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Hello everyone! I want to first wish you Happy Holidays and an early Happy New Year! Please enjoy yourself, be safe, and I want to see you all back in action come January!

During the break in our season this year, the NESHL’s Board has decided to update two of our League Rules. Typically we do not make rule changes during our season but for these we felt they were important enough to act on. The NESHL Rules on our website are now updated and available for download. Please make sure you review them before your next NESHL game as these changes are for all teams and divisions.

First, we removed NESHL Rule 8.16 which covered Hits above a players shoulder (high hits, checks to the head, etc. We removed it as the penalty it assessed was one which was less than USA Hockey assesses. (They assess a Minor and Misconduct at a minimum and we only assessed a Minor.) We recognize this as a very serious offense and it should be penalized accordingly. With the removal of this rule it will default our league to USA Hockey Rule 620, Head Contact, and Referee’s will now assess at least a Minor and Misconduct to any player caught hitting another above the shoulders.

In case you were interested in what USA Hockey Rule 620 is it reads as follows:

  1. A minor plus a misconduct or major plus a game misconduct penalty shall be assessed to any player who contacts an opponent in the head, face or neck, including with the stick or any part of the player’s body or equipment.
  2. A major plus a game misconduct penalty shall be assessed to any player who injures an opponent as a result of head contact or who intentionally or recklessly contacts an opponent in the head, face or neck.
  3. A match penalty for attempt to injure or deliberate injury to an opponent may also be assessed for head contact.

The second change updated Rule 4.6, Penalty Times. We added Misconduct and the time assessed as 6.5 minutes. This was missing from our Rules.

If you have any additional questions regarding these Rule changes please see your Team’s Board Representative for assistance.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Mike Ciavarro
Commissioner, NESHL

Simsbury, C.T - The Northeast Sled Hockey League is set to host the annual “Legacy Sled Hockey Classic Championship” at The Rinks at Exeter in Exeter, N.H. during the weekend of March 6-8, 2015. This exciting tournament will feature teams that include male and female players with disabilities of all ages, including past and present Paralympic athletes and disabled veterans.

Sled Hockey teams from eight states will be competing including teams from New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Vermont. Teams will be playing for regular season standings (trophies for A and B divisions will be awarded) and the top six teams in the region will compete for the Legacy Sled Hockey Classic Championship.

The opening ceremony will take place on Saturday, March 7at 9:40AM at The Rinks at Exeter. Games will continue throughout the weekend. Admission is free and spectators are encouraged to attend.

“We have had an exciting season and teams will be jockeying for their final positions in the standings,” stated Commissioner Mike Ciavarro. “The two top teams will represent the league at the Disabled Festival in Buffalo, N.Y. in April. We hope one of our teams will capture the National Championship.”

The Legacy Sled Hockey Classic Championship is made possible by local partners whom with their support have blossomed this tournament into a one of a kind event across New England. Legacy Global Sports, Spaulding Adaptive Sports Program, Optima Bank & Trust, Porsche Stratham, Audi Stratham, Stratham Mitsubishi, and Dover Honda.

Sled hockey is the fast, exciting, rough-and-tumble version of ice hockey played primarily by people with lower limb mobility impairments. The game is essentially the same as “stand-up” ice hockey, the major difference being that the players use a sled with two hockey skate blades mounted under a seat.

The Northeast Sled Hockey League (NESHL) is a non-profit organization established in 2005 as a means for regional Sled Hockey teams to engage in competitive, sportsmanlike hockey. The NESHL is the first-ever organized, multi-state, adult sled hockey league in the United States with teams and athletes coming from Maine to Maryland. For more information, visit http://www.neshl.org.  

About our partners:

The Dr. Bernard R. and Edna M. Sears Adaptive Hockey Program at Spaulding Adaptive Sports Centers is dedicated to the growth of adaptive hockey in the Boston Metro area and Eastern Massachusetts for individuals of all abilities. The Sears program is part of the Massachusetts Sled Hockey Initiative which is a collaborative joining of Massachusetts Hockey, Spaulding Adaptive Sports Centers, Northeast Passage, Boston Shamrocks, Boston Junior Bruins, Minuteman Flames, the New England Sports Center and the DCR Universal Access Program.

LEGACY Global Sports is a global sporting event and athlete management company. With a full range of event & tour management, travel & housing services, player development and athlete representation, LEGACY provides a complete sports experience for youth athletes and their families. LEGACY’s mission is to impact the lives of our customers by maximizing individual potential and providing lifelong international and domestic experiences.

International Cars, Ltd. is an employee owned company comprised of seven New England area dealerships including Audi, Porsche and Mitsubishi of Stratham New Hampshire, Dover Honda and Dover Chevrolet in Dover New Hampshire as well as Honda North and the ICL Used Car Center in Danvers, Massachusetts.

Optima Bank & Trust is a New Hampshire, locally-owned commercial bank that provides the products, conveniences and technology you expect from a full-service community bank. We deliver a higher level of personal attention to all of our personal banking and commercial banking customers.

We want to change the way you think about banking. Everything is possible.TM

South Burlington. ----The Northeast Sled Hockey League (NESHL) B-division came to South Burlington’s Cairns Arena Saturday, January 3rd for the second NESHL B-Division Game Day. The three inaugural teams from MA, NH and VT met in Cairns Arena as part of the 6th Annual Matt Smith Green Mountain Classic Sled hockey tournament sponsored in part by The Hartford Financial Group.

The Opening game pitted the Western Massachusetts Golden Knights against the host team, the Vermont Sledcats. Vermont jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a goal by center Bryan Bathalon off an assist from Eric Gissendanner. Jordan Carrell’s goal would give the Sledcats a 2-0 lead into the second period. The Golden Knights made some key adjustments and rallied in the second period with goals by Jeff Granger and Corey Drounin to tie the game. VT responded with a go-ahead goal by Co-captain Jake LaVigne. As the final period progressed, play became kind of chippy with MA committing three minor penalties for roughing, hitting from behind and t-boning but overcame this disadvantage to tie the game on Ryan Kincade’s late third period goal. The regulation game ended with a 3-3 tie but the GMC tournament rules allowed for a 5-minute sudden death OT which was decided in MA’s favor by a Corey Drounin face-off one-timer that snuck past Vermont’s goaltender. Vermont outshot MA 23 to 16.

The second game against the Golden Knights and the NH/ NEP Wildcats saw MA defeat the Wildcats 5-0 on goals by Ryan Kinkade, and two each by Drounin and Brian Boisvere. NH had 3 shots on goal against MA’s 18.

The final game of the series featured the Sledcats versus the Wildcats in a cat fight at Cairns. The game ended with a 4-0 win by Vermont on two goals by Bryan Bathalon and one each by Carrell and Jake Lavigne.

Bragging right for this year’s GMC champion goes to the Western Massachusetts Golden Knights followed by Vermont and Massachusetts. Tournament top scorer was Vermont’s Bryan Bathalon with three goals and two assists for a total of 8 points followed by MA’s Corey Drounin with three goals and one assist for a total of 7 points.

The 600 person arena witnessed a larger than expected crowd turn out for the tournament and they were not disappointed with plenty of fast, competitive, hard-hitting hockey.

The three teams will meet for the final B-division game day in Exeter, NH in March.

NESHL season standings after two hotly contested tournament days stands at:    

                                      W-L-T

Vermont                          3-0-1

Massachusetts                2-1-1

New Hampshire               0-4-0


Submitted by:
Patrick Standen