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Over the course of the Western States Hockey League’s 25-year history, the league has sent many talented players to higher levels of the game with a strong level of development and training

GHANTOUS, TIMBA MAKE NCAA D-I COMMITMENTS JR. SHARKS GRAD COOLEY LEADING THE WAY AT DENVER REDONDO BEACH NATIVE COX FINDING ROLE IN USPHL ST. MARY’S A SOLID BLEND OF ATHLETICS, ACADEMICS

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

Tournament Series

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FROM THE EDITOR Remember to take the time to give thanks, both on and off the ice

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t finally happened. The days might shorter and the summer days and nights gone, but all that means is that hockey season is in full swing. And with it also being November, let’s also take time to celebrate Thanksgiving. Yes, we all give thanks for everything hockey-related – many of us do this on a daily basis. And for good reason as, let’s be honest, hockey is the greatest sport on Earth. We must also give thanks for the fans, rink managers, Zamboni drivers, bus drivers, coaches, team managers, team supporters, players and parents – all of whom make this great game happen every sinMatt Mackinder gle day at various levels all across the state. So go ahead and indulge in the turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. But look around and enjoy the holiday with those closest to you. Really embrace the moment because family really is everything, and this includes your hockey family. Same thing applies at games and practices – take it all in. Never forget the sights, smells and feelings you have of being inside those rinks and being a part of this wonderful game. From all of us at California Rubber Magazine, we say Happy Thanksgiving! The Los Angeles Kings are looking to right the ship. After relieving head coach John Stevens and assistant coach Don Nachbaur of their duties (replaced by Willie Desjardins and Marco Sturm, respectively) earlier this month, the Kings acquired forward Carl Hagelin on Nov. 14 from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for forward Tanner Pearson. “Our team is obviously not in a position that we are comfortable with in terms of how we are playing,” said Kings GM Rob Blake. “This is a change to our lineup that gives us an additional amount of speed. With Carl Hagelin, his No. 1 asset is speed and getting to holes, and we think he will play a big role on the penalty kill for us going forward.” Hagelin has appeared in 504 games over eight seasons in the NHL with the Rangers, Penguins and Anaheim Ducks. He has 225 career points (89 goals, 136 assists) and a plus-85 rating. Pearson appeared in 325 games over six seasons with the Kings, posting 144 points (69 goals, 75 assists) and winning the Stanley Cup in 2014. Registration is now open through Dec. 1 for the 2019 CAHA Girls Select Camp, which will run on Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019, at The Rinks-Lakewood ICE. The camp is for 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005 birth year players, all of whom must be United States citizens and who play at least AA, AAA, prep school or the equivalent (A-level hockey or higher). To register, visit: https://rockymountainregister.com/enroll/usah/login.asp?programid=77. Online registration is required, and all forms must be filled out on the online system. If you have registered in prior years, please make sure to update information. No player registrations will be accepted past the Dec. 1 deadline. The camp fee is $110 per player. If you have any questions about the camp, please email Bridget Hopkinson at cahagirlscamp@gmail.com. Yes, hockey is for everyone. SAP Center at San Jose has teamed-up with Life is Washable, Inc. to offer friendly access sensory safety kits at all venue events, including all San Jose Sharks home games. The kits are intended for fans of all ages with sensory needs and are available at no charge at the Guest Services desks located on the SAP Center concourse near the North and South Entrances. The kits include an assortment of useful tools to help individuals enjoy an event with greater comfort. Life is Washable, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that works with sports and entertainment venues throughout the country including the Capitol One Arena in Washington D.C. and the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles. This is great news!

Contact Matt Mackinder at matt@rubberhockey.com 4

California Rubber Hockey Magazine

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

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Publisher/editor: Matt Mackinder senior designer: Julie Rippy

COOL(EY) UNDER PRESSURE

Los Gatos native and University of Denver sophomore goalie Devin Cooley figured he’d be battling for playing time this season, but never did he think he’d wind up as the Pioneers’ No. 1 goalie this early in the season. For more on the San Jose Jr. Sharks graduate, see Page 13. Photo/Linneya Gardner/University of Denver

ON THE COVER The Valencia Flyers are one of a large number of junior hockey teams that have a storied history with the Western States Hockey League, a league that is playing its 25th season in 2018-19 and one that continues to gain momentum with each passing year. Photo/Mark Mauno


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Silver Anniversary Now in its 25th season as a junior hockey league, the WSHL has stood the test of time

increase in the development of skill every year in the WSHL,” White said. “We needed to get to where we are today with divisions that are self sustaining in play.” r. Don Thorne is a Vietnam veteran, but he didn’t teach his son to shoot guns. The WSHL took steps forward, joining the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) and opHe taught his son to shoot pucks. erated under the United Hockey Union (UHU) that was formed to oversee a few junior To the rest of the country, hockey across the Sun Belt has always been an unfath- leagues, including the WSHL. omable concept. Ideas of the sport taking the Southwestern United States by storm WSHL executive committee member and Dallas Snipers owner Steve Becton were almost fictional constructs. But to Dr. Thorne, it was the perfect zone to embark saw this as a fortuitous next step. on a journey known as the Western States Hockey League (WSHL). “It didn’t hurt us in any way,” Becton said. “It gave us, as a league, a better oppor“I wanted to have a program that people did not have to tunity to market against other North American leave the state for their kids to play in a competitive junior junior hockey leagues. We were able to posiprogram,” Thorne said. “I’m very proud of what it is today, tion ourselves closer in competition.” and I try to acknowledge that every time I hand out the Measuring success is key for any venture (Thorne) Cup.” regardless of the size. The WSHL began It was right around the same time that a particular to turn heads and make its presence felt as NHL player was making a splash throughout the West. far as the East. The East Coast powerhouse The ripples grew to increase the popularity of hockey hockey programs claimed the sport, which and brought it to new heights in the region. largely overshadowed the WSHL. “At the time that Don formed the league, hockey A weekend of exhibition hockey in South in California was going through one of those tranLake Tahoe blazed the trail for further exposure sitional periods,” WSHL commissioner Ron White to dispel any misconceptions of hockey in the said. “Going from a little-known sport to a more West. active Wayne Gretzky era, Don wanted a junior “From the time that I joined back in 2002-03, the travel league that his son could play in so he put it league was not nearly what it is today,” WSHL deptogether.” uty commissioner Bob Armando said. As the sole financial backer of the “This is a big and powerful junior hockey league and teams, Thorne’s original six league.” saw fresh sheets of ice for the 1993-94 That weekend of friendly hockey at season. The original six comprised of the Lake Arrowhead became to be known Anaheim Jr. Ducks, Arizona Bandits, Las as the Western States Shootout. ArmanVegas Jr. Aces, San Jose Jr. Sharks, Utah do credits the now annual showcase as Lightning and the Ventura Mariners. the method of measuring success. After Under the guise of putting this project all, getting players to the next level is the together for his son, Thorne established mantra of the league. the first junior hockey league in the WestAs many as 500-600 WSHL players ern United States. By the 1995-96 seagather every year for the annual showson, his son had aged out and the tremors case that is now going on 18 years. Since of solely running a hockey league were South Lake Tahoe in the early days, the starting to catch up. Fast-forward to 1998 showcase has been held in San Antonio and the league had expanded to over a and then moved to its current city of Las dozen teams. Vegas. The showcase went from being in White’s play in the overall evolution of a non-scout environment to over 100 in the league was monumental being that he attendance. This December will be the was well-established with USA Hockey as second year at City National Arena, offithe coach-in-chief of the Pacific District. cial practice facility of the NHL’s Vegas League management, prior to White’s inGolden Knights. volvement, was lacking hockey expertise “I already sent out an initial batch of and the geographical structure proved invitations to college scouts,” Armando to be counterintuitive. He first began as said. “Hockey season hadn’t even started CEO of the Anaheim Jr. Ducks – now the for many programs and I already had 50 Long Beach Bombers – before taking on confirmations from quality hockey schools more responsibility. that want to attend the showcase. Last “The league started to become an year, we ended up with probably 135 overall distraction in his Don’s life and colleges that showed up to see our kids financially, so he asked me to become The Long Beach Bombers franchise, like the Western States Hockey League, is also celebrating its and this year, we expect to exceed that commissioner,” White said. “He had en- 25-year anniversary this season and sat in first place by a wide margin in the WSHL’s Western Divi- number.” gaged with groups as far north as Alaska sion standings as of mid-November. Photo/Mark Mauno It is at the showcase that many skaters that were all part of the WSHL at one point. When you had to travel to Fairbanks to get the chance to impress the eyes that want to help their ascension of the hockey play a weekend’s worth of games, it was a huge cost to your annual budget. So we ladder. And that is a phenomenal accomplishment going from a product that rarely released the teams in the Northern Division, which many became founding members enticed to a date that institutions circle on their calendar. in the NORPAC, and any problematic owners in the Southern Division.” “Through Ron’s guidance, we got stronger,” Armando said. “We hired great California, Nevada and Arizona encompassed the foundation before Dallas and coaches to start developing players and by doing so, your identity changes. Then, Tulsa started new growth in the WSHL footprint. The WSHL operated as a Junior you are able to attract attention from where we are trying to place these kids, which is B league and eventually entered the Junior A level in 2007. White sought for more in Midwest- and East Coast-oriented programs that are starting to turn West.” competitiveness and an increase in skill with league membership gaining steam and Similarly, the Valencia Flyers, an 18-year member of the league, and owner Roger a major turning point in league history was looming. Perez declare that the quality and effectiveness of the league to fulfill its promise of Cutting down travel distance was priority as was cutting down annual travel bud- player development is a sincere satisfaction. gets, therefore, teams needed to be added. “Since we changed our operating and recruiting rules, we have seen a dramatic Continued on Page 7 By Manny Brizuela

