Category: Announcements

Thanksgiving Weekend Challenge Games

Our challenge games are coming up this weekend. Since it’s early in the season we have some reminders.  PLEASE ONLY SIGN UP FOR ONE GAME until noon on Saturday, November 25th. Please sign up for a game where you can learn and play safely.  We’ll have two intermediate games, a game for beginners, and a game for advanced players.  It’s a good idea to challenge yourself as the season progresses, but only within your limits.  In the advanced games, skaters do not “play down” in some of the ways that they try to do in our regular season games.  More advanced players who sign up for a scrimmage below their skill level should facilitate game play for players who fit well in that skill level.  Inclusive play is exceptionally important in such a situation.  For safety, HOps reserves the right to shift players if we feel you have signed up for a level that doesn’t match your skill.

The games will be scheduled as follows:

5:15 PM – Intermediate Game 1
6:30 PM – Advanced Game
7:45 PM – Beginner Game
9:00 PM – Intermediate Game 2

See you on the ice!
-HOps (Tim, Matthew, Amanda, Mark, Courtney, John, Brian)

26Nov2017 Challenge Games

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11/5 Feature Game Recap

Pumpkin Disorderly vs. The Merlots

(Listen to the game here)

It’s MGHA opening night and the 7 o’clock (7:10pm or 1910 to be precise) matchup is between the Merlots and Pumpkin Disorderly. The Disorderly made a statement early just 20 seconds into the game – they had already warmed up Merlots goaltender Nikki Veldkamp with a few opening shots when Disorderly defender Randi Hagen shot the puck from the blue line and scored off a deflection by a Merlots player. After that, both teams traded off offensive opportunities, engaging in a spirited battle. The Disorderly had another prime scoring change in the 1st, but co-captain Eric Witte wasn’t able to capitalise and Nikki covered up the puck, putting an end to that. Some other notable plays include Disorderly defence Chris Allman’s amazing set up passes, the excellent as always positional play by Merlots’ players and fiancees, Amanda Forbes and Miranda Soloff, and a dangerous shot at the point from Merlots’ defence Vlad Brik. The period ended 1-0 Disorderly.

The second period started with a strong Merlots volley, starting from their faceoff win by Mike Ekberg. Amanda hit Miranda with a tape to tape pass at the corner of the net, and Miranda elevated the puck up and over Disorderly goalie Joe Znidarsich (an impressive feat considering how tall he is even crouched over). The puck landed tantalisingly in the open crease for a heart-stopping moment, a perfect black circle in the semi-circle sea of blue paint, with a open gaping net mere inches beyond… before Disorderly defence Randi saves the day, clearing the puck and crushing the Merlots hope of scoring on that play. In one of their next offensive opportunities, the Disorderly score again, making it 2-0 by a goal from centre Brian Olinger.

Midway through the game, we were treated to the sight of one of the referees, usually some of the most accomplished skaters to grace our ice, jittering across the centre line in slow motion, arms outstretched, trying not to fall down. The ref recovered their balance successfully, and the game went on.

Both teams were determined in their quest to score goals, as is the point of this game. However, the outstanding play of both goaltenders made this a nigh impossible task, since stopping goals from being scored is their goal in life. Merlots goalie Nikki denied Brian Olinger a second goal and also stopped at least a few of Chris Allman’s fancy shots to keep her team in the game.

To open the 3rd, the Merlots dived right into another near-scoring opportunity. Mike’s shot took a weird bounce around the net and Disorderly goalie Joe lost track of the puck – fortunately, luck was on his side and he was able to find and cover it before anyone else had the chance to react. Pumpkin Disorderly hadn’t stopped being, dare we say, disorderly, and tried to wreak as much havoc as possible on the Merlots plan to score, but the Merlots got a few more good offensive opportunities – co-captain and defender Ashleigh Baldwin got a couple of great shots off, one blocked by Chris Allman’s shin pads (ouch), and the other turned away by goalie Joe. By the end of the game, the Disorderly were exhausted, icing the puck twice. With 8 seconds left, Merlots centre Miranda won the faceoff in the offensive zone, but the puck trickled just past the stick of the Merlots defender, and the score stands 2-0, with the victory going to Pumpkin Disorderly.

Never mind the score, though – both teams were extremely well-matched, and played impressively well in spite of only having 2 practices beforehand. It’s hard to believe this is the first time these teams have played. They’re both shaping up to be formidable opponents – the rest of the league better watch out! Both goalies made some impressive saves, and the final score would have been much higher without both goaltenders’ skill and expertise in net.

