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VOLUME 15

ISSUE 8

APRIL 2020

POWER IN THE UNION Now in its third decade as one of the top youth hockey associations in the Valley, the Arizona Hockey Union has continually excelled in player development, leading to team success on the ice and program alumni returning to coach the current group of Knights

DYHA GOALIE COACH WAKABAYASHI TAKES ROLE WITH USA HOCKEY ARIZONA STATE UNVEILS HIGH-QUALITY FRESHMAN CLASS FOR 2020-21 JR. COYOTES’ TIER I COACHING STAFF BRINGS KNOWLEDGE, LEADERSHIP

Phoenix native, WHL standout Kastelic signs with Ottawa!

AHSHA SET TO MAKE NEXT SEASON BEST YET IN HIGH SCHOOL LEAGUE


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FROM THE EDITOR Hockey will return at some point, but for now, safety is priority

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t goes without saying that we are living in, quite frankly, some really crazy times. We all know this. The coronavirus is on our minds, in our news feeds, on our radios, on our TVs, talked about daily – you name it. This issue is encompassing our lives. People are working from home or told to stay home from their jobs. Kids are home from school and businesses are shut down – including hockey – and we all really don’t know what will happen from day to day. That being said, we have to move forward. However we need to do it, we need to wake up every day with the mindset that we are going to Matt Mackinder own the day. Let’s face it – that’s how the heroes in all of this operate. I’m talking about the doctors, the nurses, the health care workers, the public safety officers and first responders that have been putting their lives on the line every day to help others. You talk about going above and beyond, well, look no further than those individuals. How those folks do what they do without hesitation is truly beyond me. We keep seeing motivational phrases like, “We’re all in this together” and “This, too, shall pass.” All that is true, and the more I see these sayings, the more they stick in my mind as being a reason to smile. Honestly, what more can be said that we already don’t know? This will get better. This HAS to get better. We NEED this to get better. Be safe, everyone. Please. Be safe. In the realm of player advancements, there have been plenty in recent weeks with Arizona connections. First, early March saw former Phoenix Firebirds and Jr. Coyotes defenseman Nikolai Knyzhov make his NHL debut for the San Jose Sharks. Knyzhov played in 33 games for the AHL’s San Jose Barracuda this season and three with the Sharks. He signed with San Jose as a free agent on July 2, 2019. Another Jr. Coyotes grad, Scottsdale native Jeremy Gabriele, has committed to play NCAA Division III hockey for Endicott College. Gabriele played the 2019-20 season for the NAHL’s Springfield Jr. Blues, posting three goals and 13 assists from the blue line. Gilbert native and Jr. Coyotes alum Jake Livanavage then signed a USHL tender with the Chicago Steel last month. The defenseman skated for the Jr. Coyotes’ 15 Only and 16U AAA teams this past season. Livanavage is the half-brother of Phoenix native and former Steel forward Johnny Walker, who recently completed his junior season at Arizona State where he ranked second on the team with 38 points (20 goals, 18 assists) in 36 games. Arizona will also have a representative on the USA Hockey National Team Development Program’s Under-17 Team next season as Scottsdale native and Jr. Coyotes alum Cutter Gauthier is set to head to Plymouth, Mich., later this summer. Before the college hockey seasons were cut short, Glendale native and SUNY-Plattsburgh defenseman Hannah Kiraly was named a Second Team All-American. She is now a three-time All-American after earning First-Team recognition in both 2017-18 and 2018-19 and is the only player in NEWHL history to be named to the All-NEWHL First Team three times. Kiraly wraps her four-year career at Plattsburgh with two national championships (2017, 2019) and 82 points (nine goals, 73 assists) over 118 games. In just their first season of existence, the New Mexico Ice Wolves claimed the NAHL Organization of the Year award. “To be recognized this way in our first season is incredible and the honor belongs to our fans, partners and entire community who energized the team and organization with their early and solid support,” said Ice Wolves owner Stan Hubbard. “We look forward to celebrating with our community at an appropriate time and to an even more successful season that will start this fall.”

Contact Matt Mackinder at matt@rubberhockey.com 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: matt@rubberhockey.com 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: www.AZRubberHockey.com Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/arizonarubber Follow us on Twitter: @AZRubberHockey

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Publisher/editor: Matt Mackinder senior designer: Julie Rippy

NEW MEXICO TO NCAA

Rio Rancho native and former New Mexico Warriors youth hockey standout Nick Weaver played junior hockey the past two seasons for the Eastern Hockey League’s Boston Jr. Rangers and recently committed to play NCAA Division II hockey in 2020-21 for Franklin Pierce University. More on Weaver on Page 18. Photo/Dan Hickling/Hickling Images

ON THE COVER This season’s Arizona Hockey Union 18U team will have several players age out of youth hockey, but not without taking a lifetime of memories from their years playing for the Knights. Phoenix native Mark Kastelic, who wrapped up a five-year junior hockey career this season with the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen, recently signed an NHL contract with the Ottawa Senators and will start his pro career next season. See more on Page 14. Photo/Candice Ward/Calgary Hitmen


Coyotes ‘OK with that’ if NHL season has already ended

By Mark Brown

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hen, or even if, the NHL schedule resumes, several scenarios are out there regarding how the remainder of the season could take shape. Does the schedule pick up from the point of the pause on March 12? To allow for positioning of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, could a tournament be held? With 70 games already in the books and eight of the 12 remaining contests at Gila River Arena, the Arizona Coyotes could be on the precipice of post-season play. At the same time, should NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and other league officials declare the season over and no Stanley Cup awarded, could the Coyotes accept this resolution? Perhaps, and that was the accord coach Rick Tocchet and forward Derek Stepan hinted during Zoom video chats with reporters in early April. Should the season end at the current stage, the Coyotes would not make the playoffs, and that’s under the assumption the playoffs would pick up immediately. This appears unlikely, but as Stepan pointed out, “I would like to see some type of tournament. What shape and form, I’m not certain, but I think a tournament is something I would like to see.” If that happens, there is a vital and important variable to the Coyotes fortunes. That would be scoring for a team that suffered from scoring droughts over the past several seasons. When play stopped last month, the Coyotes scored 187 goals over their 70 games. That’s an average of 2.78 goals per game, but that total ranked near the bottom in reference to league production. At that time, only the Anaheim Ducks, San Jose Sharks, Los Angeles Kings, Columbus Blue Jackets and Detroit Red Wings

scored fewer goals. son Crouse chipped in 15 goals. With the resumption of play, if that happens, scoring From a team hovering around first place in the Pawould be a priority. cific Division for the first half of the season, the Coy“Once you get down to the final games, scoring otes took a nasty fall from grace, and lack of scoring becomes much more difficult,” was the main culprit. From Stepan said. “Teams tightJan. 9-March 12, the Coyotes en up and you need to find managed to win back-to-back ways to score from secondgames only twice and had ary sources. It comes down to lost five of their previous eight your ability to generate scorgames as of the pause. ing opportunities from differ“If we pick up the season, ent locations on the ice.” some players have to raise From experience, Stepan the bar,” Tocchet said. “We could be the Coyotes go-to lacked the killer instinct, espeplayer in time of need. For cially late in games. Once we all seven years with the New scored, we couldn’t make 2-0 York Rangers, Stepan helped or 3-0 and we didn’t score that the Broadway Blues to the goal we really needed. It came post-season each season. down to missing many chancDuring the 2014 and 2015 es to pull games out.” playoff campaigns, Stepan Tocchet and his coaching tallied 10 goals and recorded staff are taking this down time 17 assists. He scored gameto figure out why the Coyotes winning goals twice during the collapsed in games and during 2013 playoffs. critical times. If the Coyotes have an op- Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jordan Oesterle had been “I’m asking coaches and portunity to get back on the having a steady season on the blue line, tallying three players how we can get betice this spring, Stepan must goals and 13 points in 58 games before the NHL season ter,” Tocchet said. “We want have a supporting cast. At the was put on hold last month. Photo/Norm Hall players to get better in their pause, the Coyotes had but one player over 20 goals conditioning and be ready if the time comes.” and that was Conor Garland with 22 tallies. Only two If the Coyotes do not get back in the ice until the players recorded 40 or more points – Clayton Keller 2020-21 season, Tocchet said he is satisfied with the (17 goals, 27 assists, 44 points) and Nick Schmaltz course of events, adding “the 70 games was a good (11 goals, 34 assists, 45 points). In terms of goal scor- guide.” ers, Christian Dvorak was second with 18 and Law“Whatever goes, I’m OK with that,” he said. AZRubberHockey.com

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Still Shining

Arizona Hockey Union continues to provide stability, opportunities with many alumni now coaching By Matt Mackinder

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he organization known today as the Arizona Hockey Union began nearly 15 years ago as the Phoenix Polar Bears, a coach-driven and athlete-centered organization playing out of the Chandler Polar Ice facility. The Arizona Hockey Union is a youth hockey organization that operates under the non-profit 501 c3 charter of the Arizona Hockey Clubs, Inc., and offers teams from Mites through Midgets that skate at AZ Ice Gilbert and Gila River Arena. In addition to the AHU Tier program, the A- and B-level teams compete in the Arizona Youth Hockey League, while the independent Tier teams play in both local and highly competitive out-of-state events. “The Arizona Hockey Union also sets itself apart as a program of choice as we are proud supporters of families that have financial constraints that might affect children’s participation in the sport,” said AHU president Stacy Shupe. “Our scholarship program historically provides more than $25,000 annually in direct assistance, which is made possible by funds raised by our Arizona Hockey Club tournaments and special events. “Our mission is to promote longterm growth and development of youth ice hockey players through administering both a developmental and competitive hockey program serving the entire Valley. Our principal purpose is to provide young athletes the opportunity to participate and develop in a positive hockey environment by offering high-quality coaching, practice and skill development, and the exposure to advanced competition through participation in high-caliber games and tournaments.” To know where the club is today is to understand where the program came from some 15 years ago. The Polar Bears youth travel program and the Chandler Polar Ice house program called the Chandler Bears were the only programs in the Southeast Valley from the time the Chandler building opened until the club took over management for the youth recreational teams around 2006. This was evidenced by different sweaters worn by each. And in 2009, when the Gilbert rink opened and the Arizona Heat was born, the Arizona Hockey Club essentially had three youth programs and one leadership group. The Arizona Hockey Union was east/west tier, Polar Bears were in Chandler and Arizona Heat was in Gilbert. “This continued until 2012 when it was decided that no one really knew that the Arizona Hockey Club operated the three youth programs and the decision to collapse the Union/Polar Bears/Heat into the Knights was made,” Shupe said. Gina Quinn was the president of the club until Shupe took over at the conclusion of the 2012-13 season. Shawn Babin (now the club’s VP at large) joined AHU back in 2013 and the organization also skated in Peoria for two years before brokering the Gila River Arena contract to keep the west side customers. “Our program has remained constant,” Shupe said. “We usually have about 275300 families between east and west. We have a high retention rate both for players and coaches even though there are outliers that seek higher skill levels. “We live and believe in our mission. We are consistent and completely transparent. We have a very strong infrastructure built on solid business practices. And we are financially secure with our tournaments funding our operations.” A common denominator within AHU in recent years has been former players from the organization coming back to serve as coaches. During the 2019-20 season, alumni such as Colten St. Clair, Davis Dryden, Ashton Amaya, Austin Nottke, Mike Caravella, Drew Platt and Mychal Moore all worked behind various Knights benches. St. Clair grew up playing for the Polar Bears and was the Phoenix Knights junior 6

Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine

team’s head coach and general manager for the 2017-18 season after playing four seasons of NCAA Division I hockey at the University of North Dakota, winning a national title as a senior in 2016. He also played in the USHL for the Fargo Force. After one season and being named the Western States Hockey League Coach of the Year for 2017–18, St. Clair left to become a volunteer assistant coach at NCAA D-I University of Maine. “Playing for AHU’s youth program was an amazing experience for me growing up,” said Caravella, who was an assistant coach with the AHU 18U Silver team in 2019-20 and also helps run the program’s skills development camps in the summer with Cody Gylling. “Having the opportunity to come back and play juniors here while going to ASU was something that I will never forget. Winning the state championship and going to nationals is something I always remember when looking back to playing youth hockey here. “I came to AHU to play for former NHL defenseman Sean Hill and Mike Vukonich, as well as a few friends of mine that were on the teams here. The years I played at AHU were by far my most memorable.” Dryden played for the youth program, two seasons for the Knights’ junior team and helped coach the AHU Bantam Black team last season. “I think what will keep AHU a destination spot is all of the coaches that are starting to come out that have played with the organization and now coming back and coaching teams,” said Dryden. “I think that at the youth level, being able to understand what the kids have gone through because we’ve all been there, I think that does a lot for the kids. “ I feel like what some of the parents like to see is some of the kids coming from the organization such as Drew Platt, who coached with me this year, and our friend Ashton Amaya, who coaches a younger team for the organization. We all have experience from the game and enjoy giving back to the game that had given us all so much.” Walking into AZ Ice Gilbert on a daily basis is also something that Dryden said appealed to him during juniors and continues to this day. “The one thing I remember the most coming to AZ Ice Gilbert is that it feels like home,” said Dryden. “I know so many people and have so many friends there from years of being there that it’s a home feel for me. My years playing there, the rink was very close to home, which helped a ton, but I had my best friends going there to play so I wanted to stay with them. Then going into junior, most of those friends stayed and we played for the Knights and it was the most fun I’ve ever had.” Donovan Mattfeldt didn’t play in the AHU program but played with many players who did and was coached by Babin at the 14U and 16U levels. Mattfeldt was the 14U Purple coach in 2019-20. “There are many things that contribute to AHU’s continued success the last decade, but the one thing I have noticed over the last two years of coaching for AHU is that this is a group committed to one another’s goals, both personally and professionally,” Mattfeldt said. “They are always making an effort to be better each year and is continually shown through their success of running 3-4 local and national tournaments, player improvement and movement to higher hockey, and mindful of the future hockey player. These things, for me, have helped set an environment here that Arizona hockey is beginning to get recognized nationally and that we want to be a part of that movement. Continued on Page 8


July 17th-19th, 2020

UNITED STATES PREMIER HOCKEY LEAGUE

USPHL alum Aubrun named NCAA D-III Player of the Year

By Joshua Boyd/USPHL.com

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wich is such a good program. The way you’re treated there feels like an NCAA Division I program every day.” Aubrun had a year that will remain in both the Norwich and NCAA record books for possibly quite a number of years, going 23-2-2 with a 0.77 goals-against average and a .967 save percentage. He set NCAA Division III records for consecutive shutouts (nine), shutout minutes (572:31) and most shutouts in a season (13). No NCAA player – Division I, II or III, male or female – put together that amount of consecutive shutouts or shutout minutes in the history of the college game. He will also graduate as the NCAA Division III all-time career save percentage leader (.946) and goals-against average (1.27) leader, giving him five NCAA Division III records this season.

he USPHL is the jumping-off point for hundreds of NCAA players each year, many of whom end up earning conference awards and other recognition. Below is just one success story. To write yours, learn more at USPHL.com. Friday, March 27. That date marked the culmination of everything good that Tom Aubrun had earned for his fourth and final season with Norwich University. That day, the American Hockey Coaches Association awarded Aubrun – a former USPHL Premier goalie with the former Rochester Jr. Americans – with the Sid Watson Award, indicative of the national NCAA Division III Player of the Year. To go along with that award, Made in Rochester Aubrun wrapped up his college career at Aubrun was also named an AHCA Tom Wanting to see more time and Norwich University in 2019-20, setting several East Region All-American for the NCAA records and capturing a handful of awards more games than European junior second time, and this came after a for his play between the pipes for the Cadets. hockey offered, Aubrun sent severslew of other awards – New Eng- Photo/d3photography.com al emails, including video and other land Hockey Conference Goaltender of the Year and information about himself, to USPHL teams on the recPlayer Of The Year and USCHO.com Division III Player ommendation of a friend who had played Tier II in North of the Year. America. “It’s the result of all the work and a long journey,” said “Rochester gave me a chance without having to fly Aubrun, in an exclusive interview with USPHL.com. “Nor- over and try out,” said Aubrun. “It was a big step from

juniors in France, going from playing about 20 games a year to 44 in the USPHL Premier. The more games you play, the better. That’s what you need, the experience. It was good competition with a lot of NCAA Division I and III committed players. Every time you switch levels, there is a little struggle, but after a while, you just get better. I had a goalie coach I worked with in Rochester and it all helped prepare me for college.” In 34 games with Rochester, he posted 12 wins with a .911 save percentage and a 3.61 goals against average. Four years a Cadet From Rochester, it was on to Norwich, where he had to pay his dues early on, playing a total of 11 games his first two seasons, including just one period as a freshman. “I progressed a ton, since it is a four-year progression,” Aubrun said. “The step from the USPHL to college was the first challenge, adapting to the skill and the quickness and the shots and how fast the game was. That took a while, but overall, I got more calm and more confident. Your hockey IQ just gets better after a while, and you can understand how players play. “It’s about confidence and knowing the team and coach had confidence in me, giving the players the sense that they can count on me.” Following his winning of the Sid Watson Award, Auburn signed with the Rockford Ice Hogs, the AHL affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks, for the 2020-21 season. He is hoping to join Frank Simonetti, Keith Aucoin and Kurtis McLean as Norwich alumni that have played in the NHL.

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ARIZONA HOCKEY UNION

Assets Aplenty High-end coaches, facilities, positive environment major focal points for Arizona Hockey Union Continued from Page 6 Mattfeldt added that the family environment and atmosphere within AHU is very strong and very genuine. “The thing that makes AHU a great organization is the commitment to the player and the player’s family,” said Mattfeldt. “They also have a lot of older players and alumni that are returning to the Valley from juniors and college in the next few years and will be looking to get back in the game. This entices players to come out and learn from someone who not only played a high level of hockey, but who can also teach and show how to get to that next level of the game.” Moore is from Alaska and moved to the Phoenix area to improve his game with AHU, then known as the Polar Bears. “It was first experience with travel hockey,” Moore said. “I grew up in Alaska, so I’m used to skating whenever I wanted in my neighborhood and not just during allotted practice times. My first travel trip was to Dallas and we happened to play against my best friend from Alaska who had recently moved to Florida.” Serving as an assistant coach for the AHU Pee Wee Purple team, which will move up to Bantams in 2020-21, the team practices out of Gila River Arena and Moore plans on coaching the same group next season. “I think what keeps players and coaches here is the commitment to the players’ development and our coaching staff,” Moore said. “Most of the teams have a younger coach, so it allows the coaching staff to relate easier to each age group. Striving to compete at all levels and being competitive at all age groups is huge. AHU has essentially an east side and west side, so depending on where they’re located in the Valley, families have two options.” Those options will look to continue next season – whenever the season starts – even as the COVID-19 outbreak wiped out the end of the 2019-20 season in mid-March and closed all rinks and many businesses across Arizona. “From a club perspective, we await the curve to be flattened and instances of COVID-19 to stop,” Shupe said. “During the closures, we have been working behind the scenes to be poised and ready when restrictions are lifted. “We anticipate hearing more from USA Hockey in the next few weeks.” Caravella noted that as time goes by, he realizes what a special organization AHU is and continues to be. “I think one reason that AHU keeps a sustainable program every year is the dedication that everyone inside the organization has to growing the game of hockey – the development of each kid is the No. 1 priority” said Caravella. “I believe that every coach within the organization wants the best for every single kid on their team. It’s about building a winning environment where the kids can learn, work hard, and have fun at the same time. “AHU has brought in a lot of young coaches who understand today’s game and can bring their own ex-

periences on to the ice with them. Teaching the kids the fundamentals at a young age while allowing them to still have fun and enjoy it is very important. There are a lot of people within the organization that volunteer countless hours of their own time to ensure these kids get the best possible experience.” In addition to the team’s individual coaches, AHU has specialty coaches in Gylling, a dedicated goalie coach (Scott Lundahl), coach-in-chief (Kurt Goar) and a power skating director (Hol-

ly Harrington). “I feel goaltending is a unique position and not every goalie plays the position the same,” Lundahl said. “I like to work with a goalie’s technique, not change it. Every goalie is at a different level of how much coaching they have or have not had. I like to try to make it fun. I focus on the positives and less on the negatives. Goaltending is very mental, and a lot of negative pressure can be bad. I like to see the progression of where a goalie starts the season, to where they end the season.” Gylling is a Chandler native who played NCAA D-I at Arizona State during the Sun Devils’ inaugural season in 2016-17. He joined AHU this past season coaching the 16U Silver team. Harrington is committed to offering hockey players in the state of Arizona the very best developmental skating program.

