Arizona Rubber Magazine - November 2019

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VOLUME 15 15



Now in its second season, the Arizona Titans youth program is keeping the momentum going from the first year by creating a family-like atmosphere with specific emphasis on player and coaching development






FROM THE EDITOR Loving all that we have to be thankful for, on and off the ice


t’s that time of year when we get all the holiday commercials, music and events coming at us in full force. Yes, it’s a special time of year, for sure. I have always had a soft spot in my heart for the time right after Halloween until Jan. 1 or so. It’s a time for family, to celebrate the seasons and to reflect on the path we’re on in this life. With Thanksgiving approaching, we always like to broadcast what we are thankful for. For me, that is no doubt family. My wife and I recently celebrated our 15-year wedding anniversary and it’s amazing to see how fast time flies. Throw in three awesome kids, supMatt Mackinder portive families on both sides, four pets and jobs that are certainly worth getting up for in the morning, and, wow, we’ve done pretty well for ourselves. This month and the other 11, be thankful for what you have and that if you’re reading this, you probably have a connection somehow to hockey. Be thankful for that, too. Bring on the holidays! Here is some early-season player advancement news. Arizona Bobcats 18U goaltender Caleb Wall was called up to the St. Cloud Blizzard of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) the last weekend of October. Wall made his NAHL debut on Oct. 26 in a home game in St. Cloud against the Bismarck Bobcats. The Chandler native is in his third season playing in the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) for the Bobcats organization. In his first season with the 18U team, Wall has appeared in five games and has posted a 2.69 goals-against average and a .935 save percentage. Wall played the 2018-19 season for the Bobcats’ 16U team in the NAPHL, where he posted a 2-5-1 record in eight games played to go along with a 2.98 GAA and .904 save percentage. He also played a full season in the NAPHL during the 2017-18 season with the Bobcats’ 15U team. Great job, Caleb! And great name for a goalie, too! In an effort to improve relations with the Latino community in the Valley, the Arizona Coyotes announced recently the formation of the club’s Hispanic Advisory Board. The board will be led by Coyotes majority owner, chairman and governor Alex Meruelo, who became the first Hispanic majority owner of an NHL team on July 29, 2019. “We are very fortunate to have Mr. Meruelo as the first Hispanic owner of an NHL team,” said Coyotes president-CEO Ahron Cohen. “We finally have the right person in place to connect with the Hispanic community and build a genuine relationship. I’m very proud of the board we’ve assembled and look forward to working with these great business leaders to develop authentic strategies for reaching out to the Latino community. Our primary focus will be to earn their trust and get more people excited about our team and our great game.” Joining Meruelo on the board are Cohen and community leaders from the Phoenix area, Northern Arizona, and Southern Arizona. The current board is comprised of members from organizations including Chicanos Por La Causa, the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, iHeartMedia, Visit Tucson, Valle de Sol, Univision, and city of Tucson council member Regina Romero. The University of Arizona hockey program recently announced the hiring of Tanner Harris as the Wildcats’ hockey coordinator. Harris, born and raised in Tucson, graduated this past year with an accounting degree from the university’s Eller College of Management. During the 2018-19 season, Harris played a major role in contributing towards the Wildcats’ community service efforts in a season where the club was recognized for two ACHA community service awards. In addition, Harris spent the last two years serving as a media relations intern with the AHL’s Tucson Roadrunners.

Contact Matt Mackinder at 4

Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine

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Sophomore Michael Bloom races up the court for Arizona State University during October’s WCRHL annual kickoff event. More inline hockey coverage this issue on Page 19. Photo/Nick Boyarsky/ASU

ON THE COVER Justin Rogers is the hockey director for the second-year Arizona Titans program. He also coaches the 10U Blue and 12U White teams, pictured on the bench this season with his 10U team. Photo/Dennison Stewart


‘We are a family’

Titans coaches adjust in second year to foster more growth, on and off ice, within organization By Moriah Hernandez

I have been a part of this organization,” Allan said. “And now, I get to work with every kid and get to know each and every one of them. I’m able to create relationearly two years ago, Justin Rogers was tasked with rebuilding VOSHA and ships throughout the whole organization and have a bigger impact.” as a result, the Arizona Titans were born. Rogers is convinced the passion and enthusiasm the Titans coaching staff has What seemed like a shot in the dark to the then-22-year-old hockey director for the game and being able to share that with the players is unmatched. Across has proven to be an important decision in the growth of youth hockey in Arizona. the program, the coaches share a genuine care for development. The mission for the organization has and continues to be focused solely on Stephenson, one of association’s younger coaches, is highly respected among player development, both on and off the ice. players, parents and fellow coaches. He has been with the Titans “We truly believe in player development and we are passionate about helping from the start and continues to be a vital piece of the players reach their highest potential,” Titans 10U coach Garrett Stephenson p r o g r a m ’ s foundation. said. “Garrett’s patience with the “It’s really amazing to be able to give opporyoung kids is just phenomenal,” tunities to players, including players who may said Majercak. “For someone have been passed on by other travel organizaso young to be doing it and tions, and watch them be so successful in a getting so much joy out of travel setting,” Rogers added. the younger kids shows To achieve the most development possible, how much he just wants to the Titans coaches are huge proponents of coach.” USA Hockey’s American Development Model “Having such a skilled (ADM). It’s proven to be effective for the coachcoach who wants to coach es to keep players engaged and increase the at a younger level has been abpuck touches so players are getting more out solutely fantastic,” added Rogers. “He of each practice. continues to be such an asset for us, and the “Being here at the Titans, we have a lot kids love him.” of really good skills coaches who specialize On the other hand, Titans coaches admire in certain things,” said Titans 14U and skills Rogers’ positivity and his ability to connect with coach Jarred Smith. “The ADM gets those the kids, in addition to his fresh perspective on coaches in small areas and focused with the the landscape of youth hockey and where it is kids in smaller groups, which really translates going. into skill development. It’s one of the most ef“Justin brings a passion to the game that is fective ways to use ice in terms of developing unmatched,” Stephenson said. “You can tell he skill.” grew up here as he loves everything about AZ Rogers said the ADM has helped the Titans Ice Arcadia and is dedicated to developing kids on an organization level to maintain a similar here at home.” structure from the Mites Development Program “He takes on a lot, and he’s only 24, but all the way through 16U AA, ensuring similar Lourdes Smith is one of the many Arizona Titans hockey moms, and joined her he does it well,” added Majercak. “He’s the unthings are being taught. children Harry, Landon and Lulu Smith take in a recent 12U game supporting derdog, he’s coming out of nowhere. He has a As the youngest director in the state, it’s their brother and her son Charlie Smith. Photo/Lourdes Smith plan but he’s not closed-minded to changing fitting that Rogers made it a point to build a his plan for the better, and he’s in it for 100 young, highly-skilled coaching staff. It was percent the right reasons, to grow hockey in important to him to find coaches who shared Arizona and develop players.” his passion but who also possessed the skills Rogers has also implemented a family-style needed to foster development. coaching atmosphere in effort to familiarize “We’re young, but we have a lot of years players with coaches across the organization. of playing and we relate very well with the “The coaching staff is a tight-knit group who kids,” trainer Jordan Allan said. “We’re here enjoys spending time together away from the because we want to make an impact and a rink,” Stephenson said. “We are a family, and change.” it shows when we step on the ice. If anyone “Seeing some of our younger coaches getis short, another coach jumps in to fill a spot ting involved and being a bigger part of it like without question.” Anthony Peralta and Jake Bayer has been Beyond the internal family-like setting, the great,” Rogers noted. “Not only could they play Titans have worked hard to create more than and did play more recently, but to see them dejust a hockey program. velop as a coach and start to strive on the other “On the ice and around the rink, our families side is incredible.” are so supportive,” Rogers said. “It starts from As the organization entered its second year, the Mites development level all the way up to it looked to restructure practices providing 16U AA. It’s more than just hockey. It’s a fullplayers with power skating coached by Mike blown hockey community.” Hensdell, weekly skills coached by Smith and “Everyone is connected,” Stephenson addweekly goaltending sessions with Jeff Tecca. ed. “There is a family-like atmosphere at the “The addition of skills night with Jarred rink from the youngest to the oldest.” Smith is definitely a plus because you dedicate It’s important to the Titans to improve and an entire day to ADM skills sessions, which is Arizona Titans Mite players – the youngest players in the organization – get grow with each season. Rogers said the goal great for every team,” said Titans 12U and 14U ready for a recent game in the AZ Ice Gilbert locker room. Photo/Jennifer Monn. each year is to build on the last and to become coach Steve Majercak. “The advancement of Jordan Allan, a dedicated physical more competitive year after year. fitness trainer, has been another positive change this season.” “Having a strict program for goaltending coaching, power skating and skills practices Allan was promoted to the Titans full-time off-ice trainer and continues to help has been more beneficial to our players, whether it’s in wins or closer games,” Rogers said. out on the ice for 10U and 12U teams. “We’re starting to see the byproduct of the right development and where it “It’s been one of the best experiences of my life – I haven’t worked a day since comes into play in a competitive atmosphere.”



