Category: Announcements

All the Way Award Winners 2023-2024

Buncha’ Pylons (Orange L3) 

Joe Bartol – Joe brings encouraging energy and spirit to the bench in good times and bad! He’s the first guy to welcome you back after a shift and build you up, and he always has a positive take on what’s going on around him. Joe exemplifies the MGHA Way, where the quality of the company we keep and the fun we have together is #1

Encouraging both on-ice and off-ice, always happy to chat and either help someone feel more comfortable, or help someone develop more skills. I always enjoy having them on my team and I think he’s very much deserving of the award!

Dandy Lions (Yellow L3) 

Sherry Holly – This award belongs to Sherry Holly, the epitome of teamwork and inclusivity on the ice. Through steady support and encouragement, Sherry has fostered an environment where every teammate feels valued and respected. Her calm demeanor under pressure and reliability in critical moments have been instrumental in the team’s success. Moreover, her positivity radiates, uplifting the spirits of everyone around her. In a sport fueled by intensity, Sherry stands out for her unwavering composure. She has the ability to take a message from the captains or board and reconstruct it for the team, so it comes across solution oriented rather than deficit focused. She exemplifies sportsmanship and camaraderie, making her truly deserving of the All the Way Award for the Dandy Lions.

Déjà Blue (Blue L3) 

Emily Feinstein – Emily, simply put, IS HOCKEY. She represents everything I love about the sport: the strategy, the speed, the skill, and the ability to “leave it all on the ice.” As a captain and coach, she’s patient, kind, and focuses just as much on the “attaboys” as she does on the “ya-done-f*cked-ups” and has been instrumental in helping me and my teammates gain a better grasp on the game – especially at the L3 level. As a player, a coach, a captain, a mentor, and a friend, she is the whole package, and an asset to MGHA. Thanks for an amazing season, Emily!

Emily really stepped it up to take care of our teammates so far all season long.

Extremely Well Red (Red L1) 

Lizzie McBride –  She has come into MGHA for her first year and has always been positive. Very open to learning new tricks and trying new things.

Lizzie started this season and brought both team spirit and learning multiple positions. She has shown the MGHA Way both on and off ice around all our layers.

Frozen Puckaneers (Sky Blue L2) 

Brian Juchems – He is always most welcoming

Brian is always positive, smiling, taking care of folks. He’s a joy to have around and makes the team a welcoming place! Brian has been nothing but positive and one to everyone and about everything this season.

Limelights (Lime L1) 

Evelyn Kahl – Evelyn plays as if she’s been a hockey goalie for YEARS! I’m so beyond blown away at how far she grew over the course of the season. She is also an amazing person off the ice, for example she led the charge to get pizza after our games. Love you Evelyn!

Evelyn has an excellent attitude; always upbeat and encouraging.

Maroon XV (Maroon L1) 

Paul Weber – Paul is always ready to hype up every little win or improvement that anyone makes and always leads the team in cheers from the bench. He exemplifies what it means to play the MGHA way in always supporting everyone and helping others grow. Also, his baking is second to none.

Paul brings an incredible energy to the bench and for the team. He brings baked goods just about every game just to get us feeling good. He also has created so many cheats for the team and continues to push a positive and fun energy to our group on the ice!

Paul is our team cheerleader and cruise director. His presence in the locker room brings light & joy. One of the very best teammates I’ve ever had.

Red Hot Chilly Puckers (Red L2) 

Jill “JJ” Hovden – She’s one of the biggest team players I’ve ever met, and I think she exemplifies what it means to go all the way. She never fails to uplift others and it’s literally impossible to be in a bad mood around her. I’m damn proud to be on her team.

In her first season in the league, Jill has been tremendously receptive to MGHA style hockey, friendly and welcoming in the locker room, and a positive teammate.

Mari Verbeten Sexy Train 2: The ‘Boose is Loose (Maroon L3) 

Mari Verbeten – This year, Mari embodied the MGHA Way and “walked the walk” of how to play L3 hockey. Through her ice skating/dancing through sticky situations and endless encouragement, backed with action to develop smart strategic plays, Mari showed us how it’s done. She acknowledges each small moment of progress for our Sexy Train, and celebrates teammates’ skills and accomplishments every week. Mari conducts with positivity and humble leadership on the ice, and lays the track for inclusive and joyful hockey. The MGHA is better off with her showing us how to hockey, and we are grateful for the friendship and high-speed hockey Mari brought to Sexy Train this year. Chugga chugga for now, choo choo forever. Thanks Mari!

