Welcome to the home of the
The purpose of the DVHL is to promote, govern and improve organized hockey in the Delaware Valley area by authority of USA Hockey, Inc.: to foster among its members, supporters and teams a general cooperative spirit; to maintain and increase interest in the game of hockey; to have and exercise a general care, supervision and direction over the playing interest of its teams and players.
USA Hockey and the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association held the 12th annual USA Hockey Disabled Hockey Festival April 7-10 in Frazer, Michigan. The Festival takes place in different parts of the country each year with the mission of the Festival providing a fun and exciting weekend of hockey in a grant event as well as promote and grow disabled hockey through out the country.
The USA Disabled Hockey Festival is the largest disabled hockey event of its kind, bringing together all four disabled disciplines in one location. For the second year, blind/visually impaired hockey was also part of the event with two teams playing a three game series.
The DVHL is proud to say that our Bennett Blazers team brought home the gold medal for the A division of Sled Hockey by beating the GR Sled Wings 7-3. Our Virtua Wings of Steel brought home the silver medal for the C division of Sled Hockey, losing to Tamp Bay 4-2 in the final. We are proud of each of our teams and look forward to their continued support and growing the sport of sled hockey!
Congratulations to the Delaware Ducks Midget 18AA team for winning the National Championship title at the USA Hockey National Tournament! The Ducks fought a hard battle against the New England Edge winning in double overtime with a score of 2-1!
Jimmy Schickling scored in the first period to tie the game at 1-1. There were lots of shots in the 2nd and 3rd period, but no additional goals for either team in regulation play. During the 2nd OT period, Jeremy DeWit scored the game winning goal! The Ducks went undefeated throughout the entire tournament. Congratulations to all! Well done!
Every year brings new challenges and every year there is always someone who steps up and makes a difference and for the last 3 years it has been Chip Perkins and his Philadelphia Blazers Hockey Club.
Chip has been the President of the club for the last 3 years volunteering his time to now oversee 10 teams and over 175 kids who play hockey. But this story is not about hockey, it's about making a difference in the community and feeding families who are less fortunate then ourselves.
After accepting the position as President, one of the things he wanted to accomplish was not only having the kids successful on the ice but off it as well and what a better way than to team up with a local business - Academy Injury and Health Center in the NE and the Helping Hands of the NE to feed the hungry. In 2015 they were able to feed 500 families in the Greater Northeast Philadelphia area and Chip Perkins along with his Blazer families helped to make that happen!
The DVHL will be starting a new alumni association and we need your help! Ben Umstead, VP, has agreed to take on this project and would appreciate it if you could send him any players names and what school they went to from the past and where our players from the upcoming season and where they will be going. Ben can be reached at Ben@powerplayrinks.com. Please help us to get this started!
110 participants registered for their latest Try Hockey for Free event! This is the largest number ever to register for the club. Kudos to the coaches, players and parents from the Midget 16A Orange and Pee Wee AA teams for their outstanding help with the event.
Rock for Hockey's goal is to provide material support to US born hockey players in the mid-Atlantic region that demonstrates a need for assistance in order to continue playing the game. Potential recipients must demonstrate character as well as commitment to the game. Rock for Hockey is proud to announce that four families were award assistance for the 2015-16 season totally $3325. Families from the following organizations will receive assistance: Mighty Moose Girls Ice Hockey (PA), Exton Kings Ice Hockey (PA-DVHL), Kingsway Ice Hockey (NJ) and the Delaware Stars Youth Ice Hockey (DE-DVHL).
For more information on Rock for Hockey, please go to their website: www.rockforhockey.org
“There it is! Get it, Sharks! Get it!” shouted a fan standing just off the ice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington recently, watching kids on the D.C. Sled Sharks compete against the New York Sled Rangers.
“Get it out of there!” another fan yelled.
With a boom, two skaters collided and hit the boards, or the rink wall. But the play didn’t stop, and the kids continued to hustle to get into position, pass and score.
It may sound like any other ice hockey game, complete with checking, meaning a player can use his body to try to take the puck away from his opponent. But this is a different kind of hockey called sled hockey, and most of the kids who play have a disability that limits the use of their legs.
