Arizona Rubber Magazine - April 2018

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The Arizona Hockey Union takes pride in its successes in growing the game in the Valley by focusing on skill development, starting at the Mite level and progressing on up to its Junior A team


APRIL 2018



FROM THE EDITOR Time to exhale as youth seasons done, junior, pro start playoffs


he month of April is always bittersweet when it comes to hockey, isn’t it? I mean, it’s really the unofficial start of the offseason as youth teams wrap up USA Hockey Youth Nationals and around the same time, the NCAA champions are decided as well. Then again, junior leagues and pro leagues begin their quests to raise hardware at the end of a grueling playoff schedule. I’ve seen this on social media and I wholeheartedly agree – the best season of all isn’t spring, summer, fall or winter. It’s playoff hockey season. And that goes for all levels – youth on up to Matt Mackinder the NHL. The stakes are higher, no one can take shifts off and each game matters. Players leave it all on the ice with hopes of sharing a banner or trophy at the end. There is still some great hockey left this season, so enjoy the ride! Until next month… Check out this huge step for women’s hockey! Arizona State University announced recently that the school will be hosting the 2019 Western Women’s Collegiate Hockey League (WWCHL) playoffs in Las Vegas next February. The tournament will take place Feb. 22-24 at City National Arena, the practice facility of the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights. Women’s collegiate hockey will be brought to the Las Vegas desert for the first time in history and will showcase the top six teams in the WWCHL to compete for the conference title. The champion will receive a bid to the ACHA Division I National Championships. More good news on the women’s side as Plattsburgh State University sophomore blueliner Hannah Kiraly was named a First Team NCAA Division III All-American at the end of the 2017-18 season. Kiraly, a Glendale native, played in all 30 games for the Cardinals and totaled three goals and 18 assists for 21 points. We can’t wait to see her back on the ice in the fall! Sticking with the college theme here, the ASU men’s team announced three spring signings to its incoming freshman class. The trio of new Sun Devils includes forward P.J. Marrocco, defenseman Jarrod Gourley and goaltender Evan DeBrouwer. They join forwards Derek Brown, Jordan Sandhu and Demetrios Koumontzis (a former Jr. Coyote) and defenseman Josh Maniscalco, who signed last fall. “This class of seven players really helps us round out our roster from a skill-set standpoint and gives us tremendous depth up and down our lineup,” said ASU coach Greg Powers. “I think what our fans will see particularly with this class is a level of skill that we haven’t necessarily had. What really excites me most about adding this group is it will allow us to play everyone on our roster to their strengths as hockey players. All seven of these players complement our team very well and we are eagerly anticipating putting it all together this season.” The Sun Devils finished the 2017-18 season 8-21-5. The Albuquerque-based New Mexico Ice Hockey (NMICE) has announced its 2018-19 travel hockey coaches. Stan Hubbard (Squirt), Dylan Martin (Pee Wee), Phil Fox (Bantam) and Richard Shanks (Midget) will be behind NMICE benches next season. Keep New Mexico hockey growing! We also want to continue to keep the Humboldt Broncos team in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League in our thoughts and prayers after the terrible bus accident that impacted the team back on April 6. While none of the players or staff were from Arizona, we still keep the team close to our heart. And from the looks of social media, so has the rest of the world. Not just the hockey world, but the WHOLE world! #PrayersForHumboldt

Contact Matt Mackinder at 4

Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine

Arizona Rubber Magazine is published by: Mackinder Media, LLC, P.O. Box 373 Goodrich, MI 48438, 10 times a year, once monthly September through May and once in the summer. Postmaster: send address changes to: P.O. Box 373 Goodrich, MI 48438 Ph. (248) 890-3944 Email: Subscription Rates: $49.95 USD * Single Copy: $3.95 USD Mail subscriptions to: P.O. Box 373 Goodrich, MI 48438 Subscriptions are non-refundable REPORT AN ERROR IMMEDIATELY Arizona Rubber Magazine will not be responsible for more than one incorrect insertion Visit our Web site at: Like us on Facebook: Follow us on Twitter: @AZRubberHockey

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With one more regular-season IHAAZ festival in Prescott before state finals the first weekend in May, the inline hockey circuit is building towards a fantastic finish to the 2017-18 campaign. More on IHAAZ on Page 16. Photo/IHAAZ

ON THE COVER The Arizona Hockey Union’s Mite White team captured its division championship recently at the Pioneer Classic in Denver. Pictured front row kneeling, from left to right, are Tripp Neujahr, Liam Bump, Ethan Saline, Jackson Chuck and Noah Stanley. Pictured middle row kneeling, from left to right, are Brayden Willis, Colton Dean and Reagan Rivera. Pictured standing, from left to right, are Ethan Standley, Alex Gauthier, Wyatt Porter, Kai DeAngelis, Lucas Ishu, Declan Sandoval, Conor Smith and Rory Weekly. Coaches, from left to right, are Mike Weekly, Bruce Willis and Steve Ishu. Not pictured: strength and conditioning coach Will Porter, manager Jennifer Ishu and manager Kelsey Malinski. Photo/Amy Rivera

Paradise Valley talent Spillum Jr. Coyotes make waves, reach picks NCAA D-I Colorado College 15U USA Hockey national semis By Matt Mackinder

By Matt Mackinder



ake that three Arizona natives off to NCAA Division I schools this fall. After Erik Middendorf (Scottsdale, Jr. Coyotes, Colorado College) and Nathan Burke (Scottsdale, Jr. Coyotes, St. Cloud State University) committed earlier in the 2017-18 season, Paradise Valley native and Arizona Bobcats alum Keenan Spillum chose Colorado College late last month. Spillum is in his second season with the NAHL’s Aberdeen Wings and fourth season of NAHL hockey overall. Before playing in Aberdeen, Spillum spent two-plus seasons with the Corpus Christi Ice Rays and has played more than 200 games at the NAHL level. During the current 2017-18 season, Spillum has recorded a career-high 17 points in 54 games. He was also selected to play in the 2018 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament for the Central Division team back in February at the USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Mich. “Keenan is one of the highest character players I have ever coached,” said Aberdeen head coach Scott Langer. “He is a player that’s committed to doing things the right way each and every day. Keenan’s ability to think the game at a very high level will make him an exceptional college hockey player.” “I am extremely humbled and blessed to announce my commitment to Colorado College,” added Spillum. “Colorado College is an excellent school with great opportunities allowing me to excel in the classroom and on the ice. With that being said, I would like to thank my family, the Wings organization, the Odde family (Wings ownership), Coach Langer, (assistant) Coach (Anthony) Bohn and all of my past and present teammates for guiding me and pushing me to where I am now.” Colorado College finished the 2017-18 season with a 15-17-5 overall record, including an 8-12-4 mark in the ultra-competitive NCHC. The Tigers are coached by Mike Haviland, who just finished his fourth season with CC and recently signed a contract extension. He won a Stanley Cup in 2010 as an assistant coach with the Chicago Blackhawks.

he Jr. Coyotes’ 15U AAA team made an amazing run at the USA Hockey Youth Nationals 15 Only Tier I tournament over the first weekend in April, reaching the semifinals on April 9, where they bowed out 3-1 to the Buffalo Jr. Sabres at the USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Mich. Timmy Treadway scored a power-play goal for the Jr. Coyotes in the semifinal loss, while Jake Hall was solid in net for Shane Doan’s club. Over the course of the event, the Jr. Coyotes opened with a 6-5 win over CCYHA, then suffered a 3-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues before rebounding with a 3-2 win over the Minnesota Blue Ox to finish the round robin portion of the event. In the quarterfinals, an offensive battle saw the Jr. Coyotes knock off the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies 7-5 as Riley Stuart went for two goals and two assists and Josh Doan added a goal and two helpers for the Jr. Coyotes. Other Arizona teams competed in national competition across the country during various national tournaments. Pinnacle High School – The AHSHA Division 1 state champs went to Plymouth, Minn., last month and downed JSerra (Calif.) 3-1 before falling in the next two games, 2-1 to the Rushmore Thunder (S.D.) and 3-2 to Jesuit (Fla.). AZ Lady Coyotes – District champs, the Lady Coyotes’ 19U team went to the girls Tier II tournament in Marlborough, Mass., losing to the St. Lawrence Steel, eventual champion East Coast Wizards and the Concord Capitals. DYHA Jr. Sun Devils – Three teams from DYHA (14U, 16U, 18U) went to Nationals – the 14U club to Amherst, N.Y., the 16U team to Wayne, N.J., and the 18U squad to Green Bay, Wis. More coverage on the Jr. Sun Devils run at Nationals is on Page 10. Arizona Hockey Union – The AHU 16U Silver team traveled to Wayne, N.J., and played well, but suffered close defeats to the Atlanta Fire (2-1) and NH Avalanche (2-0) before defeating the Everett Jr. Silvertips 2-0 to close the event as Guy Blessing notched the shutout.


