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Rifles announce acquisition of Western Mass. Blizzard, region's only all-female program

By Rifles Hockey, 12/20/19, 8:30PM EST

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WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (Dec. 20, 2019) -- The Springfield Rifles, the premier travel hockey program in Western Massachusetts, are excited to announce the acquisition of the Western Mass. Blizzard.

Beginning with the 2020-2021 season, teams and players from the Blizzard, the only all-female youth hockey program in the region, will exclusively play under the Rifles name. The organization aims to host girls teams at the U19, U16, U14, U12, and U10 age levels and compete against increased competition in the Elite 9 Hockey League, National Girls Hockey League, Connecticut Girls Hockey League, and the Eastern Select Girls Hockey League.

The acquisition comes as a result of expanded interest in and the extreme growth of girls hockey.

“We’ve heard from parents looking for a place for their daughters to play and compete at a high level,” said Brian Foley, Rifles General Manager. “When looking at the landscape and what the Blizzard has done to grow, we realized we could do it better together.”

The newly-formed affiliation enables the Blizzard immediate access to the E9 Hockey League, arguably the premier youth ice hockey league in the region. Blizzard teams at the U10 and U12 levels have already started competition in the E9 under the Rifles name.

“The growth has been tremendous,” said Rick Vadnais, the Blizzard’s Vice President and Director of Coaching. “We’re excited for the experience and strength of the Rifles and the opportunity to continue that growth for our players while keeping elite girls hockey in Western Massachusetts.”

About the Springfield Rifles -

The Springfield Rifles provide a competitive hockey experience for players at all age levels.

Offering structured hockey development programs, the Rifles’ rosters include players from over 20 states and Canada. ​Teams play in the Elite 9 (E9), Boston Hockey League (BHL), Premier Hockey League (PHL), and the prestigious Beast Series Midget league. The Rifle Bantam Major and Midget teams are National bound and play the best teams in the country. There is a growing list of Division 1 college players that have played in the Rifles program. ​For more information, visit rifleshockey.com/college.

About the Western Mass. Blizzard -

The Western Mass. Blizzard is the only all-female hockey program in Western Massachusetts. Headquartered out of the Olympia Ice Center in West Springfield, the Blizzard provide young women a place to develop their hockey skills while promoting positive life lessons both on & off the ice. The program fields teams at the U10, U12, and U14 levels and compete in the Elite 9 Hockey League and Connecticut Girls Hockey League. For more information, visit www.westernmassblizzards.com​.

For press inquiries, please contact Ben Larsen by visiting: ​bit.ly/wmassblizzardcontact