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2019-2020 SAHA Season in Review

By SAHA Board of Directors, 05/26/20, 5:00PM CDT


2019-2020 SAHA Season in Review

Dear SAHA members,

We hope this finds you and your families doing well and staying safe and healthy. We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your participation in Stillwater Area Hockey. Our 2019-2020 season was another successful season and none of it would have been possible without all the dedicated players, parents, coaches and volunteers.

While we have already been working on plans for next season, we wanted to share a recap of accomplishments over the past year:


Accessibility –continue to increase participation in SAHA while helping to keep costs as low as possible.

  • Association membership hit an all-time high – 850+ athletes playing hockey!
  • Registration fees were held very close to the previous season all while facing the challenges of increased rates. With a comprehensive approach to the budget, we finished the season with a balanced budget.
  • SAHA’s financial aid program was able to support every family that applied for assistance. We were also able to support additional athletes’ ability to play hockey this season through our partnership with the local non-profit, Youth Advantage.
  • Thirty new players experienced hockey via the launch of our Girls’ Little Ponies Program. New players learned to play and receive an equipment package all at no cost, resulting in 90% of participants signing up to play in the association for the first time!
  • SAHA also partnered with Minnesota Hockey and the Little Wild Program. This program was another way to introduce another 60 first time players to the game.
  • Through the fundraising opportunities offered this season, over $40,000 was raised and went directly to individual families (Heggies Pizza Sales) or to team accounts (Papa Murphy’s).
  • We also received support from Sletten and Brettin Orthodontics as they once again generously sponsored our Mite/U8 Program as well as provided free mouthguards to our first year Squirts and U10 teams.


Player Development –We continue to invest in additional skill development programming, which we believe are the key ingredients to building a strong program. Key elements include:

  • PDP enhancements, with new programming such as ETS dryland & Puck Dynasty on-ice training
  • Boys and Girls Hockey Advisory Boards (HABs)
  • The tryout process; last year went digital through Team Genius, helping streamline the process for forming teams. Tryout drills were also revised based upon HAB input and were posted in advance for all members to view.
  • SAHA teams had success across the board this season with strong showings in the regular season and many tournament championships won. Strong performances in District playoffs resulted in sending eleven teams to Regions and five teams advanced to the Minnesota State Tournament!

    • U19
    • Jr Gold A
    • Jr Gold U16
    • Bantam B1
    • PeeWee AA

Unfortunately, the Covid-19 crisis caused the State Tournament to be cancelled and our teams did not get the opportunity to compete. However, we are honoring these teams with a special banner to be hung at the Rec Center. We are incredibly proud of the hard work and performance of these teams!




Charitable Gaming - Establishing charitable gaming has been a long-term goal for our association and we have made great strides towards creating this additional revenue stream. While the path to obtaining a Gaming license is not an easy one, we have worked diligently to overcome obstacles along the way. We were very pleased to report earlier this year that our Gambling License was officially secured, as was our first partnership at The Muddy Cow. It will take time to scale the operation, but additional locations are in development. It is our goal to generate enough funds so we can continue building the base of our program (Mites/U8) and ultimately to a point where proceeds can offset the cost of hockey for every SAHA family, as well as bring additional resources as decided by members. In order to achieve this goal, we will need additional volunteers. We highly encourage you to consider joining this committee!


Ice Contract with St Croix Valley Rec Center A key goal for the Board was to reduce the need for families to travel outside Stillwater for practices and home games. We are happy to announce that starting with the 2020-2021 season, SAHA has our first-ever ice contract with the City of Stillwater that will provide all teams with more local ice time – and the need to drive further away for ice will be greatly reduced or eliminated!


Building a Positive Culture and Community - Another of our top priorities is to continue building a positive culture and a connected community within SAHA. This has been accomplished in a variety of ways. With the unification of team apparel we consistently represent SAHA both inside and outside our community. Our Codes of Conduct have been great reminders of always bringing the highest levels of sportsmanship while positively representing our association and town. And, through the work of the Playmakers hosted events that bring us together outside the rink such as the Golf Tournament, Bingo/Moms Night Out, End of Season Celly, Back to Hockey Night and Skate with the Ponies Nights! We should all be very proud of the positive culture and reputation our community enjoys.


Board Elections - Tomorrow, will be the last official meeting for three out-going Board members: Eric St. Martin (Director of Girls’ Hockey – past 4 seasons), Jeanette Geisbauer (Secretary – past 4 seasons) and Jill Gerard (Off-Ice Operations and Community Affairs Director – past 2 seasons). We are very appreciative for all the work and contributions each of these Board members have made over the years. Thank you all for your dedication to our program!


Our annual SAHA Board election to fill these three positions is taking place from 6:00pm – 8:00pm on Wednesday May 27, 2020. Due to the Stay Safe MN Regulations, the election will be held at the Rec Center’s parking via a drive-thru process. Please plan to attend to cast your vote.


This season, we will also be saying good-bye and sending a huge thank you to Tammy Freeman. Tammy has been SAHA’s Registrar for 23 seasons! Tammy has worked tirelessly making sure all our athletes are registered correctly, that our coaches certification are in compliance. She has been an amazing asset to our hockey community. Thank you so much, Tammy, for your two+ decades of incredible service to SAHA. You will be missed!


In the coming weeks we will be sending an email with additional volunteer roles we are looking to fill. It truly takes a village to operate an association of our size and caliber and we hope you will consider giving back and filling one of these open positions.


In closing, thank you again to each of you for all you do to help make our association such a strong and vital part of the Stillwater community. None if it would be possible without your dedication and participation! We look forward to continuing to provide your children with the opportunity for growth, development and fueling their love of the game all while elevating our association to continued new heights.



SAHA Board Members