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mihockeynow.com

V.22 : I.6 | October 10, 2011

FIRST CLASS


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SCAN TO SEE THE DYNASTY IN ACTION

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

MICHIGAN OCTOBER 10, 2011 VOLUME 22: ISSUE 6 6 THE LOCKER ROOM Let’s have some fun

8 SLIDESHOW The Red Wings take a road trip to Grand Rapids

10 SPEAKING OF HOCKEY Who is your favorite Michigan-born player?

12 GET BETTER 7 great hockey habits

14 YOU SHOULD KNOW The Red Wings’ Thomas McCollum

22 HOMETOWN HERO Recently retired Mike Modano

36 TOURNAMENT CALENDAR The latest tournament listings

42 THE LAST LINE Darren Eliot discusses the new checking rules in youth hockey

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Shoot for a Cure

The Livingston Lightning ’98s showcased a colorful performance on and off the ice — all in an effort to battle cancer

20 Concussions

Knowing how to identify and detect concussion symptoms is crucial for every parent, coach and player

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Michigan Hockey

24

Juniors preview

From the Plymouth Whalers of the OHL to the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the USHL, we break down how the juniors leagues will play out

40

Red Wings insider

A natural center, Valtteri Filppula will be seeing the ice from a new view to start the season: from the left wing

MIHOCKEYNOW.COM

LOOK FOR OUR NEXT ISSUE

OCTOBER 24, 2011

To advertise in Michigan Hockey please contact Lucia Zuzga at (248) 479-1134 or lucia@mihockeynow.com or Michael Caples at (248) 479-1136 or mcaples@mihockeynow.com

October 10, 2011 V.22 : I.6


FROM THE EDITOR MICHIGAN HOCKEY EDITOR Michael Caples

mcaples@mihockeynow.com

ADVERTISING Lucia Zuzga

lucia@mihockeynow.com

DESIGN John Kalmar DISTRIBUTION Lucia Zuzga ADMINISTRATIVE DIRECTOR Amy Jones DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS & PROGRAMMING Darren Eliot

EDITORIAL BOARD: Bob DeSpirt, Christine Knight, 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 483352829.

POSTMASTER: Send address changes to MICHIGAN HOCKEY®, 23995 Freeway Park Drive, Suite 200, Farmington Hills, MI 48335-2829. ©2011 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: mh@michiganhockeyonline.com WEBSITE: mihockeynow.com

H

ey parents, this one’s for you. If you’re still reading, that means I’ve got your attention for making a point — relax. Youth hockey is about learning life experiences and having fun along the way. Those life experiences should include things like how to work as team, how to interact with those around you and how to strive to achieve a common goal. They should not include how to deal with an out-ofline parent or overbearing coach. At every level of hockey, kids are experiencing both, and it needs to change. From personal experience, I can tell you that the perception of a game that you love changes when there’s nonsense going on in the stands. During warm-ups for a Bantam game, I was screamed at by a teammate’s parent who was standing along the glass for missing a pass that got stuck in a puddle of water, or, in his opinion, “not working hard enough.” How do you think that game went for me when during warm-ups my own father had to go over and tell him to stop yelling at me? How do you think the kids on my little brother’s team felt (or what do you think they learned?) when their Pee Wee coach would get kicked out of games before they even started for harassing referees? Clearly I’m not saying that every parent belongs in hockey jail. But before you yell something, or if you see somebody else yelling something, take a second to think about what that is doing to the kids — you know, the priority. Let’s make sure they’re learning, having fun, playing safe, and feeling like they can achieve their wildest dreams.

Photos at left: (from top, L to R): Livingston Lightning ’98s (Michael Caples/Michigan Hockey), Concussions helmet (Michael Caples/Michigan Hockey), Beau Schmitz (Aaron Bell/OHL Images) and Valtteri Filppula (Dave Reginek/Detroit Red Wings).

That means don’t yell at them if they fire wide or blow coverage in their own zone. Signed, A recently-retired youth hockey player As far as this issue goes: Along with previewing many of the junior teams embarking on a new season, this is also our ‘Parents’ Guide’ edition. That means we’ve put some stuff in Michigan Hockey Magazine to help you get through the season. In ‘Get Better’, we give you some tips to share with your young hockey-playing sons and/or daughters that you should try to reinforce throughout the year. In ‘Last Line’, Darren Eliot tells you what’s up with the new checking rules, and how you should embrace them (literally and figuratively). Plus, we’ve got some information on how to deal with concussions, because, unfortunately, it’s an aspect of the game, and even worse, it is not always dealt with correctly. We also hope you like the latest batch of redesigned pages. Hat’s off to our new graphic designer John Kalmar — a former captain of the Rockford Rams varsity hockey team. Hey, high school hockey is just around the corner, after all. Oh yes, and go check out MiHockeyNow.com, our new website. If you haven’t seen it yet, we’re building a hockey hub that will have constant coverage of everything from Pee Wees to Pros. I think you will like it.

MICHIGAN HOCKEY’S MONTHLY CONTESTS

From the cover: Beau Schmitz, Mike Vellucci and Stefan Noesen (John Kalmar/Michigan Hockey).

VISIT OUR FACEBOOK AND TWITTER PAGES TO FIND OUT

Cover reprints available email: mh@michiganhockeyonline.com

October 10, 2011 V.22 : I.6

@michaelcaples

BY MICHAEL CAPLES

HOW TO WIN YOUR TEAM A SET OF HOCKEY SKATE-LACE BRACELETS FROM HOCKEY PLAYERS UNION

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Michigan Hockey

5


THE LOCKER ROOM

THE

LOCKERROOM THE SCORESHEET

ON THE FLY

Q:

Who will lead the Red Wings in scoring this y year?

tsyuk A: Pavel Datsyuk

70%

Henrik Zetterberg erberg 2 26% 6% Justin Abdelkader elkader 2 % 2% Calvin Johnson nson

Let ‘er rip: Alex Johansons, a Michigan native playing junior hockey in Wyoming, gets some extreme flex on this shot. (Courtesy Rita Joes)

2%

TWO FOR TWEETING

TALES FROM THE RINK GONGSHOW CONTEST We have a winner! After a number of votes and much staff deliberation, we finally chose a winning entry, from Nick Meyer. Here’s his tale from the rink: A buddy played on a beer league team in Windsor with Bob Probert. Probie put his plastic skate guards on between periods to go outside for a smoke. When he got back inside, the period had started and everyone was yelling at him to get on the ice. He jumped the boards and faceplanted. He had forgotten to take his guards off and had to pull himself back over the boards because he couldn’t stand on the ice.

USA US AH Hockey k iis h happy tto announce th the h growing i number b of female hockey players

The University of Michigan lands one of the top U.S. prospects

Visit our Facebook page, facebook.com/MiHockeyNow, to see who took second and third place in the contest.

Early for hockey E l preseason rankings ki f college ll h k are released, l d with ith two t CCHA teams cracking the top five

(Tom Turrill/Michigan Hockey)

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Michigan Hockey

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October 10, 2011 V.22 : I.6


SLIDESHOW

MICHIGAN HOCKEY IN PICTURES: ROAD TRIP TO GRAND RAPIDS

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4

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1. Hockeytown West: Henrik Zetterberg and Valtteri Filppula battle for control of the puck after the opening face-off at the Red and White game in Grand Rapids. 2. All about Abdelkader: Plenty of fans were sporting the Muskegon native’s jersey in his return to West Michigan. 3. Back to GR: Justin Abdelkader, who played in 109 games with the Griffins over two seasons, circles the ice at Van Andel Arena. 4. Hometown hero: A statue of Jay Van Andel, one of the founders Ada, Mich.-based Amway, is displayed outside of the stadium named in his honor. 5. Star-studded appearance: Many of the Red Wings’ big-ticket players were on hand in Grand Rapids. Johan Franzen skates past fans during pre-game warm-ups.

2

6. The Captain: Nicklas Lidstrom takes time to acknowledge fans before heading off to the locker room after warmups. (Michael Caples/Michigan Hockey)

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Michigan Hockey

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October 10, 2011 V.22 : I.6


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Michigan Hockey

9


SPEAKING OF HOCKEY

Speaking of Hockey Who is your favorite Michigan-born hockey player?

“Ryan Kesler, I skate at the same rink he did growing up! I want to be as good of an defensive offensive player as him!” — Jimmy Edney

Visit our Facebook page to see more answers, facebook.com/mihockeynow

“Ooh tough one. Tied for me between Ryan Miller and Tim Thomas.” — Jennifer Wright

“Justin Abdelkader — also know in our house as “AppleGator”, “Terminator” and/or “AppleCracker” :) or just plain “KnucklePucker” :) GO WINGS” “Love those Miller Boys!! Sparty On!!”

