In 1987, the late Kip Sawpel founded a girls’ ice hockey program at Simsbury High School. Around that same time, for a short period of time, Glastonbury High School also started and maintained a girls’ ice hockey team. As there were no other girls’ high schools to play, the teams played games with prep school teams and skating club teams.
After the U.S. Women won the Women’s Ice Hockey Gold Medal in the 1998 Olympics, Greenwich High School started a girls’ ice hockey team, quickly followed by New Canaan High School. Within the next 3 years Fairfield and Ridgefield high schools also started girls’ ice hockey programs. By 2001-02, Greenwich, Fairfield, New Canaan, Staples, Trumbull and Darien all had established girls’ ice hockey teams.
In 2003-2004 the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference (FCIAC) began sponsoring girls’ hockey as a league sport. Soon thereafter, Wilton and St. Joseph high schools formed teams and joined the FCIAC league, which evolved into an 8 team conference. In addition, at approximately the same time, Hall/Conard, Hamden, Guilford, Hand, Simsbury, Notre Dame (Fairfield) and West Haven high schools formed girls’ hockey teams, and came together to create a second, independent league, the Central Connecticut Girls’ Hockey League (CCGHL).
In 2011, with the Southern Connecticut Conference’s (SCC) decision to add girls’ ice hockey as a sponsored sport, the CCGHL ceased to operate, and the former CCGHL teams began play as members of the SCC. The SCC expanded several times after 2011. By 2017, as the SCC had expanded to 15 girls’ ice hockey teams, the league was divided into two divisions: the SCC North (6 teams) and SCC South (9 teams).
The first girls ice hockey state tournament was played at the conclusion of the 2005-2006 season, Kip Sawpel, Val Chamberlain, Doug Scott and Rich Bulan brought the coaches from both the FCIAC and the then CCGHL together to form and play the first Connecticut Girls’ Ice Hockey State Tournament. The state tournament was continued in the years that followed, with the FCIAC and the CCGHL/SCC alternating sponsorship of an 8 team state tournament.
However, in 2015, Simsbury High School and East Catholic / Glastonbury / South Windsor were declared co-state champions after a double over-time contest. The game received national news media relating to the fact that the game was terminated after the second overtime while still tied, and co-champions were declared. Partly in response to that situation, and based upon the growth of the girls’ game, the CHSGHA was formed in 2015 by the FCIAC and the SCC to govern the girls’ high school ice hockey in Connecticut. The CHSGHA instituted a power ranking system for girls’ ice hockey, and the first CHSGHA sponsored state tournament was held in 2016 at Bennett Rink on the campus of West Haven High School. With the growth of the girls’ game, the CHSGHA expanded the girls’ ice hockey state tournament from 8 to 12 teams beginning with the 2017-2018 season.
In 2019, the Central Connecticut Conference (CCC) became the third Connecticut High School Athletic Conference to sponsor the sport of girls’ ice hockey, joining the CHSGHA compact with the FCIAC and SCC. Unfortunately, the 2019-20 CHSGHA State Tournament was cancelled after the quarterfinal round due to the public health emergency and state-wide shutdown made necessary by the COVID-19 pandemic.
2006 New Canaan 4, Ridgefield 1
2007 New Canaan 2, Guilford 1 (OT)
2008 New Canaan 3, Greenwich 0
2009 Darien 3, New Canaan 2
2010 New Canaan 2, Darien 1
2011 New Canaan 7, Ridgefield 2
2012 Hall/Conard. 3, New Canaan 2 (OT)
2013 New Canaan 2, Hall/Conard 0
2014 Simsbury 4, Guilford 1
2015 Simsbury 2, East Catholic/Glastonbury/South Windsor 2 (2 OT)
2016 Darien 2, East Catholic/Glastonbury/South Windsor 2 (FIRST YEAR OF CHSGHA)
2017 Darien 4, Hamden 3 (OT)
2018 Darien 5, Suffield/Ellington/Enfield/Housatonic/MLC 2
2019 New Canaan 3, Darien 1
2020 no state championship held due to COVID-19 pandemic
FORWARDS: Kori Bartko (Avon), Nora Birmingham (Ellington), Demeri Carangelo (Hamden), Maddie Epke (Guilford), Kaleigh Harden (New Canaan), Nelle Kniffin (Darien), Meghan Lane (Wilton), Grace Melanson (Simsbury), Taylor Nowak (West Haven).
DEFENSE: Tess Csejka (Amity), Shelby Little (Avon), Catherine Martin (Darien), Brooke McNabola (West Haven), Sydney Orszulak (Greenwich), Julia Swanson (East Catholic).
GOALTENDER: Caitlyn Caldon (South Windsor), Bethany Karp (Pomperaug), Blythe Novick (New Canaan).
