Prep School Hockey: There's a place for you to play

Merrill Lindsay Arena at New Hampton School

There is no shortage of prep school options for hockey players. In the Northeast alone, sixty-two schools play hockey in the New England Preparatory School Ice Hockey Association. Each year, thousands of hockey players are positively impacted and influenced by their prep school experiences — both on and off the ice. Choosing the right school is a process that requires both research and firsthand inspection.

Many factors can influence a family’s school choice, location, enrollment, class sizes, extracurricular options, financial aid, campus lifestyle and alumni success.  The important thing to keep in mind is that you can play hockey and get a great education whether you’re pursuing an NCAA Division 1 scholarship or you just like to lace-up the skates and play.  The five schools featured below offer outstanding ice hockey programs, allowing for a very unique independent school experience.

For many independent schools, ice hockey is a celebrated school sport and schools provide ice hockey arena allowing athletes to practice on campus. At Tabor Academy, an independent, co-educational boarding school located in Marion, Massachusetts, the boys’ and girls’ ice hockey teams practice and compete in the Travis Roy arena on campus. Ice hockey has been an integral part of its athletics program at Tabor since it was founded in 1876. Tabor plays Division I New England Prep School Hockey League and has both boys’ and girls’ teams, at the varsity and junior varsity levels. With a stellar track record, the Tabor's boy's varsity ice hockey team has won three New England Championships and has produced over 24 NCAA Division 1 and NHL caliber players over the last 20 years. The girls’ varsity team has earned six New England Division I Tournament berths in the last eight years.

Further north in New Hampshire, the New Hampton School provides student-athletes with a strong hockey program. A member of the New England Prep School Ice Hockey Association (NEPSIHA), competing against the top Division I prep schools in New England, New Hampton has consistently produced some of college hockey's top players, including McGregor Chadwick, Ryan Arsenault and Mandy Cronin. The New Hampton coaching staff brings years of college and professional playing experience to the program, and are committed to continuing New Hampton's tradition of excellence. Girls’ and boy’s varsity teams practice and play home games on campus at the Merrill Lindsay Arena.

New England isn’t the only place to find hockey. At the Hoosac School in Hoosick, New York boys’ ice hockey is the flagship sport, for which the school actively recruits. Student athletes come to Hoosac from all over the United States and the world to learn and hone their Hockey skills. The hockey program won the 2007 New England Prep School Division II championship. Though the team holds practices at an off-campus rink, the school is actively fundraising to build a private ice arena on campus.

Two-hours south in Pawling, NY at the Trinity-Pawling School, hockey has a rich tradition that dates back to the 1940's. A member of the Founder's League, considered to be one of the best prep leagues in the country, Trinity-Pawling hockey players have developed a reputation as a hard working group that plays with passion and good sportsmanship. Practices, which are held at the Terrell Rink, a NHL sized rink located on campus, are designed to help players improve their individual skills as well as becoming better team players. Players have attended some of the most competitive colleges in the country, including Bowdoin College, St. Michael's College, Skidmore College, and St. Anselm's College.

Outside of the Northeast, a number of Midwestern schools standout because of their competitive hockey programs. Shattuck-St.Mary’s School in Faribault, Minnesota is among them. In the past 20 years, Shattuck-St. Mary's has been at the forefront of youth hockey. Their competitive program includes four midget teams, two bantam teams and two girls’ teams. The boys’ hockey teams alone have achieved National Championships nine times in the past 14 years, while the girls’ hockey teams has won three straight National Championships. Playing hockey at SSM is definitely a commitment. All teams play a rigorous seven-month schedule, averaging 50-75 games a season, with tournament play throughout the United States and Canada and students are on the ice five to seven days a week. All that hard work pays off as many players go on to compete at the highest levels of collegiate and Junior League Hockey. Ryan Shattuck-St. Mary’s notable alumni include several professional hockey players, including Ryan Caldwell, Noah Clarke, Ty Conklin, Sidney Crosby, Patrick Eaves, Jack Johnson and Jonathan Toews.

Independent schools strive to challenge students academically and athletically. Consequently, students can learn how to master demanding schedules while balancing work and play successfully. When players go on to college they know how to manage their time – going to practice, going to classes, and getting their work done. No matter what school you choose to attend, you are almost guaranteed a unique experience.

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  • Don't forget about day schools! At Princeton Day School in NJ we have top facilities and a top coaching staff. Email Coach Scott Bertoli at [email protected] for more information about our hockey program and [email protected] about the admission process Kelly Dun, November 10, 2011 12:00 PM
  • Thanks for letting us know. You're right to remind us that there are plenty of day schools with impressive prep school hockey programs. I appreciate you taking the time to leave us a comment! Peter Baron, November 11, 2011 8:46 AM

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