Although the 2023-24 season was filled with many exhilarating moments, February is the month when the NGHL crowns its champions. As the season culminated in three weekends of determination, several teams rose to the occasion, etching their names in the annals of NGHL history.
Leading the charge in the NGHL Championship, Red Division, in a sweep across all age groups, were the formidable Lovell Academy Lions. Dominating their respective categories, the Lions showcased their prowess and teamwork, securing victories in the 14U, 16U, and 19U divisions. Their consistency and dedication throughout the season were truly commendable, setting a high standard for aspiring hockey players everywhere.
In the Futures Division, the Ironbound Elite emerged triumphant in the 12U Red division category, displaying a blend of talent and tenacity that propelled them to success. Similarly, Krivo Hockey demonstrated their skill and determination in the 12U Blue division, clinching the championship title and leaving a lasting impression on fans and competitors alike.
Shifting focus to the NGHL Championship, Blue Division, the Lake City White Caps stood tall as the champions in the 14U category, leaving no doubt about their capabilities on the ice. In the 16U division, the Coeur D’Alene Lady Thunder emerged as worthy champions and inspiring respect with their skillful play. Rounding off the champions in the Blue Division were the Middlesex Bears in the 19U category. Their grit was on full display as they battled their way to victory.
Congratulations to all the champions of the NGHL season. Beyond the thrill of victory and the glory of hoisting the championship trophy, these teams exemplified the values of sportsmanship, teamwork, and dedication that lie at the heart of youth hockey. Their achievements serve as a testament to the countless hours of hard work put in by players, coaches, and staff behind the scenes. As we celebrate these champions, we eagerly anticipate the continued development and success of these talented teams and the promising future that lies ahead for the NGHL.
We also recognize the dedication of the coaches, managers, and supporters who make moments like these possible. Their unwavering commitment to fostering a love for the game and providing a platform for young female athletes to excel is truly inspirational.
Blackstreet Capital Holdings affiliate Black Bear to manage arena in Detroit
Brighton, MI – An affiliate of Black Bear Sports Group, Inc. (“Black Bear”) has taken over the operations of the arena commonly known as the Kensington Valley Ice House (the “Arena”). The Arena features three ice sheets, a bar/restaurant and a concessions area. The Arena is home to the Kensington Valley Hockey Association, Brighton High School, South Lyon Unified, and various other local high schools, clubs and adult hockey leagues. Black Bear, the largest owner-operator of ice rinks in the U.S., was founded by CEO Murry Gunty in 2015.
“Detroit-East Lansing is a powerhouse hockey and figure skating market and we are proud to now operate four facilities and ten sheets of ice in the region,” said Murry Gunty, Founder and CEO of Black Bear. “Hockey is a way of life in Brighton and the surrounding communities, and we look forward to providing customers with a first-class facility for many years to come.”
The Arena is located east of Brighton, right off I-96, and is situated between Black Bear’s other facilities in East Lansing and Ann Arbor. All existing programming at the Arena will continue as planned and Black Bear is pleased to retain the employees at the rink.
“We look forward to working with the clubs and organizations based out of Kensington Valley,” said Ryan Scott, Vice President at Black Bear. “KVHA and Brighton High School are very strong programs with robust community support. We look forward to sharing our hockey resources and supporting the winning traditions these clubs have established.”
The transaction closed on February 1st, 2024.
About Black Bear Sports Group, Inc.
Black Bear Sports Group, Inc. is a privately held company formed by Murry Gunty and Blackstreet Capital Holdings, LLC in 2015 that seeks investments in sports and entertainment facilities, teams, and youth sports events. Black Bear arenas are clean, professionally managed, and offer world-class recreational programs. Black Bear focuses on ice arenas in metropolitan areas with compelling demographics, markets with a National Hockey League club presence, and arenas with existing youth hockey clubs. Black Bear not only features the ability to acquire healthy and stable arenas but also the expertise required to turn around mismanaged or underperforming facilities. The largest owner/operator of ice arenas in the U.S., Black Bear’s footprint totals 37 facilities across the United States with 72 sheets of indoor ice, 4 indoor turf fields, 34 youth hockey clubs, four hockey leagues (Atlantic Hockey Federation, Atlantic Girls Hockey Federation, Tier 1 Hockey Federation, National Girls Hockey League), two tournament businesses (Defender Hockey Tournaments and The Show Tournaments), seven Junior “A” hockey franchises with membership in the United States Hockey League, North American Hockey League, USPHL NCDC, USPHL Premier and Elite, and the Eastern Hockey League, and Foundry Adult Hockey, the largest adult hockey organization in the USA.
