Pelkey Excels On World Stage

UVM's Amanda Pelkey protects the puck from a Canadian defender at the 2014 Four Nations Cup

UVM’s Amanda Pelkey protects the puck from a Canadian defender at the 2014 Four Nations Cup

Earlier this month, Montpelier, VT native and UVM Senior forward Amanda Pelkey became the state’s first female hockey player ever selected to a senior national team for USA Hockey. It has been a goal of Pelkey’s to represent the Red, White, and Blue on the world stage. She finally got her chance with Team USA at the Four Nations Cup in Kamloops, British Columbia a few weeks ago.

GMD caught up with Amanda about her experience with the national team for the first time.

GMD: What did it feel like when you found out you made the Four Nations roster? How exactly did you find out?

AP: I got an email saying (US National Women’s Team) Coach Klee and Reagan Carey were going to be contacting me but I did not know what the phone call was about. The phone call time was during (a UVM) practice. I informed my coaches and gave my athletic trainer my phone on the bench for when they called. It was quite suspenseful waiting for that call! When they called, I took my phone and went underneath the bleachers and talked to them for about 10 minutes. This is when they informed me that I will be part of the USA Women’s National Team competing in the Four Nations Cup. Before the call, my coach, Jim Plumer, gave me a hint that something good was about to happen. I teared up a little bit during the call, I’m not going to lie. Right then I pulled myself together and joined my team back on the ice to finish the rest of practice.

GMD: What was your relationship like with coach Klee? Obviously you got to know him this summer while playing with the U-22 team. Did you get to know him at all on a personal level or was it mostly about hockey?

AP: My relationship with Coach Klee and the rest of the staff is great. He’s an awesome coach, very technical with the small details about the game but also allows room for creativity. He also is very outgoing with a lot of humor so it keeps us all pretty lose and not so much uptight as everyone may think! Our practices were so fun, full of energy, especially when Coach Klee joins in on the drills and plays defense; we all make sure to score when it’s a 2 on 1. On a more serious note, everyone on the team respects Coach Klee whenever he has something critical to say. Every time I made a mistake during a shift, he corrected it right away. Every piece of advice he gave me, I took to heart and will use the advice to take my game to the next level. Everyone got to know him on a personal level as well.

GMD: Who was your roommate during the Tournament?

AP: My roommate was Shiann Darkangelo. She plays at Quinnipiac University. I have known her since we were 15 and played one year with her on the U-18 National Team. We had a great time!

GMD: What was your daily routine/schedule like?

AP: Our schedule was pretty flexible while we were in Kamloops.  A lot of the girl’s families were there to watch, including mine, so it was nice to be able to have enough time to visit with them, shop, and go to dinner at night. Since Kamloops was 3 hours behind eastern time it took a couple of days to get used to the time difference. Shiann and I would wake up at 6:00 am and not be able to go back to sleep. Breakfast was usually from 8:30-9:30 and we could go whenever we wanted which was nice because all of us have different routines on game day. Shortly after that, we would leave for the rink for a short 30 minutes pre game skate. After that we would head back to the hotel and have just enough time to get a pre game flush (massage of the legs,) a solid 45 minute nap in and of course the famous pre game coffee run to Starbucks which most of the team participated in. We would get to the rink about 2 and a half hours before the game. After the game we had the rest of the night to relax and get dinner with our parents. A lot of other free time consisted of a couple teammates scaring the rest of the team. Hilary Knight and Brianne McLaughin Bittle had a lot of time on their hands one day. They scared everyone by peaking in our hotel windows with old man costume masks. It was terrifying. They also bought fake cock crouches and put them outside our hotel doors so when we opened it, we screamed. And we did. So, along with the excitement and hard work of practices and games there was a lot of time for other activities!

GMD: With the tournament being in Canada, there were some big crowds. How did you & the team handle the noise level?

AP: I think that was the biggest crowd I have ever played in front of and it was absolutely thrilling! Although every time that Canada touched the puck the crowd screamed. At first, it took some time to shake off the nerves and the butterflies and just play hockey. After I took a couple minutes to calm down, the crowd kept mine and the team’s energy level up.

GMD: This was your first time with the senior national team. The US and Canada have a storied and fierce rivalry. What was it like to be a part of?

AP: Sometimes it’s hard to come up with the words to describe the feeling. It felt like a rush of adrenaline knowing that every play that happened during the game was crucial. With that being said, I had to find a happy medium to be patient with the puck and not rush and force plays to happen. The rivalry is always going be a big one. I always call it a healthy competition. You can tell amongst players that there is a bitterness from past events like 2014 Sochi Olympics but also a respect too amongst the players because they share such important moments with each other. Even if you are rivalries.

GMD: What are one or two of your favorite moments from your 4-Nations experience.

