Arizona Rubber Magazine - June 2020

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JUNE 2020



FROM THE EDITOR As we return to normal life, a special ‘thank you’ from Rubber


et’s face it – these past few months have been pretty surreal. Our daily lives have changed in one way or another due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but I believe we’ll be stronger as a whole once all of this is under control. We have all heard the term “new normal” time and time again. What that exactly means is up for individual interpretation, but what I can say is that Arizona Rubber Magazine will be part of this community going forward. We are not going anywhere. In fact, we are already making plans for the 2020-21 season. Matt Mackinder With that, I’d like to personally thank our generous partners, advertisers and readers for all of the support during these uncertain times. Without all of you, Rubber wouldn’t be what it is today. From the bottom of my heart, thank you! Here’s to moving forward and hoping you and your family are doing well! Off to the rink! In another sign that hockey is alive and well, the WHL’s Vancouver Giants announced in May that the club has signed forward Colton Langkow to a contract for the 2020-21 season. Langkow was originally drafted by the Giants in the fifth round (99th overall) of the 2019 WHL Bantam Draft. This past season in 19 games with the Jr. Coyotes’ 15U AAA team, he scored 11 goals while adding six assists for 17 points. He appeared an additional 10 games with the Jr. Coyotes’ 16U AAA team. “Colton is a hard-working, honest player with a high hockey IQ and good skill set,” said Vancouver GM Barclay Parneta. “His compete and passion are evident when you watch him. It’s not hard to see that he has the traits we value as an organization and those traits will allow him to succeed as a Giant. We look forward to seeing him in a Giants uniform.” “It’s an honor to sign with the Vancouver Giants and to begin the next chapter of my hockey career,” added Langkow, a Scottsdale native. “I’m excited for the future and all that lies ahead.” Colton’s father Daymond Langkow played 16 seasons and nearly 1100 regular-season games in the NHL with Tampa Bay, Philadelphia, Arizona and Calgary. His uncle Scott Langkow also enjoyed a lengthy pro hockey career that included 20 NHL games with Winnipeg, Arizona and Atlanta. Both Daymond (Tri-City) and Scott (Portland) are WHL alumni. Best of luck, Colton! More advancement news as 2020 University of New Hampshire graduate Carlee Turner has signed a contract with the Boston Pride of the NWHL. Turner was a captain of the Wildcats women’s team as a senior during the 201920 season as the Scottsdale native finished with seven goals and 13 assists for 20 points over 34 games. She tied for third in goals, fourth in assists and tied for fourth in points. Turner also led the Wildcats with five power-play goals and was tops on the team in faceoff winning percentage (60.8%) and faceoffs won (436). For her career, Turner played in 140 games with 27 goals and 46 assists for 73 points. Congratulations, Carlee! Over in the AHL, the Tucson Roadrunners were officially named Pacific Division champions after the league canceled the rest of its season in early May. The Roadrunners finished with a 36-19-1-2 record, winning the division title for the second time in three seasons. “We are very proud of our players and staff in Tucson,” said Roadrunners GM Steve Sullivan. “We had a very good 2019-2020 season, but unfortunately it ended unexpectedly. We were in first place since November and excited to compete for the Calder Cup. Starting now, all the work applied to this past season is now focused on preparation for 2020-21, and our organization and individual goals will remain the same.”

Contact Matt Mackinder at 4

Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine

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

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Publisher/editor: Matt Mackinder senior designer: Julie Rippy


With Arizona rinks recently opening and hockey returning, one such rink that has a new, clean sheet of ice is AZ Ice Peoria, home of Mission AZ. See Page 14 for more on Mission tryouts coming up at AZ Ice Peoria.

ON THE COVER The first weekend in June saw IHAAZ teams take the court for the first time in almost three months as the inline hockey league staged a state qualifier event at the Peoria Sportsplex. Photo/IHAAZ

The Mill opens in Tempe, offers slew of training options

By Matt Mackinder


arred Smith and his wife, Bailey Young Smith, had been thinking about opening a hockey training warehouse for a while. At the end of February, their dream became a reality as The Mill Hockey Training Warehouse opened in Tempe. Just three weeks later, the COVID-19 outbreak caused the doors to close. In late May, those doors re-opened. “In the very early stages, we spent a lot of time testing out synthetic ice products to see if synthetic ice was possible,” said Jarred Smith. “We flew out to Florida to test the product and had some product shipped here to try in our backyard. After we found the right synthetic ice, we started to build out the plan by coming up with a list of what we felt the Arizona hockey community needed and how we could provide that. Once we had the plan in place and found the building, we started construction with the help of family and friends and five weeks later, we had our grand opening.” The Mill offers both on-ice and off-ice training and everything from private and small group lessons to team training. “We’re unique in the fact that there isn’t anything else like this in Arizona,” Bailey Smith said. “We’re the only commercial use of synthetic ice, and the only training facility specifically dedicated to training hockey players. What makes us different is that we have no

affiliation to any team or association in the Valley. Our doors are open to both boys and girls, players of all ages and all skill levels, and most importantly, all teams.” Both Bailey and Jarred have a long-standing history in the Arizona hockey community as players, family members, coaches, spectators, and even parents to a billet son. They’ve seen and experienced this com-

munity from every single side and can use that to relate to their audience and fill the gaps. Bailey grew up playing for the Arizona Selects girls team and was a hockey sister to Jordan Young, a local AAA player who eventually became the first captain of Arizona State’s NCAA Division I men’s team. Bailey’s background is in business management and marketing and she runs all the operations at The Mill.

