Michigan Hockey michiganhockeyonline.com V.20:I.21 | July 12, 2010 FIRST CLASS
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Table of Contents –
July 12, 2010, Volume 20 : Issue 21 AMATEUR HOCKEY REPORT Oakland Junior Grizzlies help put new players on the ice Livingston Lightning wins Fox Sports Detroit contest
MH BEAT Quest for the Best contest winner Wheelchair Hockey League caps season with all-star game Oakland Township’s Kurt Scipione passes away
5 8 10
HOMETOWN HERO Farmington Hills’ Cam Fowler
GET BETTER Become a better goal scorer
TRAINING TABLE By Grant Elias Off-ice work to improve on-ice
FROM THE CREASE By Steve McKichan The Mis-Coaching of stick-on-stick defense
STATE OF THE GAME By Lyle Phair What the ADM could mean in Michigan
REEBOK TOURNAMENT CALENDAR
Helmets and concussions, sticks, skates, the Equipment Giveaway Contest and more.
JUNIOR HOCKEY Plymouth’s Tyler Seguin leads a group of 2010 NHL draft picks
RED WINGS & NHL INSIDERS Dave Waddell: Red Wings addressing immediate needs Kevin Allen: Free agent defensemen cause a frenzy
COMING IN OUR NEXT ISSUE MAHA SUMMER MEETING REPORT
MH Beat Team Metro South wins gold at Meijer State Games
Junior Hockey Plymouth’s Tyler Seguin is second pick at NHL Draft
NHL Insiders Red Wings address offseason needs
We’ll take a look at what happened in the voting on rule change proposals, have photos of the MAHA award winners and report on any other developments that come out of the annual gathering. Look for it on arena stands and in your e-mail In Box on July 23. Advertising copy for the next issue of MH is due on July 14. New digital tryout issue available July 16th on Michiganhockeyonline.com Contact Lucia Zuzga at (248) 479-1134 or lucia@ michiganhockeyonline.com or Philip Colvin at (248) 479-1136 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
July 12, 2010, Volume 20 : Issue 21
Editor-in-Chief Philip D. Colvin
From the Editor
FROM THE EDITOR Win free gear!
ONLY ON THE WEB
Advertising Lucia Zuzga
Database Manager Josh Curmi
Design Chuck Stevens Heather Rocca Contributing Editor Kevin Allen Rob Murphy Distribution Lucia Zuzga
EDITORIAL BOARD: Bob DeSpirt, Christine Szarek, Derek Blair, James Jenkins, Julie Pardoski, Kirk Vickers, Linda Holland Lisa Zarzycki, Mark Vansaw, Nyron Fauconier, Randy Paquette Rob Mattina, Susan Bottrell, Tim Wilson, Todd Krygier LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: MICHIGAN HOCKEY® welcomes Letters to the Editor. They must be signed and include the writer's full home address and day and evening telephone numbers. MICHIGAN HOCKEY is published by SUBURBAN SPORTS COMMUNICATIONS, LLC 23995 Freeway Park Drive, Suite 200, Farmington Hills, MI 48335-2829. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to MICHIGAN HOCKEY®, 23995 Freeway Park Drive, Suite 200, Farmington Hills, MI 483352829. ©2010 by Suburban Sports Communications. All Rights Reserved. The opinions and views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of MICHIGAN HOCKEY or its advertisers. All editorial copy, photographs and advertising materials remain the property of MICHIGAN HOCKEY.
MICHIGAN HOCKEY 23995 Freeway Park Drive • Suite 200 Farmington Hills, MI 48335-2829 (248) 478-2500 • FAX: (248) 478-1601 EMAIL: email@example.com WEBSITE: www.michiganhockeyonline.com
Photos this page (from top, L to R): The prizes available in Michigan Hockey’s Equipment Giveaway Contest pile up; Team Metro South won the gold medal at the Meijer State Games by Wade LaFever/Michigan Hockey; Plymouth’s Tyler Seguin at the NHL Draft by Aaron Bell/OHL Images and the Red Wings Todd Bertuzzi by Andrew Knapik/Michigan Hockey.
Cover reprints available email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Administrative Director Amy Jones
More Equipment Buyers Guide: goalie and protective, Where to Buy and a Q & A with industry leaders.
Summer is flying by and I hope you are enjoying it. In this issue of MH’s ‘10 Equipment Buyers Guide (starting on page 20), we take a look at some of the new skates and sticks on the market and how helmet makers are striving to help prevent concussions. Check out page 26-27 for our equipment Giveaway Bonanza that includes sticks, helmets, apparel and more. Go to our website, michiganhockeyonline.com, to enter the contest and your name could be drawn as a winner of one of the great equipment prizes! Michiganhockeyonline.com also has additional “Only on the Web” equipment content, including goalie and protective gear, a Where to Buy directory and a Q & A with industry leaders (see promo at left for more). Also in this issue, State of the Game columnist Lyle Phair describes what USA Hockey’s ADM could mean for Michigan and we take a look at Team Metro South’s gold medal win at the first ever Meijer State Games in Grand Rapids (page 30). From all accounts the hockey was great and the tournament was well organized and very competitive. And while tryouts seem to be getting earlier each year, arenas all over the state will be filled this month with kids trying to make the team, coaches looking to build their team and parents watching it all. Before tryouts check that your player’s skates and gear still fit and that their sticks are in good shape. Make sure they get enough rest to be at their best and feed them in advance so they are not hungry when they get to the rink Afterwards let them tell you how they think they did and make sure to listen. Try to be honest, fair and supportive when asked your opinion. And encourage them to take responsibility for their performance and not look to blame someone else for mistakes or things that didn’t go as planned on the ice. Supporting your player and his or her goals, helping them do their best and making sure they remember to have fun can make tryout time bearable. And maybe most importantly, tell them that you love and believe in them no matter if they make the team or not. Good luck,
Meijer State State Games Games draws draws Meijer rave reviews. reviews. rave
Americans at at the the NHL NHL Draft Draft –– Americans where are are they they from? from? where
More off-ice off-ice training training More exercises from Kirk Vickers exercises from Kirk Vickers of Triad Triad Health Health and and Fitness. Fitness. of
Quest Q est for the Best winner! inner! Toni Daggy of Hudsonville is the winner of Michigan Hockey’s 2010 Quest for the Best Arena contest. Daggy’s entry was randomly selected from all entrants and she won a personalized piece of sport art by Art by Arlene’s Arlene Higginson (above). Check out artbyarlene.com for more information.
Email us articles and photos at MH@michiganonline.com
SEND MICHIGAN HOCKEY YOUR NEWS!
Amateur Hockey Report
FUN MEALS for
submitted by Hockey Moms Submit your recipe & photo to: email@example.com
SPICY HONEY-GLAZED CHICKEN BREASTS
Oakland Oakland Junior Junior Grizzlies Grizzlies help help put put new new players players on on the the ice ice Working with the Salvation Army, the Oakland Junior Grizzlies helped introduce hockey to 15 children at an OJG-Salvation Army Strive skate on June 19 at the Troy Sport Center. The new players were very excited to try hockey, and several of the children had never put skates on before. Grizzliesâ€™ players from the â€˜99, â€˜97, â€˜96, and â€˜95 teams helped the children get their skates and equipment on. After that the Grizzliesâ€™ players hit the ice with the new Strive players and helped them with skating techniques along with shooting the puck. The new skaters used cones and training skate bars at the beginning of the skate. By the middle of the skate most of the kidâ€™s were able to skate a little bit and they all
wanted to play a game. The Grizzlies then set up a crossice game for the last 25 minutes of the ice time and the Strive Children loved it. They were all on the ice skating, shooting and trying to score a goal. When the buzzer went off none of the Strive children wanted to leave the ice. The Grizzlies plan to conduct the program on a monthly basis with the Strive players. The Grizzliesâ€™ coaches and players will be a part of all skates teaching hockey skills and skating to all the Strive players. The Grizzliesâ€™goal is to introduce as many children as they can to the wonderful game of ice hockey. We hope that some of the players will move into the house programs offered at the Troy Sports Center.
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil VPDOORQLRQÂżQHO\FKRSSHG FORYHJDUOLFÂżQHO\FKRSSHG FXSKRQH\ WHDVSRRQVKRWSHSSHUVDXFH WHDVSRRQFKLOLSRZGHU 1 teaspoon lemon juice VNLQOHVVERQHOHVVFKLFNHQEUHDVWVDERXW SRXQGV Salt SLQHDSSOHÂ˛SHHOHGFRUHGDQGFXWLQWR WKLFNULQJV In a small saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until translucent and beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the honey, hot pepper sauce and chili powder and simmer for 1 minute. Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice and set aside.
Livingston Livingston Lightning Lightning wins wins Fox Fox Sports Sports Detroit Detroit contest contest The 2001 Livingston Lightning squad was randomly chosen from entries as the winner of the â€œSam Bernstein Best Call Ever Madeâ€? contest sponsored in part by Fox Sports Detroit. As winners of the contest the Squirt A team made a TV ad for the Bernstein Law Firm that appears on Tigers Live, which airs before and after Tigers games on Fox
Sports Detroit. Team manager Natalie Hassan entered the Lightning in the contest and FSN came out to Grand Oaks Arena in Howell to film the promotion on May 17. The Lightning also won a skating party at Joe Louis Arena this fall. Check out the video on the teamâ€™s website at: eteamz.com/2001livingstonlightning.
Preheat a grill or large grill pan to medium-high. Rub the chicken with the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt. Grill until well marked, about 7 minutes. Flip and cook until the bottoms are well marked and the chicken is cooked through, another 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate and brush with the reserved honey glaze. Cover with foil and let rest for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, grill the pineapple until well marked on one side, about 4 minutes, WKHQĂ€LSDQGFRRNIRUDQRWKHUPLQXWHV Serve with the chicken.
Contact Lucia @ 248-479-1134 if you would like to sponsor this unique program.
