March Newsletter 2023

Welcome to newsletter No.2 for 2023. Not many more sleeps and we're into the season! Calling all photographers! We know that there's a few of you out there snapping photos on your phones and on your cameras. We'd love to use them in our upcoming newsletter. This could be from the kids learning on the ice or some antics off ice. If you have a photo please send it in to and we'll put it in our next newsletter along with credits to the photographer.

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February Board Meeting Hockey for the year is about to enter full swing and the board has been very busy behind the scenes getting ready for 2023! Both youth and womens hockey start this week, adult training next Tuesday, and adult leagues are just two weeks away with Grade 1 kicking off Mar 19th, Grade 2 on Mar 23rd and Grade 3 on Mar 28th! Registrations are looking good on the whole but we've still got room for more players to play hockey, especially in Grade 3. We'd love your help spreading the word, and if you get a friend to register we'll reward you with $100 off - details here!   2023 WIHA Calendar WIHA have introduced a Google calendar this year to help keep up to date with our ice bookings and provide an easy way of keeping track of what hockey is happening. Click the link below and add this to your calendar for easy up to date ice time bookings. We are also working on embedding the calendar on our website which will hopefully be available soon! Click here to view the WIHA Calendar Scrimmages Check out our new chat group for scrimmages. 

Events for scrimmages are now being created and can be found under the events tab on the page ( you should receive an invite if you are a member of the wellington ice hockey Facebook page ) and we would appreciate you indicating if you are attending or not. We have a minimum number to make these events happen so they may require postponement if we don't get the numbers confirmed. Click here to join the Scrimmage Messenger Group Message from the VP Women's Hockey Kia ora! My name is Shelley Winters and I am the VP of Women’s Hockey for WIHA. I grew up in Canada so I am a passionate ice hockey fan but never had the opportunity to play as it was not available for girls/women when I was growing up. This made me determined to give women and girls a safe, inclusive and fun place to play ice hockey. We started small with 5 women and have grown to over 20 women players in a short couple of years during a pandemic. We have a great women’s development (Lena, Heidi, Megan and Evan) team who work hard behind the scenes to grow the sport. We have planned an exciting mix of training, scrimmages, and leagues for the year. Our age range is 12-57. I am still waiting for a woman older than me to give it a try. We kick off with training and scrimmage on March 4th, 2023, for women 12 and over. Sessions run from 8-9.30 AM at the Daytona Ice Rink in Upper Hutt. We work hard and have a lot of fun.  We welcome new players and have a system worked out for getting them on the ice and skating, so if you know someone who wants to give it a try have them come join us. I would also like to give a shout out to the Ice Ferns who are competing in the world championships in South Africa. They are being coached by our very own Megan Herlihy. Yes, we lent her to the Ice Ferns. They are absolutely rocking it! Well done Megan and those who are part of the team.  As we say in Wellington Women’s Ice Hockey, “Don’t go through life without goals”. Email me if you have any questions, ideas, or suggestions. See you on the ice.  -Shelley Winters Message from the VP Operations Good day to all of you lovely hockey people! My name is Hannah Vanderveen and I am the VP of Operations on the WIHA Board. This is my second year on the WIHA board and my third year of being a part of hockey in Wellington. A bit about me: I was born and raised on the Canadian prairies and so skating and hockey have always been a part of my life. I grew up doing some figure skating and the odd bit of hockey. It wasn't until I was an adult that I wished I had played more hockey as a kid. When I moved to New Zealand and discovered that I could play hockey here, I jumped at the chance to play the greatest sport of all time! In Canada the opportunity to pick up hockey as an adult is not easy to come by, so to have the opportunity in New Zealand has brought me so much joy! As VP of Operations, I am working behind the scenes on much of what you find on the WIHA Esportdesk site. Things like registration, schedules, and stats. This year we hope to get that running more smoothly. If you are keen to help get stats up on the site on a timely basis I could really use some help with this. I also do a lot of the communication between the board and the team managers, organise WIHA jersey inventory, and make sure game sheets and records are kept throughout the season. On the note of jerseys...if you have a jersey from last year make sure it is clean and get it back to me or to your old team manager as soon as possible. If you are able to help with stats updates this season send me an email at:  - Hannah Vanderveen Message from the GM At the top of this newsletter