Sleds instead of skates
“I heard about [sled hockey], and at the time I couldn’t play any sports, so I really wanted to try it and I liked it,” said Alex Green, a fourth-grader at Gravely Elementary School in Haymarket who lost full use of his legs because he has cancer. He loved the game from the start and has been playing for two years.
“I like that it’s competitive,” Alex said.
Six players from each team are on the ice at a time, sitting in sleds that have blades on the bottom. They move around the ice by using two sticks with spikes at one end. (Goalies use only one stick.) Players use the other end of the sticks to hit the puck. The game requires balance, stick-handling skills and upper-body strength. (Some kids, because of their disability or lack of strength, are allowed to have an adult push them on the ice.)
“It’s challenging trying to score goals and trying to catch up with the other fast players on the team,” Alex said.
Where it came from
Sled hockey, or sledge hockey as it’s known outside the United States, started in the 1960s in Sweden, a country in Northern Europe. In 1994, it became a sport in the Paralympics, which is a worldwide athletic competition for disabled athletes. The 2014 Paralympics started on Friday in Sochi, Russia, and will run through Sunday. Sled hockey is one of the most popular of the five Winter Paralympic sports.
Kids have also become interested. D.C. Sled Sharks started in 2007. Today, 12 girls and boys, ages 6 to 19, skate on the team, competing against six other teams on the East Coast, from September to March. This weekend they will compete in the league finals in Pennsylvania.
“You got time! Backhand! Go, Connor!” shouted Sled Sharks coach Mike Pool as Connor Delaney, a sixth-grader at Wakefield Forest Elementary School in Fairfax, faced the opposing goal and whacked the puck. Connor watched as it sailed into the goal.
“Woohoo!” the crowd cheered and clapped.
The Sled Sharks won the game, 6-3.
Then the two teams lined up in the middle of the ice and gave each other high-fives. “It feels good to just get on the ice and skate,” Alex said. “It unleashes your inner core of hockey.”
The NHL Diversity Program Celebrates 20 Years Of Proving That Hockey Is For Everybody By: Harry Thompson, USA Hockey Magazine
Scattered among the artifacts and mementoes dotting the walls of his USA Hockey office, one of Lou Vairo's most prized possessions is a grainy black and white photograph of Willie O'Ree in action during a National Hockey League game.
What makes this image so special for USA Hockey's Director of Special Projects is not just that O'Ree, the first black player to skate in the NHL, signed the photo to his dear friend, but Vairo was at Madison Square Garden on that particular night, and still remembers it like it was yesterday. A roller hockey player growing up in Brooklyn, N.Y., Vairo tried to persuade his black friend Ralph Dease to join his team in 1960. He said he wouldn't because Negroes didn't play hockey, Vairo remembers. I said, Yeah, they do. There's a guy playing for Boston. His name is Willie O'Ree. So they hopped the bus and paid 50 cents each to watch the Bruins play the Rangers with a particular focus paid to O'Ree. Ralph joined our roller hockey team the next day, Vairo fondly recalls. It wouldn't be the last time Vairo recruited minorities into the game he loves.
-Creating Open Ice-
The story of O'Ree becoming the first black player in the NHL is an important part of hockey heritage, but the work done by dedicated volunteers at the grassroots level is the real untold story of breaking down the barriers that have historically kept minorities off the ice. The creation of the NHL/USA Hockey Diversity Program, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, is yet another chapter in the long process of proving that Hockey is for Everybody. Like most hockey accomplishments, the creation of the program was a team effort.
The first meeting took place in Boston in 1993 at the prompting of NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and USA Hockey's Executive Director Dave Ogrean, and included Vairo, Bryant McBride of the NHL and a number of individuals who were already running programs in inner cities around the country.
Great things were already being done by the Jack Adams program in Detroit, the Mariucci Inner City group in Minneapolis, New York's Ice Hockey in Harlem and the Ft. DuPont program in Washington, D.C., but this brainstorming session was as much about sharing ideas that worked in their respective communities as it was about what else could be done to open the game to even more inner city kids.
It was something that Bettman and the NHL cared deeply about, and they found USA Hockey an eager partner in creating a system of working together to break down the barriers into the game, whether it was equipment procurement, ice rental or explaining hockey's foreign culture to inner city kids and their parents in the hopes that they would give the sport a try.
