TBL is excited to partner with the St. Louis Blues to offer our members a dual branded hat! The New Era snapback hats are $34.99 for adult size, and $31.99 for youth size. Clubs will receive a $5 donation for every hat sold. Best part is, they will ship directly to each individual purchaser!
The deadline to purchase is Friday September 15th, and delivery can be expected mid-December – just in time for the holidays!
Here is the direct link to purchase your hats: https://www.stlauthentics.com/collections/2023-twin-bridges-lightning
Evaluation week is finally upon us! In the spirit of continuing transparency, we would like to share additional information on the upcoming evaluations. In addition to the information we sent out last week regarding the skills that we will be evaluating at each age group, we would like to share the mix of evaluators that will be volunteering their time to help us create the most competitive teams for TBL this season.
Note: 6U will be evaluated through the first few practices of the season and do not hold separate evaluations.
As you can see, we have tried to create a mix of volunteers both internal and external to the club and they’ll do the best they can to evaluate fairly.
Some reminders as we go into this week:
• These volunteers are just that – they are volunteering their time to help evaluate our players. Please show them respect, even when you may not agree with their scores & decisions.
• Will they get it right Every. Single. Time? Nope. Evaluators are scoring each child during each evaluation. Just like there is the chance that your child may not perform well in the sessions, there is also the chance that they have 6 great shifts and one poor shift and the evaluator was watching your child during the poor shift. Remember that the evaluators are humans.
• Coach Elbrecht is committed to moving players up and down throughout the fall season based on the talent of our players. The board recently adopted a rule that will allow movement of the players between teams prior to 12/31/2023 when rosters must be finalized with Missouri Hockey.
• Our Goalies will be evaluated at both the aged-based skates and also at goalie-only skates for this evaluation season. Goalies will be evaluated on stance, stick handling, movement/position, rebound control, and competitiveness.
• For our 8U players, the first two evaluation skates will be skill-based and the last two skates will be scrimmages.
• For our 10U-18U players, we will do a warm up drill at each skate followed by a full-ice scrimmage.
We’re looking forward to a great evaluation season these next few weeks. See you at the rink!
Fun Fact – Did you know that Goalies comprise about 10% of the club’s players?
During the End of Season Survey last spring, we received feedback from the club that led the board to create a Goalie Committee as part of our organization. Micah Redman and Joe Hayden led this committee during the off-season to evaluate the goalie-specific training opportunities.
We’re excited to share that the committee has selected Racine Goalie Academy as our goalie training partner for the 2023-2024 season. New this year – we will be conducting most of our goalie training sessions at East Alton Ice Arena to bring the training for our goalie families a little closer to home than we have in years past. Want to learn more about RGA? https://racinegoalieacademy.com/
What can you expect for Goalie Training this year?
• Bruce Racine and his training team will conduct most sessions at East Alton Ice Arena throughout the season. We may occasionally use other rinks when necessary.
• Racine will begin work with our goalies in September. Dates will appear in Crossbar when confirmed.
• TBL coaches will be on the ice at each training session to gain more goalie coaching skills to bring back to regular TBL practices.
• Goalies from 6U-12U will have 2 goalie training opportunities per month.
• We will have a goalie trainer attending the 14U practices one time per month.
• We know that our older goalies are often unable to make the bi-monthly training times due to high school hockey schedules. 14U-18U Goalies will be provided with vouchers from RGA to use at times that fit best within their schedule, to provide flexibility to schedule sessions when it’s most convenient for them. We will provide follow-up communication to our 14U+ families in early September on how to redeem the 10 vouchers that will be provided to you for the season.
• Watch your Crossbar app, as we will be holding both Goalie-specific as well as age-based tryouts for our goalies this year.
The board would like to share a huge thanks to the following TBL parents for volunteering to be a part of the Goalie Committee for this season: Micah Redman (co-chair), Joe Hayden (co-chair), Jong Cambron, Todd Hays, Ashley Hays, Aaron Jones, Jessica Pinegar, Justin Pinegar, John Sappington, Brooke Severt, and Justin Severt.
If you have any questions, please contact Micah Redman at 618-604-5437 or Tyler Elbrecht at email@example.com.
It's difficult to believe that it's already August, time for Back-to-School and back to regular season hockey! Evaluations are right around the corner, this year running from August 15 - 27th at East Alton Ice Arena. As a club, you've asked for more transparency around the evaluation and team selection process, so I'm writing to share those details with you in advance of the evaluations.
The evaluation process is being planned by Tyler Elbrecht, our new hockey director, in partnership with the Lead coaches at each age level. As in years past, there is a lead for each age group and it is up to the leads to work in partnership with Tyler to round out the group of evaluators at each age.
