Northwestern Hockey's approach to Mite Hockey (U8) is guided by USA Hockey’s “American Development Model” (ADM), which, among other features, focuses our U8 players on cross ice or small ice games.
The following is an outline of Northwestern Hockey's offerings for children ages 8 and under.
In addition to our Intro to Hockey program for our newest skaters, we will offer 3 levels of hockey for U8 players.
Cross Ice “Junior” Division (U6). This is for skaters with some hockey experience who are 5 and 6 years old. Seven year old skaters could be in this division based on their size or skill level. There will be 1 weekend practice and 1 weekend cross ice game starting in mid-October and running through the end of February. In addition, skaters can attend a weeknight skills clinic at Rumsey Hall for free running from December through February. Players will be divided into teams that are as competitively even as possible.
Cross Ice “Senior” Division (U8). This is for skaters with more hockey experience who are 7 and 8 years old. Six year old skaters could be in this division based on their size or skill level. There will be 2 practices (1 on the weekend and 1 on a weeknight) and 1 weekend cross ice game starting in mid-October and running through the end of February. In addition, skaters can attend a weeknight skills clinic at Rumsey Hall for free running from December through February. Players will be divided into teams that are as competitively even as possible.
Mite Travel Team. This is for skaters who are 7 and 8 years old (2006 and 2007 birth years only) looking for competitive cross ice games against other programs around Connecticut. The Mite travel team will play 2 mostly cross ice games each weekend (1 home and 1 away) and will have 2 half-ice weeknight practices per week along with professionally run clinics throughout the season. Up to 8 of the games that the team plays will be full ice games during the season and the team will participate in one mid-season tournament the year-end, full ice Connecticut State Tournament. The season will begin in September with a few pre-season practices, but then begins a regular schedule by early October and runs through the end of February or early March. The team is expected to be limited to 15 skaters. Players wishing to play on the Mite travel team must attend tryouts at the Danbury Ice Arena that are held in the spring each year. Update (September 2014): The Mite Travel team is full.
There is no cost to attend tryouts but Online Registration is required. Complete tryout information is posted on the Northwestern Hockey web site. Players not making the Mite travel team may play in the Cross Ice League.
For 2014/15, the Cross Ice “Junior” U6 fee is $300 and Cross Ice “Senior” U8 is $600. The fee for the Mite Travel team is $1,200.
The programs available on the Mite level are summarized as follows:
Weekly Skills Clinics
Cross Ice (Jr)
Cross Ice (Sr)
As a Board, we are excited about the coming season and the ones that will follow. We feel the ADM approach will yield immediate results, allowing our youngest skaters to develop their skills more rapidly. If you have any questions about our approach to Mite hockey, please feel free to contact