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MAY 2018


The Inline Hockey Association of Arizona wrapped up another successful festival season on the floor earlier this month and with the sport continuing to grow in membership and popularity, IHAAZ is showing no signs of slowing down




FROM THE EDITOR Summertime just means next season is right around the corner


Matt Mackinder

ell, here we are. It’s almost the end of May and the summer awaits. It’s time for some to get away from hockey and for others, to keep skating. For us at Arizona Rubber Magazine, we thank our readers, supporters and publishing partners for another solid and successful season. Without you, this publication would not be what it is. It truly is a blessing to do what we do. They say once you find a job you love that you’ll never work a day in your life. That is the absolute truth. We’ll be back with our summer issue in July and then in September, we’ll ramp it all back up again for nine consecutive months. We are excited for what the future holds and to continue bringing you the best coverage of

Arizona and New Mexico hockey. To all those traveling this summer, be safe. To all those staying on the ice, give 110 percent. To all those reading this right now, thank you! From the “We Could Have Told You That” Department, Phoenix Knights coach-GM Colten St. Clair was named Western States Hockey League Coach of the Year by the fan-run group WSHL 365. St. Clair was hired by the Knights in March 2017 after the team went 7-42-0 record the season before. After starting the 2017-18 year winless in their first 15 games, the Knights finished with a 23-26-2 record, and were only one win away from the Western Division Finals. Congrats, Colten! Jr. Coyotes graduate Garrett Wright will play in the Western Hockey League next season after signing with the Regina Pats. “Garrett is a good young player,” said Pats coach-GM John Paddock. “We are really excited he has chosen the Pats and the WHL to continue his development as a hockey player.” We’ll be keeping tabs on Garrett! Staying on the junior tip, the WHL and United States Hockey League held their respective drafts recently and several Arizona connections were selected. Four players went in the WHL Draft on May 3 – forward David Hymovitch (Phoenix native, Jr. Coyotes, Calgary Hitmen, fourth round/69th overall), forward Matthew Gross (Arizona Bobcats, Prince Albert Raiders, seventh round/141st overall), forward Ty Nash (Scottsdale, Bobcats, Lethbridge Hurricanes, ninth round/183rd overall) and defenseman Jake Johnson (Scottsdale, Jr. Coyotes, Regina Pats, tenth round/201st overall). Then three Jr. Coyotes players were taken in Phase I (2002 birthdates) of the USHL Draft on May 7 – forward Matthew Knies (Phoenix, Tri-City Storm, third round/38th overall), forward Riley Stuart (Phoenix, Omaha Lancers, fifth round/66th overall) and forward Josh Doan (Scottsdale, Chicago Steel, sixth round/95th overall). In Phase II of the USHL Draft, a process open to all junior-eligible players, two more Arizona players were selected – forward Nathan Burke (Scottsdale, Jr. Coyotes, Des Moines Buccaneers, second round/18th overall) and defenseman Trevor Griebel (Glendale, Jr. Coyotes, Central Illinois Flying Aces, sixth round/100th overall). Way to go, boys! And last, but not least, a hearty congratulations to University of Arizona freshman Anthony Cusanelli on being named ACHA Men’s Division I Rookie of the Year! Cusanelli tallied 51 points (31 goals, 20 assists) in 28 games played – averaging nearly two points per game. In the classroom, Cusanelli finished off his first academic year with a 3.8 GPA at the prestigious Eller College of Management, one of the topranked business schools in the entire country. Very impressive! And just this past week, two Arizona natives and Jr. Coyotes made headlines as Jaxon Castor was named MVP of the Robertson Cup tournament, leading the Shreveport Mudbugs to the North American Hockey League (NAHL) national championship on May 14. Then Connor Stuart committed to play NCAA Division I hockey back home at Arizona State. What a great way to take us into summer!

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 Wilson


Jackson Barliant was the lone New Mexico native in all of NCAA Division I hockey during the 2017-18 season, and the Santa Fe native posted career-best numbers as a junior at Sacred Heart University. More on Page 18. Photo/SHU Athletics

ON THE COVER Players from all the IHAAZ organizations gathered at the 2018 State Finals event the first weekend in May at the Barney Family Sports Complex in Queen Creek. Pictured back row, from left to right, are Dennis Norris (Yuma Blaze), Aiden Werner (AZ Royals), Calvin Goeke (Prescott Storm) and Griffin Sherwood (Northern AZ Yetis). Pictured front row, from left to right, are Zakery Proud (IHAAZ All Stars White), Landon Jans (Knighthawks), Ayden Alvarez (Jr Wildcats) and Hunter Mathews (IHAAZ All Stars Blue). Photo/IHAAZ

Coyotes finish strong, get boost in optimism for ’18-19 By Mark Brown


quick look at the final NHL standings would indicate a rough ride for the Arizona Coyotes. In achieving 70 standing points for their 82 games, that ranked among the lowest in the league. Only Ottawa and Buffalo failed to reach the 70-point plateau. Their 29 wins for the season tied Montreal for third-lowest and again, Ottawa (28) and Buffalo (23) won fewer games. Plus, the start was brutal. Of their first 33 contests, the Coyotes played only 12 games at the Gila River Arena. That prevented coach Rick Tocchet from providing adequate practice time and implementing his style and structure on the ice. By the time the Coyotes defeated Washington 3-2 at home on Dec. 22, their record plunged to 8-24-5 and for all practical purposes, the season was lost in the standings. Yet, don’t tell that to the players. “We were all off to a rough start,” said Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson. “I think it took some time to get used to the new coaching staff and the system we were playing. The last two, three months were really good. It was tough in the beginning, but it’s still the same game. At the same time, we played a little bit differently, and now feel comfortable with Toc’s system.” Despite the challenging start, the Coyotes,

collectively, picked themselves off the mat and pledged to themselves, their coaching staff and the fans that better days lie ahead. Over the course of the second half, a foundation was laid for success, and behind the production and future of Clayton Keller, the Coyotes manufactured one of the best records in the NHL since the start of 2018. To that end, goalie Antti Raanta said the difference was clear. “At the start of the season, we found ways to lose,” he said. “Towards the end of the season, we found ways to win, and that boosts our confidence for next season.” Among the factors for the strong finish, Raanta remained an important force. Rewarded with a three-year contract, the Finland native went 7-1 in the month of March and stopped 202 of 214 shots on net. Twice during the season, he was named the Second Star of the Week and for his effort from March 26-April 1, he went 3-0-0 with a 1.00 goals-against average and posted one shutout. At this point, the Coyotes appear set between the pipes. Yet, the play of Keller, younger players like Christian Dvorak and Brendan Perlini and the rise of defensemen Kevin Connauton, whose 11 goals was a career-high, and Jason Demers,

good things appear to be in the forecast going forward. That was echoed by forward Derek Stepan, who contributed 14 goals and a 56-point season. “As a player this summer, you have to challenge yourself and put yourself in a position to be better than the year before,” Stepan said. “You look at your summer training and break it down. That will allow you to have the most successful year. If you don’t challenge yourself and don’t push yourself each day in the summer, it makes it much harder to have success when you get back here in September. There’s no team that goes into the summer together, so it’s all individual.” Despite the optimism and enthusiasm driven by winning at the end of the season, there is one dimension of the game that Tocchet and his staff will address both in the offseason and commencement of training camp in September. Special teams failed to put up competitive numbers and the Coyotes finished among the worst teams in the league in this category. On the power play, the team ranked 25th overall and last at home. In fact, the power play production was clearly better on the road. Away from Gila River Arena, the Coyotes scored 25 goals with the man-advantage, and only 16 at home. Their 22.1 percentage on the road was good enough for fifth-best in the league. Numbers for killing penalties were not much better. The Coyotes were 17th overall and 25th at home. Still, the residual effort of a successful finish can only mean heightened levels of expectation and energy when the team convenes for camp in mid-September AZRubberHockey.com