July 12, 2010, Volume 20 : Issue 21
PHOTO BY SARAH ZIENTARSKI/MICHIGAN HOCKEY
All-Stars wrap up Wheelchair Hockey League season BY SARAH ZIENTARSKI
Wheelchair hockey player Tristan Parent rolled over to his family with a glowing expression on his face and exclaimed “they made me captain!” The 14-year old finished his first season in the Wheelchair Hockey League (WCHL) by leading the Red Team to a 10-8 win over the Blue Team in the league’s All-Star Game on June 12 at Ward Church in Northville. “There’s nothing that beats the look on your kid’s face when they’re thrilled about something,” Parent’s mother Cheryl Mercier said. Kyle Brodebeck was named the WCHL All-Star Game MVP and Kevin Konfara notched five goals and one assist for the Blue team. Parent isn’t able to participate in most sports geared toward wheelchair athletes because he was born with the unique condition of Osteogenesis Imperfecta, or brittle bones.
“He breaks his bones really easily and a lot wheelchair sports the kids play out of manual chairs and it’s still rough, it’s still dangerous,” Mercier said. “When we found out about the (wheelchair hockey) league and watched the videos to find out that it’s pretty much a non-contact sport, we were absolutely thrilled about the whole thing.” Parent – an avid Detroit Red Wings fan – is overjoyed to be playing the sport he has watched his winged-wheel heroes play for so long. “He just tells me ‘I never thought I’d be able to play hockey in my whole life,’” Mercier said. “I think it’s something he finally feels he fits in with. He’s accomplishing stuff, he scores goals. He actually feels like he’s accomplishing something in life really. It’s really his entire life right now.” The game featured players competing with both intensity in their eyes and huge grins across their faces and showed how the sport makes for a perfect outlet for Parent and other people in wheelchairs who face challenges in everyday life, which
much of society doesn’t always understand. “Friendships and social activities are often rare (for people with disabilities),” WCHL Commissioner Chris Lemieux said. “After high school or college, friendships as well as social interaction can quickly dissolve. The WCHL gives players a chance to meet new friends, be socially accepted, and we, as a group, share knowledge and provide support to players and their families about various daily living situations. We are more than a hockey league, we are a family.” Wheelchair games are played four-on-four with no icing and a plastic ball as the puck. There are still penalties, offside calls and shift changes. “It is rare that you find a disabled sport that is non-patronizing or one that is not so far adapted that it is unlike the real sport itself,” Lemieux said. “Wheelchair hockey is as real as it gets.” The WCHL is currently a four-team league that includes a diverse group of both men and women ranging in ages from 10-65. All of the players compete in either electric or manual wheelchairs and have a wide variety of disabilities. “Our players range from self-sufficient and independent powerhouse manual wheelchair players to players with Muscular Dystrophy who are constantly on ox oxygen or are too weak to feed themselves, yet they can play hockey,” Lemieux said. Mercier adds “they have kids in wheelchairs that have their hockey stick attached to their wheelchair because they can’t move. I mean this league really includes ev everyone. It is amazing.” Mercier first heard about the WCHL from Parent’s doctor. “If you look at the rosters there are people who drive 100 miles,” Mercier said. “I drive 80 miles one way that that tells you how important it is to do this for our kids.” Lemieux sees the WCHL helping the disabled community as wheelchair hockey has helped him since the year he started in 1990 with a team in Calgary. “When you are disabled, or a parent of a disabled child, you often focus on what you cannot do,” Lemieux said. “The WCHL allows players and their families to focus on what they can do.” The non-profit WCHL is funded by donations, sponsors and a $50 play-in fee. The season runs from late September until mid June and includes the Wheeler Cup playoffs and culminates with the All-Star Game. The league works to expand every year and is always on the lookout for new players. For more information on the WCHL check out their website at: thewchl. com or on Facebook at: facebook.com/thewchl.
Fundamental Goalie School
Open to goaltenders ages 7-12, this program focuses on laying the foundation and building upon the fundamental skills of the position. The class is designed for goalies in their first three years at the position and features 40 minutes of off-ice training and an 80 minute on-ice session each day. There is a maximum studentto-trainer ratio of 4-to-1. Available at Farmington Hills and Macomb locations.
GOALIE EQUIPMENT RENTAL Goaltending equipment – leg pads, arm and chest protector, catching glove, blocker and stick – is available for rental. Call (248) 478-1600 for details.
Advanced Goalie School
Features a maximum student-to-trainer ratio of 3-to-1 and is geared toward experienced goaltenders ages 9-16 who are serious about refining their physical and mental skills to take their game to the next level. Each day consists of two 80-minute on-ice sessions and a 45-minute classroom or dryland training session. In each program, goaltenders are divided into small groups with the training in each skill station tailored to challenge each player individually. Available at Farmington Hills and Rochester locations.
CALL 248-478-1600 • SUBURBANHOCKEY.COM 8
Scipione passes away after battle with cancer Former Honeybaked defenseman Kurt Scipione battled cancer the same way he competed against opposing forwards on the ice: with tenacity, toughness and courage. The Oakland Township resident passed away on June 11 after an almost two-year fight against rhabdomyosarcoma, a fast-growing but rare form of cancer found most often in children. He was 18. Scipione is remembered as super competitive on the ice and passionate about his friends and family off of it. “Kurt was a very talented player and couldn’t stand it when he wasn’t playing well,”said Honeybaked Hockey Club general manager Larry Knapp, who coached Scipione on the Midget Minor team in 2007-08. “He was opinionated, he worked hard and when he liked you, he loved you.” Scipione was diagnosed in August, 2008 after complaining of back pain. He underwent treatment and was declared cancer free before the cancer returned in January of this year. After being home schooled last year, Scipione earned his diploma and graduated from Stoney Creek High School in early June. He is survived by his mother Linda, father Reid, older brother Kyle and younger sister Keri. Memorial contributions may be sent to the family and will be used for the: Kurt Scipione Memorial Fund, 3885 N Ella Mae in Oakland Township, 48363. By Philip Colvin Former Honeybaked defenseman Kurt Scipione attended the Krusade for Kurt benefit on October 18, 2008 after being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. Scipione passed away on June 11 at the age of 18.
Mount Clemens & Fitness Center: Little Wolves Hockey Camp-Starts June 7 Bandits Goaltending - June 14-18 Future Pro Goaltending - June 19/20 & 26/27 Eastside Elite Hockey School - July 12 Turcotte Stickhandling - July 26-30 MSE Adult Hockey League Eastside Elite Hockey League Youth Drop-In Hockey Adult Drop-In Hockey Ice time available for sale Youth Instructional Clinics Public Skating
Mount Clemens Ice Arena & Fitness Center 200 North Groesbeck Phone: 586-307-8202 Fax: 586-307-8245 Email
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Coaches are selected for the Positive Coach Award every season. Schedules are given at the beginning of the season so that parents can plan ahead.
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July 12, 2010, Volume 20 : Issue 21
Good goal scorers have a quick release and shoot often.
Be a goal scorer
For fans and especially players, the most exciting part of hockey is scoring goals. Teams and coaches at all levels are always on the lookout for a player who can finish around the net. While there is an old hockey myth that goal scorers are born not made, you can learn how to capitalize on your scoring chances. Certainly, skill is the key. If you have a quick release, a variety of shots and good balance, you should be able to “fill the net.” However, even a less skilled player can be a top scorer. Here are some good points to remember:
Stand directly in the line of the shot. Try to deflect the puck as it goes by you rather than when it is in front of you and keep your stick below your shoulders.
They are prime scoring opportunities. Always head to the net when a teammate is shooting. Be a “garbage collector.” Be the first one to the puck on a breakaway attempt by a teammate. Always expect a rebound even from your own shot and battle for every loose puck.
Shoot through a defenseman, using him as a screen.
KNOW THE GOALIE
Figure out the opposing goalkeeper’s weaknesses: weaker stick-side, vulnerable high, kicks out big rebounds, drops pucks at his feet, slow on wraparounds, a big 5-hole, etc.
The best place to aim when shooting is the Five-hole. If your aim is bad, you’ll probably “pick” a corner and be a hero. For sure, your shot should be on the net and may result in a rebound if it doesn’t go in.
TWO-ON-ONE’S If you decide to shoot rather than pass, you’d better make sure you hit the net.
GET THE PUCK UP
In today’s game, most goalies play a butterfly style to take away the bottom of the net. In close, aim for the top corners “where grandma hides the cookies!”
Too often young players try to get the perfect scoring opportunity and often hold on to the puck too long or stick handle too much. Watch all the top goal scorers at the highest levels like Alexander Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby and Steven Stamkos. They shoot all the time and from all angles.
LET IT GO
A quick release is just as important as a hard shot. By shooting quickly, you have a better chance of getting the puck through to the net. Also, the goalkeeper often isn’t set for the shot.
A QUICK STICK
It is important for young players to develop a quick stick. Offensively, forwards use a quick stick to corral passes, deflect shots and shoot quickly. Defensively, forwards use a quick stick to create scoring chances by forechecking relentlessly, intercepting passes in the neutral zone, and winning key face-offs. You develop a quick stick by: thinking quickness, playing ball hockey, deking through pylons, strengthening your wrists and practicing stickhandling and shooting on and off the ice.
Web-enabled sports training software to help coaches teach and players learn
VISUALLY BROADENING KNOWLEDGE
Call (248) 601-0100 or visit Vbksportsviewer.com for more information.
