2023 - 2024 Coaches
Adam started coaching the year of 2013 with the Wilbraham Twin Meadows youth hockey program and ran their Learn to Skate program as well as mites, squirts, and peewees for 5 years.
Additionally, Adam coached the Western MA Blizzards girls hockey organization with both U12 and U14 girls team for 3 years
Adam is also an assistant coach for the JV Longmeadow High School girls hockey team and most recently led the U8 Northern Lights program for the past 3 years.
Adam’s objective is to dedicate himself to the players, advancing their skills and knowledge of the game. He wants to instill a sense of “team” and teaching not just hockey but teamwork, sportsmanship, and skills that translate to their lives outside of hockey, but most importantly to make sure the players are working hard and having fun.
U10 / U11 Maroon
Nate grew up playing hockey in Colebrook where he developed a love for the game. Nate played high school hockey where he continued to grow to love the sport. He participated in tournaments in Northern Europe during that time.
This will be Nate's third season coaching for the Lights. His focus is on the fundamentals approach; skating, passing and game sense, so that the girls develop a solid foundation for future play and love and appreciation of the game.
Trevor is a level 4 USA coach and entering his 5th season with the NLGH program and his 4th season as an NLGH head coach.
Trevor grew up in Simsbury and began playing hockey when he was 4 years old. He was co-captain of Simsbury High School 05-06 varsity boys hockey team.
His objective as a coach is to challenge his players to believe in themselves, instill a strong work ethic, help them develop balanced fundamental hockey skills to prepare them for their next level of play- and most importantly share his love for the game of hockey.
Tier 2 CHC / NEGHL
Kayla is entering her 6th year coaching the Lights, previously coaching the U14 tier 2 team. She worked at the Pride Hockey Elite Camp in West Springfield, MA.
Kayla played her youth career in the Northern Connecticut/Western Mass region playing for the Springfield Jr Pics. She then continued her career by playing for Northfield Mount Hermon, a prep school located in Northfield, Ma. From there she continued at Nichols College, in Dudley, Ma from 2010 to 2014, where she was named ECAC East All-Academic Team member in her sophomore, junior, and senior year.
Maddie Giordano started her hockey career with the Northern Lights at age 4. She went on to play with the Northern Lights until u19 when she went off to college. During this time Maddie went to high school and played for the Loomis Chaffee School. She then played for 5 years at the University of Maine, making it to the Hockey East semifinals 3 of her 5 years. Maddie is currently finishing her degree to become a registered dietitian. She has aspirations to become a sports dietitian and coach hockey.
Maddie has been coaching for a few years now. She runs the UMaine hockey summer camps each year, and spring/summer teams, and does private lessons. This past season she was the assistant coach for the UMaine hockey team. During a coaching change, Maddie was the only coach running the team for the first few weeks of the season.
Tier 2 CHC / NEGHL National Bound
- Played at Northwood Prep High School in - Lake Placid N.Y.
- Played 4 yrs of Collegiate hockey at Curry College in - Eastern Mass
- Iona College in upstate New York
- On Ice instructor: 7 years
- Maloney Brothers Hockey School.
- Level - 4 - certified with - USA HOCKEY
- SYHA Boys hockey - from Mites - Midget / 2004 - 2014
- NLGH - U8 - 2017
- NLGH - U10 - 2018/2019
- NLGH - U12 - 2020/21
- NLGH - U12 Silver 2021/2022
Tier 1 CHC / NEGHL National Bound
After playing for 15 years at the Tier 1 level, Dan has coached and developed players at all levels from Mites through Juniors over the last 25 years.
Dan was the co-founder and General Manager of the Connecticut Lazers AAA Tier 1 hockey program from 2001 through 2007 which offered teams from the Squirt Major level up through Juniors in the Empire Junior Hockey League, Metropolitan Boston Hockey League, and New England Elite Hockey League.
