongside his son.  Please welcome Jim back for his 5th year and Kevin's 3rd year of coaching at the Club.
 
Squirt A 
Harry Schwefel (“Coach Schwef”)
Coach Schwefel has been coaching at the Club for six years. He is Co-Head of Boys Hockey at GSC and has been instrumental in building our Mite program over the last four years. Harry has four children, including two hockey players who both play for the Wings. Harry played high school hockey at the Lawrenceville School, where he was Captain and Athlete of the Year his senior season. After Lawrenceville, Harry played four years for Harvard College and was named Most Improved Player as a sophomore and won an Ivy League Championship in 2000. After graduation, Harry played one year of professional hockey for the Kalamazoo K-Wings, where he earned the Most Improved Player and Rookie of the Year awards for the 2001-2002 season. Please welcome Harry back for his 7th year coaching at the Club.
 
Squirt B/B2 
Benoit Morin (“Coach Benny”)
Coach Morin has been coaching for 25 years. He is a GSC board member and has two sons in the program. Benoit has been integral in helping improve our Mite and Mini-Mite programs over the last five years. He played hockey at Upper Canada College in Toronto, Princeton University, and played professionally in the AHL and ECHL for the Florida Panthers and Philadelphia Flyers organizations. Please welcome Benoit for his 11th year coaching at the Club.
We also have a solid group of parent coaches that are enthusiastic about the Club and dedicated to our mission. Coaches include Coach Snedeker, Fox, Fine, Bogardus, Prince, Rabinowitz, and Wiener.
 
U14 A
Co-Head Coach Dan Goggin (“Coach Goggs”) and Co-Head Coach Mike Lee (“Coach Lee”)
Coach Goggin and Coach Lee have been collectively coaching youth hockey for over 30 years. Dan has been working with the U14 girls' team for the last several years and has had two sons grow up in the GSC system. Dan played hockey at Dartmouth University. Mike joined the U14 program last year from California, where he coached Tier 1 girls U19 and U16 hockey, including winning a USA Hockey National Championship. Mike is also a USA Hockey Master Level 5 Coach. Also, we are fortunate to have Assistant Coach Hanna Beattie back again this year. Hanna is a current C.T. Whale player and has coached U14 at GSC for the last two years.
 
U12 A
Anthony Felice (“Coach Anthony”)
Coach Felice will be entering his 5th year at GSC and his 11th year coaching hockey. Anthony is a USA Hockey Level 4 Coach and is also coaching Rye Country Day School Boys’ Varsity Hockey. In 2016 he was selected to be an intern coach for USA Hockey's U15 Girl's National Development Camp in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Anthony is also a certified personal trainer with the National Academy of Sports Medicine and holds a sports performance certification from the same organization. Anthony played in the New Jersey Devils farm system. Two USA Hockey Level 3 Coaches surround Anthony, Emily Kutcha, and Deb Cunningham, who will be entering their 4th and 5thyears of coaching at GSC, respectively. Emily was a three-sport NCAA athlete at New England College playing Ice Hockey, Field Hockey, and Lacrosse. Deb is a Power Skating and Figure Skating coach at GSC and is the daughter of coaching legend and Bantam A coach, George Genise. 
 
U10 A
Michael Lisjak (“Coach Mike”)
Coach Lisjak has been coaching for seven years; he joined GSC last year for the 2019/2020 season, his first with an all-girls youth team. Mike played hockey at The Hill School, Rochester Jr. Americans and Drexel University. He is looking forward to his 2nd year at GSC. Also, Co-Head of Girls Hockey, Dan Bellissimo, will assist Coach Mike. Dan has three girls in the program, and you can find Dan digging pucks out of the corners during Cardinal Road games. Dan played hockey at the University of Toronto. Lastly, we are fortunate to have Assistant Coach Sarah Hughson this year. Sarah is a current C.T. Whale player and was previously Assistant Coach at Choate.
 
Mites 
Mite Director Ian Tarrant will partner with more than ten former college and professional hockey players that are mite and mini- mite coaches who have helped make such a significant impact on our players for the past four seasons. These coaches are the foundation of our program and will rise through the coaching ranks as their children move up age levels. Listed below are some of these coaches, amongst many others.
 
Peter Boldt 
Coach Boldt grew up just around the corner from the Greenwich Skating Club and started his career there as a mini-mite. He went on to play at the Taft School and then Dartmouth College, where he won an Ivy League championship, captained the 2009-2010 team, and was one of twenty NCAA Division I players nominated for the prestigious Lowe's 2010 Senior Class Award. After graduating, he competed in Europe for teams in Sweden, Germany, and Romania.
 