Wheels Up

Another banner season concludes for IHAAZ, with several changes getting positive feedback cooperation among the league board members has been integral in the success of IHAAZ as well. he Inline Hockey Association of Arizona had a decidedly different look this year, and that “Our board is working as a team, and things are better than they have ever been,” Bowasn’t a bad thing. yarsky said. “We have board members who are passionate and devote the time and energy In this case, change turned out to be a good thing. to make the series better.” The older age groups, starting at 12U and going up through the Midget level, played But there were challenges along the way, particularly with avoiding scheduling conflicts not only for state championships but for regular-season titles as well, igniting more interest for those that play both roller and ice hockey. during the season and adding another level of competitiveness to the season, too, as reThe majority of the tryouts for travel ice hockey were scheduled the same weekend as cords were kept. the state finals for IHAAZ this year, and because of the crossover of players, it took some Meanwhile, the 8U and 10U age groups continued to compete for medals at each of creativity to make sure there wasn’t an issue that prevented players from being able to take the festivals. part in both the state finals and the tryouts. At the state finals, every age division had a “Our league administrator and (Yuma Blaze round-robin tournament where every team had a IHAAZ board rep) Matt DiCori worked hard chance to compete against each other one last to work around every ice hockey tryout to make time. sure kids didn’t miss a game to attend a tryout,” Once the round robin was complete, the Boyarsky said. “I’d say close to 30 percent of our 10U, 14U and Midget divisions went on to have league plays ice hockey, too, and a schedule was the top two seeds play for gold and silver while created to where they could make it back and the third and fourth seeds battled for bronze. Beforth from the tryouts to the tournament games.” cause there were only four teams in 8U and 12U, The fact that IHAAZ was able to come up the top two seeds played for gold. with a schedule road map to make that work In all age groups, three awards were given speaks volumes about the league and the effort out to the Best Goalie, Best Offensive Player and that goes into making it a success, in addition to Best Defensive Player. the cooperation with the ice hockey world. The Micah Lieb Memorial Trophy went to the “In years past, if something like that had come top goalie and the Levi Wallace Memorial Trophy up, we wouldn’t have had the cooperation to went to the top offensive player. The awards were make something like that work,” Boyarsky said. given out based on stats from the season as a The younger age groups within IHAAZ continued to compete for medals at each of the “We’ve done a great job of working with the ice 2017-18 season festivals, and more teams may be on board for next season at the 8U hockey world to make sure no one has to choose whole. and 10U divisions. Photo/IHAAZ The goal for the season was to see the which sport they are going to play on a given changes have a positive impact on the league, and that misweekend.” sion was accomplished. One of the other notable changes this season is the way “We set out to try something different, to try to liven things played out in terms of officiating. things up a bit, and we think we met this goal,” said IHAAZ Rather than have inconsistencies in how games were tournament director Nick Boyarsky. “The changes to the officiated, an effort was made to make sure there was contournament and league structure were very well received. sistency in the officiating throughout the festival season. BoEveryone loved the league format in the older groups.” yarsky looks forward to seeing that continue in the future. League administrator Dave Lieb was pleased as well “We worked with Mike Sarter to narrow in on a spewith how it all played out. cific group of officials, a group we all felt understood the “Overall, I think the season was a success,” Lieb said. community and how to ref a series,” Boyarsky said. “We “We tried new things this season – a unique series of colwanted to have a seamless deal for officiating from event lectable festival pins for all players, a simple IHAAZ lanyard to event so that the focus was on the players and not the given to all players to hold their pins, the regular-season officiating. I thought Mike and his crew did a fantastic job. I championship – with corresponding perpetual trophy – and think everyone would agree we had the best officiating ever cumulative regular-season awards, bringing back the all-star in the history of the league.” games at state finals. At the same time, we continued the Boyarsky noted the experience of the refs was huge in same general festival format that has worked for over a demaking that happen. cade and continued to stoke the growing statewide interest “We used more experienced roller refs and the same in roller hockey.” guys each week, so they had a much better feel for calling It appears those changes will remain in place in the futhe games,” Boyarsky said. “I don’t think anyone really noture as well and there is even a chance the 8U and 10U ticed the officiating, and the best officiating is when no one divisions will follow the same format as the older divisions is talking about it. I felt like we hit it out of the park.” going forward. A total of 24 teams competed in the league this season “Barring any changes in the offseason, this will become and more growth appears to be on the horizon. the norm, and we may even explore changing the format for Boyarsky said he could see 2-5 new teams coming on the lower divisions as well,” Boyarsky said. “That’s some- At the older age levels this season, IHAAZ teams played for reg- board next season, particularly at the lower age levels. ular-season championships, sparking an added level of comthing we’ll discuss in the offseason.” “The growth of our sport and the growth of our league There were skills competitions as well and the all-star petition to the season that culminated at state finals earlier this is directly correlated with the ice hockey market,” Boyarsky month in Queen Creek. Photo/IHAAZ games were revived as well. The all-star games had been said. “We had more of that than ever this year. There are taken off the slate because there just wasn’t enough time to get them in during the busy more kids who play ice hockey playing roller hockey in the 8U and 10U groups than at any state finals weekend. A little schedule creativity made it work. other age level. As the word spreads, we expect even more growth in the future.” “I thought everyone had a lot of fun with that,” said Boyarsky. “The kids had a great time The appeal of playing roller hockey for ice hockey players is simple. It comes down to and we want to be able to keep that on the schedule going forward.” the more relaxed and fun atmosphere that IHAAZ offers to its players. There is little doubt that IHAAZ is as strong as ever, and the way things played out “People who play ice hockey see the benefits that roller hockey has on their game,” Boduring the 2018 festival season further shows just how solid the foundation is that the yarsky said. “Ice hockey parents enjoy the feeling that their kids can just go out and play and league stands on. have fun and not have to worry about if the season is going well or not, or if a bad season That isn’t something that happens by waving a magic wand. It takes the effort of those is going to hurt their kid’s chance of making a certain team next year. The kids can just organizing the festivals as well as the involvement of the parents and the coaches. The show up, play the game and have a good time.”

By Brian Lester



Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine


OneHockey invites West Coast teams to skate on July 4 By Kevin Conway


he Fourth of July holiday in California is annually a special time of year, and OneHockey Tournaments is offering West Coast youth teams the unique opportunity to celebrate America’s birthday close to home while competing in one of the finest offseason hockey events on the sports calendar. The OneHockey California 4th of July Tournament will take place the weekend after Independence Day, July 5-8. This five-game guaranteed spectacular is geared toward AAA and AA squads at the 16U (2002-03) through the 2009 age groups. With the abundance of summer fun activities away from the rink that this area of the Golden State offers, OneHockey has already registered several clubs from across the USA as well as Canada and Europe for this event but is still reserving space for regional teams as well. “Those teams are really excited and can’t wait to get here,” said Sebastien Fortier, founder and CEO of OneHockey. “Spending a long American holiday weekend near the California coast is a great tradition everybody wants to experience. But we’re also expecting more teams from around here to be joining us to make this July 4th tournament a true Californian celebration.” This OneHockey summer classic will be mainly based

