Arizona Rubber Magazine - December 2019

Page 1




With a vision for the future, the DYHA Jr. Sun Devils have initiated several programs to better serve its players and staff, including on- and off-ice training and dedicated power skating and goaltending coaches





FROM THE EDITOR The holidays are here, so make the effort for quality family time


he commercials have been in our face since just after Halloween, but now that it’s December and the end of the year is upon us, we can safely say that it’s the holiday season. Yes, the kids get a break from school and maybe parents get a break from work, so use that time to bask in family time. These kids are only young once, right? Take advantage of these times to make memories, as big or small as they may be, so that years from now, the kids can reflect back and remember the good times. That said, hockey marches on, too. There are practices, games and tournaments and, like with family time, are memories waiting to be made. Matt Mackinder Enjoy this time of year, and from all of us with Arizona Rubber Magazine, Happy Holidays! See everyone in 2020! Congrats to Caleb Wall, a goaltender with the Arizona Bobcats’ 18U AAA team in the NAPHL, on signing an NAHL tender agreement with the St. Cloud Blizzard. Wall, 17, is the first player from the Bobcats this season who has signed an NAHL tender. He made his NAHL debut on October 26. in a home game in St. Cloud against the Bismarck Bobcats. The Chandler native is in his third season of playing in the NAPHL for the Bobcats organization. Way to go, Caleb! And like we said last issue, great hockey name, especially for a goalie! Staying with the Bobcats, 18U AAA defenseman Szymon Bieniek has been selected for the Poland Under-20 National Team that will participate in the 2020 World Junior Championship (Division I, Group B). This year’s Division I, Group B World Juniors will be played in Kyiv, Ukraine from Dec. 12-18, and Poland will be joined by Ukraine, Hungary, Estonia, France and Italy. Bieniek moved to Arizona in 2019 and made his debut in the World Junior Championship for Team Poland last season, playing on the 18U team and was awarded Best Defenseman in the tournament, winning a gold medal. Bieniek also played on the Under-20 team, winning silver. In addition, Bieniek was named the NAPHL’s 18U Apex Peak Performer on defense for the month of November. He had eight points (three goals, five assists) in four games during the latest league event in Frisco, Tex. That included three assists in a 5-4 loss against Thunder Bay and a goal and two assists in a 7-1 win over Ontario. Up until the weekend in Texas, Bieniek had one assist in eight games played. This kid is going places! Stick taps to Miami University freshman forward Ryan Savage on being named the NCHC Rookie of the Month for November! After posting just one point in seven October games, the Scottsdale native led all NCHC skaters with seven points on two goals and five assists in Miami’s eight-game slate. He began the month earning confidence with three points in an exhibition game against USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program on Nov. 1. In the first NCHC series of the year, Savage posted his first official multipoint game with a goal and an assist at North Dakota. Two weeks later, he put up a three-point night on a goal and two assists before netting the game-winning tally in the 3-on-3 overtime in a 3-3 tie at Omaha. His four-point weekend at Omaha helped the RedHawks claim their first NCHC road series win since Jan. 2016. During his youth hockey career, Savage starred for the Jr. Coyotes. Savage is the third Miami player to earn the NCHC Rookie of the Month award, joining current Winnipeg Jets forward Jack Roslovic (Oct. 2015) and Phoenix native, Bobcats alum and Miami junior forward Phil Knies (Jan. 2018). Strong work, Ryan!

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

Arizona Rubber Magazine is a production of:

Publisher/editor: Matt Mackinder senior designer: Julie Rippy


Goaltender Aaron Gittings has stood tall between the pipes for Arizona State with a 5-1 record and a 2.22 goals-against average to lead all Western Collegiate Roller Hockey League Division I netminders. More inline hockey coverage on Page 19. Photo/Will Shepherd

ON THE COVER Prior to the 2019-20 season getting underway, the DYHA Jr. Sun Devils players and coaches gathered for the annual association photo at Oceanside Ice Arena. Photo/Michelle Lamp


Onward & Upward

In just a short time, the DYHA Jr. Sun Devils have taken huge strides to maximize the program’s offerings By Matt Mackinder

you could always get better at skating. “Skating is a skill. Shooting is a skill. Those are skills you can improve on as rad McCaughey is in his third season as the hockey director and coach-in- long as you’re willing to put the time and effort into doing it.” chief for the Desert Youth Hockey Association and in that time, has put his Down the road, and perhaps in the not-too-distant future, McCaughey wants own stamp on the program while piggybacking off the initiatives put in place by to see the Jr. Sun Devils move up to become a Tier I hockey association. his predecessor, Sean Whyte. “Well, I think I’ve made no secret about it that we would like to enter the Tier I Whyte stepped down to take a role as a regional youth hockey director in the realm at some point in time when the opportunity is right,” said McCaughey. “And NHL in the summer of 2017. I think it just comes from a point where I think we have a lot to offer and we want McCaughey said that the Jr. Sun Devils program was very healthy when he to work with the highest level of hockey players in the state. And we will want to came in and loved what Whyte did. develop Arizona hockey players. In order to work with the best, you need to be “Sean did a great job in building the program, and when I came in, I let the a Tier I program. board know that my interest lies in the future and working on adding to an already “We haven’t been secretive about it. We do want to move in that direction, and excellent program,” McCaughey said. “The infrastructure is in place.” we think we can bring a big program to the table. I mean, everyone has coaches, Just recently, DYHA has invested in the a n d everyone has ice. Nowadays, it’s Power Edge Pro (PEP) on-ice training system, what else do you have? Because something McCaughey says has endless benin hockey, there’s a lot to get efits. to the highest levels of hockey. “The system works with these players getIt’s a lot more than just being ting pucks off, you know, getting the puck off talented. Players need some their stick and is designed to push the puck to hockey sense. They need to open space and get players to focus on multibe coachable. They need to ple skills at once,” said McCaughey. “And it’s have a team-first ata pretty popular system amongst NHL players titude.” and college players and kids of all levels and In being proacwe think it’s something we’re going to contintive about the poue to build on. tential lateral move “But the way the game is played these to Tier I, there may days, we think that system is a great training be changes comdevice. Therefore, we’ve made the financial ing soon enough commitment to be a PEP organization, and to Oceanside. we’re looking forward to continuing to grow “We’re in disthat.” cussions with the board right now Also new to DYHA is the program’s goalabout possibly putting an addition on tending coach, Hiroki Wakabayashi. the building because I think we need a vid“He’s really taking ownership of the goaleo room,” McCaughey said. “I think video is a ies,” said McCaughey. “I put a lot on him when great teaching tool, but it needs to be easily he came on board because I wanted him to accessible to your coaches. Coaches put in a own these goalies and get personal with them lot of time and effort and if they’ve got to go and train one-on-one and I think the goaltenhome and juggle through film clips and try to ders are getting a lot of extra special attention create stuff, it’s just not going to happen. So from Hiroki. He has taken ownership and he I think we need a video room here and I also knows all his goalies and I think he’s definitely think we need a little off ice facility out back. The DYHA Jr. Sun Devils are exploring the idea of bringing a skating treadmill to a big part of our organization. “And we’re talking about those kinds of “He’s fighting a battle with cancer right the organization and having it located inside their home rink, Oceanside Ice Arena. things. I think that’s all part of putting togethnow, and he has a long battle ahead, but we’re er a well-rounded program and showing these going to do what we can do to help him.” players and teaching these players at an earKristina Keil was also added to DYHA ly age that it’s not all about who could skate this season as the head power skating coach the best or shoot the best. It’s a team game, because as McCaughey bluntly said, “If you right?” can’t skate, you can’t play hockey.” Along with Wakabayashi and Keil, the “I have some history with her mom back Jr. Sun Devils have also brought on Jason when she taught me how to skate when I was Wright as the association’s skills coach. at the University of Michigan and she was the “I think we’re putting up a pretty good team head power skating instructor for USA Hocktogether,” said McCaughey said. “Jason has ey,” McCaughey said. “They have the skating come over and he doesn’t have a lot of time, treadmill business in Michigan that I’ve had my but he likes our vision and he stepped in and boys on and, you know, I think it’s the single he’s helping out as our skills coach. He’s a big best skating training device I’ve seen. advocate of PEP and we’re going to be run“It’s not just the treadmill, it’s the curricuning PEP sessions next summer. And hopefullum that comes with it. Step 1, we got Kristina ly soon, Jason will be able to step in and play here and Step 2, we’re trying to move in the a bigger role in in our program. direction of getting the All-N-Stride skating “He certainly believes that there’s a lot treadmill business in our rink (Oceanside Ice more than just how fast you can skate around Arena in Tempe). I think first and foremost, Utilizing the Power Edge Pro system, the Jr. Sun Devils are seeing their players hard and how hard you can shoot the puck. hockey is a game that requires a certain skill make huge improvements in their on-ice training regimens. It’s teaching these kids skills and team play.” and that’s skating and if you can’t skate, you can’t play it. That’s the bottom line. Behind the benches, the DYHA coaching staff is one that continues to grow It’s the most important aspect and I think that edge work and stuff like that is and develop right alongside the players on the ice. worked on on the ice, but this treadmill really, really helps kids of all ages at all skill levels improve their skating, which is flat out the No. 1 aspect of hockey and Continued on Page 10



Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine


See our website for many other awesome MEN’S/WOMEN’S TOURNAMENTS ACROSS NORTH AMERICA!

March 6 - 8, 2020 | April 3 - 5, 2020 Men’s, Women’s & Co-Ed Divisions ALL GAMES AT CITY NATIONAL ARENA! | 877-702-5701 |


Coppola’s Hollywood-inspired start leading Vengeance By Joshua Boyd/


he Pittsburgh Vengeance have Disney to thank for one of their most productive forwards. After all, if it hadn’t been for the “Mighty Ducks” franchise of movies, Nicolas Coppola might never have stepped on the ice (or even into a pair of roller blades). The Glendale native credits the films for giving him his early passion for the game. “I fell in love with the sport - the intensity, the fast pace, all the thinking that went into it - through those movies,” said Coppola. These days, the 2001-born Mission AZ graduate is one of the top forwards for the Pittsburgh Vengeance in the USPHL Premier. The Vengeance were ranked second overall in points and winning percentage in the 51-team USPHL Premier with a 17-1-1-2 record as of Dec. 6. In the 16 games since he joined the Vengeance, he has scored nine goals and 12 assists for 21 points. He credits coach Sean Berkstresser for much of his offensive success. “Coach Berkstresser applies a really good style that is fast-paced,” added Coppola. “We’re a pretty skilled hockey team and he takes advantage of that, utilizing high-end skill plays and set pieces.” Coppola jumped headlong into the Vengeance fold right off the bat, scoring a goal and three assists for his first four-point game on the season, out of three total. He also started a five-game, 11-point scoring streak

with that Oct. 4 debut, extending the streak to Oct. 12, midway through my first season, it felt fine,” he added. his third of four games in the USPHL Midwest ShowHe remained with the Jr. Coyotes until the Pee Wee case in Fraser, Mich. level, when he joined Mission, remaining there until the “I’m just here trying to do my part to help my team end of his 18U season last winter. Coppola and his win – the points will come with that,” said Coppola. “I’m teammates reached the 2019 Tier II national champia big goal guy, but if I see the open onship game, eventually falling to the man, I will pass and take the assist. champion Maine Moose. I’ll take whatever comes to help the “It was tremendous; I absolutely team.” loved that program with everything I After an early two-game taste of have,” said Coppola. “The coaching Tier II junior hockey, Coppola is cerwas top-notch, so I never felt like I tainly hoping to climb back to that had to leave. Jeremy Goltz was my level as soon as he can, especially coach from age 12 to 18, and I still with two and a half seasons remaining keep in touch with him regularly.” of junior eligibility. It was through his Coppola also skated his senior early games in Jamestown that he was year of high school with the O’Connor able to connect with the Vengeance. High School team, situated - along “The GM of the Vengeance (David with the Mission program - in Peoria. Dorsey) and the GM of Jamestown With a half a season left and Tier II dreams remaining firm, Coppola are close friends, so my Tier II GM told wants to continue to improve, esme about how the Vengeance is one pecially his patience with the puck. of the top-notch Tier III programs,” There’s a lot of work to do, but he will Coppola. “It obviously worked out Nicolas Coppola return to his hometown of Glendale great. We’ve been winning and having for the Christmas break - which falls between two ima good time.” Coppola began having a good time with the basics portant four-game showcases in Chicago and Boston. “A nice billet family in Pittsburgh took me in and I of hockey when he was 4 years old, starting out on roller blades and remaining in roller hockey until he was 8 was able to go to their Thanksgiving dinner,” he said. “Pennsylvania and Arizona are two completely different years old. Then, he signed on with the Jr. Coyotes. “When I switched to ice, it was a little rough, but places, but I like the change of scenery.”



AHU 12U Black team gives back with community outreach By Sean Phillips


hile the Arizona Hockey Union 12U Black team is making an impact on the ice this season, the team recently participated in a community service project with the Gilbert K-9 Unit.

After the players went to police school, they watched Officer Thomas and K-9 Bono find drugs planted on a GFD truck and then observed Officer Gilbert and K-9 King attack the “bad guy,” Officer Wright. Showing their appreciation for the public safety officers, the AHU team was honored to purchase all new cus-


Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine

tom collars, leashes and toys for all three K-9 dogs, Bono, King and Santos. Thank you, Gilbert Police, for hosting us. It was an experience I’m sure our players will always remember! Thank you, Officer Wright and Santos, Officer Thomas and Bono and Officer Gilbert and King! ​​

NORTHERN ARIZONA UNIVERSITY Holiday break comes at right time as IceJacks looking to rest, heal By Matt Mackinder


fter playing only two games in October, November was a huge month for the Northern Arizona University ACHA Division II team as the IceJacks had nine games scheduled in 24 days. After the dust cleared, NAU finished the month 7-2-0. “The group came together,” said NAU assistant coach Kris Walsh. “Overall the month was a success, putting us into good position for the spring semester.” As of Dec. 10, the team sits ranked fifth in the West Region with eight games remaining. “The goal is to be seated in the top two at the end of the regular season to avoid the trip to Regionals in Boise,” Walsh said. “This will be no small task with teams like Metro State, Northern Colorado and Dakota College on the schedule. All three teams are in the top 15, but I feel that a good spring semester will transfer to a good position moving into playoffs.” The semester break also comes at a good time as the IceJacks have several players banged up from the first half. The break will allow them to fully recover from their minor injuries. “We have had to rely on our depth to get through this semester and they have come through and shined,” Walsh said. “This is a testament to our leadership group the past few years. With the exit of senior forwards Lucas Lomax, Alex Shupe and Reise Kieffer in December, we will continue to rely on our leadership and depth to carry us through the season. “On behalf of the entire organization, we would like to thank Lucas, Alex and Reise Kieffer on exceptional careers as IceJacks. Forever family.” Led by captains Jordan Nolan, Rayce Miller, Malachi Bushey and Nick Ligocki, the coaching staff has high expectations that NAU will compete in the playoffs and beyond.




Fastest Skater Most Accurate Shooter Most Saves More!

10 ENTRY $

Need a hotel? Call LITTLE AMERICA @ (928) 779-7900 and mention FYHA.

