It was a successful weekend for the inaugural College Hockey Classic and it is with a heart-felt THANK YOU to everyone involved. The weekend kicked off with over 50 girls participating in the NCAA Youth Clinic where players and coaches from St. Lawrence and Lindenwood University conducted drills and challenged players.
Then, the college players stayed with Lady Duck families for the weekend. These generous families immersed the players into the warm Southern California sunshine. No jackets required for players who live in negative temperatures during this time of year! Questions were asked, stories were shared but most importantly, our young Lady Ducks were able to create friendships and memories with women who are blazing a path they aspire to take.
The highlight was the back-to-back St. Lawrence vs. Lindenwood University hockey games attracting nearly 600 spectators at the Honda Center. Lindenwood upset St. Lawrence 5-4 in the first game. Then St. Lawrence came back to win 3-2 in overtime in the second game.
Four Lady Ducks Alumni returned home to play in the Classic and ALL FOUR earned points in the weekend series. Forwards Lillian Marchant (Lions), Kayla Nielson (Saints), and Justin Reyes (Saints) scored goals in the first game, then defenseman Lydia Grauer (Saints) assisted in the second game. Recognized as one of the NCAAs Top 5 Juniors this season, Reyes scored the OT game 2 winner to secure the series split.
There aren't enough words to describe the sentimental feeling watching this homecoming. I was surrounded by up-and-coming Lady Ducks players, as young as 6-years-old, and other alums in their 30's cheering on the collegiate Lady Duck alums on the ice. This is what the Lady Ducks program is all about, inspiring girls and giving them an opportunity to play the sport they love, hockey.
It Was A Success Because Of You! Thank you!
Anaheim Ducks and Tim Ryan - Hosting the 2018 CollegeHockey Classic
Jeff Tyni - Coordinating team locker rooms and equipment
Quinn Mackin, Matt Trout and the Honda Center staff - Event management and support at the Honda Center
Aufeis - 2018 College Hockey Classic Apparel
The Rinks Anaheim Ice - Hosting the NCAA Youth Clinic
Doug's Downtown Grill - Providing a savory BBQ for for both teams at the farewell dinner
St. Lawrence and Lindenwood University - Traveling to sunny Southern California during the holidays to compete and offer local families an experience of a lifetime of Division 1 Women's Hockey
All Our Billet Families:
Advani Family (8U and 10U)
Bartz Family (LD Alum and Coach)
Dannan Family (8U)
Espinosa Family (8U)
Hedge Family (8U)
Hinkle Family (12U)
Latch Family (8U)
Lynch Family (12U)
Marchant Family (19U and LD Alum)
Nielsen Family (LD Alum)
Reyes Family (19U and LD Alum)
Ripley Family (10U)
Schmidt Family (12U)
Smith Family (8U)
Gary Suzuki (Parent of a LD Alum) - Game Announcer
Scott Fields, Nick Hunt and Joey Grijalva (Lady Duck Parents) - Goal Judges
Raj Advani and Eddie Hedge (Lady Duck Parents) - Statistics
Reese Niemela (12U) - National Anthem Singer
And to the countless volunteers who helped make this event a success!
"Thank you for creating the best girls hockey program in the world! You've enriched the lives of all your current and former players and by your extra efforts of elevating them to the next level, they have the potential to move on to the college, National and Olympic level!"
Greg Nielsen, father of Kayla Nielson, St. Lawrence Forward and Lady Duck Alum
Kayla pictured with Kathy McGarrigle,
head coach and director of the Anaheim Lady Ducks
Billet Families: "An Experience of a Lifetime"
"This weekend was memorable and invaluable. Ryann was delighted to spend time with them. We are amazed by their dedication and commitment to play D1 Women's Hockey"
"This experience left an awesome impression on the girls and the memories to last a lifetime. Only after a couple of days together, Izzy and Grace are still talking about it and miss them immensely. We are so happy to have hosted the girls and would do it again in a heartbeat."
Jimmy and Rose Lynch
Grace and Izzy (12U)