Aston, PA – The Philadelphia Little Flyers Girls Hockey Program, members of the Mid Atlantic Women’s Hockey Association (MAWHA), Delaware Valley Hockey League (DVHL) and National Girls Hockey League (NGHL) are proud to announce Grace Klienbach and Shayne Morrissey as the new Philadelphia Little Flyers Girls Hockey Program Directors for the 2021-22 season.
“As an organization we are very excited to be able to add both Grace Klienbach and Shayne Morrissey to our Little Flyers staff and our continuously growing girls program,” Philadelphia Little Flyers Youth Hockey President Stephane Charbonneau said Wednesday.
A native of Eustis, FL, Grace played for the Boston Shamrocks in the JWHL prior to committing to play NCAA hockey with Neumann University, where she captained the team during her Junior and Senior years. During her time as an NCAA Student-Athlete, Grace earned Dean’s List Honors from 2013 through 2017, was a Presidential Scholarship recipient (2013-2017), a three-time ECAC West All-Academic Team Member, and was named Most Valuable Player in 2016-17.
After graduating in 2017, Grace was drafted to the Toronto Fury in the CWHL, but elected to sign her first pro contract with the Connecticut Whale in the NWHL. In just her second season with the Whale, she was named an NWHL All Star. Along with playing in the All Star Game, she participated in the fastest skater in the skills competition. Grace has signed for a third professional season and will be playing this year in the NWHL Bubble in January of 2021.
“I am beyond excited to be working with the Philadelphia Little Flyers Girls program,” Klienbach said. “This is such an important time for the growth of women’s hockey and I cannot wait to build upon the momentum. I was once in their shoes, so it is an awesome experience being able to give back and help build the future of women’s hockey.”
Grace has worked with Delco Phantoms teams during her time in college, along with coaching group sessions and private lessons for Fairfield Ice Academy in Connecticut. She is a great role model for young girls involved in hockey and advocate for the growth of women's hockey worldwide.
“Grace is a big addition to what we have been building here with the Little Flyers Girls Program over the past three seasons,” Charbonneau said when asked what the addition of Klienbach means to the Little Flyers’ program. “Going from having only two girls’ teams when we started, we are expecting to expand to nine teams heading into 2021-22 season. Grace has strived for and earned success at every level she’s played at whether it be youth, juniors, collegiately at Neumann or professionally with Connecticut. I’ve seen this translate into her coaching career at a young age. She is going to be a major asset to our players and program moving forward.”
A native of St. John's, NL, Canada, Shayne played junior hockey in Canada before committing to play NCAA college hockey with Neumann University. Shayne is one of the most decorated players in the Neumann University Knights history, In his first collegiate season, Morrissey earned the ECAC West Rookie of the Year award, was named to the ECAC West All-Rookie Team, and was Neumann University’s Rookie of the Year. Shayne followed his impressive rookie campaign with several more honors throughout his career, including being a two-time ECAC West Second Team All-Conference member, a three-time Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area Team member, and two-time ECAC West All-Academic Team member. After graduating in 2017, Shayne sits fifth all-time in career points scored with 108 points in four years for the Neumann University Knights.
Shayne turned pro in 2017, splitting time between the SPHL and ECHL, where he now holds the Evansville Thunderbolts record for most goals scored in a single season. Shayne is a familiar face to the Little Flyers’ organization and IceWorks Skating Complex as he began volunteer coaching with the Little Flyers as a Freshman in college in 2013. This continued throughout his four years with the Knights as Morrissey got more involved with helping to coach the Delco Phantoms as well as rink run camps and clinics. Shayne has been coaching for 11 years, beginning in Canada with Xtreme Hockey where he was a Senior Staff Instructor for 10 years before launching 14/94 Hockey Co. with Klienbach.
“I’ve known Shayne for eight years now,” Charbonneau said. “He began volunteering his time at the rink as a freshman in college, and I’ve watched him grow in his development as a player, coach and skill developer for our youth players and pass his knowledge along to our hockey players of tomorrow. I couldn’t be any happier to have Shayne as a part of the Little Flyers for the foreseeable future.” concluded Charbonneau.