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CALIFORNIA GOLDEN BEARS

CGBHockey.com

Western States Hockey League continuing to grow, develop Continued from Page 6 “To be able to see the product now compared to what it was 20 years ago, it’s a great success,” Perez said. “Players are getting to go to top colleges and are recognizing their objectives in life through this league.” The feeling of accomplishment lingers with the more seasoned partners. The hard work and determination to battle against hurdles eased the league’s transition to a more recognizable entity. “I’m happy to be a part of this achievement and to help in the presentation of the league,” Perez said. “Now, you see players are able to impress coaches and scouts that see them. It’s a testament to the work put in by all the partners.” Hockey, like every other sport, requires diligent officiating. WSHL director of officials Arthur Kitano has been with the league since it began 25 years ago. Kitano initially started as an on-ice official and has seen the style of play in the WSHL evolve directly from the ice. “Over the years, the league has taken giant leaps and bounds to have more of a skill-based type of play,” Kitano said. “It’s also the natural progression of the sport, moving from the 1990’s tug-and-grab to a more wide-open style of game.” Team partners in the last six years have been able to continually attract high-quality players from Europe, Canada and the United States. The consistent influx has elevated the game to where it is now. More importantly, the opportunity to play junior hockey has been instilled in a region that never was given the chance. “The league has done wonders to give the oppor-

tunity for hundreds of kids to play ice hockey after “There’s a lot of kids in Western Canada that the age of 18,” Kitano said. “My biggest satisfaction leave home every year to play at various junior hockey has been seeing the growth leagues,” Prue said. “There and popularity of the league simply aren’t enough teams over the last 25 years.” out here for high-level playThe WSHL placed a big ers, so this was certainly footprint in its Western reon the demand side and gion, but the expansion did market side. After talking not end there. to various communities, the This is now an internationWSHL seemed like the obal league with its branches vious choice.” stretching into the Canadi“Any time that we can an provinces of Alberta and get a stronger footprint, Saskatchewan. The Edson whether it be through varAeros, Cold Lake Wings, ious geographies in the Meadow Lake Mustangs and United States, it’s good for Hinton Wild Cats joined the North American junior hockWSHL this year. ey,” Becton added. “When “This is definitely a great we moved into Canada, we first starting point,” WPHA are now advertising there director of international exthat we are a strong junior pansion Derek Prue said. league.” “Our potential footprint there The presence of the is quite large.” WSHL in Canada faciliHockey and Canada go tates the desire for more hand in hand – this is a givkids, but also embraces the en. With friction between Back in 2001, the Valencia Flyers joined the Western possibility of being a strong Alberta and Saskatchewan, States Hockey League and have been a solid member avenue for those seeking the feasibility of exciting franchise over the past 17 years. The club has qualified U.S. colleges. natural rivalries can already for the Thorne Cup Playoffs the past seven seasons. Today, the league honPhoto/Mark Mauno be foreseen. These rivalries ors the regular-season reward communities with a sense of pride for their champion with the Thorne Cup to remember that cities. More so, they are answering to the ever-abun- first puck drop – the first pebbles in place by Dr. dant demand of junior hockey in that part of Canada. Thorne – all those years ago. CARubberHockey.com

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WCHC riding momentum with trio of new schools for ’18-19 teams coming from the WCHC shows how strong it is. “It’s great that we have been able to expand to UCSB and the two schools in San Diego. Now, from Santa Barbara to San Diego, kids are able to play hockey pretty af-

By Greg Ball

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he West Coast Hockey Conference (WCHC) has been one of the top ACHA Division II college hockey conferences for nearly a decade, and with the 2018-19 season well underway, it is perhaps stronger than it has ever been. The conference has eight member teams this season for the first time after having added UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara and University of San Diego last spring to a lineup that already included charter members Cal State Fullerton, Long Beach State and Loyola Marymount University as well as Cal State Northridge and Chapman University. “We’re always trying to get good teams to join our conference, and it’s all about growing the game,” said LMU general manager Tyler Goeckner-Zoeller, who helped start the LMU program back in 2006. “We have some established teams and some newer teams that are trying to get their feet under them. California hockey is getting better and better every year.” J.P. Gale is the co-coach and general manager of the two-time defending conference champions at Cal State Northridge and has seen the program grow by leaps and bounds since he started with the Matadors as a student-athlete in 2005. He said the WCHC is improving yearly. In the first rankings of the 2018-19 season re- The WCHC stages a recruiting camp every offseason and routinely sees leased earlier this month, CSUN came in at No. 6 players participate and find their way onto teams in the conference. in the West Region – the highest ranking of any California fordably compared to in some other places. They get to school. stay local, play some good teams and develop some really “It’s not any surprise that teams want to be part of our great cross-town rivalries in doing so.” conference,” Gale said. “I think it’s the best-run conference The strength of the conference is clearly evident in its on the West Coast, and the rankings and the success of postseason track record. Since its founding in 2010, the

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WCHC has sent a team to the ACHA Division 2 West Regional Tournament almost every year and has sent five teams to the Division 2 National Tournament. With eight teams for the first time this year, the WCHC’s winner will receive an automatic bid to regionals. “It was a goal of ours to get to eight teams and get that automatic bid, because it can be hard to get the recognition here in California that you might get in Utah or Colorado,” Goeckner-Zoeller said. “We’ve had some good teams in the last few years that barely missed getting to regionals, and we thought they probably deserved to go.” Goeckner-Zoeller said he has always had confidence in the strength of the WCHC, and that continues to this day. “I feel like the top teams in California have always come from our conference,” he said. The WCHC has also fostered collaboration amongst its teams, and during the last two summers has hosted a recruiting camp in Lakewood for high school student-athletes hoping to continue playing hockey in college and looking to find the right academic fit from the conference’s diverse group of schools. They have had approximately 30 players attend each camp. “A lot of those kids have been funneled to one of our schools,” Goeckner-Zoeller said. “We think it’s great because kids from all different academic and financial backgrounds can play some of the talented best college hockey in California. Kids and their parents get to meet the coaches and get a good sense of how each program is run and figure out which program fits them the best. “At this level, it’s all about getting a good education, and the bonus is that you get to play some great hockey for four years.”


ST. MARY’S HIGH SCHOOL

St. Mary’s an exemplary blend of academics, athletics By Matt Mackinder

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t. Mary’s High School in Stockton is making waves for its brand-new hockey program, but the school is much more than what happens on the ice. Kathy Smith is the school’s principal and Genesta Jackson serves as the vice principal at the home of the Rams. Both continually find ways to utilize the school’s mission statement, which shows how St. Mary’s is a “college preparatory high school that provides opportunities for spiritual growth, strives for academic excellence and empowers students with the skills and compassion necessary to thrive in an ever-changing global society.” “We are proud to say that out of our 800 students, approximately 250 are enrolled in at least one AP class and our graduation rate is 100 percent,” said Smith. “Our AP scholars consistently exceed state and national averages on the college board exams and our students also exceed state and national averages on the ACT, PSAT and SAT exams.” “Our safe and comfortable learning environment nurtures and strengthens the whole student, including their spiritual, physical, mental and emotional well-being,” noted Jackson. The school is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and by the Western Catholic Education Association. St. Mary’s has a student-to-faculty ratio of 18-to-1 and the average classroom size is 24. In addition, the students in the graduating class of 2018 earned $16,067,877 in college scholarships. Being a religious institution and being that society can be a bit negative for today’s youth, religion and faith play a

and Publication Design. There are also Vocational Arts major role in each student’s daily life at St. Mary’s. “We are first and foremost a Catholic school that pro- classes in Foods and Nutrition and Life Skills. St. Mary’s motes Gospel values,” Smith said. “Each student takes also offers all levels of Spanish, Italian and American Sign four years of religion classes and our faculty includes the Language and additional classes in the sciences, such as religious order of The Oblates of St. Francis de Sales. Each Anatomy and Physiology, Sports Medicine and multiple levels of Physical Science, Biology, Chemistry and event and class are centered on the theme from Physics. The Social Studies Department offers St. Francis de Sales, which is ‘Be Who You Are Geography, World History, U.S. Government, and Be That Well.’ Students attend Mass on a Economics, Psychology, Model United Nations, monthly basis, including Holy Days of Obligation Administration of Justice and Mass Media, while and they visit the Chapel monthly for Eucharistic the English Department offers college prep and Adoration. Students have access to a priest evhonors classes at each level and AP classes beery day for spiritual guidance and we as a school are under the guidance of the Diocese of Stockginning at the junior year along with classes such ton and Bishop Myron Cotta.” as Practicum in Journalism and Rhetoric.” Through all that, athletics are a major cog at St. Mary’s also offers unique classes and acKathy Smith St. Mary’s. tivities that make the school stand out from other “Approximately three quarters of our stuinstitutions. dents are athletes, which makes for a very active “Among our robust core departments of and involved student body,” said Smith. “That Math, English, Social Studies, Science, World being said, our students are students first, and Languages, Vocational Arts, Fine Arts, Computacademics is their priority. The teachers work er Science and Student-Service Leadership, our with students very closely to ensure that stuReligious Studies program, which is approved dents stay on track and achieve their best level by the United States Conference of Catholic of success.” Bishops, houses classes such as Social Justice, Sacraments and Morality and Church History,” “St. Mary’s is very excited to have the only Genesta Jackson explained Jackson. hockey program in the area,” added Jackson. “We hope to Students can also take Fine Arts classes in Art, Design grow to become the premier high school hockey program Exploration, Studio Art, Guitar, Drum Line, Symphonic Band, in Northern California. The players who are attending have Concert Choir, Prima Voice Choir, Music Appreciation, var- immediately become part of our close-knit community and ious Drama classes, the award-winning Broadcasting class are received by the students with open arms.”

