This has truly been an unbelievable journey for a program that fielded some 28 girls on TWO teams in our first season and now more than 200 female athletes, playing on 15 different teams 6u to Adult!! The hockey community is small but Lady Ducks are everywhere... from Maine to California; Alaska to Florida; and of course, all across Canada, our Alumni have utilized their hockey experiences to shape their futures in sport, in education and in the professional world.
As the season officially began on August 20th, I hope that each of you recognize the opportunity that lies ahead. Learning and training to play the greatest sport on Earth; developing under many of the highest level coaches in all of USA Hockey; competing at the highest level that each of you are capable and just as importantly, making lifelong friendships.
This 2018-19 season brings some new challenges. Just as we grew last year, growing pains include new levels, challenges at tryouts, and setting goals for this month, this season, and beyond. Our new, 4-rink, facility in Irvine is also experiencing some obstacles which include two delays on projected opening dates. Unfortunately, it affects all of our LD teams. So, as we wait for the addition of Great Park Ice and Sports Complex, we have 5 teams in some less desired ice slots. Just so you are aware... the youth (boys teams) are also being pinched... as are the High School teams. We can only wait and have some inconvenient ice times for the fall, fingers crossed and we will be visiting the new facility before the holidays.
Great Park Ice and Sports Complex
The next 10 weeks will require some patience and things will get better but I want all of our families to know that we will be getting more favorable (as we had requested) ice times as that facility opens. Thank you again for your patience and please know that we have our eyes and ears open for the actual dates to transition some of these practice slots, especially for those teams inconvenienced.
I want to wish all of our families a fantastic season experience! As our 10th, 11th and 12thgraders compete, are scouted and make college plans and hockey commitments, it reminds me that young athletes paths are not often the same. Be patient as the journey is something to savor. As we watch our 12u and 14u teams begin to travel and step out into high level often international competition, I am reminded that this experience will help them shape their goals and gauge their competition for the future. It is often at this age that the true "athletic bug" sets in and creates the passion to become your best.
And finally, there is NOTHING BETTER than watching the innocence of our 8u and 10u players as they skate down the ice, zooming along with no real plan but the love for the ice and fun; Or, stumbling along as newbies to the game, just trying to learn it all and keep up. Either way, I have seen a 9-year-old newbie go on to Yale Hockey, and astonish herself and hockey friends as often as I have seen a young phenom be met by her peers as teenagers forming a lifelong bond as one of many great teammates and friends.
I look forward to meeting every player and parent at practices, clinics and games throughout the season. I encourage you to make playing hockey fun while allowing your daughter to become the athlete she envisions, in her heart and mind. Doing something you love is often the best environment in which to observe one's talent and passion collide and be nurtured into greatness! GoLD!!