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Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine

“As part of this program, you will be exposed to a number of styles and techniques all designed to provide you with the knowledge and tools to become the best player you can be,” Harrington said. “Some of what you will be learning will be familiar to you. Some of what you will be learning will be completely new. By learning, practicing and training proper technique, you will begin to skate with an efficient effortlessness where the laws of physics will work for you, not against you.” Goar is the Knights’ ace coordinator, a USA Hockey Level 5-certified master coach and a Rocky Mountain District Developmental Camp coach. “Kurt is one of the best on-ice coaches I have ever seen,” said former USA Hockey coach-in-chief Al Bloomer. “His teams are always well prepared and very disciplined. We need more coaches like Kurt.” Goar was announced as the association’s coach-in-chief in the spring of 2010 and provides premier coaching to the players of Phoenix and quality mentoring to players from around the state by using modern, up-to-date coaching techniques combined with tried and true methods of the past to improve hockey as a whole in Arizona. “In order to raise the level of play in the state, we must build from the ground up, ensuring that the players have the proper foundation to maximize their hockey potential,” Goar said. “To grow hockey in Phoenix, we must, as coaches, be committed to developing players the right way. We have handpicked our coaches to ensure that the skills and techniques taught on the ice are the skills and techniques that will further a player’s game.” Prior to the 2019-20 season, AHU added two new board members – Kelsey Malinski and Monique Morris. Each one is excited to see the program trending in a continuous, positive direction. “My son has played with AHU for four seasons, and my decision to become a board member was based on many things, but most importantly, his love for the game and being a Knight,” Malinski said. “I believed that getting involved at the executive level, I could continue to assist AHU with their focus of developing players at all age levels but also continuing with the family atmosphere that I believe to be so important, especially when developing their young players.” “I have been involved with AHU for five years and my interest to join AHU was that in having a player in the program, I have personally seen that AHU believes in growth and development of youth ice hockey players,” Morris said. “AHU also believes valuable lessons that can be taught in our program long after they leave the sport – leadership, sportsmanship, commitment, self-discipline, hard work, teamwork and character – all while encouraging family bonding and support off the ice.”


NORTHERN ARIZONA UNIVERSITY NAU cancels spring activities, looks ahead to upcoming fall By NAU Hockey Staff

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he NAU Hockey Club would like to wish all of our hockey family health and wellness during these challenging times. Unfortunately, due to the current pandemic, the club was forced to shut down our spring camp. There is no plan to reschedule as we are uncertain when that can happen with facility closures and availability of ice. As of now, all team activities will resume in late August with the fall camp and tryouts. The 2020-21 season will begin with the prospective player meeting on Monday, Aug. 24 at 6 p.m. The fall prospects camp will begin the following night, Aug. 25, and will run through Saturday, Aug. 29, with six on-ice sessions that will prepare each player for tryouts. Tryouts will begin on Wednesday, Sept. 2, with five on-ice sessions. The cost for both the fall prospects camp and tryouts is $200 each. Coaches will announce the final rosters on Saturday, Sept. 5. The entire NAU Hockey Club would like to thank all of our supporters for another great season. As everyone is battling through these tough times, it has been great to see the hockey community continue to support one another. The IceJacks received several sponsorships and donations from local businesses and organizations, including Eagle Mountain Construction, Empire Southwest LLC, Matrix Land Surveying, S & S Paving and Construction, Spectra Electrical Services, and Dr. Eric Honing with Ageless Health Institute. Again, we hope everyone stays safe and healthy and we will see you soon when it is safe to be back on the ice!

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AHU COACH’S CORNER: GUEST COLUMN

Navigating our journey through youth hockey: a series This is Part 2 of a multipart series.

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o what I’d like to do now is have an honest conversation about the state of money in youth hockey. After looking at the responses and speaking with knowledgeable hockey people, there’s a lot to dive into. Topher Scott And we’ll break it down through these two questions: 1.What are families paying to play AAA hockey? 2. Why is it so expensive? (And what can we do about it?) OK, here we go… What are families paying to play AAA hockey? This question, my friends, comes with an incredibly diverse set of answers. Because, well, it depends. It depends on where you live. It depends on how much your kid plays during the spring and summer. It depends on what position your kid plays (sorry, goalies). It depends on your kid’s age. It depends on whether your kid plays split season or plays a full AAA season. It depends on whether your kid belongs to an “academy.” There are a lot of factors that go into it. Families out west (in the U.S.) are paying more

than families in the Midwest or the East based on location and miles traveled. Families with older kids are paying more than families with younger kids. Families that pay for a full season are paying more than families that pay for a split season. The variables cast a wide range of total costs. When I started this project, I wanted to provide an average cost to play AAA hockey in the U.S. and Canada, but after recognizing that there are so many different factors that go into it, it would be disingenuous to give a “one size fits all” average cost. I had emails of families that pay $5,000. I had emails of families that pay upwards of $50,000. And while I don’t think it’s right to give an average annual cost, I would say that a sensible range would be about $10,000-$20,000 per year. If you are under $10k, you are probably playing a split season, in Minnesota, younger, or are extremely lucky. If you are over $20k, you are probably traveling way too much. I would say that a majority of families fall within this range. But still…10 to 20 grand per player, per year. For kids to play a youth sport. Really? Take a step back and think about that. Seriously, it’s insane. So let’s dive a little deeper into how we got here… Why is AAA hockey so expensive? (And what can we do about it?) Why is it so expensive? It comes down to four major areas:

1. Travel 2. Ice Costs 3. Coach/Administration Fees 4. Equipment I knew that families spent a lot of money on travel for AAA hockey, but I had no idea how INSANE the numbers actually were. For most families, travel was their biggest expense. If you live out west in the U.S., you are talking somewhere between 5-10 plane trips per year and easily over $10,000 for a season. With two plane tickets, 2-3 nights of hotels, food, and rental car at minimum. Yikes. But even if you don’t live out west, teams are still spending an incredible amount of money on out-oftown travel. I had families from cities with multiple AAA organizations saying they pay upwards of $10k as well. Why? My opinion – an overemphasis on exposure over development…and adult ego. Let’s start with the overemphasis on exposure over development. First off, if your kid is a Pee Wee or a Bantam, EXPOSURE DOES NOT MATTER. The fact that parents at these ages talk to me about being at the right tournaments so their kids can get exposure to “scouts” of the best summer teams for the best summer tournaments or camps, I can’t believe that’s actually a thing. Just stop. Please.

Topher Scott played junior hockey in the USHL, NCAA Division I hockey at Cornell and three years of pro hockey in the ECHL and CHL. He now runs www.TheHockeyThinkTank.com. AZRubberHockey.com

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DYHA JR. SUN DEVILS

Despite cancer, DYHA coach Wakabayashi staying motivated By Matt Mackinder

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s the director of goalie instructions for the DYHA Jr. Sun Devils, Hiroki Wakabayashi works with all of the program’s netminders to improve their skills in the crease and how to help their team fight to win a hockey game. Truth be told, Wakabayashi is in a fight much bigger than one fending off a puck as his battle with multiple myeloma, a rare blood cancer, continues. After experiencing back pain last July, Wakabayashi kept his daily routine, but during a private goalie session in Arizona, one of the players’ dad, who is a physician, asked him to come to his office for an X-ray. “He called me a few days later with a very nervous voice to inform me my spine was broken in many places,” said Wakabayashi. “After many lab draws, scans and a biopsy, I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma and started chemotherapy in November. It was very tough for the first few months for my wife (Jun) and I as my back was killing me with broken bones and spasms. I lost four inches in my height and dealt with side effects from the chemo. “I kept going on the ice despite that, walking like a penguin and coaching goalies with the help from my assistant goalie coaches. Thanks to the chemo, my condition got better around January. The pain is minimal, and I can skate slowly now.” Wakabayashi is finishing up the final cycle of the sixmonth chemo treatment plan. He plans to undergo a stem cell transplant in May even though he has been told the cancer is incurable.

“I really hope this COVID-19 situation slows down by then as my immune system will go down close to zero during the transplant,” Wakabayashi said. “This infection could be fatal for me. “For hockey people, it’s like killing a penalty. Cancer somehow developed from within me even though I don’t like it. Instead of feeling sorry for myself and trying to beat

Jr. Sun Devils director of goalie instructions Hiroki Wakabayashi completed his second season with DYHA in 2019-20 and recently accepted a regional goaltending development position with USA Hockey.

it like a nemesis, I just have to accept it as a part of life like killing penalties in hockey. I just have to focus on playing smart and solid penalty killing one shift at a time to save my life.” A GoFundMe has been set up for Wakabayashi:

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https://www.gofundme.com/f/friends-of-hiroki “I’ve been so blessed to have so many people around the world, especially from the hockey community, supporting me to go through this situation,” he said. Originally from Osaka, Japan, where he started playing hockey as a forward, Wakabayashi has also worked as a goalie instructor in junior and college hockey, as well as with the Jr. Coyotes and San Jose Jr. Sharks. He joined DYHA prior to the 2018-19 season. “(DYHA hockey director) Brad McCaughey gave me an offer to come here and the first thing he said to me in the job interview was he was looking for someone to take initiative to structure the comprehensive goaltending development program for the club,” said Wakabayashi. “This approach is totally different from ‘bringing a goalie guy in and giving him five minutes of warmup time in front of the net,’ so I loved his idea. It didn’t take much time for me to take the offer.” Earlier this month, Wakabayashi was appointed by USA Hockey as a Rocky Mountain District goaltending development leader, where he will help out with various USA Hockey events, such as goalie clinics in Arizona. “It’s a great strategy of USA Hockey to include the local freelance goalie coaches like myself so they can reach more goalies, coaches and parents to deliver their programs and philosophies,” said Wakabayashi. “I love what I’m doing with DYHA now and Arizona is where my wife and I want to live so I plan to stay with DYHA for a long time. I’m also excited to start working with USA Hockey.”