SaintMarysHighSchool.org

Glendale native, former SoCal youth American International the next standout Ghantous chooses NMU stop for Oceanside product Timba By Chris Bayee

By Chris Bayee

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fter years of helping others, Andre Ghantous drew a big assist in early November. The longtime Southern California youth hockey player committed to NCAA Division I Northern Michigan University (WCHA) in his final season of junior hockey. “I’m super excited to finally get an offer,” said Ghantous, who is from Glendale and played for the LA Hockey Club, the Los Angeles Jr. Kings and the Anaheim Jr. Ducks until 2016. “I had been talking with Northern for a couple of weeks, and I had a good feel about the school. “They’re a puck-possession team, and that fits my game.” Ghantous, who is in his third season of juniors and a 1998 birth year, switched teams in the offseason, going from the Trail Smoke Eaters to their British Columbia Hockey League rival Penticton Vees. He had 12 points through his first 17 games this season. That came on the heels of consecutive 44-point seasons for Trail. He had 35 assists in 2016-17 and 19 goals last season. I’m having a good time in Penticton,” he said. “Everyone has welcomed me in.” Some of that undoubtedly has to do with Ghantous’ generous playing style. “I’m a small (5-foot-9, 175-pound), skilled, playmaking forward,” he said. “I look for my teammates first.” Ghantous was quick to credit Igor Nikulin, his longtime coach at both LA Hockey and the Jr. Kings, and Jr. Ducks 16U AAA coach Alex Kim for helping prepare him for his next steps in the game. “Coach Igor gave me a great foundation, and Coach Alex built on that,” Ghantous added. Ghantous played on Kim’s 16U AAA team that reached the USA Hockey Youth Nationals in 2015, a group that has six Division I college commitments. “Andre is so creative offensively,” Kim said. “I’m happy he stuck with it because it’s nerve-wracking when you’re turning 20 and you’re not sure where you’re going to play in college. “He worked hard and always was a great teammate.” Those are attributes Northern Michigan’s program no doubt will find out first-hand when Ghantous starts school next fall.

ulian Timba can be tough to pin down. A nimble skater who can get the puck and transfer it up the ice, the 1998 birth year and Oceanside native fits a template many teams are seeking in defensemen in today’s game. American International College (Atlantic Hockey) is among those, and the Yellow Jackets made Timba an offer he couldn’t refuse in early November, leading to his NCAA Division I college commitment. “AIC showed a lot of interest recently,” Timba said. “I did some research and found they fit my style of play. It was a shorter process than I anticipated.” The former Anaheim Wildcats, Orange County Hockey Club and Anaheim Jr. Ducks player is in his third season of juniors, playing for the Bismarck Bobcats of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) this season after two seasons with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks in the British Columbia Hockey League. The transition, especially for a player in his final season of junior eligibility, has gone remarkably well. After concussion-related symptoms sidelined him for nearly all of the 2016-17 season, the 5-foot-11 Timba had 17 points in 48 games last season. This season, he’s off to a banner start – racking up 13 points in his first 14 games in the more defensively-driven NAHL. “Bismarck has been unbelievable for my development,” Timba said. “I can’t say enough about how much coach Layne Sedevie has helped me.” Timba’s perseverance no doubt was formed during his youth hockey days, when he and his family drove from Oceanside to Anaheim for practices and games from the time he was a Squirt onward. “He and his family are really, really committed,” said Alex Kim, who coached him for two of his three seasons with the Jr. Ducks. “They plugged along and stayed with the process.” Kim added that Timba brings several things to any team he’s a part of: “Not only is he a really agile, smooth skater, but he can move the puck. And he’s a great kid. He is always in a great mood, which is a credit to him and his parents.” CARubberHockey.com

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SAN DIEGO JR. GULLS

Jr. Gulls making major strides with goaltending development

By Matt Mackinder

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ollowing in the footsteps of San Diego native and former Jr. Gulls goaltender Thatcher Demko, now in the NHL with the Vancouver Canucks, the Jr. Gulls have taken their goaltending development program to a new level. Led by the organization’s goalie coaches Reed Kinsey, Garry Burgess, Jonah Munholland and Juha Kanervisto, the Jr. Gulls are hoping to produce another Demko in the future. Goalie training takes place in clinics and team practices and all four coaches understand that goalies are the backbone of any team and need special attention and training. From utilizing a shooting cage and tennis ball machine to using a mentor goalie with the younger players, the Jr. Gulls have things trending in the right direction. “Having a higher-skilled Bantam or Midget goalie demonstrate to a Mite, Squirt or Pee Wee is really effective and something other clubs can emulate,” said Burgess. “The older goalies love giving back, and the younger goalies enjoy learning a goalie-specific skill being demonstrated properly from a fellow goalie. “Providing goalie-specific training during practices is a common youth hockey challenge, as many teams do not have a coach with goaltending experience. We have a number of head coaches at the club that bring in visiting goalie coaches for a portion of their practices. Goaltending training has definitely improved at the Jr. Gulls the over the past couple of years.”

The Jr. Gulls are also busy at work building an off-ice goalie training facility, while their dryland training involves goalie-specific drills to boot. Kanervisto, a Finland product, is on board with seeing San Diego goalies progress and improve. “I think we are at the beginning of this process and real improvements are going to be realized in the future,” said Kanervisto. “Goalie-specific dryland with Jonah is really showing improvements on the ice. Coaching is a shared task. I encourage lessons from different coaches. I think it is impor-

tant for goalies to see slightly different styles of coaching while the coaching philosophy stays the same. We emphasize skating and edge drills as well as technical skills and accuracy around the crease that comes with good skating and edges. Puck drills are designed to be game-like scenarios with pre-save movement, actual save selection and post-save movements. “Basically, we are trying to help goalies to be able to beat the passes on their edges and stay ahead of the game

instead of chasing it around and relying on desperation.” Munholland said that in recent years, the club has put a great deal of emphasis and provided many opportunities for the develop of its goaltenders. “The dedicated goalies, the ones who are brought into this system and use the training opportunities made available to them, have all increased their performance no matter what age,” Munholland said. “You can measure their performance by looking at the level of play they have gotten to. This season, there are goalies that have gone from never playing the position or playing at a lower level B or BB team to playing at the A or AA level in very short time. “Goalies are by far the hardest position to play and to coach. Having a dedicated goalie development program is essential to having a successful hockey team and in turn, a stronger hockey club.” Kinsey played for the Jr. Gulls and is now back coaching in the association. “The Jr Gulls program’s commitment to the development of strong netminders has taken a front seat,” Kinsey said. “In the past, a club would look for strong tendies, then go after and recruit them. We now make a solid investment in the development of them with more dedicated ice time, specialist coaches and off-ice training facilities. In a recent conversation with Demko, we agreed that in our day, we had to find our own goalie coaches, clinics, use our own money, and travel distances to get the training we needed to become one of the best. “The Jr. Gulls have turned this around and put their players first.”