State of the Union AHU’s investment in youth development paying dividends from Mites through Junior A sons, such as being accountable for your actions and doing things that help the team more than individuality.”

By Bryan O’Sullivan


ust as the state playdowns were wrapping up for the older players, the Arizona Hockey Union Mite players were engaged in their own battle. Growth of AHU Mite teams from all over the state took the ice for the last Mite Jamboree of the year AHU prides itself on the growth they have produced. on March 24-25, hosted by the Flagstaff Youth Hockey Association. What made this Fielding teams from Mite to Midgets, as well as an in-house Junior A team, the jamboree different from the others was that there would be one team that would skate Phoenix Knights that play in the Western States Hockey League, the development of away with it all and be crowned state champions. the players is evident at every level. That team was the AHU Mite White Knights. Knowing that all players develop at different rates and in ways, AHU coach-in-chief Entering the final tournament of the season, Mite White, led by head coach Bruce Kurt Goar understands the importance of having the right coaches in place. Willis, was looking to continue the successes they had during the 2017-18 year. “To grow hockey in Phoenix, we must as coaches be committed to developing Led by third-year players Brayden Willis, Lucas Ishu and Wyatt Porter, Mite players the right way,” said Goar. “We have hand-picked our coaches to ensure that White was able to put up a perfect 6-0 record in round robin play. Entering the playoffs, the skills and techniques taught on the ice are the skills and techniques that will further they knew they would have to remain perfect in order to continue on. And they did just a player’s game.” that, securing three more wins to get to the championship game versus the Arizona The Union has done this with hometown native Colten St. Clair, a Gilbert native Bobcats. and 2016 NCAA Division I national champiWith solid goaltending from Reagan Rion with the University of North Dakota, as the vera and defensive leadership from Porter, the head skills coach. Bringing an elite-level mindKnights were able to cap off a championship set to the organization is something St. Clair is season with a 4-1 victory over the Bobcats. elated to give. According to Porter, “We have to protect “The goal of the program is to develop the our goalies and when we do that, we have fun entire person as the focus is on building lastand we win.” ing character, both on and off the ice,” said St. When asked how he thought the tournaClair. “The game of hockey is about the team ment went, Ishu replied by saying, “It was aweand learning to work within the strategies and some.” team concepts while also recognizing the creBrayden Willis led the charge for the ative aspects that come with the game.” Knights with 18 goals and 10 assists in 10 A common problem for any team is that games. Assisting on many of Willis’ goals were there is never enough ice time during the seaIshu and Porter. son to hit all areas of a player’s development. “Lucas and Wyatt are fun to play with and From learn to skate to the NHL, players are when we play well, we are pretty good,” said continuously seeking out camps, clinics and Willis. The Arizona Hockey Union’s Squirt White team won the Arizona Amateur Hockey Asso- classes to fine-tune the different facets of their Looking to keep their winning ways going, ciation’s state championship last month by defeating the Arizona Bobcats 2-1, despite game. Mite White, now eligible to play full-ice games, being outshot 21-14. Arguably the most important of these skills recently traveled to Colorado entered the DU is skating. Holly Harrington, AHU’s power Pioneer Classic hockey tournament for gradskating director and coach, breaks it down into uating Mites. the simplest form. The first game pitted them against the Col“If you can’t skate, you can’t play,” she said. orado Spartans. They were outplayed early but Teaching the proper way to skate, where were able to come back from multiple two-goal each stride is efficient, is her specialty. deficits. Ishu played the hero late in the game “The idea is to sharpen these skills to the to tie it up and the Knights won it in a shootout point of perfection, where skating correctly by a 7-6 score. becomes a habit,” Harrington said. “Once you The Knights went undefeated the on their achieve this level of expertise, the rewards beway to the finals where they faced the Colocome numerous. You will notice speed, power rado-based Krivo School of Hockey Elite. In a and quickness as well as the hidden benefits of hard-fought game, Mite White came out on top confidence, endurance and versatility.” yet again by a score of 3-2, winning the secHarrington has also been working with ond tournament in two weeks, and first of their Mite-aged players for the better part of 20 three-day-old Squirt careers. years and enjoys their endless bounds of enerWhite’s weekend in Denver was very sucgy and willingness to try. She mentions that the cessful. Not only did they win the tourney, but most important thing to consider when coachthey gained a tremendous amount of growth. For Arizona Hockey Union Pee Wee Black defenseman Sydney Pinti, “It was exciting ing Mite players is that it needs to be fun so “For it being our first full-ice experience, our raising the state trophy and celebrating with my teammates.” AHU downed the Arizona that the players can develop the love for the kids settled in to the full ice very nicely,” said Bobcats 5-0 in the title game. game. Bruce Willis. “Each player contributed to the success of the team, each having some “In my opinion, the most important thing that Mite/Squirt players need to embrace is contribution. We were again led by the usual suspects, Brayden Willis, Lucas Ishu, the act of competition,” said Willis. “It is my belief that if there is never any resistance, Wyatt Porter and Ethan Standley, but the combination of Colton Dean and Reagan then there is never a chance to improve. Children need to learn how to compete, no Rivera in the net truly was the backstop to the championship.” matter what they are competing for. It is a life lesson that I truly enjoy helping with.” When asked to what he attributes his team’s success to, Willis responded that it It’s tough to argue that based on the amount of success AHU has had. was a team effort. So what is the driving factor for the growth of AHU’s players? “I can attribute the success of our team as a whole to the dedication and the work Harrington notes that the coaches are just as excited as the players in achieving ethic of not only the children, but the families of the children,” said Willis. “The commit- the season’s goals. She believes they are successful because they set realistic goals. ment of time, energy and money by the families involved is a huge reason why these Willis believes that a relationship of trust between the players, coaches and families kids are successful. That being said, I truly believe that our team was successful this provide great value when it comes to the player development. season was because the kids worked hard, listened and ultimately, had fun. As a staff, “Family support of the child and the coaching staff goes a long way when it comes we were able to keep practices fun while teaching not only hockey skills but life les- to the success of the team,” Willis noted. 6

Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine


OneHockey adult tourney set to invade Las Vegas in July By Kevin Conway


ow widely recognized throughout the industry as the best organizer of youth hockey tournaments across the globe, where better than the one and only Las Vegas for OneHockey to host its first-ever adult event this summer? As many as 30 men’s teams will bask in the OneHockey Experience in town for an extraordinary weekend, on and off the ice. OneHockey Las Vegas, a three-day, threegame guaranteed event, will take place July 13-15 and features three divisions (21-plus, 30-plus, and 40plus), each including various skill-level categories. All games will take place at Vegas’ new City National Arena, the practice facility of the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights, with all team accommodations arranged for at the 5-Star/4-Diamond Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa. Both locations are just minutes away from the famous Las Vegas Strip. “We’ve secured the best facility to play in and one of the nicest resorts to stay in,” said OneHockey CEO Sebastien Fortier. “And they couldn’t be more convenient since they’re right across the street from each other. “We’ve wanted to start hosting regular tournaments for adults for many years, and when the opportunity came to hold our first in Las Vegas at a brand-new hockey facility, it was a no-brainer that we couldn’t refuse.” Each squad must roster a minimum of 10 players with a maximum of 19, including at least one goaltender. Out-

of-town teams must agree to at least a three-night hotel stay that will include a OneHockey closing reception for all players on Saturday night followed by the championship games on Sunday. “We’re famous for spoiling the kids at all our event,” said Fortier. “And we’re prepared to do the same for the guys.” The players will be introduced to the OneHockey Experience once they arrive at the OneHockey-branded City National Arena, which houses the Golden Knights’ front offices, features two

NHL-size ice sheets, and serves as Southern Nevada’s new regional headquarters for adult and youth hockey. Every player will receive a surprise welcome gift, and game MVP awards will be handed out after each game to both squads. Complimentary beverages will also be provided in the locker rooms following the contests. Players can also take part in the highly-acclaimed OneHockey red carpet social media interviews in the arena lobby.

Away from the arena, OneHockey players can tour the Vegas sites, thanks to courtesy shuttle service from the Red Rock Casino to the Strip throughout their stay. Or they can instead relax at the three-acre Sandbar Pool, which features 19 cabanas, a lounging area, upbeat music, and poolside gaming, all creating the perfect social atmosphere. A poolside cafe also offers cool cocktails, specialty drinks, and a refreshing menu. Inside, the Red Rock Casino rivals any of the Vegas Strip hotels to test your luck with more than 2,700 of the latest slot and video poker machines, table games, and two high-limit areas. If that’s not enough, the Race and Sports Book offers an unmatched experience with giant-screen TVs and individual monitors where you can lay down a bet and catch your favorite pro teams in action. Want to play in the OneHockey Las Vegas spectacular but don’t have a team to suit up with? No problem. OneHockey is registering individual players as well, building the rosters and providing the jerseys, so the work is done for you. That way you’re guaranteed not to miss out. “We’ve really thought of everything,” said Fortier, who operates OneHockey, a worldwide 25-plus event, yearround tournament group, from his Laguna Hills home. “The guys who play in OneHockey Las Vegas will find it tough to play in any other men’s tournament after they see what we have planned for them.” For more information or to register for OneHockey Las Vegas, click on the “Adult Tournaments tab at www.



Arizona Hockey Union duo celebrates state championships By Bryan O’Sullivan


pair of Arizona Hockey Union teams captured Arizona Amateur Hockey Association state championships as the 2017-18 season came to a close last month. SQUIRT WHITE Former NBA star Michael Jordan once said, “Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” For AHU Squirt White, winning a state championship is a testament that obstacles can be overcome. The team started out the regular season losing four of the first six games and sat in last place. But as legendary NFL coach Mike Ditka once stated, “You’re never a loser until you quit trying.” The Knights made it to the championship in three out of the five tournaments they entered, only to fall in the end. It seemed they were destined to be a second-place team. Squirt White ended the regular season winning four of their last six games to secure second place in seeding and started to show the strength of the team. The start of playdowns saw the team go undefeated, finishing 3-0-1 in round robin play to finish as the top seed. They drew the 07 AAA Bobcats in the state championship. The Knights scored first midway through the


Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine

first with Lucas Paliwodzinski assisting on E.J. Green’s goal. Through the second period, the Knights maintained the lead with solid goaltending from Dominic Seligman. Early in the third, with the Knights shorthanded, Green extended the lead with a fantastic solo effort for the shorthanded goal. With White now up 2-0, the Bobcats turned up the pressure with a barrage of shots, finally breaking through with a goal in the last three minutes. The stellar shutdown defense of Squirt White thwarted the Bobcats push, earning them the state championship with a final score of 2-1, despite being outshot 21-14. In a season full of obstacles, Squirt White found ways to overcome them and come out on top. With the core of the team having been together for the last three years, the future looks very bright. Next year, the team will move up to the Pee Wee level. PEE WEE BLACK AHU PeeWee Black’s journey to the state championship can only be described as a true team effort. With 11 returners and four new but experienced players joining the team, the game plan at the start of the season was simply this: Games would be won in practice and then once the puck drops, channel your inner desire, discipline and dedication to get the job done. This mantra held true through the final game of the season. In league play, the team ended up finishing as the second seed, one point removed from the first-

place Bobcats 11U, a team they split the season series with. Pee Wee Black progressed through round robin play with a perfect 4-0 record, outscoring their opponents 28-7. As luck would have it, the Knights met the Bobcats in the championship game. The Knights set the tone quickly by scoring 2:37 into the first period. That was all that they needed as goaltender Nathan Graybill stopped all 23 shots for the shutout. They went on to score four more times to roll to a 5-0 win, securing the state championship. In true team fashion, all five Knights goals were scored by different players. In addition to the strong play of Graybill, allowing only seven goals in five games, forwards Matthew Benzing (eight goals, seven assists), River Lewis (six goals, eight assists) and Kai Hohoff (six goals, seven assists) combined to score 20 of the 33 AHU goals. When asked how the state championship differed from other tournaments, defenseman Zach Delsante said, “Winning the state championship felt different because a lot of us know kids on the other teams and it really felt like we knew who we beat.” Sydney Pinti, also a defenseman, was thrilled to capture a state title: “After we won, it was exciting raising the state trophy and celebrating with my teammates.” Pee Wee Black finished the season with an impressive 40-10-1 record. Next season, they move up to Bantams. ​​

NORTHERN ARIZONA UNIVERSITY Woody Tournament the perfect platform for NAU to give back

FLAGSTAFF YOUTH HOCKEY ASSOCIATION Flagstaff program part of the growth in girls game in Arizona

By Matt Mackinder

By Stephani Allen



hen Doug Allan started the NAU Woody Tournament 12 years ago to raise money for Bill Woods’ family after he passed away, nobody could have imagined what the event has morphed into in 2018. This year’s tournament is slated for April 20-22 at Oceanside Ice Arena in Tempe. Allan, a member of the NAU Sports Hall of Fame and former coach, passed on the tournament to the Northern Arizona University hockey program as a fundraiser and in 2017, NAU donated all the proceeds to Brian “Shadow” Smith after a freak accident just weeks prior to the tournament. “When ‘Woody’ passed away from heart complications, he and his buddies had just won a U.S. Pond Hockey championship,” remembered Allan. “He had always been in great shape, so this news came as a shock to all who knew him. “Like most hockey guys, I decided we needed to do something to honor our fallen pal and to help his family at the same time. I organized a small event at the Jay Lively Arena in town – a 3-on-3, side-to-side format, bumper pads on each blue line and it was fun. From there, our little event got increasingly popular.” The event features two divisions – Over 50 and Young Guns. Players that skated at NAU back in the 1960s participate in the tournament. One participant, Bill Davis, a 1976 NAU graduate, said Allan “demonstrates a measure of human kindness and integrity that is almost unmatched in NAU Nation.” “It was Doug’s tireless efforts that made this tournament get the necessary traction to be an annual success,” said Davis. “Over the 10 years of the fundraiser, Doug’s fingerprints were all over the three-day tournament. Doug would admit that NAU alumni took care of all the family’s expenses, but he made a number of calls to make this event happen.”

irls are rising into competitive hockey here in Arizona and we’re seeing an increase even up here in our mountain town. This year, the FYHA Northstars had five girls playing at a competitive level, which is more than we have seen in quite some time. Between ASU women’s hockey, Lyndsey Fry and the AZ Lady Coyotes putting on more and more clinics to reach out to the girls, we’re seeing the interest in this amazing sport grow like never before. At the club level, we have six girls registered and we’re hoping with the help of the Little Howlers that we will have more come to try it out. This last year alone, we had three girls at the 12U White division go undefeated in the state tournament and another one of our girls, Lily Sabol, be an integral part of the 10U White state championship team. Stephani Allen, board member for FYHA Northstars: “It has been great to see our association open up and find more ways to have gals involved. This year, we were able to have one of our local girls who is fortunate enough to play on the Lady Coyotes 14U team have practices up here. However, the more we can get the exposure for this sport out there to more female athletes, the better. We hope that we can continue to work as a hockey community within our state and grow this sport. We have so much female talent amongst all of the associations here in Arizona and for that, we feel proud and excited to be a part of it.” Something the FYHA association would like to implement in 201819 is hosting a few of those clinics in Flagstaff in an effort to make it more accessible for local girls to participate. We will keep everyone posted on the progress.