However, the star of the game has to go to Pumpkin Disorderly player Randi, who not only scored the game winning goal 20 seconds into the game, but made a just as important save when an answering Merlots goal seemed inevitable. When asked about that save, she said that she was “grateful that I was able to get that one out. But I made up for it – later, I shot the puck right back to Joe and was so glad that he caught it. Witte told us on the bench afterwards, ‘Remember, we’re shooting at the other net’.”

She made no mistake about which net to shoot at when she scored her goal. She wasn’t expecting it to go in, as Nikki had it well in her sights before the deflection – a prime example of why it’s never a bad idea to send the puck to the net, as you never know what will happen. And to score right off the bat like that? “It felt fantastic,” Randi said.

Fellow teammate McKenzie Zeiss caught up to us outside of the locker room. “Is [Randi] telling you how awesome she is? She was pretty awesome.”

2017 Team Reveal and Challenge Games

Hey y’all,

We’re starting our season off with our annual team reveal and challenge game night!  We’ll have three scrimmage-style games on Sunday along with team reveal.  Here’s the schedule for October 15th:

  • Beginner Scrimmage – 5:15 PM
  • Intermediate Scrimmage – 6:30 PM
  • Team Reveal – 7:45 PM
  • Advanced Scrimmage – 9:00 PM

Some info since this is our first scrimmage night of the season-

Please only sign up for one game until 12 noon on Saturday, October 14th.  We want to make sure everyone has a chance to sign up (and not everyone in the league can check their computers or phones multiple times per day). As usual, there are 30 slots for skaters per game along with two roster spots for goalies.  You’ll need to sign into the website to sign up for a scrimmage slot.

Unlike season games, challenge games are sorted based on the skill level of the players. Players choose at what level of play they can safely and most happily play.  Self-selection is a privilege and must be considered carefully.  If you choose to play down that is great, but you must understand that inclusive play is especially important.  A person playing down is there to facilitate fun and safe hockey play for newer skaters.  If you choose to play up that is commendable, but you must understand that the usual level of inclusive play does not apply.  Advanced skaters are there to challenge one another and work on their hockey skills.  Further, playing beyond one’s ability can create an unsafe environment for the individual skater and everyone else on the ice.  A person playing up a level doesn’t have to do well while learning new things, but skaters cannot play at a level where they can’t keep up. Particularly since this is the first scrimmage, Hockey Operations may ask you to move to a different time slot.  This is not meant to single anyone out but to ensure that everyone can play safely and effectively.

One note: We realize we’ve schedule advanced players late and beginners early throughout the season kickoff.  We’ll make it up to you all by switching up the schedule for the remainder of the challenge games.

See you on the ice!
-HOps (Tim, Amanda, Sara, Matthew, Mark, Brian, John, and Courtney)

15Oct2017 Challenge games

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2017 Evaluation Scrimmages – October 8, 2017

Thanks for being patient as we put together some teams for the evaluation scrimmages for Sunday, October 8th. Please take a look at the rosters in your inbox and find your name. Please show up at your requested time.

We did our best to honor must-play-with requests and other asks, but please let us know if we need to make a roster swap for some reason. Remember, play-with requests are meant to be for people who are consistently riding together.

As far as the scrimmages go, please try to bring the jersey listed in the email for your scrimmage team, if you have it. You’ll see either dark or light at the top of your rosters below. Jerseys with numbers are ideal for evaluation purposes.

If you have questions, please let HOps know.

See you all on the ice on Sunday!

2017 Evaluation Clinics – October 1, 2017

Welcome to the first of two nights of evaluations!

These next two Sundays are the most important nights of our season, as they’re what allow us to break the league up into ten competitively-balanced teams.

Tonight, we’re looking at basic individual skills. We’ll be looking at four different things:

  • Skating maneuverability and stopping
  • Skating backwards and changing directions
  • Skating and controlling the puck
  • Skating and passing

You may be really great at all of these, or not able to do any of them or somewhere in between. It doesn’t matter. You are in the league and you’ll be on a team either way. Do your best, whatever your best happens to be, and don’t stress if you don’t do well, or as well as you’d like.

We have a lot of people to evaluate. Please be dressed and ready to get on the ice before your start time. We have to get you on the ice and divided into four groups in a short amount of time if we’re going to get a good look at everyone. It’ll also be a big help if you have your name on your helmet.  Check your email for this week’s evaluation rosters.  This should have all the changes that have been requested.