JrGullsHockey.com

O’Ree’s legacy now includes Hockey Hall of Fame induction By Phillip Brents

blehead. The statuette may not guarantee O’Ree pop icon immortality, but it will certainly become a sought-after collector’s item after O’Ree was recently elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame. O’Ree, along with five other individuals, including NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, were formally inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame amid gala ceremonies Nov. 9-12 in Toronto.

bassador since 1998, said he was laughing and crying, and was otherwise at a loss for words, when he hen the San Diego Gulls released their 2018received news of his election in late June. 19 American Hockey League (AHL) promotional “It’s wonderful,” he said. schedule, one date immediately stood out from the rest. Some might argue that O’Ree’s election was long The Gulls are hosting Willie O’Ree Night on Nov. overdue. 16. After O’Ree made hockey history as the first black O’Ree, who turned 83 on Oct. 15, has been an icon man to play in the NHL, another black player would not in the San Diego hockey community for decades afskate in the NHL again until Canadian Mike Marter suiting up for the original San Diego Gulls in the son suited up for the Washington Capitals in 1974. Western Hockey League (WHL) from 1967-74. (Marson, whose playing career lasted from 1974-81 His flashy full-speed rushes towards an oppoand included 196 NHL games, played three games nent’s net drew excited shouts and cheers from fans for the Los Angeles Kings in 1979-80.) and was a major reason the fledgling WHL franchise There can be no question that O’Ree, who has saw home crowds routinely soar past the 10,000 been dubbed the “Jackie Robinson of hockey,” has mark, the highest in minor league hockey. helped forward change in the game since he played O’Ree established himself as one of the WHL 45 games for the Bruins from 1958-61. Gulls’ most popular players and, with two league The NHL’s Hockey is for Everyone initiative uses scoring titles and five seasons with 30 or more goals, the game of hockey – and the NHL’s global influence as one of the WHL’s most fearsome scorers. — to drive positive social change and foster more inHis pioneering legacy, and that of a community clusive communities. hero, continue to be celebrated today. In O’Ree’s own words, when opportunity presIn fact, one of the priority items on the AHL Gulls’ ents itself, the game grows. list when they faced off their inaugural season in “The first thing I say is for these boys and girls 2015-16 was to hang a banner in honor of O’Ree to stay in school and get an education,” O’Ree said. from the rafters of the Valley View Casino Center, the Willie O’Ree has become a San Diego icon and earlier this month, was “Education is the key. You can’t go anywhere in the enshrined into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Photo/Phillip Brents team’s home rink. world these days without an education. The banner greets fans of all ages, a sizable number “As far as setting goals for yourself, you need to set O’Ree and Bettman enter the Hockey Hall of Fame in of whom were born after O’Ree made hockey history the Builders category. Both men join former NHL Stanley goals for yourself. You need to work toward your goals on Jan. 18, 1958, when the then-speedy 22-year-old Cup champions Martin Brodeur and Martin St. Lou- and believe in yourself and feel good about yourself and winger broke the NHL’s color barrier while playing in a is, Russian/Soviet international star Alexander Yaku- like yourself. I’ve been doing this for 20 years and if I game in Montreal for the Boston Bruins. shev and Canadian women’s professional player Jayna didn’t think the program worked I wouldn’t have stayed On the upcoming November promotional date, the Hefford as members of the class of 2018. with it for 20 years. So just believe in yourself. If you Gulls will present fans with a custom Willie O’Ree bobO’Ree, who has served as the NHL’s diversity am- think you can, you can. If you can’t, you’re right.”

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L.A. KINGS HIGH SCHOOL HOCKEY LEAGUE

Strikers goalie Biehl excelling on the ice, in the air By Greg Ball

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he El Segundo Strikers practice at Toyota Sports Center, right in the shadows of Los Angeles International Airport, so it’s only natural that one of the team’s players is also an aspiring pilot who’s on the verge of getting his pilot’s license. Ryan Biehl, one of the Strikers’ three goalies, wears the team’s jet logo on his uniform in practices and games, and when he’s not on the ice, he tries to spend as much time as possible in the air. A 17-year-old junior at Beverly Hills High, he first took flying lessons at the age of 13 and embarked on his first solo flight just last year. “Flying is a lot of fun, and it’s sort of relaxing for me,” Biehl said. “I’ve done a lot of training with instructors in the plane, so while it was nerve-wracking to do my first solo flight, I’ve gotten more and more comfortable the more I’ve been in the plane.” Biehl is in his third season playing for the Strikers, and before that played three seasons with the Los Angeles Jr. Kings. He said he flies approximately once a week, and his longest flight so far has been about an hour, from Santa Monica to Santa Ynez. While it’s a hobby for now, he said he’s considering making a career of flying, either in the military or as a commercial pilot. “It’s nice to be up in the air and alone with your thoughts,” Biehl said. “I like to say that all of life’s prob-

Biehl said there are plenty of parallels between playlems are weighed down by gravity, so flying is almost meditative because you get away from thinking about ing goalie and flying. “When I’m flying by myself, everything is in my homework, hockey, and everything else.” “He’s a remarkable individual as far as his maturi- hands, and it’s the same on the ice,” he said. “There’s ty,” added Chris Nelson, the Strikers’ first-year head a lot of responsibility. They’re also similar from a visual standpoint, because you’re concoach. “It was easy to see during stantly scanning all around to be tryouts that he was one of our betsure you’re aware of everything ter hockey players and we wanted coming at you.” him to be part of this team.” Added Nelson: “When you’re in Nelson has done some pilot the goalie pads, you’re off in your training as well, and he and Biehl own space without anyone to lean quickly bonded over their love for on, and you’re the last line of deflying. It isn’t lost on Nelson how fense. Just like with being a pilot, incredible it is for someone Biehl’s you have to be in complete control. age to have reached the level of If something goes wrong when proficiency required to earn a piyou’re up in the air, you have to lot’s license, which he plans to apkeep your composure and find a ply for in the next year. way to rectify the situation. You’re “We’re not talking about compretty much on your own.” mercial airplanes, where they’re so Nelson is looking forward to the massive that they’re smooth and possibility of he and Biehl taking an steady, and are mostly flown by alternate mode of transportation to computers,” Nelson said. “When Ryan Biehl play some of their far-flung oppoyou’re looking at single-engine prop planes, it’s literally a roller coaster ride every time nents. “I can almost guarantee that next year, for our games you go up - you feel every single bump, and every landing has to be pinpoint. I’ve done it myself and know it’s in Santa Barbara and Bakersfield, Ryan and I will be flynot an easy task, so to see a 17-year-old high school ing our planes to get there rather than fighting through traffic on the roads,” Nelson said. junior doing solo flights is remarkable.”

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TOYOTA SPORTS CENTER

Jr. Kings, Lions embrace major fundraising opportunity By Brian McDonough

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is the season of giving, and the Los Angeles Jr. Kings and LA Lions are embracing that mantra to its fullest and want nothing more than supporters of the programs to channel that same philanthropic spirit. Always on a sometimes unassuming - but, make no mistake, steadfast - mission to make the game more affordable for their families, both clubs were granted an enormous opportunity recently - one that’s certain to benefit their hard-working players and families, financially. In recent weeks, several selfless supporters collaborated and issued a challenge to the organizations’ membership, generously committing to match every dollar the programs raise until the end of the calendar year (up to $30,000). Simply but enthusiastically put, the Jr. Kings and Lions have a unique and unprecedented window to raise $60,000 over the next month. To break the ice, a family pledged an initial donation of $1,000 moving the club $29,000 away from its goal. Raising awareness of the time-sensitive “Match Game: The Play for Sixty-K” fundraiser, says Jr. Kings executive director Kelly Sorensen, is paramount. “This is such a rewarding opportunity that’s been put in front of us, and with that it’s imperative we receive as much support possible circulating the message to as many individuals and corporations in our

social and professional networks,” said Sorensen. “It’s not often we can raise such a significant dollar amount, collectively, so we need all hands in the middle.” Any individual or corporation interested in moving the needle towards the clubs’ goal - big or small - via a tax-free donation, can contact Sorensen directly via email at kelly@jrkingshockey.com. The “Match Game” fundraising link can be accessed through the Jr. Kings’ website, JrKingsHockey.com. Previous fundraising efforts have proven nothing short of successful. Over the past five seasons, the Jr. Kings have distributed over $500,000 in financial assistance to their families. In addition, the club and its

teams have made significant donations towards the Uncle Kory Foundation and Tour de Pier - both of which help support cancer research - and other local charities and individuals within the program faced with personal hardships. “It’s an element of our club we’re extremely proud of and one we hold in high regard,” said Sorensen. “We’ve witnessed so many feel-good stories over the years thanks to our ability to designate these resources to those in need.”

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Since their inception in 1999, the El Segundo Regents (dba Los Angeles Jr. Kings) have maintained their status as a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, and donations by individuals are tax deductible. Corporations may even be privy to other significant tax-related benefits (up to a 50-percent deduction). Operated by El Segundo’s Toyota Sports Center the home facility of the Jr. Kings and Lions - both programs are dedicated to providing their student-athletes an unparalleled developmental experience on the ice, while also fostering their growth as socially mature, community–minded young men and women. Through the selfless efforts of their board of directors, which champions plenty of hockey and business acumen, along with their professional, experienced coaching and administrative staffs, the Jr. Kings and Lions pride themselves on instilling the proper character and work ethic necessary for their players to succeed well beyond their youth hockey careers into their social and professional lives. Armed with the task of meeting their fundraising goal by the end of 2018, the Jr. Kings and Lions have their sights set on seizing the opportunity to its fullest. “The time is now for us to proudly highlight our programs and all the benefits they provide our players, on and off the ice, to individuals and corporations that are in a financial position to make a difference,” said Sorensen. “This is without question an exciting time for our clubs.”