Chris Corrinet 
Coach Corrinet graduated from Deerfield Academy in 1997 and was a 4-year member of the varsity hockey team. He then enrolled at Princeton University, where he won the Hobey Baker trophy awarded to the team's outstanding freshman and served as a Captain in his senior year. While at Princeton, Chris was drafted in the 4th round of the 1998 NHL entry draft by the Washington Capitals, won the 1998 ECAC Championship, and captured two Ivy League Championships in his four years. Upon graduation, Chris signed an entry-level contract with the Capitals. He played a total of 5 seasons of professional hockey, including for the Capitals and three teams in the American Hockey League (including two under contract for the St. Louis Blues). He also played one season in Europe (Slovenia) before retiring in 2005 to pursue a career at CBRE in commercial real estate.
 
Shannon Doyle
Coach Doyle is the current Varsity Girls' Head Hockey Coach for the Greenwich Country Day School. She played college hockey at Boston University and was an All Hockey East 1st team selection (two times) and Hockey East All-Tournament Team (two times). While a Terrier, she led the team in blocked shots and ranked fourth all-time in points amongst defense. Shannon grew up in Sutton, Ontario, and played for both Team Ontario and Team Canada U18, winning Golds with both. Shannon continued to play for Team Canada's U22 program, winning the MECO Cup in Germany and was also selected to participate in the Senior Fall Festival camp. Shannon has been coaching since her graduation from Boston University in 2015 for the Greenwich Skating Club, Greenwich Country Day School, SYHA U16 Team, and Mid-Fairfield U19 program. She has been a member of the Connecticut Whale for the past five seasons and served as an assistant captain last year and captains the team this season.
 
Shannon Gallagher
Coach Gallagher grew up playing for the Essex Hunt Club in Peapack, NJ, and she has many fond memories of playing against their rivals, the Greenwich Skating Club. She went on to play at the Taft School, where she was captain her senior year. She continued her career at Middlebury College, winning three NCAA Championships and captained the 2006-2007 team. Shannon has coached the GSC U14 and U12 girls teams and, more recently, has helped with the mites and mini mites programs.
 
Henry Higdon
Coach Higdon is Co-Head of Boys Hockey at GSC learned the game of hockey at the Greenwich Skating Club after moving to town from Los Angeles at the age of 9. He went on to play high school hockey at Philips Academy Andover, where he was named Captain and MVP of the team his senior year and inducted into Andover's Athletic Hall of Honor. After Andover, Henry attended Harvard University and played for the Men's Varsity Hockey team for four years. He then played one season of professional hockey for the Hampton Roads Admirals of the ECHL (minor league affiliate of the Nashville Predators and Washington Capitals).
 
Francois Magnant
Coach Magnant, originally from Montreal, played four years at Yale University and graduated in 1999. He was a member of the 1998 ECAC championship team and named the team's best defensive player in 1999. Francois has coached youth hockey going back to his teenage years at some of the top hockey schools in Montreal, and also coached the Bantam Yale Youth Hockey team while doing his MBA at Yale. Francois says one of the greatest gifts he received is "having learned hockey from some of the best coaches growing up." He is passionate about transferring his knowledge and passion for the game to the next generation.
 
Lloyd Polanish
Coach Polanish is a highly accomplished hockey coach and player. Lloyd played prep hockey at Avon Old Farms and college hockey at Hamilton College, where he was a four-year letter winner and captained his senior team. He has been coaching hockey for 13 years, most notably at Lasker Rink in Central Park. Lloyd was the owner and director of Lasker Rink Ice Hockey Camp from 2008 to 2014 and was head coach of NYU ice hockey team from 2002 to 2007. Last year, Lloyd coached GSC’s U10 team and was also a mite coach. We are excited to have Lloyd as part of the GSC family.
 
Tournaments
While there is uncertainty about what next season may look like, and if our teams will attend Tournaments, we are continuing a GSC tradition by locking in the Lake Placid Tournament in November for our travel teams. The Boys Squirt through Bantam are the weekend of November 5th. Girls U12 and U14 are the weekend of November 12th .
 
 
GSC Hockey Committee
Co-Heads of Boys Hockey
Harry Schwefel
Henry Higdon
 
Co-Heads of Girls Hockey
John Unger
Dan Bellissimo
 
Hockey Committee Members
Jack Duffy
Jason Gilbride
James Mairs
Benoit Morin
Jason Price
Chris Rurak