Head Coach: Jon Ames
Assistant Coaches: Larry Cracchiolo, Annika Zalewski (Colgate '18), Nicole Kirnan Kelly
Jon Ames - Taking the reins of the U-12 Tier 1 girls team is former Utica College standout, Jon Ames. Before transferring to Utica College, Ames played two years of Division I hockey at the University of Connecticut. In two seasons at Utica College (2003-2005), he tallied 68 points on 34 goals and 34 assists in 53 games. Ames helped the team to its first regular season title and first conference championship game. During his senior season, Ames was named an ECAC West Honorable Mention. After completing his college career, he played in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) for the Toledo Storm & Phoenix Roadrunners before focusing on coaching. Ames joined the Utica College Pioneers coaching staff in 2017 and helped the team to its first conference championship. Ames coached the Utica Jr. Comets AA team this past season, and will look to use his elite hockey background to help develop the Utica Jr. Comets girls program.
Larry Cracchiolo - Larry was born in Utica, NY and grew up playing hockey in the New Hartford Youth Hockey Association. He played high school hockey at Proctor High School before leaving to attend Williston Northampton Prep School where he was the assistant captain and graduated in 1997. Cracchiolo then played Division I hockey at Iona College from 1997-2000 before transferring to Utica College in 2001 for the inaugural season. After college, Larry began coaching at Proctor High School where he eventually became the head coach and earned Section III Coach of the Year honors. Larry has recently been involved with coaching local programs such as New Hartford, Rome, and the Copper City Rush girls program.
Annika Zalewski - Zalewski played youth hockey in Central New York before moving to Buffalo in high school to play for the Buffalo Bisons and attend Nichols School. She went on to be the captain at Colgate University and led the team to the National Championship game her senior year. After graduation, she played for the Buffalo Beauts (NWHL) and joined the PWHPA for the Dream Gap Tour during the 2019-20 season. Zalewski was an assistant coach for the Nichols School Prep A Girls team in 2018-19, and was involved in coaching skill development with the Academy of Hockey in Buffalo. For the past two seasons, Zalewski has been an assistant coach for the Valley Eagles Tier 1 14U Girls team. All three of Zalewski’s older brothers played professional hockey. Her brother Mike spent two seasons with the Comets from 2014-2017.
Nicole Kirnan Kelly - In high school, Kelly attended Choate Rosemary Hall and played for the CT Polar Bears, helping the team to a national championship in 1997. She then played at St. Lawrence University where she was a three-year captain and led the team to a National Championship appearance in 2001. As a player, she was a Member of the USA Junior Team and attended the Olympic Festival in 1999 and 2000. After playing, Kelly coached Manhattanville College from 2001 to 2006 and led the team to an NCAA tournament bid each year. Kelly was an assistant coach at the Olympic Festival and coached at National Development Camps in 2002, 2003 and 2004. She was a co-owner of Syracuse Stars Jr. program from 2013 to 2019, and created Velocity Hockey Training. Velocity was a player development system whose members included Alex Tuch, Thomas Harley, Eamon Powell, John Beecher, Anthony Angelo, Joel Farrabee and many others. Kelly's 2001 team at St. Lawrence was inducted into St. Lawrence Hall of Fame.
- Flagship girls program to play out of brand new Nexus Center (opening Nov. 2022)
- Tier 1 State Tournament bound
- Weekly Power skating and Power Edge Pro
- Players will be broken into small groups to work on PEP Training, power skating, goaltending, and shooting.
- Regular practices - full and half ice
- Access to gym in Nexus Center for off ice workouts
- Tournament budget included in registration, including home tournament
- 16-18 home games
- 50-55 game schedule
- Tryouts: March 22-23