Arizona Rubber Magazine - December 2017

Page 1






FROM THE EDITOR The holidays are a special time to enjoy family, food, hockey


h yes, it’s that time of year once again – the joyful holiday season. I’ll be honest here – I love this part of the calendar. People seem to have an extra spring in their step and kids seem to be on their best behavior. There seems to be magic associated with the holidays and it’s like that yet again this year. It’s time to plan holiday get-togethers, to see family members that you only see a couple times a year, to mow down exorbitant amounts of food, to reminisce about years gone by, what’s ahead, and to make plans for the upcoming year. Not to be lost in all of these festivities is the fact that hockey goes on. Whether that means youth tourMatt Mackinder naments, college and junior games or NHL games, hockey is as much a part of the holidays as Santa Claus, Ralphie, Buddy the Elf and the Grinch. Simply put – Happy Holidays, and keep those skates sharpened! The Goalie Coaches Clinic held Nov 19 at AZ Ice Peoria can officially be deemed a success. Not only did the goalies who attended get some always-needed ice time, but they were shown and learned some great new drills specifically designed for goaltenders. In addition, there were a number of coaches who became much better at their craft by adding to their skills some much-needed specifics on just how to train a goalie. A huge thanks goes out to Larry Gibson, the Arizona Amateur Hockey Association’s director of the state coaching education program and goaltending coordinator for a very successful clinic. Larry tells us that there is more to come, so stay tuned! The North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) announced its Apex Learning Virtual School Peak Performers for the month of November and the 16U goaltender honoree is Anthony Bonaldi from Arizona Bobcats. The players were selected based upon their performance during regular-season games at the third NAPHL event of the season, which took place in Troy, Mich., from Nov. 10-13. Bonaldi kept his team in the playoff hunt for a Gold Division spot as the netminder from Las Vegas started in three of his team’s five games in Troy and put together a 2-0-1 record. He faced a total of 84 shots in the three games and stopped all but two of them, making 82 saves, which included two shutouts. In his first game of the event, Bonaldi stopped all 22 shots that came his way in a 4-0 shutout of CarShield. His next game was a 35-save performance in a 2-1 overtime loss against Madison. He finished the event with a 25-save performance in a 2-0 shutout of Shattuck-St. Mary’s. Well done, Anthony! Sticking with the Bobcats, the second NAHL Future Prospects Tournament of the 2017-18 season came to a close Dec. 3 at the Schwan Super Rink in Blaine, Minn. In the 14U Division, the Bobcats defeated the Omaha AAA team 2-1 to win their division. Omaha’s first and only goal came from Marcus Miller 3:38 into the second period, but Connor Brazil tied the game for the Bobcats just two minutes later. The game-winning-goal came from Alec Geddes 12:20 into the third period to win the championship game. Way to go, boys! The Arizona Coyotes partnered with Sanderson Ford to present Operation Santa Claus Night on Dec. 2 when the Coyotes hosted the New Jersey Devils. The event benefits four local nonprofit organizations: Military Assistance Mission, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center and St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance. “We are very pleased to once again take part in Operation Santa Claus,” said Coyotes president-CEO Steve Patterson. “Sanderson Ford and Sanderson Lincoln are great partners and we are thrilled to be able to help so many worthwhile organizations in the Valley.”

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 Wilson


Returning veteran Ryan Cotton has helped solidify Arizona State University’s defense for the 2017-18 inline hockey season. More inline coverage on Page 19. Photo/WCRHL/NCRHA

ON THE COVER Knowledgeable coaches and players with a passion for the game are hallmarks of the DYHA Jr. Sun Devils youth program that calls Tempe’s Oceanside Ice Arena home. Photo/Gil Gabo

Coyotes’ community involvement continues around Valley By Mark Brown


hile the Arizona Coyotes may be traversing through a challenging season on the ice, there is no shortage of positive vibes coming from the organization. It’s holiday time, and that means an emphasis on the Coyotes’ presence in the community. Since the team moved from Winnipeg to start the 1996-97 season, the Coyotes have maintained a high profile off the ice. No matter what time of the year, it’s always a good time to spread that holiday cheer. Through a series of on-going programs and those catered to a specific criterion, the importance of events off the ice, and the opportunity to get “Howler,” the mascot, involved to help spread the goodwill represents the core design of the Arizona Coyotes Foundation. Whether the Coyotes are reaching Phoenix Children’s Hospital with a signature program or helping to unveil a new dek hockey surface throughout the region, there is always welcome anticipation. Therein lies the core of the Foundation. “Our focus is to serve the children and service men and women in many different areas,” said Olivia Matos, who serves as the executive director of the Arizona Coyotes Foundation. “We serve in cultural events, the arts, sports, healthcare and education. Our goal as a hockey team is to be able to give back to the community, and do everything we can to focus on areas locally.” To that end, the Foundation asks fundamental

questions, and how best to lend a helping hand. “It’s about what can we do,” Matos added. “Whatever is asked, and whether it’s being present at an event, giving volunteer hours, helping an organization to get a little more noticed, putting out a special showing what an organization can do and its potential, doing videos, sharing with some of our other contacts, additional

help during supply drives, we’re always ready. “You name it, we’re more than happy to help” Most of the outreach programs are targeted toOlivia Matos ward nonprofits and how the image of a major sports franchise in a major metropolitan area can generate positive results. Perhaps the Coyotes’ signature charity event is the celebrity waiters. Held each year at holiday time, this experience, held earlier this month, brought head coach Rick Tocchet and players Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Derek Stepan, Clayton Keller and Max Domi to serve as waiters. All benefits support the Coyotes Foundation, and for several years, former

captain Shane Doan was the face of this event. Serving dinner and dessert may be a high-profile affair, Matos points out, but work in the community is carried on several levels. First, there are in-kind donations that account for over 1,500 donations to nonprofits throughout out the calendar year. During the previous hockey season alone, these donations helped raise over $150,000 for Arizona’s nonprofits. Then, there’s the Future Goals program. This is designed as an online initiative that uses hockey as a learning vehicle for students to apply real-world applications in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. At the same time, the Coyotes are involved improving literacy throughout the state of Arizona. The club introduced incentive-based reading programs, and supports existing reading curriculums in grades 2-4. Together with volunteer and hospital visits, hockey school clinics, player appearances and youth hockey development, Matos says the Coyotes are as busy in the community as Tocchet and his staff are on the ice. Despite struggles in the standings, Matos says she has not witnessed a decline of the Coyotes presence and interest for community events. “I haven’t seen that yet,” she said. “There is such as need anyway. We have created such great relationships with our partners in the area that they know we’re here to help. Win or lose, there remains challenges in the things in which we raise money. Hockey is what it is, but what we do in the community continues. That’s whether we win or lose.”


Defining the Desert Three years after rebrand, the DYHA Jr. Sun Devils continue to thrive in Tempe careers. Now, they are working together to drive DYHA into an auspicious future. “It’s been a great opportunity for Brad to come into the organization and start hree years ago, the Desert Youth Hockey Association was at a crossroads. to define his own goals and objectives moving forward, yet still have Sean there to Inside their home rink, Oceanside Ice Arena, the Tier I Arizona Bobcats pro- back him up and answer questions and get him assimilated,” Koshiol said. gram was planning a move to cross-town Arcadia Ice Arena while the Arizona Added McCaughey: “I think the biggest challenge was just getting acclimated State club hockey program was preparing to step up from the ACHA club level to to all the different tasks of running the program. The program was in great hands, it become an NCAA Division I sport. was just coming in and learning my job responsibilities and trying to figure out what Amid the change happening around it, the near 40-year-old association – known I could tweak and where I think we could add value to help the program continue then as the Firebirds – decided it was time for a rebrand. DYHA changed its colors, to grow in the direction to grow where it’s been growing.” logo and name to match ASU. One of McCaughey’s main focuses this season has been growing DYHA’s The Jr. Sun Devils were born. presence at the youngest levels of the sports. He noted that “most of the rinks “We were at a point where we were hosting two names. Bobcats were looking around town have a full-blown house program. We don’t have that luxury.” like they were going to Arcadia and it was at the same time the NCAA was going to So, he’s zeroed in on building upon a program Whyte started: The Lil’ Devils – a be ASU’s new venture,” said Sean Whyte, who was the director of hockey for the program designed to introduce kids to the sport and give them a familiar club to organization at the time. “Being where we were just one name now, we decided it play for once they reach travel age. was time to rebrand and go with what [ASU had] in the same rink.” “It almost makes it our own little house league – your program starts at the Despite the exciting relationship with the newest Division I program in the coun- young ages,” McCaughey said. “When you are only looking for travel-aged kids at try, the rebrand wasn’t universally supported at first. those ages, they are tough to find because they’ve already got a relationship with “It was actually kind of a difficult call off the bat,” Whyte said. “There were another rink. Expanding on that, having more and more kids getting relationships some people who really liked the Firebirds. There were some people who were U with the coaches and coming in and liking your program helps feed your program of A-type people and weren’t so impressed with those colors.” for the years to come.” Current vice president Sherri Koshiol added: “There was some resistance. The results this year have been promising. People identify with an organization through its branding. The hurdle that we need“The Lil’ Devils program is a start and every program starts with the young ed to get over was defining the fact that we were still the same organization with ages,” McCaughey said. “That when you get them into your rink, that’s where they the same mission. Instead of red, white and blue, we are going to be maroon and get the love for hockey and hopefully, the love for your program.” gold.” Not only is it giving DYHA a solid foundation, but Lil’ Devils is serving as anothThree years later, er vehicle to help hockey the switch is paying off. grow in the untraditional It’s written a new chapdesert market. ter into one of Arizona “The introduction hockey’s oldest clubs. of hockey to the young “The response went participants, whether over really well and just into our program or into the fact that the ASU youth hockey in general, Sun Devils and the it’s a benefit to the overDYHA Jr. Sun Devils are all development of the playing out of the same game in Arizona,” Koshirink, it unified the rink as ol said. a whole with all of the Progress among DYprograms,” Whyte said. HA’s travel levels has The Jr. Sun Devgrown as well since ils name has become the name change. From a mainstay in the Valtournament winning ley and a recognizable Squirt teams to capturbrand around the couning state championships try. at the Midget level, the “We have name recJr. Sun Devils have conognition when we go out The Desert Youth Hockey Association has been around for 40-plus years and continues to grow and flourish at Oceanside Ice Arena. tinued to be one of AriPhoto/Gil Gabo of state. There’s people zona’s most competitive who identify with the Sun Devils based upon the university itself and its well-known associations. status as well as its athletics,” Koshiol said. “Locally, it’s outlining Oceanside as the “The bottom line is you still have to put a good program together. I think Sean place where the maroon and gold play from the little kids all the way up to college.” has done a great job of doing that and it’s something that I think is an ever-evolving While DYHA might be known by a different name, it has continued to provide thing,” McCaughey said. one of the strongest youth hockey experiences in the state. With the Jr. Sun Devil name and the strength of a relationship with a NCAA-cal“I think it’s grown on everyone and we’ve made the transition,” Koshiol said. iber program at ASU, DYHA is in a strong position to keep breeding high-level “In my mind, it’s the same organization, with the same leadership and the same hockey. mission.” “There’s a lot of cyclical things that go on in youth hockey. Whether it be the While Koshiol and other board members have helped provide stability, DYHA transitioning of players and coaches and people coming in and out of organizahas been forced to adjust to a leadership change at the very top. Last year, Whyte tions, I think there is a constant flux going on,” Koshiol said. “But I think our conaccepted a job with the NHL to become a youth hockey regional director. tinued focus moving forward is solid leadership, experienced coaches with the After eight years with Whyte as its director of hockey, DYHA found an accom- objective of promoting the DYHA mission, which is to inspire young people to not plished successor in Brad McCaughey, a man with decades of experience in the only be better hockey players but also excel as they move forward as an adult.” Phoenix hockey community from his playing days with the Phoenix Roadrunners to Though they look different, the Jr. Sun Devils have kept pressing forward to more recently coaching youth teams around the city. deliver on their goal of producing great hockey players and people. “I had a relationship with Sean,” McCaughey said. “He was reputable and hon“I’ve been there since 2008 and there was a lot of struggles back then,” Whyte est and I knew he ran a good program. I always thought it was a great program, ran said. “We fought through and developed a strong program, a strong coaching really well. It represented itself well on all levels.” staff. I think the over last couple years, being Jr. Sun Devils, that’s just continued McCaughey and Whyte had been teammates during their professional hockey on that path.”