— Mary Jo Gibson Serdoner

— Lynn y Marie Vittetoe

“Dearborn’s own Brian Rafalski — an original downriver rat.” — Geoffrey Havens

Tom Turrill/Michigan Hockey, Dave Reginek/Detroit Red Wings

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Michigan Hockey

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October 10, 2011 V.22 : I.6


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GET BETTER

GETBETTER

7

great hockey habits

4

1

 All over the ice — Defensemen & Forwards  Passing lanes — Defensemen & Forwards  Defensive zone — lead with stick, flush, play up boards — Defensemen & Forwards

 Battle hard, stick on the ice, and keep position — Defensemen & Forwards

 Quickness through neutral zone —

& Forwards

5

7

Great decisions:  Commitment to the team — do whatever it takes — Defensemen & Forwards  Supporting on outs — Defensemen & Forwards

 Dump in away from goalie and with a purpose — Defensemen & Forwards  Changes — hard and be aware — Defensemen & Forwards

 Work this defense; take puck to the net (every opportunity you have) — Forwards

 Defensemen — when to jump — when to get back and out of the offensive zone – when to pinch

Support Teammates:

 Forwards — fore-checking 1 or 2 men depending on possession other team has – 3rd man all the time in rotation especially when puck is in doubt

 Hold up with feet moving — Defensemen & Forwards

 Get available and want the puck — Defensemen & Forwards

 Puck side support on all outs — Defensemen & Forwards

 Getting the puck to the net or deep — Defensemen & Forwards

 React — trust your decision — Defensemen & Forwards

 Defense support through middle — keeping gap tight — Defensemen  Scrums — five guys in — do nothing after the whistle — Defensemen & Forwards

Body Position:  If the puck is in doubt, be on the defensive side — Defensemen & Forwards

 Winger getting puck out — Forwards

 On the back check — Defensemen

 1st man on fore-check must make long pass difficult — Forwards

2

 All over ice — Defensemen & Forwards

 Cycle vs. slow D — 3rd man rotation going to the net finishing the check — Forwards

 Going to the net — Defensemen & Forwards

 Make them come through you to the net — Defensemen & Forwards

Feet moving:

Defensemen & Forwards

BY DARREN ELIOT Good Sticks (stick to the puck):

POWERED BY

6

Discipline:  On attack get it behind their D — using soft dumps — Forwards  Shift length — Defensemen & Forwards  Don’t retaliate after the whistle —

3

Stop in front:  Go to the net hard — Defensemen & Forwards  Stick on the ice — Defensemen & Forwards  Battle for loose puck — Defensemen & Forwards  Bury your chances — Defensemen & Forwards  Hit the net — Defensemen & Forwards  Traffic in front of the net — Forwards

Defensemen & Forwards

 Getting the puck deep — Forwards  Finishing checks — Defensemen & Forwards

 Be positive all the time — Defensemen & Forwards

 Remain disciplined under ALL circumstances — Defensemen & Forwards

 Any shot is a good one — Defensemen & Forwards

12

Michigan Hockey

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October 10, 2011 V.22 : I.6


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Dec 2-4 = Bantam B Tourney weekend, 8 teams ($770) *FSU vs Western Michigan, Friday Dec 2nd Call early for group tickets (tourney discount) Dec 9-11 = Pee Wee B Tourney weekend, 8 teams ($700) *FSU vs Notre Dame, Friday Dec 9th Call early for group tickets (tourney discount)

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Jan 13-15 = Mite ADM Studio Rink Tournament, 8 teams ($400) 4x4 / 3x3 hockey played on the Ferris State Studio Rink *FSU vs Alaska-Fairbanks, Fri/Sat, Jan13/14 Call early for group tickets (tourney discount) Jan 20-22 = JV/Midget A Tourney Weekend, 8 teams ($825) Jan 28-29 = Mini-Mite & IP ADM Tourney weekend, 8-10 teams ($300) 4x4 / 3x3 hockey played on the Ferris State Studio & Full Sheet *FSU vs Michigan State, Fri/Sat, Jan 27/28 – call early for group tickets Feb 10-12 = Mite ADM Studio Rink Tournament, 8-10 teams ($400) 4x4 / 3x3 hockey played on the Ferris State Studio Rink *FSU vs Notre Dame, Sat, Feb 11th – call early for group tickets (tourney discount) Feb 24-26 = Midget B/BB Tourney weekend, 8 teams ($825) *FSU vs Western Michigan, Saturday Feb 25th – call early for group tickets (tourney discount) Feb24-26=Mini-Mite&IPADMCrossIceTournament,8-10teams ($300) 4x4 / 3x3 hockey played on the Ferris State Studio & Full Sheet *FSU vs Western Michigan, Saturday Feb 25th – call early for group tickets (tourney discount) *All Tournaments are 4-game guarantees, with Fri/Sat/Sun games unless noted *Studio Rink Dimensions – 100 x 85 with radiused corners *Midget and Bantam tournament games = 1.5 hours **All participants/teams must be USA registered

Tournament Info: printable application, tournament rules, etc www.ferris.edu/icearena www.bigrapidshockey.org

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October 10, 2011 V.22 : I.6

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866-223-2112 Michigan Hockey

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YOU SHOULD KNOW

you should know FAVORITE BREAKFAST FOOD: French toast FIRST CONCERT: Brooks and Dunn MUST SEE TV: House IF YOU COULD HAVE ANY SUPERPOWER, WHAT WOULD IT BE: X-ray vision FAVORITE MOVIE: Happy Gilmore WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU HAVE AN HOUR OF FREE TIME: Read IF YOU COULD HAVE ONE WISH GRANTED, WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH IT: Have a happy life WHAT KIND OF CAR DO YOU DRIVE: Jeep WHAT IS YOUR NICKNAME: Bullwinkle, Tom Cat, Clocktower, Tommy Gun WHAT THREE PEOPLE WOULD YOU PICK TO HAVE DINNER WITH: Chris Osgood, Patrick Roy, Carey Price WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE MEAL: Chicken parmesan with broccoli

thomas mccollum The Red Wings will be hoping that prospect Thomas McCollum has a solid season in goal for their AHL affiliate this year. McCollum, 21, is embarking on his third season with the Grand Rapids Griffins, and the young goaltender will have to battle Joey MacDonald and Jordan Pearce for the starting job. The Wings are taking it slow with their first-round pick in 2008, but at the same time, they will want to see improvements in his game in 2011-12.

Dave Reginek/Detroit Red Wings, Navin Rajagopalan (french toast), Aberdeen Proving Ground (Brooks and Dunn), Chad Magiera (books), Brad Silverberg (Jeep), Tom Turrill/Michigan Hockey

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Michigan Hockey

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October 10, 2011 V.22 : I.6


October 10, 2011 V.22 : I.6

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Michigan Hockey

15


YOUTH HOCKEY

Seeing pink in the rink STORY AND PHOTOS BY MICHAEL CAPLES

“I

want to be a hockey mom.” It was quite the reaction from 28-year-old Krista Kolodge, who was experiencing her first hockey game — especially considering it was only a Bantam A game between the Livingston Lightning and Lakeland Hawks. However, for Kolodge and the hundreds of other people at Grand Oaks Ice Arena in Howell for the Oct. 1 game, it meant a whole lot more. The Livingston Lightning ’98s hosted their second annual ‘Shoot for the Cure’ game — starting off Breast Cancer Awareness Month with a game that doubled as a fundraising event. Kolodge, diagnosed with breast cancer in May and recently completing chemotherapy, was invited to conduct a ceremonial puck drop alongside 9-year-old Rory Shadduck, a two-time cancer survivor. The Lightning players donned pink jerseys with names on their backs of loved ones who have battled cancer. Both teams also wore ribbons safety-pinned to their jerseys for more friends and families that have experienced the disease. A silent auction, bake sale, and 50/50 raffle also took place during the two-hour event, which ultimately led to the Lightning collecting over $3,000 to help St. Joseph Mercy Health System and assist cancer patients with utility bills, gas, groceries, prescriptions and day-to-day living expenses. Event organizer Sandra Mitter, a cancer survivor and wife of Lightning head coach Tom Mitter Sr., told Michigan Hockey before the event that her team had held fundraisers to support their own costs, but that the players and families decided it was time to help others instead. “It was a perfect day,” said Sandra Mitter, organizer of the event and wife of Lightning head coach Tom Mitter Sr. “We are extremely grateful for the success of the event, especially in these difficult economic times. Everyone was so willing to give, as well as participate. The out-pour of support took my breath away. Our players had the opportunity to learn, grow, and be proud of their accomplishments as well as pay it forward.” For Jim Shadduck, it was another opportunity to see his son Rory have some fun. “My son Rory was honored to be a part of a puck-drop-

From head to toe: Livingston Lightning ’98 players were decked out in pink gear — everything from jerseys and socks to skate laces and tape. More than a puck drop: Krista Kolodge, center, and Rory Shadduck, right with white shirt, take part in the ceremonial puck drop with members of the Plymouth Whalers. (Courtesy Marnie Martin)

ping ceremony,” Shadduck said. “He’s a 9-year-old twotime cancer survivor of Hodgskins Lymphoma, in remission now for six months, seven months just about, we’re just very blessed to be where we are today. “It’s just a great feeling when he gets this type of an invitation. Anything to put a smile on a child’s face is a great thing.” The Lightning’s head coach said that hockey has been

something that helped his own family through battles with cancer, and that it is only fitting to use hockey to raise money at their local rink. Hockey is huge with that … hockey is a family,” Tom Mitter Sr. said. “We spend a lot of time at the rink together. Every kid in there has somebody battling cancer. We had a 9-year-old do a puck drop with a 28-year-old single mom just through radiation, so it brings awareness to the kids of really what cancer is about.” Mitter Sr. said he was proud of how his team has embraced the fundraiser. “It’s good to see, because they’re realizing how much … one kid had 14 ribbons on the back of his jersey, for friends and family. It shows the impact of it. I told them, I’d love to have a team where nobody could come with a name or a ribbon, but every kid had one.” All-day benefit: In addition to the game, there was also a silent auction, bake sale and 50/50 event that took place. Overall, the Lightning collected $3,000 to help St. Joseph Mercy Health Systems assist cancer patients.

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Michigan Hockey

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October 10, 2011 V.22 : I.6


GET OFF THE BENCH! Skills and Conditioning Series ADULT HOCKEY Professional coaching for men & women of all ability levels

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Both sessions feature a skate at Joe Louis Arena October 10, 2011 V.22 : I.6

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17


YOUTH HOCKEY

’97 Michigan Ice Hawks win Belle Tire tournament Note: The following article is a reader submission from a parent, coach, or player. If you would like your team featured on our website, please email mh@michiganhockeyonline.com

T

he ‘97 Michigan Ice Hawks Bantam AA team won the Belle Tire Back-To-School Classic Hockey Tournament on Sept. 25. The 32-team ďŹ eld included top teams from around Michigan and other American and Canadian teams. The Ice Hawks won all ďŹ ve of their games, outscoring their opponents 26 to 6. The Ice Hawks prevailed 3-1 in the championship game against a tough Oakland Junior Grizzlies team. The Grosse Pointe-based Ice Hawks skate out of McCann (Liggett) Ice Arena.