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USPHL makes grade with 1,200 grads on college rosters By Joshua Boyd/


he United States Premier Hockey League (USPHL), with its unparalleled multi-tiered development model, continues to be the perfect starting point towards a college hockey career. Research tracking the whereabouts of former USPHL players shows that there are more than 1,200 college hockey players who developed their on- and off-ice skills anywhere from the USPHL Midget full-season divisions up through the three-tiered USPHL junior hockey model. Along with development towards a college hockey future, the USPHL is also known for its internal promotion of players, and several hundred have moved up within the Midget and junior leagues. More than 275 former USPHL junior and Midget players are also currently playing professional hockey around the world, including John Marino (Pittsburgh Penguins/ South Shore Kings), Connor Clifton (Boston Bruins/ Jersey Hitmen) and Stanley Cup champion and St. Louis Blues forward Zach Sanford (Islanders Hockey Club.) National Collegiate Development Conference: The top of the pyramid is the tuition-free National Collegiate Development Conference (NCDC), which has entered its third season and has already seen new college commitments for future seasons. There are currently 143 former NCDC players on NCAA Division I and Division III rosters. Prior to the

2017 formation of the NCDC, the USPHL Premier Division was the league’s top tier. There are more than 230 alumni of the USPHL’s top junior division currently playing NCAA hockey. Players also move on from the top level to the ACHA, giving the USPHL’s top tier more than 325 alumni currently playing at all levels of college hockey.

USPHL Elite: The vast majority of USPHL Elite players move on to the USPHL Premier, with a total of 251 players in the last two seasons advancing to the higher-level Tier III league. Along with its junior development mission, there are several players who advance directly to college hockey. The Northern Cyclones’ Matt Irwin, who finished among the top scorers in the USPHL Elite last season, has earned a spot on the Framingham State University roster in NCAA Division III hockey. A total of 179 former USPHL Elite players (along with players from precursors to the USPHL Elite) are on ACHA rosters for this season.

USPHL Premier: Although the USPHL Premier may have a large footprint on the surface, divisional play and several showcases keeps travel light for the players and provides college scouts more showcase opportunities than in any other league to see the best Tier III talent. That is one of the main reasons USPHL Midget Divisions: The USPHL why the USPHL Premier, in the last 18U, 16U and 15U full-season divitwo years alone, has produced 240 sions have developed a great reputaNCAA athletes – including Jacob Craig Pantano, a former South Shore Kings tion for not only hosting highly-ranked (2013-15), has been one of the top Tier I AAA teams, but also advancing Zab, who rode a strong year with netminder goalies in the Hockey East for nationally-ranked the Pittsburgh Vengeance to an Northeastern University early on in the college players to all corners of the junior, college and pro hockey world. NCAA Division I roster spot with the hockey season. Photo/Northeastern Athletics The Midget divisions combined have seen 146 alumUniversity of Nebraska Omaha. Another 210 players from the last two years of the ni that are currently playing NCAA Division I, while more USPHL Premier have moved on to the ACHA ranks, giv- than 200 are playing NCAA Division III hockey. A total ing the USPHL Premier a total of 450 college advance- of 85 former USPHL 18U players are now in the NCDC ments in just two seasons. No less than 40 individual and more than 200 former 16U players are in the NCDC, players have made the big jump the last two years to the Premier and Elite. Over 90 USPHL 15U alumni have continued up through the junior divisions. NCDC within the USPHL.



Support keeps coming for AHU Mite Silver’s Accardo By Sean Phillips


eighton Accardo’s story has gone national. It’s quite possible it is worldwide at this point. Back in May, the eight-year-old Accardo, who plays for the Arizona Hockey Union Mite Silver team, was diagnosed with cancer and started treatment at the amazing Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Friends, strangers and teammates have raised money in her name. Big-name athletes and celebrities have stopped by to see her. Friends and friends of friends or just people who saw her story have run races in support of her. Multiple fundraisers and tons of social media. What has all this done? Besides the money and awareness raised, it’s helped her friends and teammates learn invaluable importance about volunteering. Research shows youth who engage in community service are more responsible with higher self-esteem and resilience and it helps them gain new skills such as leadership, communication skills, dependability, time management and decision making. Teens who volunteer even perform better at school. Accardo’s diagnosis has created a positive ripple effect. Not only do her friends, family and teammates want to help her but they also want to help the people that helped her. Stephanie Wilson, a close friend of the Accardo family, whose son Cameron is Leighton’s hockey teammate, and daughter Kate, who is a figure skating buddy

of Leighton’s, is an all-around awesome person and organized a fundraiser to help families that have extended stays at PCH. These families have access to a “family room,” which allows them to grab a snack or meal or a fresh T-shirt, with all costs absorbed by the hospital at zero cost to the families. This can be a huge relief from buying breakfast, lunch and dinner at the cafeteria every day. Leighton’s family and AHU Mite Silver team, along with other AHU players, gave back to the people that are helping Leighton. “This whole Leighton situation has been humbling,” said Stephanie Wilson. “It’s something all of our kids had to experience at such a young age. They’ve been amazing teammates and friends by visiting, bringing her gifts, sending pics and videos. We wanted to do something to give back to PCH. They’ve taken such amazing care of her. We’ve gotten a ton of


Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine

support from people dropping things off and even out of town friends and family sending money to buy more. “We also want to thank Bob Platt and the crew at AZ Ice Gilbert for letting us store items and use the rink for our drop-off location. They’ve been super supportive as Leighton’s home rink for both hockey and figure skating. I know all the kids - not just our team – love Leighton and this is the kind of thing that shows people who our kids are. They’re not just little athletes. They’re amazing little people.” Recently, Accardo has been back on the ice and the baseball field but in a very limited capacity. She still has a tough road ahead of her so please keep her in your thoughts and prayers and thank you to everyone at Phoenix Children’s Hospital for taking such amazing care of our little Knight! ​​ Video from Fox 10 Phoenix: https://www.fox10phoenix. com/news/valley-girl-fighting-cancer-and-her-hockeyteam-deliver-donations-to-phoenix-childrens-hospital

NORTHERN ARIZONA UNIVERSITY Despite setbacks, NAU D-II squad looking for strong second half By Matt Mackinder


orthern Arizona University’s ACHA Division II team had high expectations heading into the 2019-20 season. And even with recent injuries to three key players that will see each one miss the remainder of the season, those expectations have not changed one bit, according to IceJacks head coach Travis Johanson. A slew of other players have also been on the sidelines this season with various injuries. “The start of December will be a big test for our team,” said Johanson. “Other guys will have to step up, and that’s what we expect will happen. Injuries are a part of the game and when one guy goes down, another one has to step up. It’s happened before and we see it happening again.” Next month, NAU plays three straight showcase games Dec. 5-7 in Las Vegas at the SoBe Ice Arena, kicking off with the University of California-Berkeley on Dec. 5, then the University of Cincinnati the next day and wrapping up with San Jose State University on Dec. 7 before breaking for exams and the holidays. The week before Thanksgiving, the IceJacks are in another showcase, playing four games in Utah from Nov. 21-24 against Utah State University, Weber State University, Brigham Young University and Northern Colorado University. “We need a strong finish in the first half to put ourselves in a good position to make a playoff run once we get back from break,” said Johanson. “We have had kids playing positions they are not used to, but that has been going pretty well. Our two new goalies have played well, too. This has been one of those seasons, but we’re going to keep grinding and grinding and see where that effort takes us.”