And it wasn't about the NHL writing big checks, says McBride, the NHL's Director of New Business Development, who along with Vairo, was the driving force behind the program. It was about, rather than just giving people fish, we did our best to teach a lot of people how to fish.
-Hockey's Jackie Robinson-
At one point during the meeting, the conversation turned to Jackie Robinson, who broke baseballs color barrier in 1947, and someone wondered aloud if the day would ever come when hockey would have its own pioneer. That was Vairo's cue to regale them with the story of ORee.
Born in Fredericton, New Brunswick, O'Ree, the youngest of 13 children, grew up with the same aspirations of most Canadian youngsters of playing in the NHL. The thought that no other blacks were in the league was not going to slow him down.
Then, when he was playing in a Junior game with the Quebec Aces, a slap shot deflected off an opponents stick and struck O'Rees face. Having lost 95 percent of his vision in his right eye, doctors told O'Ree that his hockey career was over before it had even begun.
When he returned to the ice several months later, O'Ree learned to compensate for his lack of vision and continued to impress scouts and was eventually offered a tryout with the Bruins. Several years later, on Jan. 18, 1958, O'Ree would make history when he suited up in an NHL game at the hallowed Montreal Forum against the Canadiens.
Even today a lot of people don't realize that the 21 years I played that I did so with one eye, even when I was up with the Bruins, O'Ree says. They say that's impossible, how did you do it? I say, it is impossible, but if you set your mind to doing something you can make things happen.
That's the message O'Ree continues to preach now in his 16th year as the face of the NHL Diversity Program. Willie is the epitome of Hockey is for Everyone, and that its an inclusive, great sport that every kid should have the opportunity to play, says McBride, who hired O'Ree at Vairo's bequest. We could not have asked for or found a better spokesperson and a better guy to roll up his sleeves and do whatever was asked of him to be an unbelievable ambassador for the game.
-The Torch Is Passed-
O'Rees NHL career lasted only 45 games but his impact on the game is still felt today. He helped open the door for the next generation of minority players who would leave their mark on the game. Among them were Grant Fuhr, who backstopped the Edmonton Oilers to four Stanley Cups; Jarome Iginla, a member of the 2010 Olympic gold-medal winning Canadian Olympic Team; and Mike Grier, who played more than 1,000 NHL games.
The son of an NFL executive, Grier grew up in a small suburb of Boston and began playing when he was 5. With the size and determination to knock down any barrier in his way, Grier worked his way onto the Boston University squad that won the 1995 national championship and eventually into the NHL. Like O'Ree, Grier said the racism he encountered while playing youth hockey was not enough to stop him from achieving his dreams. It never really affected me, Grier recalls. I never saw myself as anything except just another hockey player.
To its credit, the NHL has taken an active role in promoting diversity throughout the league. Each player is required to enroll in a diversity training seminar before the beginning of each season as the league has consistently sent a strong message that racially-motivated verbal abuse will not be tolerated. A kid just wants to play hockey, he doesn't care about the color of his skin or how much his parent is paid, says Neal Henderson, who was awarded the Wm. Thayer Tutt Award as USA Hockey's most outstanding volunteer in 2007 for his work with Ft. DuPont Hockey. The only thing he looks at is if he can get the puck and score a goal.
-The Future Is Now-
Now its time for the next generation to carry that puck forward. And there are a number of great players poised to do that. Among them is Seth Jones, who made history as the first African-American selected in the first round of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.
The son of former NBA star Popeye Jones, the Dallas native chose hockey at an early age and quickly caught the eye of pro scouts with his size and athleticism. And while many have focused on the color of his skin, Jones is hoping that his play on the ice and the way he carries himself off it will help others see him as just another hockey player.
I want to be looked at as someone who has good character, and people know me for the person I am, not my color, he says. Still, Jones understands that his presence in the game can inspire other little boys and girls to give hockey a try. Anytime I, or anyone, can help to get kids into the sport of hockey or any sport, as a matter of fact its huge, he says.
On the horizon stand other talented players, such as Jordan Samuels-Thomas, who helped lead Quinnipiac University to the NCAA title game, and Keegan Iverson, who was named Player of the Game at the 2013 CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game in Pittsburgh.
Sometimes these guys don't even have to say anything, O'Ree says. Just be there and let the kids see them and let them know what they've done and the goals that they have set for themselves. And just to show them that anything is possible.