Jarred grew up in Northern California playing for many AAA teams in his youth until he eventually played college hockey at Arizona State. He has more than 10 years of experience coaching youth hockey in Arizona at both DYHA and VOSHA. Jarred has a reputation for developing skill and runs a majority of The Mill’s small group and team training lessons, both on-ice and office. “With the cost of ice being extremely expensive, it’s difficult for many players and coaches to get extra time for lessons,” Jarred said. “The Mill solves that problem by offering many training options at a much more affordable cost. The Mill provides a great opportunity for house players to get extra practice time to make a travel team, and travel players or high school players to take their skills to the next level.” “The Mill is also about keeping hockey fun,” added Bailey. “We have a shooting lane that allows kids to just play games at their own pace with their friends. We also offer 3v3 tournaments, mini-stick tournaments, Q&As with junior coaches and high-level players, hockey moms’ night out, birthday parties, team parties and more. “The Mill is a great training option for players to get better and enjoy playing hockey, but furthermore, it’s a place to bring the hockey community together. It’s a place to see teammates from past years, to work with coaches from different associations, and to build hockey skills with players you’ve never skated with before.” For more information or to sign up for a lesson, visit


Rolling Again After three months off the floor due to the COVID-19 outbreak, IHAAZ teams get back to work in early June By Brian Lester


andon Jans was like every other IHAAZ player over the last few months – he just wanted to get back to playing the game he loves. That opportunity, once seemingly out of reach after the sports world stopped spinning in mid-March because of the COVID-19 pandemic, finally arrived and was welcomed with open arms. IHAAZ held its state qualifier festival at the Peoria Sportsplex the first weekend of June and Jans and his Knighthawks teammates hit the floor for games that mattered and that were cherished a little more because of the absence of the sport for nearly three months. “I missed being around my teammates and seeing my friends from other teams. I also missed a real IHAAZ game,” said Jans, a member of the 10U Knighthawks team. Of course, it sure beat the alternative of the new normal as of late. Nothing compares to the excitement of playing actual games. “I have been playing in my garage and that was getting boring,” Jans said. Landon’s father, Dustin, the coach of 10U Knighthawks and one of the tournament organizers, was equally thrilled to see IHAAZ return to play. “It was awesome,” Dustin said. “I think the kids needed to get out and play. For me to see the kids play and compete was special.” IHAAZ’s festival in March was one of the last sporting events in the state of Arizona prior to the quarantine going into effect. The one in June was one of the first sporting events in the state coming off the quarantine. It came with its share of challenges for sure in getting things going again, but the league was ready for what was ahead in getting a festival off the ground amid a pandemic. It had, after all, already pulled off a festival in March that had plenty of safety measures in place. That experience provided a road map for the latest tournament. “We learned a lot from that and spent a lot of time planning this one,” said league tournament director Nick Boyarsky. “The framework was there from March and we went into it very elastic in how we dealt with everything.” The hope all along was to ensure a festival would be played in June, that some sense of normalcy could return to the league. But Boyarsky and others involved in the league knew a return to play would mean a different approach to finishing out the season. And that was fine. “As soon as we got cleared to hold an event, we said we’d do one qualifier event for state finals and then have the state finals (which are scheduled for the end of June),” Boyarsky said. “We opened up the qualifier to existing teams and to any new teams that wanted to play.” Two teams not in the league opted to give it a shot, that being the Blue Devils at the 14U level and the Labeda Arizona Roller Knights in the 10U division. Both teams enjoyed the experience. Marc Kamin, who put together the Blue Devils team, said it’s possible the program will compete in future IHAAZ events beyond this year. “It’s up in the air right now, but we’d like to participate in both ice and roller hock6

Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine

ey going forward,” Kamin said. “It was a great experience.” The league’s decision to open up the June festival and state finals to teams outside IHAAZ made it possible for that experience to exist and provides an extra boost to the momentum the league opened the season with. “We started the season with higher numbers and more interest than we’ve had in a long time,” Boyarsky said. “We built momentum and being able to finish the season with momentum still in place, and maybe even extended it.” That alone made the extra steps and rules in place worth it. “It was a little disruptive for them but once they were on the floor playing, you could see the life come back. You could tell it was pretty special,” Boyarsky said. “It was worth all the headaches of trying to come back.” Each player could only have one member of the family at each game and teams had to arrive just 20 minutes before the start of the game and be out of the arena 15 minutes after their game ended. Handshakes after a game were replaced by stick taps. One of the league board members even turned his power washing commercial industrial cleaning business into a sanitation business that serves the same commercial and industrial customers. The weekend of the festival, the company took time to spray down areas throughout the arena, including locker rooms, to kill off bacteria. The business, named Yavapai Sanitizing, was a sponsor of the tourney as well. Dustin Jans said that while several added precautions were taken that changed the regular format of the tourney, the players seemed to handle the new normal of the tournament well. “These are kids and really don’t understand everything going on,” he said. “All they want to do is have fun and play hockey.” He added it was important to have the tournament in order to bring a little structure back into the lives of the players. “Kids need sports,” Jans said. “I I think a lot of the kids didn’t know what to do with the time off and maybe picked up some bad habits. Sports are needed for structure.” IHAAZ makes strides every year and its ability to find a way back to some sense of normalcy is a big deal for the league. There was a time, after all, when no one was sure if the season would resume. Now, as the end of June approaches, teams are gearing up for a run at a state championship. “It’s a good thing for roller hockey and a feather in our cap that we are going to be able to crown champions,” Boyarsky said. “It’s a minor miracle we are going to be able to finish out the season. It’s two months later, but still.” Jans said it is indeed important that the league is going to be able to put a bow on a season like no other in the history of IHAAZ. “I think everyone wanted to play and finish the season,” he said. “For this to happen, it gives everyone something positive to look forward to, and we all need that right now.” Jans also added he liked the fact that new teams got into the mix for the latest festival and believes that will help grow interest in the sport and IHAAZ itself going forward. Though the season was interrupted by a pandemic, much was gained over the course of this season. That bodes well for the future. “I think our board did a lot to grow the game and bring more kids in,” he said. “We had a bigger number of independent teams and more ice (hockey) kids got involved. They did a lot to make sure more kids could play the game.” And ultimately, a season will have a true finish. “It’s important that we complete the season,” Boyarsky said. “That’s what our whole series is about. We’re getting there in a different way, but we’re getting there.”


USPHL hosts strong NCDC Combine, alums win NCAA awards

By Joshua Boyd/


he 2020 NCDC Combine in Dyer, Ind., wrapped up early on the evening of June 14, re-opening hockey after three months away from the ice for USPHL teams, and for most players as well. Fifteen games and several hundred playercoach conferences took place at the Midwest Training and Ice Center. There was representation by seven National Collegiate Development Conference teams at this first 2020 NCDC Combine - Utica Jr. Comets, Islanders Hockey Club, Northern Cyclones, New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs, Boston Junior Bruins, Boston Advantage and Twin City Thunder. Overall, more than 35 different USPHL teams were in attendance scouting more than 200 prospects for 2020-21 and beyond, all born between the years 2000 and 2004. There was representation from all 10 of the divisions for the USPHL Premier in 2020-21, including teams from the new Western and Mountain Divisions. The league held two seminars to teach the players about the USPHL development model, from the NCDC to the Premier and beyond. The USPHL thanks all the attendees, the teams, the Combine Committee (including Combine director John Schwarz), and the host Midwest Blackbirds and the Midwest Training and Ice Center.

