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NEW MEXICO REPORT

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

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

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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.

Arizona Rubber Magazine - April 2018  

The latest edition of Arizona Rubber Magazine features the Arizona Hockey Union on the cover!

Arizona Rubber Magazine - April 2018  

The latest edition of Arizona Rubber Magazine features the Arizona Hockey Union on the cover!