SAN JOSE JR. SHARKS

Los Gatos’ Cooley the cat’s meow for NCAA D-I Pioneers By Matt Mackinder

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uring the 2017-18 season, Devin Cooley only played parts of three games for the University of Denver. Entering November, the Los Gatos native, San Jose Jr. Sharks graduate and DU sophomore had already played four full games for the NCAA Division I powerhouse Pioneers as the team’s starting goalie. “I think myself and the team are off to a great start,” Cooley said. “I’m feeling really confident about all the young guys we brought in as well as the way our upperclassmen have been playing. Obviously for me not getting a start in over a year and a half, it was a pretty big transition and my nerves were through the roof, but each game I’ve been feeling more and more comfortable and confident. “It’s definitely a learning process getting used to the difference of speed and the mental side of games compared to practice and I’m just trying to learn as much as I can each time I’m in net, trying to play the best way I know how to.” Last season, Cooley watched as senior Tanner Jaillet played 39 games for DU. Cooley played a grand total of 20 minutes. Still, Cooley found numerous positives to the 2017-18 campaign. “It was really great,” said Cooley. “Tanner’s attention to detail, both on and off the ice, was incredible. As a smaller goalie, the way he was able to minimize his movements and read the plays before they happened was pretty crazy to be able to watch. What he was

good at was exactly what I wanted to add to my game, summer. When I was eight, my dad (Scott) bought me so being able to watch him every day played a huge role my own set of pads and I never looked back.” in my development.” Cooley played for the Jr. Sharks his entire 13-year And it’s Cooley’s development that has been youth career – from when he was five in the house stunning as well. hockey programs all the way to 18U AAA. “No one in my family had ever played hockey before, “Coaches that stand out to me are Tyler Shaffar, so it was kind of an interesting process getting started,” Mike Janda, Kyle McLaren and Curtis Brown,” said Cooley. “My older brother (Ryan) was in Boy Scouts said Cooley. “All of these guys were extremely and my mom (Heynia) knowledgeable about the sport, so for me coming was the Boy Scout leader and for one of their field from a family that knew trips, they decided to go nothing about hockey or to an ice rink to do public what paths to take, they played a huge role in skating. I was around four steering me in the right at the time and too young direction.” to be left home alone, so After his youth career, my mom decided to take Cooley played for the me with them. I went out USHL’s Muskegon on the ice and I picked up Lumberjacks, NAHL’s skating really quickly. It just Springfield Jr. Blues and came really easy to me. “My parents saw this Devin Cooley played sparingly in 2017-18 for the University of BCHL’s Wenatchee Wild. and decided that they Denver but has taken the reins of the starting goaltender position Moving forward and needed to do something this year for the nationally-ranked Pioneers. Photo/Linneya Gardner/ developing, on and off about it but didn’t think University of Denver the ice, is the top priority there was any hockey programs in the area. They looked for Cooley, who is majoring in Real Estate and minoring around and found the youth programs at Sharks Ice in Finance at DU. (then known as Logitech) and enrolled me for the next “I’ve been able to balance hockey and school pretty year. Goalie always seemed super interesting to me well so far, but it’s for sure a ton of work,” Cooley said. and I was able to borrow pads and play a couple games “Hockey wise, I’m just trying to work as hard as possible for my house team as well as in roller hockey during the and take things one game at a time.”

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TAHOE PREP HOCKEY ACADEMY

Finding Balance

TPHA standouts Dahlen, Nordorf, Boyko, Coca succeeding this season, both on and off the ice By Greg Ball

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s the weather cools down and snow starts to sprinkle the mountain peaks all around, things are heating up at Tahoe Prep Hockey Academy. Tahoe’s prep team was off to a 13-3 start through the end of October and had outscored their opponents 77-42. The varsity group was 1-1 in the Anaheim Ducks High School Hockey League (ADHSHL) and had the same record in the Sharks High School Hockey League. Noah Dahlen, Jacob Nordorf, Alex Boyko and Brendan Coca are four players who have played a big part in Tahoe’s early season success. And they’re not just succeeding on the ice - each boasts a grade point average of 3.0 or higher. Noah Dahlen A senior defenseman on Tahoe’s prep team, Dahlen had scored two goals and notched three assists through the end of October. Originally from Orange, he started with Tahoe Prep when it first opened and is now in his third season and academic year there. Dahlen started playing roller hockey at age five and moved to an in-house ice program the next year. It wasn’t long before he realized how much more he enjoyed it compared to other sports he played. “It had everything I liked,” he explained. “It’s competitive, fast and fun to be around your team.” In his two-plus seasons at Tahoe, he has improved by leaps and bounds thanks to plenty of ice time and the dedication of the coaching staff. “Before I came here, I had the mindset of trying to do everything by myself,” Dahlen said. “The coaches have helped me develop my hockey sense more and use my strengths as well as my teammates’ strengths. “I went into this year with the motivation to make it the best year possible for me. I’m focused on improving my footwork and speed and spending the extra time off the ice in the workout room and on my nutrition. At the academy, I have learned how to grow up and basically be a young adult. It’s helped me tremendously.” With his sights set on a career in computer engineering or culinary arts (he has loved cooking since he was a little kid), he is hoping to attend Arizona State University or Ferris State (Mich.) University and continue his hockey career while pursuing his academic goals. Jacob Nordorf Having told his parents as early as second grade that he wanted to attend a hockey prep school when he was older, Nordorf didn’t hesitate when the opportunity to play hockey and study at Tahoe Prep came along. A junior defenseman from Gardena, he’s in his second season at Tahoe, and he knew it was the right place for him when he saw the roster of coaches that

it was employing. “Tahoe’s coaching staff was pretty much the selling point for me,” Nordorf said. “I’ve known Mike Lewis a long time, and the coaching I get from him and Chris Collins has been amazing. The exposure we have gotten playing for Tahoe this year has been nationwide - we’re really on the map now. We went 4-0 in Minnesota in our last tournament. This is kind of Tahoe’s breakout year, and we’re getting better every day.” Nordorf hopes to play at the highest level in college

Noah Dahlen

Jacob Nordorf

Alex Boyko

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and wearing a Boston University sweater is his dream. He said he has matured personally and academically since he landed in Tahoe and has thrived thanks to the academy’s blend of in-person and online education. “I need to take some classes face-to-face,” he said. “It would be hard for me to get through a math class online, but this is the right mix and it has helped teach me time management. I’m much better about not putting things off.” Alex Boyko Before coming to Tahoe, Boyko commuted more than an hour each way from his family’s home in Rocklin - northeast of Sacramento - to play for the Vacaville

Jets program, so when he heard about Tahoe Prep opening, it wasn’t a hard decision to commit to the academy. “You’re telling me there is a prep school two hours away from my house in beautiful Lake Tahoe and I get to play hockey every day? Who wouldn’t want to do that?” Boyko said. “I obviously came for hockey, but I’m a big nature guy. I’ve lived my whole life in the Sacramento area and it’s so hot and we have no snow - here we are right in the middle of the forest, and at night you can see so many shooting stars. I miss home sometimes, but I love the cold and snow, and it’s just so beautiful here.” A junior forward on the varsity team (who has also played a handful of games with the prep team), Boyko is in his second year at Tahoe Prep and plans to make the next step in his hockey development with a junior or college team. He’d like to follow his parents’ path into the tech industry. He said the coaching he has received in Tahoe, along with the opportunity to be on the ice much more regularly than with other programs, has been instrumental in his improvement as a player. “The program develops you unbelievably fast,” Boyko said. “The coaches are great. They improve all of our skills through drills and the systems they have put in place.” Brendan Coca While the staff at Tahoe Prep recruits all across the country, Coca landed at the academy by approaching them. A junior center from Thornton, Colo., he met Lewis (also TPHA’s athletic director) at a CCM Showcase event in Denver last year to learn more about the school. After touring the campus with his family in June, Coca decided to enroll, and hasn’t looked back. “In terms of development, skills and ice time, Tahoe is second to none,” Coca said. “Honestly, I love it. I love being on the ice more. It’s a very constructive place as well. If you mess up, the coaches aren’t going to get in your face. They are going to try to help you fix the problem.” Coca plays on Tahoe’s varsity team and has suited up for a handful of games with the prep squad. His short-term goals include helping Tahoe Prep win the ADHSHL championship and to develop enough this year to get an official spot on the prep team. His longterm goal is to play NCAA Division I hockey and study business. “It’s always been my dream to play college hockey,” he said. His time at Tahoe should help prepare him for that possibility. While it was a leap of faith for him to enroll at Tahoe Prep and leave the comforts of home, just a couple months into his tenure there, he’s already feeling welcome. “It was a big change for me in the first week or two, but I think I’ve adjusted,” Coca said. “When you have an environment like this where you are with people 24/7, you aren’t lonely. You have a lot of support.”

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ANAHEIM DUCKS

THE RINKS’ Try Hockey For Free Day an ‘awesome’ event By THE RINKS Staff

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n October, THE RINKS hosted over 100 girls as a part of Girls Try Hockey For Free Day in an effort to continue to grow the sport of hockey in Southern California. Earlier this month, THE RINKS was at it again, hosting USA Hockey’s Try Hockey For Free Day for both boys and girls ranging in ages from 4-13. On Nov. 10, The Rinks-Lakewood ICE and The Rinks-Poway ICE hosted their Try Hockey For Free Day in which participants were provided borrowed hockey equipment and skates to participate in an hour-long, on-rink introduction class with a coaching staff from THE RINKS. Basic fundamentals of skating, stick handling, shooting, and passing were covered at both sessions. “Try Hockey for Free Day is one of our favorite grassroots programs that we run,” said The Rinks-Lakewood ICE hockey manager Vince Valles. “Every time we run one of these sessions, the response and turnout is always positive. Allowing participants to try a sport like hockey engages not only the player but also the parents and family members involved. Stepping on the ice for your first time is without a doubt a challenge, but when you see the smiles on players’ faces and parents on the glass encouraging their players, it makes it all worthwhile. “Easily one of the best parts of the day is skating around the rink with these first-time players as they wave to back to their parents. You can see each kid is super happy to be doing good while their parents are so proud

of what their children have accomplished. These events are awesome and introduce the great sport of hockey to those who might never have had the opportunity otherwise.” The day was a success at both The Rinks-Lakewood ICE and The Rinks-Poway ICE. Between the two sessions, over 100 brand-new kids were introduced in to the sport of hocke y , many signing up for additional classes at THE RINKS to continue their hockey development.