NCDC Detroit Combine postponed The USPHL has also announced that the 2020 NCDC Detroit Combine has been postponed by just over a month to July 30-31, but still remaining at Fraser Hockeyland in Fraser, Mich. This announcement has been made due to Michi-

USPHL hopefuls take part in the league’s recent NCDC Combine that was held at the Midwest Training and Ice Center in Dyer, Ind., from June 13-14. Photo/

gan state restrictions on the opening of ice rink facilities. All those registered for the NCDC Detroit Combine remain registered for the new dates. There will be guaranteed attendance by at least six NCDC teams. #COMMITTEDLEADERS With more than 1,200 former players in college

hockey in 2019-20 alone, the USPHL continues to be a leader in advancement to the next level beyond junior hockey. Not only do our players move on to the best educational institutions to continue their hockey careers, they also excel once they reach that level. Nearly 400 NCAA players from USPHL organizations past and present earned honors from their home conference and beyond during the 2019-20 season: More than 50 NCAA Division I players and close to 340 from the NCAA Division III level brought in honors, including the Sid Watson NCAA Division III Player of The Year award won by USPHL Premier alum Tom Aubrun of Norwich University. Former Hampton Roads Whalers forward Brandon Osmundson (Utica College) was recognized as the National Division III Rookie of The Year. At the NCAA Division I level, alumni of USPHL organizations also earned two scoring championships, two rookie of the year awards and one goaltender of the year award. Four alumni of the USPHL and its current member organizations also earned Hobey Baker nominations, including two who were top 10 finalists. At the NCAA Division II and III levels, players of the year in nine conferences hailed from the USPHL and its current member organizations. View the full list of USPHL and member organization alumni who captured NCAA awards at



AHU thrilled to add Radke as new 14U Bantam White By Sean Phillips


s hockey in Arizona slowly gets back to open rinks and players suiting up in anticipation of the upcoming 2020-21 season, the Arizona Hockey Union has made a major move in the association’s coaching ranks. Longtime youth hockey coach Tony Radke will join AHU next season as the club’s new 14U Bantam White coach, a position he says is very exciting and promising. “Like most youth coaches, I started coaching my son’s house team 16 years ago,” Radke said. “That same season, I was asked to assist on a young travel team. From there, I continued to work hard to develop my skills as a coach. I stopped coaching my son a few years after that and have continued to coach teams where I do not have any kids involved. Coaching for me was always something that I didn’t want to be dependent on my own kids. “As a result, I have taken great pride in working to have a positive impact on the lives of hundreds of kids over the years. Now having many former players in college or leading productive adult lives, it motivates me to continue to use coaching as a way to help shape important life lessons for youth players.” Arizona Hockey Union president Stacy Shupe said bringing Radke on board will be a win-win for everyone involved. “We are thrilled to have engaged Tony to join us this season,” said Shupe. “He will build upon the already solid foundation of our 2007 group, positioning them for

continued successes. We believe his past experiences is often the difference between making a team or being in the sport will bring important perspectives to the pro- left behind.” Radke also explained what can make a hockey playgram overall. He will assist us in educating hockey parents at large about development, reasonable goals and er better off the ice. “Play as many sports as possible,” Radke said. “The expectations.” Originally from Chicago, Radke’s family moved to benefits of playing multiple sports is often overlooked. Be an athlete, not just a hockey playPhoenix when he was 12. For as long er. Try all sports. Have fun with them.” as he can remember, sports have Being in the game for a while, been a staple in his daily routine. “Sports have always been a very Radke knows that the coaching ride can sometimes mimic that of a roller big part of my life,” Radke said. “I coaster. grew up playing football, baseball, So what are Radke’s pet peeves soccer, and pretty much anything I when it comes to hockey parents? could get access to. That has never “This is a broad question that it left me. I am a big college football is hard to answer,” said Radke. “The and pro football fan as well as college easy answer might be the ‘gossipy’ hockey and pro hockey.” parent that always wants to criticize As far as leading a team behind the coach in the lobby or even the the bench, Radke has certain expecparent that complains in the stands tations and qualities he is looking for during games about their players’ in his teams. “What I want from a player more ice time, number of shifts, etcetera. Those are all frustrating to coaches, than anything is good character,” Tony Radke but perhaps a bigger concern would said Radke. “This defines everything. Good character players are always committed be situations where there is no positive communication to respecting their coaches and teammates and have between coaches and parents. I have seen too many a strong desire to learn and get better. They take an times where parents can undermine a coach without active role in their own development and provide lead- even meaning to do so simply by interjecting their own ership through their actions. As players get older and Continued on Page 9 look for opportunities to play at higher levels, character


Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine

NAU Coaches and Staff will be hosting a




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New coach looking for positive impact with AHU Bantams Continued from Page 8 ideas or direction to their player without fully understanding what the coach is trying to achieve. This ultimately has a very negative impact on their player. “The parent-coach relationship has to be a partnership of sorts. Coaches need to communicate fully what the direction is for the team and parents need to avoid ‘coaching’ their player to support the direction the coach is working to achieve. I most enjoy the team atmosphere and life lessons the sport provides. There is simply no greater team sport that hockey, but I think my least favorite aspect is the politics that find their way into youth sports.” Looking ahead, Radke discussed the most important thing he wants to get out of the 2020-21 season? “Each season for me is about player development and preparation for what is to come in subsequent seasons,” Radke said. “Far too often, players and families focus solely on the current season with little to no understanding of the longer-term objectives or how to establish a plan to help their player achieve their goals. This becomes increasingly important at the 14U level. Education plays a key role for families and players at this age to simply understand the many paths a player can take to things like Midget and junior hockey or eventually the college level. “It’s truly a matter of cooperative education and defining what direction will be best for them now and in the future to stay on that path. This is why I am so thrilled to be working with a program like AHU that is committed to providing this level of education to its families to help them gain a greater understanding of these steps and make informed decisions. With so much confusion and

misinformation also surrounding youth Tier levels, this season I will be working to give my families the information they need to understand the choices they will have in the next few years while also helping the players continue to develop and work toward their goals.” Radke also added that he has advice for prospective players on the AHU Bantam team in the fall. “Allow yourself to be coachable,” said Radke. “Be willing to fail and make mistakes first to succeed later. Take pride in your effort to grow as a player and person and be a player you would like to coach.” GET TO KNOW TONY RADKE What is your NHL team? Favorite player? “While I like a number of teams, I have to say the Coyotes are my favorite. Favorite player is a tough one, but I really like what Jakob Chychrun has done since coming into the league. I think he is a great example of the hard work and commitment needed to be successful and continue to develop.” Do you have hype music in the locker room? What would be your song/band? “I am a big country music fan but for hype music, I would have to go with classic rock. You can never go wrong with AC/DC.” Do you have any hobbies besides hockey? “I am an avid golfer.”