By Jack Harris



Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine

Culturama ranks OneHockey top-five North American event By Kevin Conway


or the players, parents and fans who’ve reveled in the OneHockey Experience since 2003, it’s easy for them to understand why it’s considered the world leader of the hockey tournament industry. When it comes to overall organization, on-ice competition and in-game entertainment, OneHockey undeniably has no equal. Now a burgeoning sports media company has come to the realization what thousands of youth hockey teams and families from across North America and Europe have understood for nearly 15 years. Culturama, an online channel that delivers creative insights on life, including comedic satirical videos with a special emphasis on the sport of hockey, recently conducted a survey of the dozens of hockey tournaments throughout North America and ranked the top 13. The criteria Culturama’s rating was based on included experience, number of teams, level of play, unique offerings, reputation, rink quality, organization, seamless execution and communication. Joe Branco, an aspiring comedian as well as the creator and star of Culturama’s humorous video library, ranked OneHockey as the top overall tournament group on the list, beating out some of the most popular annual events on the continent. OneHockey was voted first for the best tourney experience and fifth in the overall ranking ( “OneHockey was unique in my research because it focused so much on the experience,” said Branco, a 15year business and media consultant and CEO of Cultur-

ama. “Thousands of hockey tournaments are executed each year in North America, and they all have games, a couple tables of merchandise, and a check-in table. And for the most part, that’s really just about it, but OneHockey makes it fun for the players.” That philosophy is exactly on what founder Sebastien Fortier built OneHockey – establishing itself as the best run, most entertaining international youth hockey tournament host company the sport has ever seen. Since its inception, OneHockey has expanded from strictly a spring and summer, three-tourney operation during its early years to a year-round, 25-plus event organization throughout North America and select European locations with a plan to soon expand into China. A OneHockey event is anything but your everyday tournament at your neighborhood rink. The experience starts by transforming each venue to a OneHockey Arena with hundreds of feet of banners, posters and flags. Then there’s the festive music and amusing mascot streaming throughout each rink as well as a mini-expo of vendors and red carpet social media interviews i n the lobby. And, of course, there’s the trademark championship celebrations complete with the OneHockey Cup raising and non-alcoholic campaign showers. “The Interviews were a particularly fun touch that I really hadn’t seen anywhere else,” Branco said. “I love the champagne bottle opening and hoisting the cup ex-

perience as well. And smalll things like taking the time to rebrand entire facilities really brings an event experience together.” In recent years, OneHockey has expanded from strictly offering events for top talent to players of all levels. “It’s also worth noting that OneHockey pulls off more events than most tournament companies, meaning that consistent high-level tournament prep and execution is a must,” Branco noted. “It’s difficult enough to pull off one great tournament a year.” OneHockey also prides itself on its commitment to branding and promotion, something which the Culturama ranking certainly took note of, including the hub of the whole operation at “Communication is a key factor as well in my research,” Branco said. “OneHockey responded immediately and reached out offering information as requested. I am impressed with the level of care and thought that OneHockey provides its tournament participants.” Culturama could likely be bumping OneHockey up its rankings next year after Fortier’s group embarks on setting a Guinness World Record for hosting the largest tournament ever. OneHockey is partnering with the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association to put on the largest tournament the world has ever seen at the Holiday Invite 2018. This unprecedented, four-day Christmas school vacation event will feature as many as 1,000 teams in both boys and girls divisions estimated to number more than 23,000 players from 10 countries squaring off on more than 75 sheets of ice throughout the state.



Bantam Purple standout Johnson fighting like a Knight By Bryan O’Sullivan


outh hockey is supposed to be full of battles, both on and off the ice, but for AHU Bantam Purple player Stormy Johnson, the battle is personal. Stormy, born in Alaska, has been an avid hockey player since he was four years old. He was drawn to hockey because of the team nature. “I think hockey is one of the best sports I’ve ever played,” Stormy said. “You have to know what you’re doing to not get checked and not only that, but to make smart plays and make the team happy.” This past June, Stormy and his sister were visiting their father in Alaska when he noticed something was not “right.” He called his mother and was seen by a doctor immediately. After examining Stormy, the doctor’s office conferenced in his mother to discuss the findings. Stormy was diagnosed with cancer. “Hearing the prognosis over the phone was the hardest thing I have experienced,” said Hannalaura Johnson, Stormy’s mother. “I just wanted to hug my boy and let him know that we were going to get through this.” The next day, Stormy went in for surgery to remove a tumor. Hannalaura was able to be there for her son to see him through the surgery. A week later, the biopsy results came back, confirming cancer. He immediately began chemotherapy. Wanting to keep his team aware of the situation, Stormy let his team know.

Two weeks after his first treatment, Stormy made “I told my team everything a week before my first chemo,” said Stormy. “I told them everything that it out to a practice. Binazeski stated that, “I know it had a tremendous was going on, how it would be for a few months, but impact on him. I could tell that for a 13-year-old that then I would be back out a month after.” this whole experience for him was Each treatment would come with tough to process and he was pretty a four-day stay in the hospital. When quiet, but once he got on the ice, the chemo didn’t cause him to sleep, it was ear-to-ear smiles and laughs Stormy found solace in his teammate’s with his friends, his teammates, his calls, texts and visits, and a PS4, of fellow Knights.” course. A recent CT scan came back Assistant coach Mark Binazeski good, so doctors and his family will said that the team initially was pretty continue to monitor him. He has a down. Having just met a new friend, follow up CT scan in three months. they were concerned to lose such an Stormy returned to the ice full impact player. The team quickly responded with time the first week of December. His teammates, elated to see him, an outpouring of support for their bombarded him with questions teammate. Initially putting gold tape about when he would be ready to with Stormy’s No. 71 on their sticks, play. Stormy just smiled, happy to in addition to gold ribbon stickers, also with his number. (The gold ribbon is Arizona Hockey Union Bantam Pur- back with his teammates. “As a mother, I never imagined the symbol for childhood cancer.) ple player Stormy Johnson, diagEvery game, the team hangs nosed with cancer this past summer, that my son would be diagnosed Stormy’s jersey behind the bench so is battling the disease with the full with cancer,” Hannalaura said. support and encouragement of the “Through all of this, Stormy has that he is there battling with them. AHU association. Bantam Purple also created a silbeen so strong and mature. He icone bracelet honoring their teammate, with one never once said, ‘Why is this happening to me?’ – side reading “Stormy – AHU #71” and the other he just pulled his way through it. I am so proud of “Fight like a KNIGHT.” Word quickly got out about him for having the courage at 13 to come and talk to the bracelets and Binazeski was shipping them to me about it and for being brave enough to share it with the people around him who care.” ​​ families in Alaska.


Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine

NORTHERN ARIZONA UNIVERSITY FLAGSTAFF YOUTH HOCKEY ASSOCIATION Support initiatives that create NAU D-III team buying in to culture of respect, keep game fun program, getting positive results By David Bereson

By Matt Mackinder



SPECTATOR’S CODE OF CONDUCT USA Hockey developed codes of conduct to help everyone understand the expectations associated with their role in the game. + Display good sportsmanship. Always respect players, coaches and officials. + Act appropriately. Do not taunt or disturb other fans. Enjoy the game together. + Cheer good plays of all participants. Avoid booing opponents. + Cheer in a positive manner and encourage fair play. No profanity. + Help provide a safe and fun environment.

irst-year Northern Arizona University Division III coach Ryan Smith sees his IceJacks team as a work in progress, but also a team that is getting better by the day. Smith said early impressions of the ACHA club are that the team has offensive abilities, the dedication to buy into the program from one of the largest group of incoming players and the desire to learn from their mistakes to ensure the team goals can be met. “I like that with such a large amount of new members to the team, there has been no major events that lead to adversity within the locker room,” said Smith. “The team has set goals and all of the members have bought in, in order to achieve them.” Impact players for NAU this season include senior forward Ryan Guevarra, freshman defenseman Nick Pizzey and freshman forward Jakob Nelson. “Guevarra has remarkable speed, work ethic and confidence with the puck in comparison to previous years with the program,” said Smith. “Pizzey tried out as a forward, but became a defenseman once he joined the team and has excelled to our top pairing of defensemen. He has the ability to see the plays as they develop and make the most important first pass out of the zone to ensure a clean breakout. Nelson’s desire to have and get the puck has proven to be a big asset in both the offensive and defensive zones.” Moving forward into the second half of the season, Smith’s game plan is simple. “We need to ensure the desire to continuously work harder and try to get better as a team stays throughout the season,” said Smith. “The majority of this takes place in practices. We also need to push ourselves internally to ensure we are getting the most out of each other to provide the best team game we have each weekend.”

t times, we need to remind all spectators and parents that they need to respect the game, the coaches and the players, both on and off the ice. Whether it is through the glass or in person, bullying players, parents or coaches is not acceptable and should be grounds for dismissal from any association. PARENTS’ CODE OF CONDUCT + Do not force your child to participate in sports, but support their desires to play their chosen sports. + Encourage your child to play by the rules. + Do not embarrass your child by yelling at players, coaches or officials. Show a positive attitude. + Emphasize skill development and practices and how they benefit your young athlete. + Know and study the rules of the game and support the officials, on and off the ice. + Applaud a good effort in both victory and defeat. Work toward removing physical and verbal abuse in sports. + Recognize the importance of volunteer coaches. + If you enjoy the game, learn all you can about hockey — and volunteer.


How to stay active, motivated during the holidays T

here are a lot of distractions that can happen over the holidays that don’t allow a player to train or be on the ice as much. Each level is different, too. For instance, a lot of the youth St. Clair teams participate in Christmas tournaments, but for the older guys like junior players or college players, you get one week off and that is to refresh your mind and body. As I said before, the youth kids are different, and they need to keep up with skating or lessons, whatever it may be because the season is not as intense on the body. I always loved being a youth player at Christmas time and that allowed me to ask for a bunch of new hockey gear.

It may seem a little farfetched, but it is the little things like this that can make a younger player itching to get back on the ice. Stay up with your skills, whether it’s shooting pucks in the driveway or stickhandling in the driveway. There is a lot that can allow you to stay sharp and focused during the holiday season. Older players or players that have moved away from home are a little different story. The reason there is a holiday break is to regroup, heal injuries and maintain your focus because the season is only halfway done. A lot of the teams at the higher levels only give you 6-8 days off. It takes a lot of focus to make sure that you are ready to go after the break is over. When I came home for break (from junior hockey in the USHL or NCAA Division I hockey at the

University of North Dakota), I would usually keep it light in the gym, but go at least 3-4 days. This allowed my body to heal and at the same time, I was maintaining the body to make sure that I was ready to go. It’s a long season, so this allows you to stay fresh and not lose any endurance. As far as the onice training went, I usually only skated once or twice over the week span and it was just to have fun. This is also a great time to come back home to visit family and friends. There is a lot that got you to where you are, and family and friends is one of them, so stay loyal and appreciate everything they have done. Have a great break, everyone, and keep the focus up!

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



Pair of DYHA teams find tourney success at recent events By Jack Harris

Ubrig had five goals in the round robin stage in addition to his game-winner in the tournament finale. Nate wo Desert Youth Hockey Association Jr. Sun Devils Chatsworth led the Jr. Sun Devils in the group stage teams won tournament championships over Thanks- with six goals and Jack Wilson chipped in with three of giving Weekend in November. his own. Those teams weren’t done, however. DYHA’s strong depth was the real story of the tourFast-forward to two weeks later, and the duo of ban- nament, however, as it had eight different players score a ner-claiming squads teamed up during coinciding trips goal in the tournament’s first three games alone. to Dallas for the Winter Clash “Every one of them were part Tournament. of it,” Koshiol said of the solid If great minds think alike, so, team effort he got during the too, do great teams. championship run. Meanwhile, the 16U Jr. Sun “Both team managers got toDevils were in Las Vegas wingether and had the idea of partning four of their five games en nering the teams up,” said Jon route to a Silver Stick Regional Koshiol, coach of the DYHA title. DYHA finished off the tour10U Major team, one of the two nament championship with a 6-2 title winning Jr. Sun Devils teams. win over the Golden State Elite Koshiol’s Squirt outfit won The DYHA 10U Major and 16U teams gathered for Eagles from California in the the Thanksgiving Shootout in a group photo after a practice earlier this month as Phoenix, posting a perfect 5-0 both prepared to head to Dallas to play in the Winter championship game. Earlier in the event, DYHA record and plus-24 goal differ- Clash Tournament. knocked off the Portland Jr. Winterhawks and the Utah ential during its march to a championship. In the tournament championship game, forward Col- Golden Eagles before advancing the tournament semi-filin Ubrig scored the game-winning goal late in the third nal with a 3-1 win over the California Wave. As has been the case all year, the Jr. Sun Devils benperiod to capture the Jr. Sun Devils their early season efitted from strong defensive play. Not once did the team banner and the team’s tenth consecutive win as well. “Anytime you win and you get to celebrate, it’s a good allow more than three goals in a game, helping them thing, [especially when] we are coming off a 10-game return to Arizona with a plus-12 goal differential in the event. winning streak,” Koshiol said.



Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine

The title also guaranteed the Jr. Sun Devils an automatic invitation to the Silver Stick International Finals at year’s end, giving them an opportunity to face some of the best Midget teams from around the continent. But in the meantime, the Midgets joined together with the Squirts to prepare for their trip to Dallas. During the week leading up the Winter Clash, the two teams shared a group photo after a practice. In North Texas, they shared meals and supported each other during games. “They’ve planned it,” Koshiol said of the teams’ managers, Sherri Koshiol and Melanie Sanchez. “I thought it was a good idea, too.” In Dallas, the 16Us faced the Houston Wild, Oklahoma City Oil Kings and McKinney North Stars. The 10Us squared off against the North Stars as well, in addition to the Tulsa Jr. Oilers and Dallas Penguins. For both teams, it was a chance to grow on their impressive starts to the season by facing tough outof-state competition. They both had plenty of success to build off of as well as the added bonus of the encouragement they received from one another. “Anytime you win and you get to celebrate, it’s a good thing,” Koshiol reiterated. It isn’t often that a celebration gets to be shared across two teams from an organization, though, especially two teams traveling to the same tournament across the country.

Jr. Coyotes alum Koumontzis major part of ASU recruiting class By Matt Mackinder


lready armed with a strong freshman class for the 2017-18 season, Arizona State University is at it again, signing four high-end talents for the 2018-19 campaign. Sun Devils head coach Greg Powers and his staff announced the quartet during National Signing Day on Nov. 8. The fall recruiting class includes three forwards and a defenseman, with three of the four being four-star recruits, according to ASU plans to have several more commitments in the spring session. “This class literally meets the immediate roster needs we have as we continue to build out our roster,” said Powers. “We’ll likely add to it in the spring after further evaluating where we are in our second full season of NCAA play. The class is incredibly high on character and talent, and we can’t wait to get all of them to Tempe.” One of the forwards, Demetrios Koumontzis, is a Minnesota native who played the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons with the Jr. Coyotes’ 16U AAA club. He’s skating this season in his home state for Edina High School. “Demetrios is a special talent,” said Powers. “He’s young (2000 birth year) and projects to have a huge year for Edina after leading the Minnesota Elite League in points this summer. Demetrios is the kind of kid I think people will talk about for a long time here at ASU for what I believe he will do for our program.” With the Jr. Coyotes, Koumontzis tallied 17 goals and 21 assists for 38 points in 43 Tier 1 Elite Hockey League games over the two seasons. He originally announced his commitment to the Sun Devils on Jan. 22, 2016. The other three commitments for ASU include Dubuque Fighting Saints (United States Hockey League) defenseman and USA Hockey National Team Development Program (NTDP) graduate Josh Maniscalco, Vernon Vipers (British Columbia Hockey League) forward Jordan Sandhu and Bonnyville Pontiacs (Alberta Junior Hockey League) forward Derek Brown. Maniscalco will be the first NTDP product to play for Arizona State.

IN A DEVILISH MOOD The topic of sport specialization – is it good or bad? I want to start with this disclaimer - “This is my opinion.” I say this because everybody has a different opinion on when and whether kids should focus all their attention on one sport. I feel playing multiple sports as a youth can do nothing McCaughey but help you excel as an athlete. When I was younger, it was the norm for kids to play multiple sports as they grew up and all sports had different seasons which made it easy for kids to do so. I grew up playing baseball in the summer and hockey in the winter. I tried basketball and football and quickly learned that those two sports were not for me. Nowadays, either you have coaches preaching to parents that if their son or daughter wants to get a college scholarship or play professionally, they need to play that one sport all year long or you just have parents that believe that is what is best in order for their child to reach the top levels.