UNITED STATES PREMIER HOCKEY LEAGUE

Westward Expansion

USPHL brings aboard eight new established junior hockey franchises for upcoming 2020-21 season By Joshua Boyd/USPHL.com

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he United States Premier Hockey League (USPHL) will span the entire continental United States in 2020-21. The USPHL is welcoming the Fresno Monsters, San Diego Sabers, Anaheim Avalanche, Utah Outliers, Southern Oregon Spartans, Las Vegas Thunderbirds, Pueblo Bulls and Northern Colorado Eagles. The new teams give the USPHL Premier Division a presence in 24 of the lower 48 states for 2020-21, the largest footprint for any junior league in the United States. The new teams will form two new distinct conferences of the USPHL Premier and are designed to provide more time on the ice and in the classroom while keeping travel costs manageable within their region. To benefit from the unparalleled USPHL Showcase Series and the college exposure it provides, these teams will make at least one trip to the East Coast for showcase games and each conference will have representation at the USPHL National Championships. Announcements regarding additional members to the new USPHL West Coast Conferences will be made in the coming weeks. Anyone interested in joining this group or the USPHL should reach out to the USPHL League Office at info@USPHL.com. Applications are still being accepted for the 20202021 season. Introducing the newest member organizations of the USPHL: Fresno Monsters: Founded in 2009, the Monsters have won five division championships. They skate at Selland Arena in downtown Fresno, which seats up to 7,600 for hockey. The Monsters have been known to bring in 12,000 fans for a three-game weekend. Alumni could be found playing this season at NCAA Division III colleges including SUNY-Fredonia, Castleton State and St. Scholastica. Website: www.fresnomonsters.com San Diego Sabers: The Sabers join the USPHL under Olympian, NHL Draft pick, and former AHL, Finnish and Czech pro player Tomas Kapusta. The Sabers will continue operation at the Ice-Plex, located in Escondido, Calif. The Sabers organization is focused on, and has been very successful in, players’ development and advancement. Players from all over the world are joining the Sabers to obtain the best hockey experience possible in the attractive San Diego area known for its beaches, parks and warm climate. Website: www.sandiegosabershockey.com

Anaheim Avalanche: The Avalanche entered their previous league in 2012-13 as the former Ontario Avalanche. The Avs moved to Anaheim in 2019, moving into the NHL Anaheim Ducks’ former practice facility, The Rinks-Anaheim Ice. The Avalanche have made the playoffs each year since 2014, reaching the league semifinals that year. Alumni have moved directly to NCAA Division III teams such as SUNY-Canton and Curry College. Website: www.anaheimavalanche.com Utah Outliers: The Outliers started play in 2016-17. The team has crossed the 30-win mark in each of its first four seasons and has finished first or second in its division each season. The Outliers are run by Paul Taylor and Kevin McCloskey, who have helped send more than a dozen alumni to the NCAA Division III ranks. Website: www.utahoutliers.com Southern Oregon Spartans: The Spartans were the final Northern Pacific Hockey League champion in 2012, the year they joined the WSHL. The Spartans have had several successful teams, attracting the attention of college and pro scouts from around the world. Five alumni were playing minor pro hockey in North America, with many other former players skating in Europe. The Spartans home arena, The RRRink located in Medford, Ore., has been dubbed by opposing teams as “The Medford Madhouse.” The Spartans host over 20,000 fans per season. Website: www.sospartans.com Las Vegas Thunderbirds: It’s no wonder the Thunderbirds had a successful inaugural campaign with 26 wins in 2019-20. Their president, John Marks, is one of the most successful coaches in North American pro hockey. In addition to joining the USPHL, the Thunderbirds are excited to begin practicing and playing their home games at City National Arena, which is also the practice facility for the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights. Website: www.lvtbirdshockey.com

Pueblo Bulls: The Bulls were a brand-new franchise for 2019-20 and they put together an impressive 32-win campaign in their inaugural season. They also have a great fan base, selling out the 870-seat Pueblo Ice Arena seven times this past season with an average attendance of over 770 fans. Their head coach Chris Wilhite, a product of NCAA Division III Saint Mary’s University, began his coaching career this past season. The Bulls are happy to be moving several Bulls alumni on to playing NCAA next year. Website: www.pueblobullshockey.com Northern Colorado Eagles: The Eagles have hit the 30win mark in four of their last five seasons and have never finished below .500 since joining the WSHL in 2013 as a new franchise. They reached the league finals in 2015-16. Head coach-GM Steve Haddon joined as the first head coach after playing eight professional seasons with the Colorado Eagles, currently of the AHL. Seven alumni played NCAA Division III hockey in 2019-20. Since their inception, the organization has helped advance 70 players on to the collegiate and professional levels. Website: www.northerncoloradoeagles.com About The USPHL

The United States Premier Hockey League of 2020-2021 will be the nation’s largest amateur ice hockey league and the only league to span the continental United States and parts of Canada. The USPHL will field approximately 550 teams representing over 100 organizations comprised of 11,000 players spanning the ages of 6 through 20. Overall, across all divisions, the USPHL had more than 1,200 alumni playing college hockey in 2019-20 and more than 250 playing pro hockey, including the NHL.

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ARIZONA HIGH SCHOOL HOCKEY ASSOCIATION

AHSHA moving forward, making plans for 2020-21 season By Matt Mackinder

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midst all the uncertainty with the COVID-19 crisis, AHSHA is using the spring months to make tentative plans for the 2020-21 high school season. The 2019-20 season ended in early February with the state championships at Ice Den Scottsdale, but with the USA Hockey National Championships wiped out, Division 1 champion Hamilton High School didn’t get a chance to play for a national title last month in Texas. Moving forward with an outline for next season is all AHSHA can do at this point, in addition to hoping for a return to normalcy at some point. “I am looking forward to the continued growth of high school hockey in Arizona,” said AHSHA hockey director Tait Green. “I think there is potential for AHSHA to become bigger and better than it ever has.” The Arizona Coyotes will continue to be a major supporter of AHSHA next season, and it’s that support that has seen the league start to gain not only exposure on the West Coast, but across the country. “The thing about high school hockey is that it truly does check so many boxes that the Coyotes look for when attaching our name to a product,” said Coyotes supervisor of amateur hockey events and business development Jon Shivener. “High school hockey isn’t a specific city-based organization, or a West Valley vs. East Valley thing, one rink ownership group vs. another, or even a Phoenix thing. High school hockey has

statewide reach to players and families all over, north to south, east to west, and in every ice facility this state has.” “The Coyotes are at the forefront of NHL teams supporting the local programs,” added Green. “They have helped AHSHA become the largest youth program in the state and their support will continue to make more opportunities for more kids, which only grows the game. The Coyotes have shown AHSHA that they truly are committed to growing hockey in the Valley.” For the 2020-21 season – the 21st season of AHSHA – there won’t be many changes or alterations regarding league operations. There will still be four divisions next season – Division 1, Division 2, Division 3 and JV – but after the seeding tournaments have been completed, the AHSHA Competition Committee can make a recommendation to have five divisions like in the 2018-19 season (D1, D2A, D2B, D3 and JV). “Our championship games for D1 have sold out the past four years and our D2 championship game was a sellout this past season,” AHSHA administrator Lauri Griebel said. “Our playoffs have become the ‘it’ event in town in January and February.”

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The season cost for players will be determined in May, also when registration opens. There will again be an early bird registration discount and payment plans will be offered. Every player also will receive two tickets to a Coyotes game for the 2020-21 season. Rinks used next season will include AZ Ice Peoria, AZ Ice Gilbert, AZ Ice Arcadia, Ice Den Scottsdale, Ice Den Chandler, Oceanside Ice Arena, Gila River Arena, Jay Lively Arena and Tucson Arena. And while no new teams are currently in the works for 2020-21, Tucson is anticipating having enough players to form two teams, showing a tremendous growth for high school hockey in that area. AHSHA president Ray Reed is chomping at the bit to see teams back on the ice as soon as it is safe to do so. “I am hoping that, as a nation, we can get this viral pandemic under control and return to some sort of normalcy in time to proceed with a fall season,” Reed said. “Right now, the 2020-21 season is up in the air, but AHSHA plans to cautiously press forward, taking things one day at a time. “I believe the kids want to get back on the ice ASAP.”


COYOTES AMATEUR HOCKEY ASSOCIATION

Jr. Coyotes’ Tier I coaching staff a wealth of knowledge By Matt Mackinder

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n what has been an annual event, the four Jr. Coyotes teams swept the Tier I Arizona state championships earlier this year. And while the players get the lions’ share of the credit – and deservedly so – the coaches behind the benches for each team put in hours of week behind the scenes, giving credence to the Jr. Coyotes being the preeminent youth hockey association in the Valley. At the Tier I level this past season, Marc Fritsche guided the 14U team, Ray Whitney and longtime Jr. Coyotes coach Mike DeAngelis coached the 15 Only team, Nick Naumenko headed up the 16U squad, and Dave Ellett led the club’s 18U team. Whitney and Ellett are former NHL players and between the two, skated more than 2400 games in “The Show.” In 2006, Whitney was part of the Carolina Hurricanes’ Stanley Cup championship team. DeAngelis has been with the Jr. Coyotes program more than 15 years and was the hockey director for the majority of that time. “As a coach, I think I am able to set out a blueprint path for players’ development through their teenaged years,” said DeAngelis. “When it comes to CAHA, the past decade of high-level hockey coaches coming here, where many have formerly played at the pro level, is something I find exciting.” Fritsche said DeAngelis has “the experience in youth hockey that most can only dream of.”

“He is a leader and a person that wants to continue players better. He grew up around youth hockey and to develop the top kids in Arizona to go further,” Fritsche with his passion for the game, his players and this prosaid. “Mike is the type of coach that wears his heart on gram are incredibly lucky to have him.” With CAHA since 2015, Whitney said he coaches his sleeve and is a true maker of men. The list of players because his son Hudson is playing “and I thought I he has helped reach the next level is incredible.” Ellett has been coaching with CAHA the past six might as well join the fun.” “What I enjoy about the CAHA program is their comseasons and always wants what’s best for each player. “I have a goal of making each player better by the mitment to growing the game and the support they show their coaches and players,” end of the season, both as an individual and a teammate,” Whitney said. “If as a coach you need something, they do Ellett said. “I also want to exwhat they can to make it happose the players to systems pen.” and team trends they will enFritsche called Whitney counter at the next level.” “an incredible leader.” “At the 18U level, players “Players like playing for can be challenging in the fact him because he shoots it they are all at the end of their straight,” said Fritsche. “What youth hockey roads and keeppeople don’t know about him ing them motivated can be is he is a true teacher of the sometimes difficult,” added Fritsche. “Dave does an in- Dave Ellett’s 18U team was one of four Jr. Coyotes squads game.” credible job of keeping play- to win an Arizona Tier I state championship during the “We have a strong stable of coaches in our program,” ers motivated and makes sure 2019-20 season. said Fritsche, also the Jr. Coyotes Elite Program directhey are prepared to play junior hockey.” Naumenko is another passionate coach that relishes tor. “Having guys with the experience is not only great working with the Jr. Coyotes players on a daily basis and for our players to learn from, but they are also great mentors for our younger coaches. has the ability to get the most out of his team. “With a group of coaches like this, how can you not “Nick has an incredible gift of getting his players to learn to play at a high pace,” Fritsche said. “Nick wakes have success? I would put our coaching staff up against up in the morning thinking about how he can make his any staff in the country.”