Have you ever had a nickname? What is it? “Never really had a nickname. Have always just gone by Tony.” If money was no object, what would you do all day? “This is a tough one. So many choices here, but I think I would play golf in the morning and spend the rest of the day boating on the ocean.” What’s your favorite holiday? “This one is easy. Christmas, without question.” What was your first job? “I bagged groceries at Safeway.” Best vehicle for hockey – van or truck? “Truck, for sure.” What’s missing in your life right now? “Tough question. I’ll say a vaccine.” In what ways are you the same as your childhood self? “When I was young, my involvement in sports showed me that the only way to improve was to work hard for it, to decide what you wanted to achieve and have the willingness and determination to go get it. I’m very thankful that attitude stayed with me through to my adult life and has been a factor in any personal success with things like coaching, family and business.”



‘Back Where We Belong’

With the recent move to Tier I status, the Jr. Sun Devils are planning to develop elite-level players By Matt Mackinder


hen Brad McCaughey took over as the Desert Youth Hockey Association’s hockey director in 2017, he came in with a plan and a list of items to tackle to make DYHA a preeminent youth hockey club in all of Arizona. With the association’s recent approval for Tier I status starting with the upcoming 2020-21 season, the biggest item on McCaughey’s list has been crossed off. “Our program is back, back where we belong,” said McCaughey. “We feel that our location is really good and we’re giving another option to the parents in town to have their kids participate in an elite hockey program. “We think we have a little bit of an advantage because we’re only dealing with developing elite athletes. We don’t have two sheets of ice, which you really don’t need, but with our nine teams, our sole focus is on developing that elite athlete.” For the past five seasons, DYHA has played at the Tier II level. The club was Tier I prior to the 2016-17 season and will be entering its 45th season as a program in 2020-21. “Making the transition from Tier II to Tier I, we’re investing quite a bit of money and we’re adding a lot of additional training,” McCaughey said. “Power Edge Pro is one thing that we think separates us from the rest.” Power Edge Pro, or PEP, is a company based in Toronto that has worked with DYHA the past few seasons and also with high-end OHL and WHL junior players, in addition to nearly 50 percent of players drafted in the first round of the NHL Draft the past three seasons. PEP also trains players with the U.S. National Team Development Program and the NHL’s Nashville Predators, Detroit Red Wings, Columbus Blue Jackets, Minnesota Wild and Vancouver Canucks, as well as NHL stars Connor McDavid, who has been with PEP since he was 10 years old, John Tavares, Jack Hughes, Quinn Hughes, Matt Duchene and Taylor Hall. “DYHA has become the No. 1 destination for player development for youth players,” said Power Edge Pro CEO Joe Quinn. “By linking with PEP, the performance-proven reactive countering training used for player development, DYHA has the ultimate Tier I program. Parents and players in the Phoenix area that are looking for fresh and innovative development will want to try this new type of training method. “We are thrilled to be a part of hockey in Arizona and looks forward to promoting DYHA on the PEP website and social media platforms.” Quinn said working with the Jr. Sun Devils has been a privilege and he expects more progress in the near future. “Brad is very dedicated and has always been passionate about developing players from the grass roots to higher levels,” said Quinn. “It is this commitment that has allowed Brad to continually grow as a skills and development coach.” Away from its home rink at Oceanside Ice Arena in Tempe, DYHA will continue to work with Source Performance, a training facility in Scottsdale run by former NCAA and pro player Malcolm Gwilliam.

“DYHA moving up to Tier I is well deserved,” Gwilliam said. “Brad has worked tirelessly to make this happen. The Tier I placement gives DYHA the ability to showcase their abilities on a national level and provide the competitive experience that these athletes need.” The training aspect Source Performance can provide DYHA is second to none, according to Gwilliam. “Between growing up and playing at a collegiate and professional level, hockey has always been a passion of mine,” said Gwilliam. “Going through the experience myself, I witnessed firsthand the many missteps and oversights in the education and training of youth athletes. Working with DYHA has given myself the opportunity to make changes at a systematic level for youth hockey. “What Source Performance has been able to of-

fer is a strength and conditioning program that is built upon both the needs of athletes now and preparation for the future demands of the sport. We analyze each athlete’s body composition, mobility and strength before beginning any training. Based on this information, we can individualize nutrition, supplementation and recovery protocols and create a map for the development of a youth’s off-season and in-season training. By splitting each team into semi-private group training sessions of 4-5 athletes, we can more precisely tailor the workouts to the team. Additionally, we provide at home workouts and coordinate with the DYHA coaches so that the training system is uniform across the board. “This type of comprehensive effort is the type of training that youth athletes deserve.” New to DYHA this season is Nick Naumenko, a longtime youth hockey coach in the Valley. Naumenko will work alongside McCaughey as the Jr. Sun Devils’ assistant hockey director. “There are a lot of like-minded hockey people here that are hyper-focused on the elite athlete like Brad said,” said Naumenko. “It’s my firm belief that in every major hockey market in the United States, any burgeoning market that is growing gives players more choices. The hockey is so much better in those markets because it keeps everybody working – coaches, players, everyone. That’s the biggest thing, too, for us is that the harder the coaches work in this town, the kids are definitely the ones who benefit. That’s what 10

Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine

this is about and why we do this.” Next season’s Tier I coaching lineup for DYHA includes Brad Norton (13U), Todd Collins (14U), Naumenko (15U), Jason Evahnenko (16U) and John Damyanovich (18U). Jason Wright is also returning as the skills coach for DYHA. “The overall philosophy of Brad’s staff will help to create a development model for the future in the state of Arizona,” Wright said. “Nothing really changes for me as I have done this here for 20 years at almost every rink in town and with all levels of players. My job is to improve kids’ skills and knowledge of the game.” With DYHA now one of three Tier I associations in the state, joining the Jr. Coyotes and Arizona Bobcats, Naumenko said competition is definitely a good thing. The Jr. Sun Devils have also formed an affiliation agreement with the Arizona Titans, who play out of AZ Ice Arcadia. “Now with choices, you’ve got your work cut out for you as a coach,” said Naumenko. “You’ve really got to put in the time knowing the kids are the ones who benefit at the end of the day. So far, there’s been a ton of interest from parents about coming here. Always keep in mind that there’s a lot of parents who probably didn’t even know about the history here. I mean, DYHA was here before any other team was here. They were pumping out Division I college hockey players before there was even another rink.” Past players for DYHA that have gone on to play pro hockey and college hockey include Auston Matthews, Dusty Collins and Dave Spina, to name but a few. Previous names of the program include the Phoenix Firebirds, DYHA Firebirds, DYHA Bobcats (when Bobcats were Tier I at Oceanside, they were DYHA teams), Jr. Coyotes and Jr. Roadrunners. Hiroki Wakabayashi is the DYHA director of goalie instructions and even though he is currently battling cancer, plans to be on the ice as soon as possible to handle the next crop of netminders. “This is a huge opportunity, especially for goalies, because now we have extra Tier I goalie spots in each age group,” said Wakabayashi. “There are a lot of good young goalies growing in this state who deserve to develop themselves at the Tier I level. We’ve successfully developed our unique and very consistent goaltending program past two seasons, so working with more elite-level goalies is the natural progression to me.” Prior to McCaughey stepping in as hockey director, Sean Whyte served in that role. He’s now working for the NHL as a youth hockey regional director in the southwestern United States. “I’m very excited about DYHA taking on the Tier I challenge again,” Whyte said. “I know Brad will not only do well, but will do it right. DYHA’s Tier I history is a very successful story. We won numerous state championships and represented well at the next level. This was back when the player pool wasn’t as plentiful and where many top Arizona players were still leaving the state to play at a higher level elsewhere. “Now, we are independently striving to build the best Tier I program in the state and providing the best option for young elite players to extend their careers into junior, college and beyond.”


JR. COYOTES 2020-2021 TRYOUTS TIER l July 9 - 12 18U TIER I 16U TIER I 15O TIER I 14U TIER I 13U TIER I





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Tempe’s Hedquist wraps USPHL career, commits to NCAA D-III By Matt Mackinder


ohl Hedquist grew up in Tempe, playing youth hockey for the Jr. Coyotes and Arizona Bobcats along the way. The past two seasons, he skated for the Hampton Roads Whalers, winning a USPHL Premier national championship in 2018-19. After another solid season in 2019-20, Hedquist will move on to college hockey in the fall after recently committing to NCAA Division III Gustavus Adolphus College. Gustavus Adolphus is located in St. Peter, Minn., and competes in the MIAC. “I am extremely thankful and blessed to be given an opportunity by the Whalers and become part of the tradition and culture they hold in my last two years,” said Hedquist. “Thank you to Mr. (Pat) Cavanagh, Coach (Rod) Taylor, Coach (Greg) Gatto, Coach (Kody) Rodriguez, Coach (Brad) Jones and the staff for getting the most out of me every day. Thank you to my support group and family back home along with the 2018-19 national championship group and a 2019-20 team who deserved one as well – two teams who I will never forget being part of. From the coaches to the players, they will always be family and it was an honor to be part of something so special. “I am excited to get things going at Gustavus next year and be a Gustie where I can keep playing hockey for a great program and further my education.” This past season, Hedquist posted 16 points (nine goals, seven assists) in 43 games while also serving as an alternate captain. He skated in a total of 90 career games with the Whalers, tallying nine goals and 11 assists for 20 career points. “Kohl is the true meaning of team player,” said Gatto. “He was a great leader on and off the ice and helped develop, carry and pass on our culture for the next wave of Whalers. ‘Heddy’ has sneaky skill, he can play anywhere in the lineup, and he truly excelled in the faceoff circle and blocking shots. “Gustavus is getting a big-time character player and a champion.”


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Moore loving life as youth hockey coach, BTM manager By Matt Mackinder


enry-Mychal Moore is a youth hockey coach with the Arizona Hockey Union and a manager with Behind The Mask at its Scottsdale location. He also grew up playing for the Polar Bears and DYHA Firebirds and serving as a captain for P.F. Chang’s. Sounds like a normal life, right? Take into consideration that Moore, who is black, has been involved in sport that traditionally doesn’t have many minorities, and the life he has lived is pretty inspirational. He has faced obstacles over his lifetime, knocking them all down to be able to live a satisfying life in the Valley. “I’ve dealt with racist incidents while playing and coaching,” admitted Moore. “I’ve been called derogatory names and pretty much everything else in the book. When I was younger, it absolutely angered me when it happened. As I got older, I looked at it from the perspective that if someone had to stoop to level of ignorance than I was doing my job on the ice because they weren’t mentally in the game.” Hockey is also a game where most people don’t see color and would rather focus on players’ skills. “I would agree with that statement for the most part,” Moore said. “Hockey players see hockey players and unfortunately, there are always individuals who are ignorant regardless of the group of people and they just happen to be loudest.

“I wouldn’t limit this to just black hockey players, and I never looked back. The discipline of the game of but to people of all non-white backgrounds, continue to hockey is what got me hooked. The more I invested into push yourself no matter how hard it gets because some- hockey, the more I got from it. I love the challenge of one paved the way for you to succeed. You just have to hockey from all aspects.” Now coaching and working full time at BTM with put in the effort. The game of hockey will give back what guys like Randy Exelby and Beau Saugling, Moore you put into it. That’s just a life lesson in general.” agrees that hockey is life. Moore added that he was “My wife says she falls to taught to not judge a book by third on the list after our two its cover but by its contents. daughters and hockey,” said “I was raised to judge inMoore. “Coaching is my way dividuals based off of characto give back to the game that ter, integrity and the choices gave me more then I could’ve they make as individuals, not ever imagined. Working at Beskin color, as I feel a majority hind The Mask, I get to show do,” Moore said. “They should people why hockey is the actually sit and have that ungreatest sport, whether you’re comfortable conversation with six or 64, which is the oldest open minds and egos set aside to see the other side be- Serving as a coach for the Arizona Hockey Union for person I’ve fitted for new gear. “Randy and Beau have cause when it comes to hockey, the past seven years has been a big part of Henry-Mydone so much for the hockwe’re all just here for the game.” chal Moore’s hockey adventures in the Valley. ey community. Randy took a Born in San Angelo, Tex., Moore’s family moved to Elemendorf Air Force Base in chance 26 years ago and hasn’t looked back. Beau has Anchorage, Alaska, where he lived until 2001 when his pretty much been here from the beginning. He helped father retired from the Air Force. The family then relocat- train me when I first started coming in after school 17 ed to Arizona where Moore’s parents originally met in years ago to lace skates in the back room of the old Peoria location. The bond between the employees is similar the late 1970s. “My neighbor in Alaska had a rink in his backyard,” to a hockey team. Everyone has to pull their own weight remembered Moore. “He let me borrow a pair of skates to achieve a common goal.”