First off, I could not disagree more with that theory and we have to look at what is driving this belief – MONEY. The amount of money these professional athletes are making these days is absolutely life-changing, not only for the athlete, but for the athlete’s family’s future. Having your child sign a professional contract is like hitting the lottery, but I might also add that the odds of either of those two things happening are similar. The bottom line is that the cream usually rises to the top and the young adults who make it to the college or pro levels are usually the best athletes. Becoming a good athlete involves taking a stab at multiple sports. There is also a lot more than just talent that is required to play at the higher levels. Sports at the higher levels are a thinking person’s game and while some kids may excel at two sports, they may have a better mind for one of them. If talent were the only criteria, we would know going in who was going to win the championships. A team that believes they can win and outworks their opponent can beat a higher talented team on any given night. The No. 1 trait of a professional athlete is work ethic and the belief that they can achieve anything they want as long as they work hard enough. This is rare to find in children these days and that

is exactly the purpose for youth sports. If we can help instill this attitude in your child then we, as coaches and programs, are doing a great job. The numbers show that the vast majority of our children will not be playing sports for a living. However, if their coaches have instilled in them this lesson, then they have a great chance at excelling at whatever it is they decide to do for a living. Attitude is everything and it is one thing if a kid just loves that sport so much that he wants to play all the time and completely different thing if the kid is playing one sport around the clock because their parents are pushing them to do so. Either way, kids need to take a break from any one sport and explore other sports or hobbies throughout the year. I believe that the body and mind both need a break from one activity. The bottom line is that growing up should be the best years of your life and that is all about having fun! The experiences our children have as young athletes are going to be cherished for the rest of their lives and it is my belief that we, as parents, should encourage them to try as many different sports/activities as they can while they are young. That’s just my two cents.

Brad McCaughey is the director of hockey and coach-in-chief for the Desert Youth Hockey Association.



Gilbert, Brunelle on the ascent at Tahoe Hockey Academy By Greg Ball


ometimes the road less traveled turns out to be the most rewarding, and in the case of two hockey players who relocated from Southern California to Tahoe Hockey Academy, that couldn’t be more true. Shane Gilbert and Jake Brunelle have been cornerstones of THA’s prep team this season, and their move from JSerra High School has been a fruitful one. “It has been really great to see how successful Shane and Jake have been in Tahoe,” said Leo Fenn, Tahoe Hockey Academy’s president, director of hockey and varsity head coach. “It wasn’t an easy decision for either of them to come here as we’re starting just our second year, but I think they both quickly realized that the combination of a strong academic program and the intensity of the hockey program is really attractive.” Gilbert – who is Fenn’s adopted son - and Brunelle have been friends since they were six or seven years old, hanging around local rinks while their older brothers played and keeping themselves occupied with various games they made up that honed not only their stick-handling, but their competitiveness and love for the game. While Gilbert played for the California Stars, Ontario Eagles and California Wave through his 18U year, Brunelle skated for programs that included Orange County and the Yorba Linda Blackhawks. They reunited for one season at the Bantam level and then again at JSerra, where they were a year apart in school. Brunelle played all four seasons for JSerra’s team

in the Anaheim Ducks High School Hockey League, while Gilbert skated for three seasons there before electing to try the Tahoe program for his senior year. It was Gilbert’s convincing, in fact, that encouraged Brunelle to delay playing junior hockey by taking a postgrad year at THA. “I just told him about how much you can develop at

Shane Gilbert

Jake Brunelle

Tahoe Hockey Academy and convinced him that he could improve a lot before going to play juniors,” Gilbert said. Added Brunelle: “He didn’t have to sell it that hard. It’s a great thing what’s happening up in Tahoe – I’m having a lot of fun here.” Tahoe’s prep head coach, Mike Lewis, has seen some great things from both players. “Jake has all the tools to become a dynamic, wellrounded hockey player,” Lewis said. “There’s no doubt



Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine

17-18 season.

that he’ll be playing hockey at the next level, so his stay at THA was more about refining and perfecting his skill set than anything else. “Shane is a great kid who decided to take charge of his hockey future and step outside the box this season. You have to hand it to a kid who has spent his entire playing career in Southern California playing with friends to move to Tahoe to focus on his individual game. Shane is a kid you can’t help but root for, and it’s great to see that he’s building the foundation for a solid career at the next level.” Both players share the same goals – to play junior hockey next season and use that as a springboard to earning a scholarship to play Division I college hockey while getting their education. Gilbert and Brunelle felt that their best avenue for attaining those goals was by going to Tahoe Hockey Academy, where the academic program is strong and players have the opportunity to get considerably more ice time and training time than they might with other programs. That, in turn, leads to more advanced development, and both players have already noticed their skills sharpening. “The opportunity for development is the biggest thing,” Gilbert said. “I already feel like I’m faster, bigger and stronger. We practice every single morning and work out every day after school, and the academics are held to a high standard. Everything’s been great so far.” “I’ve already seen an increase in my speed and my strength,” said Brunelle. “And my hands are getting better.”

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.


PICTURE PERFECT The Arizona Hockey Union captured the Pee Wee A division banner at the Arizona Hockey Clubs Thanksgiving Shootout, which was held Nov. 24-26 at five Phoenix-area rinks.

The Desert Youth Hockey Association Jr. Sun Devils 16U team captured an International Silver Stick regional championship Nov. 26 in Las Vegas and will head to the Silver Stick Finals next month in Canada.

The Arizona Hockey Union claimed the Mite division banner at the Arizona Hockey Clubs Thanksgiving Shootout, which was held Nov. 24-26 at five Phoenix-area rinks.

The Arizona Bobcats won the Squirt A division at the Arizona Hockey Clubs Thanksgiving Shootout, which was held Nov. 24-26 at five Phoenix-area rinks.

The Desert Youth Hockey Association Jr. Sun Devils skated to the Squirt Minor division championship at the Arizona Hockey Clubs Thanksgiving Shootout, which was held Nov. 24-26 at five Phoenix-area rinks.

Scottsdale native Carson Dimoff, who committed last year to play NCAA Division I hockey at St. Lawrence University, signed his National Letter of Intent with the school last month as a member of the USHL’s Sioux Falls Stampede.

Team captain Scotty Bird (in back with turkey head gear) led Team Little Bird to a sweep of Team Big Bird in Bird Wars, a pre-Thanksgiving tradition with the Mission Arizona program.

Signed Arizona Coyotes prospect Jalen Smereck, who began the season with the AHL’s Tucson Roadrunners and ECHL’s Fort Wayne Komets, was recently reassigned to the OHL’s Flint Firebirds, where he was promptly named team captain. Photo/Flint Firebirds

Head coach Matt Shott and his Desert Youth Hockey Association Jr. Sun Devils 8U team went with the sunglasses look for a unique team photo last month. Photo/Gil Gabo

Submit your favorite hockey photos to! 14

Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine


IHAAZ graduates rolling on with in-state college teams By Brian Lester


oing to college doesn’t have to mean the end of roller hockey for players who grew up playing the game with IHAAZ clubs. With Arizona State University competing in a league at the college level, Jake Dempsey out of Yuma will get that chance to continue competing in the game he loves. It’s always been one of his dreams, and it will soon come true. “I look forward for the opportunity to play against topnotch players from around the country,” Dempsey said. “That is why it has been and continues to be a goal to play for the ASU roller team.” Arizona State is part of the Western Collegiate Roller Hockey League (WCRHL), which is a division of the National Collegiate Roller Hockey Association (NCRHA). A Desert Duel was held the first weekend of December and featured the University of Arizona, Northern Arizona University and Arizona State. Eighteen of the players on the rosters at the tournament developed and honed their roller hockey skills in IHAAZ, which has been a training ground for many collegiate players over the past decade. Arizona Outcasts coach Nick Boyarsky said IHAAZ divisions can get pretty competitive and that has translated into strong roller hockey players. So it’s no surprise that the WCRHL and NCRHA are thriving, thanks in part to IHAAZ alums. “There’s always a handful of players with some

IHAAZ background playing throughout the WCRHL and NCRHA. His son Jared is a current player at Arizona. NCRHA, but this season has got to be one of the largest His son, David, is a graduate of Arizona State. to date, with 18 current players just in the WCRHL,” BoHe wasn’t sure what to think of the collegiate league yarsky said. “This number is very important, as it means when David started playing, but his perception of it soon Collegiate Roller Hockey has become a true alternative changed. “When my oldest son played his first season for for many to ACHA ice. There are players within IHAAZ now who are high school aged and are making their fu- ASU’s “B” team (now known as Division 3), I honestture college plans based on wanting to play roller hock- ly had visions of “beer league,” but mothing could have been further from the truth,” ey, I think that’s awesome for Johnson said. “The NCRHA the sport.” and WCRHL are great There is a lot Dempsey leagues, very well organized loves about the game because of his IHAAZ experiand very competitive.” ence and it was a no-brainer Johnson said the fact that many want to go on to to have a desire to play at the play in college speaks volnext level. umes about IHAAZ. “I enjoy the strategy, high “The clubs and coaches speed and the ability to use the whole rink,” Dempsey A number of IHAAZ alumni joined together recently for the Des- involved know and love the said. “With no offsides and ert Duel and donned the uniforms of their current college teams sport, and I think that translates into players who are no icing, it opens up oppor- of NAU, Arizona and Arizona State. like-minded,” Johnson said. “The fact that many of the tunities to be really creative while playing the game.” Jake’s father, Tim, is thankful his son and others have players want to and are able to continue to play in college speaks to the quality of the program.” the opportunity to play beyond their high school years. “I think it is great Jake has an opportunity to continue The trend of IHAAZ players continuing to play in colplaying the sport he loves in college,” Tim said. “We have lege isn’t something that is expected to fade. so many great memories from tournaments through the “I fully expect to see IHAAZ players continue to make years, it is good to know they can continue in college.” the transition to the collegiate level,” Johnson said. “Just Jeff Johnson is a coach with the Yuma Blaze and knowing and watching the young talent play each year, I his two sons played IHAAZ and in the WCRHL and see a bright future for our sport.”



