The 2019-2020 Girls Prep hockey season will feature a big change. No longer will teams be designated Division 1 and Division 2. All teams will be in the same division, and there will be three post-season tournaments, instead of two.
This is currently how things are done in Boys Prep School hockey, a move that was made on the boys side starting with the 2008-2009 campaign.
Girls Prep will feature an Elite Tournament, consisting of the top eight teams in New England, and then both a six-team Large School and six-team Small School tournament. The Elite Tournament will be named the Chuck Vernon Tournament. The Large School Tournament will be named The Patsy Odden Tournament. The Small School Tournament will be named the Dorothy Howard Tournament.
The three title games will be held on Sunday, March 8th, 2020 at the Fidelity Bank Worcester Ice Center.
“We made the change to go to one division for a variety of reasons,” said Christa Talbot-Syfu, the co-president of the New England Prep School Girls Ice Hockey Association (NEPSGIHA) and head coach at Willston Northampton. “(One is) to allow every game to be weighted the same therefore allowing teams equal opportunity to schedule opponents. Also, to provide more access to the tournament.”
This season, a total of 20 teams will now participate in a post-season tournament and vie for a championship.
Once the top eight teams are secured for the Chuck Vernon Tournament, the next top six rated Large School clubs will play, and the next top six rated Small School clubs will play.
Here is the breakdown for this year:
LARGE SCHOOL: Phillips Exeter, Phillips Andover, Choate, Milton Academy, Greenwich Academy, Loomis Chaffee, Deerfield, Northfield, Hotchkiss, Taft, St. Paul’s, Kent, Winsor, Thayer, Tabor, BB&N, Nobles, Worcester Academy, Pingree, Newton Country Day, Middlesex, Westminster, St. George’s, Governors Academy, Lawrence Academy.
SMALL SCHOOL: Proctor, Williston, Berkshire, Brooks, Rivers, Groton, St. Mark’s, Berwick, Pomfret, Millbrook, Cushing, Portsmouth Abbey, Brewster Academy, Dexter Southfield, New Hampton, Canterbury, Kimball Union, Gunnery, Holderness, Winchendon, Kents Hill, Tilton, Hebron, Vermont Academy, Hoosac.