VFIHA is excited to announce our development partners for the 2022-2023 season. 

Our U13 A team will be welcoming Empower Hockey, a female player development and skills acquisition company owned and operated by Melanie Jue and Kimberly Newell, to the VFIHA family. Empower Hockey’s approach involves helping players elevate the way they think and understand how and when skills can be used, a valuable tool for younger athletes entering rep level hockey.

A former professional player and NCAA Division I athlete at Cornell University, Jue is the head coach of the Greater Vancouver Comets and has served as an assistant coach with China’s national women’s team. Newell has competed internationally for both Canada (U18 World Championships) and China (Olympics), in addition to being the all-time winningest goalie at Princeton University (NCAA Division I). More information on Jue and Newell can be found here.

This season we will also continue our long-term partnership with UBC Hockey, who will be working with our U15 A and U18 A teams. Coaches and players from UBC’s women’s hockey team–which has consistently been one of the top-ranked U Sports teams–will be leading these on-ice sessions.

Our rep goaltender development program is led by Elite Goalies, with this year’s sessions primarily delivered by coaches Brad Sherwin, Sam Gotowiec, and Jeff Smith (VFIHA goaltending development program lead). Elite Goalies has been training goalies at the NHL, AHL, U Sports, NCAA, CHL and youth levels for over 20 years. All of the coaches on the ice with our goalies have been trained directly and extensively by Pasco Valana. Elite Goalies also instructs our goalie clinics, which are open to both rep and house goaltenders.

All of our C teams from U7 through U18 have biweekly development sessions at the Richmond Oval with another long-term VFIHA partner, Leslie Global Sports. These sessions are led by Leslie Global Sports and VFIHA U18 A coach Owen Hart.