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Mites & Girls 8U Program Information


Welcome to the 2018-2019 hockey season. We are excited to welcome our newest members to the SAHA program and welcome back our returning players advancing in the next stage of their development. As we begin a new season, I want to start with an introduction and also share some exciting initiatives we will be rolling out this season. My name is Pete Johnston, I am serving in my fourth year as the Initiation Director and SAHA Board Member. I currently have two boys in our Mite Program and a first year Peewee in SAHA. I grew up in St. Paul, graduated from Woodbury High School, and have played at the collegiate level at the Air Force Academy and University of St. Thomas. I am looking forward to the opportunity to work with our dedicated team of coaches, parents, and players in making the 2018-2019 season a great experience for all. The initiatives for this season are the result of a thorough evaluation of our Mite/U8 program and our continued commitment of providing our players with the best development experience possible.

The initiatives include:

1. We do not allow for the practice of early move-ups for our Mite/U8 eligible players. The Initiation program will implement a proven path for progression by redefining the levels within the initiation program. The Divisions will include: Upper Level Mites/U8’s, Intermediate Mites/U8 Level 1’s, and Beginner Mites (Co-ed). *All players with a birth date of July 1, 2009 or younger are expected to sign up for the Mite/U8 program.

2. We will perform a skills assessment in the beginning of the season to determine player placement within the Upper Division Mites/U8’s. This process groups players within the Upper Division of the Initiation program based on similar skills and stage of development rather than by the player’s specific age and grade. The skills assessment will be conducted over 3 sessions in a low stress environment with the sole intention or properly placing the player at the appropriate level to ensure long-term success.

3. We will continue to enhance the Mite/U8 development experience by taking advantage of Minnesota Hockey’s rule change which provides our Upper Mite/U8’s with the opportunity to participate in a reasonable number cross-ice games, up to 6 full ice games, and a sanctioned Mite/U8 tournament. This includes competitive events with other teams in District 2.

4. Our Intermediate/U8 Level 1 and Upper Mite/U8 2 and 3 players will also benefit from In-Season Training Opportunities with Professional Instructors.

5. Our Beginner Mite Program will benefit from the experience of several talented returning coaches. In an effort to ensure the best experience for our youngest players we will informally segregate these players into two groups which consist of a Learn to Skate Group and the Intro to Hockey Group. This process, in addition to ensuring an appropriate number of players and coaches on the ice at a given session, will allow us to match our development curriculum with the appropriate skill level of our newest players. We are really excited about the initiatives for this season and are committed to making this a great year. Please refer to the updated Program Level descriptions and Registration Guidelines documents on the Mite and U8 Level program pages. It is essential to the development of our boys and girls that they are registered for the correct level so if you have any questions on which level might be appropriate for your son of daughter, please feel free to contact me. We will also be posting more information including the specific dates and times of the Upper Mite/U8 Division Skills Assessment on Mite/U8 program page in the coming months.

See you at the rink!

Pete Johnston – Initiation Director


Pete Johnston

Initiation Program Director

2018 Upper Mite and 8U Assessment Schedule

Assessments are for Upper Mites, Girls 8U2, Girls 8U3 players ONLY
  Please note that the groupings are randomly selected by previous level and age. No change requests will be taken.

The dates of the Mite/U8 Assessments will be October 24th - October 28th.  The groups  and final evaluation schedule will be posted by October 15th.  


Please read through ALL of the information provided below BEFORE registering your player!

The Mite (boys under age 9) and U8 (girls under age 9) programs are the foundation to many fun and successful years in the Stillwater Hockey community.  This page contains...

  • 2018-2019 Registration Guidelines
  • Program Descriptions

If you have any other questions, feel free to email Initiation Program Director - Pete Johnston.

Click Here for what equipment is required!

Mites and U8 players must wear full gear. Click above for a complete list of what is needed. You can purchase these items at most sporting good stores in the area. A complete set of equipment (excluding skates) should cost under $200.

Mite & U8 Hockey Information!

Below is a Q&A with some of the more common questions.  We hope this information is useful, however, feel free to contact Pete Johnston with any questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

How old does my child have to be to play hockey?
The recommended age for children who are entering the program for the first time must be 4 years of age as of July 1 of the year entering the program.  For those that are age 4 and those that are brand new to skating (regardless of age) we recommend that the child start in Beginner Mites (see Beginner Mite program description).  If a child has previous skating experience and are age 5 or older, they can participate in the Intermediate Mite/8U1 program.  If your child turned nine before July 1, 2018, they must play squirts (boys) or U10 (girls).  Mites and U8 is only for those who are 8 or under as of June 30, 2018.