-Much More To Do-
Since its inception, the NHL Diversity Program has provided more than 40,000 economically disadvantaged boys and girls of all ages with the opportunity to play hockey. But even those who have worked so diligently on the front lines acknowledge that there is still a long way to go.
The game needs even greater exposure in the inner cities if it is going to compete with sports like football and basketball for athletic talent, whether that means more role models or greater exposure through television. Still, few doubt that the day will come when an African-American athlete will bridge the cultural gap in hockey the way that Tiger Woods has done in golf. When that day comes, the sky's the limit for how far the game can go in the United States. And if its not going to be Seth Jones its going to be another kid, McBride says. That kid may be in diapers or that kid could be in the Junior leagues, but there will be that breakthrough athlete who opens eyes and makes everyone go wow.
An unmonitored locker room exposes the minor participants to possible physical and emotional harm. It is the responsibility of each organization and coach to provide a safe program on and off the ice.
According to the USA Hockey SafeSport Program Manual: It is the policy of USA Hockey that all USA Hockey Member Programs have at least one responsible screened adult present monitoring the locker room during all team events to assure that only participants (coaches and players), approved team personnel and family members are permitted in the locker room and to supervise the conduct in the locker room. Acceptable locker room monitoring could include having a locker room monitor in the immediate vicinity (near the door) outside the locker room that also regularly and frequently enters the locker room to monitor activity inside. If the monitor(s) are inside, then it is strongly recommended that there be two monitors, both of which have been screened. A local program or team may impose or follow stricter monitoring requirements. Any individual meetings between a minor participant and a coach or other adult in a locker room shall require that a second responsible adult be present. The responsible adult that monitors and supervises the locker room shall have been screened in compliance with the SafeSport Program Handbook and District.
All local programs shall publish locker room policies to the parents of all minor participants that are specific to the facilities they regularly use. The local program’s policies shall include the program’s (a) practices for supervising and monitoring locker rooms and changing areas; (b) permission or lack of permission for parents to be in the locker rooms; (c) prohibited conduct, including at least all forms of abuse and misconduct prohibited by USA Hockey; and (d) specific policies regarding the use of mobile electronic devices and phones and prohibiting the use of a device’s recording capabilities. A sample locker room policy form may be found at www.usahockey.com/safesport.
It is also reminded if more than one locker room is used by the team each locker room must be monitored. Example, you coach a youth team that has both male and female participants the locker room for each must be monitored by a properly screened adult.
USA Hockey has now mandated that each organization have a SafeSport coordinator. A handbook is now available for all coordinators to download along with a copy of the different policies and required training of USA Hockey's and its member programs'. Please go to the website link: http://www.usahockey.com/SafeSport.aspx to review this new policy and to download all of the required paperwork for your coordinator!
Each club coordinator must take the course and download/complete their SafeSport certificate. All completed certificates are to be emailed to Pete Rothman, Atlantic District SafeSport Coordinator, at email@example.com. All certificates must be completed by September 30 and sent to Pete for confirmation. The training website link to USA Hockey is: http://assets.ngin.com/attachments/document/0042/6452/USA_Hockey_SafeSport_Program_Handbook.pdf or you can always find it on the SafeSport webpage at www.usahockey.com/safesport. For a copy of a coordinators checklist, click here!
Emails were sent to all USA Hockey local programs, and to all coaches and referees registered in 2013-14, to notify them of the requirements for SafeSport Training for the 2014-15 season, and to encourage them to get a head start by completing the training this summer. Rather than copying you on all three emails, we are sending you this email with links to each of the emails below:
How to Take
USA Hockey is now requiring that all coaches, both head and assistants, must complete the SafeSport Training Program. This is in addition to accreditation, modules and screenings. All coaching requirements are mandated to be received by December 31. Screening by the Atlantic District is required to be completed by October 1 online at www.atlantic-district.org. All coaches, both head and assistants, will be checked throughout the season, at our DVHL playoffs and Atlantic District tournaments. If you do not meet the proper requirements, you will not be permitted on the bench!
Reminder of what a coach needs:
Below are the links for you to use for on site training for the Pointstreak terminals in all of your rinks. Please feel free to use them to setup group training sessions if you need to as well as print them off for yourself to use!