IHAAZ gets teams back to normalcy with early June event By Brian Lester


early three months after its last festival, roller hockey was back in full swing for IHAAZ teams the first week in June with a state qualifier tournament. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was a tourney played under different circumstances at the Peoria Sportsplex. Social distancing guidelines were in place as well as added precautions when it came to cleaning and sanitation. The tourney featured two new teams. The Blue Devils prevailed in the 14U division with a 3-0-1 record. The 10U Labeda Arizona Roller Knights didn’t win a game but had a blast. The Roller Knights were under the direction of head coach Rich Garvey, who has a vast background in both ice and roller hockey as a player and coach. The interesting thing is that had there not been a pandemic, a new team wouldn’t have had a chance to compete in an IHAAZ event so late in the year. “It created an opportunity,” Garvey said. “Our kids were chomping at the bit to get back out there and compete and have fun and be with their peers again.” Most of the players for the Roller Knights were new to roller hockey, having mainly played ice hockey, and yet they embraced the new experience. The win-loss column didn’t matter at all. “We lost all four games but throughout every game,

all the kids had smiles and at the end of the tournament, they expressed in wanting to stay together and compete at state (later this month),” Garvey said. The Blue Devils enjoyed their experience as well. They were coached by Cole Kamin, an Arizona State roller hockey player that grew up playing the sport. He enjoyed seeing his team compete at the festival. “The experience playing in this IHAAZ tournament was incredible,” Cole said. “As the tournament went

along, the boys really learned how to play together. This is what ultimately gave us such great success.” Marc Kamin, who is Cole’s dad and put the team together, said what impressed him most was that many of the players were new to tourney play in the sport. “About half the team had never played in an organized roller hockey game prior to this tournament and each and every one of them not only met, but exceeded expectations,” Marc said. “To have the success that we


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did was simply icing on the cake.” The Outlaws and Jr. Wildcats both finished 3-1 in the 8U division, splitting their two games in the tournament. The Outlaws, who won 7-2 over the Jr. Wildcats after falling 6-5 in an earlier game against the same team, outscored their opponents 28-8, shutting out two opponents to give them the first-place finish. The Jr. Wildcats finished with a 22-13 edge in goals scored. In the 10U division, the Outlaws and Knighthawks both fashioned 4-1 records at the tourney. Their only loss was to each other, with the Outlaws winning 4-3 and the Knighthawks avenging the loss with a 6-5 win and taking the title. The Outlaws Black 12U team completed an unbeaten run through the tournament in dominating fashion, holding a 30-7 advantage in goals scored. They closed out the tourney with a 10-2 win over the Jr. Wildcats Blue. As for the 18U division, the Knigthawks won all four of their games, though the finale didn’t come easy as the Yetis battled hard before falling 5-4. For everyone involved, it was a chance to get back to playing the sport they love. Cole took notice of how much his players loved the experience. “What stood out to me was how much the new roller hockey players seemed to enjoy playing roller,” Cole said. “Seeing the excitement on the boys’ faces as the final seconds ticked off the clock in the final game was great.”

Proudly taking the ice in 2020-21 for our 15th season!



NAHL’s Ice Wolves filling needs ahead of sophomore season By Matt Mackinder


he NAHL season ended prematurely in March after the COVID-19 spread, but the New Mexico Ice Wolves didn’t miss a beat, using the expanded offseason to start making plans for their second season that should start in the fall. On May 12, the Ice Wolves selected three players in the NAHL’s first-ever Supplemental Draft. Going into the draft, Ice Wolves coach-GM Phil Fox said he was looking to “target some areas of needs that we have.” “We’ll be bringing back a bulk of our players, but we are still a younger team,” Fox said. “We’ll look to find one or two players with a couple years of junior hockey experience who can help us next season.” Fox found that experience with the New Mexico’s first selection and fourth overall pick in defenseman Michael Ferrandino. Entering his last season of junior eligibility after spending the past four seasons in the USHL, the Lisle, Ill., native will bring age and experience to Albuquerque. In the second round, the Ice Wolves drafted 2001-born forward Tim Washe. At 6-foot-3 and 209 pounds, the Clarkston, Mich., native will bring welcome size to New Mexico. Washe spent the 2019-20 season in Canada playing for the BCHL’s Nanaimo Clippers and ended the season with 19 points on 10 goals and nine assists. The Ice Wolves finished the draft strong by selecting Scottsdale native Jack Bayless in the third round. Bayless is a UMass Lowell recruit and played the

2019-20 season with the BCHL’s Wenatchee Wild. “I am very happy with our draft,” Fox said. “I feel that we were able to add a lot of depth to our roster with our three picks and accomplished what we wanted to.” Next up draft-wise is the NAHL Entry Draft, which will be held on July 21. THREE MORE TENDERS The offseason has also allowed the Ice Wolves to sign three more players to tender contracts for the 2020-21 season. Forwards Jack Cohen, Jack Michels and Fabian Westling Alm are all now New Mexico property. Cohen is a 2001-born Miami native who has spent the past two seasons playing for the Florida Alliance in the NAHL-affiliated NAPHL. After leading the team in scoring during his first season with the Alliance, Cohen averaged better than a point per game (18 goals, 17 assists in 32 games). He also earned a spot on the NAPHL 18U First All-Star Team (Elite Division). “I am very excited about signing Jack to a tender,” said Fox. “I watched a lot of film on him and I really like his game. He competes in all three zones and has great offensive instincts. Jack can make plays under pressure and will make the players around him