THE RINKS marketing coordinator Amber Willis spoke about the impact of USA Hockey and Try Hockey For Free Day in Southern California. “Hockey and Southern California are two words that for the longest time did not go together,” said Willis.

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“People didn’t know much about it and the only way kids began playing is if they had a previous connection to the sport. It was rare that a native California family had children that were into hockey – it just wasn’t that popular. That notion started to change when hockey legends like Wayne Gretzky, Teemu Selanne and Paul Kariya came and played in the area and captivated the youth, but thanks to programs like USA Hockey’s Try Hockey for Free Day and THE RINKS and Anaheim Ducks Learn to Play programs, the sport took to even greater heights. “By making hockey more accessible to the masses, kids who otherwise would have never had the opportunity to play the game are getting that chance and either start playing or become hockey fans. These are great programs for Southern California and I am excited to see where hockey will be in another decade.” Similar to Try Hockey For Free Day, THE RINKS also offer their Ducks Learn to Play program, powered by Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. The free program also allows participants to experience the sport of both inline and ice hockey while borrowing the necessary equipment. Parents and adults can also try hockey for free within THE RINKS in their Adult Learn to Play program that introduces new players to the sport and prepares them to join a Rookie or Novice Adult League as well. For more information on the Anaheim Ducks Learn to Play program, visit www.anaheimducks.com/learntoplay.


ANAHEIM JR. DUCKS Lady Ducks, RINKS bridge divide from trying hockey to playing By Chris Bayee

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ou don’t have to convince Calien Gorsuch and Izzy and Grace Lynch about how effective a Girls Try Hockey for Free Day can be. The trio has gone from trying hockey to playing it at the AA level for the Anaheim Lady Ducks in a few short years – Gorsuch at 14U and the Lynches at 12U. They were three of the most enthusiastic volunteers at this fall’s event, which drew more than 100 girls on Oct. 7, said Kathy McGarrigle, the Lady Ducks program director, a coach of multiple teams and the club’s 12U ADM coordinator. The unprecedented demand at three THE RINKS venues, both ice (Lakewood and Poway) and roller (Irvine), provides further encouragement about where the girls sport is headed in California. “It was a big eye opener to see more than 100,” McGarrigle said. “We’ve had that many at a Girls Try Hockey Day, so that was exciting. “I always hope our (Lady Ducks) will give back, and even though several teams were out of town at tournaments, we had 23 say they were available. That’s inspirational to see them really wanting to help.” It’s one thing to introduce girls to the game, but another to hold their attention. McGarrigle estimates the retention rate typically is between 20-30 percent. When parents ask, “What’s next?” the Lady Ducks and THE RINKS have a combination of programs to answer that. One is the Lady Duck in Training program. THE RINKS have several hockey initiation programs. “I ran out of little kids’ jerseys for our Lady Duck in Training sessions,” McGarrigle said. “It’s a tag-on to the club. Girls who are nine or 10 and starting to play, probably will practice with our 8U teams and go to our 8U ADM clinics so they can gain a basic understanding. They’re excited about being able to play sooner because there are girls teams they can join and practice with.”

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HOCKEYSHOT

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

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

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

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


NEVADA REPORT Golden Knights sign key cogs Is Reno still a future landing Tuch, Schmidt to long-term deals spot for professional hockey? By Matt Mackinder

By Matt Mackinder

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ver a five-day period last month, the Vegas Golden Knights locked up a pair of talented players for the foreseeable future in forward Alex Tuch and defenseman Nate Schmidt. On Oct. 19, the 22-year-old Tuch signed a seven-year contract extension through the 2025-26 season and then on Oct. 24, Vegas signed Schmidt to a six-year contract extension through the 2024-25 season. “Honestly, it’s a big moment for my family and I,” Tuch told the Golden Knights website. “I’ve worked really hard to get to this moment. Now it’s all about the Golden Knights and being a part of this great franchise for a really long time. This is where I started my full-time NHL career and seven years is really special and honestly, I’m just really grateful.” Tuch had 37 points (15 goals, 22 assists) in 78 games during Alex Tuch the 2017-18 regular season. He appeared in all 20 games of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, recording 10 points (six goals, four points). The 27-year-old Schmidt registered 36 points (five goals, 31 assists) in 76 games last season and also played in all 20 games of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, recording seven points (three goals, four assists). “He is the kind of defenseman that every team in this league is looking for now,” Vegas general manager George McPhee said to the Associated Press. “He is unique, excellent defensively and has become a shutdown defenseman for us playing Nate Schmidt against the other clubs’ top players. But he also brings a lot of pace to the game and he brings offense.” In addition, Vegas defenseman Shea Theodore signed a seven-year extension in late September that runs through the 2024-25 season.

s the success of the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights has been well documented, might Reno be the next Nevada town to house professional hockey, potentially at the AHL or ECHL level? With five AHL teams in California and one in Arizona, the area is still ripe for hockey. In the ECHL, Idaho and Utah are the league’s westernmost clubs. Back this past summer, the ECHL’s Idaho Steelheads posted an interview with ECHL commissioner Ryan Crelin on the topic of potential expansion. “We’ve had a Western presence for about 15 years now with the folding of the WCHL (West Coast Hockey League),” said Crelin. “We have a commitment to the West and some great members in the West. Hockey has been very stable in Idaho and in our other Western markets as well. As we do look to that stable expansion and growth, I think another team in the West would be ideal. That’s something we’re going to be targeting, but as you know it doesn’t happen overnight. We don’t look at a map and say, ‘Let’s put a hockey team there.’ There needs to be the right building, market, ownership and management. “That will come together, but it just takes time.” The Reno Events Center would be a possibility to take on an AHL or ECHL team. Opened in 2005, the rink seats 7,000. The Reno Renegades were one of the founding members of the WCHL back in 1995 and after two seasons under the Renegades name, the team changed their name to the Reno Rage for the 1997-98 season and folded after that season. The Renegades/Rage played in the Reno-Sparks Convention Center, which was built in 1965. In both 1996 and 1998, the team made the WCHL playoffs, but lost in the first round. The team missed the playoffs in 1997. Female goaltender Manon Rhéaume, who earlier in the decade played in preseason games for the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning, appeared in 11 regular-season games for the Renegades during the 1996–97 season.

FROM THE TRAINER’S ROOM How to diagnose and treat groin injuries for hockey players G

roin strains are common injuries in the game of ice hockey. The main groin muscles include the adductor longus, magnus and brevis and the gracilis. Their primary function is to bring the leg back towards the middle of the body or adduct the hip. Groin injuries can be debilitating as the muscle group is elongated on the skating stride and contracted on the recovery phase, so it is constantly being Chris Phillips stressed. When a strain of a muscle occurs, the force placed on the muscle is too great and causes the fibers to tear. The severity can differ from one injury to another and usually affects either the muscle belly, near the middle of the inside of the thigh, or the origin up near the pubic bone where the muscle turns into a tendon and attaches to the bone. When a groin injury occurs, it is important not to play through it and to seek medical advice from a qualified physician, athletic trainer or physical therapist who works with athletes with these types of injuries. Normal treatment will include rest, flexibility exercises of the adductors, glutes and hip flexors, which should all be pain-free, and strengthening of the adductors and hip flexors as they aid in the recovery phase of skating. A slow, gradual return to skating is also key to recovery before returning to games. Once the pain has subsided, it is important to maintain flexibility and strength in your hips to help prevent future injuries.

