CANTON - This year the Canton Pee Wee Association has started a brand new hockey program geared exclusively toward girls aged 10 and under.
Bill DeCoteau, the teams organizer, says the inspiration for the team came last year when he noticed many girls participating at the mini-mite level but not at mite age and above.
The focus of the new program is to get and keep young girls in the north country playing hockey.
DeCoteau would like to see the team have a strong connection with the local high school and college womens teams.
He also wants the girls to bond in hockey both on and off the ice.
So far, the program is off to a great start. A top priority was to decide on a team name. The girls came up with a list of possible names and then held a team vote. To DeCoteaus relief, Blades narrowly beat out Crazy Girls!
Last week, several members of the Saints womens team volunteered to run an on-ice clinic and then gave the girls a tour of their dressing room.
On Saturday, Saints Womens Hockey Coach Chris Wells arranged to have three-time Olympian and current captain of the USA womens national team, Julie Chu, make a guest appearance at practice.
The girls attended the Saints womens game as a team later that day.
According to DeCoteau, the teams early success has come from the energy of the kids, the support of the Canton Pee-Wee Association, and the enormous help of parent volunteers like coaches Kasarian Dane, Anita Francis, Colleen and Kevin Logan, and Brian Coakley.
One parent, Janice Dane, donated her graphic design skills to create a team logo with a touch of pink that was met with a huge amount of enthusiasm from the team!
The new program is starting with small strides by only meeting on the ice for an hour a week so that girls who choose to can also opt to participate with other local hockey or figure skating programs.
Later in the year the group is hoping to arrange scrimmages with other all-girls programs that are beginning to form throughout the area.
If you would like more information on how to participate in the program, feel free to contact Bill DeCoteau by phone (315-379-9389) or through email (firstname.lastname@example.org).