AP: I know this may sound cliche, but walking into the locker room and seeing the jersey again was one of my favorite moments. I smiled right when I saw it and just took a deep breathe and soaked it all in. The other favorite moment was before the gold medal game looking around the locker room at everyone and seeing how everyone was acting when they were fully dressed preparing for the game. Everyone was preparing differently. Silent at first. Then slowly the excitement sparked. Just knowing that everyone in the locker room was thinking of the same thing makes you feel so connected as a team. Even when there are no words being spoken. The only thing we had in our minds, especially the veterans, was simply, ‘Beat Canada’.

GMD Holiday Events Announced

2nd Annual Holiday Skills Clinic & Intro to Yoga Class for Girls/Women

1st Annual Cross-Ice Holliday Tournament

Monday December 22nd at Gutterson Fieldhouse

On Monday, December 22nd, Green Mountain Development will hold its 2nd Annual Holiday Girls/Women’s Skills Clinic & Intro to Yoga Class at Gutterson Fieldhouse. Registration is open to girls/women ages 5 to adults (18 yrs. +). Players will receive 1-hour of on-ice skill instruction from NCAA Division I & III coaches and current players to help improve your SKATING, PASSING, SHOOTING & PUCK CONTROL skills in a FUN & CHALLENGING environment. Our certified yoga instructors will help rejuvenate your body and mind after you hit the ice! The Clinic and yoga class is ONLY $35 or you may register for just the clinic for $20.

Later in the afternoon you can put those skills to work by playing in our 1st Annual 3v3 Cross-Ice Tournament! Create a team with your friends or family. We offer a girls only division for the more competitive player or a CO-ED division which is great for families or teams who want to just have some fun! Uncle Bob and Aunt Sally are in town from Florida? Good, get them some skates and on your team!

To register or for more information, please click on the links below!

2nd Annual Girls/Women’s Holiday Skills Clinic & Intro to Yoga Class

1st Annual 3v3 Cross-Ice Holiday Tournament

We’ve also partnered with Toys For Tots of Northern Vermont. Those who want to make a donation of an unwrapped toy (no more than $30 please) may bring them to be collected on Monday Dec. 22nd before their event.

Please visit Green Mountain Development for more details.

Hockey Is Back In Vermont

It’s November and the youth hockey season is finally in full swing. The High School season is on deck and set to begin games soon. Vermont’s NCAA teams have been underway for a few weeks now. UVM’s season kicked off in late September while Castleton State, Middlebury, Norwich and St. Mike’s hit the ice in late October and early November.

It’s great to see hockey across Vermont is back!

Welcome to the 2014 – 2015 season. At vtgirlshockey.com, we’ll report on Vermont’s youth, high school, and NCAA teams. We’ll also cover topics, provide articles & stories that every player, coach, and parent should want to read and take note of. As our readers, you play an important role on our team and to the girls hockey community of Vermont. We want your participation. So please, comment on our posts, send us your questions and give us your feedback. We look forward to hearing from you.

Later this week, we’ll catch up with UVM senior forward Amanda Pelkey about her experience with Team USA at last weeks 4 Nations Cup event in Kamloops, British Columbia. Have a question for Amanda? Email us at vtgirlshockey@greenmountaindevelopment.com and your question could be used!

GMD Hires Melissa Bizzari As Program Director

Bizzari Pic GMD is excited to announce Melissa Bizzari will be working as our first Program Director. Melissa’s full-time job as Director of Operations with the UVM women’s hockey program coupled with her outstanding playing career at Boston College make her a perfect fit for this new position. Melissa will coordinate sales and digital marketing campaigns as well as logistics for all GMD programs and special events. Melissa will also be involved in our community outreach initiatives as we look to make outstanding connections within the Vermont girls/women’s hockey community. She will also get the chance to work on the ice whenever possible. Melissa is a Stowe, VT native and attended the North American Hockey Academy before embarking on a stellar 4-year playing career at Boston College.

Welcome & Enjoy!

Hello everyone and welcome to VT Girls Hockey, the official blog of Green Mountain Development.

Many of you know GMD through our annual girls hockey summer development camp. For the last 4 years we’ve helped hundreds of girls in Vermont improve their hockey skills and educate families about the many great opportunities that exist within the sport. We’re now continuing that development online via VT Girls Hockey.

Our goal is to become an online resource for anyone connected to girls hockey in Vermont. We will cover a wide range of important topics for players, parents, coaches and associations. We’ll include news & notes on the VT girls hockey scene and report on all of Vermont’s NCAA D-I & D-III programs as well as, important girls hockey news from around the country.

Let’s keep the conversation going too! Don’t be afraid to get in touch. Have a question specific to girls hockey–ask away. Think there is a compelling story we should be covering? Let us know. We want to connect and engage with our readership. All of our posts include the ability to leave a comment, just keep it clean and on point.

Happy reading everyone!