The Walpole Express is dedicated to developing players of all skill levels from Mites to Juniors through a safe and fun environment. The Express Model is based upon three integral components; access to practice ice, professional coaching, and competitive games. Each Express Youth Team receives two practices, one skills session, and a weekly game(s) in order to provide the optimal balance of learning and playing opportunities. The Express Model will allow young players to acquire and assimilate the skills needed to focus on the long-term development of each athlete according to USA Hockey’s Development Model.
Where do the teams play?
Our Premier teams participate in the E9/BHL, one of the top leagues in New England. We will also continue to host Elite & Select teams within the Premier Hockey League of New England (PHL). We are allowed to place multiple teams at each level and therefore will make as many competitive teams as possible. The three levels of play provide opportunities for various skill levels to compete at the proper level of play.
What is offered at the Mite Level?
The Walpole Express will host at least one Premier travel team, as well as an in-house Mite League. The Express Mite League will consist of 4-6 teams that play a weekly half ice game. Teams will play 4v4 on our Olympic sheet. The half ice game format allows for players to get more touches on the puck and most importantly always be involved in the play.
What if my child is not yet ready for a Mite team?
We will continue to offer our popular Mite Development League, as well as our Learn To Play Hockey (Little Engines) league. We also offer a Learn To Skate programs. For more information about Learn To Skate, Little Engines, or Mite Development League, click here.
My player skates for their high school team. What programs are available to them?
We offer both split season travel (U18 & U16) and full season options (U18) for High School aged players. For more information, and to register for those tryouts, click here.
Who are the Express Coaches?
All Express coaches are paid professional coaches who are trained accordingly. Each coach completes training with owner Rob Barletta, Director Todd Stirling, and Skills Coach Jon Lounsbury prior to coaching with the Express. There are also guidelines that each coach must follow through out the season to fully develop each player on their team. Coaches are monitored through out the season on a weekly basis. To see coach bios, click here.
Who runs the weekly Dryland sessions?
For the 2018-19 season, our dryland program has taken a major leap forward and will run out of Powerplay Strength & Conditioning, our new gym within Rodman Arena. Led by director Michelle Lounsbury, players will be put through drills to improve their agility, balance, coordination, and strength to help supplement their on ice training. Learn more about PowerPlay SC at www.powerplaysc.com.
Who runs the weekly skill sessions?
Rob Barletta's hockey school will be running the skill sessions for all players. Each week our coaches will work to sharpen the individual's talents and skills. All drills are done at full speed with the coaches pushing each player to their full potential. Areas to be covered are forward and backward skating, shooting, pivoting, crossovers, stops, starts and fundamentals. You can check out RB Hockey’s website at www.rbhockey.com.
Do goalies receive specialized training?
Yes. Goalies are a unique position in the game that require special training. Express goalies get a weekly skill session with our goaltending coach. You can check out the website at www.ngdgoalies.com.
What does the tuition include?
Youth Teams: 2 weekly practices, 1 weekly skills, off-ice training, 1-2 games per week
Midget Teams: 2 weekly practices and an average of 1 game per week
Are there any additional fees?
Full Season Express teams playing within the E9/BHL and PHL (Mite-Bantam) will receive socks and a practice jersey. All players must purchase Home/Away Jerseys, Pant Shell, Team Bag, Team Travel Suit, Black Helmet, and Black Gloves separately. After the teams are chosen, we will have a sizing night. Half Season teams will only be required to purchase jerseys.
If you have jerseys, pant shells, bags, travel suits, black helmet/gloves from the previous season then you will not be required to purchase additional equipment. Should a number conflict arise on a new team, the newer player to the team will need to purchase new jerseys.
All players are required to participate in our Pre-Season Conditioning Camp. The date options will be July 30th-August 1st, August 6th-9th, or August 20th-23rd. You can attend the 9am-12pm session or the 12pm-3pm session. The cost of this camp is $295.
Do players need mouthguards (including goalies)?
Mouthguards are necessary. A player without one will be asked to leave the ice until they get one.
Can my player bring their own water bottle to the bench?
Players are permitted to bring their own water bottles to the bench. The Express provide clean water bottles, however we would never stop a player from bringing their own. Please note that the player is responsible for their own water bottle.
Will players be receiving helmet stickers?
We recommend that players purchase black helmets and require that all players wear Walpole Express decals on their helmets to represent our team in the league.
Players in the Midget levels will not be required to wear decals as we recognize that many players participate on their high school teams.
Will team and individual pictures be taken?
Team and Individual photos will be taken around October/November. Everyone will be notified with the details as soon as it becomes available.
Photos will be taken by Flash Powder Photo.
If interested in learning more about the program, don't hesitate to contact us.