Ward, Porter play in New England District hockey festival in Rhode Island

11 years ago

Elizabeth Ward, daughter of Steve and Jodie Ward, and Payton Porter, son of Joe and Misty Porter, both of Houlton, have returned home from Rhode Island where they participated in the New England District hockey festivals March 22-24.

Ward was on the Maine Select Girls ages 14-15 team and Porter was on the Maine Select Boys 16 team.
Each state in the New England District – Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont – conduct tryouts to send a representation to the New England Festivals. The outcome is the best 17 players (15 skaters and two goalies) are selected for each of the boys’ age groups 12-17 and the 12-13 girls age group, with the 14-15 and 16-17 girl age groups fulfilling allotments from each state determined by the New England District Girls directors.
Both Ward and Porter were able to showcase their skills in the two-day event. Each team played four or five games for players to demonstrate their talents in playing hockey.
In Porter’s age division, five teams for each group were developed by taking the 85 representatives, and putting players from each state on different teams.
The teams are not there to win a tournament for their respective state. There is no championship game. Each player is evaluated by Division I and Division III New England College and USA Hockey National Development Team coaches.
The 17 best players from each age group are selected and sent to the National Festival weekend.
The objective of USA Hockey’s Player Development Program is to select and train the most competitive men’s and women’s ice hockey players to represent the United States at the Olympic, National, National Junior and Select levels of international competition.
Ward and Porter received on- and off-ice training from the coaches, along with current and former National Hockey League and Women’s National Team players.
For more information on the festival, visit www.meaha.com/ page/show/456337-maine-hockey-festival.
Nick and Zach Cowperthwaite, sons of Eric and Audra Cowperthwaite formerly of Houlton, also were selected to attend. Nick represented the Maine Select boys 14 team, while Zach was chosen for the Maine Select boys 12 team, but was unable to attend due to illness.