Arizona Rubber Magazine - March 2018

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MARCH 2018


FROM THE EDITOR Most exciting part of the ’17-18 season starting to take shape


his part of the hockey season is always bittersweet. Yes, teams are peaking and some are off to USA Hockey Youth Nationals, but others have already finished up the season and are making plans for the 2018-19 season. It’s hard to believe we are already into March – where did the season go? Seems like yesterday that tryouts were being held for the season and Labor Day tournaments were running at top speed. Now, teams are ramping up to travel to a number of locations for nationals. That said, best of luck to those teams still Matt Mackinder playing and for those that have closed the book on 2017-18, keep your heads up and congratulations on terrific seasons! Great news out of Tucson as the Tucson Roadrunners have announced plans for a new outdoor DEK hockey rink in partnership with Tucson Unified School District, Boys & Girls Club of Greater Tucson and EMPowerplay. The Roadrunners will be funding the building of the facility and the rink will be strategically located adjacent to Doolen Middle School, which also houses a Boys & Girls Club. “The Roadrunners are very excited to be able to give a facility such as this back to the Tucson community,” said Roadrunners president Bob Hoffman. “This is hopefully one of many, giving children from all around the greater Tucson area the chance to learn the game of hockey and have access to such a multi-purpose facility.” The rink is scheduled to open before summer. Phoenix native and Jr. Coyotes grad Jaxon Castor joined the NAHL’s Shreveport Mudbugs in January and made an impression to the point that he was named the league’s Goaltender of the Month for February. Last month, he went a perfect 3-0 and pitched two shutouts. “I’ve really tried to embrace and make the most of this opportunity in Shreveport,” said Castor. “It is a great situation here and I just want to come in and keep developing and help this team win games. I want to keep coming to the rink with a good attitude and practice hard. My goal is to earn an NCAA Division I opportunity, so I just want to keep having fun and see what happens, but there will be plenty of opportunity to perform here in the next few months.” The Wenatchee Wild has long been a franchise in the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) that has been heavy on American-born players. Located in the state of Washington, the Wild is the lone BCHL team situated south of the border. Per BCHL rules, Wenatchee has to build its roster with a minimum of 15 players from its territory states – California, Colorado and Washington. Earlier this month, Arizona was added to the list. This means players from Arizona are now considered to be “territory players” and not “American import” players. Territory players of any age are eligible to play in Wenatchee, including high school-aged players. To round out the remaining eight roster spots, the Wild is permitted to have four American import players from any state in the country who have completed their senior year of high school, as well as four Canadian players, also after their senior year of high school has been completed. Scottsdale native and Jr. Coyotes grad Nathan Burke has made his NCAA D-I pick, and it’s a doozy. Late last month, the 19-year-old forward with the NAHL’s Aberdeen Wings committed to St. Cloud State University (NCHC), the top-ranked team in the country on several occasions this season. “I am extremely excited on my commitment to St. Cloud,” said Burke. “Obviously, it is a great school that presents me with an amazing opportunity.”

Contact Matt Mackinder at 4

Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine

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The Flagstaff Northstars’ 16U team was just one of several FYHA teams to enjoy the season together and take impactful strides, making the future look bright in Northern Arizona. More on FYHA on Page 9. Photo/Jonathan Benne

ON THE COVER Pinnacle High School is off to play for a USA Hockey national championship after winning the Arizona Division 1 state title last month at the Ice Den Scottsdale. Pictured at Gila River Arena are Taz Joplin (front) and standing, from left to right, Josh Ihling, Tucker Honing, Sam Hinnant, Grant Ziegler and head coach Glenn Karlson. Photo/Jake DeLay


OneHockey hosting All-American tournaments this summer By Kevin Conway


ummertime in southern California, where the living is easy and OneHockey is rocking. The world’s recognized No. 1 hockey tournament group will be celebrating both Memorial Day and Fourth of July weekends this year by hosting two spectacular five-game-guaranteed events in its home state. With the abundance of summer fun activities away from the rink that this part of the Golden State offers, OneHockey has already registered dozens of clubs from Canada and Europe as well as across the United States for both holidays, but is still reserving space for local teams as well. “Those teams can’t wait to get here,” said Sebastien Fortier, founder and CEO of OneHockey. “Spending a long American holiday weekend along the California coast is a great tradition everybody wants to experience. But we’re also expecting more teams from here in California, Arizona and Colorado to be joining us to make both tournaments a big holiday celebration. We’re going to show all of them what the OneHockey way is all about.” The OneHockey California Memorial Day Tournament will run May 25-28 and feature players at the Midget (high school varsity and JV), Bantam, Pee Wee, Squirt and Mite (half ice) age groups for the AA and A levels. Pee Wee, Squirt and Mite divisions are also being formed at the B level. Just six weeks later, the OneHockey California Fourth of July event will take place the weekend after Independence Day, July 6-8. This tourney is geared for AAA and AA squads at the 16U (2002-03) through the 2009 age

groups. Both OneHockey extravaganzas will be mainly based at the popular Icetown Rink in Riverside, while some games are likely to be scheduled at its sister facility in Carlsbad. The Icetown Rink in both communities are year-round arenas owned and operated by the NHL’s L.A. Kings and offer everything from youth and adult hockey to figure skating, sled hockey and broomball. Players from Southern California as well as the southwest corner of the country are certainly familiar with both twin-sheet locations. Fortier is even offering teams the opportunity to request to play all or some of their games at the Carlsbad Icetown in order to be closer to the incredible beaches of southern California. In fact, the entire region surrounding both rinks is renowned for its waterfront as much as it is its scenic, recreational and cultural attractions. “We’ve waited a long time to break into California, so we want to make sure all our families have time to explore this incredible part of the country,” said Fortier, the Laguna Hills resident who started OneHockey in 2003. “That’s why we’re going to be holding tournaments in California pretty much every holiday weekend.” OneHockey was initially established as a spring and summer tournament company focusing on the finest competition and in-game entertainment, but Fortier

now runs the 25-plus international events organization year-round from his home office. Not only does the former Montreal Canadiens prospect organize and operate tourneys across the USA each year, he has even hosted several OneHockey events in his native Canada as well as in Europe. This August, Fortier has also arranged for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play in Moscow thanks to a new partnership with Vladislav Tretiak, current president of the Ice Hockey Federation of Russia and the former legendary goaltender of the Soviet Red Army national squad. “The OneHockey Experience is spanning the globe now,” Fortier said. “The way we spoil our players and families with a festive atmosphere at so many destination places is a secret no more.” Besides providing the most entertaining events the industry has to offer, OneHockey intends to make history next Christmas school vacation as Fortier’s group embarks on setting a Guinness World Record for hosting the largest tournament ever. OneHockey is partnering with the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association to hold the biggest tourney the sport has ever seen during the Holiday Invite 2018, which will be scattered at arenas across the Great Lakes State. Any California or southwest youth hockey programs interested in being part of this world-record hockey happening should register now at


Lady Coyotes win first state title during AZYHL tourney

Burke each scored twice in the clincher, while Simon Schaer added three assists and Adam Stevenson made nine saves between the pipes. 12U Red: Arizona Hockey Union 12U Black – AHU downed the Bobcats 5-0 at Ice Den Chandler as Matthew Benzing, River Lewis and Kai Hohoff each had a goal and an assist and Nathan Graybill turned in a 23-save performance in goal. 12U White: Mission AZ 12U Red – At AZ Ice Arcadia, Mission downed AHU 3-1 as Josef Bauer and Kaden Paterno each posted a goal and an assist and Ethan Montgomery made 16 saves in net. 12U Blue: AZ Lady Coyotes 14U – The Lady Coyotes captured their first-ever state title, winning 2-1 in a shootout over AHU at AZ Ice Peoria. Willow Troy scored in regulation and goalie Edith Townsend stopped 17 shots for the win between the pipes. Garrison Dancil scored for AHU and Ian Ottley registered 30 saves. 14U: DYHA Jr. Sun Devils 14U Gold – The Gold team knocked off the DYHA Maroon team 3-2 at AZ Ice Arcadia. Oliver Craft, Chris Vo and Zachary Papadatos all compiled a goal and an assist for Gold and Braeden Wernle stopped 24 shots in goal. 16U: AHSHA Premier – At Ice Den Scottsdale, AHSHA Premier took a 6-2 win over Mission 16U White. Six different players scored for AHSHA with Jonah Geiger, Tyler Pear and Adam Katheder notching a goal and an assist each. Nick Layman made 18 saves in net.

