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Minnesota Hockey 2018-19 Season Primer

10/02/2018, 2:30pm CDT
By Minnesota Hockey Journal

From Mini-Mites to Olympic Gold, small-area games and State Tournaments, Minnesota Hockey is ready to set your child up for a fun and memorable season.

Welcome back to hockey!

President Message 2018 - 19

Welcome to the 2018–19 Minnesota Hockey season, that promises to be yet another exciting year.

            With the help of the thousands of volunteers we continue to make great strides toward our vision of “creating a positive experience so all participants enjoy, excel and develop a lifelong passion for ice hockey.”

            By partnering with community hockey associations, districts, programs and leagues, Minnesota Hockey provides the leadership, structure, education and programs to grow participation, develop hockey and life skills of all participants in a positive and safe environment.

            The success of our community-based model is shown each year as Minnesota continues to have more registered players than any other state in the nation at every classification, including the number of elite players in the NHL and college hockey. Minnesota Hockey continues to grow, too! Our base of Mite and 8U Girls increased by 4.9% for the fourth consecutive year, setting yet another record of 18,839.

            Every season we strive to improve the experience of all players in the State of Hockey, and last year was a great year of progress. Our CCM High Performance Spring, Summer Camps and Fall Tier I Leagues enhance the development opportunities for the state’s top players. In its second season, the Minnesota HP Tier 1 Girls 14U league advanced the Green Giants team from District 10 to USA Hockey Nationals, and they brought home the National Championship. In the fall, Minnesota hosted the NHL Sled Classic with over 30 teams from across the United States and Canada participating. We added a Fall Mite Jamboree to the Wild Holiday Mite Jamboree and had over 60 8U Girls and Mite teams participate in the two events. The Ice Bowl Squirt C Tournament was hosted at the newly opened Tria Rink in St. Paul and for the second season we collaborated with Titan Sports to conduct a spotlight event for “C” and “B2” players with games and skill development sessions. The High School Boys and Girls National Championship was hosted by the Wayzata Youth Hockey Association with the Minnesota Premier Prep Green team winning the championship. Our Rec Hockey League entering its 10th season continues to provide 700 players a great hockey experience. Last season, Minnesota Hockey conducted over 70 skill clinics including checking, defense, scoring, power skating and goalie for girls and boys. 

            As we look to the 2018-19 season and building on those accomplishments, we look to enhance the role of the Association Hockey Director to improve upon the player development programs which our associations provide. The network of District Hockey Director Coordinators and Association Hockey Directors led by our state Hockey Director provide a platform for sharing of skill development best practices and the implementation of the Minnesota Development Model.

            Minnesota Hockey, community hockey associations and programs continue to provide all participants the opportunity to experience the excitement and fun of playing hockey, from 4 year olds to the adult player, the recreational player to the elite player as well as athletes with disabilities. Hockey is indeed for everybody.

            We owe a heartfelt thanks to our volunteers, Minnesota Hockey staff and our partners who make it possible for Minnesota Hockey to be the premier hockey program in the United States.

            Very best wishes for an exciting, rewarding and fun-filled 2018-19 hockey season. Thank you for making Minnesota Hockey…The Home Ice Advantage!


Dave Margenau

President, Minnesota Hockey

Setting Your Sights on a Great Season

Every year creates an opportunity for parents, coaches and administrators to leave a fresh mark on our young athletes. With a new hockey season upon us, below is a tool developed by the Aspen Institute’s Project Play to help you and your local association aim for a great youth sport experience.




Michael Jordan had a “love of the game” clause in his NBA contract that allowed him to play pickup hoops. Build the same ethos into your kid’s experience so it’s not all organized competition.


As early as grade school, your child may get pressure to focus on playing one sport year-round. Research on child and athletic development rejects this approach. Ask program leaders how they’ll make room for playing other sports.


The best programs mandate training in coaching philosophy/methods, sport skills and tactics, and safety protections including First Aid and CPR (and, in collision sports like football and hockey, concussion management).


Kids are not miniature adults. Six isn’t even 16. Children learn better and have more fun when play spaces, equipment and the number of participants on the field/court/ice are modified to their level. Small rosters help, too.


Kids want access to the action. You want them to be physically active, while also minimizing the costs and time allocated to away-game transportation. The best programs understand that development mostly occurs in training. At least two practices for every game is best.


Physical Literacy is the ability, confidence and desire to be active for life, with an emphasis on fundamental movement skills—not just sport-specific skills. Learning to move well can open access to dozens of sports.


There’s a time for programs to sort the weak from the strong in sports. It’s not before kids grow into their bodies, minds and interests. Through age 12, at least, programs should invest in every kid equally. That includes playing time.


A simple online survey is easy enough to create and send at the end of the season, collecting insights that can be shared with program leadership to improve quality and foster retention.

Ideally, every participant in youth sports should be able to say they’ve accomplished 9-10 of these in each season. If you find yourself checking five or fewer of the boxes, much more can and should be done.

As a member of Minnesota Hockey and USA Hockey, many of these areas may seem like second nature. Six of the topics are key components of the American Development Model and should already be emphasized by your local association. To reach the ideal scenario for kids though, it’s critical for parents, coaches and leaders at the local, state and national levels to all work as a team with a common goal.

So this season, we encourage you to walk your child and program through this checklist and see how you can help create an even better youth hockey experience!

