Author: nyhpresident

NYH 2016-2017 VHL Medal Performance

The Valley Hockey League posted the results for the final gold and silver medal count by town.

With one gold and three silver medals, Newton came in tied for 11th place out of 69 towns. Ten towns received one or more medals than Newton.

Congratulations to our medal winnders!

  • Newton Bantam A Gold
  • Newton Peewee AAA Silver
  • Newton Peewee AA1 Silver
  • Newton Peewee AA2 Silver

Massachusetts is Losing Youth Hockey Referees

Do you enjoy having referees at your kids’ youth hockey games? I know I do. Referees are essential for youth hockey to be successful.

Some parents and coaches are jeopardizing that opportunity by being disrespectful and even hostile towards the referees.

My 14-yr old son quit refereeing before he turned 15 after an intimidating coach aggressively and colorfully told him he was a disgrace to officiating for calling a checking penalty. This was my son’s fourth game officiating. My son won’t make that–or any other–officiating mistake again because he’s done.

As the adults, we MUST be leaders and demonstrate respect for our officials. As a parent or a coach, we set the tone for how the kids respond to the officials.

We have a legitimate crisis due to the poor treatment of our officials. Massachusetts added 254 youth hockey teams in the past three years while losing 325 referees. Referees are fleeing youth hockey rather than subjecting themselves to verbal abuse and physical abuse.

Even the best referees will make mistakes. Cut them some slack, show them respect, or lose them.

NYH Community Kick-Off Fundraising Dinner

Friday, September 23rd at 6 p.m.

American Legion Post 440 | 295 California St, Newton, MA 02458

We’re excited to come together as a community and kick off the Newton Youth Hockey 2016-2017 season on Friday, September 23 at 6:00PM at the American Legion Post 440, in Newton. Along with a delicious dinner from Blue Ribbon BBQ, we’re having our first ever SILENT AUCTION!  We hope that you will make time to join us, and we’re hopeful you will consider donating to the auction.

As a nonprofit and all volunteer run organization, which has served the youth of Newton and surrounding towns for many years, we strive to offer a comprehensive hockey program. Every year, more than 500 youth, ages 4 to 17 participate in Newton Youth Hockey programming, including Learn to Skate, Learn to Play, Girls programs, and the Travel teams—Mites, Squirts, Peewees, Bantams, and Midgets.

In order to continue to provide our children with a great hockey experience and expand our program offerings, we are asking individuals and businesses for their support.

We kindly ask you to consider donating items for the silent auction. Suggested silent auction items include:

  • Vacation items (such as a house rental or airfare)
  • Event tickets (pro or collegiate sports, theatre tickets, concert tickets)
  • Experiences, such as golf outing or access to a celebrity event
  • Sport memorabilia
  • Your own professional services — for example, career coaching, personal fitness training, dog sitting/grooming, catering, spa, photography, etc.

The NYH Board is currently reaching out to area merchants, including restaurants, retailers and hotels seeking donations of goods, gift certificates and other services. If you’re interested in helping us seek items for the silent auction, please reach out to Kathryn M. Quirk ( or at 617.875.6003), who is in charge of fundraising and communications.

Please click here to reserve dinner tickets today for you and your family.  
We’re taking orders for our Fall plant fundraising sale featuring mums and asters! You can feel good knowing you’re buying from local farms and supporting Newton Youth Hockey.
Check out the colors and sizes — all orders are due by September 7th. Please click here to place your order.
Lastly, we’re seeking volunteers to help with the Kick-Off Dinner on Friday, September 23rd.  Helping hands are needed to bake cookies and other desserts, set up / decorate the room and a few folks to help with clean up. We know you’re all busy, and we greatly appreciate your participation. Here’s a link to Sign-Up Genius.

Thank you for your support of Newton Youth Hockey. 

Roster Placements

The Newton Youth Hockey (NYH) Board recognizes that roster placement can cause anxiety and uncertainty among players and parents. The following is intended to minimize anxiety by providing transparency and clarifying the process.

The Roster Placement Process

The roster placement process consists of five steps.

  1. 2+ coaches’ season ratings
  2. On-ice evaluations at tryouts
  3. Current season team level in the Valley Hockey League (VHL)
  4. Board initial team placement
  5. Coaches’ roster review

The first three items provide numerical rating data used for initial stacked ranking. The last two are qualitative adjustments to make sure the math makes sense.

2+ Coaches’ Season Ratings

The coaches’ ratings carries the most weight. With five or six months of experience behind them by the time of their evaluations, coaches have the most comprehensive sense of the players’ abilities and teammate qualities. We have mandated that at least two coaches participate in the ratings to prevent one extreme relationship from being unfairly influential.

On-Ice Evaluations at Tryouts

Next comes the tryout ratings. This season (2015-2016) included four independent evaluators from ProAmbitions (or Mass Crease for goalies) plus the age group level head. Tryouts and coaches’ ratings account for the bulk of the input to roster placements.

Current Season Team Level in the VHL

We also consider the Valley Hockey League competitive level as a factor to differentiate between players moving up in age group. For example, a Peewee playing on the top NYH team in the Elite division will gain preference in this category over a returning Bantam third team player that was on the 113th out of 151 VHL Bantam teams. Compared to the previous two factors, this receives a modest weighting.

Board Initial Team Placement

The VP – Travel is responsible for roster placements. They make the first pass based on the numerical rating data as described above. Various Board members may review the initial rosters with input likely from at least the Coaching Director and the President but may include others with knowledge about specific players.