By Matt Mackinder


total of nine teams captured Arizona Youth Hockey League (AZYHL) state championships over the March 9-11 weekend. The rundown of all title games: 10U Red: Arizona Hockey Union 10U White – EJ (Benjamin) Green scored two goals in the 2-1 win over the Arizona Bobcats at AZ Ice Gilbert. Dominic Seligman made 20 saves in goal for the victory. For the Bobcats, Brandon Gorzynski scored and Maya Shtrom stopped 12 shots between the pipes. 10U White: Flagstaff Northstars 10U Major – Matthew Stoddard earned the shutout in goal, stopping all six shots in a 6-0 win over the DYHA Maroon team. Drew Smith recorded a hat trick for the Northstars, while Colin Grantham, Troy Palmer and Christian Welker all tallied goals at AZ Ice Gilbert. 10U Blue: CAHA Jr. Coyotes 9U – The Jr. Coyotes needed a shootout to defeat Mission AZ 10U Red by a 3-2 count at the Jay Lively Arena. Jonathan Radtke and Alex Masek scored in regulation for the Jr. Coyotes and Anton Ariaratnam and Max Murphy scored in the shootout. Max Brodeur earned the win in goal with 16 saves. For Mission, Kyle Rihela and Colin Keough scored and Timmy Teligades made 19 saves. 12U Elite: CAHA Jr. Coyotes 12U Elite – The Jr. Coyotes swept the Bobcats in two straight at Ice Den Scottsdale – 2-1 and 9-2. Luke Hogan and Bowen


Climbing the Mountain With an AHSHA D-1 state title already won, Pinnacle Pioneers ready for USA Hockey Nationals “It feels great to win states, and winning states two years in a row feels awesome,” said Ziegler. “I like being a leader on this team and doing what I can to help make us successful. ast month, Pinnacle High School captured the AHSHA Division 1 state championship We did very well last year at Nationals and plan to exceed what we accomplished last year with a 1-0 win over Notre Dame Prep. (going 2-2 in Cleveland, finishing eighth).” The Pioneers hope there are more wins to come as they venture to the USA Hockey “It was a great feeling to win states,” added Hinnant. “I was on the state championship High School National Tournament later this month in Plymouth, Minn. team last year and it was great to repeat as champs. I think what is great about our team is Pinnacle head coach Glenn Karlson said being able to repeat as state champs at the we all really like each other, and we work hard and play for each other. My expectations for Ice Den Scottsdale was a goal from the start of the season. Nationals are to go and play hard and make a good run for W’s.” “This season, it wasn’t so much the team improving skill-wise, but more of us finding Karlson noted that the revamped roster for the 2017-18 season was, in a sense, an team chemistry,” said Karlson. “With only six of 17 players returning from last year’s roster, upgrade from the 2016-17 team. it took time to find line combos and parings that worked well with each other. We enter “Every year, the team dynamic or the makeup every season with the feeling and thought of winning a state title and making a Nationals changes,” explained Karlson. “With this team, we run. This year was no different. That was the goal from the first day. We never lost sight of knew that we had big voids to fill from the year bethat goal throughout the season. The staff and team realized that the league was stronger fore. We had lost some top-end talent and leadand the other schools were hungry to unseat us, but we knew we had the team to get the ership. However, the incoming players allowed for job done all year.” more depth through all positions. We are bigger During the 2017-18 season, Pinnacle reeled off a 12-7-1 record, good for second and deeper than the previous year.” place behind Notre Dame Prep (19-0-1), which made the state title win a little bit sweeter But were there any superstars on the team for the Pioneers. this year? Or a different player making a difference “There’s no word I could use to describe the feeling,” said senior forward Josh Ihling. each game? “It means everything to me to win again. That “We have a few standout players, but was our goal from the beginning of the season I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Grant and all of us seniors wanted to go out on top. Ziegler,” said Karlson. “He is a player that We accomplished that, and I still can’t even commands other teams to game-plan for him. believe it. This team came together and bondHe always draws the attention of players on ed unlike any team I’ve ever played on before, the ice because if you don’t, it will cost you even more than last year’s championship on the scoreboard. With all that being said, team. We were heavy underdogs, but no one we couldn’t do it by him alone and the team on the team ever gave up. No one believed in had many players step up on different nights us. Everyone in the state thought Notre Dame to help capture the W’s and a goalie (Joplin) had already won, especially Notre Dame. that was like facing a brick wall.” “We knew we were a better team and that The national tournament runs March 22-26. we could beat them, and we came together Karlson said that while most of his team as a team and did just that.” members have played travel hockey before, Pinnacle senior forward Tucker Honing that will be to their advantage on the national agreed with Ihling. stage. “The feeling of winning states is such a “We prepare for Nationals like any other surreal feeling that you will probably never extournament,” Karlson said. “Most of the boys perience again in your life,” Honing said. “After on the team have played travel at some point playing AAA for many years, it is safe to say With a 1-0 win over Notre Dame Prep last month at the Ice Den Scottsdale, Pinnacle captured in their career, so they are all used to the that you will never get a thousand-plus people the AHSHA Division 1 state title and will head to the USA Hockey High School National Tour- schedule and the increased practice schedto show up three hours before puck drop for nament later this month in Minnesota. Photo/GarrenTee Photography ule leading up to Nationals. As for the mental a championship game, and the post-game recognition on many levels has been absolutely side, it does help that we have players that experienced it last year and can provide veteran incredible. The feeling is unmatchable to anything I’ve ever experienced in my life so far. I leadership and prepare the ones who will be here for their first time. love how close I feel with my teammates and how much of a brotherhood this team is. I “I like our chances. We play every game to win. Nationals doesn’t change that. We realalso like how this team can all come together and accomplish whatever we want to put our ize we are going against the best each state has to offer, so we are also realistic it will be a minds to.” tough challenge to win it all. I do think we are built better for this tournament than the team Aside from the state title and bid to Nationals, Pinnacle had individual players recog- last year. We are bigger and stronger. The added depth will help a lot. Last year, we ran into nized by AHSHA as junior defenseman Justin Sturm was named All-Arizona and All- some injuries and fatigue that put us at a disadvantage once in the brackets.” State, while senior forward Grant Ziegler and junior forward Max Cocreham were also For Honing and Ihling, confidence is booming with Nationals looming. tabbed All-State with Honing, Ihling, senior forward Sam Hinnant, senior defenseman “I expect us to do very well at Nationals this year,” said Honing. “I believe this team has Adam Beckermann, sophomore defenseman Logan Derryberry and senior goalie Taz very high potential to compete and win at a national level. It is not going to be easy and we Joplin garnering All-State Honorable Mention accolades and junior forward Will Lacha- will have to face many different forms of obstacles during our national climb, but with this pelle chosen for the All-Academic Team. brotherhood, I believe we have a chance to become national champions.” Ziegler is also one of eight league players nominated for Student-Athlete of the Year “Expectations are definitely high going into Nationals,” Ihling added. “As a senior, I just by the Arizona Republic, while Karlson was named Coach of the Year by the same publi- want us to create a building block for those who come after us and in the future, hopefully cation. there will be a national championship banner hanging in the halls at Pinnacle.” By Matt Mackinder


Brian Baier, Senior, Defenseman Adam Beckermann, Senior, Defenseman Max Cocreham, Junior, Forward Logan Derryberry, Sophomore, Defenseman Luke Hicks, Senior, Defenseman Sam Hinnant, Senior, Forward 6

Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine

2017-18 Pinnacle Pioneers Tucker Honing, Senior, Forward Josh Ihling, Senior, Forward Taz Joplin, Senior, Goaltender Will Lachapelle, Junior, Forward Chase McLaughlin, Senior, Defenseman Thomas Miller, Junior, Defenseman

Braxton Nohr, Junior, Forward Humberto (TJ) Quirarte, Senior, Forward Justin Sturm, Junior, Defenseman Jorden Werner, Junior, Forward Jarrod Wolfert, Senior, Goaltender Grant Ziegler, Senior, Forward



Knights recognize stellar group of half-dozen graduates By Bryan O’Sullivan


n junior hockey, every season brings a strong group of players to each team that finish out their eligibility as 20-year-olds. This year, the Phoenix Knights have a talented group of 1997 birth year players that will move on after the 2017-18 Western States Hockey League season ends – all will be missed at AZ Ice Gilbert. The Knights’ class of 2018 includes: Forward Arunas Bermejo: Bermejo hails from Mexico City, Mexico. He first joined the Knights in 2015 after an impressive run at the 2015 World Junior Championship at the Division 3 level where he and the Mexico took silver while he tallied 14 points in five games as the top scorer for the tournament. Bermejo went to win the gold at the 2016 WJC with the Mexico 20U D-3 team. As a Knight, he has amassed 33 goals and 87 points, placing him at sixth and fourth, respectively, among all-time Knights in those categories. This season, Bermejo donned the “A” as an alternate captain. After playoffs, he’ll head to Lithuania as he recently signed a professional contract with Energija Elektrenai. Forward Michael Caravella: The current Knights captain, Caravella is a local, hailing from Chandler, coming out of the Jr. Coyotes and AHU youth programs. He first joined the Knights for the 2015-16 season and over two seasons, tallied 20 goals and 51 assists over 88 games. Entering the playoffs, Caravella is riding a nine-game point streak, is second on the

Knights in points and leads the team in assists with 38. Defenseman Chase Gillaspie: Gillaspie is another local talent, coming out of Gilbert and the Jr. Coyotes and Bobcats and AHU organizations. He joined the Knights in the 2014-15 season and has been a beacon of consistency for the team ever since. The defenseman ranks fourth overall in games played (103) and points by a defenseman (45) as a Knight. Heading into the playoffs, the Knights’ alternate captain Chase

The six graduating Phoenix Knights junior players pose with the team’s coaching staff on the eve of starting the 2018 WSHL Thorne Cup Playoffs.

has two goals and 11 assists in 37 games. Defenseman Juraj Housa: Housa is a defenseman from Cadca, Slovakia. He joined the Knights in the 2015-16 season after playing his entire youth hockey career in Slovakia. After the ‘15-16 season, he returned home to play for his previous 20U team, the MsHK Zilina. He was re-acquired this year via a trade

from the Valencia Flyers, where he put up an impressive 21 points in 31 games. After joining the Knights, he continued his great play, adding three assists in the final six games of the season. Entering the playoffs, the addition of Housa bolsters the defensive core for a deep playoff run. “I’m glad to be here in Phoenix and ending my junior hockey career with the Phoenix Knights organization,” noted Housa. Defenseman Zachary Kowalchuk: Kowalchuk is a local, out of Queen Creek and is a product of the Bobcats and AHU organizations. The defenseman first joined the Knights in the 2015-16 season and after the playoffs, went off to Arizona State University, where he played for two successful seasons, registering 31 points. He rejoined the Knights this season, picking up four goals and four assists in just 12 games and is poised to continue his hot play as the playoffs begin. Forward Colton Seeman: Seeman is a Phoenix native from the Bobcats and AHU organizations. He first joined the Knights in 2014-15 season and has accumulated 22 goals and 22 assists over 79 games played. The Knights finished the season fifth in the Western Division, drawing the fourth-seeded Flyers for their first-round matchup. Entering the playoffs, the Knights are looking to continue the success that 2018 has brought them in their matchup against the Flyers in Valencia. To donate and help the Knights as they travel for the playoffs, visit ​​