at the popular Icetown Rink in Riverside, while some games may to be scheduled at its sister facility in Carlsbad. The Icetown Rink in both communities are year-round arenas owned and operated by the NHL’s L.A. Kings and offer everything from youth and adult hockey to figure skating, sled hockey and broomball. Players from Southern California as well as the southwest corner of the country are certainly familiar with both twin-sheet locations. Fortier is even offering teams the opportunity to request to play all or some of their games at the Carlsbad Icetown in order to be closer to the incredible beaches of Southern California. In fact, the locations of both rinks are renowned for their scenic, recreational and cultural attractions. “We’ve waited a long time to break into California, so we want to make sure all our families have time to explore this incredible part of the country,” said Fortier, the Laguna Hills resident who started OneHockey in 2003. “That’s why we’re going to be holding tournaments in California pretty much every holiday weekend.” Both the Riverside and Carlsbad communities have special events planned for this Independence Day, including fireworks and other attractions. Meanwhile, the famous LEGOLAND California theme park in Carlsbad regularly offers dozens of rides, displays, and shows but will amp


up its daily fun on July 4 with some All-American picnic games, all leading up to a fabulous fireworks display. Fortier operates the 25-plus international events organization year-round from his home office. Not only does the former Montreal Canadiens prospect organize tourneys across the U.S. each year, he annually hosts several OneHockey events in his native Canada as well as Europe. This August, Fortier has also arranged for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for two 2005 all-star clubs from the United States and Canada to play in Moscow thanks to a new partnership with Vladislav Tretiak, current president of the Ice Hockey Federation of Russia and the former legendary goaltender of the Soviet Red Army national squad. “The OneHockey Experience has spanned the globe now,” Fortier said. “The way we spoil our players and families with a festival-like atmosphere at so many destination locations is appreciated by so many in the sport. And our California events are a huge part of that.” Besides providing the most entertaining events the industry has to offer, OneHockey intends to make history during Christmas school vacation this year as Fortier’s group embarks on setting a Guinness World Record for hosting the largest tournament ever. OneHockey is partnering with the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association to hold the biggest tourney the sport has ever seen during the Holiday Invite 2018, which will be scattered at arenas across the Great Lakes State. Any California or southwest youth hockey programs interested in being part of this world-record hockey happening should register now at www.onehockey.com.




After stellar ’17-18 season, Knights set for main camp

By Bryan O’Sullivan


hen it comes to junior hockey, there are a lot of choices. The Phoenix Knights of the Western States Hockey League (WSHL) have many things to offer. From yearround hiking and outdoor activities to all major professional sports teams in the area, Phoenix/Gilbert is an excellent destination for players looking to enter junior hockey or further their careers. Excellent colleges and Arizona State’s NCAA Division I hockey program in town only adds to the appeal. “The WSHL is a very underrated league and kids need to come in with the mentality of wanting to get better,” said Knights coach-GM Colten St. Clair, recently named the WSHL Coach of the Year. “It takes a lot of commitment and determination. That mentality has to be consistent all year. It is a long season and you play against very mature players, so you have to be ready every single night with that mindset.” This year’s Knights main tryout camp is set for Aug. 31-Sept. 2 at AZ Ice Gilbert. For players that are interested in attending the main camp, St. Clair has some advice. “Players should expect to work very hard and have an ‘in-season’ mentality,” said St. Clair. “I plan on running the camp just like I would the regular season so kids should know what to expect if they sign. We are a fast-paced team that works together and the players attending the camp are going to be expected to come into camp already in shape.”

St. Clair also noted that every player will need to earn their spot. “We will no longer be an underdog, so it is important to make that clear early on,” noted St. Clair. If you are interested in attending the main camp or have any questions regarding the Knights, visit www.phoenixknightshockey.com.

Phoenix Knights 2018-19 season preview Coming off of their best season since 2014, the Knights are on a mission. Led by St. Clair, the Knights are looking to improve upon the successes of this past season. In his first season as head coach, St. Clair and the Knights earned 16 more wins than the previous season and pushed to the second round of the Thorne Cup playoffs. Entering the 2018-19 season, St. Clair is not satisfied with just getting into the postseason. “We need to want more – just making it into playoffs this year will not be good enough,” said St. Clair. “That was our goal last year and we achieved it. Now we need to achieve the other goals that I will set at the beginning of the season.” The coaching staff has been working with some of



Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine

the returning players that will be in leadership roles, reinforcing the team’s goals this season. St. Clair noted that their job as leaders is to make sure they are communicating that to the team throughout the offseason. The focus this season will be to improve on team determination and systems. Returning players are expected to be even better, leading the new players. “Being determined and confident as a team is a huge asset to winning games,” said St. Clair. “It cannot take 15 games into the season for us to find our game. It has to be right away.” Carrying this determination through the offseason and into camp, St. Clair is making sure that the Knights don’t feel too satisfied and accomplished after last season. “I am very proud of this group and think it was a good season, but again, I will talk about our mindset and that the players have to be even hungrier to make a difference this season,” St. Clair said. “That goes for myself along with the rest of my coaching staff as well. It is our job as a group to make sure it is known right away.” St. Clair said he would also like to thank all the fans, the Arizona Hockey Union, families and billet families for the constant support that does not go unnoticed. ​​

NORTHERN ARIZONA UNIVERSITY IceJacks prepping for ’18-19 season with upcoming tryouts By Matt Mackinder


or Northern Arizona University’s highly-acclaimed ACHA college program, the upcoming season is right around the corner as there are only have three months before the first day of NAU Prospects Camp. The IceJacks coaches hope everyone is gearing up and ready for what is proposing to be a great 2018-19 season. Coaches have been at it and working hard all spring recruiting some exceptional talent for the upcoming season. The team meeting will be on Monday, Aug. 27, at 6 p.m. on campus at the NAU Fieldhouse. Information about camp and tryouts will be explained in detail at the meeting. Prospects Camp will begin the following night, Aug. 28 at 9:15 p.m. and will run through Saturday, Sept. 2. Each skater will receive a camp jersey and one hour of ice time each day with two skates on Saturday. The cost of the Prospects Camp is $200. According to NAU staff, although camp is not mandatory, it is highly recommended that everyone attend to ensure the players are ready for tryouts and the upcoming game schedule. Tryouts will begin on Wednesday, Sept. 5, at 8:30 p.m. and will run through Saturday, Sept. 8. Skaters will mimic the Prospects Camp schedule with one hour of ice daily and two skates on Saturday. Cost of tryouts is $200 before July 15. All player dues will be collected prior to anyone hitting the ice with no exceptions. After July 15, the tryouts fee increases to $250. For more information, visit www.nauicejacks.com



Let’s discuss a missing skill in today’s game – passing T

he teams that can pass the puck the best usually win the game. However, most teams struggle with it because no one really works on passing any more. No matter what age group you are in, you should always St. Clair work on passing. You look at players in juniors or in college and the NHL and the best players can pass and receive pucks at full speed. This isn’t because of the level they play at. It’s because they work at it and that is how they got to that level. Every coach or even player should watch a college or NHL practice. The flow of the drills look so much faster because every player can handle and give a crisp pass. They rarely miss one that is on the tape. Encourage your players to catch every pass

that they can and hold them accountable. Passing is not only a skill, but it is a habit. Make good passes and handling passes a habit for every practice because it translates into a game. For young guys, do stationary passing until they can handle and catch every single one. Then move to simple passes while moving. There are so many progressions that kids can learn, and it will become a habit for them. Allow players to become comfortable skating with the puck and passing in stride. For all the skill drills you do during the season, add in a pass or two and challenge the players. Just like in a game, you might have to make a move and then pass the puck to a linemate and then receive the puck right back again. All at full speed. After the coaches teach the fundamentals of passing, then you can teach game scenarios – which lane to skate in, puck support and when to give an

area pass. Every team that can pass has good puck support and they generally control the game. In a game, if a player misses a pass, it’s a turnover and you have to go back on defense and you no longer have the puck. Playing with the puck is more fun, so encourage your players to think that way. I encourage kids to start watching habits of older players. When you watch someone that is better than you, you can pick up on their tendencies and realize how good they are and that is how you can also learn. There is a reason that player is better, so catch up to him or her. Coaches, I encourage you to either watch other coaches or add more passing into your practices. It is becoming a lost skill and they best teams do not lose skill, they increase it. Enjoy your offseason and hopefully, the players and coaches that read this column will work to improve the skill and habits of passing.

