by | May 4, 2022

The excitement and awe of the student-athletes was evident on each player’s face as they visited their new dressing room for the first time. The personalized stalls were ready to go, with workout gear, hockey bags, helmets, and, of course, the game jerseys. The jerseys depict the letter C with an outline of the stunning Colorado Mountains – no doubt, these jerseys will make an impression on the ice.

Proud and eager to start the season, the student-athletes and their parents wore huge smiles and took many pictures in the team’s new home for the season.

Partnered with Okanagan Hockey Group, Aces Hockey Academy, and the Colorado Springs Amateur Hockey Association, the goal of Okanagan Hockey Colorado is to maximize individual potential through structure, support, knowledge, and experience within the game of hockey and beyond.

This group of young players has committed to achieving success as a student-athlete through consistent daily improvement. To achieve this, every Okanagan Student-Athlete must bring daily mental and physical readiness to strive for excellence in everything they do, on and off the ice.

“The opportunity that Okanagan Hockey Colorado student athletes are provided by attending local schools, allowing them to have a true high school experience, is invaluable. Partner this with a schedule that allows players to train during the academic day, 5 days a week, having non-game weekends off, and completing their day at 5pm, is truly giving families back a quality of life that previously did not exist in the state. This schedule will give student athletes time to complete homework, have family dinners, connect with friends, and get the necessary rest and recovery they need to thrive academically and athletically. Our current 14U team has quality of character and skill that is unparalleled. Our coaching staff: Myself, John Mitchell, Eric Lacroix, and Peter Budaj, are all excited to see what this group can do.” Says Head Coach, David Clarkson

“We have been humbled with the response from the hockey community in their readiness to embrace a new program that is truly dedicated to putting kids first. The Okanagan Hockey model is founded on four fundamental principles of human performance: hockey, academics, character/leadership/community, and strength/conditioning/mental wellness. We are grateful for the opportunity to work with student athletes, and families, that value the development of the whole child by utilizing elite hockey as a vessel to creating quality people. We cannot wait to see what our amazing group of 14U players are capable of on and off the ice.” Says Brooke Wilfley, Founder, President, and Head of Aces Sports Academy, and Managing Director of the Okanagan Hockey Colorado Academy.

Fully sanctioned by USA Hockey, Okanagan Hockey Colorado is excited to bring the academic and athletic model of the Okanagan Hockey Group to Colorado.

The OHC program emphasizes integrated athletic and academic development. Professional coaches and strength & conditioning staff will guide student-athletes on and off the ice. Academically, a dedicated academic counselor will ensure that student-athletes thrive equally in the classroom as they do at the rink.

The first OHC team will be exclusively for 14U boys and will operate on a 10-months schedule, following the school calendar. In addition to their academic course load, the student-athletes will train on the ice up to 5 days a week, with complimentary off-ice strength & conditioning training up to 4 days a week. The competition for the season will feature an independent, event-based competition schedule.

“We are extremely excited to be opening our Denver location and are very excited to get our families and student athletes into routine so we can start the exciting journey of a first-year operation.” The people involved in the program are outstanding individuals who care about the entire student athlete and will be amazing mentors and influencers in these young peoples’ live.

For more information on Okanagan Hockey Colorado, please email Nicolette Peters at nicolettepeters@okanaganhockey.com.

Follow OHC on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for updates.

About Okanagan Hockey Group:

Founded in 1963 in Penticton, B.C., Canada, Okanagan Hockey Group has become an icon in the hockey camp industry and is the longest-operating hockey camp in the world. In 2002, the Okanagan Hockey Academy was established and is the first hockey-specific sports school recognized by BC Hockey and Hockey Canada. The success of the OHG academy model is evident in the long list of players who have moved on to play at the NHL, pro, WHL, Junior A, University, and International levels. With our staff having a vast amount of knowledge, experience, and an incredible network, our athletes have the inside track to move on to the next level.

About Aces Hockey Academy:

In 2018, Aces Hockey Academy was founded with the goal of partnering with local middle and high schools to provide youth hockey athletes, of all skill levels, with access to skill development without having to sacrifice a traditional academic experience. In 2020, founder Brooke Wilfley, with the support of local families and coaches, founded Aces Sports Academy, a full day, and traditional, private hockey school. Aces Sports Academy currently caters to student-athletes grades 4 through 8, providing instruction from certified teachers.