AHU again huge on community involvement during ’17-18 season By Bryan O’Sullivan


ne of the greatest team building activities that a youth hockey team can do is to venture out into their communities and volunteer where there is a need. During the 2017-18 season, the following AHU teams took it upon themselves to lend a helping hand and become better people, teammates and ambassadors. 8U Black: Mite Black led a fundraiser for Goose Creek Memorial High School, a school devastated by Hurricane Harvey. The money and school supplies raised directly helped over 150 families. 10U Black: Squirt Black volunteered at Feed My Starving Children and as a team, packaged nearly 1,000 meals. 12U Gray: Pee Wee Gray donated tickets to an Arizona Coyotes game to 12 military and veteran families. The coaching staff also assisted in teaching 20 children of service members the basics of hockey. 12U White: Pee Wee White spent time volunteering at Feed My Starving Children and ringing the bell every Wednesday from Thanksgiving to Christmas for the Salvation Army kettle drive. Additionally, the players helped out with the Kids First and Initiation programs. 12U Black: Pee Wee Black, in the midst of finals and the holiday break, carved out some time to help out with the Salvation Army. The players and their families packed food for 500 families (11 pallets worth!) and several dozen bags of toys and clothing for families in need. Additionally, they assembled meals at Feed My Starving Children. With a total of 27 boxes of meals packed in 90 minutes, the team worked efficiently and happily to accomplish this lofty goal. 14U Black: Bantam Black volunteered at Feed My Starving Children. They were able to pack 260 boxes that will provide 56,160 meals and feed 154 kids for a year. 16U Silver: Midget Silver also volunteered at Feed My Starving Children. As a team, they packed 196 boxes, providing 42,336 meals for 115 children for the year. ​​


Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine

FLAGSTAFF YOUTH HOCKEY ASSOCIATION NORTHERN ARIZONA UNIVERSITY After successful ’17-18 season, Northstars find positives at all the IceJacks give thanks, praise levels, both on and off the ice By NAU Staff

By Emily Mokelke



s the season comes to a close, we would like to thank all the wonderful people and organizations who help make all this possible. The student-athletes work tirelessly to compete at the highest level all while focusing on their schooling. The support of our parents, the loyal fans, and the community of Flagstaff is greatly appreciated, and we would not be able to do what we do without their assistance. NAU Hockey would like to give a special thanks to Academy Mortgage, CORE Construction and Outback Steakhouse for their generous donations. We would also like to thank Kathy Walsh, a longtime fan and supporter of the program for her continued loyalty and support. We would like to thank Eli Cohen and Gina Byars with Rugged Nature Productions for all their tremendous work with our Coyotes Alumni event and fundraiser. A huge thank you to the Arizona Coyotes Alumni for their continued support of NAU Hockey and growing the game in Arizona. Thank you to Black Dog Hockey Productions for all our broadcasts this season. Thank you to Prescott Valley Events Center for hosting the Northern Arizona Showcase in October. Thank you to Alesia Foster who works on the website all season. Thank you to the “Voice of your IceJacks” Mark Walsh, for all the live announcing this year. Last, but not least, we would like to thank our coaching staff on both teams, starting with Division II head coach Travis Johanson and assistant coaches Colin Hughes and Kris Walsh, along with Division III head coach Ryan Smith and assistant coaches Branden Schinzel and Billy Brenden. Thank you for a great season and your dedication to the organization!

he Flagstaff Youth Hockey Association’s (FYHA) 2017-18 season mimics the topography of the town with some massive peaks and difficult valleys. For example, the 14U team’s record was 14-0 and scored 82 goals with only 15 goals against in league play. The FYHA 16U Tier II team had a difficult league season, ending up sixth in their division. However, many of these skaters have been together since they were playing 8U and all have shown great tenacity and work ethic. This team is finishing strong with a recent win over the No. 1 seed in their division, and a 2-1 shootout loss in the championship game in Colorado. This is the first year FYHA had enough interest to form two travel teams at the 12U and 10U levels. The 12U Major team is in second place in their division and also made it to the semifinal game in a Utah tournament. The 10U Major team, having finished first in their division with an 11-1 record, went to compete in the Squirt International Tournament in Fargo, N.D., playing in the Elite bracket and took sixth place out of 80 teams. Both the 12U Minor and 10U Minor teams had tough seasons, but the association is proud of these players for working hard and improving their skills. Anyone walking by the locker room or the hotel pool where these kids are hanging out would quickly learn that these players are having a ton of fun. The Northstars are looking forward to hosting the final Mite Jamboree this month where their 8U select teams can showcase their skills. While they love when their teams do well, FYHA believes youth hockey is about learning teamwork, sportsmanship, and having fun. The FYHA BOD, coaches and parents are proud of each of these players and wish them the best for the rest of their seasons.


Looking back, reflecting on my first year as head coach I

n this column, I would like to share with the hockey community how lucky I was as a first-year head coach to be a part of such a great group of young men with the Phoenix Knights. This being my first year as St. Clair a head coach, I didn’t know what to expect at all. I knew it would be tough, but it has also taught me a lot and allowed me to care for such a great group of junior hockey players. When I first picked my team, no one ever thought we would do anything special, but we did. I wanted a group of kids that never had a chance to show people what they were made of. I wanted them to be hungry and that they were. We started the season 0-15 … and now we are a .500 team.

To me, that just shows the character of these young men and they never gave up on me, which I am very thankful for. We are the second youngest team in the Western States Hockey League and when you go through a slump that bad at the start of a season, most teams would quit, but not mine and for that, I am the most proud of them. Throughout the year, I have learned so much from these young men. Being a first-year coach, I am constantly learning from this group and it makes my job very enjoyable, no matter how hard I may be on them. Every day I go to the rink, I look forward to helping improve this team because there is always something we can work on. I don’t mean that in a way in which I’m saying we are bad, because we are the opposite of that. I’m saying it in the sense they want to learn and improve, so I am always finding new stuff to teach them, which keeps me on my toes. We are now playoff-bound, which was our first

goal as a group. We all wanted to put this Knights team back on the map and we are continuing with that goal but need to take it one step at a time. I am very excited to continue the journey that this group of young men has taken me on this year and you better believe you will get our best effort as the Thorne Cup Playoffs start. So gentlemen, I know the season isn’t over, but I wanted to thank you because I couldn’t have asked for a better group of players that I could help grow on and off the ice. This group will forever be in my heart and I want nothing more than to make an amazing playoff push. Again, the season is not over, but this year has been incredible, so again, from myself and the rest of the coaching staff, we would like to thank you for sticking to the process – let’s make a run for it. We would also like the Arizona Hockey Union and the families for all your help and support this season. It definitely does not go unnoticed.

Colten St. Clair is the head coach and general manager of the Phoenix Knights Tier II junior team in the Western States Hockey League and the skills coach for the Arizona Hockey Union.



DYHA posts clean sweep of Tier II state championships By Jack Harris

in their 14U series and across all three Tier II divisions. “It says we are doing some of the right things. Every year is going to be different and we had pretty solid teams this year,” DYHA director of hockey Brad McCaughey said, who oversaw the postseason success in his first year in charge of the Jr. Sun Devils program after taking over for Sean Whyte at the beginning of the season. McCaughey said Whyte helped set up the organization for success. Whyte also coached the 18U team to its title. “While it’s great to happen to us, I understand that things can change, but it says we are doing a lot of the right stuff. We have good coaches and we had a great year. The future looks bright.” It wasn’t just at the Tier II level where DYHA captured state championships either. Two Jr. Sun Devils teams met for an AZYHL 14U state championship as well, where the club’s 14U Combo knocked off its 14U Major squad 3-2 by scoring three unanswered goals in the third period to complete a come-from-behind win. While the 14U Combo’s season ended with their AZYHL title, the other three DYHA teams will receive invitations to USA Hockey Youth Nationals thanks to their State Playdown triumphs. “You go into every season hoping to win championships,” said McCaughey. “Like I’ve always said, I’m not here to win championships. We are here to develop the kids and help them succeed in their life with whatever they want to do by teaching them the game of hockey and of course, you love to win championships.”


t was a straight sweep for the DYHA Jr. Sun Devils in the AAHA State Playdowns this season, with the organization taking home state championships in all three Tier II levels at 18U, 16U, and 14U. The 18U AA Jr. Sun Devils were the first to win a championship. They overcame a loss to Mission AZ in the tournament’s opening game by winning their final two preliminary round games by a combined score of 12-0. In the best-of-three state championship, the 18Us battled back from an early deficit against Mission to force overtime, where Kole Goldberg scored the game-winning goal. The Jr. Sun Devils rolled to a 6-1 win in Game 2 to complete the series sweep. The 16U AA Jr. Sun Devils went undefeated on their march to a state championship. After a 3-0-0 group stage, DYHA registered back-to-back 2-1 wins against Arizona Hockey Union in the championship series. Jake Wreschner scored two power-play goals in the clincher, while goalie Antoine Pare made 20 saves. The 14U AA Jr. Sun Devils also went unbeaten on their road to a title. After giving up just three total goals in the first three games of the Playdowns, DYHA won the first game of the championship series in overtime against CAHA 14U Scottsdale, thanks to a sudden-death goal from Michael Sandviken. Goaltender George Serbin made 20 saves in game two to help the Jr. Sun Devils complete the sweep both


Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine

IN A DEVILISH MOOD Practice makes perfect in sports, especially in hockey “T he more you practice, the better your skills are.” The proverb has been traced back to the 1500s, when its form was “Use makes perfect.” The Latin version is “Uses promptos facit.” It was first attested in the United McCaughey States in “Diary and Autobiography of John Adams.” I start this article that way for no other reason than to make me appear more intelligent in your eyes. The truth of the matter is that it took me 15 seconds and an internet connection to find that juicy tidbit. Where the saying came from is irrelevant – the saying itself is gold. It is true for everything in life and also easy to say, but hard to get kids to truly buy into. As a coach, the No. 1 priority I strive to instill in kids is work ethic. I have been telling anyone who will listen for the past several years that kids these days do not understand what work ethic means as it relates to hockey. In this

digital age we live in, kids spend more time plopped on the couch playing video games. As a parent, I hear things like, “I can’t do that” or “We can’t beat that team” or “It’s too hard” and as any good parents do, we respond with, “You can achieve anything you set your mind to” or “You just need to practice; practice makes perfect,” only to be countered with, “Whatever!” What REALLY drives me crazy is when they come home with a new video game, start playing and getting mad and screaming that “this game is too hard” and after 27 hours of consecutive playing, they are asking to make ingame purchases because they have reached “Super War Lord” status and need to purchase the flying carpet in order achieve the “Upper Echelon” status and beat the level-27 Mega Monster. The only difference between what they did there and applying the “practice makes perfect” concept to sports is that in most cases, their achievement did not require actual physical effort. As this relates to hockey, or sports in general, good coaches tell their teams that they play like they practice and that they should not be afraid of making mistakes. After all, we learn from mistakes. Trying to get kids to understand what hard work in hockey means is, in my opinion, the toughest job a youth coach has.