BRIDGE BRAWL

BATTLE AT THE BRIDGE TOURNAMENT SERIES TOURNAMENT TOWN, ST. IGNACE, MI Level Mites Squirts Pee Wees Bantams Midgets Youth Pond Hockey

Period Length 10 Minutes 12 Minutes 13 Minutes 14 Minutes 14 minutes (2) 20 Minute Halves

Nov. 4-6, 2011 Pee Wee B

Jan. 6-8, 2012 Bantam B

Dec. 2-4, 2011 Squirt B

Feb. 24-26, 2012 Midget B, BB, A, AA

Feb. 25-26, 2012 U.P. 4 on 4 Youth Pond Hockey Championship, All Levels and Divisions

Entry Fee $500 $650 $650 $700 $800 ($200 per team or (2) Teams for $300 March 9-11, 2012 12 Team Mite B Full Ice Tournament

Tournament Features: ‡JDPHPLQLPXP ‡)UHHVNLOOVFRPSHWLWLRQ fastest skater, shooting accuracy, hardest shot and goalie competition ‡+RFNH\EDJFKDLQVIRU every player ‡7RXUQDPHQWPHGDOVIRU all players ‡VW²WKSODFHWHDP Trophies ‡093DZDUGV for each team ‡&KDPSLRQVKLSEDQQHU

Little Bear East Arena, 275 Marquette Street St. Ignace, MI 49781 Phone: 906-643-8676, Fax: 906-643-6082, Email: Lbe@cityofstignace.net http://littlebeararena.com/,Visitor’s Bureau: http://www.stignace.com/ or Chamber of Commerce: http://www.saintignace.org/

Hockey Player Age Hometown Height Weight Team Position Coach School Grade Favorite Team Favorite Player

Corrin Martinez 8 Livonia, MI 4' 6" 77 lbs. Girls Learn to Play Center Her father & Coach Jeff Coolidge 3rd Honeybaked Her sister Kayla

Make your player a "Star of Tomorrow"

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Hockey Player Ryan Hauger Height 5' 9" Weight 205 lbs. Team Bay County Blizzard Bantam A 98s Position Forward Coach Jeff Spaedt School T.L. Handy Middle School Grade 8th Favorite Team Detroit Red Wings Favorite Player Steven Stamkos

Every player appearing on Reebok's Stars of Tomorrow will win a new Reebok hockey stick!

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tGo to http://mihockeynow.com/stars-of-tomorrow/ and fill out the form on that webpage. We will contact you about a photo to appear in the paper.

"STARS OF TOMORROW" DP.JDIJHBO)PDLFZ 'SFFXBZ1BSL%SJWF t 4VJUF 'BSNJOHUPO)JMMT .* NI!NJDIJHBOIPDLFZPOMJOFDPN

*DFSJOLT 'PSNPSFJOGPSNBUJPODBMM#PC#JTIPQ

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Michigan Hockey

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Michigan Hockey

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YOUTH HOCKEY

On the lookout: With the number of concussions in the NHL rising, it’s crucial for parents and coaches to know the signs and symptoms for concussions. (John Kalmar/Michigan Hockey)

Concussions: knowing how to respond BY MICHAEL CAPLES

T

he Little Caesars Amateur Hockey League held their annual Face-Off Meeting at Motor City Casino on Sept. 25 to prepare youth coaches for the upcoming season. The league directors brought in two big names from drastically different professions that had the same message for new and old hockey coaches alike. Longtime Red Wings TV analyst and former player Mickey Redmond addressed the crowd of hundreds of coaches to remind them to both educate their players and keep them safe on the ice. With the increase of concussions at the NHL level, Redmond stressed that it is the responsibility of youth hockey educators to teach players how to play hard, yet safe, as they grow within the game. “Where they’re trying to go at the NHL today — late but never too late — is have to respect for your opponent, and give up the check that means nothing,” Redmond said. “This check at center ice that doesn’t affect the game doesn’t do anything. I know we all want players to finish their check, I think we hide in that sometimes, but there’s times to hit, and times not to hit, and I think we need to teach that at this level. Get these kids thinking the right way about when to deliver a hit and when not to, and because you giving one up doesn’t mean you’re a bad player or your soft or any of that junk.” Soon after Redmond’s message, representatives from the Beaumont Health System gave presentations to coaches promoting concussion awareness. To the right are some of the tips and things to watch for when a player potentially has a concussion.

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Michigan Hockey

Beaumont says that a concussion is a brain injury that:  is caused by a bump or blow to the head  is caused by an indirect forceful movement of the head, like riding a roller coaster  can change the way your brain normally works  can occur during practices or games in any sport  can happen even if you haven’t been “knocked out”  can be serious even if you’ve just been “dinged”

USA Hockey, along with the US Department of Health and Human Services, has provided an action plan if you suspect a concussion has occurred:  Remove athlete from play.  Ensure athlete is evaluated by an appropriate health care professional. Do not try to judge the seriousness of the injury yourself.  Inform athlete’s parents or guardians about the known or possible concussion and give them the fact sheet on concussions.  Allow athlete to return to play ONLY with permission from an appropriate health care professional.

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Some symptoms include:         

headache or “pressure” in the head nausea or vomiting balance problems or dizziness double or blurry vision sensitivity to light and noise feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy concentration or memory problems confusion not “feeling right”

Signs coaches should watch for in their player:         

appears dazed or stunned is confused about assignment of position forgets specific plays is unsure of game, score, or opponent moves clumsily answers questions slowly loses consciousness (even briefly) shows behavior or personality changes can’t recall events before or after the hit or fall

October 10, 2011 V.22 : I.6


YOUTH HOCKEY

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Strong ďŹ nish: Honeybaked defeated the Buffalo Bisons 5-4 to win the B Pool Championship of the Bantam AA tournament. (Photo courtesy Lyle Phair)

Honeybaked U14 Girls storm Stoney Creek Note: The following article is a reader submission from a parent, coach, or player. If you would like your team featured on our website, please email mh@michiganhockeyonline.com

T

he Honeybaked 14U girls ventured to Stoney Creek, Ontario the weekend of Sept. 23-25 to participate in a 16-team Bantam AA tournament. The teams were divided into four divisions for round-robin play and Honeybaked started slowly with a 3-1 loss to Kingston on Friday morning with Kaleigh Beauregard scoring the lone goal. Game 2 proved to be a much stronger effort with a hard-fought 2-2 tie with host team Stoney Creek; Sami Wais and Lea Boreland lit the lamp, and Shannon Ropp turning in a solid effort in goal. To advance to the “Aâ€? division playoffs, Honeybaked would need to win Game 3 and hope for a Kingston win over Stoney Creek. Unfortunately neither happened as the Leaside Wildcats earned a tightly-contested 3-0 decision that was much closer than the ďŹ nal score indicated, with two goals in the ďŹ nal two minutes of play. Emmy Cooper took the loss in goal. With the top two teams in each division advancing to the A pool quarterďŹ nals, Honeybaked was relegated to the B pool, opening with a 2-0 victory over the Brampton Canadettes on Saturday evening. Shannon Ropp earned the shutout win in goal, while Lea Boreland and Janie Groetsch (power play) lit the lamp for Honeybaked. Sunday started early with a 7:45 a.m. semiďŹ nal match-up with the Scarborough Sharks, which saw Honeybaked emerge with a 4-2 win to advance to the ďŹ nals. Taylor Girard,

October 10, 2011 V.22 : I.6

Lea Boreland, Rylie Murray and Kaleigh Beauregard scored for the winners, with Shannon Ropp in net. Honeybaked’s ďŹ nal game with the Buffalo Bisons proved to be an exciting affair. Sami Wais opened the scoring in the ďŹ rst period on the power play, but Buffalo battled back to take a 3-1 lead late in the second period. Lea Boreland drew Honeybaked to within one with a power-play goal set up by Morgan Stacey and Janie Groetsch. Honeybaked carried the play early in the third period but fell behind 4-2 just 4 minutes in. The deďŹ cit remained at two with just over 8 minutes to play, but by the time the smoke had cleared two and a half minutes later, Honeybaked jumped in front on a blitzkrieg of goals by Sami Wais, Taylor Girard and Willow Guenther. Solid forechecking and smothering defense shut down the Bisons the rest of the way earning Honeybaked a 5-4 victory and the B Pool Championship. Emmy Cooper and Shannon Ropp share the crease for 14U Honeybaked, while Morgan Stacey, Sami Wais, Bree Scarpaci, Jillian Jacobs, Janie Groetsch and Kelsey Jaeckle anchor the backend. Kaleigh Beauregard, Taylor Girard, Rylie Murray, Hannah Laho, Madison Phair, Willow Guenther, Lea Boreland, Olivia Ziemba, Taylor Babcock and Abby Chapman provide the offense upfront. The team is coached by Lyle Phair, Rick Murray, Norm Jacobs and Steve Scarpaci, with Brian Wais as the manager.

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21


HOMETOWN HERO

HOMETOWN HERO The all-time leader in points scored among American-born players has ямБnally called it quits after 21 seasons

NHL TOTALS

1,499 GAMES PLAYED 561 GOALS 813

ASSISTS

1,374

POINTS

926 PENALTY MINUTES

MIKE MODANO Tom Turrill/Michigan Hockey

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Michigan Hockey

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October 10, 2011 V.22 : I.6


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JUNIORS PREVIEW

Stacked Plymouth squad not flying under the radar this season BY MATT MACKINDER

B

efore the season even started, so-called Ontario Hockey League experts pegged the Plymouth Whalers as the team to beat in the Western Conference. And with two NHL-drafted goalies, three forwards drafted in the first round by NHL clubs and every defensemen returning, how could anyone argue? Plymouth coach and GM Mike Vellucci took the nonchalant approach when talking about his expectations this season. “We’re obviously very excited and feel we have a pretty good team,” Vellucci said. “I think we have good balance and we’ll need that in the tough Western Conference. It’s always a tight conference and I think it will be that way again this year.” Fourth-year Whaler Beau Schmitz leads the defense and is in his second season serving as captain. Schmitz is one of three overage (20-year-old) players on the roster along with forward R.J. Mahalak and Andy Bathgate, acquired from Belleville in August. “Coming into this season, I want to play a bigger role with bigger responsibilities,” said Schmitz, a Howell native. “A lot of guys here want to work hard and we definitely have a lot of skill. It all comes down to who wants to win at the end of the day.” Last season, Plymouth upset Kitchener in the first round of the playoffs and then lost to eventual OHL champion Owen Sound in the second round. Schmitz thinks last spring will benefit the Whalers this year. “That was a tough Owen Sound series and we played as well as we did with a young team,” explained Schmitz.