Vision remains 20/20 with strong Bobcats coaching staff By Greg Ball


rizona Bobcats director of hockey Ron Filion knows that putting forth a unified front as a coaching staff is one of the keys to building a successful youth hockey program. That understanding explains why he’s so careful in choosing his coaches, and why he’s constantly watching practices, talking with his coaches daily and sharing ideas about how best to approach short-term and long-term goals. For Filion, his vision for the Bobcats program must be something that his coaches see as well, whether he’s on the ice with them or not. “Creating the right atmosphere inside the rink begins with the right group of coaches,” Filion said. “It took me many years to create a solid group of coaches – guys who are not only good on the ice, but guys who would buy in to my philosophy of putting players’ development first. I do not micromanage my coaches, but I expect the foundation of their message each practice and game to be similar to the Bobcats’ vision. My coaches are a team. It doesn’t matter who needs help - it is all our jobs to make the program stronger.” The Bobcats’ coaching staff includes Filion, Brent Gough, Pat Conacher, Leeor Shtrom, Dillon Shaffer, Jeff Alexander, Mike Hensdell, Justin Rogers and Jason Oliver, as well as NHL veterans Keith Carney and Derek Morris.

The group all has the same goals in mind and most importantly, they’re always supporting each other in any way they can. “We have a group of guys that all get along, which isn’t always the case with coaches,” Gough said. “Coaches can sometimes have an ego about them that makes them think their way is the only way, but everyone puts those aside so we can do what’s best for the program and the kids.” Gough explained that the Bobcats’ philosophy extends from their youngest players to their oldest.. That’s especially important in creating a cohesiveness from one level to the next and ensuring that players receive the proper developmental tools at each age group. “We’re still in the early stages of building a full program from Mites to Midgets, but I think we do a really good job with our youngest players that are coming up,” Gough said. “They’re learning the skills and they have mastered them before they move up to the next level. Once we get them to the 14U age level and up, we can just add to their knowledge base, and we don’t have to go back to fundamentals. It’s great that we’re teaching hockey players the right way to do things from the begin-


Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine

ning.” Filion appreciates that his coaches are willing to eschew personal goals to do what’s best for the program as a whole. “It is important that everyone leaves their ego at the door but brings their talent and knowledge for the good of the Bobcats program,” Filion said. “I strongly believe that we have accomplished just that this season, with our coaches being in the right spots. Of course, we all would like to coach Tier I hockey, and all of our coaches are qualified to do so, but the success of the program as a whole puts different requirements on each guy. Our coaches understand the importance of sharing ideas and spending time together to find solutions. Every day in our coaches’ room, you will see coaches helping each other regardless of what team they are coaching and on many occasions, guys will be on the ice with teams other than their own to help with different aspects of the game. “Sharing ideas with one another is what makes our program grow and makes every coach feel like they are part of the program’s success. You can’t teach kids respect and commitment if you don’t display that yourselves.”


New Mission Special Edition program progressing rapidly By Greg Ball


he Mission Special Edition program has finally gotten off the ground, and it is already having a significant impact on special needs children and their families in the Phoenix area. After a number of years in the planning stages, the program took a giant leap forward in early November when director Brandi Goltz and head coach Rod Rihela – along with a number of others from the Mission AZ family and volunteers – organized an equipment drive that brought in mountains of used skates, sticks, pads and other gear to outfit players who mostly had never skated in their lives. The group then organized a fitting day in which each player made their way around the locker room and filled gear bags with everything they needed. On Nov. 16, Rihela guided 14 kids through the program’s debut on-ice session and by the following week, there were 20 participating from ages six to 16. Players from Mission’s Bantam and Midget teams served as mentors during the 30-minute sessions, which are scheduled to be held approximately once a week throughout the hockey season. “The goal of the program is to give kids who would never otherwise have the opportunity to be part of a hockey program a chance to enjoy the sport and learn what we consider to be the greatest game in the world,” said Rihela, whose 12-year-old daughter is participating in the Special Edition program. “We want to expose

them to something they normally wouldn’t have a chance to experience. “We had kids who had never touched the ice before standing up on skates, shooting the puck and just enjoying themselves. The smiles are unbelievable.” Rihela said that while the reaction of the kids was

priceless, he was even more moved by how thrilled the parents were to see their children trying something new and expanding their horizons. Beyond the opportunities that are being provided for the special needs players, Mission’s Bantam and Midget players have grown as well in their roles helping the Special Edition players on the ice. They’re learning lessons about compassion, helping others and teamwork that are more impactful than perhaps anything else they have experienced. Rihela said that at a recent session, one

of the 16U players approached an assistant coach and thanked him for letting his team work with the Special Edition players. The experience has also reinforced in them that they’re extremely fortunate to have been blessed with the gifts that they have, as well as to have the opportunity to play hockey at a high level. “All it took was a few minutes for them to get comfortable working with the Special Edition kids,” Goltz said. “They really leaned into this – they didn’t just go through the motions, and they got every bit as much out of it as the Special Edition kids did. “This whole thing has been amazing. I had so much anxiety leading up to the first on-ice session, and when I saw the kids out there, I said to myself ‘What were we so worried about?’ It was absolutely fantastic.’” Next on the horizon, Rihela hopes to be able to organize some cross-ice intrasquad games. Skill sessions will be incorporated into practices for some of the players who are more advanced. He said he’s looking forward to watching the kids grow as hockey players and involving more kids in coming weeks. “This could be one of the greatest things I’ve ever been a part of,” Rihela beamed. “We’re changing how kids and families look at the sport and how they can participate in it. I’ve had parents stop me in the locker room and tell me how they can’t wait until next week. “There’s an inner athlete in each one of these kids. It’s incredibly rewarding.”

MISSION STATEMENT Do young hockey players still have a team-first mindset? I

recently saw an article in USA Hockey Magazine that got me thinking about how we are losing sight of the purity and reasons why so many play this great game. It was an article that talked about how 14and 16-year-old Goltz kids can promote themselves to get on the USA Hockey Development Camp radar. I see articles like this contributing to the lack of focus on hockey as a team game, and more and more parents and players are focused on the wrong things and what this sport is truly about. I have played, coached and currently scout for college hockey and junior programs, and can tell you the No. 1 thing coaches are looking for are good, coachable kids who will be an asset to the college or junior program. They want kids who understand the humble nature of being a piece to a bigger puzzle. They look for kids who are coach-

able, and are willing to learn and take on roles in order to make teams and players around them more successful. Kids should have individual goals and aspirations beyond youth hockey, but it can’t come at the expense of their team goals and other teammates’ aspirations to be successful. In the last few years, with all the marketing, showcases and money-making adventures, hockey is becoming a breeding ground for individual focus rather than the intended focus of the team first. Players jump jersey to jersey, leave town early, and could care less about team success. It has more and more become about who can climb the ladder and do it no matter what the expense may be. I managed to do some great things in the game of hockey, and can tell you there wasn’t a day in that process where I focused on my individual agenda. Team success was always a priority, and

through that mindset, individuals would be recognized individually. This is a battle I fight every day, not only with my older kids, but now younger kids who are being pushed with the promise of “being seen” or as players that you have to “market.” It is destroying the essence of the game and in reality, is creating less and less of what coaches are truly looking for – players who are coachable, humble and are willing to be a small piece of a bigger puzzle. I had the opportunity to go to Tucson on a recent weekend and hang out with some of my teammates from my college playing days. We had great teams back then and it was a reminder to all of us how special we were as we focused on a common goal and common purpose. Youth hockey should be the very definition of what “putting the team first” is all about and all the lessons that come with that process. It should be magical, and about the common jersey. These days, sadly, I see a change as the name on the back is indeed more important than the name on the front.

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


2017-18 ARIZONA/NEW MEXICO ALUMNI Email all additions, deletions and corrections to

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

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

NCAA DIVISION I – MEN ATLANTIC HOCKEY Michael Boyle (Phoenix) – Bentley University Derek Brown (Peoria) – Niagara University Christian Cakebread (Gilbert) – Niagara University ECAC Todd Burgess (Phoenix) – Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute NCHC Jake Durflinger – University of Denver & Phil Knies (Phoenix) – Miami University Carson Vance (Tempe) – Western Michigan University

COLONIAL HOCKEY Alex Bloom (Scottsdale) – Canton State University MacKenzie Lyons (Scottsdale) – Nichols College Sarah McSweeney (Chandler) – Becker College MIAC Molly Andrews (Phoenix) – St.. Olaf College NEHC Natasha Hawkins (Scottsdale) – New England College NEWHL Bri Carroll (Peoria) – Buffalo State University Jessica Carter (Scottsdale) – Buffalo State University Hannah Kiraly (Glendale) – Plattsburgh State University UCHC Raeann Clancy (Surprise) – King’s College Gabrielle Igo (Phoenix) – Utica College

CCC Chris James (Carefree) – Curry College Alec Mono – Curry College & MASCAC Brandon Berkley (Scottsdale) – University of Mass.-Dartmouth Erik Pritchard (Cave Creek) – Worcester State University


MIAC Nick Nast – St. Mary’s University &

CENTRAL CANADA HOCKEY LEAGUE Ethan Osburn (Dewey) – Navan Grads

NCHA Ashton Amaya (Gilbert) – Aurora University Clay Cross (Glendale) – Marian University Forbes Ploszaj (Gilbert) – College of St. Scholastica

EASTERN HOCKEY LEAGUE Colten Egge (Chandler) – New England Wolves Joshua George (Chandler) – New England Wolves Jacob Kerns (Peoria) – Connecticut RoughRiders Drew Platt (Gilbert) – Philadelphia Jr. Flyers Dimitri Thorsen (Peoria) – Philadelphia Jr. Flyers

NEHC Bryan McFarlane (Scottsdale) – New England College



NESCAC Andy Chugg (Mesa) – Trinity College SUNYAC Cameron Berry (Chandler) – Oswego State University Alex Storjohann (Anthem) – Cortland State University Sean Winikates (Phoenix) – Potsdam State University UCHC Jeremy Briscoe (Phoenix) – Lebanon Valley College WIAC Adam Kleven (Phoenix) – University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