Shooting and Deflecting 1. Forwards line up in corner with pucks. 2. Three defensemen across the blue line. Two have pucks, one doesn’t. 3. First forward passes to the defenseman without a puck then skates around the top of the circle and drives the net. 4. Far defenseman times it and fires a low, hard shot that arrives just as the forward gets to the net. 5. Forward deflects the puck then continues down around the other circle. 6. Forward continues up around the top of the circle then drives the net again. 7. Defenseman who received the initial pass times it and fires a low, hard shot that arrives just as the forward gets to the net. 8. Forward deflects the puck then stops in front of the net to screen the goalie and get ready for the third shot. 9. Middle defenseman fires a low, hard shot. Forward deflects it then drives in any rebound. Source: WeissTechHockey.com
TRAINING TABLE BY GRANT ELIAS. BA/CPT
Dryland work helps on-ice performance With summer in full spring, it’s time to focus on dryland training to help improve your on-ice performance for the new season. And what we are looking for in a training program is to develop good habits and good form. Younger athletes should start with basic bodyweight movements, which emphasize major muscle groups, i.e.- core, legs, back and chest and shoulders. The primary focus needs to be on exercises that teach proper alignment and promote active flexibility. As an athlete matures, exercise programs should preferably be designed for each individual. The learning process is constantly evolving throughout an athlete’s career, which leads us back to the development of good habits. Good habits are put into motion by setting up a level of commitment which corresponds to each player’s desire to compete at a higher level. Simply put, the best athletes will work the hardest. More importantly, they want to work harder as positive results perpetuate good habits. Thus, a 12-year old player who begins training with solid basic exercises begins to see positive results. He then grows into more progressive and challenging work, set at a level where he can succeed. His habits and commitment become one in the same, and ideally, he reaches the next desired level. Movements that young athletes respond to are simple and basic. They should be taught using bodyweight until good form becomes second nature, and this can take up to a month or longer. Squats, lunges, push-ups and crunches are excellent exercises to start with.Through progression over time, resistance is used to enhance strength and flexibility. Eventually we are striving to build an extensive selection of exercises, which can then be applied
A commitment to off-ice training over the summer can help players improve their on-ice performance next season.
in specific situations depending upon the needs of the athlete. The point is that the exercises are learned correctly from the start of training. The very first step in the formation of good habits and good form is the very act of showing up to train. The fact that there is a specific day or days when training is done creates a structure. This structure becomes the foundation on which good habits and good form begin. The next step is showing up for the training commitment and learning the movements, thereby setting the stage for more challenging exercises in the future. The best part of starting a dryland training program is that results are nearly immediate. The best part of continuing to train is that the results bring about positive changes, promotes good health, and most importantly, help athletes reach higher levels with the knowledge and confidence to succeed.
GOOD EXERCISES With younger players, especially those in their early teens, Kirk Vickers of Triad Health and Fitness opts for a high-repetition and low-weight approach. “The bottom line is what we are trying to do is get these kids to be stronger on the ice,” says Vickers, a former Detroit Red Wings trainer. “I think what is missed in a lot of this is not looking at balance and stability and control of the body.” While no one exercise can transform someone into a perfectly-fit athlete, there are few routines that offer a good return for the effort. Vickers recommends the “bear crawl,” which like the name suggests, requires
PHOTO BY PHILIP COLVIN/MICHIGAN HOCKEY
participants to get on all fours and scramble like Yogi chasing a sardine-filled picnic basket on wheels. The total body movement works on the hip flexor, shoulder and leg muscles. Hand-held kettle bell weights can make the pedestrian journey a vigorous one. The “crab walk” is a variation on the bear romp where the exerciser gets a reverse push-up mode and moves backwards using both arms and feet. The endurance test builds triceps. “You’re going to have little problems or little injuries if we’re pushing our own body weight,”Vickers says. “With the dispersement of weight over the body, especially for young athletes, the brain is able to figure that out opposed to putting static weight on and loading up one or two joints of the body.” Variety is good and any exercise or routine is only a tool, not the complete treasure chest for fitness perfection. For example, stickhanding and then firing pucks off a smooth shooting board at targets in the corners of a net set up in your basement, driveway or back yard is a good way to improve your shot and your hands. ‘There are lots of different things you can do, and not one of them is better than the other,” said Jim Kielbaso of Wixom’s Total Performance Center. “I would hate to see someone who would say all I need to do is ‘X.’That’s not just how it is. They need to do a complete program.” With a file from Philip Colvin
From the Crease
July 12, 2010, Volume 20 : Issue 21
STEVE McKICHAN From the crease The mis-coaching of sticks in the shooting lane I have recently noticed a disturbing trend that is appearing all too frequently at all levels of hockey. This trend has caused many bad goals, bad rebounds and many needless losses. As a result of this defensive zone approach that is currently being taught to position players, low percentage scoring chances are being turned into high percentage scoring chances. Why then would head coaches teach this approach if it creates more problems than it solves? What exactly are we talking about and why is this cancer creeping in the game?
IN THE WAY
Stick on stick? This is a defensive zone strategy where ill-informed coaches stress the importance of always trying to block the offensive player’s shots by placing their sticks in the shooting lane. Please don’t get me wrong. If this strategy is employed with intelligence and in the proper situations it can be very effective. But as a blanket, all-encompassing approach to every shot on net you get into trouble. This strategy should only be used when the defender is very tight to the attacker (i.e. a stick length or less) and only on shots in very dangerous locations like the slot. A shot from above the circles or near the boards on a poor angle should never be interfered with. The goalie must be given a clean look at these pucks. Any decent goalie will stop these perimeter shots at an amazingly high percentage if things aren’t complicated with unnecessary, ill-advised sticks in the shooting lane. At a pro level game last season I watched in mock horror as six of seven goals against entered the net after being slightly deflected off a defender’s stick - making
the goalie look foolish. Uninitiated, but experienced, announcers opined that the goalie “would like to have that one back,” as if it was the goalie’s fault.
DEFLECTED SHOTS FIND THE NET
Let me begin by breaking down why coaches mistakenly believe that stick on stick is the way to go. They will recall anecdotally several shots being deflected harmlessly off the defender’s stick up into the netting. These few examples resonate in their brains and they think that these cases are the rule, not the exception. In fact, a vast percentage of shots on net in a random game I recently evaluated did not go harmlessly out of play as a result of eager beavers with their floundering sticks in the shooting lane. Many of these defender’s half-hearted attempts to block the puck with their sticks managed to still make it dangerously to the net. What is specifically wrong with trying to block these shots on net with the defender’s sticks?
NO CLEAR LOOK
When a stick is placed in a shooting lane the goalie many times does not get a clear look at the most important part of a shot. The exact stick-puck relationship at the moment of release allows the goalie to assess direction, elevation and velocity. Many times the defender’s stick masks this critical moment and the goalie now becomes somewhat of a spectator, guessing at those crucial factors. The tangible results are that surprising goals go in even if the puck isn’t deflected and if the puck is stopped, precision is unlikely and needless rebounds result. We all
realize that dangerous rebounds cause immediate goals or delayed goals when the opposition scores on a power play caused by preventing the earlier rebound chance.
CHANGE OF DIRECTION
When a defender is several feet away from the attacker and still decides to put the stick in the lane the puck may slightly change directions and the goalie will have zero chance to respond on these pucks. Even if the change of direction happens 20 feet away, from a physiology standpoint, a human cannot physically respond with their innate reaction times.
A BAD MESSAGE
When your goalie hears that their teammates have to attempt to block every shot with their stick it sends the message to them that the goalie can’t be trusted and they need to do his job for him. If your goalie hears this enough his confidence will suffer. Add on a couple of cheesy goals on self-induced tipped shots and your goalie is well on his way to a confidence meltdown. It would be a similar situation if you asked your goalies to play every loose puck instead of the defensemen handling them because they can’t be trusted to do their job and make a simple zone exit themselves.
I’m all for blocked shots and stern efforts to prevent goals. By definition that is what goalies do. I do however have two very simple, well-reasoned pieces of advice regarding the proper deployment of shot blocking strategies with the stick on stick approach: 1. Keep your sticks well out of the way on all shots from the perimeter and poor angles. Trust your goalie to do their job. 2. Only get your stick in the shooting lane if you are right in the opponents face and they are in a very dangerous shooting area. In simple terms we need to stop this madness of making low percentage scoring chances unnecessarily high percentage scoring chances. Steve McKichan is the owner of Future Pro goalie school and the former goaltending coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
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State of the Game
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For More Information: www.advancedtournaments.com 847-277-7343
July 12, 2010, Volume 20 : Issue 21
State Game of the
by Lyle Phair
WHAT THE ADM COULD MEAN By now you would have had to have been living in a cave or be a complete newbie to the youth hockey world to have not at least heard of the American Development Model, more commonly known as the ADM. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you even remotely understand what exactly it is. Few people really do. And I am fairly sure that if you asked ten different people what it is, you would get ten different answers. The ADM is exactly that. A recommended model, a blueprint that can be used by those who choose to. It is not a mandate forced upon the hockey community. It is a model developed utilizing the principles of Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD) and extensive research and studies of how children learn and grow from toddlers to pre-teens to teenagers to young adults. If you have had an opportunity to see a presentation by the USA Hockey staff you had to have been impressed. It makes a lot of sense and there is plenty of supporting data. However, change is never easy and it will probably take the better part of a decade to really see any noticeable impact on the youth hockey world in this country. But not in Michigan. Noticeable changes have already started and we should be very much concerned about the effect those changes could have on the game here.
A BOTTOM UP APPROACH The ADM is essentially a bottom up approach to developing the player pool in USA Hockey. At the base, the entry level to the game, it is structured to allow for more players to get involved in playing the game by maximizing ice utilization to ultimately make the game more affordable. It’s a pretty simple concept really. More players on the ice means the cost of that ice is split up among more players, which means it is less expensive for each of them. It is a rational approach to breaking down one of the barriers to entry - the perception (and in many cases and places reality) that the game is expensive to play. From there it becomes about providing the same opportunity for all players to enjoy the game and develop their skills as they grow and mature. Which is in stark contrast to the current hockey model that demands that the biggest, most physically mature 7- and 8-year olds get promoted to the “travel” team with more ice time and “better coaching” while the remainder of the kids who were not blessed with an early-in-the-year birth date or a pre-pubescent growth spurt are thrown into the house hockey pool and treated as second-class citizens of the hockey world. Ironically enough, some of these early outcasts survive and eventually surpass the early developers who for any number of reasons (stop growing, burn-out, inflated ego, pushy parents) flame out. Unfortunately there just aren’t enough that have the chance to overcome the early odds they are subjected too. If that sounds a little like the “Tortoise and the Hare” it’s not a coincidence. The growth of a hockey player is a marathon, not a sprint. As players hit and surpass puberty, that’s when it starts to really matter. Kids have physically and mentally matured to the point where the real hockey players
start to separate themselves from those who matured early and didn’t continue to grow and evolve. High Performance Club teams are formed from the best players in a program and those teams compete against teams from other clubs. Obviously there is much, much more to it than that very simplistic overview. At the end of the day, the objective of the model is more players playing and more better players being produced. And like any model, it has its strong points and its weak points which could be debated forever.
THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE The biggest challenge facing the implementation of the ADM is that the majority of coaches and parents with kids in the game today really aren’t that concerned with anything other than their team (the coaches) and their player (the parents). The future really doesn’t matter to them. Other players and other teams don’t matter to them. They just don’t want to be “held back” by others. Just show me the quickest way to the finish line. According to USA Hockey registration reports there were 57,033 registered players in Michigan in the 2000-01 season and that number fell to 50,793 in 2009-10. The alarming part is in the details. In 2009-10 there were approximately 3,000 less 8 & Under players, 3,000 less 9-10 year old players, 3,000 less 11-12 year old players, and 2,000 less 13-14 year old players than there were in 200001. For those of you who are good at math, that is about 11,000 less total youth players. Yikes. To quantify, that is 25% less 8 & Under players, 38% less Squirt players, 33% less Pee Wees and 26% fewer Bantams. Ouch. And while the number of players and teams was substantially reduced in these age groups, the percentage of “travel” (A/AA/AAA) players and teams actually went up. A comparison of team registrations from the 2001-02 season with the 2008-09 season shows 608 mite teams in ‘01-02 falling to 310 in ‘08-09, 501 Squirt teams declining 327, 505 Pee Wee teams becoming 346 and 360 Bantam teams dropping to 292. Mite teams were not classified as“travel”in‘01-02 but 70 of 310 (23%) Mite teams were travel in ’08-‘09. At the Squirt level, there were 131 travel teams (26%) in ’01-02 and 121 (37%) in ’08-09. Pee Wees went from 164 (32%) to 141 (41%) and Bantams 132 (37%) to 114 (39%).
WHAT IT ALL MEANS Those of you who are still with me might be asking what all of this means. Essentially, there are substantially less players playing the game with a higher percentage of those players playing travel hockey. House hockey is shrinking and will continue to shrink unless something is done to change course. That is, if we care about the future of the game. So what effect does the ADM have on this? Right now there is a major push to implement the ADM model at the Mite level which should help to increase the size of the player pool at the younger age groups. It’s the “bottom-up” development approach and a step in the right direction. However at the same time, under the auspices of aligning themselves with the principles of the ADM, the Tier I (AAA) organizations in Michigan have begun a “top-down”approach by forming Tier II (A/AA) travel teams in their organizations. So instead of the typical Tier I organization model consisting of 8-10 AAA teams, Belle Tire, Compuware, Honeybaked, Little Caesars and Victory Honda are looking to have as many as 8-10 more Tier II travel teams, which could mean as many as 10 new travel teams at each age group. Sounds great. What’s the problem? The Tier I organizations have “a name” which attracts players (more likely their parents, but the kids do play a part, pun intended). These players will come from association-based travel teams and some will come from association-based house hockey. House players will also now have a better chance of making an association-based travel team. Still sounds great, right? Not for “house hockey”, which just might be the most important element of the long-term viability of the sport. House hockey is the entry level for the sport. In theory it is a recreational, affordable, convenient level of play for everybody. What most people don’t understand, or care to acknowledge, is that house hockey is what feeds the game. And it’s dying. Hopefully the ADM “implementation” by the Tier I organizations will not serve to accelerate the process. So what will happen first? The growth of house hockey driven by the bottom-up approach of the ADM at the Mite level? Or the complete demise of house hockey spurred by the top-down approach of the Tier I organizations? Hopefully, the former. If not, the ADM in Michigan might very well stand for Association Decimation Model.
TOURNAMENT CALENDAR 365 Hockey presents the Summer Sizzler Dearborn, MI July 16-18, 2010 Adult – all levels (men & women) 313-971-8699 365hockey.com firstname.lastname@example.org Great Michigan Race Summer Classic presented by Onyx Rochester, MI August 20-22, 2010 Adults age 18 years or older Rick 248-444-7774 email@example.com COMPUWARE / HoneyBaked Invitational Plymouth, MI September 17-19, 2010 Squirt Minor - Bantam Major www.compuwarehockeyaaa.com Advanced Tournaments September 17-19, 2010 Holland, MI Great Lakes Tournament Series Squirt AA, Pee Wee AA, Bantam AA Contact Advanced Tournaments 847-277-7343 www.advancedtournaments.com Advanced Tournaments September 24-26, 2010 Holland, MI Great Lakes Tournament Series Squirt A, Pee Wee A, Bantam A Contact Advanced Tournaments 847-277-7343 www.advancedtournaments.com COMPUWARE / HoneyBaked Invitational Plymouth, MI September 30 - October 3, 2010 Midget (Mj. & Mn.) www.compuwarehockeyaaa.com Advanced Tournaments October 1-3, 2010 Holland, MI Great Lakes Tournament Series Mite AA, Squirt AA, Midget Minor & Girls 12U Contact Advanced Tournaments 847-277-7343 www.advancedtournaments.com Advanced Tournaments October 8-10, 2010 Holland, MI Great Lakes Tournament Series Pee Wee House, Pee Wee AA, Midget Major/HS & Girls 14U Contact Advanced Tournaments 847-277-7343 www.advancedtournaments.com Advanced Tournaments October 15-17, 2010 Holland, MI Great Lakes Tournament Series Squirt House, Squirt A, Bantam House Contact Advanced Tournaments 847-277-7343 www.advancedtournaments.com Advanced Tournaments October 22-24, 2010 Holland, MI Great Lakes Tournament Series Squirt AA, Pee Wee House, Midget House Contact Advanced Tournaments 847-277-7343 www.advancedtournaments.com
Advanced Tournaments October 29-31, 2010 Holland, MI Great Lakes Tournament Series Pee Wee A, Bantam House, Midget Major/HS & Girls 16U Contact Advanced Tournaments 847-277-7343 www.advancedtournaments.com Advanced Tournaments November 5-7, 2010 Holland, MI Great Lakes Tournament Series Mite House, Squirt House, Bantam A & Girls 19U Contact Advanced Tournaments 847-277-7343 www.advancedtournaments.com Manon Rheaume International Girls Tournament November 12-14, 2010 Farmington Hills, MI 19UAAA, 16UAAA, 14UAAA and 12UAAA 248-479-1139 firstname.lastname@example.org Advanced Tournaments November 12-14, 2010 Holland, MI Great Lakes Tournament Series Mite A, Pee Wee House, Midget House Contact Advanced Tournaments 847-277-7343 www.advancedtournaments.com Advanced Tournaments November 19-21, 2010 Holland, MI Great Lakes Tournaments Series Mite AA, Squirt A, Bantam House Contact Advanced Tournaments 847-277-7343 www.advancedtournaments.com Michigan Thanksgiving Classic Monroe, Michigan November 26 – 28, 2010 BOYS - 2009, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1995, 1994, 1993,1992,1991 BOYS - Recreational B,(Select-A), AA, AAA, Elite AAA - GIRLS - Rep (HL, Sel, C, B,BB) and Elite (A, AA) 1-888-422-6526 email@example.com canlanclassictournaments.com/ Advanced Tournaments November 26-28, 2010 Holland, MI Great Lakes Thanksgiving Classic Mite through Midget; B, A, and AA, High School Varsity and JV Contact Advanced Tournaments 847-277-7343 www.advancedtournaments.com Advanced Tournaments December 3-5, 2010 Holland, MI Great Lakes Tournament Series Squirt House, Pee Wee A, Midget Minor & Girls 12U Contact Advanced Tournaments 847-277-7343 www.advancedtournaments.com Advanced Tournaments December 10-12, 2010 Holland, MI Great Lakes Tournament Series Pee Wee House, Pee Wee AA, Bantam House Contact Advanced Tournaments 847-277-7343 www.advancedtournaments.com
OUT OF STATE Big Bear - The Silver Skates Pittsburgh, PA August 21- 23, 2010 Bantam & Midget ♦ Minor & Major AAA Tier 1 www.shootouthockey.com 248-399-1694 South Jersey Fall Classic Vineland, New Jersey August 27 - 29, 2010 BOYS - 2009, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1995, 1994, 1993, 1992, 1991 Tier II - B, (Select-A), AA 1-888-422-6526 firstname.lastname@example.org canlanclassictournaments.com/ Fort Wayne Pre-Season Blast Fort Wayne, Indiana September 10-12, 2010 BOYS - 2002/2001, 2000, 1999/1998, 1997/1996, 1995/1994/1993, 1992/1991 Tier II - B, A, AA 1-888-422-6526 email@example.com canlanclassictournaments.com/ Advanced Tournaments September 24-26, 2010 Chicago, IL CHICAGO CUP Tournament Series: Chicago Preseason Challenge Mite through Midget; B, A, and AA, High School Varsity and JV Contact Advanced Tournaments 847-277-7343 www.advancedtournaments.com Advanced Tournaments September 24-26, 2010 Chicago, IL MYHockey Rankings Pre-Season Challenge Invitational Squirt Minor/A, Squirt Major/AA, Pee Wee Minor/A, Pee Wee Major/ AA, Bantam Minor/A and Bantam Major/AA Contact Advanced Tournaments 847-277-7343 www.advancedtournaments.com Advanced Tournaments September 24-26, 2010 Pittsburgh, PA Steel City Tournament Series: Pittsburgh Preseason Challenge Mite through Midget: A, and AA Contact Advanced Tournaments 847-277-7343 www.advancedtournaments.com Advanced Tournaments October 15-17, 2010 Nashville, TN Music City Tournament Series: Nashville Fall Classic Mite through Midget: B, A, and AA, Girls U12, U14, U16 & U19 Contact Advanced Tournaments 847-277-7343 www.advancedtournaments.com Las Vegas Old-Timers Classic Las Vegas, Nevada October 22 - 24, 2010 Men’s, Women’s, COED 18+, 30+, 40+: A/B,C,D,E 1-888-422-6526 firstname.lastname@example.org canlanclassictournaments.com/
COMPLETE TOURNAMENT LISTING ON WEBSITE
Advanced Tournaments October 22-24, 2010 Chicago, IL CHICAGO CUP Tournament Series: Chicago Fall Classic Mite through Midget; B, A, and AA, High School Varsity and JV, Girls U12, U14, U16 & U19 Contact Advanced Tournaments 847-277-7343 www.advancedtournaments.com Advanced Tournaments October 22-24, 2010 Pittsburgh, PA Steel City Tournament Series: Pittsburgh Fall Classic Mite through Midget: B, A, AA, Girls U12, U14, U16 & U19 Contact Advanced Tournaments 847-277-7343 www.advancedtournaments.com Advanced Tournaments October 22-24, 2010 Rochester, NY Empire State Tournament Series: Empire State Showdown Mite through Midget: B, A, AA Contact Advanced Tournaments 847-277-7343 www.advancedtournaments.com Advanced Tournaments November 5-7, 2010 Pittsburgh, PA Steel City Tournament Series: Pittsburgh Veterans Cup Mite through Midget: B, A, AA Contact Advanced Tournaments 847-277-7343 www.advancedtournaments.com Las Vegas Youth Blast Las Vegas, Nevada November 5 - 7, 2010 BOYS - 2009, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1995, 1994, 1993,1992,1991 (Travel B,Select, AE), A, AA, AAA 1-888-422-6526 email@example.com canlanclassictournaments.com/ Hockey for Heroes / Armed Services Las Vegas, Nevada November 11-14, 2010 Men’s, Women’s, COED 18+, 30+, 40+:A/B,C,D,E 1-888-422-6526 firstname.lastname@example.org canlanclassictournaments.com/ Las Vegas Hockey Classic III Las Vegas, Nevada November 19 - 21, 2010 Men’s, Women’s, COED 18+, 30+, 40+:A/B,C,D,E 1-888-422-6526 email@example.com canlanclassictournaments.com/ New Jersey Thanksgiving Classic Vineland, New Jersey November 26 – 28, 2010 BOYS - 2009, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1995, 1994, 1993, 1992, 1991 (Travel B, Select, AE), A, AA, AAA 1-888-422-6526 tournaments@ icesports.com canlanclassictournaments.com/