There are pressures from everywhere to win in today’s society and in a lot of parents’ eyes, if your team wins, you are a great coach. The question I have is, “Have you taught the kids to work hard and how to play the game? Or have you just taught them to get the puck to little Johnny because he is the best player in the state and will go coast to coast and score four goals a game?” Being tough and consistent in practice and demanding hard work, while still making the game fun for your team and keeping all the parents happy, is a tough thing to pull off. I will be the first one to tell you that I, by no means, have mastered this feat. I just know that that is what we, as youth coaches, need to strive to master. There is a fine line between you being perceived as a “tyrant” coach and being perceived as a good coach who demands hard work. Let me conclude with a tip for all you parents out there: Pay less attention to how many goals or assists your child has and how long his/her shifts are and more attention to other things like if your child works hard in practice and games. This is a team game and everyone has a job to do. The common denominator is a solid work ethic and a commitment to “practice makes perfect.”

Brad McCaughey is the director of hockey operations and coach-in-chief for DYHA.



Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine


Lacrosse season getting set for center stage at Ice Den By Matt Mackinder


hile the growth of hockey in Arizona has been a source of pride in recent years, lacrosse has been gaining in participation and popularity as well. At the Ice Den Scottsdale, lacrosse leagues are forming for the upcoming months as the ice will shortly be changed over to turf. Bill Casey, who works with the Vipers Lacrosse Club and Arizona Box Lacrosse, is elated with how well the game has grown in the desert. “This is my 13th year involved in all aspects of Arizona lacrosse and I can honestly say that after a few hiccups, we are on the right path to growth,” Casey said. “The youth organizations merged a few years ago and the leadership now promotes lacrosse clinics in area schools, working with city parks and recreation, YMCAs and other organizations to spread awareness of America’s first team sport, lacrosse. “Lacrosse sells itself – kids just need access to it. It’s a combination of basketball, soccer and hockey. The game rewards coordination and agility. Lacrosse is a sport that equalizes the little guy that has good stick skills, can dodge and finish.” The similarities between hockey and lacrosse is one that many people may not see at first glance.

“The correlation between box lacrosse and hockey go hand in hand,” said Ben Prepchuk of AZ Outlaws Lacrosse. “The same number of players on the playing surface, played in a hockey rink, penalties, but most importantly, the hand-eye coordination needed to play both hockey and lacrosse are similar. There is a natural transition for a hockey player, being comfortable playing with the contact, and comfortable with a stick in their hands. There are a lot of the current and former NHL stars – even Wayne Gretzky – that played lacrosse and they attribute some of their success in hockey to the time spent playing lacrosse.” And playing at the Ice Den provides a superb location for lacrosse at all levels from youth to adults, beginners and experienced. “There are many positives to playing lacrosse at the Ice Den,” Prepchuk said. “First of all, it is a first-class facility with an amazing staff. For the Outlaws to be able to call the Ice Den home is an absolute blessing. We get to train in a topnotch, air-conditioned facility. Training in the Ice Den has

afforded us to have fun local leagues, as well as practices for our Outlaws travel program in an environment where we are out of the elements, and we don’t have to worry about anything other than learning and having fun. “We had over 135 players playing box lacrosse at the Ice Den last summer and we expect to have even more this summer.” Prepchuk noted that Outlaws travel teams who train at the Ice Den have won numerous gold, silver and bronze medals competing in top tournaments as well. “The Ice Den in Scottsdale is an ideal central location for lacrosse players at one of the premier facilities in the USA,” said Casey. “When the third rink was added in 2011, management had the foresight to construct a concrete base for it to provide multipurpose programming, including lacrosse. We started our partnership with Mike O’Hearn and his staff at the Ice Den and they continue to be great supporters of lacrosse in Arizona.” With more growth on the horizon for lacrosse in Arizona, Prepchuk is overjoyed to be part of the forward progress, including at the college level, where the state has four currently at Arizona State University, University of Arizona, Grand Canyon University and Northern Arizona University. “The growth and interest can be attributed to the coaches and directors that are out there doing whatever it takes to get a lacrosse stick in as many kids’ hands as possible, giving them a chance to experience the game,” said Prepchuk. “People that have played the game in college are coming back and want to get involved, and quality people like that are moving to Arizona.”

Learn to Skate Classes for all ages and abili�es including Pre-Hockey



2017-18 AHSHA POSTSEASON HONORS AHSHA ALL-STATE TEAMS Division 1 All-State Team Forwards Flagstaff, Tyler Billingsly Basha/Perry, Austin Chesworth Pinnacle, Max Cocreham Pinnacle, Grant Ziegler Desert Vista, Ethan Briggs Notre Dame, Andrei Yanovich Notre Dame, Turner Stansbury O’Connor, Colin Fritsche Brophy, Kyle Tessmer Defense Basha/Perry, Alex Krupinsky Pinnacle, Justin Sturm Desert Vista, Matt McBride Notre Dame, Chandler Koper Notre Dame, Joesph Miscio Brophy, Joseph Grams Goalies Hamilton, Guy Blessing Notre Dame, Dino Brunetti Division 1 Honorable Mention Forwards Hamilton, Patrick Murphy Hamilton, Connor Bottrill Hamilton, Jacob Wreschner Hamilton, Skylar Miller Basha/Perry, Preston Schowe Basha/Perry, Carson Abercrombie Pinnacle, Sam Hinnant Pinnacle, Josh Ihling Pinnacle, Tucker Honing Desert Vista, Kole Goldberg Desert Vista, Albert “Tito” Moreno Desert Vista, Tristan Cortesi Desert Vista, Garth Rubischko O’Connor, Mason Parker


Defense Hamilton, Liam Conway Hamilton, Daniel Obarski Hamilton, Payne Glover Basha/Perry, Carson Welch Pinnacle, Adam Beckerman Pinnacle, Logan Derryberry Desert Vista, Chris Hedgecoke Desert Vista, Lucas Kerr Notre Dame, Brett Fryer O’Connor, Spencer Craig Goalies Desert Vista, Zachary Bossch Pinnacle, Taz Joplin Division 2 All-State Team Forwards Cactus Shadows, Ethan Hinnant Centennial, Declan George Mesquite, Alexander Kelsall Mesquite, Tanner Castleberry Mountain Ridge, Abraham Plis Horizon, Joseph Curley Horizon, Weston Fowler Pinnacle, Nick Palermo Desert Mountain, Patrick Casey Defense Centennial, Oscar Kahler Mountain Ridge, Andrei Lyscas Horizon, Stephen Kennedy Pinnacle, Jimmy Scappaticci Pinnacle, Max Haffner Desert Mountain, Ryan Day Goalies Centennial, Tyler Posivak Horizon, Anthony Tilelli Division 2 Honorable Mention Forwards Mountain Ridge, Skylar Sanchez

Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine

Horizon, George Gulizia Horizon, Niklas Kariniemi Horizon, Joseph Lines Pinnacle, Caleb Cavinder Pinnacle, Tyler Ihling Desert Mountain, Ryan Walsh Desert Mountain, Kyle Spiller Desert Mountain, Spencer Berkley Desert Mountain, Michael Bloom Defense Cactus Shadows, Brett Cernich Centennial, Ruskin Griffith Horizon, Ryan Janowski Desert Mountain, Will Florence Desert Mountain, Crew Lombardi Goalies Mesquite, Luke Yubeta Pinnacle, Nick Layman Desert Mountain, Cole Wigman Division 3 All-State Team Forwards Chaparral, Michael McKaig Basha/Perry, Jonathan Burden Pinnacle, Dominik Silva Notre Dame, AJ Fryer Corona, Colton Herr Campo Verde, Cody Horton Desert Vista, Jake Smith Desert Vista, Will Cooley Shadow Ridge, Morgan Monahan Defense Chaparral, Edwin Gorham Pinnacle, Daniel Landry Notre Dame, Connor McAvoy Notre Dame, Logan L’Heureux Desert Vista, Curtis Weber Desert Vista, Austin Deming