better also. We can’t wait for Jack to join us in New Mexico.” Westling Alm is a Sweden native who skated for Timrå IK J20 in the J20 SuperElit, Sweden’s highest-level junior league, alongside another Ice Wolves tender, Philip Pallin. WEstling Alm played in 44 games and collected 15 goals among 28 points. “We are very excited signing Fabian to a tender,” Fox said. “Fabian brings a lot of experience to our club. He is a big strong power forward who likes to shoot the puck. He doesn’t shy from physical play and gets to the hard areas for his offense. We’re really looking forward to having Fabian be a part of the Ice Wolves and look forward to developing him even further as a hockey player and individual.” A DeForest, Wis., product, Michels, spent the majority of the 2019-20 season with the SIJHL’s Thief River Falls Norskies and ended his rookie campaign with 30 goals and 57 points over 43 games, earning a spot on the SIJHL First All-Star Team. “Jack’s numbers last year were no fluke.” Fox said. “He has a great shot and possesses a natural goal scoring ability. He puts himself in great areas to get shots and he will go to the hard areas as well to get rewarded. He is dynamic all over the ice and will help add some offensive firepower to our team.”

Coyotes’ Stepan: ‘For us, it’s about the Stanley Cup’

By Mark Brown


atience. That is one quality pretty much absent from most professional athletes. Especially true in these uncertain times, perseverance is likely the one virtue holding the Arizona Coyotes, as well as the other NHL teams, somewhat together. While the wait to get back on the ice is excruciating, players are trying to make the best of a health crisis which continues to have a vice-like grip on the nation and the world. Off skates since March 12 when the NHL season was placed on hold, players and team officials have found creative ways to keep occupied and some include pet training, cooking, mountain biking, repairs around the house and the necessity to stay in shape. With the NHL announcement that training camps can open on July 11, the Coyotes have made Gila River Arena available to small groups, and these are engaged in daily workouts. While a schedule for the resumption of play remains undecided and 2-3 venues for play to be announced, there is now some semblance of a hockey season returning to form. With a declaration the regular season ended on March 12 and a 24-team playoff format established, the Coyotes now draw the Nashville Predators as their initial opening-round, postseason opponent. Like all qualifying rounds, this is a best-of-five series and the likely venue is Las Vegas. At one point, the Coyotes petitioned the NHL to host one site, but the league rejected Phoenix because of the lack of multiple ice sheets needed to accommodate participating clubs. While various scenarios were discussed for the resumption of play, Coyotes center Derek Stepan 16

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echoed many in the desire for a tournament-based struc- 14 players with Stanley Cup playoff experiences. Defenture. Now that the league established that format, players seman Niklas Hjalmarsson has the most experience are anxious for on-ice officials to drop the puck. with 128 playoff games and three Cups, all with Chica“This where the discussion landed,” Stepan said dur- go. Stepan is next with 97, all with the New York Ranging a Zoom video conference with reporters in early June. ers, while Phil Kessel has 87 playoff games with the “We were trying to find a solution Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple and, at this point, it’s not about Leafs and Pittsburgh Penguins, any other conversation. For us, winning Cups with Pittsburgh in it’s about the Stanley Cup.” 2016 and 2017.“We look at this For the first time since adas a second chance,” Stepan vancing to the Western Confersaid. “We played well early in ence Finals in the spring of 2012, the season and then hit a roadthe Coyotes have qualified for block, so it’s all about competing postseason play. In that 2012 for the Cup. Personally, I’ve been playoff season, the Coyotes declose before and this is another feated the Chicago Blackhawks chance to do it. For us to comin six games, dispatched the pete, it will come down to mental Nashville Predators in five contoughness.” tests and eventually lost in the If the Coyotes and the 23 conference finals to the Los Another franchises finally get on the geles Kings. ice this summer, the environment Should the Coyotes knock off will be completely changed. Nashville this season, they would Teams will skate with no fans in move into a best-of-seven sethe stands and expanded health ries during the next round of 16 protocols to obey. There is also teams. the reality of sequestering with Arizona Coyotes defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson “For our younger players, they goes into the Stanley Cup Playoffs with more than teammates and away from famihave a chance to make a state- 100 games of postseason experience and three lies. ment,” said Coyotes general Cups with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010, 2013 As much as players look for manager John Chayka during and 2015. Photo/Norm Hall a return to play, the Coyotes and a Zoom call. “Nashville is certainly a worthy opponent. the NHL will not drop the puck until the green light from Many have been on Stanley Cup winners, but I like our health care professionals and local, municipal officials, group. I’m excited for the franchise and eager to start.” is given. At that point, the league can then honestly say Hitting hit the ice against Nashville, the Coyotes have the pause is over.

Passing the inline hockey torch at University of Arizona By Phillip Brents

photos to make sure that guys could be proud of our sport and have a website they could share,” he explained. “When guys post stuff on Instagram and Facebook, it makes me proud as the leader of the organization.” Another big step that did not really come to full effect until this year was instilling a culture change in the program. “This started by recruiting roller hockey players,

opment team as a freshman and sophomore, leading the developing team in scoring in 2017-18 after finniversity of Arizona inline hockey club president ishing second in 2016-17. Alex Parrish has seen his time run out as an After excelling at the 2017-18 nationals, Arizona’s officer with the team, though he’s not yet ready to primary team only picked up three wins during the hang up his skates. 2018-19 season and was demoted to the WCRHL’s He intends to play one more season for the WildDivision III tier this season. cats, a team he has helped take a crucial step forThe Wildcats bounced back by finishing runward during his administrative tenure. ner-up in the 2019-20 regular-season standings by “It is hard to imagine, but it has been about two one point to Cal Poly Pomona but failed to adand a half years with many ups and downs,” exvance past the semifinals at the conference champlained Parrish, who has logged time with the propionship tournament. gram since 2016-17. “Running the team has been But the Wildcats have made strides in other an amazing learning experience and I can’t think perhaps more important areas. of something that has better prepared me for life “Over my two-year stint, it has been a priority to after school.” get more recognition from the school as it felt like Parrish assumed club presidency as the team we were considered street hockey for a long time,” was heading to the 2018 National Collegiate RollParrish said. “After a lot of time navigating the buer Hockey Championships in Fargo, N.D. It was an reaucracy of the school, we got proper uniforms, eventful trip as the Wildcats, fresh off a Western matching gear and apparel so we can show off our Collegiate Roller Hockey League (WCRHL) reroller pride, including eating at the athlete kitchen gional championship, advanced to the Division II and having a private gym. quarterfinals. “The last major thing I have had my hand in was “Since Day 1, I have had the goal of eliminating creating a locker room that guys could be proud the negative aspect of roller hockey, both on camto have. Not only is this a major recruiting tool, pus and in the hockey world,” Parrish explained. but the ability to not have hockey gear in a dorm “We have a college-level program and we run it in a It’s been a memorable and productive journey for Alex Parrish, who is huge. professional way as if we were any other sport. We relinquishes his duty as club president of the University of Arizona’s “Throughout the last two years, I have worked model a lot of what we do around teams in the NCAA inline hockey program. hard to make it secure, clean, financially sustain– although making a limited budget stretch can be hard but also changing the conversation so we weren’t able and professional. Going forward, however, we – and expect the same respect from our players.” known as the ‘B’ team or extra practice for the ice are looking to expand the physical layout of the lockOne large project Parrish worked on was to de- guys,” Parrish said. “We have become independent er room and completely renovate it.” velop a professional-looking website (www.wildca- and are proud of it. We play roller, have our own apThat will be a project to complete by incoming for the team. parel, facilities and reputation on campus.” club president Griffin Sherwood, a Prescott na“I spend lots of time getting professional-level Parrish played primarily with the program’s devel- tive.