FORWARD: Demeri Carangelo (Grade 11) – Hamden; Kaleigh Harden (Grade 9) – New Canaan; Jennifer Kelly (Grade 12) – Greenwich; Grace Melanson (Grade 11) – Simsbury; Taylor Nowak (Grade 11) – West Haven; Shea van den Broek (Grade 12) – Darien
DEFENSE: Jess Eccleston (Grade 12) – New Canaan; Veronica Lynn (Grade 12) – West Haven; Katie Piotrzkowski (Grade 11) – Greenwich; Julia Swanson (Grade 11) – East Catholic
GOALTENDER: Nora McGowan (Grade 12) – Conard; Blythe Novick (Grade 10) – New Canaan
FORWARD: Taylor Nowak (West Haven/SHA), Grace Melanson (Simsbury), Sophie Lupone (Suffield), Anna Tittmann (Suffield/Housatonic), Emmy Norton (Branford/EH/North Branford), Cally Dixon (Amity/NH/Cheshire), Shea Van den Broek (Darien), Liz McCarthy (New Canaan), Jen Kelly (Greenwich), Sophia Mughal (Fairfield Ludlowe), Erin Owens (St. Joseph),
DEFENSE: Katherine Sadak (Mercy/NW Catholic), Veronica Lynn (West Haven/SHA), Tori Geaglone (Suffield/Enfield), Kiki Tropsa (Darien), Jen Piotrzowski (Greenwich), Sydney Orszulak (Greenwich), Jess Eccelston (New Canaan)m Julianna Constantinople (Branford/East Haven/NB)
GOALTENDER: Julia SanGiovanni (Branford/East Haven/NB), Carina Mancini (Daniel Hand/Coginchaug), Blythe Novick (New Canaan), Jess Aselin (Greenwich)
FORWARD: Gianna Bruno (11), New Canaan; Kendall Castro (11), Mercy; Riley Ellsworth (11), Greenwich; Madeleine Gervais (12), East Catholic; Maggie Gould (11), Hamden; Savannah Herbek (12), Simsbury; Erin O’Meara (12), Conard; Erin Owens (10), St. Joseph; Cassidy Schiff (12), Darien; Shea van den Brook (10), Darien
DEFENSE: Jess Eccleston (10), New Canaan; Veronica Lynn (10), West Haven; Jennie Piotrzkowski (10), Greenwich; Gabriella Prisco (12), West Haven; Emily Rowland (12), Notre Dame (Fairfield); Mackenzie Sargolini (11), Hamden; Courtney Scheetz (11) Fairfield Warde; Kiki Tropsa (11), Darien
GOALTENDER: Emily Gianunzio (12), Darien; Julia SanGiovanni (11), East Haven
FORWARD: Marissa Baker, Senior, Darien; Maddison Bishop, Senior, East Catholic/Glastonbury/S. Windsor; Maddie Burns, Senior, Ridgefield; Georgia Cassidy, Senior, Darien; Gina Driscoll, Freshman, Amity/Cheshire/North Haven; Catherine Granito, Senior, New Canaan; Katie Grigely, Senior, Simsbury; Margaret Hallisey, Senior, East Catholic/Glastonbury/S. Windsor; Olivia Santini, Sophomore, Hamden
DEFENSE: Mia Carroll, Senior, New Canaan; Chandler Kirby, Senior, Darien; Abby Lally, Senior, Mercy/Northwest Catholic; Catherine Lawrence, Junior, Guilford; Jennie Piotrzkowski, Sophomore, Greenwich; Gabby Prisco, Junior, West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy
GOALTENDER: Brooke Jonsson, Senior, Wilton; Shannon Racz, Senior, Hall/Conard
FORWARDS: Georgia Cassidy, Darien (Junior), Samantha Cozzolino, Hamden (Senior), Mary Edmonds, Fairfield (Freshman), Catherine Granito, New Canaan (Junior), Katie Grigely, Simsbury (Junior), Maggie Grigely, Simsbury (Senior), Maggie Hallisey, East Catholic (Junior), Lexi Harney, Branford (Senior), Cassie Miolene, Stamford/Westhill/ Staples (Senior), Maeve Reilly, Ridgefield (Senior)
DEFENSE: Mia Carroll, New Canaan (Junior), Megan Fay, Stamford/Westhill/Staples (Senior), Chandler Kirdy, Darien (Junior), Nathalie Melanson, Simsbury (Senior), Gabriella Prisco, West Haven (Sophomore), Emily Rowland, Notre Dame-Fairfield (Sophomore)
GOALTENDERS: Claire Parry, Stamford/Westhill/Staples (Sophomore), Morgan Peters, East Catholic (Sophomore)