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



Whyte ‘absolutely blessed’ to be inducted into DYHA Hall By Jack Harris


t was only fitting that Sean Whyte was inducted into the Desert Youth Hockey Association Hall of Fame the same day the organization hosted a Nationals send-off event for its three USA Hockey Youth Nationals tournament qualifiers last month. Even a year after resigning as DYHA’s director of hockey to pursue an opportunity as the NHL’s youth hockey regional director for the Western U.S., the years of work Whyte dedicated to revitalizing the Jr. Sun Devils’ program were still paying off. There was never much doubt that Whyte would end up in the DYHA Hall of Fame. Not after his lengthy tenure as the organization’s director of hockey, a period of unprecedented growth for the 40-yearold program. “I was very proud and honored to be r e c o g nized for all the years of doing what I can to build that program,” Whyte said of his induction. Whyte’s accomplishments aren’t quickly counted. During his time as director of hockey, the program exploded – both in its number of teams and players. For a while, DYHA fielded Tier I teams. Whyte helped establish its Lil’ Devils learn-to-play program. Maybe most notably, he led the association through the Firebirds-to-Jr. Devils

rebrand. He has too many fond memories to count, too. “There’s countless memorable times with all the different teams and families and other coaches along the way,” he said. But perhaps Whyte’s greatest accomplishment came when he first took over. Whyte, a former minor league player with the Phoenix Roadrunners and Mustangs during the 1990s, was a coach at the now-closed Ozzie Ice Arena when he was offered the DYHA job. One of his first calls was to Charles Miscio, one of his closest coaching friends. Miscio remembers Whyte being nervous about the move. He was certain his friend had no reason to be. “It didn’t matter where Sean was, people were going to follow Sean,” said Miscio, who is now the president of DYHA. But when Whyte took over, Miscio remembers DYHA being “in shambles.” Whyte was afraid the decades-old youth association was on the verge of shutting down. “Sean had quite an undertaking when he left Ozzie Ice to take the DYHA job,” Miscio said. Within a year of Whyte’s hiring, he saw DYHA membership double. He helped give the organization the kick



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start it needed. It was a blessing for Whyte, too, giving him a new project to focus on after his playing days had passed. “After I was done playing, I was definitely in a holding pattern, uncertain of what I was going to do with my life,” he recalled, some 19 years and 40 coached teams later. Miscio was an assistant on many of those teams. “I learned a great deal from Sean, how to become a better hockey coach,” Miscio said. Asked what makes Whyte a great youth coach, Miscio cited two principles Whyte abides by: his open-door policy and his 24-hour policy (take 24 hours to reflect on a dispute before acting on it). “He has 100 percent accountability to everyone,” Miscio said. “He gave everyone an opportunity. You knew exactly where you sat with Sean.” Even when leaving DYHA, Whyte did his best to put the organization in a good position, Miscio said. Instead of leaving the organization high and dry, Whyte “made sure we found the best possible director of hockey to carry on his legacy,” Miscio added. That person was Brad McCaughey. In his first year as Whyte’s successor, DYHA swept the state’s Tier II Arizona Amateur Hockey Association state championships. Sharing his enshrinement ceremony with those teams was a perfect way for Whyte to enter the organization’s Hall of Fame. “I’m absolutely blessed to be able to continue being involved in the sport that has given me everything in my life,” he said.

AZ Ice Arcadia to house brandnew Arizona Titans youth program By Matt Mackinder


n yet another sign that youth hockey continues to grow in the Valley, the Arizona Titans will take the ice at AZ Ice Arcadia this fall as a new AA association. The Titans franchise has come together this offseason in remarkable fashion, in large part due to the tireless efforts of Jim Rogers, Justin Rogers and Michael Hensdell. The core foundation put together an application for the Arizona Amateur Hockey Association that was given the green light last month. “Our immediate goals are player development focused on skating,” said Hensdell, who will coach the 11U, 15U and 16U teams and will serve as the Titans power skating and skills coach. “The goal is to move players from the AA level to the AAA level and in order for that to happen, they must be trained at that level.” Hensdell has gathered a solid cast of coaches that also includes Garrett Stephenson (8U, 9U), Steve Majercak (12U), Jarred Smith (14U) and Rob Kerns (18U). Jim Rogers (6U) and Justin Rogers (10U, 13U) will also coach. The Titans hope to have at least one team at each division and can add more if needed with combo teams for all ages as well. Jim Rogers has helped structure the organization and create ice time and Justin Rogers has put all the pieces together over the past six weeks. “It has been a long haul with a very small window to get everything in order, but we are planning on being very competitive in the 2018-19 season,” said Justin Rogers. “We are going to pay very close attention to developing skills and making sure our players have the best environment for having fun.”




Banner partnership a positive for injury management By Matt Mackinder


bviously, hockey is a contact sport and with that come the risks for injuries and concussions. The Arizona High School Hockey Association (AHSHA) has taken the initiative to prevent, reduce, identify and treat these types of injuries with its partnership with Banner Sports Medicine and Concussion Specialists over the past three years. Mike Steffens is the AHSHA injury management specialist and also a local pharmacist. He’s the lone AHSHA board member with a medical background and wants to utilize that knowledge for the betterment of AHSHA’s players. “There have been many news stories in recent years about high school football players experiencing two concussions in one game and are now incapable of living an independent life,” said Steffens. “I do not want to see any of our young players sustain permanent brain damage and therefore, I believe it would be safer to have the player sit out until they could be evaluated by a medical professional who would determine when it would be safe for the player to return. Banner shares the belief that a medical professional is better positioned versus a lay person to make that determination.” The Banner Sports Medicine and Concussion Center community outreach coordinator and athletic trainer Sarah Schodrof introduced Steffens to the ImPACT testing system, which is a tool as part of the full medi-

cal evaluation to determine when a player has returned to their normal cognitive function and can return to their sport. A diagnosis of a concussion is determined during a multifaceted medical exam by a physician. ImPACT might be a part of the process at that time, but ultimately the diagnosis is made on the physician’s findings during several different tests. As some injuries require different treatment. Rehabilitation is a part of a whole treatment process. Since establishing this partnership in 2015, the Banner Sports Medicine and Concussion Center has proctored baseline testing for about 1,700 AHSHA players utilizing the ImPACT neurocognitive test. “This test gives us an idea of what a player’s

baseline or pre-injury cognitive functioning and is used as one of the many tools as a part of the standard of care for concussion management to determine when a player can return to the ice safely,” said Schodrof. “Along with baseline testing, we also help educate players’ parents and coaches on the signs and symptoms of concussion and dispelling the most common myths about concussion. AHSHA has aligned their concussion policies with the USA Hockey concussion policies and in that process, we have assisted in creating forms to ensure players seek out appropriate care for their injury and provide



Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine

side line evaluation forms for coaches and team managers to make informed decisions after an injury. “Our goal with this partnership is to be a resource for AHSHA players, parents and coaches for comprehensive concussion care. The issue of concussions continues to be a hot topic in the sports world and there is a considerable amount of new research continues to be released. From education, baseline testing to post-injury care, we offer parents and players, coaches and team managers resources and care throughout the entire diagnosis and treatment of an injury.” Steffens noted that concussions are being treated more seriously these days than they ever have been, especially in the hockey realm. “Concussion symptoms are neither the same for every individual nor is the amount of time the same for different players to be medically ready to return,” said Steffens. “Neurological injuries are harder to manage than fractures, dislocations, etcetera, so there is no ‘one size fits all’ answer. I make a point to make a follow-up call to a parent of every player that I receive an injury report on. “None of this would have happened without Banner. It was very fortuitous that they were looking to expand their center while I was looking to expand on concussion awareness among AHSHA families, and we made contact with each other.”