Fort Wayne Thanksgiving Blast Fort Wayne, Indiana November 26-28, 2010 BOYS - 2002/2001, 2000, 1999/1998, 1997/1996, 1995/1994/1993, 1992/1991 Tier II - B, A, AA 1-888-422-6526 firstname.lastname@example.org canlanclassictournaments.com/ Advanced Tournaments September 24-26, 2010 Chicago, IL CHICAGO CUP Tournament Series: Chicago Preseason Challenge Mite through Midget; B, A, and AA, High School Varsity and JV Contact Advanced Tournaments 847-277-7343 www.advancedtournaments.com Advanced Tournaments September 24-26, 2010 Chicago, IL MYHockey Rankings Pre-Season Challenge Invitational Squirt Minor/A, Squirt Major/AA, Pee Wee Minor/A, Pee Wee Major/ AA, Bantam Minor/A and Bantam Major/AA Contact Advanced Tournaments 847-277-7343 www.advancedtournaments.com Advanced Tournaments September 24-26, 2010 Pittsburgh, PA Steel City Tournament Series: Pittsburgh Preseason Challenge Mite through Midget: A, and AA Contact Advanced Tournaments 847-277-7343 www.advancedtournaments.com Advanced Tournaments October 15-17, 2010 Nashville, TN Music City Tournament Series: Nashville Fall Classic Mite through Midget: B, A, and AA, Girls U12, U14, U16 & U19 Contact Advanced Tournaments 847-277-7343 www.advancedtournaments.com Las Vegas Old-Timers Classic Las Vegas, Nevada October 22 - 24, 2010 Men’s, Women’s, COED 18+, 30+, 40+: A/B,C,D,E 1-888-422-6526 email@example.com http://www. canlanclassictournaments.com/ Advanced Tournaments October 22-24, 2010 Chicago, IL CHICAGO CUP Tournament Series: Chicago Fall Classic Mite through Midget; B, A, and AA, High School Varsity and JV, Girls U12, U14, U16 & U19 Contact Advanced Tournaments 847-277-7343 www.advancedtournaments.com Advanced Tournaments October 22-24, 2010 Pittsburgh, PA Steel City Tournament Series: Pittsburgh Fall Classic Mite through Midget: B, A, AA, Girls U12, U14, U16 & U19 Contact Advanced Tournaments 847-277-7343 www.advancedtournaments.com
CANADA Oshawa Puck & Ball Challenge Oshawa, Ontario July 16 – 18, 2010 Men’s, Women’s, COED 18+, 30+, 40+:A/B,C,D,E 1-888-422-6526 tournaments@ icesports.com canlanclassictournaments.com/ Niagara Falls Youth Challenge II Niagara Falls, Ontario July 16 – 18, 2010 BOYS - 2009, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1995, 1994, 1993,1992,1991BOYS Recreational B,(Select-A), AA, AAA, Elite AAA - GIRLS Rep (HL, Sel, C, B,BB) and Elite (A, AA) 1-888-422-6526tournaments@ icesports.com canlanclassictournaments.com/ King and Queen of the Rings Toronto, Ontario August 13 – 15, 2010 BOYS - 2009, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1995, 1994, 1993,1992,1991 BOYS - Recreational B,(Select-A), AA, AAA, Elite AAA - GIRLS - Rep (HL, Sel, C, B,BB) and Elite (A, AA) 1-888-422-6526 tournaments@ icesports.com canlanclassictournaments.com/ Ultimate Summer Tournament Oshawa, Ontario August 13 - 15, 2010 Men’s, Women’s, COED 18+, 30+, 40+:A/B,C,D,E 1-888-422-6526 tournaments@ icesports.com canlanclassictournaments.com/ Pre-Season Blast / Future Stars Tournament Toronto, Ontario August 27 – 29, 2010 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1995, 1994, 1993,1992,1991 BOYS Recreational B,(Select-A), AA, AAA, Elite AAA - GIRLS - Rep (HL, Sel, C, B,BB) and Elite (A, AA) 1-888-422-6526 firstname.lastname@example.org canlanclassictournaments.com/ Montreal Summer Getaway Montreal, QC August 27 - 29, 2010 Men’s, Women’s, COED 18+, 30+, 40+:A/B,C,D,E 1-888-422-6526 email@example.com canlanclassictournaments.com/ Langley Adult Blast Langley, BC August 27-29, 2010 Men’s, Women’s, COED 18+, 30+, 40+:A/B,C,D,E 1-888-422-6526 firstname.lastname@example.org canlanclassictournaments.com/ Toronto Fall Classic Toronto, Ontario September 17 - 19, 2010 Men’s, Women’s, COED 18+, 30+, 40+:A/B,C,D,E 1-888-422-6526 email@example.com canlanclassictournaments.com/
2010 Equipment Buyers Guide
ON A MISSION TO ADDRESS HEAD INJURIES BY LARRY Oâ€™CONNOR
Helmet manufacturers are on a mission to address, if not curtail, the alarming number of head injuries among hockey players. On the youth level, concussive head trauma accounted for 15 percent of all hockey-related injuries for players ages 9-15, according to a Journal of American Medical Association study published in June. Meanwhile, in the pro ranks, the list of prominent players whose careers were cut short due to serious head injuries continues to grow. National Hockey League Hall of Famer Mark Messier was concerned enough about the troubling trend that he launched the Messier Project, which involves educating the hockey consumer about the importance of wearing proper protective head wear. The six-time Stanley Cup winner also helped design Cascade Sportsâ€™ M11 helmet, which is not only a new product in the marketplace but signals the need to change attitudes in how people select head gear, says Mary-Kay Messier, Cascade vice-president of Business Development. â€œEvery one knows what the player expects in a stick or in a skate,â€?says Mary-Kay Messier, who is Markâ€™s sister. â€œThe issue with a helmet ... is the number one criteria is often how it looks. â€œAll of the helmets have been somewhat equal all these years because they were designed to prevent catastrophic injuries, which is great. Now we have an epidemic of concussions, so weâ€™re motivated to do something to address that. It begins with changing the priorities.â€? Cascade Sports is relatively new to the hockey market. The Liverpool, N.Y. outfit forged its reputation by producing lacrosse helmets. After an unsuccessful attempt to launch a hockey helmet three years ago, the company enlisted Mark Messier to help develop a prototype that became the M11. The helmetâ€™s Seven Technology, which features units of seven pods strategically placed between the shell and liner to absorb and disperse impact over a larger area. The Cascade helmet debuted last fall but became the preferred choice of Harvard University and a handful NHLâ€™ers, including former Detroit Red Wing Aaron Ward. Little Caesars midget major team and Milford Highâ€™s
boys squad are among those wearing the M11. Legacy companies Bauer and CCM are also taking the concussion issue head-on. In April, Bauer released its signature 9900 helmet that builds on technology used in bike and ski headgear. Bike and ski helmets use expanded polypropylene liners that are designed to absorb one massive blow to the head whereas Bauer headgear incorporates fused polypropylene to withstand several impacts more common in hockey. The Bauer 9900 also has Poron XRD material placed in areas where the playerâ€™s skull is thinnest. Another key element is a twopiece shell, which enables the helmet to better shape to various head sizes. A secure fit and managing low-impact blows from elbows and sticks is vital, says C.J. Ficek, Bauer product manager for helmets. â€œI think it can be hard for people to grasp,â€? Ficek says. â€œYou see that one huge hit and people go, â€˜Oh thatâ€™s a head trauma right there.â€™ But what about the 10 or 15 hits in the corner that are happening more frequently?â€? CCM and Reebok are not releasing new versions of its popular Vector and 8K helmet models, respectively, this year. However, the hockey company has issued a pamphlet to educate sales reps and buyers and to stem misinformation over the concussion issue. Helmets can reduce concussion risks but cannot totally prevent them, says Laura Gibson, CCM and Reebok product manager who oversees the companyâ€™s protective gear lines. â€œFor concussions in general, we really want to emphasize that all helmet standards today are designed to prevent against traumatic brain injury, which is a catastrophic hit,â€?Gibson says.â€œAll helmets are designed to protect your head from fracturing, basically. â€œIn terms of concussions there is still a lot of work to be done
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even in the medical field - not just in product development - on truly understanding what causes concussions, and to understand that no one helmet on the market can prevent concussions. Obviously everyone is working on helmets to reduce the risk.â€? Fit should be the number one criteria when selecting a helmet, the CCM Reebok product manager says. â€œIf it doesnâ€™t fit you, it wonâ€™t protect you,â€? Gibson says. The Reebok 8K has a 360-degree dial on the back, which can tighten the helmet to shape to the head. The subshell also reduces the weight, which can also play a role in concussions. An indirect hit to the body can cause the head to spin, which can also lead to trauma similar to whiplash in a vehicle accident, Gibson says. â€œIf you had too much weight on your head, that could add to (a concussion risk),â€? Gibson says. â€œWeâ€™re investigating and learning as we go, but we know weight can be a factor. CCMâ€™s highly popular Vector helmet comes in either expanded polypropylene (EPP) liner or vinyl nitrate (VN) liners, both of which contain properties to diffuse blows to the head. About one-third of NHL players use the Vector model due to the fit, Gibson says. â€œWe developed a helmet that is a bit narrower and has a wide range of openings,â€? she says. â€œSo, you can fit a lot of people with it.â€? Custom fit and protection are also hallmarks of Eastonâ€™s new S19 Z-Shock helmet, which debuted at the 2010 Winter Olympics and hit stores this summer. The lightweight head piece checks in a shade over 300 grams. Minus the heft, the helmet doesnâ€™t sacrificed safety, says Terry Serpa, Easton product manager for helmets and gloves. In high impact tests, the S19 Z-Shock exceeded Canadian Standards Association and Hockey Equipment Certification Council benchmarks by 49 percent in some cases, Serpa says. The S19â€™s patented Monocoque one-piece construction enables the weight reduction since there are no overlapping plastic panels. Additionally, an EPP foam liner is fused with a polycarbonate shell, so there are no gaps in protection. The S19 comes in five sizes ranging from extra-small to extra large and features an Acu-Snap fit system to enable players to adjust the helmetâ€™s fit from the back to front. â€œItâ€™s very much like a ball cap where you have a pin that fits into whatever hole you want,â€? Serpa says. â€œItâ€™s designed to find your head setting and set it to that and never have to worry about it again.â€?
