USA Hockey Magazine

February 2019

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O F F THE D R AW The on-ice session was followed by a pizza party where players and parents could ask questions about their next step in the game. Stettinius and Weiss followed up with every girl who attended with a personalized email to give them more information about available programs at their age level. Stettinius knows they can build a strong program in Montgomery but it will only be as good as the teams they are able to play against. That's why she's working with other programs on how they can build their programs to create a broader community. " We 'r e h a p p y t o s h a r e ," s h e said. "We all benefit if we all have e f f e c t i ve p r o g r a m s n ot j u st i n Montgomery but throughout the area." P O n a n y g i v e n w e e k e n d the Rockville Ice Arena is filled with the sounds of laughter and shouts of delight as another excit- ing day of Montg omery Youth Hockey is in full swing. But on one particular Sunday in early December, those sounds took on a slightly different tone and tenor as local girls hit the ice—literally and figuratively— for a girls-only Try Hockey for Free event. T h e e v e n t w a s c r e a t e d b y t h e MYHA's director of girls' hockey Sarah Stettinius to expand what is already a robust youth hockey pro- gram in this Maryland community located just north of Washington, D.C. With more than 1,200 registered players at various age and skill levels, including successful travel and house programs, it's one of the biggest youth hockey associations in the area. Still, as far as Stettinius is con- cerned, there's still room for more kids to join the fun while building a bigger pipeline for the association's girls travel teams. "It really exceeded our expecta- tions," Stettinius said of the event that was organized with the help of MYHA vice president Steve Sprague, hockey operations director Rob Keegan and program registrar Pam Weiss. "We would have been excited if we had 30 kids. Interest started rolling in and we had 100 families inquire and ended up with 68 girls on the ice." Those expectations were matched by the outpouring of support from volunteer coaches who came out to run stations and lend a helping hand to girls who had never skated before. Maryland Association Looks To Get More Girls In The Game Through Try Hockey Event 6 // FEBRUARY 2019 USAHOCKEYMAGAZINE.COM PHOTOS BY Larry Spott 3 U S A H O C K E Y N E W S , P E O P L E & P R O G R A M S "We all benefit if we have effective programs, not just in Montgomery but throughout the area." Rockin' In Rockville GIRLS

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