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Sixty-Nine Players Invited to 2014 USA Hockey Women's National Festival

08/04/2014, 4:15pm MDT
By USAHockey.com

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Hockey announced today the 69 players invited to the 2014 USA Hockey Women's National Festival, which will take place Aug. 12-16, in Lake Placid, New York.

The Festival will be used to select the 22-player rosters for a pair of series against Canada held simultaneously from Aug. 21-24 in Calgary, Alberta, at Canada Olympic Park. The U.S. entries will feature an under-18 team and 22-and-under team.

Highlighting the roster for the Festival are four members of the silver medal-winning 2014 U.S. Women's Olympic Ice Hockey Team, including Alex Carpenter (North Reading, Mass.), Kendall Coyne (Palos Heights, Ill.), Michelle Picard (Taunton, Mass.) and Lee Stecklein (Roseville, Minn.).

Ten members of the 2014 U.S. Women's National Under-18 Team -- Grace Bizal (Minnetonka, Minn.), Jincy Dunne (O'Fallon, Mo.), Rebecca Gilmore (Wayland, Mass.), Megan Keller (Farmington, Mich.), Lexie Laing (Marblehead, Mass.), Caitrin Lonergan (Roslindale, Mass.), Patricia Marshall (Thief River Falls, Minn.), Abby Roque (Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.), Melissa Samoskevich (Sandy Hook, Conn.) and Sophie Skarzynski (Wilmette, Ill.) -- are also on the Festival roster.

NOTES: The 2014 USA Hockey Women's National Festival will take place at the Lake Placid Olympic Center and all practices and scrimmages will be open to the public. The rosters for the U.S. Women's Select Teams (U18 and 22U) that will play Canada Aug. 21-24 in Calgary, will be announced on Aug. 17 ... The two teams will practice in Lake Placid on Aug. 17-18 prior to heading to Canada.

2014 Women's National Festival On-Ice Schedule

Date Event Location Time (ET)
Tues., Aug. 12 Practice - Team Red 1980 Rink 2-4:15 p.m.
Practice - Team White U.S. Rink 4-5:30 p.m.
Practice - Team Blue U.S. Rink 5:30-7 p.m.
Wed., Aug. 13 Practice - Team Blue 1980 Rink 8-8:50 a.m.
Practice - Team White 1980 Rink 9-9:50 a.m.
Practice - Team Red U.S. Rink 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Scrimmage - Blue vs. White U.S. Rink 4-6:45 p.m.
Practice - Team Red U.S. Rink 7-9 p.m.
Thurs., Aug. 14 Practice - Team Red U.S. Rink 9:30-11 a.m.
Practice - Team Blue U.S. Rink 2-4 p.m.
Practice - Team White U.S. Rink 4:15-6:15 p.m.
Intrasquad Scrimmage - Team Red 1980 Rink 5:15-7:15 p.m.
Fri., Aug. 15 Practice - Team White 1980 Rink 8-8:50 a.m.
Practice - Team Blue U.S. Rink 9-9:50 a.m.
Scrimmage - Blue vs. White 1980 Rink 4-6:45 p.m.
Intrasquad Scrimmage - Team Red U.S. Rink 5:25-6:40 p.m.
Sat., Aug. 16 Practice - Team Blue 1980 Rink 8-8:50 a.m.
Practice - Team White U.S. Rink 9-9:50 a.m.
Practice - Team Red U.S. Rink 10-10:50 a.m.
Scrimmage - Blue vs. White 1980 Rink 4-6:45 p.m.
Intrasquad Scrimmage - Team Red U.S. Rink 5:25-6:40 p.m.

2014 U.S. Women's Select Teams On-Ice Schedule

Date Event Location Time (ET)
Sun., Aug. 17 Practice - U18 Team 1980 Rink 1:15-2:45 p.m.
Practice - 22U Team 1980 Rink 3-5 p.m.
Mon., Aug. 18 Practice - 22U Team 1980 Rink 8:30-10 a.m.
Practice - U18 Team U.S. Rink 10:10-11 a.m.
Scrimmage - 22U Team 1980 Rink 4-6:45 p.m.
Scrimmage - U18 Team 1980 Rink 7-9:45 p.m.

