Getting Started in Ice Hockey

So you are interested in getting your child started in ice hockey?  Well, you've made a wonderful decision.  The relationships you'll make, the memories you'll accumulate, and the valuable life lessons learned by your child are absolutely priceless.


On this page, you will find information to help cultivate your interest into a healthy, successful experience.


Thank you for starting this journey with us!  We're thrilled for you to be the next generation of Eagles!



The Ice

First things first, you need to get on the ice.  The Gardens Ice House in Laurel, MD is the perfect facility to take this first step.


With 2 NHL sized rinks, 1 Olympic rink, 1 seasonal outdoor rink, and The Ice Den Training rink, The Gardens Ice House is your one stop location for all your hockey needs.


Here at The Gardens, you'll discover outstanding introductory programming to make sure you get on the right track from the first stride.

The Fundamentals

The following programs are offered directly through The Gardens Ice House and are the key buildling blocks of your ice hockey experience.

Everything in ice hockey begins with skating.  A quality skater always stands out.  Even the pros spend substantial training time focusing on their skating.  Learn-To-Skate is the perfect place to begin building confidence and skating skills.


The Learn To Skate program, Directed by Greg Maddalone, is designed to provide a fun, engaged, learning atmosphere for students of all ages.


Click HERE to get started!

Once you've built a foundation of skating skills, it's time to getting down to ice hockey!


Learn to Play provides equipment, time, and instruction.  Fun and affordable, LTP is a great way to develop fundamentals necessary to become a contributing team player.  Irene Hudson is the Administrative Manager of Learn to Play and is more than ready to help answer all your questions about getting started in the program.

Click HERE to get started!

The Next Step

As your skills and confidence develop, you'll be looking to apply your fundamentals in gameplay.  The Tri-City Eagles House Hockey program is the perfect launching pad for this next step!


In our program, we emphasize fun competition focused on player growth.  Here you'll learn hockey specific skills through practices, scrimmages, and age specific games that utilize smaller portions of the ice.  Players will develop crucial team concepts like puck support, puck possession, puck movement, angling, defensive support, net front presence and much more!  Currently, the Tri-City Eagles House program is open to all players ages 5-12 (born in 2010 through 2017).


House Hockey is available in two formats depending on the time of year:


Winter Season
- Beginning late October through end of February
- Weekly schedule of one weekday practice and one Saturday scrimmage/game event
- Additional skills practices available intermittantly
- Open registration for those graduating from "Learn to Play" mid-season
- 7 week series available in the spring, summer, and fall
- Weekly schedule of one Saturday scrimmage event
- Coincides with the start and end dates of the "Learn to Play" program series, creating a smooth transition from program to program

Visit the Tri-City Eagles House House page for more details, and registration information!


Questions?  Contact our House Hockey Director Matt McLaughlin for assistance.

...and Beyond

From here, the choice is yours.  You can stay in Tri-City's House program for as long as you'd like, or start moving towards Travel Hockey.  Travel Hockey carries a larger commitment, work load, and financial obligation but does provide a higher level of competitive hockey.  Tri-City also provides a "Travel-Lite" program at the 10U and 12U ages that builds a bridge between House and Travel options.


If Travel hockey is of interest, it is recommended that you expand your training to include clinics, camps, and/or lessons to accelerate development.  Contact House Hockey Director Matt McLaughlin for more information.

Gearing Up

Below you'll find valuable information on how to get started with your gear.  Once you graduate from Learn to Play, you are responsible for your own equipment.  The information below will help provide a head start on a few aspects of gearing up your player.


East Coast Hockey and Skating is a great place to get started with knowledgeable staff, a fantastic inventory, and they're conveniently located inside The Garden's Ice House!

Lacing Your Skates

Tying Your Skates

Taking Care of Your Stick

Taping a Stick - Toe to Heel

Taping a Stick - Heel to Toe