Next week we’ll be doing one-hour scrimmages where we’ll look at your knowledge of positioning and your shooting, among other things. Watch your email for your time and team assignments for scrimmages. They will likely be different than this week’s rosters.  We’re hoping these will be refereed scrimmages, as well. We won’t be keeping score but we would like to have face-offs after goals and for offsides and icing.

We realize that some of you don’t know what offsides and icing are. This should help:


Note that in adult rec hockey, icing is called as soon as the puck crosses the goal line, it doesn’t get waved off if a player on the opposing team gets there first (as noted in the video).

New Player Orientation 2017

We will be having MGHA New Player Orientation on Sunday, September 10th from 4pm-5:30pm at Kavanaugh’s Esquire Club.

This orientation is for new players and their mentors.  The eagle-eyed among you have likely noticed that this is the same day as our first on-ice clinics; orientation is an off-ice introduction to the culture and quirks of our league. We strongly encourage you to attend. You do not need to bring anything with you, although we recommend you have your gear with you and ready for on-ice practice, which starts at 6pm (5:30-6pm will be for folks to get dressed to get on the ice).  We have a guest speaker, Erica Hagen, to talk about implicit bias, and we’ll also cover what makes our league different from traditional leagues.

Kavanaugh’s is a supper club located at 1025 Sherman Avenue, just around the corner from Hartmeyer. We will be providing light snacks; please feel free to purchase your own refreshments. We strongly discourage you from drinking any alcohol prior to getting on the ice for clinics.  There will be time to get to Hartmeyer and change immediately after orientation, for those of you going to the beginner clinic.

The Ironman is taking place on Sunday, so many downtown streets will be closed through midnight.  Avoid downtown when traveling to / from Hartmeyer!

OMG Ten Spots Left!

Hey all! There are only ten spots left in the league, so if you know someone who’s thinking about signing up, or if you haven’t paid your deposit, now is the time. Log in and pay your deposit HERE. As a note, we will continue to prioritize players who meet our mission until the start of the pre-season on September 10th; at that time, we will open up to waitlisted players if there are spots available.

As a reminder, USA Hockey registration is due for returning players, and can be paid here.

Please let us know if you need assistance or have any questions!

On behalf of Recruiting (Randi, Amanda, Matthew, Logan, Patrick and yours truly),

p.s. In writing this message, two more people have signed up, so we now have eight spots available. Get those deposits in!

MGHA 2017-2018 Kickoff Information

It’s about time to get the upcoming 2017-2018 MGHA season underway.  To do that, there’s a lot we have to cover.  I’m going to break it all down for you here.  Anything you see in red is an action item.  Please take a moment to make sure you’ve done what’s asked before the deadline.

Let’s get to it!

USA Hockey Registration

Before you can set foot, err… skate on the ice for the upcoming season, you’ll need to be registered with USA Hockey.  We do this for liability reasons to protect those in our league.  Signing up is easy and can be done online.  Follow the link below to head to the MGHA website where we’ve got the steps laid out for you.

ACTION: Follow this link to sign up for USA Hockey…

League Fees

You should have already paid the deposit for the league.  To pay the bills, we need to collect the rest of those league fees.  You can do that at the link below.  Please take care of this as soon as possible.  Deadline will be before the first clinic, which is slated for September 10.  If, for some reason, you can’t make the payment right now, please contact Shelly, our Treasurer, via email:  We’ll be happy work with you on a payment plan.

ACTION: Pay your league fees at the link…

Play-With Requests

If you have someone who you’ve discussed ridesharing with or even someone you do not feel safe being on the same team as, this is how you let us know.  We’ll do our best to honor these requests during the team creation process.  You do not have to fill this form out if you do not have any requests.

ACTION: Follow this link to submit your play-with requests if you have any…


We’ve heard feedback from advanced players that they’d like to be included in clinics at the beginning of the season.  We’re happy to announce some changes.  Clinics will take place on September 10, 17, and 24.  Each week, we’ll have a slot for beginner, intermediate, and advanced skill levels.  

We are allowing self-selection for this process, but please understand that the clinics will be run at the appropriate pace based on the level.  It’s in your and your fellow skaters’ best interests to choose the level that most accurately represents your skills.  Although ‘playing up’ is a thing for challenge games, we do not recommend it in this situation.  If we see someone who we believe has selected the wrong group, we’ll ask you to change your selection to ensure the effectiveness of the clinics for all.