Goalies Centennial, Nico O’Connor Desert Vista, Macy Eide Division 3 Honorable Mention Forwards Chaparral, Connor McBride Chaparral, Jacob Risko Hamilton, Carson Herring Hamilton, Cole Lind Hamilton, Connor Manning Pinnacle, Michael Wolfert Notre Dame, Michael Doherty Notre Dame, Jonah Geiger Corona, Noah Steinman Corona, Chris Turcott Corona, Pierce Rakoczy Campo Verde, Max Butler Campo Verde, Gavin Saydyk Desert Vista, Dennis Norris Desert Vista, Jackson Parker Shadow Ridge, Brett Perkins Defense Chaparral, Chad Hampton Jr. Basha/Perry, Karsten Allen Basha/Perry, Connor Quinn Basha/Perry, Randy Powers Hamilton, Nick Hemersbach Hamilton, Blake Shiverdecker Pinnacle, Parker Bogues Pinnacle, Jacob Sitton Notre Dame, AJ Martin Corona, Cam Sherman Corona, John Noffke Corona, Conner Langefels Campo Verde, Charlie Herman Campo Verde, Braden Moore Campo Verde, Jordan Barnhart Desert Vista, Sean McBride Shadow Ridge, Alec Roberts

Goalies Chaparral, Matt Diamond Basha/Perry, Zoe Manriquez Pinnacle, Nathan Flores Notre Dame, Matt Sigrist Corona, Alec Cipollini Campo Verde, Jake Membrila Shadow Ridge, AJ Kostic ALL-ACADEMIC TEAMS Division 1 Griffin Sherwood, Flagstaff, Basis Prescott Tyler Billingsly, Flagstaff, Basis Flagstaff Will LaChapelle, Pinnacle, Pinnacle High School Grady Sherwood, Flagstaff, Basis Prescott Guy Blessing, Hamilton, Hamilton High School Alex Righi, Basha/Perry, Chandler High School Division 2 Brett Cernich, Cactus Shadows, Cactus Shadows High School Stephen Kennedy, Horizon, Horizon High School Levi Folker, Mountain Ridge, Boulder Creek High School Abraham Plis, Mountain Ridge, Mountain Ridge High School Kevin Trent, Desert Mountain, Desert Mountain High School Will Florence, Desert Mountain, Desert Mountain High School Division 3 Randall Powers, Basha/Perry, Basha High School Noah Silver, Chaparral, Chaparral High School Alec Roberts, Shadow Ridge, Millennium High School Austin Deming, Desert Vista, Desert Vista High School Morgan Butler, Campo Verde, Queen Creek High School Matthew Fasani, Pinnacle, Pinnacle High School 2017-18 STATE CHAMPIONS Varsity Division 1: Pinnacle Pioneers Championship Game MVP: Taz Joplin, Pinnacle Varsity Division 2: Centennial Coyotes Championship Game MVP: Andrew Songstad, Centennial Varsity Division 3: Corona Aztecs Championship Game MVP: Noah Steinman, Corona Junior Varsity: Flagstaff Avalanche Championship Game MVP: Ian Torp, Flagstaff


Synthetic Ice Skating Series - Part 1 of 3 – Strides


elcome to the Synthetic Ice Skating Series! HockeyShot’s Bench Boss, Jeremy Rupke, is joined by Skating Sensei, Jim Vitale, to create a multipart series to help you stay on your feet and beat the competition to the puck. The entire series was executed on HockeyShot’s industry leading, head turning, awe-inspiring Synthetic Ice! While most of you already know “Mr. How to Hockey,”

Jeremy Rupke, and some of you may be unfamiliar with the other man in these issues (March, April and May). Let us properly introduce you to a coach and hockey instructor for 20 plus years, Mr. Jim Vitale. He has put a tremendous amount of thought in the game and teaches players how to improve year after year. Jim Vitale from Vital Hockey Skills has been coaching many teams throughout Toronto including the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). Jim has run hockey

camps for years to improve hockey players training and skills to develop them for the next level. There is nothing more important than the skill of skating, so let’s get started. Vitale believes one of the most important skating drills is learning how to properly stride and maximizing the stride technique. Rupke asked what he thought is the most important thing for beginner players. Vitale responded, “It is just a matter of realizing that to go

forward, you have to go side to side.” Many coaches are teaching their players to go back-

to-front for their stride, but Vitale believes a stride should be more horizontal. “Like an airplane not a helicopter,” he says. By using their stride back to front, it is minimizing the amount of time the blade contacts the ice, and that is going to stop a player from getting down the ice as quickly as possible. The more efficient you are at transferring muscle from hip to the ankle, the better the stride is going to be. Starting your stride from the middle to the back of the blade allows you to make your force better. Proper stride posture is very key to being able to skate properly and going somewhere in between 90 degrees and 180 degrees gives your leg the only option to push sideways to extend horizontal. Remember, as your extending your leg, finish your stride for maximum effect. Stay tuned next month for Part 2 of the Synthetic Ice Skating Series, when Rupke and Vitale explain how to turn properly and manage “inertia.” For all the best hockey training products, including Synthetic Ice - Revolution Tiles and Extreme Glide Synthetic Ice, visit



IHAAZ brimming with competitiveness for ’17-18 season By Brian Lester


rior to the season, changes were made for the IHAAZ campaign, including changes to the state tournament, which will feature a new format. Regular-season champion cups have been awarded to champions in the 12U, 14U and Midget divisions, while the 8U and 10U divisions are run like tournaments in which medals are awarded for the champion and runner-up at each of the five festivals. IHAAZ tournament director Nick Boyarsky believes the format has been beneficial in the divisions where champs will be crowned at the end of the regular season. “With our small but competitive divisions, by mid-season, the top 1-2 teams in each age group tended to be the constant first- and second-place medalist, which got a bit tedious and defeating for the lower-placing teams,” Boyarsky said. “I wanted to find a way to keep it interesting from December through April and make all the games matter. Come State Finals, when it’s really on the line, then the tournament format becomes a lot more exciting.” Boyarsky believes the competitiveness of the divisions has been enhanced by the new format. Ultimately, every game matters. The league format allows that (competitiveness),” Boyarsky said. “The fourth- and fifth-place teams are trying to get ahead of each other. The same goes with the second- and third-place teams in some divisions. It makes those games against each other at each festival actually mean something and gives teams some game by game

goals to work on.” At the end of the season, awards will be given out to the top offensive player, top defensive player and top goalie in each of the divisions. Players must have played in at least three of the festivals to be eligible. Also, two all-stars among non-goalies will be selected from each team and they will compete in a divisional allstar game. The top two goalies in each division will be named all stars as well. Every all-star player will receive a

Two IHAAZ festivals remain this season before State Finals kicks off May 4 at the Barney Family Sports Complex in Queen Creek. Photo/IHAAZ

game jersey provided by Grasshopper Gamewear. Boyarsky is glad to see all-star games back in the fold for IHAAZ. The games will feature two 10-minute periods. “At one point early on in the series, we did do allstar games, but as we tightened State Finals into one


Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine

weekend, there just wasn’t enough time,” Boyarsky said. “We’ve gotten a little creative with the schedule and figured out a way to make this work. They’ll be long days but in the end, it should be worth it. The experience, especially for the younger kids, will be special. They’ll leave with a custom jersey that commemorates their all-star position, and will have that to look back for years to come.” As for the State Finals, which will be played May 4-6 at the Barney Family Sports Complex in Queen Creek and hosted by the AZ Royals, there are changes fans should expect. Every division will have a round-robin tournament where all of the teams get a chance to compete against each other one final time. The post-round-robin tourney will vary based on the number of teams in each division. For the 10U, 14U and Midget divisions, the No. 1 seed will play No. 2 for gold and silver and the third and fourth seeds will play for the bronze medal. In the 8U and 12U round robin, the top two seeds will battle it out for the gold medal. There is no bronze medal game because the division only has four teams. There will also be a skills competition for players in each division. Prizes will be supplied by Konixx Hockey and Behind The Mask. Two festivals remain in the season – one was in Tucson March 16-18 and the last one April 20-22 in Prescott. “I know some teams are doing the math to see how many games they need to win and/or their opponents need to lose to move up in the standings,” Boyarsky said.


Mission’s 12U squad skates to third straight AZYHL title By Greg Ball


he word of the day at AZ Ice Arcadia on March 11 was “threepeat,” and Mission AZ’s 12U Pee Wee Red team delivered. Mission capped off a spectacular season by winning the Arizona Youth Hockey League (AZYHL) championship, securing the program’s third 12U title in as many years. “I’m pretty proud of winning the state championship for the third straight year,” said Jeremy Goltz, the director of hockey operations for Mission AZ. “What I didn’t realize until recently was that this is the first team we’ve had that has gone undefeated the entire regular season and through the playoffs - that is really impressive. “It wasn’t an easy road, but these guys did what they needed to do all year.” Mission opened the state playoffs with a commanding 7-1 triumph over CAHA-Chandler 11U on March 9, and then they topped CAHA 11U by a 5-1 count the following day. Mission beat the DYHA Jr. Sun Devils Gold team 5-0 later on March 10 and followed that up with a 6-1 win over Arizona Hockey Union’s 12U Purple squad on March 11. In the championship game later that day, they skated to a 3-1 victory over AHU’s 12U White team. “This team had a pretty skilled group of players returning, but what I think really made the difference was that everyone bought in to our philosophy of hard work,” Goltz said. “We put them in a lot of game-situational drills during practices throughout the year, and that’s not really

the norm at the Pee Wee level. Obviously, we focused a that team-first approach, and everybody knows they’re lot on skill development, but we also put them in game going to chip in as long as their compete level is high and situations and emphasized competing at a high level. It’s their energy is high. At the Pee Wee level, it’s rare. I think clearly working for these kids. Year after year, we’re really the overall emphasis in practices over the last few years able to use the depth of our roster, and even the kids who has really translated into a lot of success, especially with this group.” aren’t as skilled are making significant contributions.” For the entire season, Mission compiled a 25-10-4 Mission’s 12U Red squad for the 2017-18 season included forwards Dylan Farber, Colin Farrer, Troy record, and the squad was a perfect 16-0 playing in AZYHL games. They outscored Coleman, Ethan Niles, Matheir opponents 153-90 and son Morin, Kaden Paterallowed just 18 goals in their no, Tyler Payne and Josef league contests. Bauer; defensemen Jason Casillas, Blake Jankunas, Goltz said that during the Kian Knapp, Chance Taychampionship game, no other Mission teams had games, lor, Carson Oller and Conso players and their families nor Taney; and goalies Avfrom all the program’s squads ery MacKenzie and Ethan showed up to cheer on their Montgomery. Pee Wee brethren. Goltz and Scott Farber “It was a festive atmoserved as co-head coaches sphere there in the rink, and for the state champions. Coleman, Bauer and Pa- The Mission AZ 12U Red team skated to a “threepeat” on March you could really feel the buzz terno each contributed goals 11 at AZ Ice Arcadia, winning its third consecutive AZYHL state brought by our great crowd,” he said. “Our older guys are in the championship game, championship with a 3-1 win over AHU. and Montgomery made 16 saves, but Goltz said this good about understanding leadership and giving back, wasn’t a team with superstars. Instead, everyone contrib- and they came out in droves. It made a really good experiuted equally, and that made the team even stronger. ence even more memorable for these players. “Traditionally, Pee Wee teams will have one or two re“It was cool and was really a special honor for this ally skilled players, and if you don’t slow them down, they team. They earned it - they worked hard, and it felt fancan dominate at that level,” Goltz explained. “We have tastic.”