is an infographic to help WIHA members understand what the GM role entails. We thought we'd ask Caleb how he's found the first few weeks on the job. Below is his response: All I can say is WOW…who let me do this job and whose hands can I shake? I have absolutely loved the first couple of weeks and still can’t believe I get to work in hockey and more importantly, work for our club! It’s been fun to see the back end to all of the fun we have on the ice and to be a part of developing and development of new programs and continuing to build upon the existing ones. There’s a lot more that happens behind the scenes than I realised and I want to thank the board for all their hard work over the years since WIHA became an association! It’s been fun working to get WIHA’s name out there and the challenge is building up contacts. If any current members know of people keen to learn to play ice hockey let me know! As for the 2023 season, I’m excited to get things underway! There are a few new things on the horizon for 2023 such as the Adult Learn to Play program happening in the pre-season, and the Super League for our under-12s, which is set to start in Term 2 of the school year. Our goals are to get anyone into ice hockey who would like to give it a go and grow our numbers further as well as build WIHA’s public relations in order to get as much money put into the club as possible in order to achieve everything shown in the graphic at the top (and hopefully be on the ice with every one of you playing hockey). Feel free to send me an e-mail with any queries: - Caleb Coaches Corner One of the new features we thought would be great to run is some tips and advice to help improve your game. Whether you're brand new to the sport or have been playing for ages, we all can finetune our game both on and off the ice. We asked Liam Roth who has helped out with our Youth Team Training and Adult Learn to Play about what advice he thought was important to share. Keeping your head up while stickhandling is one of the most important skills to master in hockey. To be a great hockey player, you need to have good awareness and be able to make good decisions, fast. Both of these attributes depend on your ability to be able to control the puck with your head up. I’ve been trying to keep my head up ever since my first training sessions as a kid, but I’m still far from coming close to mastering it (as I’m sure my teammates will confirm!) However, over the last few years of coaching and playing, I’ve made more of a conscious effort to work on this skill. Here are some small snippets of advice I can give: If you are a beginner, practise moving the puck side to side on your stick while looking straight ahead. You can do this at home if you have a smooth, flat surface. Remember your hockey stance! Experienced players, can also develop the skill off-ice by doing stickhandling drills with their heads up and eyes closed to help them to get used to the feel of the puck on their stick.  During warm-ups, before you start skating around and trying to rip a few biscuits bardown, skate around practising stickhandling while keeping your head up. It is a lot easier to keep your head up when you have time and space in a game; for example, when you’re skating out from behind your own net looking for the perfect breakout pass and the other team isn’t putting much pressure on you (i.e. the classic Firehawks forecheck). Use these moments in your games to work on the skill. For those of us who have played contact hockey, we know what heads-down hockey can lead to. Check out the following video. Hopefully see you soon, if I can keep my head up I guess… - Liam From Team Stripes We thought that every so often we'd do a little feature from our on-ice officials around some of the rules of the game. We ask Tania if she could give us some tidbits of information about the rule of icing the puck. 

My name is Tania and I am your Referee in Chief this year.  I am looking forward to leading our referee group and a fair, fun and safe season. "Hybrid" Icing will be the standard this year. This is the standard nationally and Internationally with the hockey federation (Rule 81 - Icing). So to help explain it I recommend you watch this 2 min video.  The main thing to know is that if you are the defending team and fire the puck from behind the red (centre) line down the ice and it doesn't look like your own team will reach it before the hashmarks (face-off dots) of the defending zone face-off circle than the referee will signal offside. To say it again but differently, play is stopped for icing if the player on the opposing team reaches the faceoff dot first. This type of icing is intended to reduce the number of collisions along the boards during touch icing, while still allowing the team that iced the puck to get to it first to wave off the icing. When the puck is shot around the end boards, travels down the ice and comes out the other end, the linesman judges who would have touched the puck first. If it's the defending player, he calls icing, but if it's the attacking player, he waves off the icing and lets the play continue. - Tania Penafiel Bermudez

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