• • • • • • •

Birth Years 2003 - 2013 36 Skaters & 6 Goalies Per Group Register Per Player 2 - 12 Minute Periods Per Game 5 Game Guarantee Jersey Game Days & Times TBD

Find more information on registration @


Advice for athletes with dreams of college, pro sports I


n looking at great advice for young athletes who dream of playing college sports, or perhaps even making it to the pros, the short version is found in these three sentences: . One hundred percent want to be suc-

cessful. . Ten percent take the time to form a good plan. . One percent are willing to follow through every day for years. There are some sports where genetics play a limiting role. Basketball is just one example because height really matters. But with all due respect to the super-talented hockey players I’ve observed and tested, genetics play a very small role in hockey potential. Practically anyone can play college hockey if you are passionate and start early enough. It’s

not genetics, it’s factors like rink sense, creativity, read-react decisions, mental toughness, poise, confidence, stick skills, skating speed, quickness and agility. Oh, and the most important limiting factor in future success? Do you compete for loose pucks like your life depends on it? It does. Included in the 10 percent group are those who seek advice and perhaps take skating or shooting lessons – learn how to do it right. And note: The smartest plans include hours of pond hockey to improve skills and rink sense, plus skating-specific strength training off-ice, sprinting, jumping and slide-board reps. But plans and lessons are NOT enough, any more than golf lessons would get you to the PGA Tour without hours of practice. A skating instructor can only get you started, even if there are many lessons over several months. Hockey camps and schools are only a start.

You have to skate and skate and skate, and when you finish skating and leave the ice, you must train those skating muscles until you can hardly walk. Ouch. Now, that separates the dreamers from the achievers. That’s why the one percent is such an elite group, and that’s also why our sport allows practically anyone with enough passion, resolve and work ethic to overcome most hurdles. It happens all the time. The hardest workers pass right by talented players who fail to take advantage of their gifts. The 10 percent group is popular. In fact, it might swell to 50 percent. This group invests money in lessons, camps, schools and leagues – all of which are valuable. Heck, you have to play this game by the hour to be any good. It’s a game of experience. But to be a one-percenter, your investment starts where the 10-percenters don’t go. The rest is an investment of sweat.

Kurt Goar is the coach-in-chief for the Arizona Hockey Club.



Eyeing the future, DYHA continuing impact in Tempe Continued from Page 6

works a lot of NHL clientele and professional athletes,” said McCaughey. “And he is working with our teams from 14U and up. They’re building their own facility just up the road and our players go work with

move forward with more of the off-ice conditioning side of things.” At the end of the day, McCaughey believes that McCaughey said that is a sign of the game getDYHA is taking all the necessary steps to not only ting better and better in Arizona as a whole. continue to be a top program in the Phoe“I think coaches are growing all across nix area, but to stay above the curve when the Valley,” he said. “I mean, the coaching in it comes to offering players and families hockey in general is improved tremendousmany different options, on and off the ice. ly in the Valley over the years. One of the “These are all the things that help problems we have is here is we have a lot of make this program – it’s not me,” said Mcfirst-generation hockey players whose parCaughey. “Everyone’s got coaches, ice ents never played the game. And so when and players, but if you want to build somehockey started here a long time ago, there thing special, surround yourself with good weren’t a lot of hockey players here coachpeople and everything will fall into place.” ing, so parents had to volunteer to coach. “The off-ice is something we started this “But as the games got bigger and we year and said, ‘You know what? Let’s get got more rinks, and the Coyotes came into that relationship going.’ And that’s going to town and we got a lot of retiring hockey continue. We’re looking at the addition on players here, we got a lot more knowledgethe building, the video room and the skatable coaches that want to give back and ing treadmill, and none of it happens quick get behind the bench. So I think the coachenough for me, right? ing in general in Arizona has taken a step “I would like to be able to, you know, up, which is going to, of course, result in snap my fingers and have everything hapour rank reaping some of those benefits as pen overnight. There’s a lot of behind-thewell.” Off the ice, the Jr. Sun Devils have begun Jr. Sun Devils goaltending coach Hiroki Wakabayashi has taken ownership of the pro- scenes stuff that don’t goes into these decisions and getting approval from the training with Source Performance, a group gram’s goalies, all while battling cancer off the ice. based in the Valley headed up by former Michigan him once a week. Adding someone of that caliber to board. So it’s happening at a decent pace, but that’s the program has been a big benefit and we’re look- kind of the big picture and that’s what we’re working Tech and pro player Malcolm Gwilliam. “He is Auston Matthews’ off-ice trainer, and he ing to make him an even bigger part as we as we towards.”


Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine

Hitting Their Stride


Tahoe Prep players finding success, on and off the ice, as 2019 calendar year nears a close By Greg Ball


ith the holiday season squarely upon us, we’re also moving into the thick of hockey season. And at Tahoe Prep Academy, this time of year often brings with it a turning point for the young hockey players and students living away from home in the mountains. First-year players start to feel at home, and players who are veterans there begin to relish in their roles as mentors. The prep and varsity teams start to show signs of gelling, and the results show not only in wins and losses, but in the development of each players’ skills. As Christmas approaches, here is a look at six players making an impact along the shores of Lake Tahoe. Caden Bennett Now in his second season at Tahoe Prep, Bennett, a 16-year-old junior forward for the varsity team, said he feels completely at home. The Salt Lake City native is in his element at Tahoe, and more than that, he knows he’s making the strides necessary to develop as a hockey player. “I wanted to return this year to continue to gain opportunities and possibly get scouted by colleges and junior teams,” Bennett said. “After a full year here, I’m better at time management and I have more familiarity with what I have to do to stay on top of school and hockey.” Bennett is focused on putting his full effort into every moment he’s on the ice to maximize his development. He is also working on his communication, knowing that it can lead to team success now and in the future. “I’m helping myself through work ethic on and off the ice and trying to do more every day,” he said. “The competition has gotten a lot better. The teams we are playing have become stronger and smarter, and it makes me want to work harder to achieve my goals. “It’s kind of fun to teach the new kids the ropes and help to get more of the guys to bond together. To improve as a team, we need to make sure everyone is on the same page when we’re out on the ice.” In the varsity’s last showing in the Anaheim Ducks High School Hockey League (ADHSHL), the team notched two wins against La Jolla Country Day and fell to Bellarmine. Bennett attributed the success to the team’s cohesiveness and remembering to have fun. “My dad said my hockey has improved tenfold since coming to Tahoe Prep from Utah, and he sees me growing into the young man he thought I’d become,” Bennett said.

Carter Anastasia The jump from AA hockey with the Pasadena Maple

Caden Bennett

Carter Anastasia

Ellis O’Dowd

Kelsen Evenson

Chase Sechrist

Kai Schumann

Leafs to playing with Tahoe’s varsity team has been eye-opening for Anastasia, a 16-year-old sophomore defenseman from Sierra Madre, Calif., but he has al-

ready seen the benefits. The chance to be on the ice every day and experience living away from home attracted Anastasia to Tahoe. “It’s been a good transition for me,” he said. “Before coming here, I was only on the ice three days a week, as opposed to practically every day here. I never did a visit day, so I came up all at once, and it’s what I thought it would be. I’m happy with all of the ice time and the friends I’ve made. Living in the dorms is kind of like a big sleepover, and I love to ski, so I’m looking forward to that.” Anastasia said he is working on his goal of playing with the prep team next year, and in the long term, he would like to go to an Ivy League school and study business. “School has always been easy for me, and the blended schedule with online and face-to-face learning that we have here is good,” he said. “I’ve had fewer late nights now doing work because the day is set up so you don’t have to.” The move to Tahoe has also involved life lessons for Anastasia. “You learn the dos and don’ts pretty quickly,” he explained. “Like, don’t leave your stuff out. But, more importantly, I’ve learned to persevere. Things aren’t always going to go your way, and it’s more about how you deal with those situations.” Ellis O’Dowd After his first season and school year at Tahoe Prep in 2018-19, O’Dowd knew he had made the right decision. A 16-year-old left wing from Santa Barbara, Calif., he has moved up from the varsity team last year to the prep squad, though he’s still playing some games with the varsity, adding plenty of quality ice time. “I saw how much I was able to develop on the varsity and saw how far I could go playing another year at prep,” said O’Dowd, who scored two goals in East Coast Elite League (ECEL) games the weekend after Thanksgiving. “It was a big change, and it took a while to adjust to the speed of the game and the time you have to make decisions. It’s nice to be surrounded by teammates who want to win as much as you do. “In our first ECEL games, I found them pretty difficult, but I’ve just been taking it one game at a time. It’s been really fun to see all these new places that I’ve only seen in pictures - like going to Boston for the first time.” O’Dowd said he has seen marked improvement in his shot and skating speed this season, and he’s continuing to work on his stickhandling and passing. The goals he set when he first came to Tahoe are still the same. Continued on Page 18