Recent News

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Hockey announced today the 69 players have been invited to the 2014 USA Hockey Women's National Festival, which will take place Aug. 12-16, in Lake Placid, New York.

The Festival will be used to select the 22-player rosters for a pair of series against Canada held simultaneously from Aug. 21-24 in Calgary, Alberta, at Canada Olympic Park. The U.S. entries will feature an under-18 team and 22-and-under team.

Highlighting the roster for the Festival are four members of the silver medal-winning 2014 U.S. Women's Olympic Ice Hockey Team, including Alex Carpenter (North Reading, Mass.), Kendall Coyne (Palos Heights, Ill.), Michelle Picard (Taunton, Mass.) and Lee Stecklein (Roseville, Minn.).

Ten members of the 2014 U.S. Women's National Under-18 Team -- Grace Bizal (Minnetonka, Minn.), Jincy Dunne (O'Fallon, Mo.), Rebecca Gilmore (Wayland, Mass.), Megan Keller (Farmington, Mich.), Lexie Laing (Marblehead, Mass.), Caitrin Lonergan (Roslindale, Mass.), Patricia Marshall (Thief River Falls, Minn.), Abby Roque (Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.), Melissa Samoskevich (Sandy Hook, Conn.) and Sophie Skarzynski (Wilmette, Ill.) -- are also on the Festival roster.

NOTES: The 2014 USA Hockey Women's National Festival will take place at the Lake Placid Olympic Center and all practices and scrimmages will be open to the public. The rosters for the U.S. Women's Select Teams (U18 and 22U) that will play Canada Aug. 21-24 in Calgary, will be announced on Aug. 17 ... The two teams will practice in Lake Placid on Aug. 17-18 prior to heading to Canada.

2014 Women's National Festival On-Ice Schedule

Date Event Location Time (ET)
Tues., Aug. 12 Practice - Team Red 1980 Rink 2-4:15 p.m.
Practice - Team White U.S. Rink 4-5:30 p.m.
Practice - Team Blue U.S. Rink 5:30-7 p.m.
Wed., Aug. 13 Practice - Team Blue 1980 Rink 8-8:50 a.m.
Practice - Team White 1980 Rink 9-9:50 a.m.
Practice - Team Red U.S. Rink 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Scrimmage - Blue vs. White U.S. Rink 4-6:45 p.m.
Practice - Team Red U.S. Rink 7-9 p.m.
Thurs., Aug. 14 Practice - Team Red U.S. Rink 9:30-11 a.m.
Practice - Team Blue U.S. Rink 2-4 p.m.
Practice - Team White U.S. Rink 4:15-6:15 p.m.
Intrasquad Scrimmage - Team Red 1980 Rink 5:15-7:15 p.m.
Fri., Aug. 15 Practice - Team White 1980 Rink 8-8:50 a.m.
Practice - Team Blue U.S. Rink 9-9:50 a.m.
Scrimmage - Blue vs. White 1980 Rink 4-6:45 p.m.
Intrasquad Scrimmage - Team Red U.S. Rink 5:25-6:40 p.m.
Sat., Aug. 16 Practice - Team Blue 1980 Rink 8-8:50 a.m.
Practice - Team White U.S. Rink 9-9:50 a.m.
Practice - Team Red U.S. Rink 10-10:50 a.m.
Scrimmage - Blue vs. White 1980 Rink 4-6:45 p.m.
Intrasquad Scrimmage - Team Red U.S. Rink 5:25-6:40 p.m.

2014 U.S. Women's Select Teams On-Ice Schedule

Date Event Location Time (ET)
Sun., Aug. 17 Practice - U18 Team 1980 Rink 1:15-2:45 p.m.
Practice - 22U Team 1980 Rink 3-5 p.m.
Mon., Aug. 18 Practice - 22U Team 1980 Rink 8:30-10 a.m.
Practice - U18 Team U.S. Rink 10:10-11 a.m.
Scrimmage - 22U Team 1980 Rink 4-6:45 p.m.
Scrimmage - U18 Team 1980 Rink 7-9:45 p.m.

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INTEGRITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY IN OFFICIATING

08/25/2015, 3:30pm MDT
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No one has ever said that officiating, and especially officiating ice hockey, was easy. Rule knowledge, communication skills, fitness, skating and a natural presence are just some of the skills necessary to be a successful official.  Some possess more of these skills and those are the officials who advance to higher levels. But regardless of the level achieved or the skill set the official possesses, the one quality that should be equal among every official is a high level of integrity.