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Is it feasible to keep spending cash on team building? This is Part 2 of this guest column series from Carlos Valdes-Dapena.


e discussed last issue how most corporate team building is a waste of time and money and how collaboration was perceived as Valdes-Dapena messy and diluted accountability and offered few tangible rewards. Based on that insight, we developed a framework to make collaboration clear, specific, and compelling – to make collaboration something to be achieved. At the core of this framework are two questions to pose to any team. The first: Why is their collaboration essential to achieving their business results? And second: What work, which specific tasks, would require collaboration to deliver those results? We had a chance to test our framework in early 2012 with the Mars Petcare China leadership team. Over two days, we posed our questions and hashed out specifics. We spent the entire first day wrestling with the answers

to our two questions. Initial reactions were bemusement and frustration: What did I mean by “essential to business results?” We restated the question as this: Why is your working together, as a team, more valuable than just the sum of your individual efforts? That got the conversation going, and we spent three hours discussing and debating what we called their “team purpose.” They finally agreed that their purpose would center on people development and deployment of their new strategy throughout the business. The second question, the one about which specific pieces of work required collaboration, was more contentious. One leader in particular felt that he needed to be left alone, that none of the work he was responsible for should include any of his peers. The debate became heated, but eventually his peers won him over. Eventually we were able to sort our list of projects into those that could be handled by individuals and those that really would be improved by collaboration. Our second day focused on accountability. They agreed to build their collaborative commitments into their individual performance objectives. Then they cocreated a list of the behaviors they expected of each other in support of those commitments and agreed on how they would hold themselves accountable for them. (At one point, we compared and discussed their Myers-Briggs types. That discussion about relationships lasted 15 minutes before they urged me to take them back to discussions about how they were going to work together. I

thought that was remarkably telling.) We ended by creating a plan for how they would sustain the progress we had made during our two days together. I spoke with the general manager of Mars Petcare China a few times over the next year. During our final conversation I learned that their growth had rocketed up 33 percent – a stunning achievement. Their primary dog food brand alone was up 60 percent. It was the first time in eight years that they had met their financial commitments to the larger corporation. How much did our work together contribute to those outcomes? “Massively,” the general manager told me. Their team purpose had focused their collaboration on the things that mattered most to the results they planned for. The sense of accountability for their work together, based on the agreements they forged, made their working relationships far more productive than they had been. At Mars, we learned that to get people to work together, we had to let them figure out how that would actually improve results. We officially deployed our fully developed and tested framework later in 2012, embedding it in a single management development program. Within two years, the Mars High Performance Collaboration Framework had gone viral throughout the company. Strong relationships and trust do matter to collaboration, but they are not the starting point. They are the outcomes of dedicated people striving together. Connecting collaboration to the motives of success-minded team members is what unlocks productive.

Carlos Valdes-Dapena is managing principal and founder of Corporate Collaboration Resources, LLC, an organization and group effectiveness consulting firm. More information can be found at



Whyte living the dream working for NHL, serving DYHA By Matt Mackinder


ean Whyte played 21 games for the Los Angeles Kings in the early 1990s. These days, he is back in the NHL, but in a role that touches more lives than he ever did as a player. As a youth hockey regional director, Whyte does for the NHL what he did for years with the DYHA Jr. Sun Devils – give all he has to grow the game in nontraditional hockey markets. “The job is going amazingly well,” said Whyte, who took the NHL job in the summer of 2017. “I love what I do and who I work for. Yeah, it’s almost as nice as playing in the NHL. It’s a wonderful opportunity for me to continue growing the game and staying in the sport I love.” In Arizona, Whyte continues to work with the Jr. Sun Devils as the association’s board president. Growing the games at the grassroots level is something Whyte has done most of his adult life. To be doing that now for the NHL makes Whyte have to pinch himself now and then to make sure it’s really happening. “I have been teaching hockey for the past 35 years and truly love it,” said Whyte. “Working for the NHL and building tomorrow’s players and fanbase is a dream to me, as I get to do this not only over my nine clubs I represent, but I also get to assist other regional directors in their markets as well.” Whyte, who also played four seasons of pro hockey in Arizona for the IHL’s Phoenix Roadrunners and four

more for the WCHL’s Phoenix Mustangs, said he has ture and is always striving to grow with integrity,” said watched the game of hockey progress over the years Whyte. “I am very proud to have been involved with not only in Arizona, but in the Western and Southwest- such a longstanding program that has had great success.” ern United States as well. Whyte also serves on the DYHA Hockey Opera“The quantity of players continues to grow, and we keep breaking records every year through USA Hock- tions Committee and has responsibilities with other committees as well. ey,” said Whyte. “A big part of this “I have told Brad (Mcis due to the great job all of the Caughey, DYHA’s hockey diNHL clubs are doing in introducrector and coach-in-chief) that if ing ‘Learn To Play Hockey’ to their he ever needs someone to fill in communities. from time to time, I would if avail“A bigger part of us growing able, but I do travel a great deal,” the sport is to ensure that we proexplained Whyte. “This is why I mote the Declaration of Principles stepped back from coaching this and all that is stands for. Hockey year, as it would not be fair to the can teach a person so many wonderful traits, and this is just as players I would’ve committed to.” important to us as the numbers Overall, Whyte said growing themselves.” the game in the Western United Humbly, Whyte also said he States will continue to gain motakes “great pride” in knowing mentum if everyone stays on the some of that growth is part of his same page. doing. “The growth of hockey in the “I am very passionate about my Southwest is very promising,” Sean Whyte job, who I work for, and who I work said Whyte. “The most important with,” Whyte said. thing, however, is that we want to grow in a positive, Still the DYHA board president, Whyte keeps tabs impactful manner. We want to keep teaching the Decon the association and said he is excited for the direc- laration of Principles and great traits such as respect, perseverance, teamwork and leadership, among other tion the Jr. Sun Devils are going. “DYHA has some very exciting plans for the fu- things. We’re on the right track.”


Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine


Prepping for the Future Tahoe Prep student-athletes thriving with academy’s focus on overall development By Greg Ball


f it seems like the 2019-20 academic year and hockey season are already well under way, it may be because the prep and varsity teams at Tahoe Prep Academy look like polished professionals on the ice. In reality, we’re less than a quarter of the way through the season, but with Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, the meat of the season is on the horizon, and expectations are once again high at Tahoe Prep. While game results are the most tangible measure of the program’s success, the coaches and players are making incremental gains each and every day, and with players getting on the ice nearly every day while also having access to top-notch off-ice conditioning and unique classroom and online learning, athletic and academic development is at the

Ben Palmersheim

Ian Bowman

forefront. Here’s a look at five players already making an impact and making the most of their Tahoe Prep experience. Ben Palmersheim Anyone who knows the basics of Southern California geography realizes that Palm Springs and Los Angeles are not exactly next door to each other. So the commute from his home in the Coachella Valley to the coast three or four days a week to practice and play with the Los Angeles Jr. Kings quickly wore Palmersheim down. The 16-year-old junior traded in those five-hour round trips for a dormitory on the campus of Tahoe Prep, and can now channel more of his time and energy into hockey training with the prep team and his studies. His day begins with hockey practice, and that was just what he was looking for when he decided to make the move to Tahoe Prep Academy. “The idea of surrounding yourself and indulging in hockey with coaches and players and a team of people supporting me was very attractive,” Palmersheim said. “As soon as I got up here, I was kind of starstruck. When I toured, there was snow on the ground, and it’s just so different from the desert that I’m used to. Now that I’m here, I would say it’s even

more than I expected. I’ve never had a coach that is so focused on making us better every single day, and there’s never any question on what their intentions are. Knowing that pushes you to do your best. It just doesn’t compare to anything in SoCal.” Palmersheim has started the season strong with four goals and two assists in the team’s North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) games, and two assists in the team’s first weekend in the East Coast Elite League (ECEL). “Ben is very crafty and creative with a great ability to create offense,” said prep head coach Chris Collins. “He dominated in his 15U league with his accuracy and since coming to us, his speed has gone up as well as his point production.” “You can definitely tell the difference in the size and speed playing in those leagues,” Palmersheim added. “That was another reason that drove me here

