LA Lions Joins NGHL
The National Girls Hockey League is proud to announce its new member in the LA Lions for the 2020-2021 Season!
The LA Lions is an all-girls hockey club founded by Becki Winckler and Megan Rivera (BC alum and former LA King employee) and operated by the LA Jr. Kings. It started with a small core group of girls that were playing on different boys travel teams. This group had all been on the same in-house team previously for several seasons and had developed a special bond.
Becki was instrumental in working to keep the team together, amidst doubt that it could not be done successfully, due to past attempts that failed. Gaining the support of the LA Junior Kings, the young LA Lions teams entered their first tournament over Labor Day weekend in 2015 as a single Mite team and placed 3rd out of 7 against all-boys teams ( having never practiced as a team). The families were ecstatic, and Becki knew this team had something special. This began the grassroots efforts to grow girls hockey in LA. The Lions started having open clinics and pounding the pavement getting the word out looking for girls. Within a month they had about 25 girls. Shortly after, they were branded by the NHL Club, LA Kings. The Kings provided an amazing name and logo and announced the new program during a game at the Staples Center.
While the La Lions flagship girls team at the Peewee level is successful on the ice, they continue to face struggles as a new club. Retention, travel and the cost to play are the three main hurdles they hope to overcome as they continue to grow. There is not a local “girls league” to play in so their weekly games are against boys teams and most of their teams don’t typically experience success in this model. GM, Tori Pizzuto and Becki are constantly trying to find a solution for and also change/create the culture in LA for girls hockey. ”We think the NGHL is a crucial step in that direction and supports our vision. We are extremely excited about next year!!”