What you need to know coaching today’s hockey player T

St. Clair

oday’s generation is way different than any other generation we have seen yet. The resources they have and can tap into are endless. So what exactly is this group of young individuals looking for in a coach?

The answer is easy: TRUST. They all want to trust the person telling them what to do on the ice. In this column, I will explain all the things I believe coaches should be teaching their group of young athletes. Trust is something that is hard to come by these days. All players want to be able to trust their coach

and you can gain trust by communicating with your team. They want to be told how they are doing, whether it is good or bad. The trust will eventually set in if you stay consistent. COMMITMENT This is the toughest thing to get you players to do, to be fully committed to a team atmosphere. The more you teach commitment and how to be a team player, the better off everyone will be. They have to believe that what they are doing for the team is what is also best for them individually. CREATIVITY Some of the best players are the creative ones because they see more plays, and because you are allowing them to use more than just one skill set at a time. Teach your players to be creative at the right times. Teach them the situations in which it is OK to try some new things. CHARACTER The players need to have respect for the game

and their peers. Character is a huge thing because every team goes through the ups and downs of a season and it’s great character that will keep them more on the upside of things more likely than not. We have to start teaching kids to have character because that allows them to be coachable when they move on into their career. COMPETE LEVEL This is the most underrated skill. Yes, compete level is a skill that not everyone has, but it is a skill that everyone can control. If you are having a bad day feeling the puck, you can always rely on your compete level to still make sure you have a good game. Teach them that no matter how good you may be, competing is what makes you even better. There is a lot that goes into being a coach. You have to learn every day so that your players can feed off of you and learn every day as well. Every coach is different, but I feel with today’s generation, the kids have to trust their coaches before they fully buy in to what you are building.

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 trio makes strides at USA Hockey Youth Nationals By Jack Harris

points to lead the team. Church played all four games in net and finished with a 3.44 goals-against average and a .894 save percentage. The 16U Jr. Sun Devils, meanwhile, went to Wayne, N.J., to take part in the 2A 16U Tier II Nationals. After opening the tournament with a close 3-2 loss to the Carolina Eagles, the Jr. Devils bounced back with a


he DYHA Jr. Sun Devils season wrapped on a high note this month, with three teams from the organization representing the club and state at USA Hockey Youth Nationals. “It says we are doing some of the right things,” said DYHA director of hockey operations and coach-inchief Brad McCaughey. “Every year is going to be different and we had pretty solid teams this year.” The Jr. Sun Devils sent three Tier II teams to Nationals at the 14U, 16U and 18U levels. The 18U Jr. Sun Devils advanced out of their group in Green Bay, Wis. The Midgets lost their first two group games in the three-team group, 1-0 loss to the Casco Bay Mariners and a 6-5 shootout loss to Avalanche Red. Needing a win in their Saturday game, the Jr. Devils knocked off the Alaska Wolves 2-1. Kole Goldberg and Justin Sturm scored goals The three DYHA Jr. Sun Devils teams that qualified for the USA Hockey in the second and third period of the game while Youth Nationals gathered at Oceanside Ice Arena earlier this month to goaltender Kevin Church made 24 saves to help accept a donation from the Arizona Coyotes prior to departing for their the Jr. Sun Devils reach the 2A national quarterfinal. respective national tournaments. The DYHA 18Us were drawn against the Ashburn dominant 6-1 win over the Twin Bridges Lightning. Xtreme in the win-or-go-home knockout game and Jakob Wreschner got the scoring started for Cole Kamin scored a goal late in the first period to DYHA in the win, lighting the lamp twice in the first keep the team in it. Joey Grams scored a third period period before completing a hat trick in the second. goal and Church made 38 saves, but it wasn’t enough Kaden Krueger, Josh Brown and Scott Kinsey in an eventual 5-2 loss to Ashburn. also all scored in the win and goalie Antoine Pare Goldberg and Spencer Zach both recorded three made 11 saves on 12 shots.


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Wreschner scored again in the 16U’s final pool play game, but it wasn’t enough in a 4-1 loss to the Atlanta Phoenix. Wreschner and Brown each tallied four points in the national tournament to tie for the team lead while Pare saved 85 total shots. The DYHA 14U Jr. Sun Devils headed to the Northeast too, traveling to Amherst, N.Y. After opening the tournament with a 3-0 loss to the Maine Moose, the Bantam Jr. Devils bounced back in their second game, too, a 6-4 win against the Bowling Green Ice Cats. In the win, the Jr. Sun Devils went into a quick 2-0 hole before Stephen Sica got DYHA on the board late in the first period. In the second, A.J. Fryer, Sica and Kaidan Willa all scored for DYHA to take a 4-2 lead heading into the final frame. Bowling Green scored two quick goals in the third before George Kuehn and Sica tacked on a pair of even strength goals to give DYHA the win. In their group stage finale, Jr. Sun Devils goalies Christopher Walgren and George Serbin combined to make 49 saves, but the team lost 7-0 to the Gulf Coast Flames to bring their season to an end. Overall, the three DYHA teams competing at Nationals won three games and scored 24 total goals. It was a landmark week for the organization after it sent just a single team to Nationals last season. As McCaughey said before the teams left: “That’s the goal for all those teams. Going to Nationals is the ultimate goal, so it’s super exciting.”

July 20-22, 2018

Canlan Ice Sports | 1581 W Normantown Rd | Romeoville, IL 60446


The Pre-College Hockey Showcase is the premier showcase to allow junior hockey players 16-20 years old to gain firsthand instruction and interaction from Division I and Division III NCAA coaches, and to develop a better understanding of what is needed to transition to the NCAA hockey level.


Dartmouth College NCAA D-I assistant coach


The showcase will feature coaches from NCAA D-I Dartmouth, as well as NCAA D-III schools Finlandia, UMass Boston, SUNY Cortland, SUNY Brockport, Trine, Aurora and Marian, with more to be announced!


