Summer Celly League Launches Inaugural Season

Women’s summer hockey league features Pros and College Players 

Bloomington, MN - The Summer Celly League is set to launch it’s first season on Tuesday, July 11th from the Bloomington Ice Garden in Bloomington, MN.  Five teams will participate in the league comprised of professional, collegiate and incoming collegiate players.  Each team will play six regular season games with playoffs on the weekend of August 5th and 6th.  The league shifts from the Bloomington Ice Garden to Braemar Arena in Edina, MN beginning Friday, July 28th.  Games from Bloomington will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays with the games from Edina a combination of Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 

Holy Family Fire girls’ coach and former Bloomington Jefferson Jaguar goaltending standout Randy Keoppl had the idea come to him while at Braemar Arena a few years ago.  “The southside down in that lobby is where it actually started,” Koeppl said.  “Two girls that will be playing in the league, Maddy Morgan (Brown) and Maeve Kelly who is out at BU were helping out with STP last summer and they were asking about it, we need a league, we need something and brought it over to Chris  and here we are a year and change later.” 

Koeppl was referring to Chris Peterson who is a former Jaguar youth player and member of the Academy of Holy Angels that went on to play collegiately at Gustavus Adolphus.  Peterson is well known for his player development work and coaching in girls’ hockey and has been a driving force in the game impacting hundreds if not thousands of players over his coaching career. 

“The collegiate players and the players getting ready to go to college needed somewhere to play some high competitive games, to get ready and to prepare for their college season. I was thinking it is something that has been missing for a long time,” Peterson said.  

Minnesota Oncology stepped up as the lead sponsor to the Summer Celly League which would not be possible for their partnership.  “Minnesota Oncology, the league probably doesn’t happen if they don’t step up and it’s a great company, a Minnesota based company and we couldn’t be more thankful for what they’ve done,” said Koeppl. 

The Summer Celly league is created to be a fun atmosphere combined with a competitive environment to help the players prepare for their upcoming season.  “I think that getting ready for a 35-game season is a grind and I don’t think we need to be adding any additional pounding on the body and we want it to be fun,’ Peterson said.  “But we want their feet to move, we want them to skate,  we want to keep the contact to a minimum but it will be set up just like a regular game.”

The games will consist of two 25-minute halves with the clock stopping at penalties and at the close of each half. There will be a single player sudden death shootout at the end of the tie games.  

Boston University’s Kylie Roberts is looking forward to reconnecting with old teammates and playing with and against players from different areas.  “When I first heard of it I thought it was going to be awesome just because I was going to be playing with some of my old teammates and playing against people from all over and getting a chance to play against teams we don’t get to play out east,” Roberts said.  

Having a chance to mentor incoming collegiate players was a great thing for Roberts.  “I thought it was really cool getting to know that we get to show some of the girls coming into college hockey the pace and what it’s all about and to give them tips and tricks and be leaders and give them advice,”  Roberts said.  

Roberts, a former Edina High School standout, also added that playing against pro athletes will also help her game and other collegiate players. “I also thought it was pretty cool how we were going to play with some pro women’s athletes and especially girls that we look up to growing up and now seeing how their careers have developed.”  

Sedona Blair played her high school hockey at Holy Family and the decorated goaltender is headed to the University of New Hampshire this fall and she too is looking forward to settling in on the pace of play which has traditionally been one of the more difficult transitions from high school to college hockey.  

“It will be really helpful to get to know the pace of play and everybody always says right when you get to college it’s super hard your first couple of weeks,” Blair said. “You feel like you can’t stick handle, you can’t feel like you can stop a puck.  I’m glad that Randy and CP are giving  us an opportunity to learn the pace of play and be ready to go into college.” 

The Summer Celly League is a fun and fresh way to celebrate women’s hockey and to take in some of the area and beyond’s best players.  If you can not take in the games and would like to see some great hockey action, it will be available on the MNHockey.Tv all season long.