The Icecats Youth Hockey Program is divided into 5 age groups in accordance with USA Hockey standards, to ensure players learn and compete at the levels that are appropriate:
Mini-Mites (Ages 4-5-6)
The Mini-Mite program is a developmental program. In this program, kids learn to skate or improve their existing skating abilities as well as learn the fundamentals of hockey in a fun environment. We aim to have a low skater to coach ratio to help with the development of these skills. The first half of the season is devoted exclusively to practice, with an emphasis on skating. In the second half of the season, game play vs. other developmental teams is introduced, in addition to practice.
Mites (Ages 7-8)
The Mite program a developmental program. In this program, kids improve on their existing skating abilities as well as learn the fundamentals of hockey. At this level, there is greater emphasis on learning hockey fundamentals including skating with the puck, passing, positions, etc. Game play vs. other developmental teams is introduced early in the season, in addition to regular practice.
Squirts (Ages 9-10)
We introduce full ice hockey with all the game details at the Squirt division. Players start to learn real hockey game rules, positions, game plans, patterns and such. This is not at the expense of progressing with the individual skills development which still is our main goal at the Squirt age. Young players can take an almost unlimited amount of learning at this age, and their progress is vast. We answer this with experienced coaching staff with thorough practice and game planning. Travel league play is introduced at the Squirt level, with competitive league games vs. other travel programs.
Peewees (Ages 11-12)
Players at this age are by now used to playing full ice hockey, they understand game rules and positions, and their fundamental skills are developed. We build up on that, focus more on the details of the techniques of the skills - lateral skating, power skating, fakes and dekes with the puck, shooting, to name a few. Players are also more challenged on the individual bases during the games, every player has a specific role on the team and everything that comes with it - responsibilities for the outcome of the game, healthy pressure to hold their own and often more, learning from winning a game as well as from losing one. This all is conducted in a positive and healthy learning environment.
Bantams (Ages 13-14)
Bantam hockey is an entry way to high school hockey and beyond. Players are self sufficient at the rink, they know how to prepare for the games and practices. We continue to help them with their skills training and at the same time provide coaching that helps them to be successful during games. We work to motivate the players to think about hockey and prepare outside the game or practice day as it promotes a healthy lifestyle and strong team concept.