Rivals Manchester Central and Manchester Memorial will join forces on the ice this upcoming school year.

Central and Memorial will field a co-op girls’ hockey team during the winter season. It will mark the first time girls will have the opportunity to play hockey at Memorial.

Current Central coach Daniel Gagne will serve as the co-op team’s head coach. Central’s girls’ hockey program began varsity play in the 2014-15 season under its first coach, Jacquelyn Parker.

Central went 1-15 last season and 0-18 in the 2017-18 season.

The girls’ hockey division included 16 teams, seven of which were co-op programs, last year.

“It’s awesome for girls’ hockey,” Memorial boys’ hockey coach Mark Putney said of the Central/Memorial girls’ hockey co-op team. “I know that Central took the lead a few years back and got their own team. I give them credit. They kind of broke that glass ceiling in Manchester.”

Manchester School District acting director of athletics Christine Pariseau-Telge said in an email that the hope is to eventually add Manchester West to the Central/Memorial co-op. West is currently part of a co-op team with Bishop Brady of Concord and Trinity of Manchester for the NHIAA’s current classification cycle, which ends after the upcoming school year.

“I know a handful of girls from Memorial that want to play and keep playing at the high school level,” Putney said. “I think it’s a great opportunity to grow the girls’ hockey program.”