Skeleton Crew (White L1)

Andy Girnau-Gomez – Andy shows up to every game, every practice, and every social event. He volunteers when he can and hangs around to watch games. He’s always down to sub when other teams are in need and helps out with both the Team Trans Friendship tournament and the MGHA tournaments. He’s a great friend and always checks in on his team mates.

When we found ourselves without a goalie in the middle of the season, Andy volunteered his time, resources, knees, and hips to learn how to play the position, which in itself is worthy of an All The Way Award. But Andy has also been a constant positive presence on and off the ice, offering helpful feedback during games and at open skates, and always offering to buy his teammates a beer – or a shot of malört!

Andy is the jolly, irreverent uncle we all wish we had. He keeps things light in the locker room, then goes and plays his heart out on the ice. He tried GOALIE this year, for crying out loud! I definitely think he deserves to be recognized for his team spirit and excellent attitude. Go Andy!

The Crows Have Skates (Black L2) 

Jude Denlinger – Jude is a talented player, an exemplary leader, and a fantastic teammate. They always emphasize inclusion and support of one another, while also finding a way to educate and motivate their fellow teammates.

This is Jude’s first year as a team captain and they did a great job leading the team and playing stand out defense. Jude is always reminding us to have fun, be safe on the ice, skate in control and play the MGHA way. We are very fortunate to have such a wonderful person leading the way for the Crows. CAAAW CAAAW!

They always have such a positive attitude and are always super supportive of everyone in the league.

Jude is an excellent captain. They are very supportive of everyone on the team and are always giving positive feedback. They also lead by example when it comes to playing the MGHA way.

The Yellowship of the Rink (Yellow L2) 

Drew Kohrs – He’s always upbeat and patient, especially helping me learn my first year on ice. I was always happy when he went out and played defense with me.

Drew is an exemplar of the MGHA way, on and off the ice. During games he can be found encouraging, coaching, and cheering on teammates from the bench. He’s even acted as an unofficial assistant captain when one of the captains is out. He always brings a positive attitude to the locker room and really makes it a fun team to be on.

Top Cheddar (Orange L2) 

David Hafner – David has been a leader on our team all season. He has great vision of the game both on the ice and on the bench. David is quick to offer advice to our team between periods and even quicker to acknowledge the good in his teammates. David is the GOAT…cheese.

I had a lot of fun playing with David this season. He is always upbeat and supportive of his teammates. He offered a lot of great advice and tips on the ice and off.

Trash Pandas (White L2) 

Sam Erickson – Sam joined the league after the skills assessments already took place and was placed on Trash Pandas after not really playing hockey before. He jumped in skates first ready to go, and has subbed a lot for other L2 teams! He always has the most positive attitude in the locker room before and after the games, as well as on the bench waiting to hop on the ice. Sam is also a big team player. Rather than taking shots on the goal all the time, Sam makes the extra effort to pass to his fellow forwards to give them the opportunity to score. (But to brag for him, he is one of our team’s leading scorers, so he probably wants to spread the love.) Sam is an all around great person to have gotten to know 🙂

Sam always comes with a positive, enthusiastic attitude. Sam is great about looking out for his teammates and cheering everyone on. Sam is a great asset to the team!

Under the Sea (Blue L1) 

Amanda Bloo Walker is wonderful–always cheerful, smiling, happy to be on the ice, and so much fun to have in goalie as a defender! We hype each other up on the ice and everybody’s always laughing when Bloo’s around.

Bloo has great team spirit and she’s always willing to learn, improve, and listen to her teammates. It’s been great to play with her this year!

Whose Lime is it Anyway? (Lime L2) 

Mandy Morrow – Mandy has led the team, organized lines, gotten subs (many every week), and maintained a positive can-do attitude throughout the whole season. You could say she’s really squeezing that lime. She lifts people up and generates a great sense of camaraderie so everyone feels valued and supported. Her ability to improvise with lines, devising a “sub-lime” line concept, as well as various fun cheers has really pulled the team together this year and been one of the most positive in my experience. All this on top of being injured and out for a good chunk of the season! Anyway, ayedeayedeayde I could go on, but really the points don’t matter with such a great captain who knows all the best lines for us limes.

Mandy has always been helpful giving advice to me for how to improve. She had an injury and still came to games, helping out and kept a very positive attitude despite not being able to play.

Wonka’s Winners (Gold L1)

Bre Cyr – Bre was a great social aspect of the team this year. She took the Wonka name to heart and bought team patches for everyone’s jerseys. She helped to organize a team outing to see the new Wonka movie and started the team Facebook page. She also took on a role as a scorebox lead. On the ice, she stepped up to sub more often this year and showed a lot of improvement in her play. She’s a great teammate to have and shows what it is to play the MGHA way!