Not only o did (Noesen) mature physi physic physically over the past year, y,, too. but he matured mentally,

— Mike Vellucci, head coach and general manager

“That experience will help us out in the long run.” Stefan Noesen, Rickard Rakell and J.T. Miller were all taken in the first round of the NHL draft in June, while Scott Wedgewood and Matt Mahalak are a solid 1-2 combo between the pipes. Miller played the past two seasons with the U.S. National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor after being a Whalers draft pick in 2009. His arrival could pay immediate dividends for Plymouth. “J.T. is the hardest worker I’ve ever seen and wants to win every battle,” Schmitz said. “He always wants to score,

24

Michigan Hockey

Nose for the net: Stefan Noesen netted 34 goals for the Whalers last season as was drafted 21st overall by the Ottawa Senators in the 2011 NHL draft. (Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

even if it’s in practice. He’s that kid that always wants to win.” Vellucci agreed with his captain’s assessment and said with a lineup on paper that looks as good as any in the OHL, he knows his squad is targeted this season. “We usually fly under the radar,” Vellucci said. “Last year in the playoffs against Kitchener, we were the underdog and we won. We can be at the top of any list, but the games are what matter and it’s my job to keep these guys focused.” Bathgate, the grandson of the NHL Hall-of-Famer of the same name, was brought in for leadership and scoring. He scored in his first game with the Whalers and has been an alternate captain as well. Vellucci likes all three of his over-agers and said each brings unique qualities to the team. “Bathgate’s a good kid, works hard and will fit with our system here,” Vellucci said. “R.J. is the guts of our team and will do anything for us. Beau is one of the best defensemen in the league and certainly one of the most underappreciated.”

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Gone from last year are forwards Robbie Czarnik, Tyler Brown, Jamie Devane and James Livingston and defenseman Max Iafrate, with the latter going to Kitchener over the summer after being Plymouth’s top pick in the 2010 OHL draft. Newcomers Mitchell Dempsey, the Whalers’ first-rounder this past May, Matt Mistele and Danny Vanderwiel should help fill some of the voids. Still, when all is said and done, Vellucci said experts will say what they want, but he doesn’t put much stock into predictions. “Last year when we lost Tyler Seguin to the NHL, everyone thought we wouldn’t score any goals,” said Vellucci. “Then Noesen scored 34 and we had a good run in the playoffs. Noesen is a kid that I give all the credit in the world to. Not only did he mature physically over the past year, but he matured mentally, too.” With four games in the books, the grind has begun for the Whalers. How it finishes is anyone’s guess, but if the Whalers are there at the end, the experts can say they knew they would be.

October 10, 2011 V.22 : I.6


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October 10, 2011 V.22 : I.6

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25


JUNIORS PREVIEW

Spirit aim to soar to new heights

BY CARL CHIMENTI

The collection of forwards is as good as any. I think they will be a more productive ear. unit this year.

A

s the Saginaw Spirit prepare to celebrate their 10th anniversary, the team enters the 2011-12 season as serious title contenders in the Ontario Hockey League. The defending West Division champions will be raising their first championship banner during their opening weekend, and they are poised to go further than last year — when the Windsor Spitfires eliminated the Spirit in six games in the semifinals. The Spirit return a strong cast, and with the exception of inexperienced goaltending, many of their ‘go-to guys’ are back for another season. In addition, Saginaw added a couple of strong pieces to the puzzle to help strengthen the team. They acquired forward Michael Fine from the Kingston Frontenacs, who joins the team as a replacement for Josh Shalla, who is set to turn pro after scoring a team-record 47 goals last year. Fine, who hails from North York, Ontario, is a proven playmaker that has tallied 60 goals and 150 points in four seasons, including 20 goals and 34 assists last year for the Frontenacs. Saginaw added size and skill to the blue line signing Jamie Oleksiak, a 2011 first-round (14th overall) pick of the Dallas Stars. The Spirit originally drafted the Toronto, Ontario native 138th overall in 2008. Oleksiak, who played college hockey for Northeastern University as a freshman last season, is a stud at 6-foot-7 and 240 lbs. General manager and head coach Todd Watson is very happy with his new additions. “In Michael Fine, what’s not to like,” said Watson, starting his fifth season with the Spirit after spending time in the Plymouth Whalers’ organization. “He can put pucks in the net and points on the board and we see him as a top-six forward. “Jamie has done well in camp. I went to see him at the rookie tournament in Traverse City and he played very well. He has big size but yet is very mobile, and we see him making a big impact on our hockey team.”

GOALTENDING Watson plans on using the hot hand and it’s clear that he believes both Tadeas Galansky and Jake Paterson are capable starters in the OHL. “I like both these guys and they will each be given a shot to start,” Watson said. “However I would not be surprised if we go with a two-man rotation.” Galansky was selected by the Spirit in the 2009 OHL Import Draft, and although he is starting his third season, injuries have limited him to just 25 games. Last season he played in 17 games, winning nine and posting a 2.89 goalsagainst and a .910 save percentage. Saginaw picked Paterson 32nd overall in the 2010 OHL Priority Draft and the Mississauga, Ontario native appeared in five games, posting three wins, along with a 2.97 goals against and a .907 save percentage. Watson is not worried about their lack of playing time. “You have to get experience somewhere, you can’t buy

26

Michigan Hockey

— Todd Watson, head coach and general manager

said. “I think they will be a more productive unit this year.” Anthony Camara and Justin Kea are two Spirit players who have showed a lot of improvement, and Watson believes both have unlimited potential. “You can just see the confidence in both players — the way they go about their business in practice and during the games,” Watson said. “The way we Locked and loaded: Brandon Saad returns to lead an impressive collection brought them along slowly has helped of forwards for the Spirit. (Aaron Bell/OHL Images) in their development. Justin has been it,” Watson said. “Where did the best goaltenders in this awesome in camp and he has good size (6’4”, 201 lbs) and league get it from? They started some where.” Anthony is as tough as nails. They both will have bigger roles this season.” Four new faces will join the fold up front. Vadim KhlopoDEFENSEMEN tov, selected from the import draft (43rd overall), brings a Saginaw returns six defensemen from last year’s team. Brandon Archibald (Port Huron), Peter Hermenegildo, combination of speed and skill. Saginaw also added three Ryan O’Connor, Jacob Ringuette, Dalton Young and Brad underagers from the May priority draft — Nick Moutrey (1st Walch (Saginaw), are back, joining Oleksiak and Steven round, 15th overall), Sam Povorozniouk (2nd round, 36th Strong, who was acquired during the off-season from the overall) and Jimmy Lodge (3rd round, 62nd overall). Belleville Bulls. They bring both, size and skill as well as plenty of experience. OVERALL OUTLOOK “I like our blue-line,” Watson said. “I thought going in we The regime of Watson, associate coach John Kisil and needed a steady defensive defenseman and I think Strong assistant general manager Jim Paliafito has stabilized the will provide that for our team. Steven has good skills, but Spirit, bringing in quality talent through trades and draft defensive responsibility comes first for him and I think he picks. The team no longer talks about making the playoffs, will add good depth at the back-end.” but how far can they go. “Look at what we have done in the past four to five years,” Watson said. “We have had players drafted reguFORWARDS larly into the NHL. We have had a winning record every The depth and quality up front is rock solid. The top six consist of Brandon Saad, John McFarland, Jordan Szwarz, year and have made the playoffs each year and for the first Vincent Trocheck, Garret Ross and Josh Shalla — if he re- time last season, we captured the team’s first divisional title. Those are good steps and the best is yet to come for turns. “The collection of forwards is as good as any,” Watson the organization.”

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October 10, 2011 V.22 : I.6


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JUNIORS PREVIEW

OHL predictions BY MATT MACKINDER

PREDICTED OHL STANDINGS WESTERN CONFERENCE 1. London 2. Guelph 3. Kitchener 4. Sarnia 5. Plymouth 6. Windsor 7. Sault Ste. Marie 8. Saginaw 9. Owen Sound 10. Erie EASTERN CONFERENCE 1. Niagara 2. Mississauga 3. Ottawa 4. Barrie 5. Peterborough 6. Brampton 7. Oshawa 8. Belleville 9. Sudbury 10. Kingston

PREDICTED PRESEASON HARDWARE

MVP: Nail Yakupov, Sarnia Sting The odds-on favorite to go No. 1 in next June’s NHL draft is a wizard with the puck and money from the hash marks down. Yakupov came to Sarnia via the CHL import draft in 2010 with little fanfare, but quickly created his own hype. Without Yakupov, Sarnia is but an average team. Rookie of the Year: Max Domi, London Knights Originally Kingston’s first-round pick in May, Domi came to London in a trade late in the summer. The son of former NHL pest Tie Domi, Max is anything but his father’s clone, instead playing a skill game with the ability to control the flow.

Hot commodity: Nail Yakupov is the favorite to be picked No. 1 in next year’s NHL draft. (CHL images)

late in the 2010 draft. Mrazek is the type of goalie who can win games on his own.