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AZ ICE ARCADIA

Stephenson ‘brings a lot to the table’ as Titans coach By Moriah Hernandez

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hanges are on the horizon as the VOSHA Titans look ahead to next season. The Titans remain committed to player development above all else, but this next season will bring many new features to the organization to push that commitment further along.

a staple of the Titans to encourage the development on an individual player level. Over his last couple years with the Titans, Stephenson has earned the respect of coaches, parents

“He communicates well with the kids, and he’s always very professional and organized when it comes to coaching.” “His patience with the young kids is just phenomenal,” added Titans coach Steve Majercak. “For someone so young to be doing it and getting so much joy out of it, that just shows how much he wants to coach.”

Garrett Stephenson and assistant coach Matt Lucero address their VOSHA Titans’ Mite team prior to a game during the 201920 season at AZ Ice Arcadia. Photo/Jennifer Monn

OSHA Titans’ 8U player Sammy Rao receives the Titans’ player of the game helmet after a game last season and poses with coaches Garrett Stephenson and Matt Lucero Photo/Jennifer Monn

Garrett Stephenson will take over as the organization’s skills coach next season. He has been with the Titans from the start and continues to be a vital piece of the program’s foundation. Skills nights across the organization have become

Stephenson has been an important part of the fundamental level of growth within the Titans organization. He has been the Mites and 10U coach since the inaugural season but is excited to be able to extend his reach to push the development across all ages.

and kids throughout the program. “Garrett brings a lot to the table with his hockey knowledge,” said Titans off-ice trainer Jordan Allan.

ArcadiaIce.com

Phoenix native, Jr. Coyotes grad Kastelic inks NHL deal with Ottawa By Matt Mackinder

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fter five years with the Western Hockey League’s (WHL) Calgary Hitmen, Mark Kastelic is off to play professional hockey. Back on April 9, the 21-year-old Phoenix native signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Ottawa Senators, the team that selected him in the fifth round (125th overall) of the 2019 NHL Draft. “Since being drafted just last June, Mark has worked hard to earn this contract,” said Ottawa general manager Pierre Dorion. “We were pleased to see how he progressed in his overage season in Calgary, where he served as Hitmen captain for two consecutive seasons, and where he was on track to post his most productive Major Junior season. He’s a solid two-way center who shows strong attention to detail in his play.” During the 2019-20 season, Kastelic posted 38 goals and 30 assists for 68 points in 58 games. He also recorded a plus-30 plus-minus rating and tied for the WHL lead with four shorthanded goals while being named a Second Team Eastern Conference All-Star. “As a two-year captain (and the first-ever U.S.-born captain in Hitmen history), he set the gold standard for the Hitmen, both on and off the ice leading by example,” said Hitmen general manager Jeff Chynoweth. “His game took great strides during his five years in Calgary and he is very deserving of this opportunity with the Senators.” With the Hitmen, Kastelic carved his name into team record books in several categories. He is third all-time in goals (126), fourth in games played (321) and seventh in points (235). Growing up, Kastelic played for the Phoenix Polar Bears, Phoenix Firebirds and Jr. Coyotes. “I had a lot of great coaches during my minor hockey career and took a little something away from each of them,” Kastelic said. “The coach that stands out the most though is my dad (Ed), who coached me up until Bantam. I really feel he helped produce successful teams and taught every player he coached so much. Being a former NHLer, he was very well-respected and knowledgeable and I’m very lucky I was able to have him as my coach.”

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Sun Devil Strong Incoming Arizona State freshman class for 2020-21 season a strong blend of character, skill, potential points in 45 games this past season for the USHL’s Des Moines Buccaneers. A 2001 birth year, Mancinelli is one of the youngest recruits in this class as he turns 19 this summer. During his rookie USHL season with the Madison Capitols in 2017-18, he ranked sixth in league scoring among rookies with 35 points. He played the 2018-19 season for Des Moines and the Fargo Force.

Originally committed to Denver, O’Reilly will be the fifth NHL draft pick to play for ASU after being taken by ven as the NCAA season came to an abrupt end the Detroit Red Wings in the fourth round (98th overall) in last month due to the spread of the cornavirus, Arithe 2018 NHL Draft. zona State is already looking to the future, announcing O’Reilly, a 2000 birth year and native of Southlake, its six-player freshman class for the upcoming 2020-21 Tex., has recorded 52 goals and 46 assists over three season. USHL seasons with Madison, Fargo and the Green Bay Two of the six players are NHL draft picks, and the Gamblers. While wearing an ‘A’ for the Gamblers during class features four forwards, one defenseman and the 2019-20 season, O’Reilly compiled 17 goals and one goaltender. 32 points in 48 games. “This is an exciting and new level of draft class In 2018, O’Reilly played for Team USA at the World for us, and one that we’ve been very excited about Junior A Challenge in Bonnyville, Alberta. The United bringing in,” said ASU head coach Greg Powers. States won the tournament and O’Reilly was one of just “We have a great balance of two-way players, an five USA players to record four points. elite goaltender and raw talent top to bottom. They’ll “Ryan is a very high-end talent,” Powers said. “He’s be another freshman class that comes in and makes big and he can flat out score. I don’t think we’ve had a an immediate impact.” player with his physical makeup yet and we’re thrilled Forwards Benji Eckerle, Matthew Kopperud, he chose to be a Sun Devil.” Michael Mancinelli and Ryan O’Reilly join blueAs the only defenseman in this class, Kosobud is liner Carson Kosobud and goalie Cole Brady as another former Phoenix product that made his way to future Sun Devils. Minnesota for high school, following ASU sophomore forward Demetrios Koumontzis. Kosobud, a 1999 birth year, played at Moorhead High School and committed to ASU during Phoenix native Carson Kosobud played this past season for the BCHL’s his senior season in April 2017. That same year, he Penticton Vees and figures to play valuable minutes for ASU as a fresh- helped lead Moorhead to the Minnesota 2A state man defenseman in 2020-21. Photo/Jack Murray hockey championship. During the 2019-20 season, Kosobud registered four goals and 17 points in 57 games for the BCHL’s Penticton Vees. His speed and skating ability will help fill the back end upon the graduation of co-captain Brinson Pasichnuk. “Carson is big, strong, and can skate incredibly well,” said Powers. “He’ll be a welcomed addition to our back end and will make us more difficult to play against. He grew up in Phoenix and we’re thrilled he’s coming back home to be a Sun Devil.” Standing 6-foot-5, Brady will be the largest goaltender in the Sun Devils short NCAA Division I history. One of two incomBrady was drafted by the New Jerseys Devils in the ing Sun Devils from Northfifth round (127th overall) of the 2019 NHL Draft. ville, Mich., Eckerle is player During his first season with the NAHL’s Janesville that will bring versatility to the Jets in 2018-19, Brady earned the Jets’ MVP award afSun Devils lineup and figures to Incoming Sun Devils freshman Benji Eckerle skated his second season ter posting a 21-17-4 record with a 2.79 goals-against with the USHL’s Tri-City Storm last season and began his junior career in average, a .912 save percentage and five shutouts. be a player that will contribute right 2017-18 with the NAHL’s Janesville Jets. Photo/Dan Hickling/Hickling Images away. This past season with Fargo, the 2001 birth year This season, the 1999 birth year tallied 14 goals and from Pickering, Ont., went 21-12-5 with a 2.79 GAA, a 34 points in 48 games for the USHL’s Tri-City Storm. .903 save percentage and two shutouts. “Benji does it all,” said Powers. “He can play any “Cole is a special talent,” said Powers. “He’s a big position up front and can really skate. He is responsible and very cerebral goaltender. He’s developed a very in his own end and has really developed a really good high compete level over three years of junior hockey offensive game throughout his career. He’s also an inand is ready to come to ASU and really add to our goalcredibly high-character kid and will really add value to tending group with Evan (DeBrouwer) and Justin our culture inside the room.” (Robbins). He’s a great teammate and loves to win. In his first year in the USHL playing for the Dubuque He’s been committed to us for a long time and we’re Fighting Saints after two full seasons with the BCHL’s thrilled he’s finally coming to Tempe.” Merritt Centennials, Kopperud notched 17 goals and Brady played the 2017-18 season for the OJHL’s 41 points over 46 games in 2019-20. Markham Royals. The Denver native and 1999 birth year committed Overall, as a team that was ranked for most of the to the Sun Devils in Sept. 2018. 2019-20 season, the Sun Devils are proving to be a In 2018-19 with the Centennials, Kopperud recordperennial national contender playing as the country’s ed a career-high 51 points with 27 goals in 49 games. lone independent team. “Matthew has been on our radar for a long time,” A 2018 draft pick of the Detroit Red Wings, Ryan O’Reilly has legitimate Powers said the half-dozen players will add to a solNHL talent that should fit in extremely well with Arizona State’s up-temPowers said. “He attended our very first summer camp po style of play. Photo/Michael Caples/MiHockey id returning group for next fall at Oceanside Ice Arena. before the hybrid year and stayed in touch ever since. And there may be more signings to come. He’s a very gifted offensive player that competes every In 2018, Mancinelli played for Team USA at the Hlinka “Our staff has done a tremendous job going out and shift and loves to put up points.” Gretzky Cup. getting us players,” Powers said. “This class excites us as A former North Dakota commit, Mancinelli is the sec“Michael is a complete 200-foot center,” Powers said. is and we have other verbally committed players that ond incoming Northville, Mich., product and committed to “He can score, win draws and can play in his own end. could be great options to add to this class as well. We ASU last December. He’ll bolster the center position for He’ll fit in very well right away, especially with losing a will make that determination at the end of everyone’s the Sun Devils in 2020-21 after posting 16 goals and 26 right-shot center like Brett Gruber.” seasons.” By Matt Mackinder

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INLINE HOCKEY ASSOCIATION OF ARIZONA