Finlandia University NCAA D-III head coach

Please email

IN A DEVILISH MOOD To have on-ice success, believe and you will achieve W e all have fond memories of witnessing the incredible, improbable, victory by a team that was not supposed to win. We all know that any team can win on any given night in a onegame scenario. A slew of things can happen that McCaughey can lead to the underdog team winning: penalties, letting in a few bad goals, a hot goaltender, you name it. One underdog winning a game is one thing, but the most impressive stories are those when the underdog makes a run through a tournament or upsets a few teams in the playoffs and gets them in a position to do what nobody thought they could do – win a championship. There are countless examples of this happening in the hockey world with one of the most famous ones being the “Miracle on Ice” when Herb Brooks led his team onto the ice against the heavily-favored Russians and pulled off one of the biggest upsets in sports history. Some people refer to these feats as “lucky wins” or

“hot streaks.” While luck may have played a role, there is one factor prevalent in all these that is probably the toughest for any coach to get – belief! The players on these teams believed they could win. I know that seems like a simple comment, but I am telling you that it is not as simple as just saying “I believe we can win.” Speaking the words is easy, but truly deep down believing it is another. These players bought into the coach’s system and truly believed that if they played the game a certain way and gave 110 percent that they could actually win. Without this belief, most likely that team would have lost. There is a saying that winning teams find ways to win and losing teams find ways to lose. This is absolutely true. When you are playing in a one-goal game with five minutes left, winning teams believe that they are going to win, whereas losing teams HOPE they win. The New England Patriots are a great example of this. They could be down by 17 points with four minutes left, but you are waiting to see how they will complete this comeback. How does New England do this? Belief plays a major role. While that belief is hard to achieve at the professional level, it is much harder at the youth sports level. It is very easy these days for kids to say, “I can’t do that”

or “We can’t beat them.” Kids see things in black and white – either they are better than the other team or they are not. This is the easiest way out for our kids these days. It is easier to create an excuse than it is to dig deep down, give everything you have, play a certain way and find a way to win the game. It is pretty to watch when you see a team that has figured out its identity, come together as a team, and play the game in a way that gives them a chance to beat a more physically-talented team. These players are doing the little things that win hockey games like backchecking, blocking shots, not allowing outnumbered situations while being patient and taking advantage of their scoring opportunities when they get them. They frustrate their opponent by playing solid defensive hockey. In a sport that seems to be dominated by talent, especially at the younger ages, hard work and belief can tilt the scales. As a coach or parent, getting your kids to “buy in to the system” can be the most rewarding thing you have ever done. Oh, and by the way, it could also be the hardest thing you have ever done. So, for those of you that have figured it out, please let me know the secret!

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



Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine


Bobcats make move, call Ice Den Chandler new home By Matt Mackinder


or Arizona Bobcats hockey director Ron Filion, the decision to move his program to the Ice Den Chandler will help two programs work towards a common goal. The Bobcats and Jr. Coyotes associations will both skate out of Chandler, but that will not be an issue for Filion or the Jr. Coyotes. “When this project was first presented to me, it really got me thinking of all the advantages that such an affiliation would do for the Bobcats and our hockey community in general if we all put our effort on working towards a common goal, instead of against each other, aside from competing on the ice,” said Filion. “Combing energy and resources to work together will eliminate many issues that were holding both our programs back in producing even more talent. As a result, Arizona players will be afforded more opportunities to develop and advance their careers.” Coyotes Ice president Mike O’Hearn is on board with making the transition for the Bobcats a smooth one. “Integration of all of our hockey programs may be the largest impact we’ll notice at Ice Den Chandler,” said O’Hearn. “We’ve enjoyed robust growth in all our programs since we acquired the Chandler facility in 2014. We place a premium on quality and program di-

versity, and we’ve prided ourselves on maintaining the balance between the hockey and skating worlds. We viewed this venture in a similar way. We’ve operated a very strong house/development model that mirrors our Scottsdale CDP program under the guidance of Scott Gruber and Gary Ihling. Kenny Corupe has done a wonderful job with our Tier II travel package. “Given the size of the Scottsdale facility, with its three ice sheets, we were able to shift Kenny’s program from Chandler to Scottsdale to integrate with our Tier II program and support Marc Fritsche’s Elite program. In doing so, we paved the way to invite the Bobcats to Chandler.” Fritsche said seeing two AAA programs coexist under “one roof” is all a matter of common respect. “Ron Filion and the Bobcats program have been a worthy adversary of the Jr. Coyotes for almost a decade,” said Fritsche. “The competition has only made both programs that much more competitive. Recently, our Jr. Coyotes proudly watched our 15U Elite team take the bronze medal at the USA Hockey Youth Nationals in Michigan. This is the first time an Arizona-based Tier I team has not only made it through the district playdowns but medaled nationally. We and the Bobcats be-

lieve that working in unison, we can further strengthen the overall growth of hockey in Arizona while ensuring greater opportunities for the best players at all age levels to thrive.” Filion noted that another similarity between the Bobcats and Jr. Coyotes are the common goals organization-wide. “We want to advance kids to junior and college hockey,” said Filion. “Having two organizations pushing to develop the best players in Arizona will allow them more opportunities to realize their dream. Both our goals are to develop two top Tier I programs – programs built on hard work and respect to represent Arizona well in the country. We have a lot of good players in Arizona and it’s time to get them working together. Every association in the Valley has developed quality players that are ready to play at the next level. The Bobcats have worked with Mission Hockey for many years and Jeremy Goltz has always had the best interest of his players in mind and understands how it works. We all lose players that we are counting on every year, but we can’t stop a kid from moving up. If they do, it means we did a good job and Arizona can be proud. “It takes time, but each season, we make great strides.”

Congratulations to the 2017-2018 Jr. Coyotes Tier l Elite 15 Only Players & Coaches




AHSHA spring puck serving as precursor to ‘18-19 season By Matt Mackinder


pril is here, and that means that the latest edition of the Arizona High School Hockey Association (AHSHA) Spring Hockey League has arrived as well. This season, there are six teams in Division A and nine teams in Division B. Games began April 2 and will run through May 23 with the contests being played at the Ice Den Chandler, Ice Den Scottsdale, Oceanside Ice Arena and AZ Ice Arcadia. Tait Green is an AHSHA Board of Directors member and heads up the spring league’s skills clinics. It’s his first season in this role, but he’s enjoying the league so far. “There have been many versions of the AHSHA spring league over the years, not sure how many, but we are excited for this season,” said Green. “There is a need for spring league because there is a need for skill development with AHSHA players. These kids do not get enough practice during the season. More time on the ice, more touches with the puck and more understanding of the game will only make our league stronger.”


All games are played in a 4-on-4 format with each team playing 10 games and participating in two 90-minute skills clinics – one already took place last month and one will take place at the end of April. These sessions are conducted by AHSHA Premier and Team Arizona coaches. “Skills clinics are designed to help players in all areas of their game rather than a team-focused system practice,” explained Green. The 4-on-4 format is a great way for hockey players to work on implementing new dekes, moves and skills while having fun with their teammates and friends. Hockey is meant to be fun, fast and highly skilled, and the AHSHA Spring Hockey League was created with this in mind – to provide players with more open ice to handle the puck, generate speed, create offensive opportunities and to encourage players to utilize and develop their skills. This also allows the goalies to react to and experience more action. As for the roster makeup, any player from any AHSHA program can play, including eighth graders who will be ninth graders in the fall. Graduating seniors are ineligible, but some have stepped up to

Barons Eagles Maroons

Senators Tigers Wanderers



Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine

serve as teams’ assistant coaches. Head coaches are current AHSHA fall league coaches. Green said the need for the spring league is a simple one. “I just want kids to become better hockey players,” said Green. “It will make AHSHA a more competitive league. I have definitely witnessed a growth in numbers and interest. People are starting see the benefit in letting a kid play both tier and high school hockey. And I think the kids are seeing how much fun it can be to play for their school in front of their school peers.” And as high school hockey in Arizona continues to grow in numbers, popularity and its competitive nature, Green is banking on the spring league to serve as a springboard to improved teams this fall when the AHSHA regular season gets underway. “I think we will grow by making better players and better coaches,” said Green. “Now that the Arizona Coyotes are supporting AHSHA, we have the tools and ability to keep improving, and that will only bring more opportunity for growth.” That growth has already started to showcase itself this spring.

