Providing hockey and skating opportunities for the boys and girls of Northwestern Connecticut.

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Icehawks News from the Nest

October 2, 2013


Well, it’s official...the NHL season is underway, so that means that the youth hockey season will be in full swing soon.  Take a few minutes to read this newsletter for some important information about the upcoming season.


Canterbury Delay


Speaking of getting into full swing, our season really gets going when Canterbury (and The Gunnery) open up.  This year, Canterbury is replacing their compressors so the rink opening will be delayed by a couple of days.  You may have noticed that we had to cancel our home games for the weekend of October 12.  Now you know the reason.  But, the good news is that the rink is expected to open promptly on Monday, October 14 when our full schedule of practices will begin.  The Gunnery opens two weeks later and our use of the Rumsey Hall rink begins after November 1.


Skate-A-Thon Fundraiser


We haven’t finalized the financial report for the Skate-A-Thon fundraiser, but preliminary indications are exceptional! As an organization, we raised over $7,000, including $2,500 for Autism Speaks! This exceeded even our most optimistic projections and it shows what an organization can do when its people pull together. It didn’t hurt that it was a fun night, too!  There are many people that helped with this event, but a special thank you is owed to Tiffany Delmonico and her entire family for going above and beyond with this event.  I think we’ve found ourselves an annual event that our entire organization can look forward to each year.


In Season Tournament


Northwestern Hockey has been running home tournaments at Thanksgiving and Christmas for many years.  However, in recent years, it has become quite a struggle to field full tournaments at home due to the increased competition from other tournaments in the area (and even in the region).  Due to the financial uncertainty of running these tournaments, the Board made the decision not to run home tournaments this year.


So, built into the budget for each travel team (Squirts through Bantams) is the entry fee for an in-season away tournament.  This is in addition to the year-end State tournament.  The Board has chosen the Jingle Bell Skate tournament in Marlborough, Massachusetts as the away tournament for Squirts, Peewees and Bantams.  The tournament is run over the New Years holiday from 12/30 to 1/1.  Northwestern will pay for the entry fee and each family will need to cover the cost of the hotel.  We have already identified a "hockey friendly" hotel and reserved a block of rooms (more on that in an upcoming email).


We recognize that, for some, the cost of the hotel can be a burden.  However, the Board felt that the experience gained by the kids (and parents) from a team-building perspective and a competition standpoint will provide many benefits to the team for the season. Here is a link to the informational flyer:


Regarding Mite Travel, we are working on the exact details, but we will likely be sending the team to a Cross-Ice jamboree-style tournament.  We expect the tournament to be more local, not requiring a hotel.


In House Programs


This month and next month we will begin our In House Programs, including Intro to Hockey, Learn to Skate and our Limited Travel Squirt program.  These programs are crucial to the future of our program, requiring the tireless work of several volunteers to get these programs up and running.  We promote these programs through in-school flyers, lawn signs, and traditional media advertising.


However, this year, we are finding that less schools are allowing backpack flyers to be sent home with the students.  So, it is more important than ever that you help our program by getting the word out to your friends and acquaintances.  If you know someone who might be interested in trying hockey, please send them to our web site.


Program Information


The philosophy of the members of the Northwestern Hockey Board is to be as open and inclusive as possible.  With the exception of very few confidential matters, all of the business that the Board conducts is open to its members.  Our meetings are open and held on the first Sunday of every month at 7pm in the Brodie Room at Canterbury. There are some exceptions to this regular schedule due to holidays, so check the calendar on the web site. Our next regular meeting is this Sunday, October 6.

Also, we created a “Member Information” tab on the web site where you will find an archive of these newsletters along with Board information such as our annual budget, IRS 990 filings, and meeting minutes.