This is our official welcome letter to the Agawam 2014-2015 hockey season. Practice ice starts the first week in September and our Valley League games should start around September 13th.
We have released emails indicating which travel team your child will be initially placed for the upcoming season. This year we will have 2 Bantam teams, 4 Pee Wee teams, 3 Squirt Teams, 2 Mite travel teams and 4 Mite Instructional teams.
The Parity Round schedule has just been published and can be located at:
For those registering with the Mite Instructional program, we have a couple of skating opportunities. Our more advanced Mite Instructional players will be playing in the Newburyport 3 on 3 league. In addition to playing one game per weekend in Newburyport, this team will practice on Saturday and Sunday with the NSSA weekend hockey program at Pingree beginning in November. Agawam coaches will be on the ice under the direction of Program director Bob Surrette. Additionally, we will have three Agawam instructional teams in the Valley League Instructional 3 on 3 program. For this program, all games and skills practices will be Saturday and Sunday at Pingree rink. For those mites not on the two valley league travel teams we will have a skate on Tuesday, Sept 9 at 5:40 at Pingree to further assess the placement of the various non-travel mites.
As I think everyone is aware, we conducted tryouts for this year just after the season concluded in the spring. In addition, each child was evaluated by their coach from last season. A selection committee reviewed all of this information and put together the teams.
A few words on team placement. As a parent of 3 Agawam players and youth hockey coach for a number of years, I know that the placement process for any youth team can be stressful. Please realize that we are trying to place the kids at an appropriate level that will be both competitive and fun for all involved. If your kids play other town sports then you know that there are wildly divergent processes depending on the sport involved. Typically we would like to have more teams with fewer players instead of fewer teams with big rosters. Kids placed on lower teams also end up getting opportunities to skate “up” with the more advance teams. We spend quite a bit of time on this process. That being said, placements are not final. Over the course of a summer, a lot can change for kids this age. We use the parity round games--the first six games of the season (which do not count in the standings)--to continue to evaluate all players. In a number of cases, we’ve purposefully left a few slots open on certain teams to make room for players after parity. The selection committee will seek further input from coaches, and make any changes needed before the start of the regular season.
Before the Newburyport and Valley League cross-ice seasons start, all instructional players will practice together for the first month of the season. The instructional coaches will work with the selection committee to divide them into three teams.
For those of you new to the program, all of our travel teams play in the Valley League. The Valley League runs the first month and a half or so of the schedule as a parity round. Just as we use this period to further evaluate players, the league uses this time to figure out where to place various teams for the regular season. The system works pretty well. We usually end up with our teams in divisions where games are pretty competitive.
As a quick reminder, we strongly encourage the concept of multi-sport athletes and realize that there will be many conflicts in the first few weeks between hockey and other sports. All of our coaches will be flexible in terms of attendance throughout the Fall sports
season. Additionally we recognize that the hockey season is a long one and also strongly recommend kids enjoy other activities throughout the season-- skiing, snowboarding, etc. Always feel free to take time away from hockey to enjoy other activities with your family and friends throughout the season.
This is an all-volunteer association with tremendous donations of time and energy from board members, coaches and parent volunteers. We all believe strongly in the value of having our children play hockey for their community and with their friends.
Lastly, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Matt and Kelly Cann for all of their incredible efforts over the past several years. Matt has served as President for the last three years and Kelly as Registrar for the last 8 years. We all owe them huge thanks for helping put the program on strong footing at a time when many local town programs are facing difficult times.
Please feel free to email me directly at any point during the season with any questions and/or feedback. I can be reached at email@example.com
Agawam Squirt AAA's win Valley League Division Championship!
AGAWAM YOUTH HOCKEY SQUIRT AAA's WIN THE DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP!
(April 5, 2014) The 2013-2014 Agawam Youth Hockey Squirt AAA team finished off their season Saturday afternoon, April 5, by beating the Natick Comets, 6-2, to win the Valley League Squirt North American Division Championship. The win marked the second championship of the season (the team captured the New Hampshire Avalanche Martin Luther King Classic title in February) to go along with a runner up finish in the Larry Fournier Memorial Tournament in early March.
The Chiefs came at the Comets strong right from the opening face-off. Behind the line of Dylan Williams, Jimmy Ayers (3g, 1a) and Luc Moruzzi (1g), they built up a quick 2-0 lead. More offense from the Peter Gourdeau, Philip Parker (1g) and Drew Dolan (1a) unit had the Chiefs up by 3 at the first period break. From that point, the Chiefs relied on their steady goalkeeping of Grant Landon and the stingy defense of Chase Davis (1g, 3a), Charlie Faldi (1a), Aiden Parker and Harlan Graber. More offense in the second and third period as well as some great penalty killing and aggressive fore-checking by line mates Jack Erdmann (1a) , Emmett Harris (2a) and Leo Kagan made the march to the championship a true team effort.
The Chiefs finished the season with a 26-13-5 mark.
The team was coached by Ed Davis and Rob Erdmann of Manchester as well as Brian Graber, Joe Harris and Andy Ayers of Hamilton.
Agawam Squirt AAA's (1) Win the Martin Luther King Classic!
(Feburary 20, 2014) The Agawam Squirt AAA Youth Hockey Team spent the past holiday weekend competing in the Northern Cyclones MLK Classic Invitational tournament in Hudson, NH.
Behind a lone tally by stalwart defenseman Chase Davis and outstanding goalkeeping by Grant Landon, the Chiefs beat the North Shore Shamrocks in the championship game, 1-0 on Monday afternoon.
The Chiefs played their best hockey of the season the entire weekend finishing 3-1 with all 3 victories resulting in shutouts for Landon. The team exhibited great team play throughout. The lines of Jimmy Ayers (7 goals), Dylan Williams (I assist) and Leo Kagan (1 assist) as well as Jack Erdmann (5 goals), Emmitt Harris (3 assists) and Drew Dolan (1 goal, 1 assist) provided consistent offense. Outstanding forechecking and penalty killing by Luc Moruzzi, Harlan Graber and Peter Gourdeau also were major contributions to the Chiefs march to the championship. The foursome of defenseman led by line-mates Davis (4 goals, 1 assist) and Charlie Faldi (1 goal , 1 assist) as well as brothers Philip and Aidan Parker (2 assists each) exhibited outstanding shut down defense throughout each contest.
The Chiefs return to Valley League play next week against division leading Natick and the Worcester Jr. Sharks.
Agawam Youth Hockey is a non profit youth hockey organization serving the towns of Hamilton, Wenham, Ipswich, Essex and Manchester. It is part of the Mass Hockey organization and participates in the Valley Hockey League. (www.agawamhockey.com)
Photo (L to R): 1st row: Goalie Grant Landon; 2nd row: Dylan Williams, Jimmy Ayers, Emmitt Harris, Drew Dolan, Aidan Parker, Jack Erdmann; 3rd row: Peter Gourdeau, Luc Moruzzi, Leo Kagan, Harlan Graber; Top row: Phillip Parker, Charlie Faldi, Chase Davis with Team Coaches: Rob Erdmann, Joe Harris and Ed Davis.