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Try Hockey for Free Day Coming to Essex Skating Facility Feb. 25th

Essex Youth Hockey Association invites boys and girls to Essex Skating Facility on Saturday, Feb. 25th for a Try Hockey For Free clinic as part of Hockey Week Across America. Starting at 3:00 PM local youth, ages 4 to 9, are encouraged to experience ice hockey for the first time and learn the basic skills in a fun, safe environment.

“We look forward to welcoming families to Essex Skating Facility to try our great sport of ice hockey” said Mike Smith EYHA Head Coach “Our goal is for these families to enjoy watching their kids learn new skills with big smiles on their faces.”

USA Hockey's Try Hockey program, with the support of the National Hockey League and NHL member clubs, among others, is designed to provide youth hockey associations with a national platform to introduce new kids to the sport. Total Hockey and Liberty Mutual Insurance are official sponsors of Try Hockey For Free Days. USA Hockey has close to 300 locations offering this unique opportunity to kids nationwide.

To register for this Try Hockey For Free event, please visit

For more information, please contact: Mike Smith, 802-324-8232

EYHA House Mites find sucess in Chazy!

EYHA House Mites in our retro style uniforms!

They had a great weekend! Lots of touches and goals scored. Every player had a blast and had fun!

Go Sting!



12U Green team wins on and off the ice this year!

There are many reasons that athletes should give back to their community and this year EYHA teamed up to support the Chittenden County Food Shelf. As the 12U Green team this year won their share of games on the ice, one of the biggest wins for the team was off the ice. The 12U Green team collected over 300 items and was the overall winner of the food drive for EYHA.

On behalf of the EYHA board and the Chittenden County Food Shelf we would like to thank the entire 12U Green team and our families for helping make our food drive a huge success.

We would also like to thank all the teams for coming together and collecting food items and including other programs to take part in our event. 

We also would like to thank the 12U girls team, they took the time and included teams they were playing against and collected about 50 items from the 14U Whitecaps and 25 items from the 12U Barre Girls team, although the girls did not win the most amount of items, they did win in our eyes for reaching out to others and creating awareness around collecting food items for the food shelf.

A little note from a Barre 12U parent!

I love a good lesson on caring and giving for others. These girls sometimes forget how lucky they are, there are so many who never get a chance to do what they do!

Barre 12U Team Manager



EYHA Annual Calcutta a Success

The 2017 EYHA Calcutta a huge success. Thank you to all that attended the event. Special thanks go out to the Backstage for all their support of EYHA, Ryan Dudley for being our MC, Tanya Rassel and her committee, all the parents who helped obtain prizes and the local businesses that donated. 

Peewee 12U Green Wins Maple City Classic!

After dropping the opener to Lakeshore, 7-3, Essex outmatched its opponents, taking the championship over Lakeshore, 1-0.

Great Weekend!

2016 Essex Youth Hockey Raffle Winners

We closed out a successful raffle fundraiser last in between the Essex HS girls and boys hockey games.  

$1000 Grand Prize Winner:

Paul D Briody

$250 Junior Prize Winners:

Stephen Joyce
Matt Heyes
Deb Martell
Max Line
Paul Hauf

Congratulations to the winners and a special thank you to all the ticket sellers and volunteers that helped distribute and collect the tickets.

EYHA Key Dates


January 29 - Annual Calcutta

February 10 -12th - State Tournament Weekend 1

February 17 -19th - State Tournament Weekend 2

March 3 - 5th - State Championship Weekend - Stowe VT

U10 Blue wins Jr. Monarch Turkey Shoot Out!

The team went 3-0-1 (undefeated), in the tournament.  In the Championship, they defeated the NH Monarch squad that we tied earlier in the Tournament.

U10 Blue

U10 Blue

Congratulations 12U Orange.

1st Place Hooksett NH Tournament.

Congratulations Peewee A.  1st Place Hooksett NH Tournament.


Thank you to all the volunteers, teams and spectators that made the 8th annual mite Yamboree a great success!


Thanksgiving Success for EYHA

Our Tier 2 10U,12U,&14U teams all had a great weekend at the Connor Roberts Memorial Tournament. The 12U team won the championship and the 10U & 14U teams both finished second in their divisions. Congratulations to all three teams.

2016/17 Volunteer and Coaches Registration

Coaches and Parent volunteers serving as locker room monitors must submit USAH Confirmation numbers through the registration below.

This registration needs to be completed once teams are selected.

Essex Youth Hockey in USA Hockey Magazine

EYHA was recently featured in the USA Hockey Magazine. If you haven't already seen it, please take a moment to read it. 