Zambluenis (Royal Blue L2) 

Christopher “Wally” Walters – Wally arrives for every game with a big smile on his face. He’s encouraging and helpful on and off the ice and he’s willing to put it all on the ice with a laugh and occasionally a penalty?

Essay Contest: What Madison Gay Hockey Means to Me – Deadline March 24th

Now that the season is almost over (only 3 more games???) and we’re all a little sad we won’t be seeing our teams and friends on the regular, it’s time to reflect on what hockey has meant to us as individuals. We all are changed in some way by being a part of this league and community. Writing and sharing our experiences helps others learn and grow and new players see a potential path for themselves into hockey and the LGBTQIA* community. Our Lives Magazine runs an essay contest on this subject each season and the winner gets published in the magazine as well as their dues waived for next season.

All are encouraged to write an essay. All 2023-2024 league participants are eligible for this contest (except previous winners). Essay length is not set, take as many or few words as you need to speak from the heart.

More explanation of this as well as previous essays can be found here

If you only read one essay, I recommend Geoffrey’s essay from 2008

The 2022 winner, Dexter Lane, in Our Lives Magazine

Fun factoid: these essays are what someone at the NHL found and fell in love with and got them here to make a video about us. Oh, didn’t know the NHL made a video about us?

Please send your essay submission and any questions to Amanda Thornton Essays will be read and voted on by members of the current board and captains who do not enter this year’s contest.

Deadline is March 24th (championship night)!

ALL THE WAY AWARDS – Nominate a teammate!

TL;DR Please fill out All the Way Award nomination for your team by Thursday 3/7.

This content is available to members only. Please login or register to view this area.

The survey has 3 questions (plus one optional) and the nice things you say about your teammate may be published in a post and possibly read out loud on Championship Night (3/24)!

Examples of previous nominations:

{Player} was new to the league this year, but immediately took to the concept of playing the MGHA way. As an experienced player, they quickly learned how to adjust their play style, and always worked collaboratively with their linemates to help create plays. On the bench and in the locker room, {player} was always upbeat and inclusive. They even dyed their hair blue to match our team’s jerseys!

{Player} exemplifies a team player. They volunteered to play whatever position was needed even though they preferred defense. Over and over they quietly explained the MGHA way, making everyone feel welcome and giving them a chance to succeed. 

Here is last season’s post about the winners for more examples

We will be reaching out to captains to confirm their team’s selection after the nomination deadline. 

MGHA Town Hall Meeting – Feb. 26 6-8pm at Delta Beer Lab!

Hey MGHA! Our mid-season Town Hall Meeting is coming up at the end of the month! Come out to Delta Beer Lab from 6-8pm on Monday, Feb 26th! For those new around here, the Town Hall Meeting is a chance for the MGHA Board and other league organizers to share a little about what we’ve been working on this year, and a chance for you to bring your questions, suggestions, and ideas for the rest of this season and beyond! 

If you can’t make it, don’t worry! We’ll send out the notes in an email update (we know how much you love email updates), and you’re always welcome to contact the board or leave anonymous feedback in our website feedback form if you have ideas you want to share! Here’s what to expect from the evening:

2023-2024 MGHA Town Hall

Monday, Feb. 26th: 6 – 8pm at Delta Beer Lab

6 – 6:30pm: Social time! Hang, catch up, and grab a beverage if you wish, then head to the back room at Delta for the meeting.6:30 – 7pm: League updates and announcements!

  • Quick introduction of the MGHA organizing groups
  • Highlights from the 2023-2024 season so far
  • Events recap and announcements
  • Financial update
  • Reminder about our annual meeting in May – become an MGHA member!

7 – 7:30pm: Open discussion, the “ask us anything!” part of the evening!
Bring your questions, discussion suggestions, feedback, friendship, etc.

7:30 – 7:45pm: Closing up. Clear out and put away chairs before Delta closes at 8pm.

See you soon!

2/11 Super Bowl Scrimmages + Goalie-Curious Clinic!

Hey MGHA! We don’t have regular games Feb. 11th, but you can still get your hockey on and shake it off! We’ll have Super Bowl Scrimmages (Taylor’s Version) + a Goalie-Curious Clinic! Expect social time, scrimmages, Swiftie-pleasing playlists, and a chance to test out goalie gear and goalie moves! More details below.

Scrimmages: Sign up for one scrimmage at the level of play where you are most comfortable to start, and if there are still slots available on Friday, Feb. 9th feel free to sign up for more! We will have open stick and puck time during the goalie-curious clinic to work on skating, shooting, or other skills.