National Girls Hockey League and Atlantic Girls Hockey Federation member Princeton Tiger Lilies’ General Manager, Shelley Looney, has recently been honored with induction into the prestigious Beanpot Hall of Fame. Hailing from Brownstown, MI, Looney is a distinguished figure in women’s hockey, having been a key member of the first US Women’s Olympic Hockey team that clinched gold in Nagano in 1998.
During her collegiate years at Northeastern University, Looney, who proudly wore the captain’s “C” for the Huskies in her senior year, showcased exceptional skill, amassing 68 goals and 59 assists for a remarkable 127 points in just 106 games. Her pivotal role in the 1994 Beanpot Championship against Harvard, where she contributed a goal and two assists, played a crucial part in the Huskies’ triumphant 6-2 victory, earning her the coveted Beanpot MVP title.
Recognizing her outstanding contributions, Looney was named to the Beanpot’s 40th Anniversary All-Women’s team in 2018. Adding to her accolades, she was formally inducted into the Hall of Fame last week, just before the 2024 Championship game. Remarkably, her alma mater once again emerged victorious in the tournament, echoing the triumph she and the 1994 Huskies achieved three decades earlier.
In Summer of 2023, Looney assumed the role of General Manager for the Princeton Tiger Lilies, marking a new chapter in her illustrious career. Prior to this, she had distinguished herself as a coach at Lindenwood University, University of Vermont, the Buffalo Beauts (NWHL/PHF) and various coaching roles within the Team USA Women’s National Team programs. As one of the trailblazers of women’s hockey in the United States, Looney boasts an impressive resume, including 1 Olympic Gold (where she scored the game-winning goal in the 1998 Gold Medal Game), 1 Olympic Silver, 7 World Championship Silvers, and 1 World Championship Gold. Her legacy continues to inspire and pave the way for future generations in the sport.
About Princeton Tiger Lilies
Since 1992, Princeton Tiger Lilies has fielded competitive Tier I and Tier II teams at various age levels. PTL is committed to providing elite hockey training, education, mentorship, and resources. They invest in player development at all levels, tailoring their programs specifically to their athletes to help them achieve their goals.
Many of their coaches are women who played at the highest levels, including NCAA Division I, professional, and the national team. They are passionate about growing the game and sharing their knowledge and experience to develop our players into strong, confident leaders.
Repost from MY Hockey Rankings, January 12, 2024
For our Week 17 Games of the Week, we will be tracking girls’ and boys’ tournaments in the Northeastern part of the United States. On the girls’ side, will be highlighting the National Girls Hockey League (NGHL) MLK Winter Classic outside of Philadelphia. The tournament includes teams in the NGHL Red Division at the 14U, 16U, and 19U age levels.
The NGHL Red Division is comprised of USA Girls Tier 1 and top Tier 2 programs. Celebrating its fifth year, the NGHL is dedicated to the promotion and growth of girls’ ice hockey programs across the United States and supports its member clubs’ vision for player-focused development and progression to higher levels. Member and guest teams compete in league play, showcases, and exposure clinics from age 10U through 19U.
This weekend’s NGHL Red MLK Winter Classic gets underway Saturday and runs through Monday at the Revolution Ice Gardens and Bucks County Ice in Warminster, Pa. Both of these facilities are serviced by LiveBarn, so all of the games should be available to watch live and on-demand via webstream.