Most recent Achievements:
- 2009 - Hockey Night in Boston Boys Sophomore Champions, HNIB Sophomore All-Star Coach
- 2010/2011 - USA Hockey Tier 1 National U16 Ct Jr Wolfpack Coach
- 2011/2012 - USA Hockey Tier 1 National U12 Ct Northern Lights Coach
- 2012/2013 - USA Hockey Tier 2 National U18 Avon Coach
- 2015/2016 - USA Hockey Tier 2 National 2nd place U19 Ct Northern Lights Coach
- 2016 - Women's Beantown Champions U16/19 Ct Northern Lights Coach
- 2016/2017 - USA Hockey Tier 2 National U19 Ct Northern Lights Coach
- 2017/2018 - Tier 1 U19 Ct Northern Lights Coach
- 2018/2019 - USA Hockey Tier 2 National U16 Ct Northern Lights Coach
- 2019/2020 - CHC State Champs U16 Ct Northern Lights Coach
- 2020/2021 - NGHL Labor Day Face-Off U14 Tier 1 Champs Ct Northern Lights Coach
- 2021/2022- New England Regionals U14 Tier 1 Finalist Ct Northern Lights Coach
- 2022/2023-CHC CT U14 Tier 1 2nd seed, CT Northern Lights Coach
Dan has many former players playing in High School, Prep School, Juniors, College and the Pros. In addition to his coaching experience, Dan continues to be a valuable resource for Prep Schools, Junior Programs, and College Coaches.
U14 Silver Head Coach
Mackenzie Griffith is a former Northern Lights player under the coaching of Dan Giordano. During her time at the Lights, she was a U19 Tier II Regional Champion and was Nationals bound. For high school, she attended Westminster School, a local prep school in Simsbury, CT. Griffith graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in 2021, where she played on the Division I Women’s Hockey team for four years. During Mackenzie’s sophomore season at Holy Cross, the team joined the Hockey East conference.
Throughout her coaching career, she has worked several skill development hockey camps across New England. During the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 seasons, Mackenzie coached part-time alongside Dan Giordano on the U-14 Tier I Connecticut Northern Lights team. Mackenzie will continue as a full-time assistant coach for the U-14 Tier I CT Northern Lights team during the 2023-2024 season.
U16 / U19 Half Season
NEGHL / CGHL
U16 / U19 Head Coach
- Founders League Prep School
- Jr A, Vermont Lumberjacks
- NCAA Div. 3, Johnson and Wales University Wildcats
- Lead instructor at several Camps and Clinics
- 6 Seasons as Head coach for High School level teams
- Winning D1 and D2 CGHL Tournaments
Tier 2 CHC / NEGHL National Bound
As the daughter of a hockey player with over 1,000 professional games, McKenna Gernander began playing hockey at a young age and quickly developed into a player with elite hockey sense and contagious leadership qualities that bond her teams together. McKenna’s father, Ken Gernander, has followed his playing career by coaching and scouting for several AHL and NHL organizations.
As a four-year NCAA athlete at Nichols College, McKenna was named captain for her final three seasons. McKenna finished her career at Nichols as one of the schools leading offensive producers as she lists in the top ten for several categories including goals and points. McKenna also played for the Nichols Varsity Lacrosse team for all four years and was named captain for her final two seasons.
Academically, McKenna graduated in four years with both an undergraduate and a master's degree.
McKenna has been an assistant coach under coach CJ Kenney on the U-19 Tier II Northern Lights team. In 2022, McKenna has been instrumental in assisting the U-19 team win the State Championship and the New England Regional Championship and advancing to the National quarterfinals.
This past season, McKenna coached the U16 Silver Team.
Nicole started her hockey career with Avon Youth Hockey before joining the Northern Lights at U12 playing through U16. Played High School hockey at Kingswood Oxford School.
Went on to play college hockey at Endicott College (NCAA DIII) where the team went on to a record of 85-17-7 in the four years winning 2 Conference Championships (CHC, now CCC) along with 3 Regular Season Conference Championships while becoming the first team to go undefeated in conference play (19/20 season)
Individual - 2019-20 CHC Championship All-Tournament Team, 2016-17 CHC All-Rookie Team, 4X CHC All-Academic Team, 4X AHCA All-American Scholar
Currently, she works in sports marketing and is passionate about the game of hockey and coaching!
Tier 2 CHC / NEGHL National Bound
CJ is a USA Hockey Level 4 certified coach who has been coaching girls' hockey in Connecticut at the prep school, junior, and youth levels since 2013. She will be entering her 6th season with the Lights after leading the U19 Silver team to a 4th state championship, a New England District Regional championship, and two appearances at the National Tournament in her first five seasons. She places a primary focus on developing complete athletes and creating a strong team culture to help prepare her players to compete at the collegiate level. She has helped dozens of players advance to playing in the NCAA and ACHA and is passionate about creating a positive and supportive environment for her team.
In the past four seasons with the Lights, she has helped more than 50 players to continue their hockey careers in college!
CJ played her college career at UMass Amherst and was an assistant captain in her senior season. She also played tier 1 hockey in Massachusetts for Charles River throughout her youth/high school years.