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.
ARIZONA HOCKEY UNION COACH'S CORNER
What you need to know coaching today’s hockey player T
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. AZRubberHockey.com
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