Goaltender of the Year: Petr Mrazek, Ottawa 67’s Mrazek doesn’t get a ton of fanfare outside of Ottawa, but the Detroit Red Wings probably got a steal when they drafted him

Coach of the Year: James Boyd, Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors Boyd, a longtime OHL assistant, is in his first year as head coach of a team that went to the league finals last year. With junior hockey being so cyclical, a stacked team one year can go young the next, but Boyd’s Majors were undefeated going into the third week of the season.

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October 10, 2011 V.22 : I.6

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29


JUNIORS PREVIEW

U-17, 18 national teams prep for new season BY BECKY OLSEN

T

he U-18s, under the direction of second-year head coach Danton Cole, have some of the top American-born players in the 1994 birth year. In addition to three international tournaments, including the 2012 International Ice Hockey Federation World Under-18 Championship in the Czech Republic, the team will face squads from the United States Hockey League as well as NCAA Division I and Division III schools during the season. “We are focusing on our two-year plan,” said Cole, whose team finished with a 33-21-1 (W-L-OTL) mark and advanced to the USHL playoffs last season. “We have an ultimate goal and there are no shortcuts to our success. We must continue to build and practice; we can’t be satisfied. This is our two-year segment and we must play our own game.” Defensemen Seth Jones (Plano, Texas) and Jacob Trouba (Rochester, Mich.) along with forward Nicolas Kerdiles (Irvine, Calif.) highlight the U-18 roster. All three players were members of the U.S. Men’s National Under-18 Team that captured the gold medal at the 2011 IIHF World Under-18 Championship held in Crimmitschau and Dresden, Germany. In addition, Jones took part in the 2011 National Junior Evaluation Camp from Aug. 6-13 in Lake Placid, N.Y. Forward Riley Barber (Livonia, Mich.) is the lone new newcomer after spending last season with the USHL’s

Dubuque Fighting Saints. Barber helped the NTDP’s U.S. National Under-17 Team capture the 2011 Vlad Dzurilla Under-18 Tournament title February in Piestany, Slovakia. “We have a continually challenging schedule,” Cole said. “In the USHL, it is important to play hard every game. When it comes to colleges, we will be playing against 22- and 23-year-olds and that presents a different challenge for our schedule. It is going to be important to gel as a team.”

Back for more: Defenseman Jacob Trouba was a member of the gold medal-winning U.S. team at the IIHF World Under-18 Championship held in Germany. (Courtesy NTDP)

U-17 PREVIEW The U-17 squad, which is comprised of American-born players in the 1995 birth year, will be led by first-year head coach Don Granato. Granato brings 15 years of coaching experience to the program. His assistants are assistant coach Nick Fohr, intern assistant coach Matt Curley and goaltending coach Mike Ayers. “That is a natural process,” Granato explained of the team-building process. “There is automatic bonding when you compete together as a team. We will have them compete as much as we can on the ice, against each other and with each other, and certainly off-ice workouts. ” The U-17s will compete against teams from the USHL in addition to taking part in three international competitions during the course of the season. The U-17s will play three exhibition games before beginning the USHL schedule on Sept. 30 at home against Youngstown. In international play, the U-17s will head to the U-17 Four Nations Cup this

November in Russia, the World U-17 Hockey Challenge December/January in Ontario and the Vlad Dzurilla U-18 Tournament in February in Slovakia. The U-17s dropped a pair of exhibition games, 3-2 in a shootout and 4-3, against the Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings over the weekend. The exhibition games gave Granato and the coaching staff an opportunity to see the team in game action for the first time. “I want the kids to just play as hard as they can,” Granato said. “We are not going to work on a lot of systematic stuff for that reason, as I want to see what we have naturally ... I want them to just play; it is always easier to tweak some things when you see a player in his natural form and state. We will let them play with a focus on good habits.”

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October 10, 2011 V.22 : I.6


UPCOMING EVENTS Mount Clemens Ice Arena & Fitness Center:

Turkey Day at the Clem Thanksgiving Youth Hockey Tournament November 25-27, 2011 Mite thru Midget/High School â&#x20AC;&#x201D; All classifications For more information visit: www.greatlakeshockey.com Mount Clemens Fire Department Charity Adult Hockey Tournament December 7-8, 2011 Open to all Fire, Police and EMS For more information contact Chuck Jawor cjawor@cityofmountclemens.com

October 10, 2011 V.22 : I.6

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Mount Clemens Ice Arena & Fitness Center 200 North Groesbeck Phone: 586-307-8202 Fax: 586-307-8245 Email/Website info@mountclemensicearena.com mountclemensicearena.com Contact info: Contact Carly Harris for more information

Michigan Hockey

31


NORTH AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE

NAHL Michigan quartet vie for North supremacy MICHIGAN WARRIORS

BY MATT MACKINDER

T

he North Division underwent a revamp over the summer months, but the Michigan-heavy division should be one of the most competitive divisions in all of the North American Hockey League. Back are the Michigan Warriors, Port Huron Fighting Falcons and Traverse City North Stars, with the Motor City Metal Jackets moving to Jamestown, N.Y., and the Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings making a return to the NAHL. The Jamestown Ironmen is the fifth team in the North Division. In the early going, the Warriors have shown that their run to the Robertson Cup finals last season was no fluke, Port Huron is accruing wins at a much faster pace than last year, Traverse City is finding success and the Jr. K-Wings have five wins in their first eight games. The run to Frisco, Tex., home of the Robertson Cup tournament next spring, should go through the North Division.

KALAMAZOO JR. K-WINGS The second incarnation of the Kalamazoo franchise is under the guidance of Mark Fakler, a former Western Michigan and Wayne State assistant coach who has some lofty goals in mind for the K-Wings. “We want to lead the league in goals-against and then second, we want to lead the league in goals scored,” Fakler said. “I think the opportunities from offense will come from good defense, but first and foremost, we have to be tough to score on. I think that’s a formula for winning championships. We have to be able to take care of the puck in our own end.” Veteran forward Andrew Graves comes to the K-Wings after scoring 26 goals for the Metal Jackets last season. Graves had one stretch during last season where he had 15 points in just eight games. Kalamazoo will also get some veteran scoring from Chris Hughes, who posted 30 points last season with Coulee Region. “We wanted guys that wanted to be here and put 100 percent effort into what we are doing,” said Fakler. “We want them to compete hard on a daily basis and most importantly, have great character. NAHL players come into the league and there is a certain level of maturity and knowledge there that gives them an edge right away. We know there are hundreds of quality players in the NAHL and our hope in Kalamazoo is to give them the opportunity to perform, be successful and be seen.”

NAHL.COM 32

Michigan Hockey

Veteran blueliner: Defenseman Sean Gammage is one of three returning players for the Port Huron Fighting Falcons. (Courtesy NAHL)

Last season, the first-year Warriors came within one win of a Robertson Cup championship. This year, the Flint-based Warriors hope to gain that extra post-season victory, but with more than 10 players gone from last year’s team, including NAHL MVP Robert Tadazak in goal, Warriors head coach Moe Mantha is realistic when it comes to his expectations for this year, even after a 7-1-1 start to the season. “We just want to play the game,” Mantha said. “There’s been a lot of hype going on. The team set the bar pretty high last year and we’ll be rebuilding this year because of the success we had last year. That’s what the program is all about, to develop young players and give them an opportunity to get to the highest level possible.” Brach Tiller, a very steady backup last season under Tadazak, has earned the starting role and will have Luis Puig as his backup. Dave Johnson is the lone defenseman back and will mentor youngsters Derek O’Flynn, Matt Vermillion, Luke Fiegl, Jake Webber and Dan Sakalian. Forward Chris Eckler, who came to Flint last year in a trade from Wichita Falls, has a positive outlook on the year. “We lost most of our top scorers from last year, but that hasn’t seemed to slow us down this year,” Eckler said. “Our power play has been good and guys seemed to have stepped up this year and done well for us so far.”

PORT HURON FIGHTING FALCONS With four wins in their first eight games, Port Huron is light years ahead of last year’s dreadful season that saw just six notches in the win column. Head coach Bill Warren, who took over midway through the 2010-2011 season, had all summer to mold and shape the roster to be his own this year. “We’re going to bring a much higher level of play to the ice this season with the roster we’ve put together,” said Warren, who coached Port Huron to a 5-20-5 record after taking over as head coach last January after a 1-26-1 start. “This is a team that is going to score some goals and compete for a playoff spot in the North Division. This team will bring energy and excitement to McMorran Arena and we will have players that will make an impact well beyond what they do on the ice.” One strength Port Huron looks to have this year will be in goal with veteran returnee Peter Megariotis battling rookie Max Milosek for time. As of last weekend, each had recorded two wins. “I have the mindset that I can be a No. 1, but Max is a

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really good goalie in his own right,” said Megariotis, one of three returning players to Port Huron, along with defenseman Sean Gammage and forward Logan Lemirande. Megariotis added that there is a different vibe around the rink this time around. “When Bill came in last year, this really wasn’t his team and to be honest, a lot of times we were just going through the motions,” admitted Megariotis. “Now, we know that jobs are on the line each day and I think that pushes us all to work even harder. “No one is getting too comfortable and maybe that’s how it needs to be.”

TRAVERSE CITY NORTH STARS Nearly one-third of the Traverse City roster is Traverse City natives — a tradition of sorts that has been a mark of the team’s success over their first six seasons. “We’ve always had good local talent come through here,” said new head coach Chad Fournier. “In fact, some of the best high school players we’ve had over the years have come from around here. I think it says a lot about the high school programs and the quality of the coaching they get from the time they step onto the ice with the Grand Traverse Hockey Association all the way through high school.” Top returning scorer Alec Shields is back looking to improve on his 21-goal campaign of a year ago and rookie Kyle Schempp out of the Compuware organization looks to be another impact forward. Robert Wiener, Chris Leibinger and Zack Dorer are back on the blue line and will be counted on for instant leadership with the graduation of two-year captain Travis White. “We’ve got veterans that will have to step into a larger role,” said Traverse City GM Anthony Palumbo. “By the same token, some of these younger guys are going to have to step up as well. We have a lot of new faces on defense and in goal and we may look to add a veteran defenseman to that mix as well, but it’s an exciting and talented group.” Rookies Michael Parda and Kyle Laslo are the new goalies with Laslo taking the starting job and going 5-1-1 in the team’s first seven games. “It’s a process of trying to identify the right players, fit them together, and go after some wins,” said Palumbo. Thus far, Palumbo’s process looks to be working to a ‘T’.