Gila River Arena to host upcoming AHSHA All-Star event By Matt Mackinder


ater this month, AHSHA will stage its annual All-Star event at Gila River Arena, an event that has grown exponentially over the years. The game itself will be accompanied by a skills competition on Dec. 21, and all players will wear specialty jerseys supplied by the Arizona Coyotes. AHSHA Board of Directors member Ed Georgevich has been a part of the Recognition Committee that coordinates the event. “The growth of the AHSHA All-Star Game has grown over the past few years with the increase in the number of players and teams in the league,” said Georgevich. “It is a great opportunity for players to showcase their talents and play with those they normally play against. A lot of these players have played together in house leagues and travel teams growing up before high school and this gives them time to come together and have some fun. “There is some great talent in all the varsity divisions, and it’s fun to see all the new young JV players that are on the rise for their respective schools for the future.” Jon Shivener, the Coyotes’ supervisor of amateur hockey events and business development, is excited for this year’s All-Star event. “The biggest hit of this event every year seems to be the skills competition,” Shivener said. “These players are getting their shot at many of the drills and con-

tests they’re used to seeing on TV at the NHL level, like the hardest shot, fastest skater, skills drills, and more. We’ve all sat and watched on TV before and wondered how we would fare in those same exact events, and here it is becoming a reality for these players. Truly their chance to see how they stack up against each other, and even cooler, their idols at the NHL level.” A colleague of Shivener, Matt Shott, who serves as the Coyotes’ director of amateur hockey development, echoes Shivener’s sentiments. “The past All-Star events have been a fun experience for the kids,” said Shott. “They don’t take it too serious and they have fun, just like the NHLers. I think being able to experience it on the professional ice is a great bonus for them, too. This organization has done an immaculate job growing the league and helping us grow the game. We are so proud to partner with them and look forward to continuing that partnership for years to come.” As AHSHA numbers continue to blossom, the extra-curricular events get bigger, but it is more than one person behind the scenes. “I have been involved with AHSHA since its formation in 1999-2000,” said Georgevich, who serves

on the Recognition Committee as co-chair with Lauri Griebel. “We work together to gather all the player nominations from all the program coaching staffs and review them to ensure they meet all the guidelines, then prepare them for coaches to vote for the players, and count all the ballots, review and finalize them for the announcement of the players selected to participate. “As for the All-Star event, I have had the assistance over the past few years from former Horizon High School player and AHSHA board member Kenny McGinley. He has been the on-ice master of ceremonies to help ensure that the event is running smoothly and on-time.” Going forward, the sky is the limit for AHSHA. “The Coyotes have been a huge help with the success of high school hockey in the state of Arizona,” Georgevich said. “Their partnership is amazing and great for all of hockey in the Grand Canyon State. The AHSHA Premier team under the guidance of head coach Tait Green and his work with the high school showcase team at the end of the year is really helping put our players and program on the map and opening up opportunities for players be seen for juniors and college club teams. “It’s a great time for hockey for all of Arizona.”

Coyotes ascending NHL standings after fast start, total team effort By Mark Brown


iven the nature of any marathon NHL season, most players tend to view games early as necessary but not terribly demanding and intense. Those encounters are usually reserved for the late season and each shift is magnified. Over the first one-third of their current season, the Arizona Coyotes (17-9-4 and in first place in the Pacific Division as of Dec. 6) did not encounter the kinds of games that truly test their mettle. Then again, one of the main goals of coach Rick Tocchet is to prevent a string of losses. Perhaps the first true measure of the season transpired in early December, and the Coyotes answered the bell. In defeating the Philadelphia Flyers 3-1 on Dec. 5 on the road, the Coyotes showed enough character to challenge a formidable force. Coming into this game, the Flyers had won five in a row and were 6-0-1 in their previous seven games. Plus, they were unbeaten in their previous 11 home games and that’s the longest streak without a regulation loss in 10 years. If the Coyotes wanted to prove worthy of competition against a team on a roll and demonstrate the opening third of the season was a steppingstone to greater success, that point was made. After Conor Garland scored the game-winning goal in that win over the Flyers, he identified the value of challenging a highly competitive club in their building. “If you want to be a winning team, you have to be able to play with the elite,” said Garland, who was the Coyotes top goal scorer through the first 30 games. “To shut down a high-powered offense like (the Flyers) that is huge. It’s something we have to keep doing.” Over their initial 30 games of the season, the Coyotes had a plus-15 in goal differential and the principal reason was goaltender Darcy Kuemper. For his first 19 games in net, Kuemper had 1.97 goals-against average and was the only NHL goaltender with a goals-against under two. As he saved the Coyotes numerous times over the first third of the season, he managed to shut out the Flyers until Matt Niskansen scored late in the game.


Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine


For the hockey player, figure skater and fans on your list shop the top brands in apparel, equipment and accessories.


Open 7 Days a Week with Two Convenient Locations Inside the Ice Dens Store hours are subject to change based on the facility and ice schedules.

7225 W Harrison Street Chandler, AZ 85226

9375 E Bell Road Scottsdale, AZ 85260


S K AT E I N T O T H E N E W Y E A R ! Annually recognized by U.S. Figure Skating as a TOP 10 PROGRAM IN THE COUNTRY, the Ice Den Learn to Skate program offers skating lessons and pre-hockey for all ages and abilities

7225 W Harrison Street Chandler, AZ 85226 9375 E Bell Road Scottsdale, AZ 85260




Arcadia continues adult hockey initiatives for beginners By Moriah Hernandez


s hockey in Arizona has continued to grow, much of the focus has remained on youth hockey. When Justin Rogers took over as the adult hockey director at AZ Ice Arcadia nearly four years ago, he became passionate about encouraging the growth of adult hockey specifically. He found himself coaching the Adult Beginner Skills class at Arcadia and has been doing it ever since. “More often than not, adults, at least at the beginner level, were being overlooked in hockey,” said Rogers. “That was something I wanted to change because there was this whole untapped market of potential future hockey players. “Since Arcadia opened, we’ve always tried to offer an Adult Learn to Play class of some form. The program itself has changed and evolved over time, but it’s always been something we wanted adults to have the opportunity to try.” The current Adult Skills program at Arcadia runs on Sunday nights from 7:55 p.m.-8:55 p.m. It is structured to run a 30-minute skills session followed by a 30-minute scrimmage. Rogers is the lead coach for the program, often accompanied by some of the Arizona Titans coaches like Steve Majercak. “It’s been great to get coaches from the Titans or-

ganization out to Adult Skills,” Rogers said. “It pushes them to adapt their coaching style but also gives these parents, many of them with kids in hockey, a glimpse into the coaching staff at the Titans.” The program is open to everyone over the age of 18. There is always a mix of skill levels from players who’ve never even skated to players who just haven’t played in many years. “I think that’s part of what makes this program so great,” Rogers said. “It’s this mix of players, many of them at different levels, but they’re all there to learn or freshen up on the fundamentals of the game.” In the last couple years, USA