Check out the EYHA on Facebook


Follow the Stingers on Twitter

EYHAVT Essex Youth Hockey EYHAVT

VSAHA Select Player Selections

Congratulations to all of our current and former players who were selected to represent Vermont at the 2016/17 New England District Development Camps.Complete team lists can be found on the VSAHA website. 

Coaching application is open for the 2016-17 season!

Please use the link above to indicate your interest in coaching for the 2016-17 season.  Applications are required each season.


  • All coaches must renew their SafeSport training every 2 years
  • All coaches must have a background check completed every 2 years

Please reach out to Mike Smith with any questions.

Premier EYHA Sponsor -The Backstage Pub and Restaurant

Please support our Premier Sponsor - when at The Backstage Pub and Restaurant mention that you are from EYHA!!

60 Pearl Street, Essex Jct, VT (behind Big Lots)

Backstage Pub and Restaurant

The Backstage provides exclusive funding to EYHA to help manage the costs associated with operating our program.  Please support new owner Vince Dober and his wonderful staff.  Tell them EYHA sent you!


EYHA Honors and News

News celebrating some current and former Stingers!


American Development Model
A plan for long-term athlete development
Endorsed by the National Hockey League
 (click on the picture for more information) 

Changing The Hockey Culture One Shift At A Time



By: Roger Grillo

More cross-ice games and practices, and a greater emphasis on skill development and fun are the backbone of the American Development Model.

The two most important gifts that coaches and parents can give to their players and children are to allow them to develop a true passion for the game and to develop that passion on their terms.
This is why I am involved in USA Hockey’s American Development Model, to help put our kids in an environment that allows them to reach their full potential without losing their innocence. In simpler terms, it’s giving the game back to the kids.

Our game today is too structured and over-coached; we shortcut the development process for “wins.” In previous generations, a player’s passion and creativity was developed on the pond and structure, positioning and team play was taught inside. That is not really an option for our youth players of today.

We need to make sure that we bring the components of the “pond” indoors. It should be our mission to give our kids an environment that allows them to grow a strong passion for the game and gives them multiple opportunities to make mistakes, be creative and learn through trial and error.

The best way for this to happen is using cross-ice or small area games not only to bring the pond inside, but to set up the optimal teaching environment. By allowing our kids to play full-ice hockey in both games and practices, especially at the younger ages, we create an environment that ingrains poor habits that we spend hours at older ages trying to fix.

Full-ice hockey has created generations of players that pace themselves and take two- to three-minute shifts. Scoring chances come solely from individual play, and not from a great pass, support, team play or creativity. It honors the selfish player.

We spend so much time focused on “staying in our lane” and where we stand for a faceoff, that it gets in the way of what the true goal is, and that is giving our young players the proper base of skills and passion that will be at the core of their later success.

We do not hand our children a trombone and ask them to perform in a school concert until they have mastered many of the basic skills, yet in our hockey culture we expect our young athletes to perform on the large stage right away, and we are upset if they are not successful.  

The second big advantage of small area games is that it allows coaches and youth hockey associations to maximize their ice and get as many kids on the ice as possible with as many touches and opportunities in each practice session and game. With the amount of time we spend preparing for a practice and or game (getting dressed, travel to and from the rink) we must make sure that the time spent on the ice is as productive as possible.

Not to mention that at $200 an hour, at the low end, we need to maximize the opportunities. The studies show that one cross-ice game is worth three or four full-ice games in terms of time spent with or at least around the puck, and that a properly run practice is worth five to six games.

Cross-ice or small area games are all too often used at the end of practice as a reward, which is fine, however they can be utilized in so many other positive ways. In fact, I find it best to actually teach skills and concepts through them.

It is important to expose our young players to as many situations in which they are not only challenged physically, but as important that they are forced to use their minds. These games put players in situations where they have to make hockey decisions that have consequences, and they develop their hockey sense along with their physical skills.

Basic full-ice warm-up or skating drills do not help to develop the complete player. Cross- ice and small area games help to develop the intangible skills that allow players to survive when the size, strength and speed playing level is much more even. The ability to know where to go without the puck, and the ability to protect the puck, the ability to make a good hockey decision quickly under pressure are just a few of the critical skills that are developed and needed to play our game.

To me, it is simple. Now is the time to take a hard look at what we are doing and grasp the concepts of the ADM and run with them so we are having a larger impact on the environment that we are placing our players in. 

Roger Grillo is an ADM regional manager for the New England and Massachusetts Districts.