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2010 Equipment Buyers Guide
July 12, 2010, Volume 20 : Issue 21
BECHTOL BACK HOME HELPING THE K-WINGS BY MATT MACKINDER
Last season the roster of the ECHL’s Kalamazoo Wings had more than just players with National Hockey League experience. Eric Bechtol, the Wings’ equipment manager, spent nine seasons as an assistant equipment manager with the St. Louis Blues before coming home to work for his hometown Wings, who just completed their first season in the ECHL. Bechtol, while grateful for his time in St. Louis, said he wouldn’t trade his current situation for the world. “I was a stick boy as a kid at Wings Stadium and my parents, back in the 1970s when you could do this and not worry, would drop me off there while they did some running around and I’d play ball hockey around the rink and just be a rink rat and help out doing things there,” explained Bechtol. “Then I got a job working with the team and then the NHL, but now that I’m back home, it’s just a great situation. Not a whole lot of guys around the ECHL can say they work in their hometown, so it’s a special feeling to do what I do and where I do it. “When I was with the Blues, the team always came first. Now, I can be with my wife and son when I want, sleep in my own bed, stuff like that and nothing beats that.” Landing the NHL job was simply a case of having the right connections and being in the right place at the right time. “I was at (Wings Stadium) and a guy from BJ Sports, Rich Peach, said he’d put my name out there and the Fort Worth Fire (Central Hockey League) gave me a call and offered me the best package,” said Bechtol, 42. “Then I got invited to work at the Blues’ training camp and (then head coach) Mike Keenan called me and offered me one of the assistant’s jobs there. Mike was great to work for.” Still, nothing tops working for the Wings, where Bechtol sees himself as a little more than just an employee on the bench with towels and screwdrivers. “It might sound odd saying this, but I think my job defines who I am,”said Bechtol.
“For the most part, these guys are here to play hockey and go for a championship. I was fortunate to be part of the (United Hockey League) title we won here back in ’06.” His relationship with Wings Stadium dates back to when he played with the Kalamazoo Optimist Hockey Association. Bechtol went to Loy Norrix High School, where he played hockey. After graduating from Loy Norrix, Bechtol continued his education at Kalamazoo Valley Community College. In February 2009, Bechtol worked his 1,000th regular season game as an equipment manager during the K-Wings’ Pink Ice Valentine’s Day game when Kalamazoo was in the International Hockey League. “That was a great night,” Bechtol said. “My grandparents came in from Grand Ledge and the team and my wife had a cake for me. And we won the game, too. It was kind of funny because the game got changed and it ended up being the pink game, where we dye the ice pink every year for Valentine’s Day. It has to be some sort of record that I set by working my 1000th game on pink ice, doesn’t it?” During the season Bechtol helps the K-Wings players perform at their best. And when he’s not at the rink, he’s busy on the home front. “Do I sew better than my wife? Most definitely,” laughed Bechtol. “I do all the sewing and laundry and I even do the dishes. My wife loves it, and so does my mother-in-law.” As for his future, Bechtol said he’ll stay with the Wings for as long as they’ll have him, but hasn’t ruled out a return to the NHL should the ideal situation present itself. “I’d like to keep doing this as long as I can, but my son is a junior in high school, so who knows?” Bechtol said. “(Head coach Nick) Bootland is a great hockey guy and if he gets the right chance at moving up, there might be a chance I’d be able to take advantage of that opportunity, but who knows? This job is who I am and what I do. “I’ve never known anything else.”
After spending nine seasons in the NHL with the St. Louis Blues, Kalamazoo native Eric Bechtol returned home to work with the Kalamazoo Wings of the ECHL.
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2010 Equipment Buyers Guide
FLAT BOTTOM V SHARPENS PLAYER’S EDGES AND GAMES
Perfect Edge’s Marc O’Keefe checks the blade of a skate sharpened using Black Stone Sports Flat Bottom V system. BY WADE LAFEVER
The Flat Bottom V (FBV) skate sharpening technology is creating a buzz in the hockey community across North America from recreation leagues to the NHL. Just as one-piece composite sticks changed the way players shoot and handle the puck, the FBV is changing the way players skate. Black Stone Sports developed the FBV and says that NHL players are swearing by it. “About four years ago we started with a different spinner system, a different way of dressing the wheel,” said Steve Wilson, co-founder of Black Stone Sports, an Ontario-based manufacturer of skate maintenance equipment. “Traditionally we’ve always had a diamond that would come down and scrape the wheel, and wherever you scraped the wheel at would be your radius.” The radius on a skate blade corresponds to a specific hollow. The larger the radius the more shallow the hollow becomes. A smaller radius leaves a deeper hollow. Knowing what type of hollow to use is important because each has benefits, but there is a trade off with picking one over the other. The FBV excels by offering players increased speed and glide found in a shallow hollow, while still maintaining the stability and bite of deep hollow. “Players want more speed but then they don’t want to give up the agility because agility is a big part of the game,” said Wilson. According to Wilson, if you’re not digging into the ice while you’re gliding, you use less energy because there is less resistance on the ice. “Players were always looking for more glide because you only have so much
energy in a game, and in a shift,” said Wilson. Florida Panthers forward Corey Stillman first tried the FBV when Wilson sharpened his skates in 2008 using a FBV sharpening prototype. Stillman loved it and has used it ever since. And word travels quickly in NHL circles. Currently 24 NHL teams are using the FBV, up from 20 the season before. “What’s been neat to Blackstone is that we’ve brought a change to an industry that has never seen a change,” Wilson said. The positive benefits experienced by players from recreation leagues to the professional ranks have been confirmed by a kinesiology research study at the University of Ottawa. “They qualified that there was a definite enhancement in skating,” said Wilson. “Now they’re trying to quantify that.” Black Stone has patents pending on their revolutionary technology and designs. “We know this has never been done in ice skate sharpening before, and we’re anticipating not having an issue getting our patents,” said Wilson. Word about the FBV has even spread across continents. Former NHL star Jaromir Jagr bought a machine and brought it over to Russia where he plays in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), according to Wilson. Jagr and some of his Czech teammates used the FBV when they won gold at the 2010 World Championships. According to Black Stone Sport’s website, 99.7% of players who try the FVB stay with it. But the only way to know is to try it for yourself. I recently stopped at Perfect Edge Hockey and Lacrosse in Howell and had owner Marc O’Keefe sharpen my skates using the FBV system. It took literally a lap around the rink for me to adjust to the FBV. The results of my personal experience concur with the aforementioned University of Ottawa kinesiology study. Black Stone Sports suggests players start with the 90/75, and from there they can adjust if they want more bite (100/75) or less bite (90/50). The first number represents the width of the flat part of the blade, in thousandths. The second number is the height between the edges of the blade and the flat area of the blade, in 10 millionths. A different angle of edge is obtained by changing the first number and keeping the second consistent; thus, producing a different feel of more or less edge when skating. Black Stone Sports has determined the 90/75 is close to the edge of a traditional 5/8 circular hollow and the 100/75 can be related to the edge of a 1/2 - 3/8 circular hollow. Perfect Edge’s O’Keefe stressed the importance of talking to the person sharpening your skates and then providing them with feedback as to how the skates felt on the ice will give them a better idea of what to do next time. “The more we know about how you like your skates to feel, the better they will be able to help you,” said O’Keefe.