Goalie-Curious Clinic: Have you been thinking, “how could I learn some new hockey skills to be wildly versatile and beloved by all, and also play hockey for free?” Test out what it would like to be a GOALIE! This is a great low-pressure opportunity to learn a little about goalie gear, goalie moves, and other goalie essentials. Please sign up in the “goalie newbies” section of the sign-up sheet before 5pm on Thursday, Feb. 8th to help us find enough experienced goalies and gear to run the clinic!

Sign up for the scrimmage options below  (all on Rink A):

  • 5:20pm – 6:20pm: L1/L2 Scrimmage
  • 6:30pm – 7:30pm: L2/L3 Scrimmage
  • 7:40pm – 8:40pm: GOALIE CURIOUS CLINIC (half ice)
  • 7:40pm – 8:40pm: Stick & puck (half ice)
  • 8:50pm – 9:50pm: L1/L2 Scrimmage

Potluck sign-upIf you’re interested in snacking and socializing between scrimmages, we’ll have an informal potluck upstairs. Bring a dish, a drink, a dip, or just come hang out! Sign-up is here with more instructions. If you remember, bring your own tupperware and cutlery to dish up your potluck plate—less waste is great! We’ll have some paper plates and napkins at the rink as well. 

Volunteer sign-up: As always, we need a few helping hands to set us up for success! Sign up on the scrimmage page to help us open up the rink and clean up at the end of the night. 

Let us know if you have questions. See you on the ice soon! 

– Greta, on behalf of HOps 

Super Bowl Scrimmages (Taylor's Version) + Goalie-Curious Clinic!

You must log in to sign up.

MGHA Thanksgiving Social and Scrimmage Signups


We don’t have regular games this weekend – but we have ice for cross-level scrimmages and we’ll have a potluck social up at the Eagle’s Nest. Let’s get festive and fill up on fun with the MGHA Fam this holiday! <3 <3 <3

Potluck Social – sign-up here

If you’re interested in snacking and socializing between scrimmages, we’ll have an informal potluck upstairs. Bring a dish, a game, a drink, a snack, leftovers, or just come and hang out! Sign-up here with more instructions.

Note: Points if you bring your own tupperware and cutlery to dish up your potluck plate—less waste is great! We’ll have some paper plates and napkins at the rink as well.

Scrimmage Signups – Rink A, All day

  • 5:00pm – 6:00pm: L1/L2 Scrimmage, bench coaches welcome
  • 6:10pm – 7:10pm: L2/L3 Scrimmage
  • 7:20pm – 8:20pm: L2/L3 Scrimmage
  • 8:30pm – 9:30pm: L1/L2 Scrimmage, bench coaches welcome
  1. Sign up for one scrimmage, one side below – HOps will adjust for balance if needed.
  2. On Friday the 24th you can sign up for another scrimmage. If we get full fast, we may add another ice time on rink B.
  3. Wear your favorite light (white, gray, yellow, orange) or dark (black, brown, maroon, purple, blue) jersey.

Opening and Closing: Sign up to volunteer for these shifts below to help the night go smoothly.

Questions or requests? Contact Greta or Christina from HOps!

Super Bowl Scrimmages (Taylor's Version) + Goalie-Curious Clinic!

You must log in to sign up.

Our Response to the NHL Pride Ban

Hockey is for everyone. Hockey should be for everyone.

The Madison Gay Hockey Association’s central mission is to provide opportunities to play hockey for people who have historically felt marginalized in traditional sports settings. We’re committed to putting those people in pads, giving them a stick, and teaching them to love the game as much as we do.

The NHL’s recent decision to ban Pride jerseys and Pride tape is directly contradictory to our mission, and makes our work so much harder. How are queer and questioning athletes supposed to feel about hockey when one of the premiere hockey organizations in the world is loudly proclaiming, “you’re not welcome here”?

Getting queer folks to play hockey is hard. Most of us have grown up being taught that team sports are not for us and that we’re not welcome, hearing as much from coaches, from classmates, from opponents – and now also from the NHL. The MGHA works tirelessly to convince people who have grown up hearing this to give hockey a try. It’s hard work – there are a lot of scared faces the first time a new cohort steps on the ice, and some quit before they even get that far.

And the people who stick it out? It can be life-altering. At the end of each season, our players have the opportunity to respond to the essay prompt “What Gay Hockey Means To Me.” They write about how much the hockey community has come to mean to them, how they’ve grown as people and as athletes, and how hockey has become a positive and empowering force in their lives. We hear about the positive impact hockey can have, year after year after year.

