The Penobscot Ice Breakers will hold their first practice Monday night at the Penobscot Ice Arena in Brewer.

The Ice Breakers is a girls club hockey team that will be for high school-age players, coached by Old Town-Orono varsity hockey coach Denis Collins.

Ellen White, coordinator of the program, said the team is designed to give girls from grades eight through 12 an opportunity to play against other girls teams.

“There are no high school teams in this area, and the girls who play on boys varsity teams don’t get much ice time,” White said. “We want to give them a good high school girls hockey experience.

“Girls’ hockey has come of age,” White added, noting that this can help provide them with an opportunity to play in college.

There is no body checking in girls hockey, unlike boys hockey.

Each girl will have to pay to play for the Ice Breakers, but White said it will be “$500 at the most.“ They also will be involved in fundraising projects to help defray the cost.

For the girls who are playing on boys varsity teams, that will take priority, said White. The girls will show up when they can. Some are also playing on bantam (ages 13-14) teams.

The Ice Breakers have 18 players and could have as many as 10 more.

“We have some girls who are still trying to make up their minds,” White said.

There are players from eight to 10 high schools and they come from as far away as Waterville, Northeast Harbor and Presque Isle.

White would love to see a high school co-operative team eventually emerge but said it is unlikely in the near future because “the most schools that you can have in a co-op team is three.”

But she is hoping this program can generate more interest in girls hockey which could pave the way for a co-op team.

One of their players will be Maddy Allan-Rahill, who is a senior at John Bapst High School in Bangor. She hasn’t played on a boys varsity team.

“I’m looking forward to it,” Allan-Rahill said. “This gives us a chance to play with other girls and will give us some [good] competition. Girls hockey is a different dynamic. It involves more passing and stuff like that. The clinics at Maine have been very helpful. It’s great to have the Maine coaches and some of the Maine players there.”

The Ice Breakers will practice three days per week.

The closest high school girls team is Winslow/Erskine Academy. They are one of nine co-op teams with either two or three high schools supplying players.

There are 16 girls varsity programs in the state, and White has contacted each one for games.

The schedule is a work in progress. Their first game is tentatively scheduled against Edward Little/Leavitt/Poland in Auburn on Nov. 7.