Player Awards

The following awards are presented to our HYHA players at the end of each season.


Awarded to a second year Mite player

Mr. Larson was a coach with the clinic level many years ago, during which time at a young age he died in a motor vehicle accident. At that time HYHA and the Larson family created this award in his memory. This award is given a second year mite who improved the most, in the opinion of his /her coaches during the course of the season.


Awarded to a second year Squirt player

Charley Spillane coached in HYHA for several years at different levels during the 70's. After his passing his son Todd, a former HYHA player, and others created the Spillane scholarship, and Squirt sportsmanship award in his memory, to recognize Charley's devotion to HYHA. This award is given to a second year squirt as determined by his / her coach to demonstrate sportsmanship and leadership throughout the course of the season.


Awarded to a member of the Peewee B or A1 team

This award was established in 1975 by the Hillhouse Class of 1953 Reunion Committee to be awarded annually to a member of the Hamden Youth Hockey Associations Pee Wee House League in honor of Paul Scott Cosenza, an eleven-year old member of HYHA's Pee Wee House Team at the time of his death from Hodgkin's Disease on January 8, 1975.

HYHA has graciously and generously continued the presentation of this Award each year at their annual banquet. Over the years, the HYHA and youth hockey across the state has gone through many changes. One of those changes is that there is no longer a Pee Wee "House League", so the Award is presented to a member of the Pee Wee B team. The coach of the Team is give the opportunity to select a player who exemplifies a good sportsman. A good sportsman is a person who has respect for other players, coaches and spectators. S/he is a person who demonstrates self-control, discipline, abides by the rules of the game, accepts victory and defeat graciously and who wins without boasting and loses without complaining.

Over the years, the recipients of this award have gone on to successful in business and parents and coaches of current HYHA players. The recipients names are engraved on a plaque and displayed at the Lou Astorino rink.


Awarded to a second year player of any level

Awarded annually to a player exhibiting the qualities and skills needed to help their team reach their highest potential during the season season - those that bring out only the very best in his/her teammates


Awarded to a second year Bantam A player

Awarded annually in honor of Matt & Jamie Roche, players for both HYHA as well as Hamden High. The award is given to a Bantam A player who demonstrates good sportsmanship.


Awarded to a female player at any level

Awarded annually in honor of Patricia "Patty" Carney. Patricia was the loving mother of multiple HYHA hockey players & was a calm steady influence around the rink. The award is given to a Girl player who demonstrates exceptional sportsmanship throughout the year.


Awarded to a Bantam second team player

Awarded annually in honor of James Mills. Given to a player on the second Bantam who best exemplifies the true meaning of a teammate.


Awarded to a player at any level

This award has been established to be awarded annually in the honor of Mason Stasiak, a former Hamden Youth Hockey player who at the age of 20, died in motor vehicle accident in April 2019. Mason loved his time growing up on the ice as a HYHA player. He was a passionate defenseman who wore his heart on his sleeve. He considered his team his family and together they brought home 2 State Championship titles, 2011 & 2013. Mason played with pride and a lot of passion. He was not afraid to put in the work that it took to reach his goals, always working hard to improve himself. Mason took pride in not only himself but his team as well. One of Mason’s former coaches stated “ Mason was our most improved player not just for his skill set but he matured as a player, learning how to control his emotions and was able to focus on a goal as a team player.” Another stated “Mason was the kind of kid who was coachable and always put the team first. A kid of integrity and above all respected everyone coaches, parents, teammates, opponents and officials.”

This award is given to a player that, as determined by his/her coach, has shown the most improvement over the course of the season.


Awarded to a coach at any level

Richard Pogonelski was the type of hockey player coaches dream about, he was a leader and superstar while on the ice. Rich went on to have a very successful hockey career, accepting a scholarship to play Division 1 college hockey before a series of injuries ended his collegiate career. Rich had a passion for the game that was second to none, and he credited that to the coaches he had while growing up in the HYHA system. His love for the game was instilled in him at a very young age and was still present long after his career ended. That love and passion led Rich into coaching and giving back to the hockey community that had given him so much. If you ever had a chance to ask Rich what made him so good at the game, his answer was always the same, “I was lucky to have great coaches from the time I started in Mites until the time I ended my career in college”. Rich believed that a coach is more than someone that just teaches the game, he believed that a coach’s job is to be a mentor and make every player a better person both on and off the ice.

Unfortunately, Rich passed away unexpectedly in March 2019 leaving the entire hockey community at a loss.

The Richard Pogonelski Memorial Award was established to honor Richard’s legacy and to be presented to the HYHA coach that best resembles Richard’s love and passion for coaching and mentoring.

Collin Burke Memorial Goalie Award

Awarded to a goalie at any level

Awarding in memory of Collin Burke. Collin was known to his teammates and coaches as “Burkey”. He had an immense love for hockey, specifically playing goalie. Collin played his entire youth hockey career with Hamden. After youth hockey he went on to play with Notre Dame High School and then transferred back to Hamden to finish his career and graduate a Dragon. As a goalie Collin was selfless, which he demonstrated by continuing his hockey career by working at Pro Crease. There he passed the goalie knowledge he learned over the years to the next generation of goalies. As a goalie he never cared about his personal stats or accomplishments in the net. Instead he focused on doing everything he could to help his team and friends succeed. He wore the weight of the team’s success on his shoulders and always believed he could do more for them. His passion and drive to compete for his team made him a successful goalie who never gave up in the net.

This award will be presented each year to a goalie in the HYHA who embodies a passion for wearing green and gold while competing every moment on the ice not for himself but his teammates.

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