October 10, 2011 V.22 : I.6


Thanksgiving Clinics NOV. 23 & 25 Players grouped by skill and eZperience level Ĺ? Full hockey eSuipment reSuired Ĺ? Classes limited to 32 players

NOVEMBER 8TH

CLASS DESCRIPTION

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(4''9#;2#4-&4+8' (#4/+0)610*+..5/+

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Rapid acceleration

Rapid acceleration

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Quick directional changes

Foot quickness & lateral movement

Foot quickness & lateral movement

Overspeed training

Overspeed training

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Full speed puck control

SHOOT TO SCORE

SHOOT TO SCORE

Wrist shots

Wrist shots

Backhand shots

Backhand shots

Snapshots

Snapshots

Slapshots (if applicable)

Slapshots (if applicable)

Shooting while moving

Shooting while moving

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Proper shooting technique

Proper shooting technique

1:00-2:30 PM 6 & UP

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9:30 - 11:00 am 11:00 am - 12:30 pm 12:30 - 2:00 pm 2:00 - 3:30 pm 9:30 - 11:00 am 11:00 am - 12:30 pm 12:30 - 2:00 pm 2:00 - 3:30 pm

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Wednesday, November 23 Wednesday, November 23 Wednesday, November 23 Wednesday, November 23 Friday, November 25 Friday, November 25 Friday, November 25 Friday, November 25

TM

Full speed puck control

1:30-3:00 PM 6 & UP

Stickhandling & Puck Control (Ages 5-8) Outside Edges (Ages 6-14) Stickhandling & Puck Control (Ages 9-14) Backward Power Skating (Ages 9-14) Shoot to Score (Ages 5-8) Quick & Fast (Ages 6-14) Shoot to Score (Ages 9-14) Defense Camp (Ages 9-14)

Stickhandling & Puck Control (Ages 5-8) Outside Edges (Ages 6-14) Stickhandling & Puck Control (Ages 9-14) Shoot to Score (Ages 5-8) Quick & Fast (Ages 6-14) Shoot to Score (Ages 9-14)

CLASS DESCRIPTION

Shoot to Score Quick & Fast Goalie Crease Coverage Outside Edges Stickhandling & Puck Control Goalie Use of Tools

TIME

10:00 - 11:30 am 11:30 am - 1:00 pm 1:00 - 2:30 pm 10:00 - 11:30 am 11:30 am - 1:00 pm 1:00 - 2:30 pm

TIME

9:30 - 11:00 am 11:00 am - 12:30 pm 12:30 - 2:00 pm 11:00 am - 12:30 pm 12:30 - 2:00 pm 2:00 - 3:30 pm

DAYS

Wednesday, November 23 Wednesday, November 23 Wednesday, November 23 Friday, November 25 Friday, November 25 Friday, November 25

DAYS

Wednesday, November 23 Wednesday, November 23 Wednesday, November 23 Friday, November 25 Friday, November 25 Friday, November 25

JOHN LINDELL I C E A R E N A

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Shoot to Score Quick & Fast Goalie Crease Coverage Outside Edges Stickhandling & Puck Control Goalie Use of Tools

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10:00 - 11:30 am 11:30 am - 1:00 pm 1:00 - 2:30 pm 10:00 - 11:30 am 11:30 am - 1:00 pm 1:00 - 2:30 pm

DAYS

Wednesday, November 23 Wednesday, November 23 Wednesday, November 23 Friday, November 25 Friday, November 25 Friday, November 25

UWDWTDCPJQEMG[EQOĹ? October 10, 2011 V.22 : I.6

MIHOCKEYNOW.COM

Michigan Hockey

33


JUNIORS PREVIEW

Lumberjacks ready to contend for USHL championship BY MATT MACKINDER

H

ow’s this for instant bonding? During a recent United States Hockey League preseason game, Muskegon Lumberjacks’ rookie Nick Seeler was checked from behind by a Youngstown Phantoms player. Fellow rookie Ryan Lomberg immediately came to Seeler’s defense and took care of the situation. According to Lomberg, situations like that one that start out negatively, but get resolved, can have a way of showing the potential a hockey team can perhaps muster over the course of the long season. “Chemistry is everything,” Lomberg said. “It’s not just about being close off the ice, either. It’s especially on the ice. If someone gets hit, you feel it. You immediately want to stick up for them. When they’re upset, you’re upset. Chemistry is one of the most important pieces for a championship team.” As a second-year team in the USHL that experienced the post-season a year ago, the Lumberjacks have a deep team this year and one head coach Kevin Patrick had a difficult time selecting after the team’s main camp this past summer. “The depth in our camp was better than it was a year ago,” Patrick said. “It made for some tough decisions. Who will be the next Ryan Misiak or Matt Berry (two players who moved to the Division I college ranks this year) remains to

We’re very proud of our comm commitments (and) that’s the business we’re in — h helping our players reach their full potential.

— Kevin Patrick, head coach

be seen, but there are a lot of players in our organization who are ready to step to the forefront.” A slew of players from last season are now playing Division I college hockey and a handful of Muskegon players already have college commitments for next season, including Dakota Klecha (Ferris State), Christian Pomarico (Army), Jordan Masters (New Hampshire), Kevin Schulze (Wisconsin), Lomberg (Maine) and Seeler (Nebraska-Omaha). Several more players should make their future college teams known over the course of the year. Patrick, a former assistant coach under Mike Eaves at Wisconsin, is more than elated to see his charges move up the hockey ladder. “We’re very proud of our commitments (and) that’s the business we’re in — helping our players reach their full po-

34

Michigan Hockey

tential,” Patrick said. “They’ve got to stay focused on the task at hand. What they do now here in Muskegon will determine their success in the future. Players who play in Muskegon have a great opportunity to be seen by college and pro scouts alike. Our location and accessibility is excellent in terms of exposure.” “That’s the really unique thing about playing for the Muskegon Lumberjacks — we have the relationships with great programs that allow our players to move up and down,” Lumberjacks’ owner Josh Mervis said. “If you are from the great state of Michigan, there’s only one place to play in the USHL — with the Muskegon Lumberjacks. You can get here younger. We’ll always be one of the younger teams in the league, because we move guys up faster.” Michigan State recruit Matt DeBlouw, who missed most of last year with a lacerated spleen suffered when he connected on a clean hit against the U.S. NTDP in Muskegon’s third game of the year, is one of those young skaters having just turned 18 in mid-September, and is ready to go and hit the ground running at L.C. Walker Arena. “I just feel at peace coming into this season,” DeBlouw said. “Our team is gelling so well. We’ve got vets who know what they’re doing and the incoming group is a great one. They’re working hard and fitting in. I’m excited for the newcomers to look to me for help and I’m ready to have some fun this season.” Lomberg is one player that Muskegon fans will take to very quickly, especially with his recent comments discussing his Moving on up: Jordan Masters has already committed to play Division 1 decision to head south of his Canadian hockey next season for the University of New Hampshire. homeland border to play in the USHL. (Dave Reginek/MiHockey Magazine) “I believe that one day, the USHL and Muskegon and he figures to improve on his point totals of college hockey will be clear-cut better than the OHL (Ontario Hockey League), especially with Ca- last season with his choice to attend UNH all set. “It’s a good feeling to not have to worry about where nadian players coming over,” Muskegon’s top pick in last May’s USHL draft said. “I’m proud to be part of that move- I’m going to college,” Masters said. “After that? Of course, playing in the NHL is the dream.” ment. Another dream for the roster of the ‘Jacks is to bring a “Plain and simply, Muskegon was the best place for me to develop and hopefully I can reach the dream someday Clark Cup to Muskegon. Is it a possibility? Of course. Is it of playing in the NHL. If you’re willing to work for it, they realistic? Why not? “All I can think about now is hoisting the Clark Cup with give you everything a player could need to be a premier player and stand out as a true freshman on the collegiate my teammates in Muskegon,” Seeler said. And you can bet that if that happens, Seeler will bask in level and beyond.” Masters is another player who will go all-out this year in the celebration with Lomberg not too far away.

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October 10, 2011 V.22 : I.6


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Adray 2011/2012 hockey season information can be found at adrayhockey.org President Jeff Spedowski 231-796-0728 (h) 231-629-0435 (c) Email: jspedows@charter.net Greater East Vice President Brandon Spedowski 989-486-1511 (h) 231-250-7031 (c) Email: Brandon.spedowski@gmail.com

October 10, 2011 V.22 : I.6

Treasurer Joe Spedowski 231-796-2565 Email: nancyjoe@netonecom.net

Database Specialist Vice President Steve Miller 616-250-1458 Email: me@stevenmiller.info

Girls House Vice President Dina Howe 989-429-2653 (c) 989-435-7080 (w) Email: dhowe@journey.com

Metro Vice President Bobby Mitchell 248-302-0913 Email: Bmitchell8@yahoo.com

MIHOCKEYNOW.COM

Greater West Vice President Kevin Wood 616-560-6503 Email: kwoodadraywest@yahoo.com