Zach Turner

– I wanted to separate myself from kids my own age. I like it even though it’s a bigger challenge.” Palmersheim also said his grades are also top notch, as he finished the first term with a straight-A report card. “That part is key,” he said. “With all of our travel, we’re able to take our core classes online and electives face to face, and the teachers have been very supportive to make sure we don’t fall behind.” Ian Bowman A friend of Palmersheim’s since elementary school, Bowman also made the move from the desert (he grew up in Palm Desert) to Tahoe this season. A 17-year-old senior on the prep team, he most recently played for the California Wave’s 16U AA team, based from home in the Los Angeles suburbs. The right winger is working toward gaining a spot on a junior team roster next year, with the ultimate goal of earning an NCAA Division I college scholarship. “Between the daily practices, individual attention, and the leagues we play in, I felt this was the right step in my development,” Bowman said. “I feel that I’m a better player after just two months. I feel stronger due to the training at the Center for Excellence three times a week, and my hockey is improving. Here, you have more individual focus. If the coaches see a weakness, they will pull you aside and work on

it. The practices are a good balance between individual and team skills.” The transition to living in the dorms was also a little easier for both Bowman and Palmersheim due to their longstanding friendship. The two are now roommates in the Tahoe Prep dorm. “You learn a little more independence,” Bowman said. “We have to do our own laundry and stuff, but it’s also a little like living in the giant hotel room filled with your best friends. One of the coolest things about our trips is the team bonding. Even just the layovers hanging out at airports, and we try to catch a couple junior team games each trip.” Bowman said he is also enjoying the high competition level. He has posted three goals and five assists in NAPHL games and registered five points in the Anaheim Ducks High School Hockey League (ADHSHL) with Tahoe Prep’s varsity team.

Tyler Dunkel

Noah Csaky-Schwede

“Our schedule this year is rigorous,” he said. “Playing better competition will ultimately make us better players, and with the better teams that we play, there are more scouts.” “Ian has a really good sight for creating offense,” Collins said. “He applies what we work on almost instantaneously.” Zach Turner Balancing hockey development, academic progress and life outside of those two isn’t easy, but Turner, a 16-year-old junior forward from Eagle, Colo., feels he has found just that at Tahoe Prep. After leaving home last year to pursue his hockey dream and play for the Pursuit of Excellence Elite 15 in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League (CSSHL), he found that it wasn’t all that he had hoped for. “I wanted to be closer to home, but also be able to get on the ice and work out every day,” Turner said of his decision to make the move to Tahoe. “Also, the academic support wasn’t as strong at my last school. At Tahoe Prep, everyone involved with the program also cares about the students’ academic achievement.” The academic focus at Tahoe Prep fits well with Turner’s college goals. Continued on Page 18



AHSHA hits jackpot with Green as new hockey director By Matt Mackinder


s the new AHSHA season gets underway, some new faces take over new roles within the organization. Tait Green is the new hockey director and comes to AHSHA with a solid background in the game, currently serving as the hockey director and ACHA Division I coach at Arizona State University. Green, who has been involved with AHSHA in a variety of roles since 2011, has grown the Sun Devils program over the years and has ambitions to do the same with AHSHA. “I plan to keep growing AHSHA by focusing on player and coach development,” said Green. “We will work to make sure our players and coaches have the resources to improve their skills and knowledge. Stronger coaching combined with smarter, more skilled hockey players will lead to better competition, which, in turn, leads to more interest and growth.” With registration numbers through the roof for the 2019-20 season, Green said that subject has people talking in Arizona about the positives to high school hockey. “I think high school hockey is underrated in Arizona right now, but that’s changing quickly,” Green said. “People are starting to see that they don’t have to pay a lot of money and they don’t have to travel all over

the country for their kid to become a better hockey player. We have shown a steady growth in the number of AHSHA players moving on to play junior and college hockey. We have also seen an increase in school participation. “Kids are recognizing what a fun experience it is to play in front of a couple hundred peers while

representing their school. We even have teachers and administrators coming out to watch games. You won’t get that experience anywhere else in the state.” Nationally, Green said AHSHA may never be able to compete with the big high school markets, but that won’t deter the association from continuing its rise to offering high-end competition.

“Our teams don’t have their own ice rink or practice ice at their disposal, but we will continue to grow and get better,” said Green. “Our Division I state champion teams have shown they can compete with anyone at the national tournament and our showcase team is on the cusp of breaking through to the upper division of its respective national tournament. “In short, we don’t need to be like the big markets. We need to take advantage of what we have and make the most of it.” That’s exactly the game plan Green is immersing himself with when it comes to AHSHA. “I have witnessed the number of players at AHSHA increase as well as an increase in the number of people willing to guide or direct the organization,” said Green. “No doubt we will see an increase in players going directly from AHSHA to juniors and/or college. The level of play has increased, the level of coaching has increased and as we talked about before, AHSHA is cost-efficient for families. People are starting to recognize that they have the same future opportunities in hockey at AHSHA without having to travel the country or spend an outrageous amount of money. “Hockey in general in Arizona is exciting right now. With the continued success of the Coyotes, the growth of the ASU NCAA Division I program and having nine other college teams in the state, I think you will continue to see the number of AHSHA players go up.” UNITING. INFORMING. INSPIRING. HOCKEY PLAYERS ACROSS CALIFORNIA

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Ice Den, Total Package Hockey form exciting partnership By Matt Mackinder


t may not be earth-shattering news anymore that hockey is growing in Arizona, but the fact Total Package Hockey (TPH) is coming to the desert to partner with the Ice Den Scottsdale just solidifies the fact that the game is in the desert to stay. Earlier this month, TPH announced that its eighth Center of Excellence (CoE) will be housed inside the Ice Den Scottsdale, joining forces with Coyotes Ice to bring its academy-style model to town for the 2020-21 school year. “The Phoenix area is a growing hockey market and we couldn’t be more excited to become a part of the Arizona hockey landscape,” TPH CEO Nathan Bowen said. “The area is flourishing with youth hockey players and the market itself is second to none. “Being part of the fabric of North Scottsdale and its surrounding communities, as well as having a partner who is as passionate and progressive as Taylor Burke, means we are positioned to continue exceeding expectations of student-athletes, their families and all members of the hockey community.” The Burke family was responsible for the birth of the Arizona Coyotes, spearheading Winnipeg’s relocation to the desert in 1996. Shortly after the team relocated, the family built the Ice Den Scottsdale which resulted in an immediate impact and changed the youth hockey

landscape in the state. In addition to offering quality programming, investing in the community remains top priority for the family. Since its inception in 1996, the Burke Family Foundation has directed its philanthropic efforts to partnerships and programs committed to providing and enhancing resources in the areas of health, education and athletics. “Our motivation for partnering with TPH is to provide driven hockey players across all youth associations opportunities to master a sport that teaches so many valuable life lessons,” Burke said. “The CoE model will incentivize families to keep their young hockey players at home, maintain the quality lifestyle the Phoenix metro area offers all of us and provide their sons and daughters access to a hockey academy that is truly cutting-edge.” Marc Fritsche, the Jr. Coyotes’ Tier I/Elite Hockey program director, is elated with what TPH can offer in a short year’s time. “A lot of areas have an academy-type training in place and it is helping players get the experience they need to fast-forward their development,” Fritsche said. “It’s great to see the concept available to players in Arizona. This is an opportunity for a player to get a strong education and focus on their individual improvement on the ice as a supplement to their program teams. The process and schedule is built for a player to have great success.” It is important to note that from an academic perspec-