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

KOOTENAY INTERNATIONAL JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE Cole Golden (Phoenix) – Revelstoke Grizzlies Hayden Hirsch (Phoenix) – Kamloops Storm Ryan Radke (Cave Creek) – Princeton Posse NORTH AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE Trey Bagwell (Tempe) – Aberdeen Wings James Brown III (Phoenix) – Texas Brahmas Nathan Burke (Scottsdale) – Aberdeen Wings Jeremy Gabriele (Scottsdale) – Bismarck Bobcats Clayton Lackey (Scottsdale) – Coulee Region Chill Michael Mahan (Scottsdale) – Bismarck Bobcats Reid Miller (Phoenix) – Philadelphia Rebels Keenan Spillum (Paradise Valley) – Aberdeen Wings Joe Strada (Scottsdale) – Aberdeen Wings Connor Stuart (Phoenix) – Lone Star Brahmas Cole Tiedemann (Flagstaff) – Texas Brahmas Mason Vukonich (Phoenix) – Fairbanks Ice Dogs

NORTH AMERICAN 3 HOCKEY LEAGUE Blake Bjella (Mesa) – St. Louis Jr. Blues Eddie Cannon (Glendale) – Oswego Stampede Keaton Caplis (Gilbert) – La Crosse Freeze Hunter Feagins (Surprise) – Gillette Wild Kevin Hamilton (Phoenix) – Louisiana Drillers Gabriel Lepper (Glendale) – Gillette Wild Dylan Mattfeldt (Glendale) – Missoula Jr. Bruins Hayden Seitz (Phoenix) – Helena Bighorns Austin Wilks (Avondale) – Point Mallard Ducks QUEBEC MAJOR JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE Landon Quinney – Saint John Sea Dogs & UNITED STATES HOCKEY LEAGUE Jaxon Castor (Phoenix) – Dubuque Fighting Saints Carson Dimoff (Scottsdale) – Sioux Falls Stampede D.J. King – U.S. NTDP Under-18 Team * Erik Middendorf (Scottsdale) – U.S. NTDP Under-18 Team Adam Samuelsson – U..S. NTDP Under-18 Team * Ryan Savage (Scottsdale) – Fargo Force UNITED STATES PREMIER HOCKEY LEAGUE Adam Bricker (Scottsdale) – PAL Jr. Islanders (NCDC) Zach Canaan (Tempe) – Tampa Bay Juniors (Premier) Daniel Chambers (Phoenix) – PAL Jr. Islanders (Premier) Henry Dennee (Chandler) – Skipjacks Hockey Club (Premier) Sean Dickson – Hampton Roads Whalers (Premier) & Joe DiGiulio (Scottsdale) – Hampton Roads Whalers (Premier) Brett Dillon (Phoenix) – New Jersey Rockets (Premier) Jonas Edwards (Scottsdale) – Hampton Roads Whalers (Premier) Sage Englund (Scottsdale) – Northern Cyclones (NCDC) Dakota Gottlieb (Scottsdale) – Hampton Roads Whalers (Premier) Justin Jiang (Chandler) – Hampton Roads Whalers (Elite) Sebastian Llaneras (Phoenix) – Eugene Generals (Elite) Alec Miller (Peoria) – New Jersey Rockets (Elite) Fraizer Mohler (Phoenix) – Eugene Generals (Elite) Barrett Rosser (Scottsdale) – Atlanta Knights (Premier) Ethan Roswell (Paradise Valley) – Boston Jr. Bruins (NCDC) Jared Sanchez (Scottsdale) – Hampton Roads Whalers (Premier) Cameron Sniffin (Scottsdale) – Syracuse Stars (Premier) WESTERN HOCKEY LEAGUE Mark Kastelic (Phoenix) – Calgary Hitmen Jeremy Masella (Phoenix) – Victoria Royals Kaid Oliver – Victoria Royals & WESTERN STATES HOCKEY LEAGUE Brandon Bessee (Globe) – Oklahoma City Jr. Blazers Michael Caravella (Chandler) – Phoenix Knights Caleb Cavazos (Gilbert) – Phoenix Knights Noah Duke (Gilbert) – Phoenix Knights Chase Gillaspie (Gilbert) – Phoenix Knights Justin Gusso (Gilbert) – Phoenix Knights Kohl Hedquist (Tempe) – Phoenix Knights

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

NEW MEXICO COLLEGE HOCKEY NCAA DIVISION I – MEN ATLANTIC HOCKEY Jackson Barliant (Santa Fe) – Sacred Heart University NCAA DIVISION III – MEN NESCAC Nicholas Faturos (Albuquerque) – Amherst College UCHC Cory King (Albuquerque) – Chatham University NCAA DIVISION III – WOMEN NESCAC Kristen Molina (Albuquerque) – Amherst College JUNIOR HOCKEY NORTH AMERICAN 3 HOCKEY LEAGUE Josh Martinez (Las Cruces) – Roc City Royals ONTARIO HOCKEY LEAGUE Marcus Gretz (Albuquerque) - Flint Firebirds UNITED STATES PREMIER HOCKEY LEAGUE Nick Darrow (Rio Rancho) – Hampton Roads Whalers (Elite) WESTERN STATES HOCKEY LEAGUE Quinn Martin (Santa Fe) – Idaho IceCats * former Jr. Coyote & former Arizona Bobcat % former Mission AZ @ former DYHA Jr. Sun Devil


Lobos captains the life blood of New Mexico ACHA program By Matt Mackinder


uccess for hockey teams often times begins with the talent on the ice. It can also be argued that greater success comes in the form of stellar leadership. For the University of New Mexico ACHA team, head coach Grant Harvey has all that this season, and then some. With five captains this year – Nate Taglialegami, McKenzie Smith, Austin Short, Graeme Chiasson and Logan Colyer – the Lobos are in good hands. Harvey said his group of captains is an exemplary group. “Being a captain means a lot to me,” Taglialegami said. “Growing up in New Mexico and being a captain of a university here is very special. I have been a captain on every team I’ve played for, but this team is special. I love having some power to help our rookies and have input on what goes on around our locker room.” “Nate is one of my highest-skilled forwards and thinks five steps ahead of everyone on the ice,” added Harvey. Smith, born and raised in Albuquerque, “has a scoring touch, especially these last couple of years, and is trying to end his senior year with a bang. He truly has a gift for hitting the back of the net this year and is a model student with his GPA,” according to Harvey. 18

Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine

Short has been the Lobos’ primary captain for the last two years and is a locker room presence, as well as an on-ice threat. He has also risen to the occasion on many of UNM’s comebacks this year and “will put up four points in a period like it’s nothing,” Harvey beamed. “UNM hockey represents the highest level of hockey in our state, so when we go out and play

The New Mexico Lobos are led by five captains this season. Pictured, from left to right, are Nate Taglialegami, McKenzie Smith, Austin Short, head coach Grant Harvey, Graeme Chiasson and Logan Colyer. Photo/Isaiah Orozco Photography

for the Lobos, we feel like we are representing New Mexico hockey as a whole,” said Short. “I think we play with a little chip on our shoulder because we are surrounded by states with NHL teams. We are out to show that New Mexico hockey is a legit, tough, skilled brand of hockey. “Being captain of the team is so special to me – it’s a true honor and one I take very seriously.”

Harvey called Chiasson “one of the most unique players to watch as he has a style of playing that makes it look like the puck is a yo-yo on his stick.” “We have a fast-growing fan base, meaning students and residents are enjoying the sport and watching the team compete,” Chiasson said. “We seem to be getting better each year and a trip to regionals and nationals would certainly solidify that, as well as our statewide recognition. After Auston Mathews was drafted first overall, it showed the vast growth of hockey outside of typical hockey climates and I hope our program can help to grow the sport here in New Mexico, giving youth a place to compete and mature.” When it comes to strong skating, Colyer is that player for the Lobos. “Logan is the most fundamentally-sound hockey player I have ever coached,” Harvey said. “He skates near perfect and he is strong on his skates.” “I think we keep the momentum through the spring by staying focused,” said Colyer. “Right now, it’s easy to start slacking off with the holidays upon us and the semester nearing its end, but it’s important for every single player to be preparing themselves mentally and physically for the next half of the season. We can’t assume the second half of the season will be like our first and go into the next few games as if we’ve already won. “We’ve got a tough schedule ahead of us, so this is the time to dig deep and test our character as an organization.”

Desert Duel sparks rivalries with Arizona inline teams assist, while teammate Ben Jackson contributed one goal and three assists. Austin Wright paced the Lumberjacks with two goals and two assists. NAU held three one-goal leads and one twogoal lead, then had to battle back from a two-goal deficit after a run of four unanswered Wildcat goals to send the game into an extra period. ASU defeated Arizona 12-3 in a matchup of Division III squads that also counted in the WCRHL regular-season standings. Clint Tapsell led all