After Tuscon festival, IHAZZ now in a holding pattern So IHAAZ moved forward. Schedules were redone, minimizing the number of reative planning and scheduling, along with putting teams that were together in the rink at one time. Divia wide range of precautionary measures in place, sions with a larger number of teams saw players sepahelped IHAAZ navigate its way through a challenging rate into groups when they weren’t playing in an effort time to put on its festival in Tucson last month. to promote safety. With the COVID-19 pandemic only beginning to “The teams brought their own canopies and we batake shape at the time, but nowhere near at the level sically had little islands of teams,” Boyarsky said. “We it is today, the league held wanted to have the least a meeting the week leading amount of interaction between up to the festival to figure the teams as possible.” out how it would approach In addition to those measures, Boyarsky said Prescott things. board member Charlie ArTournament director Nick nold and his wife brought Boyarsky said the board met sanitation supplies that they the day before the tourney beuse at their rink so that the gan via a teleconference. locker room could be disin“We had a meeting Thursfected every two hours. day and spent a good 45 The benches and penalty minutes talking about it,” said Boyarsky. “What we came In recent IHAAZ action in the 14U division, the Jr. Wildcats’ Eli boxes were cleaned as well up with was we were going Shulman attempts to get a shot on Cobras goalie Jonah Benkel on a regular basis. Select seating areas were blocked to do as many as things as as Brandon Tesmer looks to fend off Shulman. Photo/IHAAZ possible to eliminate the things we were told to watch off as well in order to spread out the crowd. The one thing that nearly held up the festival was out for.” Although pro sports leagues were beginning to the AAU, which had canceled its own events. IHAAZ postpone seasons and the NCAA called off March isn’t an AAU event but is run through AAU rules and Madness and the Frozen Four, there were no indica- insurance. By Friday morning, the insurance side of things had tions from the city or state at the time that holding the been taken care of. Ultimately, everyone was required festival would be a problem.

By Brian Lester

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to sign a waiver. Without question, it took some extra effort to pull off the event, but all things considered, it was a success. “As far as the event itself, it went very well,” Boyarsky said. “The competition was really good, and it felt like a normal event. Tucson went above and beyond to be extra cautious. Everything was over-cleaned.” But since that festival in March, everything has been on hold. The April festival in Prescott is already canceled and a decision will be made on the IHAAZ State Finals at the end of month. The odds are against the state finals being played, but alternatives for down the road are being looked at. “What I think will happen, once things normalize, is we will look at a time in the summer to put on a state final,” Boyarsky said. “There are just so many moving parts right now, but as soon things are normal, we will put on a state final for those that missed out. We want to be able to do something at some point. “We’re just in a holding pattern right now like everyone else.” Looking back now, Boyarsky said he’s glad IHAAZ was able to put on its March festival. He said he’s received a lot of positive feedback from parents as well regarding the decision to have the festival in Tucson. “I’ve received a lot of emails and texts and Facebook messages from parents thanking us for putting the tournament on,” Boyarsky said. “Now that it’s been a few weeks, they are glad the tournament gave them one last hockey fix for the season.”


MISSION ARIZONA

Mission 18U sees chance at nationals’ redemption vanish By Greg Ball

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ust days before most of the country went into quarantine to address the coronavirus pandemic, the 18U AA team from Mission AZ was riding high. The squad had just captured its second straight Arizona Amateur Hockey Association state championship and was gearing up for a return engagement at the USA Hockey National Championships. This trip would be extra meaningful, as Mission advanced to last year’s national title game before falling short of its ultimate goal. Mission beat the AHU Silver Knights 4-1 in the opening game of the best-of-three championship series on March 7 at Oceanside Ice Arena in Tempe, then skated to a 5-4 overtime victory the next day to seal the title. Just three days later, their dreams of avenging their national championship game defeat were squashed when national tournaments were officially cancelled. “I feel so badly for these kids who worked so hard to get back to that national championship game this year and avenge the loss,” Mission AZ coach-in-chief Jeremy Goltz said. “But we had a terrific season that we should be proud of. We played nine teams ranked in the top 40 nationally and beat five of them, with two ties. We also beat the No. 1 team in the country, the Highland Park (Ill.) Falcons, on their home ice. We beat eight of the 11 teams in the Central States Developmental Hockey League, and we finished the season ranked No. 40. “This was a very special group of kids, parents and coaches, and I want their success to be remembered in

the middle of all this chaos.” Mission’s 18U AA roster includes forwards Dean Angelo, Scott Bird, Luke Fain, Matt Gary, Jack Huegler, David Jaichner, Benson Middendorf, Skyler Sanchez, Nick Weber, Jorden Werner and Mitchell Wolfert; defensemen John Bomberg, Spencer Craig, Connor Lough, Reese Middendorf, Gavin Moriarty, Luc Spinasanta; and goalies Matthew Diamond and Chase Golden. Spinasanta said the key to the team’s success this year was always finding a way to play up to the toughest of competition. “This season was one of the most successful seasons and my favorite season playing for Mission,” he said. “Ultimately, with nationals being cancelled, our team did not get a chance to showcase our talent on a national stage. I feel we would have had a great chance at a run to the national championship.” Golden said he’ll cherish the memory of beating the top team in the country. ”I’ll never forget the moment that clock hit zero, watching my teammates all try to jump the boards at once to come tackle me,” he recalled. “Games like that are what

fuel my passion for this sport. Being in the locker room after a game like that is the most surreal moment. It just feels like you can do anything.” Of course, Spinasanta, Golden and all the other players who have played their last game in a Mission sweater will leave with that uniform having left a lasting impression. “One thing I’ll truly remember about my Mission experience is the national run from last year,” Spinasanta said. “I truly can’t thank Coach Goltz enough for the group he assembled for the past two years.” Added Golden, “After my 10 long years at Mission, I’ve learned so much. I’ve made countless memories and plenty of lifelong friends. The thing that has always stuck with me through the years is seeing the respect for the jersey and the man who made it.” While the team ultimately was robbed of its second chance at a national title, they can look back knowing they left everything on the ice. “I said last year to them before the season started that they will be ready for everything that comes at them except the nerves of a championship game,” Goltz recalled. “This year, they had a more successful regular season and now would have had that experience of playing in the big game they didn’t have last year. “This was our year. We prepared every day like national champions, and I believe in my heart it was our time.”

MissionArizonaIce.org

From all of us with Mission AZ, we hope you are all safe and healthy!

We’ll be back on the ice soon enough! MissionArizonaIce.org AZRubberHockey.com

17


NEW MEXICO REPORT

Rio Rancho’s Weaver commits to NCAA D-II Franklin Pierce By Matt Mackinder

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rowing up, Nick Weaver was one of the top players for the New Mexico Warriors youth hockey program. After making the jump to AAA hockey with the Colorado Rampage and Colorado Springs Tigers, the Rio Rancho native followed that up with two solid seasons of junior hockey with the Eastern Hockey League’s (EHL) Boston Jr. Rangers. This fall, the 20-year-old forward will be on the move again as a recent commitment to NCAA Division II Franklin Pierce University (Northeast-10) will see Weaver start his college hockey and academic career in Rindge, N.H. “Playing in the EHL provides an opportunity for exposure and my (Jr. Rangers) coach Rich DeCaprio has worked hard to ensure all players have the best opportunity to extend their playing career,” said Weaver. “Franklin Pierce is a small university with low student-teacher ratios. I visited the school and met with Coach (Shaun) Millerick and believe that this will be a good fit for me. “I am excited for the opportunity to be a Franklin Pierce Raven, and to have the ability to get a high-quality education while continuing to develop in the game I love.” In the classroom, Weaver plans to major in Business Management. During his two seasons in the EHL, Weaver first played for the Jr. Rangers’ EHL Premier (EHLP) team in 2018-19, posting 17 goals and 47 points in 37 games. Advancing up to Boston’s EHL squad this sea-

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Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine

son, Weaver recorded six goals and 15 points over 30 lando registered 25 goals and 60 points that season games. before moving to the EHL’s Worcester Jr. Railers this “We are excited for Nick,” said DeCaprio. “He re- season. ally saw his development all the way through. He’s a In New Mexico and later on in Colorado, Weaver tremendous competitor and teammate. Franklin Pierce said the road trips and travelling with his teammates is getting a skilled player that can definitely finish and are memories that will never fade. He noted that New create offense.” Mexico coaches Kelly Colyer, Todd Ganshaw, Brian Weaver said playing in the EHL Barnes and Vladimir Hartinger helped to solidify his goal of playing and Tigers coaches Kevin Holcollege hockey. mstrom and Cody Ayers all pre“Playing for the Jr. Rangers in pared him well for the next level. both the EHLP my first year and the “I would like to take the opporEHL my age out year was definitetunity to thank the coaches and orly the best move for my junior caganizations that have impacted my reer,” said Weaver. “The coaches development,” Weaver said. “The and facilities are second to none. New Mexico coaches all played a The competition and exposure help role in my early years, and then the players grow and really excel at the Tigers coaches helped me step to a next level. From the atmosphere at higher level of play. Coaches ‘Coiner’ (Keith Aucoin) and DeCaprio the showcases, to a Monday mornhave also played a critical role in my ing game, nothing beats it. Nick Weaver, a 1999-born Rio Rancho “Stepping from New Mexico to native and New Mexico Warriors alum, success. “Most of all, I thank my parents AAA to junior hockey has provided rounded out his game to be NCAA-ready my game the ability to grow. In my the past two seasons playing junior hock- (Neal and Martha) and my sister with the EHL’s Boston Jr. Rangers. Maddison for their part in helping opinion, the EHL provides the best ey Photo/Dan Hickling/Hickling Images me reach my goals.” opportunity to commit to colleges.” Down the road, Weaver said he is interested in The Jr. Rangers were also tabbed the EHL Organization of the Year in the New England Conference for owning his own business and staying on the ice as long as possible. the 2019-20 season. “I want to make the most of my college and athletic With the Jr. Rangers in 2018-19, Weaver was joined by former Warriors teammate and Rio Rancho product opportunities,” he said. “We’ll just have to see where it Matthew Orlando as two of the team’s top scorers. Or- leads me.”