NEW MEXICO REPORT Warriors alum Martin enjoying Cibola claims ‘intense’ 2017-18 success with WSHL’s IceCats NMIIHL state championship

By Matt Mackinder

By Matt Mackinder



uinn Martin was a rare commodity last season in the Western Hockey League (WHL) – a New Mexico native playing Major Junior hockey. This season, the 19-year-old Santa Fe native is again the lone player from New Mexico, now playing in the Western States Hockey League (WSHL) for the Idaho IceCats. The IceCats have long been a top-tier franchise in the WSHL and Martin is reaping the benefits playing in McCall, Idaho. As of early March, the IceCats had run away with the Northeast Division title with a 42-4-2 mark. “This season has been a lot of fun and luckily, I’m on a great team with a lot of awesome guys who all want to win a championship,” Martin said. “Last season was a rough year for playing time, and I realized I needed to play more in order to develop as a player. Luckily, I came in contact with (Idaho coach) John Olver. He is the best coach I have had during my career and has helped me to make some big changes to my game.” Martin played 20 games for the WHL’s Red Deer Rebels in 2016-17 before finishing the season with the NAHL’s Austin Bruins. “Red Deer was a great experience and I learned a lot from being a part of such a professional organization,” said Martin. “Playing with and against some of the world’s best prospects gave me a lot of insight into what it takes to be successful. My favorite part was getting to live in a country that lives, eats, and sleeps hockey.” Martin has played hockey since he was five after his father, Ray, asked him if he wanted to give it a shot. And so it began in the Land of Enchantment. “After my first couple strides, I immediately fell I love with the game,” Martin said. “The most memorable team I played for in New Mexico was the Warriors. Vladimir Hartinger was the first real coach I had and looked up to, and I give him a lot of credit for where I’m at today.”

he New Mexico Interscholastic Ice Hockey League (NMIIHL) season came to a close March 9 as the Cibola Cougars edged the Big Texan Bulls 3-2 in the state championship game at the McDermott Athletic Center in Rio Rancho. Jaden Schroeder tallied the game-winning goal for the Cougars in the first minute of the third period and the Cibola defense, including goaltender Max Hoffman, who made 30 saves, stood tall the rest of the way. “From that point on, our defense led by seniors Tanner Colyer and Ricky Haverland, played solid, lights-out defense,” said Cibola coach Brett Lovette. “Amarillo had a surge of offensive pressure in the last five minutes of the game, led by their senior and league MVP Vincent Petrey, but Hoffman came up with some big saves to keep us ahead for the win.” Schroeder’s goal was assisted by NMIIHL leading scorer and tournament MVP Tylec Kohlrust. “The vibe at ice level was intense,” said Lovette. “It was a physical game with both teams battling hard, and the momentum shifting back and forth throughout the game.” Bulls goalie Xavier Swain faced 53 shots, stopping 50 of them in the defeat. Lovette added that he has seen the NMIIHL grow in talent level over the past few years. “The competitiveness of the league is on the rise,” said Lovette. “This year’s playoffs and mid-season tournament were all close games and great competitive hockey. The quality of the league gets better each season. We hope to see the NMIIHL grow and continue to offer a competitive experience for all our players.” In the JV state championship game, the Bulls took that title by defeating the Durango Devils in late February. The Bulls took a 3-1 decision in the extra period after losing the final regulation game of the tournament to the Devils 2-0. Since the Bulls entered the final game undefeated in the double-elimination tournament, a 15-minute winner-take-all period was necessary to decide the champion.

Young Coyotes showing flair for confidence, consistency By Mark Brown


hrough the course of a season, any player can expect ups and downs, ebbs and flows and successes and failures. For the Arizona Coyotes, this has been a particularly challenging season. In the way things have progressed, there was almost a split in their hockey campaign. Through a difficult opening half, fortunes turned positive. That was possible because of increased practice time and the ability of players to grasp coach Rick Tocchet’s system. With a young club like the Coyotes, the need for education and reputation then becomes paramount. Therein lies both the responsibility of the coaching staff and the players’ response. Together, these factors usually the dictate the outcome of a season and with the Coyotes, the need to find ways to grow and develop is essential. That could be said for hockey players on any level, and those engaged in youth hockey can take a page from Tocchet’s book. With the maladies of the opening weeks of the season, Tocchet lamented that a brutal travel schedule and a slate heavy with game nights prevented quality practice time. Younger players need the opportunity to hone and foster their skills, he pointed out, and practice time allows for that im18

Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine

portant dimeson of their game. “There have a bunch of reasons for turning the season around, but the biggest one is that we’re getting practice time,” Tocchet said. “A young team needs to practice, and during February and early March, that’s the most practice times we’ve had. Practice coincides with success. Plus, learning the system over the course of the season has obviously helped.” Despite not gaining ice time during games, the nature of watching and taking notes becomes just as vital. For forward Nick Cousins, a healthy scratch for several games, his view from the press box acted as a chalkboard. From Nov. 8-Dec. 14, Cousins was scratched in half of the 16 games on the schedule. That also included a healthy scratch on opening night against the Vegas Golden Knights. On a line with Brad Richardson at center and Jordan Martinook on the right side, Cousins found a regular shift at left wing. In games between Jan. 22 and Feb. 12, he picked up five goals and added two assists. “Early in the season, myself and a few other guys were struggling with confidence,” he said. “That goes with a new system, a new coach, new surroundings, a new team. After sitting the first 20

games or so and being a healthy scratch, you really start to dig in and try and find your game. I think I’ve done a pretty good job of that since Christmas.” Once players reach a comfort level with the goal and direction of the coaching staff, success usually follows. At the same time, the confidence level rises, and success is generated. Following a three-assist night against Minnesota in early March, Max Domi began to see the impact of sustained practice sessions and an added layer of confidence. Assisting on a second-period power-play goal from defenseman Jakob Chychrun and third-period tallies by Christian Dvorak and Kevin Connauton against the Wild, Domi seemed to find the spark of his rookie season. ‘ “This started in early February that we really began to come together as a group,” Domi said of the surging second half. “It’s a growing confidence. Hopefully, we can keep building and bring this into next season. We’re starting to get that consistency, and it’s paying off.” Once a coach’s foundation is established and a system put in place, the players then respond. With an ease of execution and smooth transition to the structure and dynamics of game play, the “x’s” and “o’s” translate into a strong conviction. Just ask Domi. “We’re a young group,” he said. “We have a great leadership group that has really helped all the younger guys. We’re all starting to find our roles and do what we need to do to help the team win. That’s what it takes and when you’re in the NHL. You have to have every guy on your team going. You can’t take a night off.”

Arizona trio of schools off to NCRHA national tourney By Phillip Brents


that we are a not a one trick pony, so to speak. Our offense has come from every player and both ends of the bench have bought into a defensive responsibility game. “Our Division III team has mimicked a lot of what our Division I has done in really being an offensive threat across the bench. For an almost all-new team, they have found some instant chemistry on and off the rink that’s really helped solidify their success.”

dramatic ending with two goals scored in the final three seconds, both from the Lumberjacks.

