The U6-U9 division is where kids learn to love coming to the rink! Their goal is to learn how to soar like a Thunderbird as they progress through the age groups.
Since the 2018-19 season, our program has been led by Vancouver Hockey School's Derek Popke. We follow a dual approach to maximizing a player's development:
- Skill groups - each player is assigned to a skill group with players of their age that are at a similar skill level
- Teams - for U7, U8 and U9, all players will also be assigned to a team that they will have practices and games with over the season
Goalie development: we are always on the lookout for the next goalie of the future, and they are more often than not found in a player who, at 6 or 7, say they aren't a goalie. And then they try it and they LOVE it! TBirds has all players in U7 and U8 put the pads on at least once over the season, and those that enjoy it can finish out the season on a rotation. We do ask that all U7 and U8 players play as a skater more than goalie as it is critical if they want to play the position later to have a solid base of skating, which is not possible to gain for shorter legs in goal pads. At U9 we still want to see as many players as possible get into the net, but it is no longer required for those that really don't want to. As well, those who want to expand their experience will have more opportunities to play. Goalie training occurs on an opt-in basis for U8 and U9 players in the first half of the season led by ProFormance Goalie School.
For more information on the upcoming season, see the What to Expect document for your division below:
Start of Season
All players will be assigned to initial assessment groups alphabetically. We ask that you make every effort to make the ice time you are assigned to. If you absolutely cannot attend, then please email us for next steps.
We will be looking for parent volunteers to fill a number of roles throughout the balancing process.
- On-ice assistants (certified coaches or on ice volunteers only)
- Dressing room monitors
In addition, we have posted lead or coordinator roles for a number of our in-season programs such as our Career Mentorship Program, Players Giving Back program and many others. We would love to be able to offer all of these and many more programs this year but we need help to do so. Log into the volunteer portal here to look through the options and help us make TBirds even better!
We will post all pertinent information once it is confirmed by the venues. We expect to have the information by September 2 but please note that changes can happen at any point and we ask that everyone checks this section prior to each ice session during the balancing process.
Please click HERE for the latest COVID Update (updated Sept 8, 2021).
Over the past couple of weeks, our Board of Directors overseeing the U6-U9, Recreational and Rep divisions have held parent information meetings to provide an overview of the upcoming season. Thank you to the 487 parents that tuned into the meetings live! For those that weren’t able to join, the meetings were recorded and the…Read More