Arizona State doubly golden at WCRHL conference finals award by netting four goals in the two games while ASU goaltender Aaron Gittings stopped 15 of 16 shots (.938 save percentage) to post the Game 2 win. “Fullerton has been slowly improving with the burden being on them to be able to beat us eventually, where our burden was to not get complacent,” ASU program director Nick Boyarsky said. “We could feel Fullerton start to gain some confidence the last few times we’d played them. They had leads at points in games, were scoring goals when they needed to, and their goalie would hit hot streaks where pucks were finding it hard to get in. “We knew for the finals they were not going to lay down and just hand it to us. That first game in the first

challenging due to an unexpected short bench. Top-seeded ASU doubled up Cal Poly Gold 6-3 in he Western Collegiate Roller Hockey League’s the semifinals behind Jared Minton’s hat trick, while (WCRHL) conference championship tournament second-seeded Arizona slipped past Fullerton 6-1 on March 7-8 at The Rinks-Corona Inline in Corona, Calif., a hat trick by Nicholas Cauchi. proved to be an exciting conclusion to the 2019-20 The Wildcats, who finished in fourth place in the season. regular-season standings with an 8-7-0-1 record, took It was certainly exciting for Arizona State, as the a 2-0 lead in the final on goals by Zachary Kavanagh Sun Devils repeated as champions in both the Division and Michael Miscio, but were unable to hold it as I and Division IV competition tiers. the Sun Devils rallied with second-period goals by Both ASU teams rolled to dominant 15-1 regularMiguel Cazares and Cole Kamin to tie the game. season records, but the playoffs proved to be hotly After a scoreless third period, ASU’s Elliot Allison contested. scored the game-winning goal at 8:30 of overtime to The Division I championship featured a best-ofearn division MVP honors. three series with the top-seeded WCRHL director Brennan Sun Devils topping secondEdwards called the Division IV seeded CSU Fullerton by scores championship game “one of the of 5-3 and 6-1. best games in the tournament.” The Division IV final proved “It was a complete 180 from to be an all-Arizona affair with the rest of the weekend and from a surprise ending. After ASU ASU’s regular season,” he said. had dominated regular-season “With Arizona State defeating play with an imposing 165-39 University of Arizona deep into goal-differential, the Sun Devils the first overtime, it was thrilling edged intrastate rival University of because ASU had made short Arizona 3-2 in overtime. work out of the other Division IV teams all season long and in Final conflict round robin play. Fullerton was competing in “But it was U of A playing the Division I tier this season tough round-robin games to earn after winning last year’s Division II the No. 2 seed in the semis, and national championship. then their goaltender (Nathan The teams fought to a 2-2 Mazur) played out of his mind, standoff through two periods thwarting every ASU attack for in the opening game of their 40 minutes until they managed to championship series with Logan knock one home.” Corrigan scoring twice for Boyarsky said untimely Arizona State. illness reduced the Division IV The Titans took a 3-2 lead after ASU team’s roster to just four scoring just 48 seconds into the able-bodied skaters to play the third period, but the Sun Devils Arizona State University repeated as the Western Collegiate Roller Hockey League’s Division I champion to cap majority of the second half of closed out the Game 1 victory on play in the 2019-20 season. Photo/WCRHL the championship game and the strength of three unanswered goals, including an two periods where we both answered each other’s overtime. empty-net goal by Blake Tallas with 13 seconds to goals fairly quickly showed how important the third “We rely on offense and our goaltending to keep play with ASU nursing a 4-3 lead. period was going to have to be for us. The two quick games ending in our favor,” Boyarsky underscored. Corrigan finished the contest with a hat trick, while goals we scored sent the message and got us back “We had to really push defense first and let the goal Tallas had two goals. into the driver’s seat and set the stage for the second come from that defense, which was exactly how the There was no dramatic ending to Game 2 as the game.” OT game-winner happened. Sun Devils raced to an early 3-0 lead and slammed the The Sun Devils romped through the round-robin “Hats off to the U of A team that really came door shut on Fullerton with three third-period goals. phase of the Division IV playoffs with a 23-2 goal- together and played a very complete game against Corrigan earned the Division I Most Valuable Player differential but found the elimination bracket more us.”

By Phillip Brents

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NAU, Wildcats play well, come up short in WCRHL tourney B

oth Northern Arizona University (Division II) and the University of Arizona (Division III) looked to contend for championships at this year’s Western Collegiate Roller Hockey League conference tournament following strong regular-season finishes. But neither team was able to close it out March 7-8 at The Rinks-Corona Inline in Corona, Calif. NAU finished third in the conference finals while the Wildcats advanced as far as the semifinals. Three teams participated in the Division II playoffs last month with a double round-robin determining the division champion. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, the division’s top regular season team, finished 3-1 while Chico State finished 2-2 and NAU finished 1-3. “The showing was not the outcome that we wanted but three stop-clock periods are a lot for only

having five guys and our Division IV goalie making his for Division II debut for us,” NAU leading scorer Jaden Guzman said. “We went 1-3, which led us to not being able to win our division. “Our games were never blowouts or us getting dominated. We just simply ran out of gas throughout each game. With the group of guys NAU has, we all have the skill to win games but not enough energy to stay out the entire game.” The Wildcats finished runner-up by a single point to Cal Poly Pomona in the regular-season standings with an 11-5 record but were unable to duplicate that success at the conference championships.

Fourth-seeded San Jose State University proved to be brick wall for the Wildcats, who dropped two games to the Spartans in the tournament, 6-3 in pool play and 5-2 in the semifinals. “We didn’t have the result we wanted, and we found our kryptonite with San Jose State,” Arizona club president Alex Parrish said. “They played really good roller and even though we kept up with them, we couldn’t put the puck in the net even with a roster of goal scorers. I think this event really got everyone ready for next season.” - Phillip Brents AZRubberHockey.com

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2019-20 ARIZONA/ ARIZONA/NEW NEW MEXICO ALUMNI Email all additions, deletions and corrections to alumni@rubberhockey.com

ARIZONA PROFESSIONAL HOCKEY Derek Brown (Peoria) – Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs (SPHL) Austin Carroll (Scottsdale) – Kassel Huskies (Germany) Trevor Cheek – Esbjerg Energy (Denmark) * Sean Couturier (Phoenix) – Philadelphia Flyers (NHL) Richard Coyne (Cave Creek) – Rapid City Rush (ECHL) Anthony Croston (Phoenix) – Adirondack Thunder (ECHL) Brandon Fehd (Gilbert) – Rapid City Rush (ECHL) Seth Gustin (Phoenix) – Columbus River Dragons (FPHL) Nikolai Knyzhov – San Jose Sharks (NHL) - * # Brendan Lemieux (Phoenix) – New York Rangers (NHL) Broc Little (Phoenix) – Linkopings HC (Sweden) Auston Matthews (Scottsdale) – Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL) Beau McCue – Fayetteville Marksmen (SPHL) * Ben Oskroba (Tempe) – Peoria Rivermen (SPHL) Gage Quinney – Vegas Golden Knights (NHL) * Ty Ronning (Scottsdale) – Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL) Henrik Samuelsson (Scottsdale) – Worcester Railers (ECHL) Philip Samuelsson (Scottsdale) – Leksands IF (Sweden) Andrew Shortridge – San Jose Barracuda (AHL) * Tage Thompson (Phoenix) – Rochester Americans (AHL) Jesse Ylonen (Scottsdale) - Laval Rocket (AHL) Zack Ziegler (Scottsdale) – Battle Creek Rumble Bees (FPHL) COLLEGE HOCKEY NCAA DIVISION I – MEN Todd Burgess (Phoenix) - RPI (ECAC) Nathan Burke (Scottsdale) - Minnesota (Big Ten) Jaxon Castor (Phoenix) - St. Cloud State (NCHC) Carson Dimoff (Scottsdale) - St. Lawrence (ECAC) Jake Durflinger – Denver (NCHC) & Phil Knies (Phoenix) - Miami (NCHC) Demetrios Koumontzis (Scottsdale) – Arizona State (Independent) Ethan Roswell (Paradise Valley) - Bentley (Atlantic Hockey) Ryan Savage (Scottsdale) – Miami (NCHC) Connor Stuart (Phoenix) - Arizona State (Independent) Johnny Walker (Phoenix) - Arizona State (Independent) NCAA DIVISION I – WOMEN Kenadie Cooper (Gilbert) – St. Anselm (NEWHA) Logan Hicks (Scottsdale) - Syracuse (CHA) Kiki Roust (Queen Creek) - Merrimack (Hockey East) Carlee Turner (Scottsdale) - New Hampshire (Hockey East) NCAA DIVISION III – MEN Trey Bagwell (Phoenix) - UW-River Falls (WIAC) Blake Bjella (Mesa) - Worcester State (MASCAC)

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Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine

Andy Chugg (Scottsdale) - Trinity (NESCAC) Clay Cross (Glendale) - Marian (NCHA) Brett Dillon (Phoenix) - Bryn Athyn (Independent) Sage Englund (Cave Creek) - Salve Regina (CCC) Alex Heinritz (Fountain Hills) - Middlebury (NESCAC) Samuel Kany (Phoenix) - Trinity (NESCAC) Keaton Kaplis (Gilbert) - King’s (UCHC) Danny Kiraly (Glendale) - UW-Stevens Point (WIAC) Michael Mahan (Scottsdale) - St. John’s (MIAC) Nick Nast – St. Mary’s (MIAC) & Ethan Osburn (Dewey) - UMass Boston (NEHC) Joe Petruzzella (Scottsdale) - UMass Boston (NEHC) Forbes Ploszaj (Gilbert) - St. Scholastica (NCHA) Erik Pritchard (Cave Creek) - Worcester State (MASCAC) Keenan Spillum (Phoenix) - St. Norbert (NCHA) Alex Storjohann (Phoenix) - Cortland (SUNYAC) Carson Vance (Tempe) - Oswego (SUNYAC) Mason Vukonich (Phoenix) - UW-River Falls (WIAC) Sean Winikates (Phoenix) - Potsdam (SUNYAC) Dante Zapata - Utica (UCHC) & NCAA DIVISION III – WOMEN Jessica Carter (Scottsdale) - Buffalo State (NEWHL) Raeann Clancey (Surprise) - King’s (UCHC) Taylor Curtis (Peoria) - Hamline (MIAC) Natasha Hawkins (Scottsdale) - New England College (NEHC) Gabbie Igo (Phoenix) - Plymouth State (NEHC) Hannah Kiraly (Glendale) - Plattsburgh (NEWHL) Ky Lackey (Phoenix) - Buffalo State (NEWHL) Belle Lacombe (Surprise) - Norwich (NEHC) Alexis Ryan (Mesa) – Middlebury (NESCAC) JUNIOR HOCKEY Erik Atchison - Spokane Chiefs (WHL) & Dante Bagnasco (Mesa) - Charleston Colonials (USPHL Premier) Brian Baier (Phoenix) - Gillette Wild (NA3HL) Johnny Baird (Scottsdale) - Helena Bighorns (NA3HL) Jack Bayless (Scottsdale) - Wenatchee Wild (BCHL) Robby Beck (Cave Creek) - Northeast Generals (NA3HL) Logan Bellar (Chandler) - Texas RoadRunners (NA3HL) Guy Blessing (Chandler) - Topeka Pilots (NAHL) Ryan Bottrill (Scottsdale) - Janesville Jets (NAHL) Colby Brett (Phoenix) - Melfort Mustangs (SJHL) Adam Bricker (Scottsdale) - PAL Jr. Islanders (USPHL NCDC) Ben Brockway (Phoenix) - Cobourg Cougars (OJHL) Sean Bunting (Phoenix) - Langley Rivermen (BCHL) Aidan Carney (Paradise Valley) - Wenatchee Wild (BCHL) Cole Carpenter (Gilbert) - Thief River Falls Norskies (SIJHL) Paul Cartone (Phoenix) - Fort Erie Meteors (GOJHL) Arun Cibrario (Glendale) - Hampton Roads Whalers (USPHL Elite)