7-1 win over Arizona’s Division II squad in the third game. Aryeh Richter led the Sun Devils with two he Desert Duel originally incorporated the intragoals and two assists while teammates Ian Bast state rivalry between the University of Arizona (one goal, two assists) and Aaron Bland (two and Arizona State University roller hockey teams. goals) combined for five points. With three inline collegiate programs now callASU goaltender Aaron Gittings stopped 13 of ing the Grand Canyon State home, it was time to 14 shots to post the win. expand it. Tyler Miller led the Lumberjacks with three This year’s edition took place Dec. 2 at the Bargoals and two assists and teammate Austin Canney Family Sports Complex in Queen Creek and non finished with a hat trick as NAU posted a 12-2 included teams representing the University of win over Arizona’s Division III team. Arizona, Arizona State and Northern Arizona UniThe inter-divisional matchup between ASU’s versity. Division III team and Arizona’s Division II team Two of the six games went to overtime. proved to be the most exciting game of the event. “We were really excited to bring back this ASU pulled off the upset of the day by topping event with NAU being thrown into the mix,” ArizoArizona 4-3 in overtime. na club president Brett Bushnell said. “It was a The Sun Devils opened up a 2-0 lead in the really fun event for the Arizona-based teams and first period. The Wildcats then scored the next showed how strong roller hockey in Arizona is.” three goals in the game – all by Santos – to take Arizona State’s Division I team went undefeata 3-2 lead. Clay Heinze tied the game with 21 ed in its two games to top the field. seconds left after ASU pulled its goaltender in “Playing against ASU’s Division I team was favor of an extra attacker. a good challenge for us as a team,” Bushnell With the overtime period about to run out, said. “NAU is always a fun game, especially in Joey Chimienti scored the biggest goal of this event since it counted towards the WCRHL the semester for his team to give the Sun Devdivisional standings.” The Northern Arizona University Lumberjacks joined the University of ils the OT win, and bragging rights for the next The opening game featured a Division II Arizona Wildcats and Arizona State Sun Devils as a first-time partici- 12 months, according to ASU coach Nick Bomatchup between Arizona and NAU. Arizona pant in the 2017 edition of the Desert Duel. yarsky. tipped NAU 7-6 in overtime in a fiercely compet- scorers in the game with five goals. Heinze led the victors with two goals in the itive game that featured 22 penalty minutes, 13 ASU faced off the division rivalry game with four game. goals and five lead changes. consecutive goals and ended the opening period Arizona State closed out the event with a 12-2 David Santos finally gave the Wildcats the with a 6-1 lead. Jordan Behm (two goals, one as- win over NAU in a matchup of Division I and Dicome-from-behind win with an unassisted goal at sist) and John Henze (one goal, two assists) each vision II squads. Ryan Cotton paced ASU with 9:41 of the overtime period. collected three points for the victorious Sun Devils. three goals and one assist, while teammate Jake Santos led all players with five goals and one ASU’s Division I team made a statement with a Romo collected three goals and one assist.

By Phillip Brents


Wildcats, ‘Jacks off to promising starts in WCRHL play By Phillip Brents


he University of Arizona Wildcats and Northern Arizona University Lumberjacks both appear to be making up ground after getting a late start to the 2017-18 Western Collegiate Roller Hockey League (WCRHL) season. Both teams competed in the Nov. 11-12 regular-season event in Huntington Beach, Calif., to face off their respective seasons, combining for eight wins. Arizona finished 5-1-0 in its six games to end the opening semester in second place in the WCRHL’s Division II standings behind San Jose State University. The Wildcats trail the division leaders by two points in the standings, but still have two games in hand on the Spartans (7-2-0). Arizona split with San Jose State in Huntington Beach, losing the first matchup 5-2 and then recording a 6-3 win the following day. “Every game was a hard-fought battle, especially against SJSU, which we played twice,” Arizona goaltender Brett Bushnell explained. The Wildcats won three one-goal games, including two in overtime shootouts, at the Southern California event. Freshman Will Shukait scored the game-winning shootout goals in identical 5-4 victories over Long Beach State and Cal Berkeley. Meanwhile, rookie Neil Riffitts contributed some much-needed depth in scoring with eight points (six goals, two assists) in the six games. Bushnell shared the Wildcat cage with Kenny Eakle. Bushnell posted a 3-0 record with a 2.57 goalsagainst average and an .895 save percentage, while

Eakle went 2-1 with a 4.00 GAA and an .826 save percentage. “Having two goalies really helped us out, especially in the fourth or fifth games of the event,” said Bushnell, who serves as club president. “That’s where the goalies are a little more fresh for each game; it allowed the skaters to feel more comfortable with skating the puck up more.” David Santos (seven goals, nine assists) and Ben Jackson (seven goals, eight assists) top the team in

game in. We didn’t really get to play our system and ended up taking a (4-3) loss. “We rebounded from there and played strong the rest of the way. We had two big wins over UC Irvine (123) and Cal (12-2) and took San Jose State to a shootout and lost. “The new guys played really well for our first time together and we look forward to hopefully better results in the future tournaments.” Riffey leads the Lumberjacks in team scoring at the semester break with 13 goals and 17 points. He’s followed by Austin Wright and Joshua Roof, both with eight goals and 16 points.

Sun Devils on top

The University of Arizona Wildcats faced off the 2017-18 Western Collegiate Roller Hockey League season with a 5-1 record at November’s regular-season tournament held in Huntington Beach, Calif. Photo/Richard Parrish

scoring with 16 and 15 points, respectively, at the semester break. The Lumberjacks ended the HB tournament with a 3-2-0-1 record, good for fourth place in the Division II standings. “Our debut was decent out at Huntington Beach,” NAU forward Trevor Riffey said. “We feel like we could have gone 5-1. Our first game against Long Beach State was tough because everyone was excited to get the first

Arizona State University (5-2-0) closed out the first semester tied for first place in the WCRHL Division I standings with defending division champion UC Santa Barbara. “Our goal this season is to win the WCRHL regular season and the regional tournament, to be the best in the West,” ASU program director Nick Boyarsky said. “I think we rebounded from a rough start in San Jose and made major improvements to our game in the weeks leading up to Huntington Beach, which was crucial to us reaching those goals.” At the HB event, the Sun Devils dropped a tight 4-2 decision to nationally top-ranked Lindenwood University. “We haven’t had a close, winnable game against Lindenwood in years, and this was probably our best showing against them to date,” Boyarsky said. Aaron Gittings tops WCRHL Division I goaltenders with a 2.71 GAA and .871 save percentage at the semester break.


Behind The Mask’s Exelby gives back to Arizona community By Liesl Babicka


ockey in the desert continues to flourish year after year, owing much of its success to the help of a local pro shop. Randy Exelby founded Behind The Mask in 1994. Originally from Toronto, Exelby formerly played in the IHL for the Phoenix Roadrunners. Pro shops make the hockey world run smoothly and in Arizona, that can be difficult. Exelby made it less difficult for the folks in Arizona to purchase hockey gear. Always interested in pro shops and how they worked, Exelby opened up his own shop for business. Over 20 years later, Behind The Mask, much like hockey, is moving in a positive direction. Exelby currently owns three pro shops located throughout the state – the Goalie Superstore in Scottsdale and inside both AZ Ice Gilbert and AZ Ice Peoria. Behind The Mask AZ Ice Peoria manager Beau Saugling enjoys the business. “A mom or dad have a good hour of time to kill in between when the practice or game starts when they get here, so a lot of the time they will come in and browse, killing time, walk through and see a piece of apparel they like and buy it,” said Saugling. With few available business ideas to help Exelby’s shop succeed, Behind The Mask often turns to social media. “It’s such an important resource, 80 percent of my revenue is between 12- and 18-year-old kids in our store, and (social media) could get to them,” said Exelby. Exelby stresses the importance of good employees, with almost every single Behind The Mask em-

ployee having some background in hockey. All of the gear needs to fit a proper way and the gear won’t fit a proper way if the seller doesn’t know what they are talking about. “They are really great guys – they are really knowledgeable about everything, especially with goalies,” said Arizona State University women’s goaltender Jordan Nash-Boulden. “Everybody there knows pretty much anything that you would have to ask.” As with any business, there will always be compe-

tition. “We have to work hard to educate the people because a lot of the current products that we have were the same price or cheaper and sometimes, there is a misconception that the internet is cheaper,” said Exelby. If a customer purchases skates from the pro shop, they are able to get a discounted skate sharpening, incentivizing visits to the store.

The store’s warranty program enables customers to use this program when they buy from the store. Gear is expensive, so if an item breaks, the customer is able to exchange it on the spot or the shop can see if they are able to do repairs. Exelby doesn’t just give back to customers, but the community as well “We donated, in the last couple years, hundreds of sets of hockey gear,” said Exelby. “We had a recycled donation program where when people would come in, they would get new gear and give us their old stuff and we would take it to places we thought would need it.” Many donations go to smaller hockey markets in Arizona, such as Yuma or Lake Havasu, which are trying to draw more kids to the sport. On a more academic side, Exelby has been handing out high school academic scholarships for the last decade. During down time, however, goalie camps are run where Nash-Boulden has participated and coached. “They let me come out and be a coach at the goalie school last summer for the first time and that was a really great experience because they have been there for me over the years and they’ve seen me grow from the little guy to who I am today,” said Nash-Boulden. “It was really cool to give back and help out with the same process.” Behind The Mask is much more than the average stick and tape pro shop. Exelby and his employees are dedicated to help better the hockey community here in Arizona. “We feel it’s our responsibility not to just sit in our store and wait for customers, but to grow hockey,” Exelby said.


BTM proud to stay involved with IHAAZ festival series A

s 2017 nears an end, it means the start of the statewide IHAAZ inline hockey festivals. Behind The Mask is once again proud to support this wonderful tournament series. This weekend tournament Exelby series started over 15 years ago and through support of countless coaches, parents and volunteers, continues as truly a special event for roller hockey in Arizona. Teams from Greater Phoenix, Lake Havasu, Prescott, Tucson, Yuma and play five tournament festivals, culminating in the state championship event May 4-6 at the Barney Family Sports Complex in Queen Creek. Over 30 teams will participate in this year’s tournament series. This year, in addition to serving as the IHAAZ president, Nick Boyarsky will be also be taking

on the role of the on-site tournament director. Nick is known statewide through the inline hockey community as coach of national powerhouse Outcasts program and as coach at Arizona State University. I am sure many of you are not aware that ASU has an inline hockey team. In fact, ASU has NCRHA teams – D-I and D-III – and are nationally ranked in both. Nick’s Outcasts program plays in tournaments nationally, including the prestigious NARCH tournament, and has won many championships. Nick coached Arizona Coyotes rookie Dylan Strome to a NARCH Platinum Bantam championship in Toronto in 2013. Dylan was the tournament’s leading scorer. Also on that team was Tucson Roadrunners AHL defenseman Kyle Capobianco and University of Arizona Wildcats ACHA D-I ice goalie Anthony Ciurro and ASU NCAA D-I standout Dominic Garcia. Each of the programs gets to host their own festival, and each is unique in its own way and has its own local flavor. These include food trucks in Lake Havasu and a tri tip barbecue in Yuma. BTM mobile travels to the host cities for the festivals. Each festival is three days long, running Friday evening and all day Saturday and Sunday. Each division plays on one day, meaning less travel and helps keep the cost down. BTM mobile sets up at each festival on Saturday. The BTM van pulls up loaded with hockey sticks, skates, equipment and

supplies. Many of the participating teams come from markets that do not have a hockey store locally. The players and parents know BTM will be there and can get their hockey needs taken care of on the spot. People call us for custom-order products that we bring up to them. The culmination of the five festivals ends with the state championship weekend, which will crown the 2018 champions in each age group and division. Skills competitions are also held over championship weekend. They include fastest skater and shootout to decide the winning shooter and goalie in each age division. BTM donates gift cards to the skill winners, our small thank you for IHAAZ allowing us to participate in such a great event.