The national official staff members, along with our volunteer referees-in-chief and local supervisors, have heard growing concerns over a decreasing level of integrity among our youth hockey officials. It’s sometimes said that no one is holding them accountable. A portion of this perception is likely a typical “blame the officials” mentality, but some anecdotal evidence suggests there is also some merit to this concern. That’s alarming to USA Hockey, as it affects the credibility of our entire program, along with every member it represents. The blunt truth is this: even one official who isn’t on the up and up can and will damage the credibility of all officials who do take pride in the integrity of their work.

Whether we like it or not, officials are under a microscope, and by the nature of the business, are held to a very high standard. When we signed up for this officiating gig, we committed ourselves to represent the game of hockey, USA Hockey, our local group of officials and ourselves as people of integrity who accept the responsibility and guardianship of enforcing the rules in a fair and consistent manner. Most importantly, we must remember that the game is bigger than all of us and that the game itself is what we serve. Those who lose sight of that not only compromise the competitive fairness of the games, they also make life more difficult for all of the officials by damaging the credibility of the officiating community.

An example of this type of unacceptable behavior occurred last season. A Level 2 adult official tended to work his games with a chip on his shoulder. He often created confrontation with coaches, alienated his younger partners with inaccurate advice and disregarded their help in attempting to get some calls and rule applications right. Even though the help they were providing was correct, he chose to maintain his incorrect position that affected the outcome of several games. He also tended to identify certain players and single them out for various infractions and/or on-ice lectures as a means of emphasizing his authority.

Once the trends were identified, concerns were voiced by several parents and coaches to the local assigner and supervisor, who acknowledged they had never seen the official’s work, but would keep throwing him out there working the same teams and levels that had expressed concerns regarding his attitude. This included intentionally assigning him a playoff game involving the coach who was the most vocal in expressing concerns. This official was then instructed to “throw the coach out if he says anything.”

That playoff game went without a hitch – a tight 2-1 game with a couple of close off-side plays and maybe an icing or two missed. In the post-game dressing room, the official in question, in the presence of his partners and the officials scheduled to work the next game, said, “It’s always a great day when you can make one or both of the coaches mad. It’s too bad the white team coach didn’t want to play along today.” The partners sat there in silence until finally a 12-year-old Level 1 official who was working the next game said, “I don’t think that’s right. We’re not supposed to bait coaches.”

The official got dressed quickly and left the room without saying another word. Kind of ironic that it was the innocent 12-year-old that seemed to “get it” and instill a sense of accountability among those in the room. Imagine how any 12-year-old player feels on the ice when they see the official(s) displaying an attitude that is simply not to the standard the game deserves. And yes, more often than not, they can see through those who do not have the level of integrity expected.

Fortunately, these types of officials are few and far between. But they do exist and to simply stick our heads in the sand and not address the concern is irresponsible. Each of us, as officials, has an obligation to behave in a professional manner at all times and take our role seriously. We have made a commitment to approach each game with the understanding that the game is about the players and we should be invisible until the players require us to appear as a result of infractions that occur. Respect is a two-way street and simply putting on the sweater with the USA Hockey crest suggests respect is warranted, but only if supported by your actions.

USA Hockey has an obligation to create a non-threatening environment that promotes respect for officials and an opportunity for officials to improve through education and evaluation. USA Hockey does this through playing rules, points of emphasis, zero tolerance policies and comprehensive education programs for officials, coaches, parents and players.

In return, the game expects USA Hockey officiating members to bring a professional image to every contest and an attitude that creates a positive environment and makes the game better. We realize everyone makes mistakes – it’s part of the game. However, laziness or unprofessional behavior is unacceptable and being creative in rule enforcement and not holding players/coaches accountable for infractions will only make the next team of officials’ jobs much more difficult and set them up for failure.

The reality is that the game official must always hold themselves to the highest level of integrity and behavior both on and off the ice. Maybe that’s fair, or maybe not, but it is the expectation we are required to meet.

As we head into the 2015-16 season, ask yourself if you are willing to meet that expectation. If the answer is yes, welcome back and we look forward to a great season.

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