Does my child have to know how to skate to participate in the SAHA Hockey program?
No, the Beginner Mite program is designed to teach all kids the fundamental skills that are required to play the sport of hockey. Skating is the most important skill and is heavily emphasized throughout the mites and U8 programs.  While the program is designed for players with very little skating experience we will informally segregate the Beginner Mite group into two groups:  Learn to Skate Group and Intro to Hockey Group.  If your Son or Daughter has no skating experience, we highly recommend singing your Son or Daughter up for the St. Croix Valley Recreations Center's Learn to Skate Programs prior to signing up for our Beginner Mite Program.  More information can be obtained at

How do I register my child?
Boys (mites) and girls (U8) MUST register ONLINE by clicking on the SAHA registration link on this page.   NOTE: All registrations for the SAHA hockey program must be accompanied by a USA Hockey Registration confirmation AND a copy of the official birth certificate for the participant. If your child participated in the SAHA last year, we have a birth certificate on file. If your child is new to the program, USA Hockey requires us to get and keep get a copy of the child’s birth certificate before processing the registration forms. 

Do I need to live in the Stillwater School District?
Generally yes.  However, if you reside outside of the 834 ISD boundaries but your child is enrolled in an 834 ISD and you intend to keep your kids in the Stillwater School District, you can request a waiver to play hockey for Stillwater.    

At what level should I sign up my child?
Please refer to the Program Descriptions and the Registration Guidelines provided on this page.

Will my child be placed with other children from his/her school? Can I sign my child up with a friend?
At Beginner Mites and Intermediate Mites/8U1 the program tries but does not guarantee that a child will play with others from the same school or friends. It is dependent upon number of teams, number of children registered, etc.  

Why are the fees higher for each respective Level?
The amount of ice time is increased at each level.

What do my fees include?  Are there any other costs or "team fees" that I will need to pay later in the year?
The registration fees for Beginner Mite, Intermediate Mite/8U1, and Upper Mite Red/8U2 cover ALL costs for the year (ice, jerseys, district fees, etc.).  Upper Mite Black and White and Girls 8U3 teams will be assessed a $210 program fee after the player skills assessment process is complete.  Further, teams are not allowed to charge team fees without approval from the Initiation Director.  The most common instance for team fees is if a team decides to have an end of season party, awards, or those types of things.  These costs are not covered in your registration fee.  You do of course need to supply your own equipment for your child as the fees do not cover individual equipment.

What is the refund policy if my child doesn’t like it?
Refunds are available until Dec 1st.  If you decide to cancel before December 1, you will receive 50% of your registration money back. 

How long does the season run?
The season begins in late October / early November and ends in late February or early March with a "Jamboree".    

How often do they practice?
Our Beginner Mites skate twice per week on Saturdays and Sundays for 45 minutes per session.  Intermediate Mite/U81 usually practice twice per weekend (once on Saturday and once on Sunday) and will play up to 5 games throughout the year at the Lumberyard for Mite Night Hockey Games.  The Intermediate Mite/U81 level practices are shared with 3 teams on the ice.  Mite/Upper Level Red/U82 skate on average of two times per week (Saturdays and Sundays) with up to 5 games which are usually on Friday nights.  The Upper Level Red/U82 level practices are shared with three teams on the ice for the 2017-2018 Season.  Upper Level White, Black/U83 practice on average of 3 to 4 times per week.   At the Upper Level White, Black/U83 level practices are shared with two teams on the ice. 

When do they practice?
Generally speaking, ice times are on Saturdays and Sundays between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.  However, given the huge demand for ice time at all levels of the Association, there may be situations where Mites and 8U teams practice outside of the time periods listed above.

SAHA 2018-2019 Program Fee Schedule 
Beginner Mite (coed) - $270
Intermediate Mite/8U1 - $360
Upper Mite Red/8U2 - $465
Upper Mite White & Black/8U3 - $675***

*** $465 will be due when registering.  An additional $210 team fee will be due by November 1st if your Son or Daughter is placed on a U83, White, or Black level team.

Please contact our Initiation Director, Pete Johnnston, with any additional questions.