Team Colorado will be a member of the National Girls Hockey League beginning this upcoming season. Photo by SportsEngine
Team Colorado has committed itself to expanding girls hockey and advancing players to the collegiate level. Beginning in the 2021-22 season, Team Colorado will do so as a member of the National Girls Hockey League — an organization committed to the same goals.
The National Girls Hockey League, or NGHL, features 20 member teams, as well as nine guest teams. It hosts yearly tournaments, including a league playoff, and is committed to being the best national league in the country. The organization's goals include building programs at the "grassroots level," advancing players to collegiate hockey and fostering "opportunities for women to pursue a career in hockey," according to its website.
"It's a nice way to organize girls hockey against like-minded programs," said Shaun Hathaway, the executive director of Team Colorado.
Team Colorado has previously participated in NGHL tournaments but this season will be its first as a league member. As a league member, Team Colorado will be able to participate in the NGHL playoffs and host league tournaments. In its first season with the organization, Team Colorado will host the NGHL Championships in Denver Feb. 4-6, 2022.
"It's exciting. It's exciting to be a part of it — the places that we're going," Hathaway said. "Obviously, to have it all end up in Denver is the icing on the cake."
This year's NGHL tournaments take place in Northford, Conn., Pittsburgh, Pa. and Buffalo, N.Y. — out east where a plethora of Division III colleges reside. As a program looking to advance players to all levels of hockey, Hathaway is excited about the opportunities for players to see Division III universities and interact with college recruiters.
"It's guaranteed exposure and it's guaranteed [competition] against good opponents. You know you're going to get challenged, and that's what you want," Hathaway said.
Team Colorado's season kicks off Aug. 27-29 with the NGHL Dawg Days of Summer tournament in Northford. Find Team Colorado's 2021-22 tournament schedule for its 14U, 16U and 19U programs here.
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