Michigan Hockey

35


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36

Michigan Hockey

Mite-Midget House, B, A, AA High School Varsity and JV 216-325-0567 itshockeytime.com Hockey Time Productions Girls Motown Cup Tournament Series Detroit, MI November 4-6, 2011 8U-19U House, B, A, AA 216-325-0567 itshockeytime.com Great Lakes Tournament Series Holland, MI November 4-6 Pee Wee B, Pee Wee A and Bantam B Contact MYHockey Tournaments Toll Free US and Canada 855-898-4040 myhockeytournaments.com Grand Traverse Hockey Association Tournament Traverse City, MI November 4-6, 2011 Bantam Major AA & Bantam AA Minor/A 231-649-1226 gthatournaments@yahoo.com Big Rapids Area Junior Hockey Association Big Rapids, MI November 4-6, 2011 JV/Midget A 231-591-2881 bigrapidshockey.org or ferris.edu/icearena Great Lakes Tournament Series Holland, MI November 11-13 Mite B, Squirt B and Bantam A Contact MYHockey Tournaments Toll Free US and Canada 855-898-4040 myhockeytournaments.com Great Lakes Tournaments Series Holland, MI November 18-20 Mite AA, Pee Wee B, Midget Major and High School Varsity Contact MYHockey Tournaments Toll Free US and Canada 855-898-4040 myhockeytournaments.com West Shore Community Ice Arena Tournament Scottville, MI November 18-20, 2011 Squirt B 231-843-9712

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14th Annual Gravy Cup Tournament Bay City, MI November 25-27, 2011 Mite – Midget B/BB, JV Prep 989-671-1000 x105 baycounty-mi.gov/civicarena Thanksgiving Shootout Muskegon, MI November 25-27, 2011 Squirt – Bantam A & AA 231-747-7266 goldcoasttournaments.com DECEMBER 2011 Hockey Time Productions Motown Cup Tournament Series Detroit, MI December 2-4, 2011 Mite-Midget House, B, A, AA High School Varsity and JV 216-325-0567 itshockeytime.com Hockey Time Productions Girls Motown Cup Tournament Series Detroit, MI December 2-4, 2011 8U-19U House, B, A, AA 216-325-0567 itshockeytime.com Great Lakes Tournament Series Holland, MI December 2-4, 2011 Squirt B, Squirt A and Bantam B Contact MYHockey Tournaments Toll Free US and Canada 855-898-4040 myhockeytournaments.com West Shore Community Ice Arena Tournament Scottville, MI December 2-4, 2011 Pee Wee B 231-843-9712 westshoreice.com Get Into the Cold Tournament Mt. Pleasant, MI December 2-4, 2011 Pee Wee House B 989-772-9623 Email: info@mpicearena.org Grand Traverse Hockey Association Tournament Traverse City, MI December 2-4, 2011 Pee Wee House 231-649-1226 gthatournaments@yahoo.com

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Big Rapids Area Junior Hockey Association Big Rapids, MI December 2-4, 2011 Bantam B 231-591-2881 bigrapidshockey.org or ferris.edu/icearena Great Lakes Tournament Series Holland, MI December 9-12 Mite B, Midget B, Midget Minor and High School JV Contact MYHockey Tournaments Toll Free US and Canada 855-898-4040 myhockeytournaments.com Get Into the Cold Tournament Mt. Pleasant, MI December 9-11, 2011 Bantam House B 989-772-9623 Email: info@mpicearena.org Big Rapids Area Junior Hockey Association Big Rapids, MI December 9-11, 2011 Pee Wee B 231-591-2881 bigrapidshockey.org or ferris.edu/icearena Out-of-State Tournaments OCTOBER 2011 American Cup Lake Placid, NY October 13-16, 2011 Peewee, Bantam, Midget AA, A - Minor/Major/Mixed divisions Canadian Hockey Enterprises. 1-800-461-2161 chehockey.com Buckeye State Tournament Series Cincinnati, OH October 14-16 Mite through Midget; B, A, and AA, High School Varsity and JV Contact MYHockey Tournaments Toll Free US and Canada 855-898-4040 myhockeytournaments.com Hockey Time Productions Rock ‘n Roll Cup Tournament Series Cleveland, OH October 21-23, 2011 Mite-Midget House, B, A, AA High School Varsity and JV 216-325-0567 itshockeytime.com

Music City Tournament Series: Nashville Fall Classic Nashville, TN October 21-23 Mite through Midget; B, A, and AA, High School Varsity and JV Contact MYHockey Tournaments Toll Free US and Canada 855-898-4040 myhockeytournaments.com Hockey Time Productions Three Rivers Cup Tournament Series Pittsburgh, PA October 21-23, 2011 Mite-Midget House, B, A, AA High School Varsity and JV 216-325-0567 itshockeytime.com Hockey Time Productions Girls Three Rivers Cup Tournament Series Pittsburgh, PA October 21-23, 2011 8U-19U House, B, A, AA 216-325-0567 itshockeytime.com Chicago Cup Tournament Series: Chicago Fall Classic Chicago, IL October 21-23, 2011 Mite through Midget; B, A, and AA, High School Varsity and JV Contact MYHockey Tournaments Toll Free US and Canada 855-898-4040 myhockeytournaments.com Steel City Tournament Series: Pittsburgh Fall Classic Pittsburgh, PA October 21-23, 2011 Mite through Midget; B, A, and AA, High School Varsity and JV Contact MYHockey Tournaments Toll Free US and Canada 855-898-4040 myhockeytournaments.com Empire State Tournament Series: Empire State Showdown Rochester, NY October 21-23, 2011 Mite through Midget; B, A, and AA, High School Varsity and JV Contact MYHockey Tournaments Toll Free US and Canada 855-898-4040 myhockeytournaments.com Carolina Cup Tournament Series: Charlotte Fall Classic Charlotte, NC

October 10, 2011 V.22 : I.6


October 21-23, 2011 Mite through Midget; B, A, and AA, High School Varsity and JV Contact MYHockey Tournaments Toll Free US and Canada 855-898-4040 myhockeytournaments.com

Gene Harrington Invitational Niagara Falls, NY November 4-6, 2011 Contact: Bob Harrington 781-710-6560 bh@nahockey.com www.nahockey.com

Canlan Classic Tournaments Las Vegas Old-Timers Classic October 22-24, 2011 Las Vegas, NV Adult 1-888-422-6526 tournaments@icesports.com ccthockey.ca

Canadian Hockey Enterprises Tournament of Champions Cup Las Vegas, Nevada November 10-13, 2011 Over 19, 25, 30, 35, 40, divisions Canadian Hockey Enterprises — 1-800-461-2161 goals@chehockey.com chehockey.com

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October 10, 2011 V.22 : I.6

Canlan Classic Tournaments Hockey for Heros/Armed Service Hockey Classic November 11-14, 2011 Las Vegas, NV Adult 1-888-422-6526 tournaments@icesports.com ccthockey.ca Hockey Time Productions Rock ‘n Roll Cup Tournament Series Cleveland, OH November 25-27, 2011 Mite-Midget House, B, A, AA High School Varsity and JV 216-325-0567 itshockeytime.com Hockey Time Productions Three Rivers Cup Tournament Series Pittsburgh, PA November 25-27, 2011 Mite-Midget House, B, A, AA High School Varsity and JV 216-325-0567 itshockeytime.com Hockey Time Productions Girls Three Rivers Cup Tournament Series Pittsburgh, PA November 25-27, 2011 8U-19U House, B, A, AA 216-325-0567 itshockeytime.com Canlan Classic Tournaments New Jersey Thanksgiving Classic November 25-27, 2011 Vineland, NJ Youth Boys 1-888-422-6526 tournaments@icesports.com ccthockey.ca Canlan Classic Tournaments Fort Wayne Thanksgiving Classic November 25-27, 2011 Fort Wayne, IN Youth Boys 1-888-422-6526 tournaments@icesports.com ccthockey.ca

Canlan Classic Tournaments FJP — Thanksgiving Classic November 25-27, 2011 Florida Youth Boys 1-888-422-6526 tournaments@icesports.com ccthockey.ca Chicago Cup Tournament Series: Chicago Thanksgiving Classic Chicago, IL November 25-27 Mite through Midget; B, A, and AA, High School Varsity and JV, Mite Cross-Ice Jamboree Contact MYHockey Tournaments Toll Free US and Canada 855-898-4040 myhockeytournaments.com Steel City Tournament Series: Pittsburgh Thanksgiving Classic Pittsburgh, PA November 25-27 Mite through Midget; B, A, and AA, High School Varsity and JV, Mite Cross-Ice Jamboree Contact MYHockey Tournaments Toll Free US and Canada 855-898-4040 myhockeytournaments.com Empire State Tournament Series: Rochester Thanksgiving Classic Rochester, NY November 25-27 Mite through Midget; B, A, and AA, High School Varsity and JV, Mite Cross-Ice Jamboree Contact MYHockey Tournaments Toll Free US and Canada 855-898-4040 myhockeytournaments.com Carolina Cup Tournament Series: Charlotte Thanksgiving Classic Charlotte, NC November 25-27 Mite through Midget; B, A, and AA, High School Varsity and JV, Mite Cross-Ice Jamboree Contact MYHockey Tournaments Toll Free US and Canada 855-898-4040 myhockeytournaments.com Niagara Falls Festival of Lights Niagara Falls, NY November 25-27, 2011 Mites, Squirts, Peewees, Bantams and Midgets, A, B, AE, & AA niagaratournaments.com 716-791-4068 or 716-405-7154 Gcarella17@roadrunner.com

JANUARY 2012 Midwest JV-Prep Hockey Showcase Dearborn, MI January 13-16, 2012 High School — JV/Prep 216-325-0567 or 216-970-5523 tony@itshockeytime.com itshockeytime.com

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Michigan Hockey

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Motorcoach Transportation : More Important Than You Think! Tournament Transportation with SAFETY & STYLE ! By: William Cox

show a sincere interest in what you do, and all the hard work you’ve put in? Do they take the time to find out your needs, and special requests? The time they spend with you initially is a good indication of how their customer service will be in the future. Check that the company has the proper insurances, good maintenance, the amenities you want, and drivers that do hockey teams. Ask for paperwork and references to back this up, and spend a minute to check these resources. This can save you from choosing the wrong company and having to deal with headaches later. Feel free to ask any other questions you may have. If your on a fixed budget, then tell your representative this. Find out if the company uses a GPS system for getting you to your destination. This technology has been around some time now and should be utilized by their driver. Once you have a couple companies narrowed down, arrange a date and time to see the vehicles, AND their office. There are a lot of good companies out there, but unfortunately there are also some not so savory choices too! A good company should comply with all the mentioned prerequisites, and be happy for the opportunity to prove what their fleet and office looks like. Be very wary of companies that do not ever have any vehicles available to be checked out or will not give you an office address. With due diligence on your part, you can help assure that you are choosing the right motorcoach company. You now have a lot of tools to help you out, and here’s one more; call Ground Travel Specialist, Inc (also known as GTS). They have the experience and know-how to take care of your group. They have worked with many hockey teams, and are the official transportation provider of the ECHL Kalamazoo Wings, and Western Michigan Hounds. What’s more is they want your business too! GTS has all the amenities mentioned and can ensure your trip is a success. Below is the phone number, website, and email address. They have offered to help any team, either with one of their great vehicles, or help them find a good carrier, even if it can not be on one of their motorcoaches. What do you have to lose?

