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U7

U7 Program Information

The U7 team will continue the Elite Skill Development & Player Placement the Connecticut Chiefs are known for in the hockey community.The Connecticut Chiefs have advanced over 385 players to Prep School, Junior, & College Hockey. 

  • 2013 & 2014 Birth Years
  • Professional Coaching Staff
    Head Coach Brandon Johnson (bio below)
    Assst. Coach Chris Tornaquindici (bio below)
  • 24 Plus Mite Cross-Ice Games within CHC
    Limited Travel along Interstate 91 Corridor
  • 1 Tournament
  • On-Ice Team Practice 2x per Week 
  • On-Ice Skill Session 2x per month led by former NHLer Ike Corriveau
  • Off-Ice Training 2x per Week with PHG Training Center
  • Clearly Defined Player Development Path

Development Plan:
The Mites range from ages 6-8 years old.  The growth of players at this level is tremendous, however is also the time in their skating where the will learn the most good/bad habits that will either enhance their future abilities or hinder their best.

Our plan is to focus on skating technique and correction to create the best foundation for our young hockey players.  During the ages of 6-8, player focus and routine is the approach we take to create maximum rep time with limited down time.  Speaking with many teaching professionals, it can take 20-50 reps per player before muscle memory sets in.  The Connecticut Chiefs use fast pace practice routine that creates maximum movement time, while still working on the corrective fundamentals that will make your player better.

Format
(2)  One Hour Ice Practices per week.

  • Focused on Power Skating, Turning, Transitions, Edge Work, and Foot Reaction.
  • Focused on Skills, Shooting, Stick Handling, Positioning, Body Control, Passing, Heads Up play

(1-2) Off Ice Practices per week

  • Focused on personal growth.  Stick handling, Body Strengthening, Reaction Speed, Hand-Eye Coordination
  • Focused on Mental growth.  Video Sessions, Chalk Talks, Open conversations to make players learn hockey from a different prospective.

Why Choose Connecticut Chiefs: Focus on Long Term Success:

The CT Chiefs are a strong hockey minded organization.  As professionals, we understand that every family want to win, however fun and growth are the keys to success.  At the mite level, we specifically focus on these 2 ideas to create a serious yet fun environment for our young players.  Being an organization that has  placed over 385 top level players into Prep Schools, Junior and College Hockey, we know what scouts & coaches are looking for and asking about.  No Scout has ever asked, “How many points did your child have in mites”.  Understanding that your player’s developments is the #1 focus of Mites.  Position, Points, and Shift Time on ice are three ideas that have no bearing to your players development.  Teaching your players that practice is where you get better, games are for showing what you have learned in practice.  A love for the game, respect for their families and teammates, and have the best experience is what this age is all about.

U7 Head Coach Brandon Johnson

Building on 21 years of coaching experience, ranging from Junior A to Mites and a lifetime of hockey playing experience, Coach Johnson founded the Connecticut Chiefs in 2008. He recognized that an important niche in youth hockey was not being promoted; a hockey program that identifies a clear pathway to Midget AAA or Prep and Collegiate play by linking a player’s academics to their athletics. Since the Chiefs inaugural 2008 season, Coach Johnson has been instrumental in helping in excess of 385 families achieve their goal of promoting their players to the Prep level & College Level.

Coach Johnson grew up playing hockey in CT. During his senior year, he helped Newington High School reach the state finals. At Central Connecticut State University he played on two American College Hockey Association finalist teams.

In 2001, Coach Johnson began coaching Elite hockey as Head Coach of the CT Clippers Peewee Minor team. The following season, Coach Johnson led the CT Clippers Bantam Major team, featuring future NHL’er Nick Bonino, to the Atlantic Youth Hockey League playoffs.  In recognition of this achievement Coach Johnson also assumed Assistant Coaching duties of the CT Clippers Junior “B” team at mid-season.

In 2003, Coach Johnson was again promoted to General Manager/Assistant Coach of the Atlantic Junior Hockey League Regular Season Champions, the Junior “A” Wolfpack. In 2004 Coach Johnson was named interim Head Coach at mid-season. In 2005 Coach Johnson took on the dual role of GM/Head Coach of the CT Clippers Jr “B” team. For his efforts, he was awarded the Assistant Coach position on the Metropolitan Junior Hockey League All Star team representing the league at the USA Hockey Jr “B” All Star Showcase. He was also named Assistant Coach for the MJHL North Division All Star team. In the 2006 season Coach Johnson was named GM/Co-Head Coach for Jr “A” Wolfpack.

In the summer of 2006, Coach Johnson was selected to coach at the USA Hockey Select 16 Player Development Camp in Rochester, NY. During the 2007-2008 season Coach Johnson was the Southern New England Scout for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and was CHC’s CT Association Coaching & Director (ACE). From 2003 to 2008 Coach Johnson led Team CT as Head Coach to the Chicago High School Showcase. In 2007 Coach Johnson founded the Connecticut Chiefs Youth Hockey Association. 

Coach Brandon was the founder of the CT Chiefs for the 2008/2009 Season. He coached U16 and U18 for the past 10 seasons.

During the 2018-2019 season, Coach Brandon has led the CT Chiefs U16 Full season team  to AYHL playoffs. Three Players advanced to Prep School and Oliver Flynn committed to DI UCONN.

With thousands of games coached, Coach Johnson brings a unique perspective both to the bench and on the ice. His vast network of contacts throughout College, Junior, & the Prep world, prove invaluable in placing players. During his coaching career Coach Johnson has had the privilege of coaching 3 NHL players, 4 NHL Draft Picks, 74 DI, 189 DIII, and over 345 Prep School players.

Brandon, his wife Kristin, and sons  reside in Wethersfield  Connecticut.

U7 Assoc. Coach Chris Tornaquindici

Chris Tornaquindici brings an unmatched enthusiasm to the CT Chiefs and CCSU Blue Devils bench. Coach Torna played Varsity level hockey as a state champion in 1995-96, junior and intercollegiate levels as a Blue Devil himself from 1999-2001. As a Coach, Chris has taken the Ct Clippers Bantam Team to a major A title in 2003, and worked as an Assistant Coach and Head Varsity Coach at Conard High School for over 6 years. His emphasis on speed, energy and accountability pushed the team to a state semifinal game at Yale, and garnered Coach Torna the Division II Coach of the Year award from the CT High School Hockey organization. Coach Torna’s passion for the game of hockey and unwavering intensity behind the bench push his players to the ultimate level of performance. Coach Torna is excited to be back as a Blue Devil and take his team to a new level of success.