> Arizona Kachinas

Generating and Embracing Girls’ Hockey Growth in Arizona

Arizona Kachinas’ immediate impact on the sport of hockey was driven by a focused objective that revolved around creating opportunities for every girl in the State of Arizona, to play hockey at their appropriate age and skill level with the hopes of helping them develop a genuine and life-long love of the game.

The Kachinas, recognized as the official girls’ hockey association of the Arizona Coyotes, originally began as a clinic-based program when launched in 2018. The founding members are Lyndsey Fry, Matt Shott, Natalie Rossi, Vanessa Maines, Erin Cain, Jennifer Triant, Katie McGovern.

The tremendous and rapid growth in one year compelled the program to expand into the full-fledged association that it is today.

In total, there are over 150 registered girls playing in the Kachinas association.There are currently five elite Kachinas teams that travel throughout the country to compete, and four development teams that practice and play games at local rinks in the Valley.

Prior to 2019, there have never been more than three girl teams in Arizona during any given year. Now there are nine.

 

And that is only capturing about 27% of all youth girls playing hockey in Arizona, which indicates the enormous potential for growth in the association.

One unique aspect of the program—unlike anything girls in Arizona have experienced before—is that the Kachinas’ coaching staff features women who have experience playing at D1 and D3 NCAA and Club Collegiate levels, the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL), and for National Olympic teams.

Whatever level the players in the program aspire to reach, there is a coach with such experience.

Two programs supplement the Kachinas: The Little Howler’s co-ed learn-to-play program and the Small Frys developmental program.

Small Frys is designed for girls ages 6-12 as a steppingstone after graduating from Little Howler’s, serving as a model program for the NHL for keeping girls in hockey after learn-to-play.

It also features an all-female staff that operates on the belief that the key to sustainable success is to focus on building the base of the girls’ hockey pyramid.

When USA Hockey announced its participation numbers throughout the country for the 2018-19 season, it showed that Arizona ranked first among all U.S.

NHL girls’ markets with growth percentages in both the eight-and-under and 19-and-under age ranges.
Overall, and as a result of the Kachinas association expansion, Arizona ranked first in total percentage growth for female hockey players over the past five years.

Arizona Kachinas

www.azkachinashockey.com
Phoenix
Arizona 85281, US

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