July 12, 2010, Volume 20 : Issue 21
D & D FILLS LAKELAND ARENA WITH GEAR Whether you’ve grown out or worn out last year’s equipment this is the time to look for new gear if you need it. Waterford’s Lakeland Arena is full of equipment for sale as D & D Bicycles and Hockey has expanded and taken over the arena’s Blue rink for the summer and stocked it with tons of gear, skates and sticks (along with bicycles and accessories). The arena floor will be filled with hockey equipment at great prices all month long while D & D’s newest location inside Lakeland Arena is being remodeled. D & D plans to move into the new space on August 1. “We’re excited about serving this area with a new, updated and modern store,” said manager Brad Martin.
PERFECT EDGE NOW BIGGER AND BETTER When Howell’s Perfect Edge Hockey and Lacrosse needed to expand their store, they didn’t have to look very far. Perfect Edge moved just four doors down to 3621 E. Grand River into a space three times bigger than their previous store. And the move came just in time for the store’s huge Anniversary Sale on July 24-25. The sale includes special prices on just about everything in the store – in addition to free raffle prizes of skates, sticks, helmets and apparel. Manufacturer’s sales reps will be on hand for custom fitting and you can bring in your USA Hockey card to get a free Flat Bottom V skate sharpening.
BIG PERANI’S SALE MOVES TO FARMINGTON HILLS While the location of the 17th annual Perani’s Hockey World summer Warehouse Sale has changed, the sale’s appeal hasn’t. The world’s largest hockey equipment sale is set for July 22 – August 1 at a new location, the Farmington Hills Ice Arena. The arena floor will again be chocked full of all brands of gear, skates and sticks – and most are offered at or below cost. “The best selection is early but the prices are right all the time,” said Mike Sander, Perani’s Hockey World Vice President of Operations. “We try to give good value to the customer.” In addition, Perani’s Livonia Superstore’s floor plan has been completely revamped and the equipment selection has been expanded and reorganized. The north side of the store – which had previously been equipment manufacturer’s kiosks – now is home to the store’s skate wall and wide array of goaltending gear (see photo above). And the area’s back wall now has clear panels so you can view the artificial ice practice rink in the far back of the building. Perani’s also has a new store in Waterford in a strip mall on the north side of M-59, located just west of their old location in Lakeland Arena. By Philip Colvin
ADRAY Community Hockey League Scholarship The Mike and Louise Adray Scholarship has been in effect for 29 years with over $237,800 in scholarship funds. This scholarship is offered to students entering college who have participated in Adray. The Adray-ACHL Scholarship Award is a one-year scholarship open to any first year student enrolling in a Michigan college, community college or trade school. The applicant MUST have participated at least one season on an Adray Community Hockey League team. The applicant should show academic success in high school. Financial need will be considered in the selection process. Financial Aid Forms (FAF or FFS) should be on file at the college of your choice. The applicant is also required to have his local Association’s ACHL representative countersign the recommendation. The application and more information is available on the Adray web site at: www.adrayhockey.org Simply click on the scholarship tab on the web page.
President:/Temp VP East Jeff Spedowski firstname.lastname@example.org 231-796-0728
ADRAY Officers Greater West:Vice President Kevin Wood email@example.com 616-560-6503
Metro Vice President Bobby Mitchell firstname.lastname@example.org 248-302-0913
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2010 Equipment Buyers Guide
MANUFACTURERS CONTINUE THEIR QUEST FOR THE PERFECT HOCKEY STICK BY LARRY O’CONNOR
The quest for the perfect hockey stick continues as manufacturers attempt to address players’ various wants and desires. And players want it all: A light, one-piece composite stick with a shaft and blade strong enough to withstand the game’s rigors and put some heft into their shots without sacrificing feel or balance. With prices topping out in the $200 range, one can argue they are entitled to all those attributes with the premium-priced piece of equipment. “The game is getting so fast and in a lot of cases, specifically in the NHL, the ice surfaces aren’t the best,”says Mike Mountain, Easton product manager for sticks.“You see such hard passes and these guys are kind of knocking the puck down, keeping control of it. They want to be able to make the play – whether it’s making another pass or getting a shot off on net. “Where we see this going is ‘Lets get the sticks to be able to work in favor of the player and have a better feel, gain better control and improve the pace of the game.’” To address durability, stick makers are using Kevlar wraps and intricate carbon fiber weaves while blades are embedded with resins and high density foams
to enhance overall feel. Sticks are also lighter – ranging 430 to 460 grams – due to a multitude of emerging technologies.
BAUER SUPREME TOTAL ONE The Greenland, N.H.-based company’s newest entry - which hits stores in October -incorporates all the hallmarks of its popular Supreme 195 stick, including the Dual Density blade, an amplified mid-kick and simple graphics. Weighing in at 430 grams, the Total One is 30 grams lighter than its Supreme 195 predecessor. The Total One is infused with the same textured carbon fiber material found in Bauer’s other popular signature stick, the Vapor X: 60, to maintain its whip action. The X:60 is also one of the company’s most durable sticks, and features monocomp technology that improves the balance and weight of the stick by removing excess weight where the shaft meets the blade. The Total One uses a patented carbon fiber textured weave as well as a new resin system. In the blade, Bauer’s Dual Density technology uses stiffer and lighter Aero Foam in the lower region that comes in contact with the puck while the remainder is fortified with Power Core epoxy. “For those people who are old enough to remember a wood stick, (Dual Density is) what gives it that wood feel,” says Evan Baker, Bauer category manager for sticks. “Upon receiving passes, the puck just sticks to the blade really, really well.” The Total One will come in Grip Tac and non-grip versions. The new release will spawn a line of lowerpriced Supreme 180, 150, 130 and 120 versions, which incorporate similar features of the Total One.
EASTON SYNERGY ST AND STEALTH S19 The ST, which stands for “Super Tough,” is the 2010 version in the enduring Synergy line, which has also morphed into a separate SL (Super Light) series. Like the name suggests, the ST is for the player who puts some bite in his shot. The stick’s patented Shox Technology transfers resin directly into the blade, which makes the puck adhere to the blade during impact, Easton’s Mountain says. Resin content in the ST blade is near 50 percent whereas other manufacturers use 30 to 35 percent, he adds. “It’s a heavier blade, but it’s got much more of a cushioned feel for the puck,” Mountain says. “That’s what allows the puck to stay on the blade and how you generate a more powerful shot with it.” The ST’s compression molded shaft also gives it a consistent wall for energy transfer. Additionally, the handle is Kevlar wrapped to enhance durability while also eradicating
vibration, Mountain says. Boston’s Zdeno Chara, New Jersey’s Brian Rolston and Calgary’s Jarome Iginla are among those using the Synergy ST stick. “All of these guys have incredibly heavy shots and this is the reason why,” Easton’s product manager adds. While the ST is geared for players who rely on brute force, Easton’s Stealth S19 is for those who thrive on guile, a deft touch and quick release. The S19 owes its lightning-quick release characteristics to the composite piece’s Torx Elliptical Technology, which harnesses torque and flex so they occur in concert. What results is a venomous shot. “In terms of geometry, the toughest structure to twist is the cylinder, because as you are twisting you have continuous walls which apply pressure in the other direction,” Mountain says. “So it really pulls from that philosophy and, by removing the corners, you get better torsional control and the blade stays closed and you are able to utilize more of the energy you generate into your shot.” The S19’s Dual-Core blade construction enhances puck control by using a higherdensity foam on the lower part that comes in contact with the biscuit. The end result is players who snake through traffic can do so while keeping their head up, Easton’s product manager says. As with the Synergy, the S19 shaft is Kevlar wrapped to make it last longer. “Durability is always a focus,” Mountain says. “Anytime you talk about a stick with the weight in the category we’re in and the abuse it really needs to stand up to, it’s always a huge focus of ours regardless of the product.”
REEBOK 11K The 11K is a step up from Reebok’s highly praised 10K stick, which features patented SicKick and Guided Blade technologies for explosive release and precision. The 11K will be available in October. “(The 11K) is really taking the performance and durability of the 10K, which is a very successful stick for us, and taking it to the next level,” says Corry Kelahear, Reebok CCM director of Product Management. “We really wanted to focus on the performance of the stick.” With Dual Matrix Technology, the shaft incorporates two different carbon fiber weaves that create a spring-loaded effect when taking a shot. Dimples on the blade add a rigid surface, which keeps the blade straight and square during shot impact. The Opti-balance system has moved the equilibrium further up the shaft. Through a stringent quality control process, every stick will be checked at the factory to ensure the balance point is in the proper position, Kelahear says. “There is a stick for every level of player,” the CCM Reebok product manager says. “It’s really up to the players to head into their local stores and make sure they talk to the floor staff about their level of hockey and how much they are playing, and (store staff ) can suggest the best model for them.”
WARRIOR DOLOMITE SPYNE Chubby Checker liked to twist, but hockey players hate it when their stick blade does it when cranking out a shot. The result is a loss of energy (known as “slop”) and a feeble attempt on goal, says Keith Perera, Warrior Hockey product manager whose company’s Dolomite Spyne stick counteracts that trend. Spyne Technology keeps the blade stick square and compact as it makes puck contact, resulting in the pop that players prefer. The Dolomite Spyne also features a new linear taper flex profile that allows more of the stick to load during a shot, “meaning the stick is not merely loading at the bottom ... like most low-kick sticks on the market,” Perera says. The gradual increase in flex load allows the player to have a much more natural flex arc in the shaft, which results in a consistent and accurate shot, Warrior’s product manager adds. The fused one-piece carbon fiber stick is also reinforced withWarrior’s 5-Skin Impact Protection to improve durability. With its X-ray chrome finish and goth graphics, the Dolomite stands out on the stick rack.
