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 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 your key to 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.  I


The Gardens Sports Limited Learn-To-Skate USA program, Directed by Greg Maddalone, was designed to provide a fun, safe, 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 build the confidence necessary to be a contributing team player.  Don't forget to keep working on your skating, though!


Click HERE to get started!

The Next Step

As your skills and confidence develop, you'll be looking to join a team.  Tri-City Eagles House Hockey is the perfect launching pad into your team experience.  From there, we'll be with you every step of the way!

House Hockey

Once you've gained mastery of the Learn to Play programming, it's time to get started on a Tri-City Eagles House hockey team!


In this program you'll learn hockey specific skills in a team environment while practicing, scrimmaging, and playing games.  The House season begins in October and ends in February and consists of one weekly session and one weekend session.  You will need to have your own gear.


Registration for the season opens in the summer.  There are no tryouts in House hockey; players are placed on a team as long as space is available.  What happens when you finish your Learn to Play session in December?  No worries, if there's space on a House team, we can get you added and playing right away!


Contact our House Hockey Director Matt McLaughlin for more information.

...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 much higher level of competitive hockey.  Most players spend 1-3 seasons in House hockey prior to Travel.


If Travel hockey is of interest, you will need to expand your training to include clinics, camps, and/or lessons to continue to ascend.  Contact our 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