he Grand Canyon State will be well represented at the National Collegiate Roller Hockey AssociTop shelf ation (NCRHA) national championship tournament ASU’s Jayme Haveman received the DiviApril 11-15 in Fargo, N.D. sion I Most Valuable Player award after scoring the Arizona State University’s Division I and Division III game-winning goal in the final, while Sun Devils goalteams, as well as Northern Arizona University and the tender Aaron Gittings earned the Most Valuable University of Arizona in Division II all received bids. Goaltender award after posting a 5-0 record, 1.57 Both ASU teams, as well as NAU, received autogoals against average and a .906 save percentage matic qualifying bids to the national championship over the weekend. tournament as Western Collegiate Roller Hockey Arizona defeated NAU in overtime to win last League (WCRHL) regional champions. Arizona reyear’s division title. The championship rematch was ceived an at-large berth after finishing runner-up to just as close, with the Lumberjacks battling back NAU at the regionals March 3-4 in Corona, Calif. from a 5-2 deficit to win this year. ASU made program history with both its DiviTrevor Riffey, who drove his team throughout sion I and Division III teams winning regional chamthe tournament with 13 goals and 19 points to earn pionships in the same season. the Division II MVP award, netted the game-winner ASU’s Division I team carries a 16-game winfor NAU with three seconds to play. Daniel Diaz ning streak into the upcoming nationals. ASU’s Ditacked on an empty-net goal with one second left. vision III team has won 19 consecutive games. “Our guys played really hard and so did the AriNAU enters nationals on a roll with wins in 11 of zona guys,” Riffey explained. “It was a phenomenal its last 12 games. game and we are really excited to win regionals in Arizona State program director Nick Boyarsky just our second year. We are looking forward to defined the 2017-18 season as one of growth for another trip to ‘nattys’ in Fargo and hopefully we both Sun Devils squads. can make a run at the title.” “Both our Division I and Division III teams came Northern Arizona University captured the Division II championship at The Lumberjacks posted an 8-5 win over Cal into the season-opening event a bit overconfident the 2018 Western Collegiate Roller Hockey League regional champion- Poly Pomona in the semifinals while the Wildcats ship tournament March 3-4 in Corona, Calif. Photo/WCRHL and were quickly shown they were going to have to upset regular-season division champion San Jose work to finish the season ahead of their competition,” Arizona State defeated Cal Poly San Luis Obispo State University 4-2. Boyarsky explained. “After that first event, both teams 3-2 in the Division I championship game to punch its Paxton Parker (16 points) collected the Divimade the commitment to do so. Now five months lat- ticket to Fargo; the Sun Devils topped Cal Poly Gold sion III MVP award, while teammate Garrett Ruby er, we’re seeing two teams that have shored up their 7-4 to win the Division III title. received the Division III MVG award. weaknesses and doubled down on their strengths. NAU slipped past the intrastate rival Wildcats 8-6 Arizona’s Kenny Eakle collected the Division II “Within Division I, our biggest strength has been in the Division II championship game that featured a MVG award.


2017-18 ARIZONA/NEW MEXICO ALUMNI Email all additions, deletions and corrections to

ARIZONA PROFESSIONAL HOCKEY NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE Brendan Lemieux (Phoenix) – Winnipeg Jets Auston Matthews (Scottsdale) – Toronto Maple Leafs AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE Austin Carroll (Scottsdale) – Stockton Heat Trevor Cheek – Tucson Roadrunners * Jeremy Langlois (Tempe) – Hershey Bears Zac Larraza (Scottsdale) – Tucson Roadrunners Gage Quinney – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins * Philip Samuelsson (Scottsdale) – Charlotte Checkers ECHL Henrik Samuelsson (Scottsdale) – Idaho Steelheads Joey Sides (Tucson) – Tulsa Oilers SOUTHERN PROFESSIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE Cody Castro (Peoria) – Pensacola Ice Flyers Richard Coyne (Cave Creek) – Mississippi RiverKings Brandon Fehd (Gilbert) – Birmingham Bulls Ben Oskroba (Tempe) – Peoria Rivermen Brandon Parrone (Peoria) – Pensacola Ice Flyers EUROPE J.T. Barnett (Scottsdale) – France Anthony Caruso (Queen Creek) – Sweden Nikolai Knyzhov – Russia * ! Mike Krieg (Phoenix) – United Kingdom Broc Little (Phoenix) – Switzerland Luke Moffatt (Paradise Valley) – United Kingdom NATIONAL WOMEN’S HOCKEY LEAGUE Kaliya Johnson (Chandler) – Boston Pride COLLEGE HOCKEY

D-I INDEPENDENT Anthony Croston (Phoenix) – Arizona State University Johnny Walker (Phoenix) – Arizona State University NCAA DIVISION I – WOMEN COLLEGE HOCKEY AMERICA Taylor Curtis (Peoria) – Syracuse University Logan Hicks (Scottsdale) – Syracuse University Victoria Samuelsson (Scottsdale) – Penn State University HOCKEY EAST Makenna Newkirk (Scottsdale) – Boston College Carlee Turner (Scottsdale) – University of New Hampshire

MacKenzie Lyons (Scottsdale) – Nichols College Sarah McSweeney (Chandler) – Becker College MIAC Molly Andrews (Phoenix) – St.. Olaf College NEHC Natasha Hawkins (Scottsdale) – New England College NEWHL Bri Carroll (Peoria) – Buffalo State University Jessica Carter (Scottsdale) – Buffalo State University Hannah Kiraly (Glendale) – Plattsburgh State University

WCHA Amanda Martin (Peoria) – Minnesota State University

UCHC Raeann Clancy (Surprise) – King’s College Gabrielle Igo (Phoenix) – Utica College



CCC Chris James (Carefree) – Curry College Alec Mono – Curry College &


MASCAC Brandon Berkley (Scottsdale) – University of Mass.-Dartmouth Erik Pritchard (Cave Creek) – Worcester State University MIAC Nick Nast – St. Mary’s University & NCHA Ashton Amaya (Gilbert) – Aurora University Clay Cross (Glendale) – Marian University Forbes Ploszaj (Gilbert) – College of St. Scholastica NEHC Bryan McFarlane (Scottsdale) – New England College


NESCAC Andy Chugg (Mesa) – Trinity College

ATLANTIC HOCKEY Michael Boyle (Phoenix) – Bentley University Derek Brown (Peoria) – Niagara University Christian Cakebread (Gilbert) – Niagara University

SUNYAC Cameron Berry (Chandler) – Oswego State University Alex Storjohann (Anthem) – Cortland State University Sean Winikates (Phoenix) – Potsdam State University

ECAC Todd Burgess (Phoenix) – Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

UCHC Jeremy Briscoe (Phoenix) – Lebanon Valley College

NCHC Jake Durflinger – University of Denver & Phil Knies (Phoenix) – Miami University Carson Vance (Tempe) – Western Michigan University

WIAC Adam Kleven (Phoenix) – University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

WCHA Danny Kiraly (Glendale) – University of Alaska-Fairbanks

COLONIAL HOCKEY Alex Bloom (Scottsdale) – Canton State University


CENTRAL CANADA HOCKEY LEAGUE Ethan Osburn (Dewey) – Navan Grads EASTERN HOCKEY LEAGUE Colten Egge (Chandler) – New England Wolves Joshua George (Chandler) – New England Wolves Jacob Kerns (Peoria) – Connecticut RoughRiders Drew Platt (Gilbert) – Philadelphia Jr. Flyers Dimitri Thorsen (Peoria) – Philadelphia Jr. Flyers KOOTENAY INTERNATIONAL JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE Cole Golden (Phoenix) – Revelstoke Grizzlies Hayden Hirsch (Phoenix) – Kamloops Storm Ryan Radke (Cave Creek) – Princeton Posse NORTH AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE Trey Bagwell (Tempe) – Aberdeen Wings James Brown III (Phoenix) – Texas Brahmas Nathan Burke (Scottsdale) – Aberdeen Wings Jaxon Castor (Phoenix) – Shreveport Mudbug Jeremy Gabriele (Scottsdale) – Topeka RoadRunners Clayton Lackey (Scottsdale) – Coulee Region Chill Michael Mahan (Scottsdale) – Bismarck Bobcats Reid Miller (Phoenix) – Philadelphia Rebels Keenan Spillum (Paradise Valley) – Aberdeen Wings Joe Strada (Scottsdale) – Aberdeen Wings Connor Stuart (Phoenix) – Lone Star Brahmas Cole Tiedemann (Flagstaff) – Texas Brahmas Mason Vukonich (Phoenix) – Fairbanks Ice Dogs NORTH AMERICAN 3 HOCKEY LEAGUE Blake Bjella (Mesa) – St. Louis Jr. Blues Nic Bragg (Prescott) – College Station Spirit

Eddie Cannon (Glendale) – Oswego Stampede Keaton Caplis (Gilbert) – La Crosse Freeze Christopher Crowley (Fountain Hills) – Southern Tier Xpress Hunter Feagins (Surprise) – Gillette Wild Jacob Garman – La Crosse Freeze & Kevin Hamilton (Phoenix) – Louisiana Drillers Gabriel Lepper (Glendale) – Gillette Wild Dylan Mattfeldt (Glendale) – Missoula Jr. Bruins Hayden Seitz (Phoenix) – Helena Bighorns Austin Wilks (Avondale) – Point Mallard Ducks QUEBEC MAJOR JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE Landon Quinney – Saint John Sea Dogs & UNITED STATES HOCKEY LEAGUE Carson Dimoff (Scottsdale) – Sioux Falls Stampede D.J. King – U.S. NTDP Under-18 Team * Erik Middendorf (Scottsdale) – U.S. NTDP Under-18 Team Adam Samuelsson – U..S. NTDP Under-18 Team * Ryan Savage (Scottsdale) – Omaha Lancers UNITED STATES PREMIER HOCKEY LEAGUE Adam Bricker (Scottsdale) – PAL Jr. Islanders (NCDC) Zach Canaan (Tempe) – Tampa Bay Juniors (Premier) Daniel Chambers (Phoenix) – PAL Jr. Islanders (Premier) Henry Dennee (Chandler) – Skipjacks Hockey Club (Premier) Sean Dickson – Hampton Roads Whalers (Premier) & Joe DiGiulio (Scottsdale) – Hampton Roads Whalers (Premier) Brett Dillon (Phoenix) – New Jersey Rockets (Premier) Jonas Edwards (Scottsdale) – Hampton Roads Whalers (Premier) Sage Englund (Scottsdale) – Northern Cyclones (NCDC) Dakota Gottlieb (Scottsdale) – Hampton Roads Whalers (Premier) Justin Jiang (Chandler) – Hampton Roads Whalers (Elite) Sebastian Llaneras (Phoenix) – Eugene Generals (Elite) Alec Miller (Peoria) – New Jersey Rockets (Elite) Fraizer Mohler (Phoenix) – Eugene Generals (Elite) Barrett Rosser (Scottsdale) – Atlanta Knights (Premier) Ethan Roswell (Paradise Valley) – Boston Jr. Bruins (NCDC) Jared Sanchez (Scottsdale) – Hampton Roads Whalers (Premier) Cameron Sniffin (Scottsdale) – Syracuse Stars (Premier) WESTERN HOCKEY LEAGUE Mark Kastelic (Phoenix) – Calgary Hitmen Jeremy Masella (Phoenix) – Victoria Royals Kaid Oliver – Victoria Royals & WESTERN STATES HOCKEY LEAGUE Brandon Bessee (Globe) – Oklahoma City Jr. Blazers Michael Caravella (Chandler) – Phoenix Knights Caleb Cavazos (Gilbert) – Phoenix Knights Noah Duke (Gilbert) – Phoenix Knights Chase Gillaspie (Gilbert) – Phoenix Knights Justin Gusso (Gilbert) – Phoenix Knights Kohl Hedquist (Tempe) – Phoenix Knights Anthony Masanotti – Phoenix Knights @ Ozzy Mason (Gilbert) – Phoenix Knights Joe Platt (Gilbert) – Phoenix Knights