tive, the Center of Excellence is not a “home school,” nor a “virtual school.” The CoE is a blended learning environment that utilizes an online platform to maximize academic development and outcomes customized for each individual student-athlete. “The CoE model creates a best-of-both-worlds scenario,” Bowen said. “Student-athletes complete their coursework online and have the option to take school home or on the road with them every day, with no fear of days missed due to their travels. At the same time, when student-athletes are on-site, they study under the direction of an academic leader who is focused on fostering a positive culture, maintaining accountability and putting a learning plan in place for each individual based on where, when and how he or she works best. From a facility standpoint, Coyotes Ice president Mike O’Hearn said preparations are already underway at the Ice Den Scottsdale. “The collective vision of Coyotes Ice and TPH is to create a one-stop shop on the Ice Den campus for all CoE attendees,” O’Hearn said. “We have identified space that will house a state-of-the-art academic wing and training center, both within steps of the arena’s main doors. We plan to offer on-site lunch plans, athlete-friendly snacks and a space for video sessions. This vision is in line with TPH’s philosophy of creating mini-campus style setups within their CoE locations. Our hope is that the TPH-Phoenix Center of Excellence will set the standard for what a CoE should look like.” For additional information and to sign up to receive updates, visit



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Pavel Barber’s Top 10 Hockey Training Tips: Part 2 of 2 By HockeyShot’s Stickhandling Specialist Pavel Barber 5. Use slow-motion video capture: I can’t overstate how important slow-motion video capture is. I would have killed to have this technology on my phone as a kid. Slow motion picks up on things that we often overlook when we look at video in real time. It is a great tool to offer awareness in areas where we are often moving very quickly, especially in skills where we are working on a very small detail in a skillset we’re trying to attain. 4. Redefine failure: “Failure” is an awful word. In school, an “F” means we flunked, and we need to go to summer school. However, there is positive failure and negative failure. Positive failure is failure that we can learn from and build on. Where we listen, work hard, focus deeply and make a mistake, identify the area we made the mistake and address it. Then there is negative failure where we are either not listening or not focussed, and we make a mistake. The issue here is we don’t get much, if any, feedback if the focus and effort isn’t there. A good way to look at positive failure is to redefine it in a way that contributes to development, such as saying,

“I didn’t fail nine times out of 10. I found nine ways that didn’t work.” 3. Get out of your comfort zone: The only way to get better is to take our current abilities and push past them. It’s very easy

to get caught staying in the comfort zone because it’s exactly that, comfortable! But comfort is the enemy when it comes to development. Identify your current level and push just to the edge of what you can already do. We

don’t want to go too fast because we need to be able to process the information in order to get feedback from our failures and successes. 2. Focus: Be 100 percent in the present moment. This is a very difficult mental practice, but it is one of the greatest skill advantages you can give yourself. If you’re on the ice for an hour, don’t allow your mind to wander off and think about homework or Fortnite or anything else. Be in the moment and get a full hour of training in. Not 45 minutes. Not 30 minutes. But 60 minutes of focused practice. 1. Listen: It may sound simple, but those who listen and pay attention to the small details will get better faster. When a coach is trying to help you, they can only do that if you’re listening to them. Enjoy this article? Then be sure to visit for the latest tips, tricks and the best hockey training products on the market!



IHAAZ development process gaining steam across board By Brian Lester


here are certain teams in IHAAZ that don’t have the luxury of pulling players from the ice hockey world to build up their programs. In places like Yuma, Prescott and Tucson, rosters must be built from the ground up. But because the pool of talent to draw from is limited, it can be a challenge. “Because of our smaller population, our draw can be really challenging,” said Charlie Arnold, a coach with the Prescott Storm. “And with ice surging again, a lot of our players are getting pulled in both directions. While we have several spectacular players, there is a large gap between that 10-15 percent and the rest of the pack. We are focused on closing that gap.” Yuma’s Matt DiCori can relate. He said the development of players starts at the age of 6 with the Learn to Skate program, a two-week program in the summer months to get children involved. DiCori loves watching that development evolve. “We strive to teach good sportsmanship and teamwork, and it’s nice to see many players who have worked together on teams from the ages of 7 and 8 all the way through high school,” DiCori said. “It builds longstanding relationships between players and families.” One of the biggest obstacles in the development process is finding rink time.

“The game of hockey is about speed and systems, and I think that can be learned well without ice experience,” DiCori said. “What challenges Yuma teams is a smaller pool of talent, but mainly it’s not having ample rink time to develop those systems.” Arnold said he holds clinics in the summer months to aid the development of players. He said players that join the rec program there are first-

time skaters. “Last summer, I hosted twice-weekly clinics for new to hockey and midrange players,” Arnold said. “We had a full range of skills and ages attend. I have found that while our rec program is focused on game play, we have added additional practices to help new kids get off the ground.” Extra practice can make all the difference in the world. Teaching team concepts goes a long way as well.


Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine

“One strategy that I normally use is to build the team concept early,” DiCori said. “One player alone cannot win a two-period hockey game for you. Building trust in one another and working together as pairs or lines is very key to having a solid roster from top to bottom.” DiCori said it’s important to focus on the strengths of players along the way. “I think as a coach you need to look for each player’s strength and look to get them into that scenario on the rink as much as possible,” DiCori said. “I really enjoy watching the transition between just attempting to control the puck to actually running set plays on the rink and maintaining proper positional awareness. That is when you know that a system is really clicking for the team.” Arnold said he’s all about working with players to make sure they have opportunities to play the sport if they are committed to putting forth the effort, offering summer clinics that are free to help ensure a financial situation isn’t a roadblock. Looking forward, Arnold seeks continued consistency within the program. “I love coaching hockey, but as with any program, there are challenges, and our program is no different,” Arnold said. “It is my goal, as travel director, to create opportunities for our players, provide more consistency in our program and create a long-term opportunity for them to be successful. “I am in this for the long haul and try to make decisions based on what is best for the program as a whole and all of the teams and players we have.”


Mission focusing on in-house program with solid results By Greg Ball


t’s not hard to connect the dots from a thriving inhouse hockey program at any rink to a successful travel program that plays out of the same building. The best players from the house league naturally will find themselves with opportunities to play tier hockey, and if they’re familiar with the program that plays on the same ice that they use, it’s often a no-brainer to advance their hockey development with that club. Beyond that, though, the strength of an in-house program is critical to the long-term health of the sport, and every coach and administrator involved in youth hockey is motivated by helping grow the game. For Mission AZ coach-in-chief Jeremy Goltz, the health of the in-house program at AZ Ice Peoria, his program’s home rink, is a major priority, and if that results in additional players being funneled into the Mission program, it’s a bonus. Starting with last season, Goltz and his fellow coaches have put a heavy emphasis on helping support the in-house program. After seeing great results during the 2018-19 season, they elected to continue doing the same things this season. “We got involved with it last year, with some of our coaching staff taking on the expanded roles of coaching these teams,” Goltz explained. “It has been a really, really good link between our program and the in-house program at the rink. We’re doing it again this year and the numbers of kids involved is great. It’s going very,

very well.” In addition to coaching a handful of selects teams made up of house-league all-stars, Goltz and fellow Mission coach Scott Farber are offering weekly clinics that typically attract about 30 in-house players. The clinics are held Wednesdays at 5:10 p.m., alternating weeks between players at the 8U and 10U levels with those at the 12U and 14U levels. “We have a regular crew each week, and it’s kind of nice,” Golt said. “It’s like an expanded practice for them, and we can actually build on some concepts. The parents are really positive about it, and the kids have a ton of fun with the clinics. “We’re seeing massive growth and development with some of these kids, especially because they’re not on the ice as much as kids in travel programs.” House-league players in the program are also given red and white Mission jerseys, which not only helps create aspirations for players who want to play at a

higher level, but also builds loyalty for those players to come out and support Mission’s teams at every level. “What we’re seeing with the selects and the houseleague clinics is that this year, we have 15 new players in the Mission program as a result of these efforts,” Goltz said. “That’s almost 10 percent of our kids, and that’s not an insignificant number. Those kids came to the program as a direct result of what we’re doing. Kids are being exposed to us through the house clinics. You get to meet the families and get to know them.” Goltz said he understands that the successes Mission has achieved since first starting more than a decade ago put the program on a pedestal, and that comes with an added sense of responsibility to be good stewards of the game and help it grow in all areas. “Honestly, we didn’t get involved in it to bring in new players,” Goltz said. “That has been one of the results of it, which is great for our program, but there was a definite need in the rink for some of this expanded training, and we were the obvious people to fill that void. It’s extra work and planning for us, but at the end of the day, it’s really cool to see the impact it’s making. “Scott and I are really enjoying it because we can see how enthusiastic the kids are about it. The kids are all really coachable and just eating up the extra attention, skill development and time on the ice.”