June 25 - 29, 2018 in Chandler July 16 - 20, 2018 in Scottsdale

June 11 - 15, 2018 in Chandler

July 9 - 13, 2018 in Scottsdale

In addition to the Ice Den operated camps and programming, annually each year nationally recognized coaches and organizations host summer hockey camps in our buildings. From goalie exclusive camps to hockey and leadership skill development, off-ice conditioning and chalk talks, the Ice Dens combine qualified coaches with state-of-the-art facilities to ensure participants have a memorable experience.


9375 E Bell Road Scottsdale, AZ 85260


July 9 - 13, 2018 in Chandler

7225 W Harrison Street Chandler, AZ 85226


Secure your spot online !

PACKAGE DETAILS, INCLUDING PARTY THEME AND CATERING OPTIONS, CAN BE CUSTOMIZED FOR A ONE-OF-A-KIND EVENT. All parties include 2-hours of public skate time with skate rental and a Zamboni ride for the guest of honor! Party packages are offered in conjunction with public ice sessions and party hosts can choose to celebrate in the party room before or after the scheduled skate time. Our dedicated staff will assist with the planning from start to finish to ensure you and your guests have a fun and memorable experience!

Private Ice Rental


Based on availability, the Ice Dens rent private sheets of ice for exclusive events. Private skating, hockey or broomball can be coordinated for birthday parties, corporate outings, family reunions and field trips. For additional information and to check availability

please call (480) 585-RINK (7465)




Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine


Synthetic Ice Skating Series - Part 3 of 3 – Stops


elcome back to the Synthetic Ice Skating Series! In Part 3, HockeyShot Skating Sensei Jim Vitale and Bench Boss Jeremy Rupke explain the very important skill of stopping. As every hockey player knows, this frozen sport is very fast and there are a lot of stops and starts. We hope you pick up a few things from this article that will improve your game on the ice and have you spraying the goalie in no time. * Just kidding. Please don’t do that. * Let’s get started: Vitale believes that “stopping is more of a state of mind than it is a physical activity.” Players who have trouble stopping panic when they feel the ice pushing against them. This can send you into a panic with the brain not recognizing what is occurring, but you can learn to master the ice by learning how to stop properly. Getting low as you stop is the most important first step because it allows you to gain control of the natural forces surrounding you. Dropping your weight makes your blades sink into the ice. It’s the pressure you need to counter-balance the force of the ice pushing against your feet.

When Vitale is coaching youth hockey players on how to properly stop, he gets them to stop and then to swivel to maintain proper balance. Pivoting is a great way to train your balance to know how to stop on the ice.

T h e trick is to do both at the same time. Jim stresses the importance of not getting discouraged, because most will not be good at both ways, at

least initially. Rupke, being a man of many reviews had to ask: “How much does stopping on Synthetic Ice relate to stopping on real ice?” Vitale’s response: “You can really come to a full stop with the same type of resistance. The main difference is getting started again, which is about 15 percent friction compared to 10 percent once you get moving.” This concludes our three-part Synthetic Ice Skating Series! We would like to thank Jim Vitale from Vital Hockey Skills for leading this program. He has been coaching for over 25 years and has run successful hockey camps for years to improve hockey players’ training and skills to develop them for the next level. We hope you enjoyed reading the last three issues, and we look forward to sharing more hockey tips with you in July! Remember, for all the best hockey training products, including Synthetic Ice - Revolution Tiles and Extreme Glide Synthetic Ice, visit www.HOCKEYSHOT.com






IHAAZ caps ’17-18 festival season with state tournament By Brian Lester


nother IHAAZ season is history. The state finals at the Barney Family Sports Complex in Queen Creek the first weekend in May ended with champions being crowned in each age division as well as skills competitions and all-star games being played in each age division. “Overall, it was a really successful event and the addition of the all-star games was a big success,” said league tournament director Nick Boyarsky. “It was a big hit with the kids and the parents. The skills competition was a lot of fun, too.” In the older divisions, teams competed for regular-season championships in their respective divisions and took aim at state titles. Two of the three regular-season champs won state championships. The Jr. Wildcats won both titles in the 12U division and the Knighthawks were the runner-up at the state finals. The Jr. Wildcats went 14-1 this year. Connor Blondel of the Wildcats was named the Most Outstanding Goalie (.901 save percentage) of the season and teammate Dominik Barber was tabbed as the Most Outstanding Offensive Player (65 points). Prescott Storm standout Carter Robinson was named the Most Outstanding Defensive Player. Barber and Blondel also won the skills competition as the top shooter and goalie, respectively. Cole Gebhart of the Yuma Blaze won the fastest skater competition. The AZ Royals didn’t lose a game during the season and rose to the occasion at states to win gold. The Jr. Wildcats

battle, tePas came out on top. were the runner-up and the Knighthawks won bronze. Only tournament champions were crowned in the 8U Joey Palmero of the AZ Royals was named the Top Goalie (.915 save percentage). Ranon Plett of the Jr. Wild- and 10U divisions. In 8U, the Knighthawks came away with cats was tabbed as the Best Offensive Player (54 points), the title while the Prescott Storm finished second. Landon Jans and Rylee Hobson tied for Best Offenand teammate Koryn Kaczynsk earned Most Outstanding sive Player honors. Both finished with 51 points. Jans plays Defensive Player honors. The Prescott Storm boasted two of the skills competition for the Knighthawks and Hobson plays for the Storm. The Outstanding Defensive Player was Kelzi Olson winners, with Max Dunnigan winning the shooting competition and Jeremy Fleming coming out on top in the goalie of Prescott and Knighthawks goalie Declan Yates was tabbed the league’s Top Netminder. competition. Kelton Chadwick of He had a .810 save percentage on the Jr. Wildcats won fastest skater the season. honors. At the Midget level, the Yuma In the skills competition, Olson Blaze Black finished unbeaten in the earned fastest skater honors and Mason Hillegonds of the Jr. Wildcats regular season but fell short of a state was the top shooter. Julian Horn of title as the AZ Royals White won the the Prescott Storm was the top goalie. gold medal. Yuma was the tourney The Knighthawks Green prevailed runner-up and AZ Royals Blue won in the 10U division. The Jr. Wildcats the bronze medal. The action was fast and furious earlier this Yuma Blaze Black standout Lo- month as IHAAZ staged its season-ending state finished as the runner-up and the Knighthawks Blue won bronze. gan Estes racked up 52 points finals tournament in Queen Creek. Photo/IHAAZ Reece Curry of the Knighthawks Green won Most Outduring the season to earn Outstanding Offensive Player of standing Goalie honors (.809 save percentage) while teamthe Year honors. The AZ Royals Blue had two of its players take home the mate Brandon Gorzynski was tabbed the Offensive Player other individual honors. Nathan tePas fashioned an .880 of the Year. He finished with 99 points. save percentage to earn Outstanding Goalie honors and Addison Nofsinger of Knighthawks Green earned Ryan Haverman was named the Best Defensive Player. Outstanding Defensive Player honors. Grady Sherwood of the Northern AZ Yetis was named Luke Freeman (fastest skater), Nicholas Lopez the fastest skater in the skills competition and Skyler San- (shooter) and Emma Pasquinelli (goalie) were the winners chez of Royals Blue was the top shooter, In the goalie skills in the skills competition. All three play for the Yuma Blaze.



Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine


Mission ‘pretty excited’ about changes to Midget program By Greg Ball


significant change is coming to Mission AZ’s Midget program as the 2018-19 season approaches, and it is aimed at providing an improved experience for players looking to further their development as they reach their high school years. Mission’s director of hockey operations Jeremy Goltz said that in recent years, the program’s White teams had become more of a destination for high school-age kids to continue playing hockey, rather than a true developmental program aimed at furthering their hockey experience. Mission has typically iced 16U Red and White teams and 18U Red and White teams, with the White teams focused on development and the Red squads intended more for high-level tournament play. And while Mission got away from the goals of the White program in recent years, the association is looking forward to re-establishing those goals moving forward. “We’re really trying to bring it back to where it was when we started the Mission program and bolster the White teams so the kids get a quality development season where they’re playing AA hockey and hearing one voice as far as coaching,” Goltz said. “We’re excited about it. We want to give these kids the opportunity to play some good hockey and be challenged so they can maybe get to that next

level.” Goltz said he mulled over the change for quite some time, and eventually came to the conclusion that it was best for the program as a whole. While he has found that more and more kids decide to give up the sport around the age of 14, that’s when hockey development really begins, in his opinion. “These kids are going to get everything they

need in terms of development and eventually push themselves up to the Red teams,” Goltz said. “That’s what we’re hoping to do.” Each of the four Midget teams will play AA schedules in state, and the 18U Red team will likely move back into the Central States Development League in Chicago after a two-season absence from the league, Goltz said.

“What we have seen in the last couple years is that our kids on the White teams have been playing straight A hockey in the AZYHL, and we’re not getting the development that we want for these players,” Goltz said. “I’m taking a step back into the Midget program and am going to serve as the head coach for all four teams, just like I originally did.” Mike Carouchi, who had coached Midget players in recent seasons, will shift to working with Squirts and Pee Wees. Doug Cannon will stay on as an assistant with the 16U and 18U squads. Goltz said a “reshuffling of the deck” with the program’s coaching staff isn’t uncommon every couple of years, as it helps keep things fresh and ensures that all of their coaches are invested in every kid in the program, from Mites to Midgets. “I think everybody is pretty excited about it and agrees with the change,” Goltz said. “Hopefully, we’ll see the benefits. “The parents and the players have provided some positive feedback as well. At this age, these kids want to really become hockey players. If you’re playing on a White team and getting the AA experience, getting the same coaching and same tournament experience as players on the Red team, it’s only going to give you opportunities to grow. “It may not be setting them up for a lot of wins, but it’s putting them in position to develop as hockey players, and that’s what ultimately matters. Everyone seems pretty excited about it.”


MISSION STATEMENT How a former coach’s teachings have been my motivation I

am going off-topic here a bit to talk about my high school baseball coach Eric Kibler, who was recently let go by Horizon High School brass after 38 years of dedication and success. This is my Goltz way of supporting Coach and all the lessons he taught me in my senior year playing for him at Horizon High School. First of all, the biggest lesson he taught me was when he cut me. I came in unprepared, and unfocused as a younger player and for the first time in my life, I failed. I didn’t blame him or harbor a grudge. I took the hit and used it as a motivator to be prepared. He did the right thing and to his credit, I learned how to deal with adversity and reality. I came back stronger and was named best pitcher the next season in a Final Four season. That was

because he did the right thing. He was right, and I was forced to dig deep to a place I didn’t know I even had. There are a few things that really stuck with me having been around him and his coaching style. The biggest was to show up each and every day with a purpose to get better. He was a focused, passionate coach that required the pursuit of excellence and perfection daily. So many of these values have made me the coach and leader I am today. I also remember the time I didn’t take responsibility and have my parents sign the physical form that was necessary to participate in game play. I didn’t know it at the time, but he was counting each and every day but never said a word. I finally showed up with it and will never forget what he said to me. “Jeremy, thank you. You owe me 11 miles on the track and have to complete them to be back at practice. One mile for every day this form wasn’t signed and handed in.” Unlike today’s world, I ran them without saying a word.

It took me two days to complete them, and I ran every single lap of those 11 miles, for fear of him knowing I didn’t and once again letting him down. Imagine that – a parent letting a coach reprimand a player for being irresponsible. That seems like a lost concept these days. Needless to say, that lesson stuck with me! Once I heard this was happening, I had to find a way to let him know how much he has helped me on my own journey. I have been so fortunate to have hundreds of past players staying in touch and I know much it means to me. I found an old camp flyer with a number. I knew it was him right away. I just let him know how much he meant to me and wanted to see if there was anything he could do. We talked and laughed for a few minutes telling old stories and then the call was over. I was left with a buzz and such a love for all he has taught me, and I wanted to let him know one more time, by using this article, how much he meant to so many of us and that his culture has been the spark for my own success. Thank you, Coach. I love you. Coach Goltz

Jeremy Goltz is the director of hockey operations for Mission Arizona. AZRubberHockey.com


NEW MEXICO REPORT Santa Fe’s Barliant continuing New Mexico youth to benefit from to progress at Sacred Heart Elite Concepts Goalie Training

By Matt Mackinder

By Matt Mackinder



ackson Barliant made the most of his playing time this past season at NCAA Division I Sacred Heart University. The lone New Mexico native in all of men’s and women’s D-I hockey this season, Barliant compiled six goals and eight points in 38 games in his junior season for the Pioneers. “This past season was definitely somewhat of a rebuilding year for us as a team as we lost 10 seniors the previous year,” said the Santa Fe native. “Despite this, I would say overall the coaching stuff and us as players thought this year was definitely a step in the right direction. On a personal level, I would say that this year has been the most successful of my three years at SHU. “I would definitely attribute my success this year to the environment myself and the other upperclassmen were able to create in the locker room. Even during lows in the season, everyone came to the rink every day with a desire to work and improve. As a team, I think we are very excited for next season. We feel that we came together very well as a team this past season and have created a very solid foundation for a successful season next year.” On the academic end, Barliant is double majoring in Finance and Economics with a minor in Mathematics and a minor in Business Analytics. “Academically, this year was the most demanding and definitely called for a heightened amount of dedication to studying,” said Barliant. “Overall, I was very happy with my academics this year and was very intrigued by my classes.” Barliant also offered advice for the growing number of youth hockey players in New Mexico. “Just stick with it,” said Barliant. “Obviously, New Mexico is not a hockey hotbed, but as a young hockey player, if you have a passion for the game and are willing to put in the work needed to be a successful hockey player, I believe that you can be successful regardless of where you are from.”


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or New Mexico youth hockey players looking to hone their goaltending skills that don’t want to travel far, Elite Concepts Goalie Training offers in-state coaching and teaching. Based in Santa Fe, Elite Concepts Goalie Training is run by owner-director Shelley Payne. “Elite Concepts is founded on the belief that while certain movement patterns and technical skills make goaltending easier, and while styles of play and points of emphasis may change, the most successful goalies are the ones who can combine individual athletic strengths with technical mastery across styles, who can read, react, and influence situations in real time, and who see save selections as simply tools to stop the puck,” said Payne. “Goaltending is simple – keep the puck in front of you.” Payne has played professionally with the Boston Blades of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League, as well as in Sweden. Prior to that, she was a Clarkson Cup champion with the Minnesota Whitecaps and played four years at NCAA Division III Colby College. “My mom moved to New Mexico while I was playing college hockey, so I have been training on and off in Santa Fe since around 2007,” said Payne. “New Mexico has some good facilities and I think a lot of underappreciated talent and potential among its players. I think you have to have a comfort level with a location and I’m really excited to commit to basing things out of New Mexico.” Elite Concepts hosts Santa Fe Youth Hockey Association clinics on Mondays at the Chavez Center and summer clinics start June 9 with a camp scheduled for July 27-29, also in Santa Fe. “I love goaltending and I bring a true passion and intellectual curiosity about the position to my coaching,” Payne said. “I always try to connect drills to actual game situations that correlate to whatever level the goalie is aspiring to playing. My career has been varied and I think that I can also bring perspective and guidance to goalies looking to compete at the higher levels.”

