Pomfret Girls Hockey Joins New Conference
The league is named in honor of two-time gold medalist Sarah Vaillancourt ’04.
The Pomfret girls ice hockey team, along with teams from five other independent schools, will form the newest conference in the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC). The other schools include Austin Preparatory School (MA), Kents Hill School (ME), Northfield-Mount Hermon School (MA), North Yarmouth Academy (ME), and Worcester Academy (MA). The formation of the new conference was spearheaded by North Yarmouth Academy Girls Hockey Coach and Associate Director of Athletics Matt Poulin.
“When we were approached with this opportunity, we knew it was something that would greatly benefit our girls hockey program and the young ladies who train day-in and day-out,” said Director of Athletics and Afternoon Program Mo Gaitán. “The addition of these league games will give us an opportunity to create parity across our schedule, even as we remain committed to the majority of our annual opponents. This schedule will continue to be a welcome challenge for our program.”
The new league, called the Vaillancourt League, is named in honor of Pomfret alumna Sarah Vaillancourt ’04, a two-time Olympic Gold medalist and member of the Canadian national team. After graduating from Pomfret, Vaillancourt played NCAA Division I hockey for the Harvard Crimson, where she was ranked fourth in the nation.
The six conference teams will play each other twice per season, once at home and once away, along with their out-of-conference games. For the first time since joining the NEPSAC ranks, the Pomfret girls team will be eligible for conference postseason play and conference awards. Only conference games will count towards the postseason.
“This is an exciting opportunity for the girls and the future of our program,” said Girls Varsity Hockey Head Coach Caroline English. “The chance to have a league playoff tournament will be another great motivation for the girls to continue to work hard and strive for the best this upcoming season.”
Joining the new league is just one in a series of positive developments for the Pomfret hockey program. Last season, the boys varsity team won the NEPSAC championship. In addition, the School recently invested $3.8 million in renovations to Jahn Rink, including a new state-of-the-art mechanical room, brand new ice-making equipment, and a new dehumidification system, which has made it possible for Pomfret to keep the rink open to players for most of the school year, from September 1 through April 1. “The new ice on its worst day is better than the old ice on its best day,” said one happy Pomfret hockey player.