(Booth Dec 2020) Given the current pandemic restrictions it is hard to believe but our girls still managed to have a weekend full of exciting hockey. Those in attendance at Ice Line Saturday night we able to see the matchup of two U16 AA MAWHA undefeated teams when the JR Flyers hosted our Little Flyers. From the first drop of the puck to the final buzzer our girls were flying around the ice keeping the pressure on the JR flyers players. Midway through the first period the Little Flyers were able to take advantage of a Power Play opportunity when Marina McCann got the puck to Victoria Hayes who put a seemingly impossible shot in the net. Later, still in the first period, the JR Flyer’s had an opportunity to tie the game when they were on a 2-player advantage as a result of back to back tripping penalties called 45 seconds apart. Our girls kept their composer and killed off both penalties. The first period buzzer sounded with our girls leading 1-0. The second period saw more constant pressure from our girls but neither team were able to get the puck into the net. In the third period the score remained unchanged until Avari Hahn got the puck to Charlotte Labre for an insurance goal with 2:40 left in the game. Sensing a victory our girls kept the JR Flyers bottle up in their zone until the final buzzer sounded with the score 2-0 Little Flyers. After the game Kaila Booth boasted of her teammates play, “oh my God did you see Tori’s goal…dude that was crazy awesome…nobody could have stopped that shot from there”. Both Victoria’s game winner and Charlotte’s insurance goal improved the Little Flyers league record to 7-0 and to the top of the league.
Sunday our girls played a double header against a very strong Rome Girls Hockey Team at Ice World. In the first game we started slow and continued to be slow well into the second period when we fell behind by one goal. Our girls kept working and managed to tie the game 1-1 when Morgan Daly and Sophia Grant got the puck to Annie Dignazio to tie the game. The third period started with the score tied at 1 and then our girls started to wake up and we generated some offense. Both Teams played evenly when we caught a break with less than 1 minute in the game. Kaila Booth and Morgan Daly got the puck on net and Jenn Calchi flipped in the game winner with 40 seconds left.
The girls spent the next three hours in an elaborate outdoor tailgate/locker room in the freezing weather. Afterwards our girls started game two of the double header and were ready to play from the start. Both teams battled back and forth trading opportunities and strong defensive play. Their hard effort paid off with less than 1 second left in the first period when Morgan Daly got the puck to Rachel Clevens for a beautiful shot to the top right of the net from just inside the blueline. Neither team showed any quit in them as they battle through the entire second period and half of the third when Annie Dignazio passed the puck to Katie Smiley in the slot. Katie put the puck over the goalies left shoulder into the back of the net for the final score of 2-0.
To date, our girls continue to make the best of what could only be called an unorthodox season. Their efforts this past weekend certainly reflective of their hard work and ability to stay focused pays dividends in the quality of their play and quantity of their fun.
(Booth Oct 2020)-We saw lots of action this past week from the U16 Little Flyers. It started on Saturday when some of our girls were able to give back to the community by partnering with the Community YMCA to distribute of food to a local neighborhood. Mike Ranck, CEO of the Community YMCA, was notified at the last minute of a 6,000 lbs. of perishable food donation and he needed to get word out to neighborhood fast. He utilized social media to broadcast the message and had remembered seeing our girls game on FB Live recently. Mr. Ranck reached out to our Little Flyers Hockey Club and players Kaila Booth, Morgan Daly, Bonnie Mundy, and Rachel Clevens were able to free up schedule and lend a hand. The girls stood outside the YMCA in the cold for over 3 hours spinning signs and yelling to passersby about the food give away. Soon people pulled into parking lot allowing for YMCA volunteers to load up car after car with boxes of food. The girls even were able to encourage people to disembark public transportation to get food. After the event Mike Ranck wrote, “Thank you Little Flyers for the enthusiastic help. You helped the Y score the winning goal today!”.
Our girls carried the enthusiasm over to the rink on Sunday when they took on the Junior Flyers White U16 team at Iceworks. The girls took command of the game from the first puck drop to the final buzzer. The entire game was played primarily in the offensive zone for our girls. They put a total of 66 shots on Junior Flyers goalie who had a tremendous showing. Little Flyers scored the first goal in the second period when Victoria Hayes passed to Kaila Booth at the crease who found the net. The second goal was also scored in the second period when Morgan Daly found Annie Dignazio to end the period 2-0. Then in the third period Annie later found the net for her second goal of the day on a pass from Charlotte Labre. On offense our girls really worked the passing to keep pressure on them. The few times the puck made it into our defensive zone the girls quickly and efficiently moved the puck back down the ice limiting the Junior Flyers to a 3 shot total for the day. Both Sydney Babin and Lea Grassia split the time between the pipes to ensure the 3-0 victory. The girls will take to the ice this Saturday to play the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and Sunday to play the Tiger Lilies. Go Little Flyers!