Chris Phillips is an athletic trainer and strength and conditioning specialist with over 20 years’ experience in professional sports. He has worked in the NHL with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and Washington Capitals and was also the head athletic trainer for the 2002 USA Hockey Men’s National Team. He is the founder of Compete Sports Performance and Rehab in Southern California. CARubberHockey.com

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Saddleback, Cal Poly Pomona pace field at WCRHL kickoff victory against fellow JC Division rival West Valley College. Pilkington netted the shootout winner over UC Santa Barbara while Faught, De Los Reyes and Patterson also notched game-winning goals over the weekend. The game against West Valley College, which Saddleback defeated to win last season’s national championship, was tied 2-2 at the end of the opening period before the Gauchos closed the game with nine unanswered goals. Godinez said the team is looking forward to the WCRHL’s next regular-season event Nov. 17-18 in Huntington Beach that will also double as an inter-regional match-up with Lindenwood University from the Great Plains Collegiate Roller Hockey League

Visico moves up to the primary team after winning four national championships with the school’s Division he Western Collegiate Roller Hockey League III squad. (WCRHL) debuted its new divisional alignment at “It’s going to be a fun weekend playing all very great its 2018-19 kickoff event Oct. 27-28 at San Jose’s Division I schools,” Godinez said. “Our matchups are Silver Creek Sportsplex. against Arizona State, Florida Gulf Coast, Two things were apparent from the first regularLindenwood and UC Santa Barbara. season event. They are all going to be fast, hardFirst, there was a quite a bit of parity between fought, high-intensity games. teams from different divisions, and second, both the “Our goal is to defend Saddleback College and Cal Poly Pomona programs the title this year. The only looked like early contenders to qualify for next spring’s expectations I have from the National Collegiate Roller Hockey Association team, including myself, is for championship tournament. us to go out there on game Saddleback returns much of its firepower that days and battle hard every catapulted the team to the 2018 national championship shift.” title in the Junior College Division. The Gauchos That same sentiment finished 4-0 at the two-day San Jose seems to apply to Pomona’s tournament while outscoring opponents Division III team from all early26-13. season accounts. “It was great to start the weekend The Broncos recorded convincing off strong and going undefeated,” victories against a trio of divisional Saddleback club president George opponents: UC Irvine (7-1), UCLA (6-1) Godinez explained. “Last year’s squad and Cal Berkeley (9-1) while tacking on was very good, and we all clicked a 4-2 win over Arizona State University’s together well. This year, it’s even stronger. top-notch Division IV team at the San Everybody on the team has either played Jose event. with or against each other for many years. “We were very impressed to see our The chemistry between us all is awesome Division III team start the season as well to see.” as they did,” Pomona club president The Gauchos feature six returners Taylor Paerels explained. “Our returning from last season’s national championship players picked up right where we left off squad: Jackson Faught, Scott at nationals last season, including a few Hummitsch, Ruslan Patterson, from last year’s second team. Mason Pilkington, J.P. Merrick and Cal Poly Pomona’s Division III team, pictured from left to right, includes John Paerels, Derick Ro“We’re already looking forward to sas, Ian Duffy, Taylor Paerels, Nathan Jimenez, Richard Cota, Garrett Griffin (goaltender), Logan Godinez. the Huntington Beach event where both Penning and Matt Tietavainen. Photo/Robin Paerels Impact newcomers include Ryan teams look to improve with the help of Romans, A.J. De Los Reyes, Hayden Maxwell, and Florida State University from the Southeastern some strong players who weren’t able to make it to Clay Heinze and goalie Luke Benevente. Collegiate Roller Hockey League helping to bolster the San Jose. There’s still a long way to go, but we think Pilkington led Saddleback in scoring at the season- competition level. we’ve got a really good shot at making it back to opening event with 11 points (three goals, eight Lindenwood finished runner-up in last season’s nationals this season and making some noise in this assists) in the four games, followed by Faught (seven Division I national championship game while claiming new division.” goals, three assists) and Romans (five goals, five the Missouri school’s eighth consecutive Division III Derek Rosas, who proved to be a scoring machine assists) with 10 points each and Maxwell (three goals, national championship title. with 36 goals and 87 points in 31 games last season, three assists) with six points. Lindenwood’s Division I team lists three Californians led the Division III team in scoring with 13 points The Gauchos opened the season with an impressive on its 2018-19 roster: San Jose’s Chris Visico and at the season kickoff event while Garrett Griffin 5-4 shootout win over Division I WCRHL member UC Joseph Fordyce and San Clemente’s Cody Page. posted a 1.50 goals-against average and a .926 save Santa Barbara and posted victories against a pair of The Lions are off to a 6-0 start this season as Page percentage. Division II clubs – 4-3 over Cal Poly San Luis Obispo ranks second in overall team scoring with seven goals Pomona advanced as far as the quarterfinals at last and 6-4 over Chico State – while recording an 11-2 and seven assists. season’s national championship tournament. By Phillip Brents

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Battle starts now for WCRHL bragging rights, titles

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he 2018-19 Western Collegiate Roller Hockey League (WCRHL) season has faced off and races are now officially on for division titles and top individual honors. UC Santa Barbara grabbed an edge for early season Division I bragging rights after posting a 4-3 win over defending division champion Arizona State University at October’s season-opening event in San Jose. However, Arizona State — paced in scoring by returner Aryeh Richter with 14 points in four games — finished 3-1-0 to UCSB’s 2-1-0-1 mark to lead the division standings by a point. It’s an encouraging start for the Sun Devils, who were somewhat shorthanded at the San Jose event, according to program director Nick Boyarsky. “We struggled a bit on special teams, which will improve with time, but otherwise, this team showed 20

California Rubber Hockey Magazine

a lot of promise,” he said. Kevin Mooney (six goals, eight assists) and Tyler Barone (seven goals, fives assists) led UC Santa Barbara in scoring in the season opening event. The University of Arizona (2-0-0-2), Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (2-1-0-1), CSU Fullerton (2-1-0-1) and

Chico State (2-2-0-0) each picked up two wins in San Jose as just two standings points separate the four teams in the Division II standings. Fullerton’s Dylan Kammer (six goals, six assists) and Troy Yano (four goals, seven assists)

have the early edge among division scoring leaders with 12 and 11 points, respectively, while Cal Poly’s Nicholas Leacox (2.19 GAA) and Arizona’s Kenneth Eakle (2.31 GAA) are challenging for top goaltending honors. Three of the seven Division IV teams in action at the season opening event recorded at least three wins: Arizona (3-0-0-1), Arizona State (3-10-0) and UC Santa Barbara (3-1-0-0). CSU Fullerton finished 2-1-0-1 in its four games while Cal Poly’s Green and Gold teams combined for 2-4-0-0 records. Scott Vernacchia, who played on both Cal Poly teams, racked up 15 goals and 22 points in five games to face off the season as the division’s early-season scoring leader. - Phillip Brents


Give Blood Play Hockey proves that ‘humanity is good’ project for several years, donated $2,000 from the work they do in the community, Korus pointed out. “They also volunteered all weekend long working multiple posts,” Korus added. “Their parents are such huge supporters of our event. Carin Guertin organized all volunteers this year and was given the Volunteer of the Year award.” Five-year-old Asher Klaff was inspired to host his own lemon “aid” stand in which he and his friends collected $288. “We love when the younger generation works to

held as part of this year’s event “surreal.” “I would say one of the key things about this year he highlight of this year’s 12th annual Give Blood and the Million Dollar Celebration that got me the most Play Hockey inline hockey charity tournament, was when we got all of the Give Blood Play Hockey held Oct. 18-21 at The Rinks-Irvine Inline, was the volunteers on the stage,” Korus said. “Looking around, organization passing the $1 million mark in total I couldn’t believe the amount of people that came donations to Children’s Hospital of Orange County together to make the event such a huge success. It (CHOC) and the TGen Foundation. was really amazing. Many have been with us for 12 Tournament co-founder Mary Korus said this years and some were here Year 1. It was just really year’s event brought the total donations over the past a testament to the event, the cause and the family we 12 years to $1,073,971.93. The total is still going up have built. as fundraising continues, she said. “People were amazed when I told the “The total donation over the past 12 years crowd that we are a 100 percent volunteer has been impressive,” Korus underscored. organization, proving that humanity is good.” While the monetary donations continue Among the several keynote speakers to build over the history of the event, so has who delivered inspirational messages to another important part of the organization’s guests during the Million Dollar Celebration work: blood donations. on Oct. 20-21 were Dr. Steven Neudorf, Korus said the effort from the community a specialist in pediatric oncology who has allowed the tournament to pass 3,500 serves as the clinical director of the blood pints of donated blood over the history of and marrow transplant program at CHOC the event. Children’s, as well as Simone Tipton and “We collected 497 thus far this year and Erin Greco, who spoke on their respective we are working on hosting another Give families’ experiences at CHOC, the Blood Play Hockey Blood drive this year, importance of blood donations and updates maybe two, so that number will hopefully go on their children. up,” she was happy to report. Foothill High School senior Sydney Seventeen new division champions will Sigafus, who is one year out of treatment have their names added to the perpetual for Ewing’s sarcoma and was named this Blood Cup, symbolic of on-the-rink success year’s Homecoming queen at her school, at the tournament. talked about her experience with cancer as Play was contested at this year’s event a child and her experience at CHOC. in divisions ranging from 6U through adult, Her treatment included six rounds of including a Pro Division and a Women’s Give Blood Play Hockey tournament staff and volunteers celebrate the organization reach- chemotherapy prior to surgery and eight ing its $1 million goal in donations to charity at this year’s event, held Oct. 18-21 at The Division. rounds afterward. Rinks-Irvine Inline. Photo/John Tobin/The Photography Specialist “It was pretty amazing,” Korus said “Hearing from people that benefit from in regard to participation in the once again sold-out help kids like them who are battling cancer,” Korus the work that we do is so vital,” Korus said. “It pushes tournament. “We had 11 women’s teams and, as a said. forward our mission to Give Blood. Play Hockey. Fight female hockey player, it makes me really proud to have Samantha Mayer received the coveted Machine Cancer. It is what makes an all-volunteer organization an event that welcomes a women’s division – and they Award that is named after one of the tournament co- possible. came out in such force.” founders, Julie Ruff. “When those confetti cannons went off announcing The Give Blood Play Hockey mission statement “The award goes to the volunteer who we could not we had surpassed our million-dollar goal, standing on continues to be embraced by the Southern California have done the event without,” Korus said. “Samantha, stage with representatives from CHOC, the Ducks, hockey community. who every year had taken on more and more THE RINKS, our title sponsors Pacific Premier Bank Korus noted that community lemon “aid” stands responsibility, organized and coordinated the entire and Pathway Capital, and all our volunteers, it was just brought in more than $2,288. The Guertin twins, silent auction and raffle, which is a huge job.” wow. That type of pride and feeling of accomplishment Carla and Catherine, who have been active in this Korus called the special Million Dollar Celebration is a very rare phenomenon.” By Phillip Brents