Hockey ran the First Goal initiative for adult hockey, which was a boost to Arcadia’s adult program. Instead of relying on gear donations for adult gear rentals, Arcadia was able to get brand new full sets of gear to loan to adults looking to participate. “The First Goal initiative was a huge step in the right direction for us,” said Rogers. “We’ve always offered


Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine

gear rentals so that anyone can try the program, even without their own gear. But this new gear gave us a better chance to get people into gear they’ll feel more comfortable in and that affects how they feel about the program as well.” Arcadia has hopes to continue to expand this program as the interest level grows. “Our goal is to take this class and be able to develop a true beginner league for the participants in Adult Skills to be a part of,” Rogers said. “I want to be able to create a beginner league that has games with officials but also coaching on the bench. “It’s important that as these players learn the game, they are also given the opportunity to play it and learn from their mistakes as well as their successes, but they need the right environment to do that.” The Arizona Coyotes just announced Growlers, a new adult Learn to Play program that will run out of AZ Ice Arcadia in Jan. 2020. For $250, participants will receive a full set of equipment (excluding skates), 10 on-ice sessions, jersey and socks, two tickets to Coyotes games and a custom Coyotes growler. “We were really excited when (Coyotes director of amateur hockey development) Matt Shott reached out to ask us to host the first-ever Growlers program,” said Rogers. “We’re even more excited to hear that spots have already sold out, which means that the demand for these adult programs is growing. We are happy to be a part of growing hockey across at all levels.”


6 Helpful Ways to Conquer Your Hockey Fears By Mental & Emotional Coach John Haime


et’s talk about some ways you can address your fears. Here are a few simple recommendations that we might use with a player that might help you deal with fear and put it in perspective: 1. Address your fears directly. What are you afraid of and what might be the reasons? When you understand what might be causing your fear and acknowledge it, it will help you consider ideas how to address it. 2. Always remember your purpose for playing. “I love playing hockey because I love the speed, the competitive environment, the opportunity to show my skills and sharing an experience with my teammates.” Write your purpose down and keep it front and center – always! Your purpose will help you create perspective about what’s REALLY important in your game and why you are doing it. Remember, also, that have a feeling of gratitude about the opportunity to play and do what you love to do can fill you with positive energy and dampen the feelings of fear. 3. Learn to manage the most important voice in your game (and your life) – your own! Sometimes our own voice doesn’t help and tells you things you really don’t want to hear – building the threats into something bigger than they are. It’s important to develop your own “emotional caddie” – a friendly, supportive voice

that you might use if your best friend was having troubles. Try the same language and tone with yourself. A few suggestions might be, “I can’t wait to test what I’ve been working on in practice,” “Everyone watching is supporting me – I’ll treat them to some great play,” “My best effort is all I can do – I may make a few mistakes, but being perfect doesn’t exist,“ and “Pressure really gives my game meaning – this is where I want to be.” 4. Confidence and constantly building it is a secret weapon to overcome fear. Creating a feeling of “knowing” you can do it in your practice and preparation will help keep those fearful “what if” thoughts from taking over. After all, you’ve done great work in your practice with the team and on your own. You know you can do it – so bring the same feelings and approach to the game ice.

5. Practice mindfulness to enjoy hockey and stay in the moment. The future is where your goals are, but you don’t achieve them without staying in the moment and paying attention to the steps that will get you to those goals. Choose to bring the positive experiences from the past forward to support your confidence, and choose to leave the few negative ones where they belong – behind you! 6. Know the difference between “prove vs. improve.” The goal in your game should always be trying to improve all of your skills (technical, physical, strategic, mental/emotional). Sometimes when our goal is to “prove” ourselves to others, fear will creep in – the fear of the “what ifs” and trying to meet other’s expectations of you. Winning is great, but it will only come if you are doing the right things – enjoying yourself and trying to become a better player each day. So if fear is holding you back from really enjoying your hockey and using all your abilities, fear not. Remember that you are in control of your fears and there are practical actions that can help you douse the flames - helping you to be a more confident, proactive player. Follow these steps and you are well on your way to your pursuit of greatness! Did you enjoy this article? Then be sure to visit for the latest tips, tricks and the best hockey training products on the market!



Jr. Wildcats a model of consistency within IHAAZ program By Brian Lester


he AZ Jr. Wildcats in Tucson are poised to thrive in the upcoming IHAAZ season. The Wildcats have managed to build successful programs from the rec level up to the travel level throughout its time in the league. The presence of the Tucson Indoor Sports Center has been vital in helping young players learn to skate, play hockey and improve their skills. “We’re fortunate we have an indoor rink to practice and play in year-round. We’re not at the mercy of the weather, which limits the time they have available to practice,” said Erik Dahl, the president of the Jr. Wildcats. As a result, the rec program is thriving. “We are fortunate that the rec program continues to grow every season and that has been responsible for developing a lot of new players who have an interest in travel level teams,” Dahl said. “We had to cut a couple of players (for this year) but we tried to give as many kids as possible a spot on the team.” The rise in popularity of roller hockey has resulted in the Jr. Wildcats fielding six teams this coming IHAAZ season, including a couple of 8U teams. There are two 12U teams as well in the program this year. The Jr. Wildcats will also have a 10U team, a 14U team and a Midget team. The fact that ice hockey is gradually becoming a big-

ger deal in the area doesn’t hurt either with opening the door for young athletes to try out roller hockey as well. “Ice hockey continues to grow in Tucson thanks in large part to the Tucson Roadrunners’ AHL team and the support of the Coyotes organization,” Dahl said. “We’ve seen more crossover between ice and inline every season because of it. It’s a great thing for us.” The Jr. Wildcats will go into the new year moving forward from several changes in the offseason, according to Dahl.

Jeremy Hiltabidel, who had been coaching some of the Wildcat teams last year despite moving to Phoenix before the start of last year, is no longer coaching teams. David Sticker has had to cut back on his involvement in the program and is no longer available to help coach at practices. He has played a key role in bringing the program to where it is today and plans to still coach the older teams in the tournament when he is available


Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine

to do so. Josh Smith is back, though, and will continue to work primarily with the older teams. “Josh has brought a much more technical style of coaching, which the kids have really responded to,” Dahl said. “Our first years were spent focusing on conditioning and endurance, but now Josh has introduced more strategic thinking to the table as well.” The younger teams will have the same coaches as last season, that being Kurt Buetel and Mike Richardson. Brian Hillegonds is also back to coach the younger teams and brings a wealth of coaching experience to the table with him. Besides a cast of solid coaches in place, the Jr. Wildcats also capitalize on their resources to help build their program. As Dahl mentioned before, the indoor rink has been a huge plus. More practice time means better hockey players. “The majority of our travel players play hockey year-round and for many, they do inline along with ice during the season,” Dahl said. “With that much skate time, it’s hard for them not to improve.” And it leads to added confidence. In the end, the players learn what it takes to be a team. “Seeing each team gel and truly become a team is always exciting to watch,” Dahl said. “We have great supportive parents and we always enjoy hearing how much fun they and their kids have at these IHAAZ tournaments.”