The leads for each age group as well as the evaluation components are as follows:
Age Group Lead Evaluation Components
Additionally, we’d like to share this list of Frequently Asked Questions to help shed light on additional aspects of the evaluation and team building processes:
1. How does the Eval scoring work? Evaluation scoring is done digitally for all age groups via Team Genius. See the chart above for the scoring components and weighting for each age group.
2. What if my child has one bad tryout? Scoring is averaged across all evaluation sessions.
3. What if my family isn’t available for a specific tryout date? Please communicate with your age group lead if your family isn’t available for a specific tryout date. We would like each skater or goalie to attend as many sessions as possible.
4. How are the goalies evaluated? This year, we will be evaluating goalies during both the regularly scheduled eval times for their age group as well as at a goalie-specific eval for goalies at 10U-14U of the club. Goalie parents in those age groups – you’ll see both on your Crossbar notifications.
5. Will all players attend all tryouts? Keep a close eye on your email throughout the evaluation period. Your age group lead will communicate any changes to tryout rosters, jersey colors for your child, and additional information pertaining to the eval sessions.
6. Do evaluators eval their own children? Evaluators must score all players (including their children) in the session for our evaluation software to work properly. Division leads, the Hockey Director, and the Club President review the scores to ensure that evaluators scoring their own children are giving fair scores to all participants.
7. Why don’t I see any evaluations in Crossbar for my 6U player? 6U players will be evaluated by our coaches during the first few practices of the season.
8. My child was selected for the 14UA1 team…do we need to attend evaluations for 14U? No, if you are already rostered to the 14UA1 team, you do not need to attend evaluations for 14U. You will note that there are practices already scheduled in Crossbar for the 14UA1 team.
9. What steps will Coach Elbrecht take to remain neutral throughout evaluations since many of our players train with Elite Hockey? Tyler is responsible for the growth and development of all TBL players. During our selection process for a Hockey Director, the board specifically spoke with Tyler to make sure that he will evaluate players fairly and equitably whether or not they are trained by Elite. Tyler’s Note: "I will score kids where I think they are at, not because they train with Elite Hockey.”
10. What should I do if I think my child was mis-placed on the wrong team? All our evaluators are volunteers who are doing the best they can to make fair and balanced decisions. At the conclusion of evaluations, please contact Coach Elbrecht (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions or concerns.
11. How can I obtain feedback for my player after evaluations have concluded? We are committed to providing timely and actionable feedback to the parents of our players. We will not release evaluation scores for individual players. Please contact Coach Elbrecht at email@example.com.
12. Will players move up/down to different teams throughout the season? The TBL board recently adopted newly revised Rules for the club. One of those rules is that players can be moved up or down on teams until rosters are fully set with Missouri Hockey on 12/31/2023.
13. BONUS Question – Why isn’t our TBL logo on center ice at East Alton? Since the club purchased the new scoreboard with our logo at East Alton last year, we felt that the cost for the center ice logo wasn’t a necessary expense to the families of the club. The center ice logo was $2,500 per year over a four-year contract for a total of $10,000.
After the conclusion of the evaluation process on August 27th, team selections will be made and announced by Friday, September 1st. After that, rosters will be created in Crossbar and your practices will be loaded for the first few weeks of the season.
As always, please feel free to reach out to me directly if you have any questions or recommendations for the club.
TBL is proud to announce Coach Ed Kelsey as the 18UAA coach again this season. Coach Kelsey has 13 years with Twin Bridges Lightning youth hockey organization coaching at multiple skill levels and age groups utilizing a hybrid of the ADM (USA hockey’s American Development Model) and in his terms "old school Russian" hockey-style philosophy with a focus on long term development. He has run mini camps and skill camps over the years, and he prides himself in his outside the box approach to teaching the game.
6U 2 years
8U 6 years
10U 6 years
12U 5 years
14U 5 years
16/18U 3 years
High School 3 years
Coach Kelsey stresses that player development is always at the top of his priority list. Every season he gets with his coaching staff to formulate a plan for skill development and team goals for the year. Welcome back, Coach Kelsey!
TBL is pleased to welcome back Coach Aaron Rogers as our 16UAA Head Coach. Coach Rogers has coached for Twin Bridges since 2017, most recently for the 22-23 TBL 16U AA team. Coach Rogers is a TBL Alum and played with the organization from 2000-2013 across different levels. After youth hockey, Coach Rogers continued his playing career at McKendree University from 2013-2017. Welcome back, Coach Rogers!
TBL families – we heard you! After reviewing the end-of-the-season survey the Board of Directors formed the Branding Committee to design new uniforms for this season. Thank you to the members who worked on this project this off-season- we appreciate your time! We are proud to announce Twin Bridges' new uniforms!
Who needs new uniforms?
*6U and 8U will wear the navy blue and white reversible jerseys. If you are new or your player has outgrown their uniform, you will need a new uniform. If your uniform fits from last season you do not need to order a new uniform.
*10U-14U will be required to order the new uniform and sock set.