The MGHA is the largest gay hockey league in the world. We have 270 skaters for the 2023-2024 season and are fielding 18 teams. Our organization is steadfastly dedicated to the idea that hockey is for everyone, and we’ve been incredibly successful in convincing our community that there is a place for them in hockey.

The NHL has the opportunity to be a part of this. The NHL is in the best position to make hockey a welcoming, inclusive space. The first step: reverse the Pride ban. Let our community know that you’ve heard us, and that there’s a space for us in the NHL. You started the “Hockey Is For Everyone” initiative – prove to us that you mean it.

The NHL has been a force for good in this space, and can be again.


2023 MGHA Preseason – Team Reveal Night and Scrimmage Sign Up


Sign up for one session. If there are spots still available in the 24 hours leading up to sessions, you may sign up for another.

  • 4:30 PM – MGHA Classic-Style Scrimmage (L1 and L2 Welcome!), Rink B
  • 5:10 PM – L1 Style Scrimmage, Rink A
  • 5:40 PM – L2 Style Scrimmage, Rink B
  • 6:20 PM – L3 Style Scrimmage, Rink A
  • 7:40 PM – TEAM REVEAL
  • 8:30 PM – L2 Style Scrimmage, Rink A

Super Bowl Scrimmages (Taylor's Version) + Goalie-Curious Clinic!

You must log in to sign up.

New player social, t-shirt designs, play-with requests, and other hockey logistics!

Hey y’all! Great to see so many of you on the ice as we gear up for the season! We have a few more (yes, more) announcements to help us kick off the MGHA season. Links to polls and pages for your input are highlighted in yellow.

First, the fun stuff! 

New player social

We’re excited to get to know each other on the ice and off, so we’ll be scheduling a new player social at I/O Arcade Bar in early October. We need your help to pick a date! Fill out this poll by next Wednesday, Sept. 27 and we’ll get it on the calendar! All players welcome, but we’ll prioritize the time that works best for new-to-the-MGHA folks. 

Rinkside social time during the season

We’re also looking for a few volunteers interested in coordinating regular meetups at Cap Ice on Sundays as the season gets going (think board games, crafts, or other low-key activities upstairs in the Eagle’s Nest between ice time). If you’re interested in helping with this, reach out to the Board or me (Greta).

T-shirt designs!

All MGHA players get a comfy, colorful t-shirt as part of your participation in the league, and this year we’re opening up the design process to you! If you’re interested in volunteering a little hockey-related art, submit your design using the guidelines on this form by Friday, October 8. This league runs on volunteer labor—it means a lot that you’re willing to share your design skills! We’ll open the designs up to league-wide voting the week of October 11, and share the winning design at team reveal night on October 15, and we’ll credit the winning designer for this year with an announcement on our website and in your player profile. Contact Gene or Gabby if you have questions about t-shirts.

And now, some gentle reminders and logistics!

‘Play with’ requests for forming teams

We’ll be doing evaluations over the next 3 weekends to help us create balanced teams, but we also take input from you! If you have a carpool buddy or someone you don’t feel safe playing with this year, this is how you let us know. We’ll do our best to honor these requests during the team creation process. There are three options: must play with, would like to play with, and would not feel safe playing with. All of this is detailed when you log in to your account at the link here. You do not have to fill this form out if you do not have any requests.

Update your profile with a photo and your USA hockey registration number

With 270 of us, adding photos to our player profiles helps us build community and recognize each other when we’re out of our hockey gear. You can edit your profile to add a photo and your USA Hockey registration number

League Fees

To pay the ice time bills, we need to collect league fees. The MGHA is committed to making hockey accessible to all members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and funds are available to provide financial assistance to players in need. To request financial assistance to help cover the cost of your league fees or gear, please complete our financial assistance form. If you have any questions, please contact Gene, our treasurer. 

Ok that’s it for now! Happy hockey!



2023 MGHA Preseason – October 8th Sign Up


Sign up for one session. If there are spots still available in the 24 hours leading up to sessions, you may sign up for another.

  • 5:10 PM – L1 Style Scrimmage, Rink B
  • 6:20 PM – New-to-Hockey Structured Scrimmage, led by Tim T, Rink B
    • Hockey 101 will be held immediately after around 7:30 PM (likely in the Eagle’s Nest or lobby)
  • 6:30 PM – L2 Style Scrimmage, Rink A
  • 7:30 PM – L3 Style Scrimmage, Rink B
  • 7:40 PM – Make Up Evaluations for All Levels
  • 8:40 PM – L2 Style Scrimmage, Rink B

Super Bowl Scrimmages (Taylor's Version) + Goalie-Curious Clinic!

You must log in to sign up.