Arizona inline teams show mettle at collegiate nationals By Phillip Brents


he contingent of four teams from Arizona that competed at the 2018 National Collegiate Roller Hockey Association (NCRHA) national championship tournament from April 11-15 in Fargo, N.D., may not have brought home a national championship trophy. But they but did bring back a lot of memories. Northern Arizona University advanced as far as the Division II semifinals while Arizona State (Division I and Division III) and the University of Arizona (Division II) both ended their seasons in the quarterfinal round of the elimination playoffs. There were no regrets, according to NAU senior forward Trevor Riffey. “We played really well in Fargo,” explained Riffey, who paced the Lumberjacks in scoring with 14 goals and 18 points in six games. “We were in the top pool, so we knew the competition would be at a high level against some top teams in the country. We were able to go 2-1 in pool play to get the second seed in playoffs.” NAU defeated Northeastern 6-3 and East Carolina 8-4 in pool play while absorbing a 4-2 setback to Florida. NAU blasted Akron 9-0 in its opening playoff game behind three goals from Riffey and three points each from Sam Fleming and Daniel Diaz. The win advanced the Jacks to an Elite Eight matchup against intrastate rival University of Arizona after the Wildcats had defeated Florida State 7-3 in their opening elimination game. NAU defeated Arizona 5-1 to eliminate the Wildcats. However, the Jacks’ season ended in the next

round with a 6-3 loss to the Rochester Institute of 74 points in 30 games overall this season, racked up Technology, which would go on to post a runner-up five points (three goals, two assists) to lead the Wildfinish to Northeastern in the national championship cats in the playoff win over Florida State. game. “We were expecting to get to at least the Final Four Austin Cannon (two goals, one assist) and Riffey but felt that we played really well, and everyone was (one goal, two assists) paced happy with our performance,” NAU in the win over Arizona Arizona club president Alex while Riffey led the team with Parish explained. “We knew two goals in the loss to RIT. going in that NAU was going to NAU goaltender Anders be tough to play against and it Hultgren allowed just one goal was upsetting to lose to them.” on 27 shots in the playoff wins Arizona State’s Division I over Akron and Arizona. team won its opening playoff “RIT was an aggressive game 9-1 over Robert Morris team and capitalized on the behind five goals from Ryan opportunities they got,” Riffey Cotton to advance to the quarsaid. “It was tough because terfinals. However, the Sun they played Northeastern in the Devils stalled there following a final, who we beat in pool play. marathon 5-4 loss in five overBut that’s just how the tournatimes to Grand Valley State. ment works. ASU goaltender Aaron Git“I thought our guys played tings made 53 saves before great throughout the week in Grand Valley’s Jesse MacFargo and we were able to put Intyre ended the season for NAU on the map in just our secthe Sun Devils at 7:10 of the ond year in the league. We will fifth overtime period. be back next year even though It was the longest game in we lose five seniors, including The Northern Arizona University inline hockey team NCRHA history. had much to celebrate at April’s National Collegiate myself. Hopefully, I can come Roller Hockey Association national championship ASU’s Division III team back and help coach the guys tournament in Fargo, N.D., including a trip to the dropped a 5-3 decision to Division II semifinals. Photo/NCRHA next season.” Bethel University in the quarRiffey collected 57 goals and 80 points in 25 terfinals. games overall for the Lumberjacks in 2017-18. The Sun Devils had entered the NCRHA nationals David Santos, who led Arizona with 37 goals and riding a monstrous 19-game winning streak.

Wildcats’ Bushnell honored for contributions to roller hockey

Outcasts aiming to capture glory at AIHL national tournament

By Phillip Brents

By Phillip Brents



niversity of Arizona goaltender Brett Bushnell played his last game for the Wildcats at April’s National Collegiate Roller Hockey Association (NCRHA) national championship tournament in Fargo, N.D., to close out a five-year career. While the Wildcats fell short of rewarding him with a national championship, Bushnell received recognition for his leadership and dedication to the team as one of seven recipients of this year’s Outstanding Contribution to Collegiate Roller Hockey Award. The award honors a player, coach or staff member from each of the NCRHA’s member organizations who best exemplify leadership qualities on and off the rink and have made a noteworthy contribution to the advancement of collegiate roller hockey. The recipients were announced in a special presentation during the Division I championship game on April 14. Bushnell represented the Western Collegiate Roller Hockey League (WCRHL). “Brett has showed his dedication to his team and the league for the last several seasons,” NCRHA executive director Brennan Edwards said. “The U of A team was led by a couple star players, but since their graduation, the team’s makeup has really changed. Brett did a great job of managing the team and keeping up with all of the league’s requirements, even this year after he graduated mid-season and moved to Phoenix for work. “Brett joins good company in the WCRHL’s award winners over the last several years, as Arizona State University’s Nick Boyarsky and Alex Dodt also received this award, and the three of them all have deep ties to roller hockey in Arizona and to each other.” Bushnell appeared in 77 games with the Wildcats from 2013-18, posting a 40-19-0 record in 59 appearances in the net with six shutouts. He said he was “extremely honored and surprised” to receive the award. “For the past five years, there has been a lot of sweat, tears, injuries and arguments, but never for one second did I think it was not worth it,” he said.

he Arizona Outcasts will represent the Pacific South Division for the fourth consecutive year when the 2018 American Inline Hockey League (AIHL) national championship tournament faces off May 18-20 at the Northeast Racquet Club in Philadelphia. Four teams in each of three competition tiers – Elite Division, Tier 1 Minor Division and Tier 2 Minor Division – will compete for national championship titles. The Outcasts earned the top seed in the Pacific South Division regional championship tournament April 21-22 in Corona, Calif., by posting a 21-3 regularseason record. The Arizona team swept the Las Vegas Dragons in the best-of-three championship series by scores of 4-2 and 6-5 (in overtime) to punch its ticket to Philadelphia. The Outcasts have placed runner-up in the national championship series in each of the last two seasons. They want the actual hardware this year. “It is an accomplishment that we take proudly as we have qualified for nationals every year that we have played in the league,” Outcasts goaltender Clay Taylor explained. “A quote would be simple – ‘finish.’ “Our first year, we lost in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals and the last two years we have lost in the championship series. We are bringing our best team to nationals this year and we know that there should be no reason to not come home with the championship cup.” The Outcasts will be joined in the Elite Division by the Philadelphia Liberty and Empire State Legends from the Eastern Conference and the Pacific North Division champion Nor Cal Jawz. The format at the AIHL national championship tournament will include an opening day of round-robin competition between the four regional qualifiers, a second day of best-of-three semifinals and a final day of best-of-three championship finals. Three additional teams from California will compete in Philadelphia – the Nor Cal Revolution and Mavin Mafia in the Tier 1 Minor Division and Marina Mantas in the Tier 2 Minor Division. AZRubberHockey.com


2017-18 ARIZONA/NEW MEXICO ALUMNI Email all additions, deletions and corrections to alumni@rubberhockey.com

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

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

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

WCHA Amanda Martin (Peoria) – Minnesota State University

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



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


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


NESCAC Andy Chugg (Mesa) – Trinity College

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

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

ECAC Todd Burgess (Phoenix) – Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