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NARCh offers preview of ‘18-19 inline tournament season T

he North American Roller Hockey Championship Series (NARCh) has announced the dates and venue sites of its three largest tournaments for the upcoming 2018-19 season. The 2019 NARCh Winternationals are scheduled to face off the new season Jan. 18-21 at The RinksHuntington Beach. The NARCh East Coast Finals are scheduled June 21-30 at the Taylor Sportsplex in Taylor, Mich. The NARCh West Coast Finals are scheduled July 12-21 at The Rinks-Irvine Inline. The NARCh regional qualifying schedule is in the process of being finalized, according to company president Daryn Goodwin. The annual Nor Cal Cup is set to roll out Nov. 24-25 at San Jose’s Silver Creek Sportsplex. NARCh wrapped up its 2017-18 season with a pair of well-attended championship events over the summer. The NARCh West Coast Finals, which topped 210 teams, took place June 21-July 1 at The Rinks-

“The plans are to get new players involved and build the (house) leagues up,” explained Goodwin, a nearby resident. “In addition, emphasis will be put on a learn-to-play program with new players under the age of eight.” Goodwin started the new venture with the Summer Cup men’s tournament Sept. 2223 at the two-rink facility. Mavin Mob won Homegrown progress the Gold Division and Goodwin recently took over as the inline The first San Diego Gulls Learn to Play clinic held recently at the Es- the Westside Boyz hockey program director condido Sports Center drew a healthy number of youngsters out to won the Silver Division. at the Escondido Sports take the ice. Photo/NARCh “It was the last Center in San Diego County. His goal is to nudge official weekend of summer, so we appropriately the sport forward in the southernmost region of the called it the Summer Cup,” Goodwin said. state with a strategy that has proven successful with NARCh. - Phillip Brents Irvine Inline. The NARCh East Coast Finals, which followed July 12-22 at The Cooler in Alpharetta, Ga., attracted more than 100 teams. The combined field of more than 300 teams continues to attest to the popularity of the long-running tournament series, which celebrated its milestone 25th anniversary in 2018.

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Redondo Beach’s Cox finds home with NCDC’s Jr. Rangers By Joshua Boyd/USPHL.com

The map of Cox’s life represents a zigzag around North America - and even time overseas. “I was born and raised in Winnipeg. Our dad is Canadian, so he was into the sport because hockey is obviously huge there,” said Cox. Two years after Cox was born, the family (including mother Yasuko and father Gary) were living in Japan, when his brother Hiro came into the world.

toms. Before this September, he last played in 201617 for the Los Angeles Jr. Kings’ 16U AAA team. ometimes he’ll walk there, sometimes he’ll ride From Japan, it was back to the States, and more his bike, and sometimes he’ll drive. specifically, the Windy City. That is where the Cox But whichever mode of transportation he choosbrothers first put on boots with blades on the bottom. es, you better believe Redondo Beach native Taka“I was five years old when we moved to Chicago,” to Cox will make every effort during the offseason to Cox said. “At such a young age, I liked the speed, the take advantage of his hometown’s sandy, wave-beatintensity of hockey and the skill involved. Just everyen waterfront. thing. I was never a big runner, so skating was just After all, the rest of the year, the place he plays more fun to me.” hockey does not quite have the pleasant climate Gary lost his banking job in Chicago after the of home. 2008 housing crisis. Looking for new work, the Cox is a forward with the Connecticut Jr. RangCox family decided to look west and warmer, and ers, members of the tuition-free National Collefound their house in Redondo Beach. giate Development Conference (NCDC) within the “We moved to California when I was someUnited States Premier Hockey League. So, yes, where around 11, so that would be Pee Wees,” he will be thousands of miles (and several dozen said Cox. “There’s good hockey around [Califordegrees) away from the perennially warm weather nia]. While with the Jr. Kings, I played against some of California this winter. guys who are NHL draft picks, as well as against Wherever he gets a chance to play high-levthe Edmonton Oilers’ Kailer Yamamoto.” el hockey, he’s happy to go there. After all, he is What Cox really wanted, however, was to adnow in his second year in Connecticut after a prevance to play NCAA college hockey and he knew vious stop in Winnipeg. He also lived in Chicago that his chances would increase if he moved to for many years before moving to Redondo Beach New England, one of the hotbeds of college hockat age 11. ey in the States. Cox, a 1998 birth year, is one of the Rangers’ Takato Cox is hoping a solid season with the NCDC’s Connecticut Jr. “I wanted to play around the NCAA schools – I leading forwards, posting four goals and 14 as- Rangers will find him playing NCAA hockey this time next year. Photo/ wanted to showcase myself,” he said. “I did a little sists for 18 points through 17 games. Last year, Joshua Boyd/USPHL.com research on the NCDC, and I thought it would be he was the second-leading scorer for the Jr. Rangers This year, Hiro - a 2000-born forward - played six a right fit. It’s going pretty well so far, it’s a great in the NCDC’s inaugural season, with 48 points in games with the Jr. Rangers, the first time the broth- league and there are a lot of college coaches coming 55 regular-season and playoff games. ers were teammates since their early youth hockey to watch each game. “I consider myself a skilled offensive player,” said days. “I’m talking to a lot of Division III schools, and my Cox. “I make nice passes, I stickhandle well, and I It was a return to form of sorts for Hiro, who missed ultimate goal is Division I, so that’s why I came back have a good hockey IQ.” the entire 2017-18 season due to concussion symp- this year, for one last chance.”

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MATT TENNYSON

Position: Defenseman, Rochester Americans (American Hockey League) Hometown: Pleasanton Youth Teams: San Jose Jr. Sharks Last Amateur Team: Western Michigan University (NCAA D-I) A veteran of 120 NHL games (as of Nov. 6), Matt Tennyson found himself playing youth hockey in California in his teens after his father’s job transfer to the Bay Area. California Rubber: What are some of your favorite hockey memories? Matt Tennyson: The obvious one is going to the Stanley Cup Finals with San Jose (in 2016) with (fellow Californian) Matt Nieto. We didn’t win but that whole experience and being part of that team with all the guys I had played with for four years and gotten to know so well was a great experience. I’ll never forget it. Being able to say you went to the Stanley Cup Finals – that was the most fun I’ve had playing pro hockey. Just the fact that I played for the Jr. Sharks – we practiced at the same rink, the same one I practiced at as a kid – that’s a great memory. The other one was we had a great crew at Western Michigan (including seven Californians in 2011-12), and the fact that we were successful and won a CCHA championship in 2012 is special. CR: Did you play other sports growing up? MT: I played every sport growing up. My parents threw me into everything and let me decide what I liked. I gravitated toward hockey. I played golf and football in middle school. My freshman year of high school, I played hockey and golf, and I had to pick. I was on the JV golf team. Luckily, I think I made the right decision. I think it’s important for kids to play all the different sports because it gives them a chance to figure out what they like. At a young age, you want to experience a ton of things. I didn’t have any serious thoughts about hockey until I was 14 or 15. I didn’t know what direction I would go. It’s important to let them evolve and figure out what they like. CR: What are the essentials for an AHL bus trip? MT: You have to have a pillow – that’s No. 1. Some of the trips are short and easy, so you travel an hour on game day and are back home at night. We have a couple that are 4-5 hours. Laval is five hours, Belleville is four, Hershey is 4-5 hours. For those, we leave the day before the game – get in for dinner and settle down and sleep. You also need a laptop because you never know if the rookies are going to bring good movies or not. Maybe take a couple of snacks if it’s a long trip, but we have meals before we get on the bus. CR: Speaking of meals, when you’re back in California, do you have a go-to? MT: In-N-Out is the obvious first choice after the season. My parents live in Palm Springs now, so I’ll see them for a few weeks, play golf, relax, see some friends and, of course, go to In-N-Out. I own a house in Orange County, and there is a Mexican place called Javier’s that Matt Nieto and I will go to. CR: Did you have a favorite player growing up? MT: Nick Lidstrom. When I lived in Michigan (as a grade schooler), that was when Detroit won back-to-back Stanley Cups in 1997 and 1998. The first NHL game I ever went to live was a Red Wings game. It was pretty hard not to be a fan. Being a defenseman, Lidstrom was the guy. I always admired his efficiency. His ability to not skate, if that makes sense, because he was always in the right position. That’s why he could play so many minutes a night and be effective. That attribute is fading. Photo/Micheline Veluvolu/Rochester Americans

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California Rubber Hockey Magazine

- Compiled by Chris Bayee


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Profile for Rubber Hockey Magazines

California Rubber Magazine - November 2018  

The latest edition of California Rubber Magazine, featuring the 25th anniversary of the Western States Hockey League, has hit the streets!

California Rubber Magazine - November 2018  

The latest edition of California Rubber Magazine, featuring the 25th anniversary of the Western States Hockey League, has hit the streets!

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