MISSION STATEMENT Seeing former Mission players coaching very rewarding I

t’s always hard to define success in youth hockey with so many different motivations from so many different personalities. Obviously, team success is a huge part of the puzzle. Until recently, the thing I Goltz was most proud of was so many alumni going on and having the love of the game to extend hockey careers into junior and college. It speaks volumes to not only their on-ice preparation but that they learned to love the game enough to keep playing. Having done this so long, I have now started to see the next phase that has recently gained momentum as more and more Mission AZ alumni are turning into teachers of the game. Currently, we have two alumni in Ryan Haar (Northern Arizona University ACHA D-III) and Michael Weinberger (University of Kansas ACHA D-II) taking on college coaching jobs. I am very

excited to see this next generation of coaches taking what they learned here and apply it to players. We also have an alumni in-house coaching stable currently with Mission. Chris Carouchi, Tanner Paterno, Ryan Mohr and Ben Branaman are all currently on our staff and taking lessons they learned and applying to the next generation of the Mission army. To see these kids who were raised under our banner develop

into teachers and role models is the most rewarding piece the game has given me yet. I look forward to seeing these kids develop into leaders and take in expanded roles as they continue to give back to the game and organization that they represented as players and now as coaches. I feel very lucky to have been seen these kids develop into excellent teachers. Just when I think the game has given me all it can, my heart is expanded by this wave of current coaches giving back. It is truly the ultimate!

Jeremy Goltz is the coach-in-chief for Mission Arizona.



Development continues to be top priority at Tahoe Prep Continued from Page 11 “I really want to play juniors, but more importantly, I want to earn a college scholarship,” he said. “The day here is a bit longer, but that’s because of the focus on academics. I’m really enjoying the high school and all my teachers.” After playing a 15U season in the CSSHL and a 16U season in the NAPHL, Turner said the competition the team is facing this year is comparable, but moving up to 18U has brought new lessons. Still, Turner has found success, notching three goals and two assists in the team’s eight NAPHL games. Turner said he has confidence in the Tahoe Prep coaching staff. “They really know what they’re talking about,” he said. “We’ve had a few tiny breakdowns, but we just need to apply what they’ve been teaching us.” Collins had nothing but praise for Turner. “Zach asked the right questions and really listens, and he has an amazing shot,” Collins said. “Watching him fall into more of a skill game has been really fun. He’s a tremendous worker on and off the ice, and he’s another academic leader.” Tyler Dunkel Ever since Dunkel was a Bantam with the Burbank Bears, he had his eyes set on wearing a Tahoe Prep sweater. The 15-year-old sophomore center is

in his first season playing with Tahoe’s varsity squad this year and said the experience has exceeded even his lofty expectations. “I wanted to have more experience, a better skill set, and play at a higher level, but my parents weren’t ready last year for me to live away from home,” Dunkel said, adding that coming to Tahoe for a hockey prep school and being closer to home was another benefit. Transitioning to dorm life, a new school, and the competition of the ADHSHL has been a lot to take in for Dunkel. “The first game was really hard,” he said. “I’m good at edge work, but I’m working on more balance and staying on the puck. The coaching here is very much one-on-one. They are great at working on what you need to improve on as a player. I feel more confident with the puck now. My goal this year is to be able to move up to the prep team.” Noah Csaky-Schwede For Csaky-Schwede, returning to Tahoe Prep

for a second academic year and hockey season this fall felt very much like coming home. A junior goalie for the varsity team originally from Victoria, British Columbia, Csaky-Schwede said it’s also closer to his family now in Palo Alto. “I feel like last year we did really well – the team bonded, and I made a lot of friends, and I’m looking to build on that this year,” he said. “I’ve already gone through that adjustment period of living away from home. Living with your team, you really bond with people. I’ve made some of my best friends here.” Csaky-Schwede said he’s also advancing as a goalie through his individual time with Tahoe Prep’s goalie coach. “I’m improving my skills playing the puck and how I move off the post,” he explained. “My ultimate goal is to play juniors in Canada, and I feel through my work at Tahoe Prep, I’ve got a pretty good plan to get there. Anyone who comes here and is really dedicated to becoming better at hockey will succeed just because of the way the schedule is organized.”


Jack of all trades Talbott a New Mexico hockey treasure “It is huge that the NAHL and junior hockey is back in New Mexico,” said Talbott. “It is so great for the youth players and hockey fans in general to be able to watch such a high level of hockey played so close to home. I think they can be sustainable just by winning the hearts of the Albuquerque community and they are

really grown, especially within NMICE, during the past 10 years. In 2014, NMICE had 40 8U and younger players and this season, the organization has almost aye Talbott has been a volunteer for the New Mexi80 registered. co Ice Hockey Foundation (NMICE) for 10 years and “I do wish there was better growth around the enhas relished every second of her time in and around tire state,” Talbott said. “It takes a lot of committed the rink. volunteers to grow the program. Holding She has officially served as registrar, asTry Hockey for Free events is a great start sistant treasurer and 8U growth coordinator, but then you need a quality program to keep but in all honesty, has really been a jack of players interested. Volunteers are the cornerall trades. stone to growing the program and keeping “I have tried to fill in wherever there was the it strong.” a need from building the first online regisStill, she said that hockey has given more trations to helping with the website, sending out communications, ordering and fitting to her than she could have ever imagined. countless hockey jerseys and helping with “Hockey had given me so many great special events like Try Hockey for Free,” Talmemories, good friends, as well as a lot of enjoyment and personal satisfaction as I watch bott said. “I started out as your typical hockthose little Mites and Minis that I helped check ey mom when my son Tyler first tried ice in on their first day now playing as Pee Wees hockey as second-year Squirt and he really and Bantams,” said Talbott. “Over the years, I fell in love with it. Up until then, I had never have worked with a number of amazing voluneven watched a full hockey game. I learned teers who have also dedicated much of their to love it, too, though. “It takes such skill, yet children typically From left, NMICE president Jeff Thompson, Land of Enchantment Hockey Association time to youth hockey, so I was really humbled pick it up quickly, so youth hockey games president Rick Wenner, USA Hockey executive director Pat Kelleher, NMICE leader Jaye and very honored to have been presented are always fun to watch. What has really Talbott and New Mexico Ice Wolves owner Stan Hubbard take part in the first-ever with such an amazing recognition award rekept me hooked is the incredible people. NMICE Youth Hockey Day at Outpost Ice Arenas on Oct. 13. Photo//New Mexico Ice Wolves cently from the NMICE organization. The youth hockey community is so welcoming, and the off to a great start. The rink (Outpost Ice Arenas) is “Every coach and team manager dedicate so much hockey families are really the best.” in such a great location and the recent upgrades are time and effort and deserve to be recognized. The And now that junior hockey is back in town with the amazing. board members are critical as well and I know of many, first-year New Mexico Ice Wolves of the North Amer“The Ice Wolves are a good team with great coach- both past and present, who have given so much of their time to make youth hockey successful. They all deserve ican Hockey League, Talbott said she’s confident the es, an amazing owner and a super cool logo.” franchise is in Albuquerque for the long haul. The recently-retired Talbott added that hockey has a huge thank you as well.” By Matt Mackinder



Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine

Rolling Along Sun Devils off to fast start as 2019-20 collegiate inline hockey season begins assists. The play of Gittings – 1.75 goals-against average and .918 save percentage in three games – will be key in the team’s success this season as it hones its defensive discipline and play. Other top performers included Anthony Paquet, Chase Steele and Blake Tallas, who each scored four goals. It’s a largely new but exciting group for both

against Chico State. Bast, who played the goaltender position rizona State University has consistently been throughout his youth ice hockey career but skates out one of the top teams not only in the Western in roller hockey, came to the rescue with 28 saves on Collegiate Roller Hockey League (WCRHL) over the 32 shots. past decade, but also one of the top teams at the “Ian played his first competitive roller hockey game national level. as a goalie in the Chico State game and, all things The Sun Devils have made appearances in five of considered, he played really well,” Boyarsky said. the last 10 WCRHL Division I championship finals and Bast also played the first five minutes of the advanced as far as the semifinals of last season’s Fullerton game and allowed one goal until Gittings Division I bracket at the 2019 National Collegiate was ready to take over between the pipes for the Roller Hockey Championships. duration of the tournament. ASU’s development team has proven even Gittings played very well in the tournament but more successful with seven regional titles in eight lost a superb goaltending duel to Cal Poly’s Nic appearances since the 2008-09 season. Leacox, a former member of Team USA’s national Early indications are to expect similar results junior men’s team. Leacox stopped all 15 ASU in 2019-20. shots he faced while Gittings stopped 24 of 25 The Sun Devils’ Division I squad posted a 3-1 (.960 save percentage). record at October’s annual WCRHL kickoff event “Cal Poly has always done two things very well,” in San Jose, Calif. Arizona State doubled the score Boyarsky noted. “They hold their possessions for on new division rival CSU Fullerton, winning by a a long time while they have a lead and they are score of 6-3. very stingy with giving up scoring chances for ASU also collected non-divisional victories the other team. This game was no different. Our against Chico State (8-4) and West Valley College puck-hungry forwards struggled with the lack of (12-2). The Sun Devils’ lone loss was 1-0 to Cal time they got with the puck and took chances Poly San Luis Obispo in another non-divisional they shouldn’t have and in turn, lost us the puck game. multiple times.” “Like every year’s first games, we learned a lot “This was a lesson in why there must be about our team, our strength, our weaknesses, patience in a long college roller hockey game, and and where we need to improve before we play possessions that matter,” Dodt added. “Our young again,” ASU program director Nick Boyarsky and offensively-hungry forward core will hopefully said. “Overall, we’re very encouraged with the learn from this loss going into future games.” offensive threats this year’s team has. However, Tallas, another talented freshman, earned the we also know that collegiate games are won in the top star of the game honors in the win over West defensive zone and we have to be better on that Valley College with three goals and one assist end of the rink by the end of the year.” while Paquet, also a freshman, had a hat trick. Freshman forwards Seth Davis, Logan “We have a great group of forwards who Corrigan and Grant Ziegler, along with returning really want to make things happen in the offensive goaltender Aaron Gittings, provided highlights for zone,” Dodt said. “However, they come from the Sun Devils at the season-opening tournament. Logan Corrigan is among a talented freshman group looking to make backgrounds where their two-way play wasn’t as With a combined 10 goals and 21 points in an impact on this season’s Arizona State University inline hockey team. important as it will be with this team in this tight the four games, Davis, Corrigan and Ziegler are Photo/Nick Boyarsky/ASU D-1 division. already showing their offensive prowess to be on a Boyarsky and head coach Alex Dodt to work with. “Against the top D-1 teams this year, Gittings will level the team hasn’t seen in years, according to Ian Bast, one of the team’s most experienced have to carry a bit more of the burden than he’s had Boyarsky. returners, pitched in with four assists at the San Jose to during the past two years. I think he’s confident, as Davis led the team in scoring with six goals and tournament while serving as an emergency goaltender are the coaching staff and his teammates, that he can eight points while Corrigan dished out a team-high five when Gittings was unavailable for the opening game shoulder that load and keep us in games.” By Phillip Brents


WCRHL development teams receive own showcase division


ix Western Collegiate Roller Hockey League (WCRHL) programs are fielding secondary developmental squads for the 2019-20 season, including Arizona State University, the University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University. Now officially dubbed the Division IV tier in the WCRHL’s hierarchy, the division is for new and less-experienced players to hone their skills while working to make the lineup for their respective program’s primary team. It’s not uncommon for secondary teams to not field a full practice with all of the prospects in place over the opening weeks of the season. Arizona State defeated Northern Arizona to capture last season’s regional championship. However, ASU program director Nick

Boyarsky said this year’s developmental squad will be largely stocked with new players. Yuma’s Miguel Cazares is the top returner on the Sun Devils’ Division IV team after logging 23 goals and 47 points in 25 games last season as the 2018-19 team advanced to the National Collegiate Roller Hockey Championships in Rochester, N.Y. Last season’s team was highly successful, compiling a dominating 20-2 record through the regional tournament while buoyed by a 17game winning streak. The team played five games at the national championship tournament, ending its season with a 6-2 quarterfinal-round loss to Farmingdale State, the eventual division

champion. Boyarsky said he expects this season’s Division IV lineup to be filled by incoming freshmen or players who are new to the club after a largescale turnover from last season. “The turnover is usually one, two or sometimes three a year, but we haven’t had an almost wholesale change of players in the history of the program,” Boyarsky said. “It’s a bit exciting and a bit intimidating but the talent and desire to be there and compete is there.” Both NAU and the University of Arizona fielded competitive squads in 2018-19. NAU finished 9-12 overall while the University of Arizona finished 7-9. NAU, braced by goaltender Jakob Ogan, upset UC Santa Barbara 4-2 in the regional semifinals. - Phillip Brents


2019-20 ARIZONA/ ARIZONA/NEW NEW MEXICO ALUMNI Email all additions, deletions and corrections to

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

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

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

Michael McCosh (Glendale) - New Mexico Ice Wolves (NAHL) Connor McMahan (Huntington Beach) - Hudson Havoc (USPHL Premier) Reid Miller (Gilbert) - Connecticut Jr. Rangers (USPHL NCDC) Rowan Miller (Scottsdale) - Powell River Kings (BCHL) Frazier Mohlar (Phoenix) - Sicamous Eagles (KIJHL) Ty Nash (Scottsdale) - Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL) John Olguin (Chandler) - Midwest Blackbirds (USPHL Premier) Kaid Oliver – Victoria Royals (WHL) & Luke Ormsby (Scottsdale) - Wenatchee Wild (BCHL) Marcus Robertson (Chandler) - Coulee Region Chill (NA3HL) Matt Ryan (Scottsdale) - Lansing Wolves (USPHL Premier) Adam Samuelsson (Scottsdale) – Sioux City Musketeers (USHL) Redmond Savage (Scottsdale) - U.S. Under-17 Team (USHL) Aaron Stone (Gilbert) - Northumberland Stars (GMHL) Joey Strada (Scottsdale) - Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL) Jack Strauss (Phoenix) - Maine Nordiques (NAHL) Riley Stuart (Phoenix) - Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL) Caleb Swanson (Mesa) - Yellowstone Quake (NA3HL) Timmy Treadway (Phoenix) - South Shore Kings (USPHL NCDC) Andrew Van Ooteghem (Flagstaff) - Florida Eels (USPHL Elite) Caleb Wall (Chandler) - St. Cloud Blizzard (NAHL) Chase Wilhelm (Prescott) - Missoula Jr. Bruins (NA3HL) Cody Wilson (Goodyear) - Decatur Blaze (USPHL Premier) Garrett Wright (Mesa) - Regina Pats (WHL) PREP SCHOOL Cade Schiefelbein (Glendale) – Tahoe Prep Academy