We are going to be focusing on the 14U Division for the NGHL MLK Winter Classic. This year’s NGHL Red Division MLK Winter Classic features more than 50 games being played by more than 20 teams Saturday through Monday at the 14U, 16U, and 19U levels. For our Week 17 Games of the Week, we are focusing on the 14U Division at the NGHL MLK Winter Classic. At the 14U level, two top-10 Tier 1 National Bound teams will be competing along with the Nos. 18, 28, and 40 Tier 1 teams and the No. 9 Tier 2 club. Play gets underway at 8:30 a.m. Saturday for the 14U teams. Here is a look at the weekend’s top matchups:
Saturday’s Top NGHL 14U Games
- 8:30 a.m. at Bucks County Ice #1 – #9 T2 Philadelphia Jr. Flyers (7), #40 T1 Carolina Jr. Hurricanes (1)
- 10:00 a.m. at Bucks County Ice #1 – #18 Valley Jr. Warriors (7), Syracuse Valley Eagles (1)
- 11:30 a.m. at Bucks County Ice #2 – Lovell Academy Lions (5), #28 Rochester Americans (0)
- 2:30 p.m. at Bucks County Ice #1 – Syracuse Valley Eagles (2), #40 Carolina Jr. Hurricanes (4)
- 4:00 p.m. at Bucks County Ice #1 – #18 Valley Jr. Warriors (5), #28 Rochester Jr. Americans (3)
- 7:45 a.m. at Revolution Ice Gardens #2 – #9 T2 Philadelphia Jr. Flyers (4), Syracuse Valley Eagles (0)
- 8:00 a.m. at Revolution Ice Gardens #1 – #28 Rochester Jr. Americans (4). #40 Carolina Jr. Hurricanes (3)
- 9:30 a.m. at Bucks County Ice #1 – #18 Valley Jr. Warriors (3), #9 T1 Philadelphia Jr. Flyers (4) – SO
In one of the weekend’s matchups, the No. 9 Jr. Flyers tied the game in the third period on Caroline Coen’s power-play goal then won it on Allyson Dembzynski’s shootout goal as goalie Kaitlyn Larson stopped all three Valley attempts. Ashylyn Jacobs and Madeline Allen also scored for the Jr. Flyers, while Cadence Crowley, Lauren Dockray, and Brooke Carlson tallied for the Jr. Warriors.
- 12:40 p.m. at Revolution Ice Gardens #1 – #2 Lovell Academy Lions (5), #40 Carolina Jr. Hurricanes (2)
- 2:00 p.m. at Revolution Ice Gardens #2 – #18 Valley Jr. Warriors (7), #9 T2 Philadelphia Jr. Flyers (1)
- 3:00 p.m. at Bucks County Ice #1 – Syracuse Valley Eagles (0), #28 Rochester Jr. Americans (5)
- 6:00 p.m. at Bucks County Ice #1 – No. 2 Lovell Academy Lions (5), #9 T1 Philadelphia Jr. Flyers (4)
In a matchup of top-10 Tier 1 National Bound USA Girls teams, Lovell sprinted to a 3-0 first-period lead but needed Aubryn Monter’s game-winning shorthanded toal with 1:38 left in regulation after the Jr. Flyers stormed back to tie the game at 4 with 4:12 remaining. Trailing 4-1 late in the second period, Philadelphia got three-straight goals from Allyson Dembzynski, Ashlyn Jacobs, and Madeline Allen to set up Monter’s heroics. Lauren Steward also scored for the Jr. Flyers. Sydney Stoughton, Montana Morris, Grace Hilderbrandt, and Annabelle Lovell scored for the Lions. Peyton Scott stopped 14 shots to earn the win in goal for Lovell, while Ella Rajnys had 27 saves for the Jr. Flyers.
Monday’s Top NGHL 14U Games
- 7:00 a.m. at Revolution Ice Gardens #1 – #18 Valley Jr. Warriors (7), #40 Carolina Jr. Canes (1)
- 8:30 a.m. at Revolution Ice Gardens #1 – #2 Lovell Academy Lions (11), Syracuse Valley Eagles (0)
- 10:00 a.m. at Revolution Ice Gardens #1 – #9 T2 Philadelphia Jr. Flyers (0), #28 Rochester J
In a significant stride towards fostering inclusivity in youth hockey, the Black Bear Youth Hockey Foundation proudly announces its scholarship recipients for the 2023-24 season, providing a total of $44,900 in financial aid to 64 deserving children. Established in 2020, the foundation aims to eliminate financial barriers hindering youth hockey participation, ensuring that every child has the opportunity to experience the camaraderie and life lessons that the sport offers. Through individual grants and sponsored programs, the foundation strives to ease the financial stress many families face in affording equipment and ice time. Youth hockey, known for cultivating friendships, teamwork, and accountability, becomes an accessible avenue for all, nurturing a lifelong passion for the sport.
Stories of Triumph and Dedication:
Michael Edelstein: A dedicated player on the Grundy Senators 12U hockey team, Michael Edelstein’s journey into hockey began at the age of three. Despite financial challenges, Michael’s single mom supports his passion, and the Black Bear Hockey Foundation scholarship serves as a crucial support, enabling him to continue thriving on the ice.