Bulldogs Golden Seals Nordiques

North Stars Pirates Quakers

Scouts Thrashers Whalers


Synthetic Ice Skating Series - Part 2 of 3 – Turns


elcome back to the Synthetic Ice Skating Series! In Part 2, Jim Vitale and Jeremy Rupke go over turning and more importantly, sharp turns! Vitale is an advocate for extreme edges on a turn. There is a fine line between stopping completely or having the right power to accelerate into a turn. Digging your skate into the ice enough to make you strong on your feet while still accelerating on a turn is key. The speed at which a player turns always depends on the situation on the ice. Do you have a defender coming in hot? Are you in the corner with a defender at your back? Are you turning in the neutral zone? Do you suddenly have to turn for a back check? There are so many situations that, as a player, you need to simply practice these dynamic situations to understand how aggressive and intense you need to be making those turns. The scientific challenge behind this is called “inertia,” which is a mass of resistance that challenges you to change directions. When you change in motion (a turn for instance) your body/mass begins to resist changing with that motion and wants to continue going straight. So when you turn your skates at a high speed, there is a moment where your body or mass wants to continue going the way it was initially (straight). A good athlete can manage that inertia by avoiding their body wanting to go in a different direction than where their brain wants to go. So how do we get rid of that momentum that wants to keep us from going straight? First, Vitale shares the best tip to a good turn: “Drop-

ping your weight by bending your knees during a turn.” This will help you accelerate during a turn and keep your balance at that high speed. You will not be able to control your turn by remaining stiff or standing straight up since your body will take that momentum and force to turn much more widely and slowly. Also, no matter where you turn (left or right), you’re going to want to

put your force on the outside edge of your inside leg. So if you’re turning left, you will put force on your inside leg (left leg) on your outside edge of that skate. If you keep your leg straight and not on the outside edge, your left leg will then want to continue straight rather than turn

and that forces you to use much more strength or worse, blow a tire and allow the other team an odd-man rush. Next, Vitale advises to “scissor out your outside leg,” which means you want your outside leg wider rather than close to your turning/inside leg. By doing that, it helps with stability and speed in the turn itself. Widening your base of support (legs) is key to a fast and strong turn. Having your legs too close together in a turn makes you wobbly and unstable, so avoid that as much as possible. Amongst the debate between where to put your weight during a turn (outside or inside leg), Jim unequivocally says the inside leg where your pressure should be almost on your heels on your inside leg, so you don’t fall forward and just a little bit of pressure on the outside leg to keep you balanced. Lastly, Coach says, “FALL AND FALL AGAIN.” If you’re careful, cautious and hesitant, these turns will never become natural. By falling and making mistakes, you can reflect on what does and does not work. So for all your speedsters, take these turning tips and add them to your game! For all the best hockey training products, including Synthetic Ice - Revolution Tiles and Extreme Glide Synthetic Ice, visit



Prescott up next to ‘see memories made’ in IHAAZ play By Brian Lester


rescott is up next to host an IHAAZ festival and the president of the Prescott Storm, Nick Paris, is looking forward to the opportunity. The festival takes place April 20-22. “It’s an honor to host a festival in Prescott with some of the best inline youth hockey programs around,” Paris said. “We have been meeting often as a board to make sure we are preparing for every detail of the festival, including a variety of food, raffles, amenities for our referees, custom T-shirts, various vendors and fun for the whole family.” A lot goes into preparing for a festival, whether it’s making sure there are enough vendors and raffles to ensuring there are enough parent volunteers for things such as scorekeeping. “Our goal at the Prescott Youth Hockey Association is to see happy hockey players and families,” Paris said. “Win or lose, we want to see the kids have smiles on their faces and see memories made at the festival.” With the end of the season drawing closer, Paris knows every team will be eager to be at its best. “We are towards the end of the season and I am looking forward to seeing how the teams push themselves as we get closer to state finals,” Paris said. “We’re looking forward to an awesome weekend of hockey, fun and family.” Tucson hosted the last festival in March and there was plenty of excitement at Tucson Indoor Sports the

the way, winning all of its games at the latest festiweekend of March 16-18. In the 8U division, the Knighthawks finished first val. Among the wins was a 6-5 overtime victory over while Prescott came away with a second-place finish. the AZ Royals White. Yuma has yet to lose a game The Knighthawks won three games in the tourney, in- this season. The Royals White could still win the division title, but need a little help. It has to win its final cluding two by mercy rule. The Knighthawks came out on top in the 10U di- three games of the regular season in Prescott and then hope Yuma loses at least twice vision as well, extending their in the festival and manages win streak to 16 games. The Jr. only an overtime win at best in Wildcats placed second. The Prescott. two teams have duked it out Jr. Wildcats president Erik all season, but the Jr. Wildcats Dahl was pleased with how have yet to find a way to shut down the Knighthawks. the festival played out in TucIn the 12U division, the Jr. son. “We feel that our home tourWildcats remain the team to nament was a huge success,” beat, coming out of the festival Dahl said. “We tried some new with a nine-point lead over the things like printing tournament Knighthawks in the standings. programs with the team rosters They have tallied 33 points and and schedule in them to get the have handed the Knighthawks audience more involved.” all four of their losses. Dahl said the program got The 14U division belongs to the AZ Royals, who won The final IHAAZ festival before next month’s state fi- the families involved in jobs like three games in the tournament nals takes place April 20-22 and will be hosted by the tidying up the rink, painting and and have a 17-point lead in the Prescott Youth Hockey Association. Photo/IHAAZ cleaning throughout the facility. standings over the Jr. Wildcats. The Royals have yet to Those efforts helped create home rink pride among the lose a game this season but were taken to overtime by players and families in Tucson. the Yuma Blaze in a 2-1 win at the festival. The Blaze “Our players enjoyed the opportunity to showcase is in third in the standings. our rink to the other clubs and play in front of our In the Midget division, the Yuma Blaze Black lead friends who came to watch,” Dahl said.


Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine


Mission AZ proving that girls can thrive on co-ed teams By Greg Ball


ission AZ Hockey iced nine teams during the 201718 season, and while none of them were girls squads, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty of talented female players within the program. To the contrary, Mission’s director of hockey operations, Jeremy Goltz, said there are a large number of girls thriving in the organization playing on co-ed teams. “We’re a little bit on an anomaly not only in the sheer number of girls we have playing on mixed teams in our program, but the age levels that they’re competing at,” Goltz said, noting that last year Mission had six girls playing on Mite, Squirt and Pee Wee teams, plus two at the Bantam AA level, two on their Bantam A team and one on their 16U A squad. “Usually at the Bantam level, girls move on from playing on boys teams. “The women’s game at the higher levels can be considered more skill-based and doesn’t have the same aggressiveness as the boys game, but what I have realized from watching my own daughter and the other girls in our program compete on boys teams is that their intensity and the thought process they go through on the ice is just so high playing at that level. We’re looking at the potential of three girls playing on our 16U team next year, which we’ve never had in our history.” Many of Mission’s female hockey players said they have been playing on boys teams since they first laces up

their skates, and while plenty of other players move on to join girls teams when they hit their teenage years, the girls in the Mission program look at it differently. “I will play with boys until I absolutely need to leave,” Reese Middendorf said. “A lot of girls don’t like to play on boys teams when they get to the 16U level because they are scared of getting hit or getting hurt. However, if you play scared,

then you won’t be able to grow as a hockey player or be able to get to your highest potential. I came to Mission two years ago and it has by far the greatest boys team I’ve played for.” Payton Goltz - a defenseman who played Bantam AA last season - wants to play Division I college hockey and sees playing on co-ed teams as the best way to

prepare herself to get there and for the competition she would face. “I like playing on boys teams because it pushes me to hit a different level and pace than you might see in girls hockey, especially once I hit Bantams with physicality,” she said. “There’s also a really great team dynamic with the boys. They don’t really care that you’re a girl and treat you just like any other teammate. “I think that playing boys will keep giving me that extra edge in my play. I’ve played boys my whole life, and I’ve had some exposure to playing with girls - I can definitely say that I’m way happier playing on boys teams, especially at Mission. There’s such a family dynamic and you’re treated like any other player, and all the guys will respect you as a player regardless of the fact that you’re a girl. You never feel like you don’t belong.” Hannah Schneidmiller said she relishes the opportunity to play with and against the fastest, strongest and most skilled players her age. Because Mission creates such a welcoming atmosphere for female players, she has never seriously considered any other option. “I think playing against boys will help me achieve my goals or improving my skills and playing college hockey,” she said. “They will push me and provide good competition for me to become a lot better as a goalie. “Playing with and against boys pushes me to get better, and Mission does a good job of making me feel equal to other players.”