Mission Special Edition booming, thriving in Year 3 By Greg Ball


here is something truly special happening within the Mission AZ hockey program in Southwest Phoenix, and it has nothing to do with wins, losses and championship banners. Mission is now in Year 3 of offering its Mission Special Edition program, which is designed to allow people of all ages with special needs the opportunity to play hockey and learn to love the game. “It has been such an amazing thing to see our program come together to support others in this way and really share their passion for the game,” said Mission coach-in-chief Jeremy Goltz. “Adults and kids alike have made it a point to set aside time in their busy schedules to give back, and the incredible impact it has had on the players in the Mission Special Edition program makes it 100 percent worthwhile for everyone involved.” Led by director Brandi Goltz, the Mission Special Edition program has approximately 20 players registered this season, from ages 6 all the way up to 16. Every Monday, Mission dedicates 30 minutes of ice time at AZ Ice Peoria to the program, and players from Mission’s 14U, 16U and 18U teams volunteer their time to coaching and serving as mentors. Depending on the player, their work could involve practicing stick handling or teaching the very basics of skating. With such a wide range in skill level and experience, Goltz said he sees major changes in each and

every player throughout the season, and it’s not just limited to their abilities on the ice. Mission Special Edition players gain self-confidence, relish the opportunity to learn something new and develop a sense of camaraderie that players on Mission’s other teams can sometimes take for granted. “We are seeing massive improvements week to

week,” Jeremy Goltz said. “It’s crazy to see how much they learn from week to week and how much more confident and self-assured they are after just a little time on the ice. It’s really heartwarming to see how much it means to them to be part of something like this.”

Goltz said that along with his wife Brandi, there are several full-time volunteers who help support the program and ensure it runs smoothly. Among those, he credited Dave Steinberger and Mission alumni Ben Branaman and Dominic Meardi for their considerable efforts in making Mission Special Edition what it has become. “It is honestly one of the highlights of my week to watch the smiles on these players’ faces and to see how much fun they have playing hockey,” Goltz said. “We are so incredibly blessed to be able to share our love for the game with those new to hockey, so being involved in this is really an amazing thing for all of us. The kids in the Mission Special Edition group are so appreciative of the chance to play and make such big strides as the season goes on that it’s also very rewarding for the coaches and mentors who are involved.” Mission Special Edition is all about giving people of different abilities the same opportunities as other kids in Mission’s program. While the goal throughout the program is to foster player development, character development is equally as important. By offering this opportunity, everyone involved - from the kids on the ice to the mentors and coaches from Mission’s other teams - learns something that will stay with them long after they have hung up their red and white Mission sweaters. “It has become a big part of our program, and our kids do a great job of working with the team, helping them learn to love the game and giving them the opportunity to skate,” Goltz said.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from all of us with Mission AZ!



As 2019 wraps up, Tahoe Prep players excited for 2020 Continued from Page 11 “I still want to play Division I college hockey, and it’s more likely now than it was at the beginning of last year,” he said. “Academically, I have straight A’s right now, and I’m trying to close out Advanced Placement English with another A.”

tally.” Evenson said his hockey dreams like most players are big, but right now he’s focused on moving up to play juniors, and possibly seeing one of Tahoe Prep’s famed bears. “I’m the only one who hasn’t seen bear yet,” Evenson joked. “I’ve never seen a bear, and I really want to.”

Kelsen Evenson A meeting with Tahoe Prep head coach Chris Collins at the CCM Showcase earlier this year started to turn Evenson’s eye toward the first hockey boarding school on the West Coast. The meeting turned into a visit, which solidified the 16-year-old’s choice to exchange the Rocky Mountains of his home in Denver for the Sierra Nevada. “I really liked the dorms, and I felt I could really get the support I needed here,” Evenson said. “Waking up every day and going to practice and then going to school is just such a great way to start the day. Getting to do something you love before school is a privilege.” A junior, he previously played for the Colorado Thunderbirds. He was instantly impressed as soon as he set foot on the Tahoe Prep campus, and the experience hasn’t disappointed him in the least. “The facility we work out in is the nicest I’ve been in,” Evenson said. “And playing against older kids in the ECEL and North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) has made me stronger, physically and men-

Chase Sechrist As one of Tahoe Prep’s original student-athletes, Sechrist has had a front-row seat for the academy’s progress over the last four years. The 17-year-old senior forward from Santa Rosa, Calif., is splitting time between the varsity and prep teams this season, and relishing the opportunity to compete so much. “This year I’m probably going to play about 100 games,” Sechrist said. “It’s a big schedule but it’s good. Hockey is fun. Being able to go to a public school and still get this is experience is great.” Sechrist had put together some nice stats through the end of November, with three points in ECEL games, one in the NAPHL, eight in the ADHSHL and two in the Sharks High School Hockey League. Sechrist said that besides getting a little bigger and faster over the last three years at Tahoe Prep, he has also learned to adapt to the pace of high-level hockey. “We’ve learned a lot as a team so far this season, and I feel that once everyone buys in, we are really going to improve,” Sechrist said.

Kai Schumann A week spent in Tahoe during Tahoe Prep’s summer camp convinced Schumann to move up the mountain from Sacramento, Calif., for his sophomore year. The 16-year-old forward previously played for the Capital Thunder. “That scouting camp convinced me and my parents to commit,” Schumann said. “I wanted to become a better hockey player, improve my academics and become more independent.” The formula is working. Schumann boasts a 4.0 grade-point average this term and said he feels more confident all around on the ice. “I just really want to go as far as I can, maybe play college, but just get as far as I can,” Schumann said. “The coaches really spend a lot of time on individual development and working on your skills. It was really hard in the beginning being on the ice every day, but it becomes a habit.” As for independence, Schumann said moving away from home for the first time has also brought those lessons. “I’m not that far away, so I can go home on the weekends, but I’m really enjoying Tahoe,” he said. “I love the snow and my classes at South Tahoe High School. Our team is also really bonding, and it showed in our last weekend. We pulled together as a team and played well.”


NAHL’s Ice Wolves get boost from Colorado native Gomez Arvada at the APEX Center and off I went. The Gomez family then moved from Arvada to Parker, and the hockey continued. “After our move to Parker, I joined the Colorado Rampage AAA program where I played 14U, 15U and 16U,” said Gomez. “Coach (Marc) Boxer taught me

schedule and because I had heard really good things about coach (Kelly) Hollingshead. Coach Hollingshead was instrumental in developing my confidence etting a call-up to the NAHL’s New Mexico Ice and really getting my name out in front of junior hockey Wolves in mid-November was an opportunity coaches and scouts. Alex Gomez wanted to make the most of. And truth be told, Gomez was born to be a hockey Mission accomplished. player. After skating for the NAHL’s newest franchise, Literally. he was asked by the team staff to be a permanent “A fun story about my name is when my mom was member of the team for the duration of the 2019-20 pregnant, they couldn’t decide on a middle name – season. they already had Alexander picked out as my first “From the moment I arrived in Albuquerque, I name,” said Gomez. “While at the Stanley Cup Final felt welcomed and appreciated,” said Gomez, an Game 7 at the Pepsi Center in 2001, they decided 18-year-old native of Parker, Colo. “From the owner, the coaches, the equipment manager, the rink who ever scored the game-winning goal, that would staff, just everyone involved with the organization be my middle name. Well, Alex Tanguay scored the had so much energy and positivity. The owner (Stan game-winner, so ‘Alexander Alex’ didn’t work. “Then when Joe Sakic handed the Stanley Cup Hubbard), to me, seems to be going all out from to Raymond Bourque, with all the emotion in the renovations at the rink, a new bus for the team, a arena, they just looked at each other and said ‘Raynew workout facility next to the rink, just everything mond,’ hence Alexander Raymond Gomez.” he seems to do is top notch. Coach (Phil) Fox and Gomez also helped assist and coach the Coloracoach (Keenan) Kelly seem to be working hard to do Avalanche Youth Sled Hockey Team from when field a competitive team.” he was 9 years old through high school and said he Back on Nov. 9, Gomez notched his first NAHL goal, tallying against Topeka on home ice at Outpost New Mexico Ice Wolves rookie forward Alex Gomez scored his first “was very fortunate to get to know the amazing kids.” NAHL goal on Nov. 9, tallying against the Topeka Pilots on home ice Ice Arenas in Albuquerque. Looking ahead, Gomez wants to keep progressGetting the chance to play junior hockey may at Outpost Ice Arenas in Albuquerque. ing up the hockey development ladder. have seemed like a pipe dream some years back. “My short-term goal is to become a dominant player to ‘hunt the puck.’ Coach (Luke) Fulghum helped me “My parents had season tickets to the Avs so in to figure out my role as a support player and playmaker. in the NAHL and, hopefully, play hockey at a Division I second grade, I just came home from school one day The Rampage program really helped with my exposure college program,” he said. “My long-term goal is to go and said, ‘I want to play hockey,’” said Gomez. “They to junior hockey. as far as possible with hockey, hopefully one day play were like, ‘Well, OK, but you don’t know how to skate “For 18U AAA, I transferred to the Colorado Thur- in the NHL. And if that doesn’t happen, I can rely on my and neither do we.’ So I enrolled in learn-to-skate in derbirds because it worked out better for my school college degree.” By Matt Mackinder



Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine

Arizona State setting the pace among ‘19-20 WCRHL teams Tallas also scored goals. Two of Cal Poly’s goals came on the power play. Parker put the game out of reach with the final goal in the third period. “Paxton took control of many points in the game, going from a great defensive play and transitioning right into a goal or scoring chance the other way,” Boyarsky said.

points in the win over San Jose State. On the season, Ziegler leads the Sun Devils in rizona State University’s inline hockey team appears scoring with 14 points (six goals, eight assists). Steele to be carrying the torch for the Western Collegiate (eight goals, five assists) and Davis (seven goals, six Roller Hockey League (WCRHL) through the opening assists) both follow with 13 points. two tournaments of the 2019-20 season. Goaltender Aaron Gittings is 5-1-0 with a 2.22 The Sun Devils improved to 6-1-0 following a 3-0 goals-against average and a .883 save percentage. showing at the Nov. 16-17 regular-season event in Following a Dec. 7-8 tournament in Tucson involvHuntington Beach, Calif. ASU defeated Division ing all four of the Arizona-based WCRHL teams I rival CSU Fullerton for the second time this to close the first semester, the Sun Devils are season by edging the Titans 4-3 while tacking set to embark the weekend of Jan. 25-26 to Chion a commanding 18-1 win over San Jose State cago to compete in an inter-regional tournament University and a 6-4 win over Cal Poly San Luis against Bethel University, Michigan State, SlipObispo. pery Rock and Lindenwood University. The win over Cal Poly avenged the Sun DevASU advanced as far as the Division I semiils’ lone loss on the season – a 1-0 decision at finals in last year’s national championship tourOctober’s season-opening tournament in San nament. Jose, Calif. “This should be our best test prior to NationASU co-coach Nick Boyarsky was excited als,” Boyarsky said. “Our focus has been and will to talk about November’s win over Cal Poly. continue to be on being competitive with these “Last time we played them in San Jose, we teams both now and even more so in April.” could not generate any useful offense and they The Sun Devils’ Division IV development out-possessed us probably 80 percent for them team, fielding just one returner, finished 4-0 at and 20 percent for us,” he explained. “We fothe Huntington Beach event, recording two shutcused our practices on patience and judgment Arizona State’s Hayden Knight rips off a shot in a Western Collegiate Roller out victories and a prodigious 52-4 goal differon when to slow down and when to jump up with Hockey League game against Division I rival CSU Fullerton. Photo/Will Shepherd ential. the puck and how to apply more pressure to eliminate Other players to note over the weekend were Steele “For a mostly new-to-the game-of-roller-hockey rospossession time for the other team.” and Seth Davis, both of whom had impressive num- ter, they really adapted well and took the basic game The practice primer worked: the Sun Devils opened bers, Boyarsky said. strategy and systems we gave them and applied their up an early 4-0 lead in the rematch. Steele earned First Star of the Game in the win over ice hockey skills to it,” Boyarsky said. “The result was “It was very encouraging as far as how coachable Fullerton with a pair of goals while Davis collected a some pretty decent roller hockey for a first-time team.” this young team is,” Boyarsky said. pair of assists in the win over Cal Poly and finished the Standouts included Cole Kamin (17 goals, five asJunior Paxton Parker earned First Star of the weekend with five points. sists), Anthony Paquet (13 goals, eight assists) and Game honors by scoring two goals and one assist. Grant Ziegler (three goals, two assists) and Ian goaltender Weston Walker (1.33 GAA, .900 save Chase Steele, Ian Bast, Michael Bloom and Blake Bast (two goals, three assists) both picked up five percentage). By Phillip Brents


Wildcats post undefeated slate at first WCRHL event Allen and IHAAZ coach Josh Smith, who has helped run the team’s practices. “The new guys are understanding roller and it’s showing in the games,” Parrish said. “We are continuing to set the bar high in order to make sure that we can compete with teams like Arizona State (Division I). “We are a Division III team this year but we are con-

scoring at the Huntington Beach tournament with seven goals and six assists for 13 points, followed by Alhe University of Arizona inline hockey team has set exander Cadieux with eight goals and 10 points and high standards for the 2019-20 Western Collegiate Saahil Ahuja with four goals and nine points. Roller Hockey League (WCRHL) season. Ahuja scored the overtime winner against West ValThe Wildcats have to feel rewarded so far after facley College. ing off their first tournament Nov. 16-17 in Huntington Ethan Zorbas, who stopped all 19 shots he faced Beach, Calif., with a 4-0 record. to record the shutout win over Nevada-Reno, finArizona defeated Nevada-Reno 11-0 to start ished the tournament 3-0-0 with a 2.25 goalsthe tournament, then followed with wins over San against average and a .900 save percentage. Jose State University (9-4), West Valley College The Wildcats were scheduled to close out (5-4 in two overtimes) and UC Berkeley (7-6). the first semester with a tournament Dec. 7-8 at The Wildcats’ 4-0 record places them first the Tucson Indoor Sports Center with matchups among WCRHL Division III teams in terms of against the WCRHL’s other three Arizona-based winning percentage (1.000) and second to teams: Arizona State, Northern Arizona University Cal Poly Pomona (6-2-0) in terms of standings and newcomer Grand Canyon University. points. Parrish hailed the growth of roller hockey in Arizona and UCLA (4-4-0) both have earned the state. eight standings points to 12 for Pomona, which “It is so good for hockey to be growing in the topped last season’s regular-season standings desert and, with an explosion of youth hockey, with a 14-1 record. hopefully we can see more kids playing at our The Wildcats have played in one less tourschools in the future,” he said. nament. “The rivalries are building. NAU and U of A The wins over Nevada, San Jose State and The University of Arizona came home from their first tournament of the 2019-20 have always had a friendly rivalry since I was UC Berkeley were especially important in that Western Collegiate Roller Hockey League season with a 4-0 record. first at the school. With two competitive teams, they all came against Division III opponents. tinuing to train as if we are a Division II or even a Divi- it means we will have some great games. I can’t wait to “I thought we had an amazing weekend by defeating sion I program in order to ensure this success contin- see how GCU falls into the fold. not only San Jose State, a team we considered to be a ues for the next four years. Our team is young and with “With more teams, we can hopefully have more Aribench mark, but to go on and win against West Valley every game we win this year, we hope it gets another zona events that the guys love and grow the sport even College, a team that we expected to beat us and that kid to come here and be a part of our program. more.” we just wanted to keep the score close,” Arizona club “At the end of the line, we are hoping to make AriThe Wildcats’ development Division IV team finpresident Alex Parrish said. zona a roller hockey school and bring home a national ished 2-2 in its first tournament outing at Huntington Parrish attributed much of the team’s early-season championship.” Beach. Sophomore Aidan Evans led Arizona with nine success due to the coaching of Kevin Smith and Jack Sophomore forward Kyle Smith led the team in goals in the four games.

By 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) - Moose Jaw Warriors (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


Looking at top products for those on your shopping lists T

he holidays are here, and with a wide variety of products crowding the shelves, here are the 2019 Behind The Mask Top Picks for the hockey player or coach in your life.

