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CSSHL Program Profile: Okanagan Hockey Ontario


Located in Whitby, ON, Okanagan Hockey Ontario (OHO) joined the CSSHL in 2018 and currently has one team.

2020-21 Teams:
U18 Prep


Partner School: Henry Street High School (Grades 9-12)

What are some of the things your program does to provide educational support?

“OHO has a dedicated staff member within the school that is a direct link to the hockey program. The Head Coach and Guidance Counselor meet weekly to discuss student progress. Through this consistent communication, support systems are put in place to support each of our athletes to reach their academic goals.”

How are grades monitored and how often?

“Grades are monitored by the Guidance Counselor at Henry Street. Each semester, midterms and report cards are sent to each family. Throughout the semester, student progress is reported to OHO staff and during team travel, progress reports for each student are sent to the coaching staff to monitor assignment due dates and upcoming tests for each student athlete.”

How are courses and the graduation path for student athletes chosen?

“Courses are chosen by the students at the end of each school year for the next year. Nicole Sorichetti who is the academic advisor for OHO helps all student athletes in choosing the right courses and helps with career path options. Throughout this process, she ensures student athletes who are interested in the NCAA route, remain eligible by taking NCAA eligible courses.”

Do you have an academic probation policy?

“Student athletes are to maintain a 65% average in school, which is reviewed monthly. Each student has certain circumstances on that grade point. If players fall below that grade average, a student responsibility agreement is developed with a plan of action to support the student athlete”. Removal from on and off-ice activities is a tool that will be used to enforce effort and accountability in the classroom.


Do you offer a billeting program or a dormitory for non-local student athletes?

“OHO offers a billeting program for non-local student athletes. The goal of our billet program is to provide
our student athletes a home away from home. Our billet families help shape our students into young adults
and help them move onto the next level of school and sport. We have the opportunity to use local families
who have students in the academy and external families who are a part of the community. This process
includes a questionnaire, in house visit and reference checks. We make sure it is imperative that the student
athlete and family have a connection and it is the right fit for both parties.”


How are injuries and sick student athletes monitored?

“All injuries and illnesses are handled and monitored by the team athletic therapist Jessica Pragg. Jessica
communicates all injuries with the student’s family, Head Coach and assists Elite Training Systems in any
recovery plans for the athlete.”


What does the daily schedule look like for an Okanagan Hockey Ontario student athlete?

“Student Athletes attend Henry Street High School from 9:00-1:50 and then arrive at the Iroquois Park Sports Centre around 2pm for their afternoon activities. Depending on the day, afternoon activities consists of on-ice training and/or team practice, off-ice workout, team meetings, video sessions, study halls, mental skills training and SAT prep. All activities are completed by 5:00 pm.”

How many games can your teams expect to play?

“Our U18 team plays 50-60 games a season, which includes the CSSHL regular season and Championships,
exhibition games and tournaments both in Canada and the United States.”

What does the on and off ice training look like?

“OHO offers over 140 hours of practice ice and off-ice workouts. Practice ice consists of team practices, skill
development sessions executed by Head Coach Brad Tapper and Skill Development Coach Mike Duco. Our
manager of strength and conditioning Mark Fitzgerald coordinates with the Elite Training System staff to
design individualized workout plans for all student athletes.


Who are some of the key staff at Okanagan Hockey Ontario?

Andy Oakes, President
Dixon Ward, Vice President
Paul Pascuzzi, General Manager
Brad Tapper, U18 Head Coach
Mark Fitzgerald, Manager of Strength and Conditioning and Human Performance
Mike Duco, Skills Development Coach
Zac Bierk, Goaltender Coach
Jessica Pragg, Athletic Therapist
Nicole Sorichetti, Guidance Counsellor


What is included in the price to attend Okanagan Hockey Ontario?

“The cost for the ten-month program (September-June) is $32,000 plus GST. This cost covers everything for the student athlete from games, tournaments, off/on ice training, travel, food, equipment, apparel, skate sharpening and more. If a student athlete requires the billet, the cost is $6500 for the year ($650 per month).


What is the best way to contact Okanagan Hockey Ontario?