Coaches Roster Review

The sending and receiving (where applicable) coaches get a chance to review the team placement and comment. Obviously there is no individual within the organization that knows over 300 players individually so getting qualitative input at the end is essential. Major changes are rare at this stage, but players on the bubble are occasionally moved up or down.

At the end of the process, the following input has been received:

  • 2 coaches (scores averaged)
  • 5 tryouts evaluators (scores averaged)
  • 1 VP – Travel (stack ranked scores)
  • 2+ Board members (qualitative input)
  • 2 coaches’ review (qualitative input)

While some of the evaluators above are involved more than once, there are up to 12 different input opportunities factoring into the roster placement. No individual can significantly affect roster placement.

Roster Placement Principles

  • Every player trying out will be evaluated and considered for placement on the highest team, regardless of prior season team placement or age.
  • If two players are being considered for the last spot on the same team and both have been evaluated and determined to be of equal skill, the second year player will be placed ahead of the younger player.
  • Due to shifting numbers of players in a given age group and the talent level of the incoming, younger age group, a player may remain stationary or in some instances drop down

A Note to Parents

  • Help your child deal constructively with the evaluation and placement process. Your encouragement to play hard and have fun will do more to promote success in hockey and beyond than moving up one team level.
  • Understand that the Roster Placement Process is subjective. Each evaluator values hockey attributes differently. Those involved in the placement process must make difficult decisions at times. The Board has made every effort to create a fair process that relies on volunteers doing their best.
  • Rosters are structured such that there is some room for upward mobility at the beginning of each season. Each time most often needs to add one or two skaters, and there is a process for calling up the best players from the team below. Encourage your player to commit to being the best they can be when that opportunity presents.
  • Newton Youth Hockey is a town hockey program comprised of volunteers. We prioritize players having fun, wanting to return next season, and  improving hockey skills in that order, and that is independent of team placement level.
  • If you have a question about where your child was placed, please contact the Vice President – Travel.

PWA1 Win Pepsi Tournament of Champions

The Newton PWA1 boys won the Pepsi Tournament of Champions held at the New England Sports Center April 15-17.  Newton finished the tournament undefeated, 4-0-1, outscoring their opponents 25-10 over three days.

Pepsi Tournament of Champions at New England Sports Center

The Pepsi tournament hosted teams from all over New England and the team won the final game 5-3 against the strong club team Rinx from New York.  Strong defense and shared goal tending from Brennan Redmond and Neil Seth guided the team to victory.   The tournament win follows the division championship in the Valley League and runner-up placing in the Frank Bell Tournament held in February.

Peewee A1 Team Wins the North National Championship!

PWA1 North National Champions
PWA1 North National Champions

The Newton PW A1 team won the North National Championship defeating Brookline 4-1 in the finals on Saturday.   The team finished the season overall, including parity rounds, with a record of 27-12-4, scoring 159 goals (60 more than the opposition).  Jeremiah Poole scored six goals in the team’s three game playoff run including a hat trick against Hyde Park in the semi-final.  The team’s defense only allowed four goals in the final six games of the season including three straight shut-out victories.   Gage Tereau logged the game winner in the final on an end-to-end single-handed effort which was the second season in a row he scored the winning goal in the final contest.  Great season for the PW A1 team!!!

Player Evaluations Update – 2016

In response to member feedback from last season, we’re making a couple changes to the player evaluation process this season. A key theme was to reduce the opportunity for familiarity and / or parental bias when it comes to player evaluations. We’ve taken two steps to address this: multiple coaches’ input on the player evaluations and third party on-ice tryout evaluators instead of NYH coaches.

Coaches’ Player Evaluations

Simply, we’ve added the requirement that the head coach and one or more assistants collaborate on the year-end player evaluations. The intent is to prevent a situation where a single coach-player relationship unfairly affects the evaluation results.

Third Party On-Ice Tryout Evaluators

We are going to employ four Pro Ambitions staff to evaluate the players on-ice. Each age-level head (or proxy) will lead the sessions for their respective age group. Four independent evaluators and one NYH representative will provide the composite evaluation results.

The third party evaluators option is a test run for NYH. It comes at a cost and needs to show commensurate benefit.

The coaches’ evaluations remain the most heavily weighted component of player evaluations. Coaches have been involved with the players for more than five months at the point when feedback is submitted. The isolated skills of tryouts or an exceptionally strong or weak showing during the evaluators’ brief glimpses do not take precedence over a much larger body of work that includes the whole player experience such as coachability, participation, being a good teammate, and other “intangibles”.


Goalies will continue to be evaluated on-ice by the Eklund organization, Mass Crease Goaltending.


The Best Time to Yell at Referees?

A thoughtful article for parents from the Farmington (MN) Youth Hockey Association titled “When to Yell at Referees“. Consistent with the PCA framework thinking that parents’ primary role is to support the player.

Short answer:  Never.

Good reminder for us all.

Yes, referees will definitely make mistakes, miss calls, or call the game more loosely / tightly than you might want. For parents there is no reason to speak to the referee. It is best to attend the game and support your team. Remember, these players [and referees] are learning.

The article is here –

Hockey Stick Length Explained – Coach Peter Russo

Coach Peter Russo has some good, smart hockey stuff. Stick length comes up all the time. A lot of support for his approach.

The short version: Lower your flex and cut your stick. Stick length should be around the collarbone while standing on skates.

He’s got pictures of many of the greats–Gretzky, Lemieux, Crosby, Ovechkin, etc.–demonstrating their stick lengths. Read all about it at