LITTLE FLYERS 2021-22 YOUTH TRYOUTS
|15U Pure/16U||5/5, 5/6||6:15pm-7:45pm||$125|
Tryout Application: https://iceworks.net/littleflyers/2021-2022-little-flyers-registration/
***Pre-registration is recommended
***Registration will be 1 hour prior first tryout
What to bring to tryouts
* Non-Refundable Tryout Fee
* $500 deposit for all levels (8U Girls - $200 deposit), check made payable to "Philadelphia Little Flyers," to be submitted with Player Contract upon selection to team.
* No Releases are required for tryouts
* Financial Releases required only if you are selected for the Little Flyers and played for another Tier 1 organization last year.
* All players are encouraged but not required to attend all tryout sessions.
Booth (3/2/21)- COVID 19 will go down as an omnipresent story of the youth hockey world in the 2020/2021 season. Rink closures, cancellations, reschedules, getting dressed in parking lots, masks, and an environment of unknown are some of the big distractions the kids faced. This past weekend the U16 AA Little Flyers proved that the MAWHA league has something even bigger to try to figure out as our girls put up 4 straight shutouts against the best the league could throw at them.
It started with arguably the toughest draw in the tournament schedule with a Friday late afternoon game that conflicted with many of the players school schedule when they faced the defending Champion Lady Islanders. The next distraction was travel delays related to traffic that shortened pregame rituals. But then came Coach Grant’s pregame talk. It both inspired and foreshadowed the girl’s performance. He calmed the girl’s nerves, focused them on the strategy, and built them in a crescendo of quiet determination and closed with, “the game is bigger than any one individual and your going to need to come together as a team if you want to win this thing”. When the puck dropped the girls were ready and they needed to be. The Lady Islanders were an unknown throughout the season, but their play was evidence that they showed up to defend their title. The first period was scoreless for the first half until Sophie Grant got the puck to Annie Dignazio to provide the lead. The Lady Islanders raised their play another notch in response, but our girls held them off and finished the first period with a 1-0 lead. The second period started better than the first and Kaila Booth was able to get the puck to Victoria Hayes to build the lead to 2-0. Then came the next distraction, the penalty bug bit our girls. They responded by coming together killing off 3 straight penalties including more than a minute and a half of 5 on 3. The successful penalty kills provided an emotional boost and Coach Grant’s strategy of puck control started to drive a wedge between the two teams. The second period ended with a 2-0 lead. The third period showed more of the same puck control and our girls put 12 shots on net to the Islanders 3. The game ended with the scoreboard showing 2-0 for tender Sydney Babin’s first shutout of the tournament.
The next hurdle for our girls came from the cross-town rivals, the Junior Flyers. The always drama filled matches between these two teams could be called the clash of the Titans and this game was no different. The first period was scoreless and you could cut the tension with a knife as the second period started. Then, almost as an exclamation point on the lights out performance of all the Little Flyers defensive players, Bonnie Mundy scored what turned out to be the game winning goal. The goal put all the pressure on their opponents. Our girls turned up the heat with constant pressure on the puck and mind-numbing presence in the offensive zone that resulted in additional goals by Jenna Calchi and Sophie Grant. The game ended 3-0 with the scoreboard showing 3-0 for tender Leah Grassia’s first shutout of the tournament.
The next obstacle our girls faced was finishing second in tournament standings due to a goal differential tie breaker in favor of the Lady Patriots. The net result was our girls faced the Junior Flyers in back to back games. Coach Grant also produced a repeat performance with his pregame talk. He brought the girls through their previous day’s performance of coming together as a team. He called out individual players for turning early bad shifts into “best ever” individual performances. He called out the entire team for supporting each other throughout the entire day. The talk certainly helped our girls keep their focus through a distraction filled game that started late because of a protest of the goal pegs alignment. The game also was interrupted in progress due to the opponent protesting what turned out to be their misunderstanding of the rules of the game. Our girls were able to ignore all the hyperbole and Katie Smiley got the puck to Sophie Grant early in the first period. Roughly 7 minutes later Katrina Conway and Katie Smiley got the puck to Sophie Grant for the second goal of the period. The Junior Flyers responded with aggressive play that showed they were not ready to go home. Our girls rose to the challenge and the second period ended 2-0 lead for our girls. The third period continued the pattern of the second until Annie Dignazio scored the final goal of the game. When the final buzzer sounded the scoreboard showed 3-0 for tender Sydney Babin’s second shutout of the tournament.
The final obstacle of the weekend was the physical and mental stress of three emotional shutout wins at the near end of the craziest hockey season on record. At the initial puck drop there was a palpable wear and tear on both teams. The teams played evenly for throughout the first until Annie Dignazio got the puck to Victoria Hayes for the first goal with less than 2 minutes in the period. The game remained with the slimmest of margins in both play and scoring throughout the middle of the second when the Little Flyers puck control started to weigh heavy on the Islanders play. The period ended with an uneven shot count but the score remained 1-0. The third period also showed the tenacity of both teams to keep fighting for the next goal. Then late in the third the Islander’s sniper let lose a shot that Leah Grassia pushed inches wide of the net. That is when the best distraction possible occurred with the Little Flyers cheering section kicked in. Each time the girls got into tough spots the fans picked them up and helped the girls push through. Then, facing an extra attacker and with 1:13 left in the game, Sophie Grant, ignoring her coach and all hockey sense, got the puck from Annie Dignazio who was behind our net, and rifled a shot the length of the rink to put the dagger the Islanders hope of overtime. As she came to the bench she acknowledge that she was told not to ice the puck and said, “that’s why I scored instead”. The Lady Islanders took the ice for the last and showed they still had life and wanted to win. Little Flyer Victoria Hayes responded by getting the puck to Charlotte Labre who scored the final goal with 47 seconds left. Thus ended the 2020-2021 MAHWAH U16 AA Tournament with Leah Grassia getting her second 3-0 shutout of the Tournament.
The post game locker room was a site to see with Coach Mark Moonwalking in his crocks and each of the girls faces as Coach Grant hand them each their medal. The U16 Little Flyers entire team came together this weekend and each girl showed what can happen when their teammates, the coaches, and the fans support them. Congratulations Girls! We look forward to seeing more inspiring play in Districts.
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.
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