Arizona inline teams’ national title hopes put on hold By Phillip Brents


ollowing the completion of the Western Collegiate Roller Hockey League’s (WCRHL) conference championship tournament March 7-8 in Corona, Calif., 14 teams from the league, plus two alternates, received bids to the 2020 National Collegiate Roller Hockey Championships, which were scheduled for April 15-19 in Fort Myers, Fla. Teams receiving bids included Arizona State University and CSU Fullerton in the Division I tier; Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Chico State and Northern Arizona University in Division II; Cal Poly Pomona, the University of Arizona, San Jose State, UCLA and Cal-Berkeley in Division III; Arizona State, University of Arizona and Fullerton in Division IV; and West Valley College in the Junior College Division. Alternates included UC Santa Barbara (Division III) and Pomona (Division IV). Players and coaches on the respective teams were left wondering about what could have been when the tournament was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. It was a disappointing ending to what looked like to be a promising showing by the league in Florida. “Obviously, we feel like we’ve lost a great opportunity to compete against one of the most wide-open fields for the NCRHA Division I title there has been in years,” explained Arizona State program director Nick Boyarsky, whose Sun Devils repeated as Division I

and Division IV WCRHL champions. “Our Division I team had been working with a goal to really push for a goal that was within reach. Having that opportunity taken away from us is obviously disappointing but had the league not canceled the event, the school would’ve prevented us from traveling as a club anyway, so it was moot by the official league announcement. “Our seniors – Aryeh Richter and Ian Bast – are the ones we felt the most for after both hav-

Arizona State University captured the Division IV championship at the Western Collegiate Roller Hockey League conference championship tournament back in March. Photo/WCRHL

ing had what was shaping up to be one of their better years and a final chance to compete. Both have said, with the league giving them an extra year of eligibility, they are considering returning for post-grad schooling and playing the extra year.” Disappointment echoed throughout the WCRHL. “Everyone was understandably upset when hearing about the cancellation of nationals because we had

such a good feeling going in,” University of Arizona club president Alex Parrish said. “We were all watching nervously on bid day and went a little crazy after we heard we were going. We had both Division IV and Division III teams heading to Florida, and we wanted deep runs from both. “Despite losing nationals, we still have such a good program here with almost everyone coming back, including myself. It’s sad to have four years of hockey, with so much development, taking the team somewhere I did not think was possible, to just end so suddenly.” Due to the cancellation of this year’s national championship tournament, the National Collegiate Roller Hockey Association (NCRHA) announced the 201920 season will not count against the five-year eligibility limit for any player. “The NCRHA is aware of the outsized impact and disappointment this situation has brought upon its graduating seniors and is exploring options to extend their playing opportunities and will explore those options heading into the offseason,” NCRHA executive director Brennan Edwards said. For some teams, the cancellation presented an unexpected opportunity for next season. “I think it is hard for all the seniors wanting to play for their last year and try to win the national title,” Northern Arizona University freshman Jaden Guzman said. “For the NAU squad, I feel like it helps us out with preparing for the next season and trying to find more guys to help us out throughout the next season.” The 2021 National Collegiate Roller Hockey Championships have since been awarded to Fort Myers. The 2020-21 season is set to begin Oct. 25 with the WCRHL’s annual kick-off event in San Jose, Calif.



Position: Defenseman Hometown: Glendale Age: 19 2019-20 Junior Team: Wenatchee Wild (BCHL) 2020-21 Junior Team: Fargo Force (USHL) Arizona Youth Teams: Jr. Coyotes Arizona Rubber: What’s your favorite hockey memory growing up? Trevor Griebel: Definitely winning three Arizona state championships with the Jr. Coyotes. AZR: What’s your favorite memory in the game since leaving Arizona? TG: My first year in the BCHL with Wenatchee (2018-19), we made a deep playoff run into the third round. That run was a great experience for my first year of juniors. AZR: Who have been the biggest influences on you, on and off the ice? TG: Mainly my parents (Lauri and Mike). Growing up, they allowed me to play this sport and always took me to practices and games. Even now, they’re always watching my games and helping me fine-tune my personal game all the time. AZR: What’s the best piece of advice you have for young hockey players? TG: There are tons of kids around the world working as hard or harder than you every day. Make sure you’re doing something every day to get better yourself. AZR: Other than hockey, do you have a favorite sport to play? TG: Yes, I like playing soccer and baseball. AZR: Do you have any superstitions? TG: No. AZR: What does your game-day routine look like? TG: I go to the morning skate, eat breakfast, get in a nap, eat my pre-game meal, then go to the rink and it’s game time. AZR: Do you have a favorite meal or restaurant back home in Arizona? TG: Texas Roadhouse. AZR: What are some essential items you take on a road trip? TG: Headphones, computer, toiletries. AZR: Did you have a favorite hockey player growing up? Why? TG: It was Nicklas Lidstrom (of the Detroit Red Wings). Obviously, he’s arguably the best defenseman to ever play the game and me being a defenseman myself, he’s someone you like to watch play and try to learn from. Photo/ Garrett James Photography


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