So many things to think about when preparing your team for a game. There’s even more when organizing an out of town tournament; teaching your kids the game, deciding which tournaments to register for, hotels, meals, and of course the transportation. With all these things going on it is important not to rush through these decisions. Choosing the best method to get to the tournament has a bigger impact on your team than you think. Let’s just take a minute to focus on your transportation. As with most things you do with you team, Safety First! You and others in charge should look at distance and the time you are traveling. With most players still being in school there may be some night driving, OR the distance may be further than what parents, or coaches are accustomed to driving, especially when also being used for team activities. Unpredictable winter weather should also be a key factor. Include the added stress of distractions from players, parents, and others and you could potentially be putting your kids at risk. The team should consider motorcoaches a key resource to ease these issues. Motorcoaches historically are the safest form of any transportation, safer than planes, trains, cars, and vans. Motorcoaches handle great in the snow, and professional drivers are accustomed to driving in inclement weather and long distances at any hour, day or night. With all of these benefits, the team driving themselves, or taking vans should be saved for the most local of trips. There are other reasons to use a motorcoach. It’s not just the driver that gets extra rest. Most motorcoaches are equipped with features that can give everyone, including players, a relaxing and comfortable ride. With restrooms, reclining seats, footrests, individual climate controls, and extra room, each passenger can put themselves into a comfortable position to maximize their rest AND performance for a tournament. Usually a video system with multiple monitors are on these types of vehicles with it becoming more common for vehicles to have wi-fi internet, and electrical outlets (for laptops, & cell phone chargers). With all these extras the team is easily kept entertained. Just imagine a long trip without hearing “Are we there yet!”. Ground Travel The team being on the same vehicle can give coaches and managers more control over their team and eliminate player tardiness. TollFree You can more easily keep your team focused, and use some of the ride as sort of a locker room time. As you already know, hockey takes more cohesion than any other sport and there is team camaraderie that can be built by everyone being together on a motorcoach. “So How do I choose a good company?” Hockey teams have different needs, and requests that are specific to your type of trip. Use the following tools to find ones that really do want to carry your team, and not just get your money. Find companies online or through referrals, and call to talk to a representative. Does the customer representative

Specialist, Inc.

877-554-1055

www.gtsbus.com OR Dan@gtsbus.com


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RED WINGS INSIDER

Filppula adjusts to life on the left wing BY DAVE WADDELL

T

he pre-season is for tinkering, but one experiment that will survive into the regular season is the shifting of center Valtteri Filppula to left wing. Filppula has been flanking center Henrik Zetterberg on a line that also includes Johan Franzen and has responded with two goals and six points in four exhibition games. “That’s the talk we’ve had now,” Filppula said of where he’ll start the season. “I can always go back to center if needed. I think that’s the start, having me play wing. “I’ve played some wing before. It’s not that new.” What is new is playing with Zetterberg. When he’s been shifted to wing in the past, Filppula has generally ridden shot gun for Pavel Datsyuk. “Not so much, 10 to 15 games maybe,” Zetterberg said of how frequently he’s been on a line with Filppula. “Most of the time we both play center. The other times I play with Pav.” Noting Filppula’s arrival in the locker next door, Zetterberg playfully pokes at old Scandinavian rivalries in offering suggestions how his Finnish neighbor can improve. “It’ll take a little while until he learns Swedish and then it’ll be easier,” Zetterberg said. “I think we read off each other pretty good. “We’ve seen each other play up close for many years now. We kind of play the same style of hockey. He’s an easy player to play with.” Listening to Zetterberg verbally toss down the gauntlet, Filppula admits he’s willing to make some major adjustments but draws the line on going over to the dark side on the language issue to accommodate his Swedish linemates. “I understand it (Swedish) pretty well, just don’t talk it,” Filppula said. The language the trio does share is hockey. “I’ve played in the past a lot with Mule (Franzen),” said

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Michigan Hockey

Moving outside: Valtteri Filppula, who has played wing on a line with Pavel Datsyuk at times during his career, will begin the season playing left wing on a line centered by Henrik Zetterberg. (Dave Reginek/ Detroit Red Wings)

Filppula, explaining the line’s quick chemistry. “He’s a big guy and really good with the puck. He has a great shot. “We have a great chance to create offense. So far in the pre-season it has been going in for us a little bit.” The more intriguing question is how does playing with Zetterberg compare to the unpredictable Pavel Datsyuk? Filppula said they may look like they’re playing different games, but they’re the same. “They’re both great with the puck,” Filppula said. “They both make great plays. It’s a lot of fun to play with him. He can really pass and he can score.” The bigger adjustment has come in the technical aspects of playing wing. Filppula admits he’s still not entirely comfortable in that area. “Center is where I feel a little more comfortable,” Filppula said. “Our end is different and being the first guy on the forecheck when you play wing are the biggest differences. I feel there’s still work to do. “I feel like in our own end, I don’t always know exactly what to do. I have to get used to playing wing there.” Zetterberg said it’s no problem having two natural centers on a line. In fact, European-born players are used to

MIHOCKEYNOW.COM

the interchanging of positions. “When me and Pav play together, 90 percent of the time I’m the centerman, but everyone thinks it’s the other way around,” Zetterberg said. “The way we do it, we read off each other. I take most of the face-offs. But whoever is first back plays center that shift. It comes natural. That’s the way we do it back home, you play both wing and center.” The knock on Filppula is he doesn’t shoot the puck enough. He’s worked on improving his shot each summer and Zetterberg has picked up the torch of nagging him during games to fire the puck at the net. “I just told him before the power play (goal he scored) to shoot,” Zetterberg said. “He should listen more to me.” However, playing with a pair of natural goal scorers in Zetterberg and Franzen, Filppula knows he’ll have to fight for his shots. When he teases that Zetterberg and Franzen don’t like to shoot enough, his Swedish neighbor jumps in to point out he’s been among the league leaders in shots over the past four seasons, averaging over 300 attempts on net a year. “Hank and Mule really can score,” Filppula said. “I’d have to say if I have to pick between pass and shoot, I’ll probably give it to them. When I have a chance I have to shoot it too. A lot of goals nowadays are coming off second chances and rebounds.” Over the course of his career, Filppula has produced nicely when shifted to the wing. He expects he’ll get plenty of chances again with Zetterberg as his pivot. “When I played wing, usually I played with Pavel, so you’re going to get more chances out of that,” Filppula said. “I think playing wing you can definitely be a little more offensive minded. “Especially on the wing, you’re going more one-againstone against defensemen. If you’re a center, a lot of times you’re going against everybody. At wing, there should be a little more opportunity.”

October 10, 2011 V.22 : I.6


THE LAST LINE

W

ith the youth hockey season underway, parents once again are filling rinks all over the state, complete with the too-loud hockey mom and the dad as coach using hand signals as he stands on the glass. Much of the lobby conversation has centered on the USA Hockey rule change that takes body checking out of the equation until Bantam. It is a polarizing topic to say the least; so much so, that fewer folks than usual are discussing the often undertaught and rarely thought-of skill of receiving a body check. All the attention has been on “what’s gone” from a hitting standpoint, that overlooked is how the new rule actually aides in the “taking it” aspect of physical play. Why? Because everyone focuses on the player delivering the check. Well, by allowing our young players to learn the game by promoting body contact through Pee Wee, good habits are forming in both giving and receiving body checks. Here’s why: with puck optional, intimidating hits removed at the younger ages, the game itself promotes proper controlled/ angling skating, along with the use of stick-on-puck techniques and shoulder-to-shoulder maneuvering, all of which are attributes of excellent defensive checking habits. Concurrently, as a result of the competitive environment, the offensive player is developing essential balance, awareness and leverage skills. Those three components are vital in properly preparing to absorb a body check. The offensive player must have a strong, balanced stride. He must be aware of where the checkers are and where he is in relationship to the boards, net, or other defenders. And in taking a check, using the boards and upper body to cushion the blow — or leverage

PARENTS — CHECK IT OUT BY DARREN ELIOT the impact — is all about shoulder positioning and contact confidence. These are important, teachable elements. Like any skill, though, it is better if they are learned. While the new rule defers body-checking for an additional two-year period in a player’s development, it doesn’t deter the learning process. In fact, it actually promotes better fundamentals — even for the player on the receiv-

@Darren_Eliot ing end. That’s something that all parents can cheer about, even as they holler “go Johnny go” every time he nears the puck, or feel compelled to interject a tip while little Janie is getting set to line up for a face-off. Some things will never change. When it comes to contact confidence, it is good that some things do.

Laying the lumber: Knowing how to take and receive a body check is one of the essential skills to have for all levels of hockey players. (Tom Turrill/ Michigan Hockey)

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Michigan Hockey

MIHOCKEYNOW.COM

October 10, 2011 V.22 : I.6


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Michigan Hockey October 10, 2011  

In addition to showcasing a detailed preview of juniors leagues such as the OHL, NAHL and USHL, we also look into how parents can prepare th...

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