Frequently Asked Questions
What is the PACE Hockey Program?
Portland and Cape Elizabeth (PACE) Middle School Hockey is designed to provide middle school-aged children who reside in and/or attend a public or private school in Portland or Cape Elizabeth with an opportunity to play competitive hockey. Each of our teams is known as “The City Team”, which identifies our players at each level as being affiliated with a citywide program. Fifth graders are included in our program but are only permitted to play on our junior varsity team.
Who runs PACE?
PACE is run by volunteers, most of whom are parents of participants. Parent volunteers on our Board provide the leadership for running our program. Parents of players are also required to participate in various roles throughout the season.
Who pays for PACE?
PACE is a private organization and it’s NOT funded by the City of Portland or the Town of Cape Elizabeth or their school departments. All fees and costs associated with running the program are raised by parents, players, volunteers and other business supporters.
What does it cost?
The cost for the program in $345 per player. In order for PACE to keep this fee affordable, a variety of fund-raising activates are held throughout the year. It is imperative that parents and players participate in these events. That cost includes:
- 40 hours of practice ice time with 2 Friday practices a month dedicated to skills.
- Dedicated practice times, Monday and Friday 6:10-7:10 at Troubh Ice Arena.
- 12 games for JV, 16 games for Varsity.
- End of year Banquet to celebrate season with gifts for players and three awards given to individual players from both JV and Varsity.
- 1/8 page ad in the City Cup program for all families to show support for their child.
How does fundraising work?
Our registration fees do not cover all of our operational expenses (ice time, league fees, etc.) so we conduct two fundraisers throughout the year to help supplement the program and give the kids a chance to contribute to the program:
- We conduct a Bottle Drive on a Saturday morning in early October at the Redemption Center on Brighton Ave in Portland that has been very successful over the years and provides players and parents a chance to bond over a couple of hours at the beginning of the season. Players distribute flyers around their neighborhoods the week before the drive with instructions to leave out returnables on the curb the morning of the drive. We pick up the bags, bring them to the redemption center and sort them.
- We sponsor the City Cup games that take place over New Year’s weekend between Portland/Deering and Chevrus girls and boys teams. PACE produces a program for the games with pictures and rosters of the Varsity teams playing in the games as well as the JV and Varsity PACE teams. We sell ads to local businesses and we ask all players to bring in one ad to help support the program. PACE will refund 25% of ad fees, up to $50 maximum, for all ads brought in to reduce registration fees.
When is registration?
Registration will be available by September 1st through Sports Engine.
When are Player Evaluations?
Player evaluations take place in late September / early October to assess players’ skill levels and to assign them to the appropriate team. To ensure a fair and balanced procees, all returning players are required to participate in in Evaluations, regardless of skill level. We try to avoid cutting players if at all possible, and we have not turned away players in a long time.
When do practices start?
Practices start after evaluations in early/ mid October and continue through early March.
What are the divisions?
There are two divisions: Varsity and Junior Varsity. We have a team in each division.
Varsity Division (Hawkins): The varsity team is our official entrant in the Southern Maine
Middle School League. The varsity team plays 16 games each season and also participates in playoffs for the
Mariner’s Cup. The team practices once or twice a week and also has off-ice conditioning sessions. Placement
on this team is highly competitive. Play is at the Bantam level, but there is no checking. Team members are
typically very strong skaters with solid hockey knowledge and comfort with the size, speed and skill associated
with this level of play.
- Junior Varsity Division (Ingalls): The junior varsity team accommodates players not ready for hockey at the varsity level. The junior varsity plays a 12 game season and also participates in playoffs for the Mariner’s Cup. The team practices once or twice per week. Emphasis is placed on the development of hockey skills as well as participation in competitive games.
When and where are practices and games?
The season currently runs from September/October through early March. Most home games are held at the Troubh Ice Arena in Portland. Most away games are held at arenas in the greater Portland area. Playoffs may require additional travel.
What equipment is needed?
Each player must wear complete set of approved USA Hockey equipment. We have some donated equipment available.
What are the expectations regarding attendance?
All players are expected to be present for the scheduled practices and games whenever possible. It is understood that there will be times when a player will miss a practice or game. Coaches must be notified in advance of absences. Any other specific attendance policy will be provided by your coach.
What are the Friday Clinics?
The Friday Clinics are held twice a month. The ice time is designed to work on individual skills in a personal setting with the coaches. Practices are split into skill stations (skating/shooting/passing) and conclude with personal free time for the players. Stations allow the player to work on game and player specific development skills in a repetitive atmosphere.
What are PACE standards of behavior?
PACE requires good sportsmanship at all times. It is expected that players will comply with the rules and regulations of coaches, rinks and USA Hockey. Physical and verbal abuse of any player by another player or parent will not be tolerated at any time. Players are expected to demonstrate positive attitudes on and off the ice. Both player and parent “Code of Conduct” forms must be signed and submitted prior to the first tryout session.
Can players participate in both PACE and Casco Bay Hockey?
Many of our players participate in both programs. Any scheduling conflicts should be discussed with your coach as early as possible.
We conclude our regular season with an awards ceremony and banquet at a local facility.
PACE participates in a summer middle school hockey league at USM arena in Gorham during the months of July and August.
For more information about the PACE program, please contact Coach Chris Harmon at