Liam Conway (Chandler) - Danbury Colonials (NA3HL) Nic Coppola (Glendale) - Pittsburgh Vengeance (USPHL Premier) Dylan Crane (Gilbert) - Missoula Jr. Bruins (NA3HL) Evan Cronkhite (Aliso Viejo) - Boston Bandits (USPHL Premier) Logan Dahlgren (Surprise) - Boston Bandits (USPHL Elite) Henry Dennee (Chandler) - Pueblo Bulls (WSHL) Joe DiGiulio – Hampton Roads Whalers (USPHL Premier) & Josh Doan (Scottsdale) - Chicago Steel (USHL) Jacob Elik (Phoenix) - Northern Colorado Eagles (WSHL) Chance Elliott (Dewey) - Long Beach Sharks (NA3HL) Gavyn Entzminger (Surprise) - Summerland Steam (KIJHL) Jake Fain (Prescott) - Willmar WarHawks (NA3HL) Dylan Florit (Orange County) - Atlanta MadHatters (USPHL Premier) Christopher Fritz (Phoenix) - Helena Bighorns (NA3HL) Jeremy Gabriele (Scottsdale) - Springfield Jr. Blues (NAHL) Matthew Garneau (Tucson) - Motor City Hockey Club (USPHL Premier) Ethan Gicewicz (Vail) - Pueblo Bulls (WSHL) Cole Golden (Phoenix) - Corpus Christi IceRays (NAHL) Mark Gordon (Chandler) - Odessa Jackalopes (NAHL) Trevor Griebel (Scottsdale) - Wenatchee Wild (BCHL) Justin Gusso (Phoenix) - Philadelphia Revolution (EHL) Tristan Hadley (Gilbert) - Seahawks Hockey Club (EHL) Hunter Hastings (Scottsdale) - Wenatchee Wild (BCHL) Stefan Hawkins (Scottsdale) - Carleton Place Canadians (CCHL) Kohl Hedquist (Tempe) - Hampton Roads Whalers (USPHL Premier) Hayden Hirsch (Phoenix) - Kamloops Storm (KIJHL) Zachary Hollman (Flagstaff) - Twin City Thunder (USPHL Premier) David Hymovitch (Phoenix) – Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL) Ryan Janowski (Scottsdale) - Nelson Leafs (KIJHL) Jake Johnson (Scottsdale) - Regina Pats (WHL) Will Josephson (Phoenix) - Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHL) Mark Kastelic (Phoenix) - Calgary Hitmen (WHL) Tyler Katen (Peoria) - Missoula Jr. Bruins (NA3HL) Alexander Kelsall (Gilbert) - Wausau RiverWolves (NA3HL) Stephen Kennedy (Scottsdale) - Northern Cyclones (USPHL Elite) Tyler Kiley-Ram (Scottsdale) - Soo Eagles (NOJHL) D.J. King – Saginaw Spirit (OHL) * Matthew Knies (Phoenix) - Tri-City Storm (USHL) Carson Kosobud (Phoenix) – Penticton Vees (BCHL) Daylan Kuefler – Kamloops Blazers (WHL) * Nick Layman (Scottsdale) - Northern Cyclones (USPHL Elite) Rene LeBlanc (Scottsdale) - Rockets Hockey Club (USPHL Elite) Jason Lee (Thousand Oaks) - Boston Bandits (USPHL Premier) Jeremy Masella (Phoenix) - Prince Albert Raiders (WHL) Anthony Massanotti (Gilbert) - Almaguin Spartans (GMHL) Matthew McBride (Phoenix) - Texas RoadRunners (NA3HL) Michael McCosh (Glendale) - New Mexico Ice Wolves (NAHL) Connor McMahan (Huntington Beach) - Hudson Havoc (USPHL Premier) Erik Middendorf (Scottsdale) – Chicago Steel (USHL) Reid Miller (Gilbert) - Connecticut Jr. Rangers (USPHL NCDC)

Rowan Miller (Scottsdale) - Powell River Kings (BCHL) Frazier Mohlar (Phoenix) - Sicamous Eagles (KIJHL) Logan Morrell (Mesa) – St. Cloud Blizzard (NAHL) Patrick Murphy - Kirkland Lake Gold Miners (NOJHL) * & Ty Nash (Scottsdale) - Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL) John Olguin (Chandler) - Midwest Blackbirds (USPHL Premier) Kaid Oliver – Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL) & Luke Ormsby (Scottsdale) - Wenatchee Wild (BCHL) Marcus Robertson (Chandler) - Coulee Region Chill (NA3HL) Matt Ryan (Scottsdale) - Lansing Wolves (USPHL Premier) Adam Samuelsson (Scottsdale) – Sioux City Musketeers (USHL) Redmond Savage (Scottsdale) - U.S. Under-17 Team (USHL) Aaron Stone (Gilbert) - Northumberland Stars (GMHL) Joey Strada (Scottsdale) – Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL) Jack Strauss (Phoenix) - Maine Nordiques (NAHL) Riley Stuart (Phoenix) - Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL) Caleb Swanson (Mesa) - Yellowstone Quake (NA3HL) Timmy Treadway (Phoenix) - South Shore Kings (USPHL NCDC) Andrew Van Ooteghem (Flagstaff) - Florida Eels (USPHL Elite) Caleb Wall (Chandler) - St. Cloud Blizzard (NAHL) Chase Wilhelm (Prescott) - Missoula Jr. Bruins (NA3HL) Cody Wilson (Goodyear) - Decatur Blaze (USPHL Premier) Garrett Wright (Mesa) - Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL) PREP SCHOOL Sam Deckhut – Salisbury Prep * Gage Redman (Scottsdale) - Culver Military Academy Cade Schiefelbein (Glendale) – Tahoe Prep Academy Duncan Shin (Chandler) – Shattuck-St. Mary’s

NEW MEXICO COLLEGE HOCKEY NCAA DIVISION III – MEN Cory King (Albuquerque) – Chatham (UCHC) JUNIOR HOCKEY Jai Delany (Santa Fe) - Midwest Blackbirds (USPHL Premier) Marcus Gretz (Albuquerque) - Flint Firebirds (OHL) Lachlan Henderson (Taos) - Midwest Blackbirds (USPHL Premier) Seth Payson (Albuquerque) - Texas RoadRunners (NA3HL) Nick Weaver (Rio Rancho) – Boston Jr. Rangers (EHL) Dane Whittet (La Mesa) - Pueblo Bulls (WSHL) PREP SCHOOL Liam Sutton (Santa Fe) – Tahoe Prep Academy * former Jr. Coyote & former Arizona Bobcat


AZRubberHockey.com

21


ADIN HILL

Position: Goaltender, Arizona Coyotes/Tucson Roadrunners Hometown: Comox, British Columbia, Canada NHL Draft: Selected in third round (76th overall) by Coyotes in 2015 NHL Draft Last Amateur Team: Portland Winterhawks (WHL) Age: 23 (turns 24 on May 11) Arizona Rubber: What’s your favorite hockey memory growing up? Adin Hill When I was 10, we won the Brick Tournament. That was a really cool thing, and I played for Team Brick Alberta. We had not won the tournament in many years. This was a host tournament and we won. Pretty fun. AZR: What’s your favorite memory in the game since leaving junior hockey? AH: Tough question. I would have to say my first NHL win (March 13, 2018). Just an exciting night and really excited to be in the NHL. The first game is obviously huge, exciting, big moment. To play your first NHL game and to get the win was great. We beat the L.A. Kings in a shootout, 4-3. AZR: Who have been the biggest influence on you, on and off the ice? AH: My dad, for sure. Growing up, he was always there for me and always pushing me. He’s a huge part of the reason why I am here today. AZR: What is the best piece of advice you have for a young hockey player? AH: Keep working, no matter what. You will be cut from some teams, you’ll have failures, whether it’s the team, or yourself, and things will not go your way. Just keep working and don’t keep your head down. Keep to the grind. AZR: Other than hockey, do you have a favorite sport to play? AH: I like to watch football and play basketball. AZR: Do you have any superstitions? AH: I would say I’m not too superstitious, but I do have a routine. I’ll eat pasta before every game, but nothing crazy or out of the ordinary. AZR: What does your game-day routine look like? AH: The one thing I do different on game day is I don’t nap. I just find if I nap, I can’t wake up for the rest of the day. So I don’t nap, and I guess that’s the one thing I do different from other players. AZR: Do you have a favorite meal or restaurant here in the Phoenix area? AH: There’s Tru Foods, which is great. Great healthy stuff. Restaurants? I really like Maple and Ash and Olive and Ivy in Scottsdale. These are my two favorites. AZR: What are some of the essentials you take on a road trip? AH: A suit. I guess then just the clothes I need. I try and pack light. Try and make sure I have enough underwear in there and I’m good to go. Headphones and iPhone, of course. I don’t have an iPad. AZR: Did you have a favorite hockey player growing up? AH: It was Roberto Luongo. He was a great goalie and had a huge influence on me. Photo/Phillip Brents

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Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine

- Compiled by Mark Brown


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