Launched in 2013 by the Aspen Institute Sports & Society Program, Project Play develops, applies and shares knowledge that helps build healthy communities through sports. Leaders at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Academy of Pediatrics, Michigan State’s Institute for the Study of Youth Sports, University of Minnesota, President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition, SHAPE America, and several more provided input on the checklist above.

The Big Picture

USA Hockey: USA Hockey is the national governing body of hockey in the United States. USA Hockey is responsible for the development and education programs for players, coaches and officials; determining Select, National and Olympic Teams, and developing policies and procedures.

Minnesota Hockey: Minnesota Hockey, an affiliate of USA Hockey, has been the governing body of youth and amateur hockey in Minnesota and the premier developer of hockey players in the state since 1947.

Minnesota Hockey Community-Based Associations: Minnesota Hockey is comprised of approximately 150 community-based associations that serve as the base of hockey in Minnesota. Minnesota Hockey’s community-based structure is considered to be the premier youth hockey model in the United States!

We Want You!

Care about the rules of the game? Wish the rules were enforced more consistently? Want to give back to a game you enjoy? Become an ice hockey official!

The Minnesota Hockey Officials Association (MHOA) encourages individuals who are passionate about providing a great hockey experience to youth players to get and stay involved as an official. MHOA works with the USA Hockey Officiating Program to train hockey officials, ensure uniformity of rules interpretation and maintain the highest standards of officiating across the state. New this season, USA Hockey is implementing several changes to reduce the requirements  for officials, including the creation of tenured status for Level 3 and 4 officials and a reduction in the length of the open book exam.

Interested in becoming an official? Find out more at

Coaches Corner

Many teams across the state have already hit the ice, and that means our Coach Education Programs (CEP) are in full swing. CEP clinics are being held now through December at locations throughout Minnesota. Remember, coaches must attend one clinic each year until they at least reach a Level 3 certification by USA Hockey. The age-appropriate training modules have been posted online and the modules must be completed before taking

Interested in learning more about long-term athlete development or how to coach goalies? Our Minnesota Hockey Player Development Team offers additional instruction sessions at no cost to your association. Our talented team of coaches will come directly to your association to host these two part clinics that provide classroom and on-ice instruction. More details are available at

The DRIVE for State powered by Chevy – March 15-17, 2019

2019 Locations

·         Jr. Gold A – Prior Lake

·         Jr. Gold B – Prior Lake

·         Jr. Gold 16 – Prior Lake

·         Bantam AA – Moorhead

·         Bantam A – Moorhead

·         Bantam B – Wayzata

·         Peewee AA – Stillwater

·         Peewee A – Stillwater

·         Peewee B – Wayzata

·         19U  – Blaine

·         15U A – Blaine

·         15U B - Blaine

·         12U A – Grand Rapids

·         12U B – Proctor

2018 Champions

·         Jr. Gold A – Edina

·         Jr. Gold B – St. Thomas Academy

·         Jr. Gold 16 – Stillwater Red

·         Bantam AA – Osseo-Maple Grove

·         Bantam A – Edina

·         Bantam B – Edina White

·         Peewee AA – Woodbury

·         Peewee A – Warroad

·         Peewee B – Edina Green

·         19U – Wayzata

·         15U A – Edina Green

·         15U B – Champlin Park-Coon Rapids

·         12U A – Andover

·         12U B – Stillwater Red

2018-2019 Calendar

Oct 29, 2018              HS Girls' Hockey start date

Nov 10, 2018             Try Hockey For Free Day - Various Sites

Nov 12, 2018             HS Boy’s Hockey start date

Jan 16-19, 2019        USA Hockey Winter meeting - Orlando, FL

Jan 19, 2019              Hockey Day Minnesota - Bemidji

Jan 25-27, 2019        MN Hockey Winter Meeting - Marriott Minneapolis West

Feb 20-23, 2019       Girls’ State High School Hockey Tourney - Xcel Energy Center

Feb 23, 2019                         Try Hockey for Free Day - Various Sites

Feb 18- 24, 2019      Hockey Week Across America

Mar 1-3, 2019           MN Hockey Region Tournaments - Various Sites

Mar 6-9, 2019           Boys’ State High School Hockey Tourney - Xcel Energy Center

Mar 15-17, 2019      MN Hockey State Tournaments - Various sites

Mar 29-31, 2019      CCM Ted Brill Great 8/ HP 18 HS Festival - Doug Woog Arena, So. St. Paul

Mar 29-31, 2019      CCM Boys & Girls HP 16 & 17 Spring Festivals - Plymouth Ice Center

Apr 3-8, 2019            USAH Youth/Girls National Tournaments - Various Sites

Apr 12-14, 2019       MN Hockey Annual Meeting - Marriott Minneapolis West

Apr 26-28, 2019       CCM Boys & Girls HP 14 Spring Festival - Duluth

Apr 25-28, 2019       CCM Boys 16/ 17 - Final 54/ CCM NIT - Plymouth Ice Center

Apr 25-28, 2019       CCM Girls 16/17 - Final 54/ CCM NIT - Fogerty Arena, Blaine

Apr 26-28, 2019       CCM Girls HP 15 Spring Festival - Fogerty Arena, Blaine

Apr 26-28, 2019       CCM Boys HP 15 Spring Festival - Plymouth Ice Center 

Jun 4-8, 2019                        USA Hockey Annual Congress - Colorado Springs

Jun 8-13, 2019          CCM Girls HP 14/15 Summer Festival – St. Cloud State

Jun 15-20, 2019       CCM Boys HP 14/15 Summer Festival – St. Cloud State


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