Lobos’ national tourney run yields momentum for ’18-19 “We got confidence and experience out of this tournament. We know what the top teams look like so next year, my practices get more complex and we have our eye on the prize and that sets the tone for work ethic and preparation.” What else went right in Columbus? “Goaltending two out of the three games – James

been firing on all cylinders and we put up the goals I predicted we needed to win.” Harvey added that this season’s team was unique niversity of New Mexico coach Grant Harvey said from other UNM teams he’s coached. this past season was 10 years in the making. The Lobos dominated during the regular season and “We finally didn’t have any holes in your game,” said qualified for the ACHA Division III national tournament Harvey. “Our defense was solid, our goaltending was last month in Columbus, Ohio. And while UNM didn’t dependable, and our first line got the piece they needadvance past pool play at Nationals, the successed so badly in Chance Shanks, a rookie who ful season has done wonders for the program. also put up the most points in the tournament. I “This has been a decade-long project since I have two defensemen and one I think is my unwas the captain of this team,” said Harvey. “We sung hero, period, on this team. Logan Colyer built and recruited to be better than the year beis the best player in ACHA Division III hockey. He never makes mistakes and is so solid. Teams fore and the program has been my baby. It was know that he is coming for them and eventually nice to see it come to fruition, but not only that, takes the puck. It’s that simple. That’s invaluable.” but to have it happen to this team. I really rode Two senior forwards – Austin Short and them hard and took it on the chin and we played Jaxson Farnholtz – will be tough to replace spectacular. I am so proud of them and how far next year, according to Harvey. this team has come along. We ended up No. 7 in “I really can’t replace Austin and Jaxson,” said the nation. Harvey. “They really stepped us this year and “I was so happy and smug when it was over put the team on their back on many occasions. I – we showed the nation what we could do. This hope to fill their positions with good players, but I was no fluke going 2-1 against the top teams in just can’t replace them.” the nation.” At the national tournament, the Lobos de- The University of New Mexico wound up ranked No. 7 in the nation and Harvey said game-changers that are for feated the University of Central Florida and top- ‘showed the nation what we could do,’ according to Lobos head coach Grant sure coming back for the 2018-19 season are Harvey. Photo/Hannah Becker Shanks, Nate Taglialegami, Jarrod Ronquilranked Michigan State University. “My dad was there to watch all of this,” Harvey said. Bostian played two lights-out games,” said Harvey. lo, Graeme Chiasson and A.J. Goff. “Next season, we reload – I’m not taking my foot off “I owe all my thanks to him when it comes to hockey. “He had one period of lackluster goaltending that periWhen we beat MSU, we looked at each other like, ‘We od proved to be insurmountable, but James knows I am the pedal,” said Harvey. “I had a taste of the national did it’ and we were both almost in tears. It was an unbe- proud of him. He stopped 50-plus shots against Mich- tournament and I want more. The whole team wants lievable end to a magical season. igan State for a huge upset. Our offense has always more. Our town wants more.” By Matt Mackinder


Strong finish to season an encouraging sign for Coyotes By Mark Brown


ost like to think the mark of a season is how things finish, and not necessarily how an experience begins. For the Arizona Coyotes, an abysmal start foreshadowed a difficult season, but the end is clearly encouraging. Plus, the future seems beyond bright with Clayton Keller, Brendan Perlini, Max Domi and a veteran cast on the blue line, headed by Oliver Ekman-Larsson. The effort and production over the second half of the season sends a message to every hockey player, youth and beyond, about the value of effort, determination and energy. To that end, Coyotes’ head Rick Tocchet constantly stresses the need to practice. Over the first few months of the season, practice time for the Coyotes was severely limited. That fact, asserted Tocchet, was a major reason for the slow and challenging start. From their home opener Oct. 7 against the Vegas Golden Knights through Dec. 14, the Coyotes played only 11 of their first 33 games at home. One reason why the start was so difficult was a brutal and harsh travel schedule. That prevented adequate practice time and, as Tocchet noted, made for a steep, learning curve. The situation was exacerbated as many players from last season were familiar with the style and direction of then-coach Dave Tippett. When Tocchet took the controls last July, he implemented a new system, and those who represented the core of this team for several years, notably former captain Shane Doan, who retired, and goaltender Mike Smith, who was traded, left the foundation shaken. 18

Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine

By the second half of the season, the value of early April, we’ll be in their shoes and we’ll be makpractice time was realized. After a string of victories ing a run for it. That’s all you can do, prepare for once the calendar flipped into 2018, players were that moment, be a professional about it, and finish able to digest Tocchet’s system and implement his the right way.” designs. The result was an impressive streak, and One push for a strong finish was the emergence the Coyotes won seven of nine games between of the Richard Panik-Derek Stepan-Clayton Feb. 12 and March 3. Keller line. Over the course “Finishing strong is huge of the season, Keller develfor next season,” said Larsoped as one of the most son. “By finishing solid, and dynamic players in the NHL playing the right way, that and a prime candidate for will definitely help us coming the Calder Trophy. Beyond into next year.” his achievements on the ice, If there one stretch of Tocchet points to Keller’s games that characterized character and demeanor as the Coyotes surge, look no key factors in his emergence further than late March. In and the late-season surge. defeating two playoff-bound “I’ve thrown these words teams in the Tampa Bay around, ‘hockey nerd,’ and Lightning and the Golden (Keller) is definitely a hockKnights, the Coyotes began ey nerd,” Tocchet said. to realize the fruits of their “(Keller) watches hockey 24 labor. Throw in a 6-0 shuthours a day and he wants out Antti Raanta posted to be better every day. He against the St. Louis Blues watches the star players in on March 31, and these vic- The Arizona Coyotes have played solid hockey the sec- our league to see what they tories merely reinforce the ond half of the season, leading to optimism for the 2018- are doing. Non-stop, he asks need to lay a firm foundation 19 campaign. Photo/Norm Hall me about guys like Sidney for the future. Crosby and what they’re doing on the power play. “To complete the season the way we are means And in practice, he practices hard. That makes my everything,” said Domi. “It’s unfortunate we were in job easier.” the situation we were, but we’re treating the last If there is a lesson to be gleaned from the openweeks like we’re competing in the playoffs. We ing weeks, practice is imperative, and players who played teams playing for playoff spots and take the embrace the importance of practice generally sucexperience against those teams. Next year, come ceed.