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


It’s certainly that time of year – customize everything C

ustom everything! This year’s hot-ticket item is custom sticks or skates for the ultimate player experience. Nothing is more personal than having your name or number printed or stitched into your gear. The feeling you get from openExelby ing a custom box to reveal something built just for you is second to none. With the holidays near, the time is now to treat yourself or your hockey player to a truly pro experience. Skates You now have three great options for custom-made hockey skates. True, CCM and Bauer offer precise measurement tools, custom boot options, and the perfect fit to help make the big price tag of high-end skates a worthwhile investment. For players who have experienced pain or discomfort from stock skates in the past, custom skates are strongly encouraged to enhance your comfort on the ice. The most popular custom skate is the True hockey skate. This year, True introduced a new design

that features a new tongue and the shift holder. The shift holder allows you to switch out your steel quickly. More impressively, the new holder and STEP steel reduce the weight of the skates by 150 grams, a huge savings considering the biggest issues with the previous model was the weight. CCM offers the 3D skate fitter, a scanning that creates a complete 3D image of your entire foot. Once submitted to the factory, your scan is sent to a 3D printer and that is used throughout the build to ensure a perfect fit. CCM offers two different builds – the Total Custom and Total Custom Plus. Total Custom, in short, uses your foot in a high-heat mold to shape the boot to fit your foot. Total Custom Plus builds the boot to pro specifications based on what your desires are for the perfect pair of skate. Both include your number embroidered on the tongue for that pro inspired look. The MyBauer scanner is the most user-friendly experience and offers a great custom fit for any player. MyBauer uses a 3D image of your foot to build a skate at their pro factory in Toronto. The skates feature a beautifully printed number and name on the tongue of the skate. Custom options include choice of four different tongues, three steel options, laces and liner.

Sticks Custom sticks from MyBauer really enhance the player experience and offer two different build options this year. Choose from Vapor, Nexus, or Supreme to customize colors, name, number, flex and stock patterns. For the ultimate experience, a certified fit expert instore can walk you through options for MyBauer pro custom sticks. These sticks allow you to truly build the perfect stick for you. Choose from different shaft profiles, a large selection of custom curves, colors and blade stiffnesses. BTM Scottsdale offers the MyBauer Stick Studio, a scanning tool that analyzes your shot and recommends the right stick for you to enhance your shooting style. This tool can be used for free, but we do require an appointment. You can make your appointment at www.behindthemask. com. Behind the Mask has been in the custom business for years, but newer technology has made the custom build process a true experience. Schedule your VIP service at to have one of our Certified Fit Experts get you set up with a one-of-a-kind product. For more information on other custom products offered at BTM, visit one of our locations and speak with an associate today.

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

Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine

Tocchet recognizing honesty is best policy with Coyotes to instruction. The key to communication, Tocchet points out, is understanding a coach’s audience. For the Coyotes, veterans like Brad Richardson, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Phil Kessel and Antti Raanta, Tocchet offers, require a different approach.

has also coached with the Colorado Avalanche, Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning and Coyotes. f you do not adjust, learn, grow and evolve as a coach, It was with the Penguins, where he spent four years there’s not much of a future to direct a team. as an assistant coach, that Tocchet grew and flourIn that regard, there is little difference if you’re ished. coaching at the NHL level or at Ice Den Scottsdale. “The time I spent in Pittsburgh was clearly benefiIn the end, honesty is the best policy – just ask cial,” he said. “That whole situation there was big Arizona Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet, who is for me. (Head coach) Mike Sullivan is a great the first to admit players are just as cerebral as friend and great coach, and I learned a great deal they are physical. from him and the organization. Everything there is “Players really help you become a good terrific, and I was able to hang around and coach coach, and they inspire you,” Tocchet said. high-level players. That helps you, too. Certainly, “We, as coaches, don’t know everything and if that helps to build confidence.” you think you know everything to a player, they Given the learning curve, Tocchet is the first see right through you. It’s OK to be wrong, and to admit that securing a previous head coaching you don’t always make the right move. I think the job, like he obtained in Tampa Bay, helped to perplayers appreciate that, honestly.” fect communication skills. There is no question a For Tocchet, the evolution was fairly dramatformer player brings a great deal of physical abilic. Known as a rough-around-the-edges player ity, but the successful ones, Tocchet points out, with the Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penis the one who remains honest with players and guins, Los Angeles Kings, Boston Bruins, Washcultivates the ability to communicate with experiington Capitals and Coyotes, the native of Scarenced players in a quick and easy manner. borough, Ont., managed 440 goals and 2,972 Here, Tocchet’s definition of a successful penalty minutes in 1144 games. coach could be a blueprint for coaches at all Channeling that aggressive disposition, Toc- Now in his third season as head coach of the Arizona Coyotes, Rick Tocchet had levels. chet, now in his third season behind the Coyotes the team out to a strong 11-6-2 mark through mid-November. Photo/Norm Hall “It’s all about routine,” he said. “Do the same bench, brings a style of coaching that is as instructional “With a veteran player like Richardson, we can thing. Doesn’t matter how big the moment is, you have as well as physically demanding. At the same time, he speak for about 10 minutes and he gets it,” Tocchet to stay the same way. If you’re a guy who does the recognizes significant differences in players and, espe- said. “With younger players, you have to spend a little proper things, and because it’s a big moment, you don’t cially, a potential gulf between veterans and younger more time and they ask, ‘Why are we doing this?’ With change it. Sometimes, athletes get in trouble because players. a guy like Richardson, he knows we’re just going to do the bigger the moment, they start thinking, ‘I have to That’s the same approach that can benefit youth it. Since I’ve been here, Richardson had been the buy-in change something.’ No, don’t change. All the things coaches. Each team will have experienced players and, guy and a guy you don’t have to spend a great deal of you’ve worked on during the season, in the gym, nuespecially at the youth level, beginners or those starting time with.” trition and that stuff gets you prepared for these moout to play organized hockey should be more sensitive Following an 18-year NHL playing career, Tocchet ments.”

By Mark Brown




Position: Forward, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (ECAC Hockey, NCAA Division I) Hometown: Phoenix Arizona Youth Team: Jr. Coyotes Junior Hockey Team: Fairbanks Ice Dogs (NAHL) NHL Draft: Selected by Ottawa Senators in fourth round (103rd overall) of 2016 NHL Draft Age: 23 Arizona Rubber: What’s your favorite hockey memory growing up? Todd Burgess: My favorite hockey memory growing up was having my dad (Scott) coach me through my youth. Was a cool experience going through my early career with him every day I was at the rink. AZR: What’s your favorite memory in the game since leaving Arizona? TB: Winning the national championship my first and last year in Fairbanks playing in the NAHL. Was a great place to play and great group of guys to play with. AZR: Who have been the biggest influences on you, on and off the ice? TB: My biggest influence on and off the ice is my dad. He’s always watching and letting me know what I’m doing right and what I need to improve on to get to the next level. Without him, I wouldn’t be where I’m at right now. AZR: What’s the best piece of advice you have for young hockey players? TB: Love the game and enjoy every second of being at the rink as you grow as a hockey player. AZR: Other than hockey, do you have a favorite sport to play? TB: I do like playing golf in the offseason before it starts getting too hot in the Arizona summers. AZR: Do you have any superstitions? TB: I’m a big nap guy before games and put my gear on from right to left as I get dressed. AZR: What does your game-day routine look like? TB: Get a big breakfast in me when I wake up. Then I head to the rink for a stretch and ride the bike, get home and take a nap. Wake up for pre-game meal, go home and stretch a little more and get mentally ready before heading to the rink. AZR: Do you have a favorite meal or restaurant back home in Arizona? TB: Angry Crab is one of my favorites along with In-N-Out. AZR: What are some essential items you take on a road trip? TB: Headphones and phone charger. AZR: Did you have a favorite hockey player growing up? TB: Steve Yzerman. - Compiled by Matt Mackinder Photo/Liz Brady


Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine





to plan holiday parties and we invite you to celebrate in style at 18°! Private space, customizable menus with or without on-ice activities will put your guests in the holiday spirit.


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