2010 Equipment Buyers Guide
July 12, 2010, Volume 20 : Issue 21
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NEW SKATES EVOLVE IN EFFORT TO FIND PERFECT BALANCE OF COMFORT AND PERFORMANCE BY LARRY O’CONNOR
The hockey skate continues to evolve as manufacturers try to strike the perfect balance between comfort and performance. One-piece composite construction, which provided better fit and lighter weight, was the industry’s major breakthrough a few years ago. Yet the tinkering continues. Whether it’s shaving a few grams off the runner or developing form-fit tongues, the push is to have the player become one with the skate. “You see it sticks, you see it in other sports where technology and innovation has led to player improvement,” says Keith Duffy, Bauer product manager for skates. “Innovation in science correlates to sport.”
BAUER SUPREME TOTAL ONE The legacy company is touting the TotalOne as the most advanced skate in its storied 82-year y history.y Bauer’s si signature i gnature skatee weighs debuted in Aprill aand ndw w e ghhs ei
in at a paltry 695 grams, which is 90 grams less than its comparable high-end Supreme One95 boot. About 33 of those grams were lost through a new runner technology, Tuuk LS Fusion, which is 27 percent lighter than the LS2 steel used in other Bauer skates. Another key feature is the TotalOne’s customizable tongue, which through the use of inserts can offer three levels of stiffness. To address comfort, additional padding has been placed over the boot’s forefront to alleviate foot abrasions that occur during break-in. “It’s a good feature we have been doing through custom skates as well as for the majority of our NHL players,” Bauer’s Duffy says. “We just took it and rolled out into a catalog model.” While bearing the same construction as the Supreme One95, a new liner and an adjustable tongue provide “a different sensation” when sliding a foot into the TotalOne, Duffy says. “Through our 3D lasting process in addition to the live composite quarter material we use, we’re basically providing players with the best anatomical fitting skate in the game,” Bauer’s product manager says. The TotalOne headlines a complete overhaul of the Supreme line, which also includes a new One100 model that features a new 52-ounce thick felt tongue. A new Supreme One80 also premieres with the same tech-mesh quarter used in Bauer’s Vapor X60 marquee skate and incorporates the same anatomical fit properties of the TotalOne and One100. “It’s a fantastic skate and a great skate for the value,” Duffy says.
CCM U+ CL The latest skate’s development in the Canadian hockey company’s arsenal was a painstaking process, but that’s only so players wouldn’t feel any discomfort when stepping into a pair. The Canadian-made U+ CL, which includes an all white version, will launch in October. In designing the U+ CL, CCM sought input from seven focus groups, including ones in Finland as well Minnesota, Vancouver, ass Min inn inn Calgary aand Toronto. Feedback was also solicited from CCM endorsees in the NHL. endo “One of the areas we really wanted to improve is the outof-the-box comfort,” says Corry Kelahear, CCM Reebok product manager. “We worked extremely hard on that. It was almost an obsession to really nail that out-of-the-box fit, so the skate feels great.” The highly anticipated U+ CL skate will feature CCM’s patented U+ foam, which envelopes the contours of the player’s foot. An additional comfort foa feature is a new tongue comprised of U+ foam on the outside to reduce lace fee bite with traditionally felt on the interior. To disperse sweat and heat, the U+ CL incorporates a new integrated ventilation system between the foot bed, mid- and outsole. “Players are playing so much now,” CCM’s Kelahear says. “They need their skates to dry quickly so they are ready to go the next time.” The U+ CL’s sleek look and metallic tone is one of the best looking skates in the company’s storied history, Kelahear says. “Every single component of the skate was treated like an individual design product,” he says. “So whether it’s eyelets, the laces... every single piece has been carefully looked at and it’s really those little things that add to the overall package.” CCM will also introduce a U+ 12 model, which contains many features of its higherpriced sibling U+ CL. The U+ 12 was tested in Canadian junior hockey circles as well as being worn by a few NHL’ers to measure the skate’s overall sturdiness, Kelahear says. “It’s a great option for all levels,” CCM’s product director says.
STEALTH S17 In releasing an All White version of its premier Stealth S17, the Van Nuys, Calif.-based sporting goods company is breaking the unwritten fashion rule that calls for a halt to wearing white footwear after Labor Day Easton already has a Limited Edition black Stealth S17 on shelves and has an all-black version of its lowerpriced Stealth S12 in the works. “ We ’ v e f o u n d
players like to have a unique look,”says Chris Norqual, Easton director of product management. “They tend to define themselves by how they look obviously. “So we’ve given them another option and it’s something that’s worked well in the past, and the pros have picked up on it as well.” The S17 - as well as the S12 model - features onepiece composite construction that makes it lightweight (under 700 grams), responsive and yet strong enough to repel impact from shots. The S17’s comfort foam molds to the foot while the Stealth Padlock fastens the heel for projected power. The comparable Stealth S12 harnesses many of the marquee model’s features but at a lower price point. “That’s going to be a huge seller for us,” Norqual says about the Stealth S12. For budget conscious players, Easton’s Synergy line, including the EQ3 model, continues to offer a cost-effective alternative. The skate’s uni-body construction provides a molded composite outsole while the liner also offers many foot-hugging characteristics, Norqual says. “The market trend has always been about fit, guys wanting to be comfortable in their skates,” Easton’s product manager says. “And they also want them to be great looking and lightweight.”
REEBOK 11K PUMP After debuting at the NHL Winter Classic in Boston, the company’s signature skate was so well-received by some NHL players they switched to the 11K in mid-season, Reebok CCM’s Kelahear says. D e t ro i t R e d Wi n g s D a r re n Helm, Jonathon Ericsson and Drew Miller are among the pros wearing the 11K, which features Reebok’s patented Pump technology. The Pump infuses air to eliminate gaps around the ankles and provide a form fit. The skate weighs 856 grams in a Size 9D. “Right now, on the skate market, it’s the leader in terms of step-in comfort,” Reebok’s Kelahear says. “That’s what the pros have been talking about. We’ve had guys who put them on in the afternoon and use them in games that night.” The 11K is reinforced with a Pro Armor IV quarter package with an abrasion zone at the forefoot, which reduces cuts and abrasions. The skate’s Flexon zone is designed to increase energy transfer while the Spinal zone supports the Achilles tendon. Reebok also redesigned the Last with a narrower heel fit that allows for gradual widening.
July 12, 2010, Volume 20 : Issue 21
Team Metro South went undefeated and won the gold medal at the Meijer State Games with a 5-3 win over Team South on June 27 at Griff ’s Ice House in Grand Rapids.
PHOTO BY WADE LAFEVER/MICHIGAN HOCKEY
Team Metro South earns gold medal at Meijer State Games in Grand Rapids BY WADE LAFEVER
It wasn’t just normal summer hockey for the players and coaches involved in the inaugural Meijer State Games of Michigan, held June 24-27 in Grand Rapids. Eight teams of high school players in grades 9 -11, each representing a region in the state, played the type of hockey you would expect to see during a March playoff run. The chance to play for their region, much like an Olympian plays for their country, made for a weekend of exciting, competitive hockey. The four-day Olympic style tournament culminated at Griff ’s Icehouse on June 27 with Team Metro South defeating Team South, 5-3, to capture the gold medal and state-wide bragging rights. “It was such a satisfaction for me to see all the players come together from their respective schools and for one weekend put that aside and get on the same page,” said Ron Baum, head of the State Games Hockey Steering Committee and former East Kentwood head coach. “What impressed me the most was even when teams were down by several goals, they never quit. They just kept coming.”
METRO SOUTH RULES Team Metro South, comprised of players from Detroit’s downriver area, cruised through the tournament with five straight wins and scored at least five goals in each contest. Team Metro South previously beat Team South, 6-1, in round-robin play. In the final, Team Metro South opened the scoring when Tyler Groat (Wyandotte) broke free in the slot and found the net behind Team South’s goaltender Ruben
Medrano (Holt). Team Metro South took a 3-0 lead on goals from Gerald Mayhew (Wyandotte) – assisted by Dominic Antonelli (Monroe St. Mary’s Catholic Central) and Ryan Westfall (Grosse Isle) - and Jeremy Klotz (Woodhaven), with assists going to Gordey Howey (Grosse Isle) and Jimmy Prevost (Divine Child). To start the second period, Brighton’s Eric Lipton relieved Medrano, who stopped 16 of 19 shots in the opening period. After Team South’s Luke Dmytro took a major penalty for checking from behind late in the first period, Mayhew scored his second of the game early in the middle period on the powerplay to make it 4-0. Team South finally got on the board in the second period with goals from Anthony Catalina (Chelsea) - assisted by Sean Nelson (Brighton) – and Sean Gaffney (Novi Catholic Central), whose low shot beat Team Metro South goaltender Luke DuBois (New Boston) along the ice. But Mac Howey (Grosse Isle) answered quickly to regain Team Metro South’s three-goal cushion. Brad Hepler (Chelsea) scored to close the gap to 5-3, but that was as close as Team South could get. “We weren’t the most talented [team] by far but we were the most cohesive,” said Metro South coach Skip Howey, head coach of Grosse Isle. “We were able to incorporate a system that the kids picked up very well. We stuck to the system, and we did a very good job. The kids really gelled together as a group.”
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A ‘GREAT EXPERIENCE’ The State Games gave players who compete against each other during the high school season the opportunity to come together and represent their part of the state. “The thing that made us a team was the togetherness the players showed from the very beginning,” said Team Metro South coach Brian Dallas of Divine Child. “Guys that are natural rivals put all of it aside in order to be successful and it was a pleasure to watch.” Former U.S. Olympian and East Kentwood native Mike Knuble of the Washington Capitals presented bronze medals to Team West after they defeated Team Metro North, 4-2, in the Bronze Medal game. “It was a great experience for the kids,” said Knuble, who also participated in Friday’s opening ceremonies. “The event was very organized and I thought the competition was good.” The weekend reflected the Olympic ideals of sportsmanship, fair play, perseverance, and respect among athletes. And while Baum and the Steering Committee helped plan the hockey competition, everyone involved, including the referees, scorekeepers and volunteers that kept the games running smoothly, all donated their time and efforts. “This was out of appreciation for the game. Everybody here gave back to the game by doing things for kids and parents at no cost,” Baum said. “It was like your first at bat in the Major Leagues and hitting a walk-off grand slam in the World Series. That’s what just took place for hockey in West Michigan.”
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