September 2006
Amanda Leaves the U10 Girls Team to Play a Higher Level of Hockey

Amanda asked to play at a higher and more competitive level of hockey this season.  After talking with Coach Mark Johnson in Wisconsin, she felt that the girls (U10) team that she was supposed to play for, was  below her playing abilities and that she may not be challenged enough.  She asked to tryout and play for the boys teams in Phoenix. She felt she would be more challenged by the boys teams. Unfortunately, most of the boys team had already had their final tryouts by the time Amanda got back to Arizona from Wisconsin.

Amanda is Granted Permission  to  Practice with the VOSHA Mustangs U16 AAA Girls Team

Head Coach Gayle Shalloo was starting a AAA Girls Hockey Program at the Arcadia Ice Arena in Phoenix.   Amanda's dad put in a call to Coach Shalloo asking about the different  divisions being offered. Coach Shalloo had just enough girls to form a U16 team this season. She did state that this team would be playing at the AAA level, even though the talent was slightly below that.  The way she was structuring her practices over the course of the season, would allow for girls that were not actually rostered to the team to participate in 1-2 practices per week for skills development and conditioning.

Amanda elected to participate with the 15 and 16 year olds even though she would not play a game all season.

Amanda Rostered to the U16 AAA Girls Team at VOSHA
Coach's Gayle Shalloo and Jen Lipman decide to Roster Amanda to the U16 AAA Girls team for the Anaheim Lady Duck Tournament the end of September.  The coach's felt that Amanda was skilled enough to be rostered to the team and participate in all the ice practices and off ice sessions leading up to the Tournament in  California at the end of the month.  The Team was going to be playing in the 19U division.  This division would have U16 and U19 teams participating in the tournament. 

Amanda's ability to compete and play in this tournament would determine whether the coaches would roster her to the team for the remainder of the year.  If the tournament didn't go well, then she would just participate in the open practices.

Looking For A Boys Team To Play On

Amanda was given a tryout with the Peoria Roadrunners Squirt B team.   The team had already been selected for the upcoming season, but the coaches were interested in Amanda playing for the team. Amanda was clearly the best player on the ice for this team.  She was rostered to the team. Her work ethic in practices made her a perfect candidate to be a role model for the other players on the team.

The practice schedule and local Sonoran League Games would not conflict with girls team in the event that she was rostered to the Girls team.  However, there were some tournament conflicts on the schedule.

 Amanda played for the Roadrunners in their Labor Day Tournament.  The Team went 2-2 earning third place.

Out of the team's 15 goals, Amanda had 5 of them, with two assists and 7 minutes in  penalties.  All in all, a pretty good weekend.

Lady Ducks Tournament In Anaheim

Amanda plays for the VOSHA Mustangs U16 AAA team, even though her participation with the team was protested. 

There are no restrictions on a players age as long as they are under the age limit.  Amanda was 10 years old at the time of this tournament.  All of the regular rostered girls were 15 and 16 years old.  There were two additional girls that were rostered for this particular tournament. 
They were 17 and 19 years old. 

The tournament director informed the coaches that there was a protest to Amanda playing on this team.  They asked why Amanda was on the team and the coaches explained that she was capable of playing at this level and that they would not have rostered her if they felt she would not be able to handle it.  They also told the tournament director that they would never put a player in a position that they would get harmed.

The Mustang Girls battled to a 1-2 record.  Amanda did very well for her first big girls tournament.  She even knocked a couple of big girls on their butts. 

The protest to Amanda playing on this team actually helped the team unity and the girls bonded with Amanda as one of "them" (big girls).

Peoria Roadrunners Release Amanda From Their Squad!

The Peoria Roadrunners coaching staff were now faced with a tough decision.  They really didn't believe that Amanda would be rostered to the Girls U16 AAA team.  

With Amanda being rostered to the Girls team, and the requirements for her to play X number of games on the girls roster, meant that Amanda would have to commit to the Girls Team's Tournaments instead of playing with the Roadrunners at their tournaments.  

The Roadrunner coaches had established a rule before Amanda joined the team, that if a player was rostered to the Roadrunner Team, they needed to commit 100% and that included attending all of their tournaments that they planned to attend over the coarse of the season.

Amanda would jeopardize her chances of playing with the Girls team at the State, Rocky Mountain District and National girls Tournaments if  she didn't participate in as many games/tournaments as the Girls team played in. 

Amanda could have been a super shining star on the Roadrunner Team, but she made the decision to play on the girls team only at this point.  She felt the Roadrunner coaches were making a big mistake by not letting her play with them.  "Why would they get rid of their best player. It's their loss dad", she said. "I'll just play with the big girls team."