UCHC Jeremy Briscoe (Phoenix) – Lebanon Valley College

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

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

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

COLONIAL HOCKEY Alex Bloom (Scottsdale) – Canton State University


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

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

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

NEW MEXICO COLLEGE HOCKEY NCAA DIVISION I – MEN ATLANTIC HOCKEY Jackson Barliant (Santa Fe) – Sacred Heart University NCAA DIVISION III – MEN NESCAC Nicholas Faturos (Albuquerque) – Amherst College UCHC Cory King (Albuquerque) – Chatham University NCAA DIVISION III – WOMEN NESCAC Kristen Molina (Albuquerque) – Amherst College JUNIOR HOCKEY NORTH AMERICAN 3 HOCKEY LEAGUE Josh Martinez (Las Cruces) – Roc City Royals

WESTERN HOCKEY LEAGUE Mark Kastelic (Phoenix) – Calgary Hitmen Jeremy Masella (Phoenix) – Victoria Royals Kaid Oliver – Victoria Royals & Luke Ormsby – Everett Silvertips *

ONTARIO HOCKEY LEAGUE Marcus Gretz (Albuquerque) - Flint Firebirds

WESTERN STATES HOCKEY LEAGUE Brandon Bessee (Globe) – Oklahoma City Jr. Blazers Michael Caravella (Chandler) – Phoenix Knights Caleb Cavazos (Gilbert) – Phoenix Knights Noah Duke (Gilbert) – Phoenix Knights Chase Gillaspie (Gilbert) – Phoenix Knights Justin Gusso (Gilbert) – Phoenix Knights Kohl Hedquist (Tempe) – Phoenix Knights Anthony Masanotti – Phoenix Knights @ Ozzy Mason (Gilbert) – Phoenix Knights

WESTERN STATES HOCKEY LEAGUE Quinn Martin (Santa Fe) – Idaho IceCats

UNITED STATES PREMIER HOCKEY LEAGUE Nick Darrow (Rio Rancho) – Hampton Roads Whalers (Elite)

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


Recapping BTM Demo Day and Goalie Day, 2018 edition B

ack on May 11 from 6-7 p.m. at AZ Ice Arcadia, we held our on-ice goalie Demo Day. By 4 p.m., Bauer, Brian’s, CCM, True and Vaughn were set up. This gave the goalies an opportunity to see what demo gear they Exelby wanted to try out as well as to speak directly with company reps. BTM provided shooters to test out the gear. Over 40 goalies got on the ice to put the equipment through the paces, trying different brands and seeing what fits their game best. Bauer had Tim from Boston and Dan, the local rep, there. Tim is in charge of grassroots marketing and Bauer events across the country, including the Minnesota High School Hockey Tournament. For Demo Day, Bauer had numerous pairs of the new 2S pads, gloves, blockers, skates and sticks. I got a chance to skate on the 2S goalie skates and was ab-

solutely blown away by the weight reduction on this skate. The goalies marveled at the weight and balance of the 2S goalie stick. Brian’s sent Brad in from Michigan. He arrived with demo pads used by the University of Notre Dame University and a set of AHL pads. This year, Brian’s brought more intermediate and junior gear as well. Brian’s just launched the OPTiK series to rave reviews earlier in the year. CCM again sent Pete from Minnesota. Pete is part of the CCM Goalie Advisory Board and one of the most passionate goalies out there. You saw him on the ice with his running shoes on putting the goalies through movement drills to test out the pads. He is also second to none in providing the goalies with proper fitting and instruction. They also had Georgie from California. Georgie is part of the CCM Fast Team, whose job is to train staff and host and promote CCM events. Last and certainly not least from the CCM team is Scott, our CCM rep based out of Dallas. Scott is also the NHL pro rep for five NHL teams, including the Coyotes. All the Coyotes players in CCM equipment, sticks, skates and helmets have been fitted by Scott. CCM had a full line of demo gear from senior down to youth. CCM has been riding some great PR these days from longtime endorsee Marc-Andre Fleury. CCM held a raffle, with each goalie attending getting a ticket. The winner, Braedon, received a CCM P2 composite goalie stick.

Vaughn sent Doug from California. Doug has been our Vaughn rep and attended each of the 11 Goalie Days. Vaughn has some great new under protective padded goalie shirts – the best we have seen yet. This was True’s first year at our events. True bought demo goalie sticks to our on-ice demo and skates for the goalies. True has taken the custom skate and goalie skate market by storm with their custom 3D foot scan. From the scan, a mold is made and a truly custom skate is constructed – a skate that takes into account all the contours of each individual’s foot. Then came May 12 – the main event – the 11th Annual BTM Goalie Day. The vendors set up booths inside the Scottsdale store. The doors opened at 10 a.m., and the goalies poured in. Vendors had FREE swag to hand out. Each goalie that purchased something received a free raffle ticket. The grand price was a custom set of the new $850 CCM goalie skates. The winner was Marissa Forman. Over 100 goalies attended. As Tim from Bauer stated, “Did every goalie in Arizona come here today?” They are always amazed that our goalie events are some of the most attended in North America. Wrapping up the day was the BTM employee and company rep BBQ out back of the store. The corn hole tournament was won again this year by the team of Dan from Bauer and Scott from CCM. Huge thanks to those who attended!

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

Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine




Position: Goaltender, Arizona Coyotes Hometown: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada Acquired: Traded to Coyotes from Los Angeles Kings for goaltender Scott Wedgewood and forward Tobias Rieder on Feb. 21, 2018 NHL Draft: Selected by the Minnesota Wild in the sixth round (161st overall) of the 2009 NHL Draft Last Amateur Team: Red Deer Rebels (Western Hockey League) Age: 28 Arizona Rubber: What’s your favorite hockey memory growing up? Darcy Kuemper: When I was 12, I got to skate with a Midget AAA team. They asked me to come on out and skate with them. I was super excited about that. I was just in elementary school and I was out there hanging out with the high school kids and that was exciting for me. AZR: What’s your favorite memory in the game since leaving junior hockey? DK: That would be my first NHL game. That was so exciting, and I was so nervous. It was kind of a blur and all my memories from that game have faded. Yes, I remember the game. It was in Vancouver (Kuemper broke into the NHL with Minnesota) and we lost 2-1 (on Feb. 12, 2013). Unfortunately, we couldn’t win. AZR: Who have been the biggest influences on you, on and off the ice? DK: My parents, for sure. My dad helped coaching and my mom was very supportive and drove me around, so both really helped me. AZR: What’s the best piece of advice you have for young hockey players? DK: Just have fun. Don’t worry about all the little things. Just worry about what you can control and have fun. AZR: Other than hockey, do you have a favorite sport to play? DK: I like to watch football. My favorite sport to play is probably golf. AZR: Do you have any superstitions? DK: No, I try and keep those to a minimum. AZR: What does your game-day routine look like? DK: Usually come to the rink, have a little skate, eat some pasta, and take a nap. It’s pretty boring, but that’s what I do. AZR: Do you have a favorite meal or restaurant here in the Phoenix area? DK: Just traded here in the middle of this past season, so I’m still trying a few out. I think it’s too early to pick a favorite. AZR: What are some essential items you take on a road trip? DK: I take my iPad, some comfy clothes to wear around the hotel room and that’s about it. I pack pretty light and travel pretty light. Oh yeah, phone charger. Definitely need that. AZR: Did you have a favorite hockey player growing up? DK: Yes, I did. That was Patrick Roy. Photo/Norm Hall


Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine

- Compiled by Mark Brown

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Profile for Rubber Hockey Magazines

Arizona Rubber Magazine - May 2018  

This month's issue of Arizona Rubber Magazine features the Inline Hockey Association of Arizona (IHAAZ) on the cover!

Arizona Rubber Magazine - May 2018  

This month's issue of Arizona Rubber Magazine features the Inline Hockey Association of Arizona (IHAAZ) on the cover!


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