ASU’s ‘iceman’ moves from ice to floor, ignites Devils we were finally able to pull him into an April NARCh event with some of the ASU roller team’s freshmen. This was Wes’s first introduction to the sport at a competitive level. I could tell he was having a good time and took to it pretty quickly.”

yarsky explained. “Now, four years later, he’s consistently one of our top players, and led the entire enior forward Wes Fry has contributed much NCRHA in points at the end of round robin at the to the success of Arizona State University’s Di2017 national championship tournament. vision I inline hockey team during his four years in “Wes took to roller hockey pretty quickly and the program. was able to be an effective Division I forward This year was no exception as the Sun his freshman and sophomore years. However, Devils recorded a milestone by winning it wasn’t until his junior year that I think the both the Western Collegiate Roller Hockey game really clicked for him. League (WCRHL) Division I and Division III “Prior to that, I think he was using a lot of regional championship titles. what he learned and knew from ice hockey to Fry, the younger brother of Team USA play roller, which works individually but not Olympian Lyndsey Fry, finished second in the bigger picture of playing the game at a on the team in scoring with 34 points (19 competitive collegiate level. goals, 15 assists) in 18 games. He finished “Once it clicked, he hit a sixth gear that we one point behind team scoring leader Ryan didn’t know he had in him and now he’s averCotton (20 goals and 35 points), but led aging two points a game, playing on special the team with three game-winning goals. teams and leading the offensive charge for our The rub on Fry? He didn’t start playing Division I team in its most successful season in roller hockey until his freshman season at club history.” ASU. He had always been an ice hockey “I think some of the goals I set for myself player since his days with the Jr. Coyotes with the ASU roller program were finding the program. perfect balance of fun and competitiveness,” “I’ve known Wes and his family since he Fry added. “Coming from about 11 years was a little guy running around the Chanstraight of travel ice hockey, ASU roller was dler Polar Ice,” ASU program director Nick the perfect fit. Boyarsky recalled. “I’d tried to pull him into Phoenix native Wes Fry has hung up his ice skates for inline skates to help Arizo“It has been amazing every single year with na State University post its most successful season in 2017-18. roller seasons countless times throughout these guys. I remember my freshman year behis youth ice hockey years. His skill set on the ice Boyarsky said he was shocked when a few ing one of the youngest on the squad and the oldest was the perfect starting point for making a good months later, Fry told him he’d decided to change being 26. It’s different every year, but it seems like roller hockey player. But, as it happens most times, the path he’d been on the past decade. Instead of each year gets better and better. there were always conflicts with his teams that seeking a Junior A career, he was going to hang up “To put it into perspective, I have never been on made it not work out. the ice skates, enroll at ASU, and play roller hockey. any sports team in my life that has been as close as “During his post-high school year finishing out “I was pretty sure it was a fleeting whim and he’d the ASU roller hockey boys. We really have somehis last year with the 18U AAA Jr. Coyotes (Tl EHL), be back on the ice by the end of the summer,” Bo- thing special with this program.” By Phillip Brents



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


Goalies, get ready for BTM Demo Day, Goalie Day events T

he biggest weekend of the year for goalies is coming to Behind The Mask in May. It all starts with Behind The Mask Demo Day on Friday, May 11 from 6-7 p.m. at AZ Ice Arcadia, and continues with Exelby BTM Goalie Day on Saturday, May 12 at BTM Scottsdale from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. At Demo Day, come out and try all the new 2018 goalie equipment on the ice for FREE. You must bring and wear full gear at all times on the ice to participate. Company reps from Bauer, Brian’s, CCM and Vaughn will have demo sets of the new 2018 products. Make sure to arrive by 5 p.m. (if possible) to speak to company reps and to make sure you know what gear you want to try. BTM will have shooters and six nets on the ice to give you live action feel of the gear.

BTM will also have goalie representatives to answer any questions and to help make sure everyone gets to try on what they want. Plus, the companies send some FREE swag for Demo Day. For Goalie Day, take advantage of unbelievable once-a-year deals on demo and salesman sample gear, plus blowout sale gear at up to 70 percent off. The early bird gets the worm this day, so show up early and get the best deals. Talk with company reps from Bauer, Brian’s, CCM, True Hockey and Vaughn. This will be True Hockey’s first year at our event. They have two great-fitting custom goalie skates that have been taking the market by storm. An Apple iPad does a 3D scan of your foot and information is then relayed to make a custom goalie skate. The skate is made to the exact contours of your foot. BTM employee Kevin Church has been wearing his for over a year and is a big fan. Kevin played on the DYHA Jr. Sun Devils 18U AA state championship team and guided Pinnacle High School to the 2017 state championship. Whatever swag is left over from Demo Day is also handed out. Each company donates a prize for our BTM Goalie Day raffle and each goalie at the two events gets a FREE raffle ticket. Show up to either event, get one free ticket, and show up to both and get two free tickets and improve your chance to win great prizes.

After Goalie Day, the company reps and BTM staff have a barbecue out back at the Scottsdale store. BTM IT guy Steven Jovic makes some of the best tri tip out there (but not as good as the Yuma IHAAZ inline hockey tournaments). Reps and staff partake in the BTM Olympics, which include ping pong, corn hole, ladder toss and more. Will reigning BTM Olympic champs Scott Morrow of CCM and Dan Kennedy of Bauer be able to defend their 2017 title in 2018? Scott Morrow of CCM has been is the ultimate trash taker. Will he be able to use psychological warfare against his opponents again this year? The BTM after-hours barbecue has become a legend in the hockey industry. Most events the reps attend end at a certain hour and everyone goes home – that’s where ours differs as the fun is just getting started. The barbecue gives the reps a chance to interact and learn more about the BTM staff. There is inner fighting with the companies on which rep gets to go the event, of which Bauer’s Tim Gentile uses his position to make sure he can attend. It is the first event of the year he marks on his calendar. If you’re a goalie, we’d love to see you at one or both of these events. Each year, we work hard to make both events better. The puck stops here at BTM Goalie Day.

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

Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine



Position: Forward, Arizona Coyotes Hometown: Mississauga, Ont., Canada NHL Draft: Selected by Philadelphia in the sixth round (178th overall) in the 2008 NHL Draft Acquired: Signed one-year contract with Coyotes as a free agent on July 1, 2017 Last Amateur Team: Barrie Colts (Ontario Hockey League) Age: 27 Arizona Rubber: What’s your favorite hockey memory growing up? Zac Rinaldo: That was winning a championship when I was eight years old. I scored the overtime goal to win. That was very exciting, and I’ll always remember that. AZR: What’s your favorite memory in the game since leaving junior hockey? ZR: Just being here in the NHL. There’s no one game which stands out in my mind. Being here in general is a great achievement. One thing that pans out particularly is fighting Jarome Iginla. For me, that was a pretty cool thing. I watched Jarome growing up and then I was able to play against him. Not only play against him but fight him, too. That was pretty cool. AZR: Who have been the biggest influences on you, on and off the ice? ZR: I looked up to Eric Lindros as player on the ice and his influences off the ice. Other than that, I really don’t have any. No other influences, just by myself. AZR: What’s the best piece of advice you have for young hockey players? ZR: Stay healthy. AZR: Other than hockey, do you have a favorite sport to play? ZR: No other sports, just hockey. I tried football and during one practice, I sprained my thumb. After that, I said, “I’m done.” AZR: Do you have any superstitions? ZR: No, I kind of go with the flow. Whatever I did before in that previous game and if I played well, I’ll just continue. I don’t pinpoint certain things at the beginning of the season. I just go with the flow. Whatever my body needs, I’ll keep going with it. AZR: What does your game-day routine look like? ZR: I’ll skate in the morning, go home, eat, sleep, head out, stop for a coffee at Starbucks, and drive to the game. That’s about it. AZR: What are some essential items you take on a road trip? ZR: Head phones – that’s the most important thing. If I don’t have my head phones, I’m lost. My wallet, too, plus my phone and head phones, and I’m ready. Yeah, a phone charger, forgot about that. You know what, I’ve forgot my phone charger plenty of times and I’ll ask one of the guys. Sometimes, I’ll call down to the front desk and they always have an extra charger. AZR: Did you have a favorite hockey player growing up? ZR: Yeah, I liked Eric Lindros and Pavel Bure. Those were my favorites. Photo/Norm Hall


Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine

- Compiled by Mark Brown


onday - Friday 11 AM - 9 PM Saturday & Sunday 9 AM - 9 PM



Store hours are subject to change based on the facility and ice schedules.

7225 W Harrison Street Chandler, AZ 85226

9375 E Bell Road Scottsdale, AZ 85260

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