The Turpin Family: June, James, and Jackson Turpin of the Maryland Jr. Black Bears express their deep gratitude as recipients of the Black Bear Hockey Foundation scholarship. Despite facing financial strains due to their dad’s surgery, the scholarship has allowed them to persist in their love for hockey.
Noah Krasner: A devoted player for the Igloo Jaguars since the age of five, Noah Krasner considers hockey more than just a game—it’s his life. The scholarship, received last year, proved transformative as Noah moved to the 16u level, enhancing both his skills and maturity. Noah’s unwavering work ethic and commitment make him a deserving candidate for ongoing support.
Paulina Rucz: Overcoming the challenges of a rare heart defect, Paulina Rucz, a resilient player on the 16U Elite Islanders Girls team, has defied the odds. The scholarship, received last year, eased financial strain for her mother amid layoffs. Paulina’s remarkable achievements, including MVP and Top Scorer, reflect her dedication, and she looks forward to the continued support of the scholarship in pursuing her dreams in the National Women’s Hockey League.
On this Giving Tuesday, consider contributing to the Black Bear Youth Hockey Foundation to help future hockey players. Your donation can make a lasting impact, creating opportunities for aspiring athletes to engage in the transformative power of sport.
Richard G Volgraf (Jr.)
Black Bear Youth Hockey Foundation was formed in 2020 to remove financial barriers to youth hockey. Through individual grants and sponsored programming, the foundation’s goal is to increase American youth hockey participation and ease the financial stress that many families undertake to afford equipment and ice time. Youth hockey cultivates friendships, teamwork and accountability. Most importantly, players develop a lifetime passion for the sport. Join us today and donate as we lend a hand to the next generation of hockey players to create opportunities for all children to play ice hockey.
Scholarship applications will open May 1st, 2023 for the upcoming 2023-24 hockey season.
First round applications will be open until June 15th and recipients will be notified by July 10th. Second round for players trying out in the Fall will be August 1st – September 15th and recipients will be notified by October 10th.
Who can apply?
- Athletes 18 and under are eligible to apply for a scholarship once per calendar year
- Complete the application in its entirety, including the attachment below
- If your application is approved for a scholarship you will be notified by email
Blackstreet Capital Holdings affiliate Black Bear to manage East Lansing Arena
East Lansing, MI – An affiliate of Black Bear Sports Group, Inc. (“Black Bear”) has acquired the arena commonly known as Suburban Ice East Lansing, which, as part of the transaction, has been renamed the East Lansing Ice Cube (the “Arena”). The Arena features two ice sheets, a gym, and a pro shop. The Arena is home to the Lansing Hockey Club, the Lansing Skating Club, and certain Biggby Youth Hockey AAA teams. Black Bear, the largest owner-operator of ice rinks in the U.S., was founded by CEO Murry Gunty in 2015.
“We’re proud to continue expansion in Michigan,” said Murry Gunty, Founder and CEO of Black Bear, “We believe it is one of the top, if not the very best hockey and figure skating market in the country. Tom Anastos and the Suburban Ice team were excellent operators in Lansing and we are excited to continue to operate a first-class facility for the community.”
The Arena was built in 1999 and is located next to Michigan State University. Lansing Hockey Club, Lansing Skating Club, Biggby Youth AAA Hockey, and existing adult, high school and learn to play programs will continue to be the largest users of ice at the Arena. All existing programming will continue as planned and Black Bear is pleased to retain the employees at the rink.
“We are stepping into a community with a rich skating and hockey history,” said Ryan Scott, Vice President at Black Bear. “Many youth and adult skaters are proud to call this Arena their home ice and we are excited to be a part of the next chapter of developing the Greater Lansing area’s next skaters.”
About Black Bear Sports Group, Inc.