IHAAZ Tournament Festival Schedule:

Dec. 15-18, Peoria Sportsplex Jan. 5-7, Lake Havasu, SARA Park Feb. 9-11, Yuma, Kennedy Park Mar. 16-18, Tucson Indoor Sports Apr. 20-22, Prescott, Pioneer Park

It’s great to watch the players statewide develop their hockey skills and grow up over the years. The festivals stress good sportsmanship. Players and parents mingle with each other after games. The game is played for the love of the sport, win, lose or draw.

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

Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine

Parental Advisory

Spectators yelling from the sidelines during youth hockey games creates nothing but tension adaptive manner? During our last hockey tournament in Los Angeles, ’d like to bring up a rather interesting behavior that I began to wonder why people, who normally would happens in hockey rinks across North America. probably get along with one another because of The typical hockey rink has approximately 300 their common interest in supporting their children feet of seating or standing room directly on the glass, in such a time- and labor-extensive and expensive which puts the spectator mere inches away from sport, actively said things to one another that were the players. Parents and supporters congregate at often unkind and sometimes downright mean about one end of the ice or the other and tend to migrate other children. I also wondered why parents who depending on the play. It could see that there were happens in every rink at at least six adults who incredibly early or late were directly in charge hours of both day and of what was occurring night. on the ice and who are I often find myself hockey professionals, standing back from were often disregarded the glass because I as people who are able learned early on that to protect the players on it can be a hotbed of the ice. explosive interactions It could be argued that between opposing the action of screaming team spectators. One and banging on the glass only needs to type into only serves to distract Google “hockey parents the player and teach behaving badly” to see the player an important the most inappropriate lesson – when you dislike interactions between something or feel it unfair, adults. In many rinks it is expected that you across the country, police should lose control and officers are stationed scream. Imagine if we at youth hockey games were called to our son’s due to aggression and or daughter’s school and fighting that commonly told by the principal that occurs between parents. they punched a hole in Trevor Small, Psy.D. I felt it necessary to the wall and screamed at bring up this issue because the people who are the teacher when an assignment was not recorded watching the games seem to be unaware of that correctly. impact of how and what they’re saying. During a Please keep in mind recent tournament, I witnessed a parent issue a that I’m not saying that the string of profanities at the glass toward a Squirt refs or coaches don’t miss player who she felt tripped her son during the play. things. What I am saying is Something that seemed to miss her attention was that in the moments of the that the parents of this child were literally standing game that are the most right next to her. This created an awkward silence intense and the adults on and some bitter feelings. the ice need to be most It is important to keep in mind that I am not focused, often times their saying all hockey parents scream and yell, bang on attention is drawn away the glass or get into verbal and physical altercations by parents behaving with other parents. Actually, most parents are badly either with one incredibly supportive and will cheer for the team another or towards the that they want to win. I recall specifically at the end ref. of a very contested and physical game between two Which brings me to teams that played every shift like it was their last my next question: Do in Quebec, spectators erupted in unity into a loud parents and spectators and sustained applause for all the players as they of youth hockey went through the handshake line. It was clear that truly believe that by they were not only celebrating their team or even screaming at the ref the team that won, but both sets of players for an and telling them that incredible game of hockey. People left the rink they are incompetent feeling proud and positive rather than defeated and or have missed some divided. egregious action, What I am discussing is, if each of us takes a something will moment to honestly look at what goes on for us change? From what during a game, I would argue that the screaming, I understand, about yelling parent exists in all of us. That aspect of the the only thing that spectator who wants to scream at the top of their will change is that lungs as if the rink was on fire or our child was in the screaming parent cannot be direct danger of being eaten by a tiger. Then why anywhere near the team or in the rink for the next do some parents yell and bang on the glass, often 30 days after being ejected and will be fined for alienating themselves from the rest of the group, verbally abusing an official. and others cheer and support their team in a more What I would like to suggest is that as hockey

By Trevor Small, Psy.D.


parents, all of us take a moment to think about the reality of screaming at a piece of glass. It might seem like we’re able to impact what’s occurring on the ice, but really all we’re doing is amplifying our voice to all of those next to and behind us. A thought that might help in those moments is to keep in mind that this is a game. It is a game that all of us as parents have dedicated so much in the service of – providing our child with an opportunity to do something that they love. Hockey is a passionate sport. That passion can sometimes carry over into an expression of rage and inappropriate behaviors. Our children can see through the glass and your behavior does not go unnoticed. In other words, just as you can see what’s happening on the ice, your child can see what you are doing on the other side of that glass. During the next tournament or league game, I would like to encourage you to try something. When the game becomes intense and you’re watching one team overtake another, begin to think about that first day that you brought your son or daughter to their first hockey lesson. Think about the joy that you experienced watching them out on the ice and how excited you were when they were chosen onto a team and began their new identity as a travel or in-house hockey player. Now, look around you. Almost every other person sitting there next to the glass has a similar set of memories. We might not all have the same backgrounds, policy views, parenting style or family values, but we do share a common experience and are in this massive community together. We all want our children to learn how to be good teammates, good friends, and great hockey players. I would suggest that the best way to do that would be to model to them that you are supportive of them however they play as long as they try their hardest and support their team and teammates. Whether or not you yell or scream is not going to change anything about how they’re playing in that moment. Leave the teaching to the coaches. Leave the reffing to the refs. Enjoy the experience of being at the rink around all of these people who share your same ideals – the ideals of helping a child develop a lifelong love of the most beautiful sport. Trevor Small, Psy.D., is a clinical psychologist who is the Safe Sport coordinator for the Los Angeles Jr. Kings, the clinical director of Bridges to Recovery, and is in private practice in Santa Monica, Calif. He has provided mental health services to adolescents and adults for almost 30 years.



Position: Defenseman, Arizona Coyotes Hometown: Dorval, Quebec, Canada NHL Draft: San Jose Sharks’ seventh-round pick (186th overall) in 2008 Acquired: Traded to Coyotes from Florida Panthers on Sept. 17, 2017, in exchange for forward Jamie McGinn Age: 29 Arizona Rubber: What’s your favorite hockey memory growing up? Jason Demers: When I was playing in Pee Wee, we won the Provincials in the province of Quebec. We won our league, and we didn’t lose a game all year. Wait, I think we lost one all year. It was a great accomplishment, and something very cool. All the kids from our community participated, and my dad was the coach. It was a fun time, and a great memory. AZR: What’s your favorite memory in the game since leaving junior hockey? JD: I scored in the 2010 Western Conference Finals and my first goal of the playoffs (playing for the San Jose Sharks) against Chicago was on the power play. That was the first goal of the series, and a very pretty cool experience. Scored against Antti Niemi (with the Blackhawks), and they won it all that year. So that was a cool memory to have. AZR: Who have been the biggest influences on you, on and off the ice? JD: My family has always been huge for me. My dad was my coach and my brother was on my team. They were always a driving point for me to get into hockey and to stay with it. So they were always huge, and still big for me, even now. AZR: What’s the best piece of advice you have for young hockey players? JD: Play to your strengths and work on your deficiencies. It a cliché, but always keep working and make sure you’re the hardest working guy in the room. At the end of the day, it’s always the hardest working guy who breaks through. AZR: Other than hockey, do you have a favorite sport to play? JD: Soccer. AZR: Do you have any superstitions? JD: I get dressed a certain way every time, and eat the exact same thing for my pre-game meal and on game days. That’s pretty much it, rather simple. AZR: What does your game-day routine look like? JD: Wake up for breakfast, and head to the rink for our morning skate. Cook my own pre-game meal and have a quick nap. Have a little snack when I wake up, go the rink and have the same snack. Same amount of drinks and all that. My snack is peanut butter and banana. Yep, high protein. AZR: Do you have a favorite meal or restaurant here in the Phoenix area? JD: I have a couple of favorite places. I love True Foods Kitchen. I live close to The Vig, and I like going to The Vig, too. AZR: What are some essential items you take on a road trip? JD: Some vitamins and a little backpack of knickknacks. Protein power and stuff like that which helps me get ready for games. AZR: Did you have a favorite hockey player growing up? JD: I liked Sergei Gonchar, and followed him. Being from Quebec, I was a big Canadiens fan, and liked Saku Koivu, too. Photo/Norm Hall


Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine

- Compiled by Mark Brown

Attracting the very best youth hockey programs under the bright lights of Los Angeles!


September 1 - 4, 2017

THANKSGIVING WEEKEND November 23 - 26, 2017

PRESIDENTS’ DAY WEEKEND February 16-19, 2018

Application Deadline: January 19, 2018

. A&B B . Pee Wee AA, A, BB, B . Squirt A, BB, B Mite . A, AA, am Bant . ol Scho High AA/A 16U et Midget 18U AA/A - Midg


Midget Open/High School 2004 Elite & AAA . 2005 Elite & AAA 2006 Elite & AAA . 2007 Elite & AAA 2008 Elite & AAA . 2009 Elite & AAA Mite Open - 2010/11 (Half Ice)

For more information, contact tournament director Brian McDonough at (612) 220-4402 or

Registration for our two remaining tournaments is now open!

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.