Christian Reh – Phoenix Knights @ Colton Seeman (Phoenix) – Phoenix Knights Brennan Smith (Mesa) – Phoenix Knights Jeffrey Solomon (Mesa) – Phoenix Knights Ivan Vilcauskas (Phoenix) – Fresno Monsters Ryan Weick (Mesa) – Phoenix Knights Malcolm Williams (Gilbert) – Phoenix Knights PREP SCHOOL Jackson Birecki (Phoenix) – Tahoe Hockey Academy Alexis Ryan (Mesa) – Williston Northampton Jared Shuter (Prescott) – Tahoe Hockey Academy

NEW MEXICO COLLEGE HOCKEY NCAA DIVISION I – MEN ATLANTIC HOCKEY Jackson Barliant (Santa Fe) – Sacred Heart University NCAA DIVISION III – MEN NESCAC Nicholas Faturos (Albuquerque) – Amherst College UCHC Cory King (Albuquerque) – Chatham University NCAA DIVISION III – WOMEN NESCAC Kristen Molina (Albuquerque) – Amherst College JUNIOR HOCKEY NORTH AMERICAN 3 HOCKEY LEAGUE Josh Martinez (Las Cruces) – Roc City Royals ONTARIO HOCKEY LEAGUE Marcus Gretz (Albuquerque) - Flint Firebirds UNITED STATES PREMIER HOCKEY LEAGUE Nick Darrow (Rio Rancho) – Hampton Roads Whalers (Elite) WESTERN STATES HOCKEY LEAGUE Quinn Martin (Santa Fe) – Idaho IceCats

* former Jr. Coyote & former Arizona Bobcat % former Mission AZ @ former DYHA Jr. Sun Devil ! former Phoenix Firebird


How to avoid sticker shock to buy what you really need O


ccasionally, a customer walks through the doors of one of our locations and makes their way past the sea of sticks to the skate display. Their eyes go to the top row of the skate wall and on cue, they say, “Wow is

hockey equipment expensive.” Some are newer players, while some have been in the game a long time, but have not purchased new gear for a while. The ones that have played for years or decades tell us how their mom or dad bought CCM Tack skates in the ‘60s, ’70s or ‘80s and the cost. Given the cost of inflation, the skates they bought compared to the quality and price of the comparable skate today, they paid much more. Once we pull the new skates down, a smile comes over their face as they feel the weight and

stiffness of the skates. They usually want to feel what $900+ feels like, but once we move down the skate line, they are amazed at what you can get in the $150-300 range. Stories get thrown around of how their father put boiling water in the skates and then made them put their foot in to help mold the skates. We explain that skates nowadays get put in a special skate convection oven and we heat mold in the store. With this, the break in time is almost zero. We explain the removable steel and custom foot beds. They usually leave with a better understanding. It’s like going into a car dealership and the first car you see is a Ferrari. To the newer player, it takes good floor staff employees to find out what they are expecting out of a skate, explaining the benefits of each skate, from stiffness, to weight, to correct fit, and trying to get the customer in the skate that most suits their foot, budget and expectations. At our BTM Scottsdale store, we have a Bauer 3D fit center that gives skate size and model suggestions. At our other locations and as the industry has used for decades, we have skate Brannock devices for sizing. Moving to our sea of sticks, the first thing that stands out is the $260-299 sticks, but what often gets overlooked is the variety of sticks we have in the $44-69 range. Plus, with all the models there

always seems to be options for last year’s models on sale and for the same price or just a bit more, you can buy a composite stick, that gives much superior performance and comes with a 30-day manufacturer’s warranty. You might ask what the difference is between a $60 stick and a $299 stick? There are several, the main being weight. By using better composite and graphite materials, it reduces the weight and increases the performance. The less expensive sticks substitute these materials with fiberglass. Looking at helmets, you’ll notice that the entry-level helmets are far more protective than what top-level helmets were a couple decades ago. As concussions have come to the forefront of sports, the hockey companies have put in huge resources to improving protection and fit. Again, trust the store employees to help get you the proper helmet, from level of protection to fit. Now as you look at the other gear, such as shins, shoulder pads, elbow pads, pants and gloves, you can see that, yes, the top-of-the-line stuff is expensive, but what great value there is in the mid- and entry-level gear, the best bang for the buck being the mid-level gear. Once you get the proper education, you’ll find that there are levels of equipment in all price ranges. Most important is to get the proper education and fit from the store staff.

Randy Exelby is the owner of Behind The Mask Hockey Shops. 20

Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine

PICTURE PERFECT The Arizona Hockey Union Mite White 1 squad captured the Mite A championship at the Phoenix Presidents’ Day Invitational, wrapping up with an 8-3 win over the Arizona Bobcats on Feb. 19 at AZ Ice Arcadia.

Tucson Roadrunners forward Mario Kempe tallied his first career hat trick in Tucson’s 5-1 win March 2 on the road over the Cleveland Monsters. Photo/Tucson Roadrunners

The Arizona Hockey Union Mite White 2 team won the Mite B title at the Phoenix Presidents’ Day Invitational, culminating with a 10-7 win over the AHU Mite Black 1 team Feb. 19 at AZ Ice Arcadia.

The Jr. Coyotes’ 2006 Elite AAA team captured the Southwest Showdown tournament championship Feb. 19 after a 7-1 win over the hometown Dallas Stars in the title game.

An incredible number of players came out to the “Try Hockey For Free Day,” hosted by the New Mexico Amateur Hockey Association on March 3 at the McDermott Athletic Center (The MAC).

Arizona Coyotes forward Derek Stepan recorded his 400th NHL point on March 3 with an assist on a first-period goal by Oliver Ekman-Larsson as the Coyotes defeated the Ottawa Senators 2-1 at the Gila River Arena.Photo/UNorm Hall

The Arizona Bobcats captured their first-ever NAPHL Dixon Cup championship, winning the 16U division title Feb. 19, 3-2 in a shootout over Meijer AAA at the Troy Sports Center in suburban Detroit. Photo/NAHL

The Jr. Coyotes came away victors and claimed the Bantam A banner at the Phoenix Presidents’ Day Invitational, knocking off the Burnaby Winter Club 3-2 in the finals Feb. 19 at Oceanside Ice Arena.

Northern Arizona University hosted the Coyotes Alumni for an exhibition fundraising game on Feb. 17 at the Jay Lively Ice Rink and took a combined team photo after the game.

Submit your favorite hockey photos to!



Position: Forward, Arizona Coyotes Hometown: Belleville, Ontario, Canada Acquired: Traded from the Philadelphia Flyers on June 16, 2017 with goaltender Merrick Madsen in exchange for forward Brendan Warren and a fifth-round choice in the 2018 NHL Draft NHL Draft: Selected by Philadelphia in the third round (68th overall) of the 2011 NHL Draft Last Amateur Team: Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL) Age: 24 Arizona Rubber: What’s your favorite hockey memory growing up? Nick Cousins: It was getting drafted to the OHL. That’s really the stepping stone of your hockey career. I remember sitting by a computer with my family and then my name was called. It’s something I’ll never forget. AZR: What’s your favorite memory in the game since leaving junior hockey? NC: Obviously, it was my first NHL game. That’s up there as No. 1. A close second was my first NHL goal. The goal was in Philly when I was with the Flyers, and that was against Robin Lehner, who I actually played with in juniors. It’s pretty funny how it works out. AZR: Who have been the biggest influences on you, on and off the ice? NC: I know it’s sort of cliché, but it was probably my dad. He’s been there every step of the way. AZR: What’s the best piece of advice you have for young hockey players? NC: Just have fun. It’s all about having fun when you’re growing up and going to the rink with your friends. Have fun and keep working hard. Hopefully, good things will happen. AZR: Other than hockey, do you have a favorite sport to play? NC: I was a big soccer guy, actually. I love playing soccer and played prep soccer all the way through school. Finally, my dad made me choose one. I obviously chose hockey. AZR: Do you have any superstitions? NC: No, I’m pretty easy going. AZR: What does your game-day routine look like? NC: Have the morning skate, go home, have a nap, get something to eat and head to the rink for the game. I’ll tape my sticks and go over some video. Just approach each game the same way. AZR: Do you have a favorite meal or restaurant here in the Phoenix area? NC: My favorite restaurant is the Fat Ox down in Old Town Scottsdale. So yeah, it’s probably one of my favorites. AZR: What are some essential items you take on a road trip? NC: Cell phone charger – that’s important. Then probably my iPad and a toothbrush and some clothes. AZR: Did you have a favorite hockey player growing up? NC: Yeah, Mats Sundin. I grew up a Toronto Maple Leafs fan.

Photo/Norm Hall


Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine

- Compiled by Mark Brown

2018 CAHL

Spring/Summer Season

April - August


Register Before March 31st to Save! Offering men’s and women’s league play, skills clinics, open hockey and stick time sessions. Whether you are a beginner new to the sport, an experienced player or somewhere in between, the CAHL is your home for adult hockey in Arizona.

9375 E Bell Road Scottsdale, AZ 85260

7225 W Harrison Street Chandler, AZ 85226