Black Bear Sports Group, Inc. is a privately held company formed by Murry Gunty and Blackstreet Capital Holdings, LLC in 2015 that seeks investments in sports and entertainment facilities, teams, and youth sports events. Black Bear arenas are clean, professionally managed, and offer world-class recreational programs. Black Bear focuses on ice arenas in metropolitan areas with compelling demographics, markets with a National Hockey League club presence, and arenas with existing youth hockey clubs. Black Bear not only features the ability to acquire healthy and stable arenas but also the expertise required to turn around mismanaged or underperforming facilities. The largest owner/operator of ice arenas in the U.S., Black Bear’s footprint totals 35 facilities across the United States with 66 sheets of indoor ice, four indoor turf fields, 34 youth hockey clubs, four hockey leagues (Atlantic Hockey Federation, Atlantic Girls Hockey Federation, Tier 1 Hockey Federation, and Foundry Adult Hockey), two tournament businesses (Defender Hockey Tournaments and the National Girls Hockey League), and seven Junior “A” hockey franchises with membership in the United States Hockey League, North American Hockey League, USPHL NCDC, USPHL Premier and Elite, and the Eastern Hockey League.
Source: Black Bear Sports Group
Games will count in both standings for members
The National Girls Hockey League and Atlantic Girls Hockey Federation have teamed up to offer a unique 5-6 event membership package that includes showcases and playoffs for the AGHF and tournaments and National Championships for the NGHL. The AGHF currently serves as the primary league for Mid-Atlantic based clubs with opportunities for scheduling partnerships and partial season membership, while the NGHL acts as a showcase league providing a supplementary schedule for teams located anywhere in the U.S. with event locations primarily hosted in the East, Central, and Mountain states regions.
The AGHF/NGHL combo package is the perfect solution for clubs outside of the East Coast geography that cannot schedule home and away loose games to meet AGHF requirements, but are seeking top competition. This package allows clubs to double-count NGHL games in the standings of both the NGHL and the AGHF. Games played at NGHL events count toward the AGHF’s home and away “loose games” minimum to qualify for AGHF playoffs!
Participating teams receive at least 2 AGHF showcases, AGHF playoffs, and 3 NGHL events for a total of 5-6 weekends and a minimum of 20-23 games. Teams will compete in separate playoff championships for the NGHL Championship and the AGHF Championship.
|AGHF Playoff Additional Fee
|10U and 12U
|NGHL Membership (2 events + playoffs), 2 AGHF Showcases and Playoffs
Everyone makes Playoffs for 10U-12U
|NGHL Membership (2 events + playoffs), 2 AGHF Showcases and Playoffs
|16U and 19U
|NGHL Membership (2 events + playoffs), 2 AGHF Showcases and Playoffs
The AGHF/NGHL combo package is an excellent opportunity for clubs to play against teams from around the country and compete at a high level in both leagues. The first 5 teams to sign will receive $500 off the package price. Don’t miss out on this chance to showcase your team’s talent and compete for championship titles. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about the membership package and how to register.
Congratulations to the NGHL members who made it to USA Hockey’s Nationals Championships, March 30 – April 3, 2023.
- Florida Alliance, 16UAAA
- Florida Alliance, 19UAAA
- Princeton Tiger Lilies, 14UAA
- New Jersey Bandits, 16UAA
- St. James Hockey, 16UAA
- Utah Lady Grizzlies, 16UAA
- Philadelphia Little Flyers, 19UAA
- Syracuse Valley Eagles, 19UAA
- Arizona Kachinas, 19UAA
CONGRATULATIONS TO THESE USA CHAMPIONS AND FINALISTS
The Blue Division Championships were held in St. Louis, MP over the weekend of February 18-20, 2023. Games were held at the beautiful Centene Community Ice Center, our 3rd year at this stunning facility. Our Members-only event hosted 18 teams in the 14U, 16U, and 19U divisions. We saw some exciting hockey over the weekend with teams from Arizona, Idaho, Nebraska, Texas, Utah, Ohio, Florida, Virginia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. It is always gratifying to see such passionate and talented players! We appreciate that hockey travel can be a lot and appreciate our team’s commitment to the NGHL.
CONGRATULATIONS TO THESE 2022-23 CHAMPIONS!
The NGHL acknowledges Top Performers at each age division for NGHL Members at our events.
PATHWAY TO COLLEGE
A big THANK YOU to Lindenwood ACHA Coach Andrew Miller, who joined us to talk about the pathway to college hockey.
There were documenting the event on social and have lots of great pictures in our Instagram Highlights – Blue Cup 2023. Take a look.
Lastly, we’d like to thank our event sponsors Biosteel. BioSteel was very generous in providing sugar-free sports hydration mix, water bottles, and towels for the athletes. They’ve also offered our community 30% off all products at biosteel.com. Use code: NGHL30 when ordering online BioSteel.com.
Event apparel is available for purchase online…