Holy Name Youth Hockey provides an environment where all players have the opportunity to develop a long-term passion and appreciation for ice hockey through individual skill development, teamwork, competitive play and camaraderie.
While games are great fun, practice and core-hockey skill development are the keys to a hockey player's improvement and advancement in the game. Priority will be placed on improving our players' skills through multiple touches, effort and proper technique. We hope to accomplish this by emphasizing good coaching at every level, running efficient and fast-moving practices, and focusing on individual-skill development. Again, we want what is best for your children during the season, and this usually happens when they are appropriately challenged but also given frequent opportunities for on-ice success.
“The highest priority is to plan a practice so exciting and constructive that players can’t wait for the next practice." --Jack Blatherwick
GSL Playoff Schedule
The GSL playoff schedule has been released. Please click here for more information.
Holy Name Hockey is pleased to host the 2015-2016 Squirt Tier II Large and Squirt Tier III Massachusetts Hockey State Tournament February 26th - 28th. All games will be played at the Olympia Ice Center in West Springfield, MA, the home of Holy Name Hockey.
2016 Hotel Information -The Squirt Tier II Large and Tier III Massachusetts Hockey State Tournament has partnered with PSE Event Housing to provide attendees/groups with the best available hotel rates. Hotels have been carefully selected to ensure quality and are within close proximity to the venue(s).
View hotels and book online using the following link
Many AAA and similar hockey programs throughout the country market their ability to identify elite hockey players, group these players together and train them using year-round, professionally designed programs. These early talent identification programs seem logical at first. Why not separate the good skaters from the bad to make practice more effective and games faster? There are, however, major flaws with the early talent identification model.
We have an incredibly poor ability to recognize athletes who will be elite in the future. Prior to puberty, it’s nearly impossible to judge a player’s future potential given the major physical changes that occur later in life. Even when players reach the high school level, the elite ranks continuously change with new players developing late and others losing their relative advantage. Instead of identifying the players with the most potential, we tend to select the oldest or most physically mature players in any given age bracket. This bias affects community associations and AAA programs alike.
Early talent identification programs almost always argue for players to train year-round and as much as possible using sport-specific training. These programs promote the idea that early specialization is necessary to stay elite. Contrary to developing athletes, however, these programs and the early specialization philosophy hurt athletic development. In fact, a study on German Olympians found participation in early talent identification programs to be negatively correlated with future success1.
If you’re a parent, be careful what you sign your little skater up for. The very program claiming to make him the next Sidney Crosby might do just the opposite. Recently Brent Sutter, former NHL player and head coach of the Red Deer Rebels WHL team, stated in the Edmonton Journal, “It is so noticeable on a hockey team that the kids who have played other sports and experienced different things are always the smarter players on your team, and they are able to handle adversity better” (March 3, 2013 – “Wanted for NHL, all hockey: True athletes”). Sutter goes on to explain how his team is scouting for players with multi-sport backgrounds – in other words, true athletes. Early talent identification programs create just the opposite type of athlete.
And more often than not, parents are being misled into thinking that their players are elite relative to their peers. Based upon the number of players participating in elite or AAA programs in Minnesota alone, what percentage of all Minnesota youth hockey players do you think are considered elite? The answer to this question should cast some doubt into the promises of early talent identification programs as well as their motives.
Josh Levine is a former Jefferson Jaguar, Princeton University graduate, founder of The Fortis Academy, and author of “Save Our Game: What’s wrong with hockey training today and how to fix it.” He can be reached at
And Frans Nielsen (seen at right in his NY Islander's uniform) said there’s another reason why his hometown and country (Herning, Denmark) is producing NHL talent. There is almost no emphasis on team play or winning, but there is on developing individual skills. “Playing defense and blocking shots and things like that are a mentality you can learn when you get older,” Nielsen said. “Skating and shooting and stickhandling are the things you learn when you’re young.”--Hockey News Magazine
For someone to have a future in this game as a goal scorer, the most important area for improvement is raising the bar of personal expectations. It is the kiss of death to spend an entire season in a designated role as a forward who contributes nothing more than hustle. That is why, when cuts are made, it is usually better for a goal scorer to play on the weaker team and score a ton of goals.
Confidence comes from success, and improvement follows. This is not to say it is bad to play “up” for a forward whose future is to be a grinding checker. But, for someone who wants to be a goal scorer, it is imperative to score by the bucketful – goals or assists – every season.
The same could be said for making brilliant plays, being creative on offense and handling the puck in traffic. Practicing these skills is one step, but the most important experience is to try things in games and succeed more often than not. That doesn’t happen much for the final players to make the ‘A-Team.’ They get less ice time, have the puck on their stick for fewer seconds in games, and are given a shorter leash by the coach to learn by trial and error. On the other hand, the top players on the ‘B-Team’ can experiment, be creative and fail sometimes. They’re still given a free reign to create.
The hardest skill to coach is confidence – poise in highly competitive situations. Reality is the most potent teacher, and success is required to elevate a player’s personal expectations.
Washington Capitals Hockey Team