*16U-18U will be given club uniforms. We will require you to purchase socks. More information will be given once teams are named.
How do I order the new uniforms?
Please make sure you bring your player and their shoulder pads to the Skaters Edge Pro Shop at East Alton Ice Rink. All orders must be placed by Sunday, August 20th at noon.
What are the cost of the uniforms and the timeframe for delivery?
All costs below are just for the jerseys. Socks and tax will be additional. Jerseys must be paid in full at the time you order.
• 6U-8U reversible jersey is $69.00 plus tax.
• 10U-14U price per jersey is $69.00 each for size small – XXL (so the cost of two jerseys is $138.00) 3XL and Goalie Cuts are $74.00 each (so the cost of 2 jerseys is $148.00)
The deadline to order jerseys will be Sunday, August 20th at noon. Jerseys will take 6 weeks to come. We will not have the new jerseys for declaration season.
How are jersey numbers assigned?
TBL assigns jersey numbers by birth year. Even birth years will have even jersey numbers. Odd birth years will have odd jersey numbers. If you are a returning player and want to keep your current number, please order it. If you are a new player or want to change your current number, please write your top three number choices on the order form. If one of your top three number choices is available we will assign it. If not, we will be in touch with the available numbers. If contacted, we ask that you respond asap.
We hope this answers the majority of your questions, if you should need anything additional please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Twin Bridges is excited to announce a few changes of the 2023-2024 season at the 8U level. We have listened to membership and to ensure development of our 8U players, especially those moving into 10U the following year, we are very excited for these changes.
Every 8U player will have the opportunity to play full ice hockey games throughout the season. We are working with the other area clubs to determine whether they will be open to playing us in a full-ice format or whether we will host internal house games. This will be fully dependent on the other area club’s availability. This approach WILL NOT replace a normal ADM 8U model, but we do feel that it will increase our players’ readiness for 10U hockey. All teams will still be able to compete in jamborees and play a normal 8U schedule (mix of half and full-ice).
Additionally, the organization is very excited to announce that we will hold tryouts for the Awesome 8’s tournament team. These tryouts will be held AFTER the regular season tryouts and is open to any 8U player, not limited to second year 8U players. Reminder: ALL 8U players will participate in regular season tryouts. We will only be creating one tournament team and we will name coaches for that team after the tryout.
We are making both changes to ensure we continue to push the envelope at Twin Bridges and put development at the forefront for all ages. All practices throughout the year will be directed at continual development and working towards full ice hockey from the beginning of the season.
Any questions or concerns about the above, please send them to the hockey director Tyler Elbrecht at email@example.com
Twin Bridges Lightning is planning to field an A1 Team at the 14U level this upcoming 2023-2024 Season. This team is being created for the players that are still striving to develop and move on to Central States the following year.
We will be hosting tryouts for this team in advance of regular season evaluations.
Tryouts will take the following format: skills work, scrimmage, and small area games
Tryout dates are listed below and will all be held at the East Alton Ice Arena:
· Wednesday, July 19th from 8:30-9:45PM
· Saturday, July 22nd from 9:15-10:15AM
· Sunday, July 23rd from 6:30-8PM
Though this is a new concept for Twin Bridges, and we are still building out details, we have attempted to anticipate the questions that you and your family might have about this team:
What will make this team different than other TBL teams at the same age level?
The 14UA1 team will have additional practice time and workouts each week as well as attend a combination of 3-4 high caliber Showcases this season. These showcases will be within 6-8 hours of driving distance. The team may scrimmage other Central States or Prospects teams as part of the season activities.
What if my child is unable to attend all three tryout dates due to vacations, etc?
If your child is unable to attend tryout dates, please contact TBL Hockey Director Tyler Elbrecht to discuss your availability. He can be reached at (618) 929-0341 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Will there be an additional fee to play on this team?
Yes, the costs for extra practice ice and showcases will be distributed among the families. Your normal TBL fees will cover regular in-season expenses like normal practice ice, games, referees, etc. We would anticipate this additional fee to be approximately $750-$1000 but will finalize this after additional ice is purchased.
What if we form this team and then are not declared A1 during the fall Missouri Hockey Declaration Season?
Our goal is to play 3-4 games prior to Dec season to get a feel for where we are. If we truly do not have an A1 team, we will drop to A2 and keep the same staff. The goal of the team would remain the same.
What if my child does not make this team?
Your child is still invited to attend regular season evaluations for TBL, held in mid-to-late August.
Who will be the coach for this team?
TBL is pleased to announce the addition of Coach Clint Ruwe to our coaching staff. Coach Ruwe has been coaching different levels of hockey since 2006. Clint’s coaching career spanned from youth AA to Central States Development Hockey League to Junior hockey. Coach Ruwe most recently has been part of the Peoria Mustangs of the NA3HL the past 6 seasons. He was an assistant coach and head scout.
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