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.
The Philadelphia Little Flyers girls U 19 team hit the road this past weekend for the NGHL showcase in Raleigh, North Carolina. After the almost 400 mile trip, the Little Flyers hit the ice for game one of the weekend against the Jr. Canes Premier team. In a tough back and forth game, the Jr. Hurricanes took advantage of the Little Flyers bus legs and a few favorable bounces as the home team took game one by a final score of 4-1.
On Saturday, the girls got off to a good start, jumping out to the lead thanks to a Sam Schultz goal that was assisted by Evelyn Pryadkin and Cyenna Martinez. The Little Flyers then added a Morgan Thrush unassisted goal to jump on the Piedmont Predators early in the game. Piedmont would battle back throughout the game and tie it up to send the game to a shootout. In the shootout, Evie Hill put the Little Flyers on the scoreboard, capitalizing on her shootout attempt. Down the other end of the ice, Little Flyers goaltender, Lea Grassia, made back-to-back saves on the Predators first two shootout attempts. This put the game on Rory Essick’s stick and Rory would deliver, netting the game winner in round two of the shootout.
Coming off of a win earlier in the day, Saturday night, the Little Flyers battled the York Devils in a hard fought game from the opening face-off until the final buzzer. Evelyn Pryadkin, Sam Schultz and Lexi Poulin all found the back of the net for the Little Flyers in the game. Philadelphia held the lead throughout the game, but York never stopped competing, eventually get the score to 3-2, but the stout Little Flyers defense and goaltending held off the Devils comeback bid, picking up their second win of the day. Izzy McGarvey, Sam Schultz, Morgan Thrush and Leanne Sakers all registered assists in the game.
On Sunday, the Jr. Predators jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in a very fast paced game by both teams. The Little Flyers didn’t let the early deficit get them down as they continued to pressure the Jr. Predators. Sam Schultz broke through for the Little Flyers, scoring a shorthanded goal but the Jr. Predators were too much as they took the game by a final score of 5-1. After going 2-2 in some tightly contested games, Little Flyers Head Coach Ken Deming liked what he saw in his team, saying “the weekend was a great learning experience for us, playing against some good Tier 1 programs, our team battled the entire weekend and never gave up”.
Little Flyers Make Their 2020-21 NGHL Debut
The Philadelphia Little Flyers were well represented at the NGHL’s Labor Day Weekend Face-Off held in Connecticut.
U19 Weekend Review
Ken Deming’s first NGHL game behind the bench as the Head Coach of the Little Flyers U19 team was a successful one, as the Little Flyers downed the NJ Titans by a final score of 5-2. The team kept the momentum going in their second game of the weekend on Saturday with a great all around team effort defensively, shutting out the York Devils in a 4-0 victory. The team’s third game of the weekend was a tightly contested battle against the CT CATS. The Little Flyers battled all game long but fell by a final score of 3-1.
Taking two of three round robin games earned the Little Flyers a spot in the playoffs where they faced off against their cross-town rival, JR Flyers. In a very competitive back and forth game, the Jr. Flyers edged by the Little Flyers by a final score of 3-1. Offensively, Evelyn Pryadkin led the way, scoring four goals on the weekend, Sam Schultz and Lexi Poulin each tallied one goal and two assists in the team’s four games. Monica Mumma (2 G), Leeanne Sakers (1G,1A), Sophia Rosenthal (1A), Izzy McGarvey (1A), Cyenna Martinez (1A) rounded out the scoring for the Little Flyers on the weekend.
U16 Weekend Review – Contributed by Jim Booth
Friday afternoon the girls took on the CT Northern Lights. Our girls fell behind fast by 2 goals early in the first period. This prompted Coach Jordan to “gently” remind the girls the game had actually started a few minutes previously. This bench speech inspired the girls play to transform into a dominating performance that saw them score 4 unanswered goals over the remainder of the game. Katie Smiley had 2 goals, Sophia Grant had 1 goal, Kaila Booth had 1 goal, and Morgan Daly had 1 assist.
Later that night the girls took to the ice against the Springfield Rifles. Despite controlling the majority of play for 2 periods our girls were only able to get 2 into the net. Then in the third they let the Rifles tie the game at 2 goals and were forced into a shootout. They ultimately won the game after Bonnie Mundy and Kaila Booth scored and Lea Grassia kept the Rifles shooter out of the net. During regulation time Kaila Booth had an unassisted goal and Sophia Grant also had a goal with the assist going to youngster Annie DiGnazio.
The third game saw Sydney Babin in net against the Northern Suburban Wings Saturday afternoon. This game was evenly matched throughout the game. Unfortunately, the Hockey gods were not with us and we fell behind 2-0 going into the 3rd period. The girls kept fighting and Kaila Booth was able to score to bring us with 1 goal to keep hope alive. As time wore on Babin was pulled for the extra offense support but the Wing were able to clear the zone and put in an insurance goal to seal the game 3-1.
Later Saturday night our girls took to the ice for their final game against the WC Swans. In a game much tighter than the score our girls just could not beat the Swans netminder. The final score was 2-0 Swans. After the game center Kaila Booth commented, “…I really like our team, I mean I know we lost by 2 but we really came together and keep playing. Actually, this whole weekend we played well considering this is the first time we played this year. Jordie told us after the game we know our soft spots and they are definitely fixable…I can’t wait to play again”.
U14 Weekend Review – Contributed by Sal Viola
It was a successful 3-1 weekend for the Little Flyer U14 team. In game one against the Lady Boston Baked Beans, it was a back and forth affair with the teams trading goals back and forth through the first three periods of play. Alyssa Viola scored all three goals for the Little Flyers in regulation. Little Flyers goaltender, Madison Maloney came up big in the shootout, making two saves on the three shots she faced. Annie Dignazio and Amanda Beatty both scored on their shootout attempts, giving the Little Flyers a 4-3 win.
In game two, Maloney continued her clutch play in net for the Little Flyers, recording her first career shutout for the Little Flyers in a 5-0 win against the Springfield Riffles Selects. Offensively, Nora Barth put the Little Flyers up 1-0 early in the game. Amanda Beatty continued her impressive weekend, scoring the next two Little Flyer goals, followed by Alyssa Viola and Poppy Pennessee lighting the lamp to secure the 5-0 victory.
In game three, the Little Flyers faced their stiffest competition of the weekend against the Rome Girls Hockey Club. Nora Barth scored the lone goal on the day for the Little Flyers in a game that was evenly matched for the most part until Rome took a commanding lead and held off the Little Flyers attempts to tighten the gap on the scoreboard. Rome, who went on to win the 14U Showcase Championship, downed the Little Flyers by a final score of 6-1.
The final game of the weekend sent the Little Flyers back to Pennsylvania with another win and the team’s second shutout of the weekend. The Little Flyers’ Allie Bramble opened the scoring in the game when her shot from the point found its way through traffic into the back of the net. From that moment on, the Little Flyers didn’t look back, adding goals from Annie Dignazio, Nora Barth, Alyssa Viola and Amanda Beatty. Madison Maloney picked up her second shutout of the weekend in net with a solid defensive playing in front of her.