New Year, New Banner

HAMDEN – HYHA kicks off its 60th season this Saturday at the historic Lou Asterino rink & will do so with the addition of a new championship banner. The banner sits on the opposing side of the Lou in what is turning into a crowded area for championships.

“We’re looking forward to a good year” says HYHA President Mike DeFelice. “And hanging a championship banner is always a great way to start the season.” DeFelice is also coach of the HYHA Squirt B team this year. “We have some great teams across the entire program this year. It should be a fun year.” Also no stranger to home openers is seasoned Coach John Castiline, heading up HYHA’s Squirt A team this year after a long run of Bantam coaching “We’ve got some work to do, but it’s a great group of kids.”

This year’s banner is in honor of the 2022-23 Peewee A1 team, who defeated Putnam on their home ice in UCONN last season to capture the title. That win made it two consecutive years HYHA was able to raise a championship banner. “It was a really fun team to coach” says Coach Justin Nolan. “And now we’ve got kids from that team up in Bantams & still in our Peewee program.” Nolan is familiar with both of HYHA’s newest banners, having coached both championship teams & now leading the staff of the HYHA Peewee A team.

This year’s gameday festivities start with the HYHA Mite games early Saturday morning, something both teams are excited to experience. “It will be great to have the kids starting off Saturdays in Hamden” says Coach Robert Bellucci. Bellucci is head coach of HYHA’s Mite A team this season & part of a strong HYHA Mite program that has developed the talent that gives HYHA the ability to raise championship banners.

Gameday this year ends with a pair of Bantam teams, both teams with players new to HYHA this season. “Yea there’s a couple new faces this year. And for us a lot of new Bantam’s in general” says Coach Tim Lee. “But the Bantam years are great, the kids know the game so its about setting them up to succeed.”

You can see the banner & the HYHA teams Saturdays at the Lou Asterino rink.