CCM Ribcor Trigger 4 Pro Stick The game keeps Exelby getting faster, which is why more and more players are moving to Ribcor sticks for the ultimate quick-release shot. The Trigger4 Pro has an optimized low-kick point designed to maximize loading and quick release, and a new advanced ergonomic construction designed in the CCM Performance Lab in collaboration with the best hockey players in the world. Available in Intermediate and Senior flexes and patterns. CCM Snipers Edge Training Tiles Improve your skills with CCM Sniper’s Edge Slick Tiles Dryland Flooring Tiles by shooting, stickhandling and passing in your very own home hockey training area. Perfect for hockey players who want to take their game to the next level, Slick Tiles Hockey Floor Tiles allow you to have a dryland training area almost anywhere. Perfect

for use with training balls/pucks, stickhandling tools, and shooting tarps. This flooring tile won’t damage the bottom of your blade either! True Dynamic 9 Helmet The newest on the market featuring MIPS technology. The MIPS Brain Protection System is a low-friction layer designed to reduce rotational motion transferred to the brain from angled impact to the head, offering unmatched protection. The one-piece polypropylene (EPP) shell construction makes the Dynamic 9 Pro helmet the lightest weight in its class. Custom fit comes standard in all Dynamic 9 Pro helmets, while the interchangeable side and rear occipital fitpads are available in three thicknesses, providing 360-degree adjustability and a personalized fit. CCM Tacks Protective For a second year in a row, the top-selling CCM Tacks protective line of shin, shoulder and elbow pads make the top pick for 2019. Designed to give elite players the protection, customizability and comfort needed to perform at the highest levels. Combining JDP technology, D3O smart material and several adjustment options to give you the best protection and off-the-wall customization on the market. Bauer Vapor 2X Skates The Vapor 2X Skate is built with our new Accelflex

Elite Performance System, which offers additional flex, performance and high-end value. The asymmetrical toe cap was assembled using the profile of 25,000 player scans and it is optimized to enhance your push-off on every stride. The 48-ounce recoil felt tongue offers optimal flexibility, comfort and protection. Aerofoam+ assists with thermoformability and an improved fit. The asymmetrical quarter construction provides increased medial support to enhance agility and quickness. Comfort Edge padding delivers premium comfort and high-end value along with a 3D-lasted CURV composite boot, which gives elite level ankle/heel support. CCM Ribcor 80K Skates For the best out-of-the-box fit and comfort, look for the CCM Ribcor 80K Skates. The new Ribcor 80K skates were designed for the most creative players on the ice. With Flexframe technology and new ADPT Memory Foam delivering superior stability, flexibility and comfort, players can take control of the game, master their edges and keep their opponents guessing what they will do next. With the new quick-release SpeedBlade XS Holder, not even a blade change can slow them down. This skate comes highly recommended for the coach or player looking for the most comfort on the ice without sacrificing performance. To find out more about these amazing products and more, visit any of our three locations and speak with one of our Certified Fit Experts today!

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

Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine

PACIFIC RIDGE HOCKEY CLUB PRHC proving to be remarkable value for high school hockey By Todd Cadieux


fter four seasons as a “blended team,” Pacific Ridge Hockey Club (PRHC) is now “pure.” All players attend the same school, Pacific Ridge School (PRS) in Carlsbad. The team is in the vanguard of a new movement on the West Coast. Hockey in Southern California continues to thrive and grow. The Anaheim Ducks High School Hockey League (ADHSHL) is now an additional option. Since its inception, the ADHSHL has produced national high school champions in Division I as well as roughly 100 notable alumni in the NCAA, ACHA, EHL and other top leagues. Building on that success, the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) Prep Division was formed two years ago. This year, it has 10 teams competing in the NAPHL showcase tournaments with teams from around North America. Within this context, PRHC provides its players a unique value – excellent academics paired with excellent Division I hockey in an independent day school three miles from a home rink (Icetown Carlsbad). The program ensures balance between academics, hockey and family life. “At Pacific Ridge, we believe balance is important in order for students and athletes to excel. The hockey players who have applied to our program are definitely drawn to that idea,” said Jennifer Bjornstad, the school’s director of enrollment. Playing hockey for their school also holds appeal for players, who form deeper bonds with teammates and get to represent their school as athletes. “This is just the beginning,” said Juan Trevino, head coach and student support specialist at PRS. “Our goal is to be the best. There are always opportunities to improve the program, but we know we’re on the right path.”



Position: Forward, Texas RoadRunners (NA3HL) Hometown: Albuquerque New Mexico Youth Teams: New Mexico Ice Wolves, Taos Roadrunners, La Cueva High School Age: 18 Arizona Rubber: What’s your favorite hockey memory growing up? Seth Payson: My favorite memory definitely has to be from our Silver Stick trip to Toronto my first 16U year. Me and some of the guys all hopped on a pond across the street from the hotel and played from like 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. That’s something I’ll never forget. AZR: What’s your favorite memory in the game since leaving New Mexico? SP: My favorite memory since I left home would be going to the USPHL Championships with all the guys from New York (Aviators in 2018-19). Just a good group of guys and I definitely made some lifelong friends. AZR: Who have been the biggest influences on you, on and off the ice? SP: My biggest influences by far have been both of my parents. My dad coached me for many years and always pushed me. My mom, on the other hand, always pushed me to focus on my academics and to do well in school. AZR: What’s the best piece of advice you have for young hockey players? SP: The best advice I have for any younger kids playing hockey is to just have fun and work hard. As you get older, the game gets more and more serious and you have to keep working to improve, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stop having fun. You’ve got to love the game you play for as long as you play it. AZR: Other than hockey, do you have a favorite sport to play? SP: Outside of hockey, I play a lot of golf. Actually, I played varsity golf my freshman, sophomore and junior year. With the weather in New Mexico, I used to be able to hit the links year-round. AZR: Do you have any superstitions? SP: No superstitions for me. Some nights you might get some lucky bounces, some nights you might get some unlucky bounces, but I don’t think anything outside of normal pre-game preparation will help your luck. AZR: What does your game-day routine look like? SP: Wake up and get a good breakfast. Usually some eggs and toast. Either go to the rink for a morning skate or get a nice stretch in at home. For lunch, I usually do some sort of pasta. Then I just hang out for the day, watch some TV. Stay hydrated. About three hours before game time, I’ll put my suit on and get all my stuff together that I need to take with me. I’ll usually leave the house so I’ll get to the game about two hours before the game. At the rink, get a team stretch, tape my stick and get ready for the game. AZR: Do you have a favorite meal or restaurant back home in New Mexico? SP: Back home, one of my favorites has always been Little Anita’s (in Old Town Albuquerque). My favorite thing is probably their sopapillas after the meal. AZR: What are some essential items you take on a road trip? SP: Snacks. I always bring plenty of snacks. AZR: Did you have a favorite hockey player growing up? SP: (Washington Capitals captain) Alex Ovechkin was always my favorite player growing up. I always loved that he was one of the most skilled players in the league but was never afraid to drop the gloves. - Compiled by Matt Mackinder 22

Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine

Whether you are looking for the perfect gift for the hockey player, skater or fan on your list or looking to celebrate the spirit of the season,





• Holiday Music & Lighting • Appearances by Special Guests: Skating Santa, Rudolph or Frosty • 2 Hours of Public Skating & Skate Rental




for all ages*

Stop by the Administration Desk or any retail register to purchase!

Daily afternoon and evening sessions


• 2 Hours of Public Skating & Skate Rental




for all ages*

*$5 Admission for children 5 and under

Visit to view a public skating calendar with dates and times.

Group discounts are available when coordinated in advance.

No matter the size of your group, 18° will take the stress out of your holiday planning. Let us take care of your office luncheon or dinner, and family gatherings. 18° offers many options that will satisfy your holiday budget.

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.