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Vail Mountaineer Hockey Club heats up on and off the ice

Special to the Enterprise
Vail Mountaineers boys Squirt B team celebrate after bringing home brought the Colorado State Federation Cup Championship title.
Special to the Enterprise |

The Vail Mountaineer Hockey Club has a lot to celebrate after its 2014-2015 ice hockey season.

For starters, the club sent five boys teams to the Continental Divide Youth Hockey League (CDYHL) playoffs at the beginning of this month and one girls team to the Mountain State Girls Hockey League (MSGHL) payoffs where they play against the top four teams in their league. The Squirt B and Squirt C Black teams both won CDYHL Championship titles, the Squirt C Red team earned the runner up CDYHL Championship title, and the U14 Girls team finished with a runner up MSGHL Championship title.

From there, the boys Squirt B and two Squirt C teams moved on to the Colorado State Federation Cup finals where they played against the top team from the Colorado Competitive Youth Hockey League (CCYHL) and the U14 girls advanced to the Colorado Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA) State Championships. In the end, the Vail Mountaineers boys Squirt B team brought home the Colorado State Federation Cup Championship title for the club, the boys Squirt C Red team brought back runner up Colorado State Federation Cup title, and the U14 girls finished the season with a runner up CAHA State Championship title.

“It’s been an exciting season and all of our teams have done well, not only in their league games but in various tournaments as well.” Says John Seymour, VMHC Program Director. “But bringing home league and state titles is a great finale for these players and coaches who have worked so hard over the past seven months.”

This is Seymour’s second season with the Vail Mountaineer Hockey Club. Since he started, the club has seen many successes. In fact, the club sent six teams to the league playoffs and four teams to the state playoffs last season as well. The club has also seen growth in participant numbers over the past two years, including a large increase in the number of girls joining their program, as well as recreational players in the club’s rec or non-travel program.

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“Our girls travel team program grew by 15 players and our girls rec/non-travel program grew by 13 players this season.” said Seymour.

After difficulties with retention and the programs on-ice success, the VMHC Board of Directors looked to hire a new Hockey Program Director in 2012 to help create a more competitive hockey program. John Seymour quickly became a top candidate for the job after being instrumental in building and transforming several youth hockey programs, including neighboring programs in Steamboat Springs and in the Foothills. Seymour’s resume also included involvement and coaching with the Colorado Thunderbird Program (a nationally recognized AAA hockey program) as well as coaching in many USA Hockey National Championships. Several players coached by Seymour have gone on to play in the NHL.

“The club is growing and the VMHC teams are once again building a reputation as on-ice powerhouses,” said Casey Parliament, vice president of the VMHC Board of Directors “Over all, our coaches and players are being held to a higher level of expectations and accountability. The passion, background, and coaching structure that John brings to the program are no doubt paying off. ”

The Vail Mountaineer Hockey Club opens registration for the 2015-2016 season in August with early season practices taking place on Sundays in September. Team evaluations and placements are done in the first week of October 2015. Check out the Vail Mountaineers during their home games or at either of the club-hosted tournaments – the Vail Sportsmanship Tournament, taking place the first three weekends in November 2015 and the Vail MLK Girls Tournament, taking place January 15-18, 2016. For complete information on the Vail Mountaineer Hockey Club please visit http://www.vailmountaineers.com.


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