For intermediate and advanced players, we will have an outside coach running the clinics.  Beginner players will work with members of our Hockey Operations crew.  For all groups, we have a limited amount of ice time.  Please be ready to be on the ice 15 minutes before the scheduled time.  If this is your first time putting the equipment on, be sure to allow even more time to get comfortable.

To give the coaches a heads-up on how many people they can expect at each session, we’re asking that you sign-up for each week.  This process will be similar to signing up for challenge games.

As we’ll be building upon clinics from the previous week, we recommend making all of the clinics for your skill group.

ACTION: Sign up for clinics using the links…


Similar to last year, we’ll be doing evaluations over two weeks.  The first week, October 1, will be mainly skills evaluation.  The second week, October 8, will be evaluation scrimmages.  There’s currently no action required on your part for these.  We’ll send out a follow-up email closer to the date to let you know to which slot you’ve been assigned.  Start times range from 5:15 PM through 9:00 PM and the slots last for one hour.  Evaluations are the most important pre-season activity as they allow us to evenly distribute teams.

ACTION: Attendance is mandatory!  Mark off these two dates in your calendar now.

Team Reveal and Challenge Games

Our first challenge game of the season happens on October 15th.  Due to ice time limitations, this set of challenge games will have one slot for beginner, one for intermediate, and one for advanced.  All others throughout the season will consist of a single slot for beginner and advanced and two slots for intermediate.  Sign-ups for this will be on the MGHA website a little closer to the date.  We’ll also use this night to announce teams, so make sure to mark this on your calendar!

Team Practices

Once you know your teams, it’s important to get to know the fine folks you’ll be playing with for the next few months.  That’s why we have two weeks of team practice built in before games start.  This’ll help your team gel.  This year, Hockey Operations is going to provide captains with drills and an agenda for their practices so that everyone gets even more benefit from team practices.  Please be sure to mark your calendars and be there on October 22 and 29.

Regular Season and Championship Night

We’ve heard from you and we’ve expanded our season this year.  With the first game on November 5, we’ll run through a 15-game season with a championship night immediately following.  This will give teams even more time to gel before championship night on April 15, 2018.  Mathematically, conferences worked well with the number of games scheduled last year.  This year, they simply don’t.  For that reason, we’re doing away with them.  Once the regular season wraps up, the first and second place teams in the standings will play for the championship.  On championship night, 3rd place will play 4th place and so on with games for everyone.  The full schedule will be on the website soon.


That’s about it.  I know this is a long email, but thank you for reading through it.  We’ve been told by the league that you want open, honest, and clear communication.  If you have questions, comments, or concerns, please let us know and we’ll do our best to address them.  

We look forward to seeing you all on the ice starting with our first clinics on September 10!


(on behalf of the MGHA Board and HOps crew)

USA Hockey Registration 2017

It’s time to register with USA Hockey! For liability reasons, all players must register with USA Hockey. Registration covers one year of play (September 1 to August 31).

IMPORTANT: You will NOT be allowed to step on the ice at a MGHA skills clinic, practice, scrimmage, game, etc., without being registered with USA Hockey.

How to Register with USA Hockey

  1. Go to:
  2. Click the red “REGISTER NOW” button.
  3. For Registration Type, select “Ice Player/Coach.”
  4. Complete the form. Include payment of $45.
  5. You will receive a registration confirmation email with a confirmation # and bar code. Please forward this email from USA Hockey to k8 walton (

MGHA needs the entire email in order to scan the bar code and register you with our league.

(Note: If you play in more than one league, you only need to register with USA Hockey once per season.)

Email k8 with questions or concerns!

25 Spots Left!

Hi Friends!

We hope you’re having a great summer, and that your dreams of slicing across the cool surface of the ice are getting you through these August doldrums.

I am happy to announce that we have 125 players who have paid their deposit for next season, securing their spot. That means we only have 25 spots left in the league for 2017-18. If you’re hoping to return but haven’t paid your deposit, get on it! Log in and pay your deposit HERE.

If you know someone who’s thinking about joining us, get them moving! The new player application and FAQ can be found HERE.

And as always, if you want to return but need a little leeway on the money side of things, or if you know an alum or tournament player who wants to join up for this year, please email Thanks, and we’ll see you on the ice!