Players in the Squirt level will be entered into the Valley Hockey league for game play. Most of the games are on weekends and are hosted at various local rinks. Games consist of 3 periods, 12 min. each, full sheets with 2 certified referees. You can expect 35 games per season in Valley League action (including parity). Parity refers to the first 6-8 games of the year which are utilized solely for placing the team into to a competitive division. These games do not count towards the final record
Practices are held at Ristuccia Arena (majority). Other rinks may include the Holland Arena in Woburn and the Chelmsford Forum.
In addition to the single league play, each Squirt team has the option to enter into local tournaments with entry fee paid by players. These tournaments provide a minimum of 3 preliminary games, with potential for further games if the team makes the medal bracket. These tournaments are hosted on weekends/holiday weeks, with one game on Friday (depending on the tournament), and 2 on Saturday with Sunday usually reserved for finals. Be aware that Friday games can be scheduled early in the morning.
Separately, League playoffs are included and are played in April. The first game of the State Play Downs is included in the yearly fee, but further Play Down games will be payed for by the players.
Birth Years:2005, 2006
Schedule:Sept – April
Locations: Ristuccia Arena 190 Main Street Wilmington MA 01887; Holland Arena 270 Salem St, Woburn, MA 01801; Chelmsford Forum 2 Brick Kiln Rd, North Billerica, MA 01862
Ice Time (on Average): Two 50 minute practices and 1 one hour long game per week (approx). Additional practice time added as available. Practices are held primarily at Ristuccia, between September and end of November, most weeks provide 2 practices; however, this drops to 1 to 2 per week during the Dec.-Feb. high school season due to loss of ice time to the high school teams. Some practices are full-ice sessions; the majority are half ice practices with another WYHA team. There will be occasional 3 team practices, but these will be minimized as much as possible. PLEASE be aware that many weekends will consist of 2 games.
Teams:The number of teams will depend on the number of kids that tryout and board decision, usually 2-3 teams. Each team will consist of between 12 and 18 skaters, plus 1 to 2 goalies.
Coaches will focus on:
Head manning the puck
Developing Head up playmaking
More physical play (checking skills per USA hockey rules)
Basic breakout plays
Powerplay and Penalty Killing handling
Individual Puck control
Off-ice conditioning (if applicable)
Players will be rotated into different positions throughout the year to start learning the game flow and skills needed for each position (per coach). Set rosters for Playoffs, or tournaments may be used (Coach’s discretion).