Dana Hall’s ice hockey team: Home at last

Dana Hall School has its own ice rink, for the first time. It’s located in the Wellesley Sports Center, only ten minutes away from Dana Hall’s campus. 

Head coach and science teacher Ms. Sarah Jacobs notes that finally having a home rink allows the team to have a greater sense of stability, ownership, and pride. Previously not having a home rink, the team felt as though every game was an away game; however, now having their own school name on the ice and locker rooms, the team feels as though they finally have a base and a home. 

In addition to the benefits that the new rink provides during practice, there are also benefits that can be seen during games. Ms. Rebecca Kimball, Director of Athletics, Health, and Wellness, has noticed a more “consistent fan base and parent interest” with this new location. 

In recent years, Dana Hall’s ice hockey team practiced and played at the St. Sebastian’s ice rink. Therefore, practices began very early in the morning, at 6 a.m., to work around their schedule. The team practiced three times a week with 50 minutes of ice time per practice. 

With the new ice rink, the team is able to practice after school for two hours at a time. With more than double the amount of ice time, the team can have more practice time to build greater skills.  

Ms. Jacobs finds the longer time frame for practices useful because “[it] allows us to go from skills to systems that can let the team depend on each other rather than an individual reliance. Learning people’s habits and their positions allows the team to become more creative. Hockey is not like other sports in that it is fast, and it’s all about reading and reacting to other players on the ice. The more time on the ice during practice allows the team to learn how to react to different situations, a skill that can only be improved with time, and practice.”

Maggie Noone ’21, Jenna London ’22, and Laney Morris ’23 all note that they liked the better practice schedule made possible by the new rink; Maggie also said that “I believe that the schedule change contributes to more participants in the program this year.”  

The future of the ice hockey program is looking bright. Ms. Kimball mentioned that although “ice hockey is currently playing a JV schedule, I can definitely see within the next 3-5 years that the team moves to a varsity playing schedule, as it was a few years back.” Ms. Kimball also noted the allure that this new ice rink adds for prospective students, especially student athletes. 

There is also the added facility of a team locker room, which was not previously available. Ava Regan ’21 reflected that “I really like the fact that I can leave my bag in the rink knowing that it will be locked up that night.”    

Photo credit: Maggie Noone

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