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A program that continues to grow in leaps and bounds every season, the West Coast Renegades named former Stanley Cup champion Kevin McClelland to the staff this season to help with the progression and exposure of hockey in the state of Utah





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FROM THE EDITOR With a new season comes renewed confidence, sky-high optimism


hen September rolls around at the start of each season, in hockey terms, it’s the equivalent to Jan. 1 and resolutions being made with the goal of improving one’s life. Once the Labor Day tournaments conclude, most youth hockey teams have already set goals to still be playing meaningful games in late March and early April. Alas, it’s a long season. Talk to any coach at any level in September and their confidence is through the roof and their team is one that should “be there at the end” in March and April. This season is no different and that’s why the games Matt Mackinder are played. That said, I offer three things to all those coaches and players this season – 1) Play the right way, 2) Be safe and respect the game, and 3) Game on! The Colorado Thunderbirds had a busy August, announcing five player advancements and commitments to junior and college hockey. Forward Baker Shore has committed to play for Harvard University (ECAC Hockey) starting with the 2018-19 season. He will play his junior hockey for the United States Hockey League’s (USHL) Chicago Steel before moving on to play at Harvard. The Cherry Hills Village product played on the Thunderbirds’ 16U National team in 2015-16. Another forward and teammate of Shore’s last season, Windsor native Bryan Lockner, signed with the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League (WHL). The Pats selected Lockner in the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft in the third round (58th overall). “Bryan is a young player we had identified a couple of years ago,” said Regina coach-GM John Paddock. “He’s a big part of our plans as an organization for years to come.” Thunderbirds 15U goalie and Colorado Springs native Brock Gould then signed with the WHL’s Victoria Royals, the team that drafted him in the eighth round (170th overall) in the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft. He’ll be back with the T-Birds in 2016-17. “Brock is a very promising goaltender who frankly surprised us with his technical skill, poise and athleticism all through camp,” Royals GM Cameron Hope said. “We are pleased to have Brock and his family join the Royals organization, and look forward to seeing him continue to develop.” Colby Bukes, former Colorado Thunderbirds 16U National captain, has committed to Minnesota State University (WCHA) for the 2018-19 season and will play this year for the USHL’s Muskegon Lumberjacks. Brayden Nicholetts, another Thunderbirds 16U National forward, signed with the Drumheller Dragons of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. "I think Drumheller is a great fit for me,” said Nicholetts. “I like the philosophy of hard work and being tough to play against every night. I think the coaches are very experienced and will help me improve. I'm very excited to get things started.” The T-Birds’ 16U National team placed third last spring at the USA Hockey 16U Tier I Youth Nationals. Congratulations to a pair of Colorado youth teams for bringing home championship banners over Labor Day weekend at the Pioneer Classic on the campus of the University of Denver. The Evolution Elite Hockey Academy 15U AAA team defeated the Evolution 16U AAA team 10-2 to claim the Midget Major AA championship and then the Foothills Flyers beat Tigers AAA Hockey by a 5-1 count to take the Midget Minor AA title. Well done! The ECHL’s Utah Grizzlies will have local flair in the lineup this season with the late summer signing of defenseman Evan Stoflet. Stoflet, a Utah resident originally from Madison, Wis., returns to the team for the third time after previously playing for the Grizzlies from 2008-09 and 2012-13. “It is great to have Evan back in a Grizzlies uniform,” said Grizzlies coach-GM Tim Branham. “I will be relying on him both on and off the ice to continue our winning ways.”

Contact Matt Mackinder at matt@rubberhockey.com 4

Colorado Rubber Hockey Magazine

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University of Denver sophomore forward and Denver native Troy Terry will be counted on to be a key cog in the Pioneers’ lineup during the 2016-17 season and recently took part in the U.S. National Junior Team Evaluation Camp in Plymouth, Mich. More on DU on Page 12. Photo/Michael Caples/MiHockey

ON THE COVER Kevin McClelland played nearly 600 games in the NHL and has made a solid career in coaching in recent times. For the 2016-17 season, he has joined the Utah-based West Coast Renegades AAA program and will serve as the 18U team’s head coach and as an assistant coach with the club’s 16U team. Photo/Sarah Marsh


CAHA state tournament revamps format for 2016-17 season By Steve Stein


olorado Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA) officials want every eligible youth hockey team in the state to have an opportunity to participate in the organization's recreation state tournament. That's why the format was changed before the 2014-2015 season. No longer are only the top two teams in a CAHA-sanctioned league allowed to participate in the tournament. As the new look enters its third year, CAHA officials are happier than ever about the switch. "Teams don't have to worry so much about league standings – they can focus on skill development, especially if a team is off to a slow start," said CAHA vice president Christina Cooley. "Then let's say you have a team that finishes 0-16. Maybe it's in the wrong division. It can play against more competitive teams in the state tournament." There are 17 divisions in the state tournament. Pool play and semifinal/final weekends for the 2016-2017 season will be March 3-5 and March 10-12. Many championship games will be played at the Pepsi Center in Denver, home of the NHL's Colorado Avalanche. "It's a wonderful experience for the kids – they smile from ear to ear the entire time," Cooley said. "Everything is just like an NHL game. Players' names are

announced on the PA system and the game action is shown on the scoreboard." In another effort to make sure all eligible teams have a chance to participate in the state tournament, CAHA does not sanction any other tournament while the state tournament is being played. High school and prep school teams aren't allowed to participate in the state tournament. Nor are tournament or all-star teams or teams that play at the AAA level. Youth recreational teams must play 14 games to be eligible. Players must have participated in a minimum of 10 of the 14 games and practiced regularly with their team to be eligible. Girls recreational teams have similar rules. The tournament committee places teams in divisions and seeds them to ensure parity. Here are the state tournament divisions, pool play weekends and locations, semifinal/final weekends and entry fees. All semifinals and finals will be played in the Denver/Front Range area. Registration will be done online this season for the first time. CAHA will send information about registration to association members. Deadline to register and for fees to be paid is Dec. 31. Fees are not refundable after Dec. 31. Questions should be sent via email to Cooley at cooley.christina@gmail.com.

Recreation State Tournaments 10U A - March 3-5 (Monument), March 10-12, $800 10U B - March 3-5 (Colorado Springs), March 10-12, $800 10U C - March 3-5 (Littleton), March 10-12, $800 10U undeclared - March 3-5 (Fort Collins), March 10-12, $800 10U girls - March 3-5 (Aspen), March 3-5, $800 12U AAvMarch 3-5 (Denver), March 10-12, $850 12U AvMarch 3-5 (Boulder), March 10-12, $850 12U BvMarch 3-5 (Boulder), March 10-12, $850 12U undeclaredvMarch 3-5 (Denver), March 10-12, $850 12U girlsvMarch 3-5 (Aspen), March 3-5, $800 14U A - March 3-5 (Denver), March 10-12, $900 14U BvMarch 3-5 (Breckenridge), March 10-12, $900 14U undeclaredvMarch 3-5 (Denver), March 10-12, $900 14U girlsvMarch 3-5 (Aspen), March 3-5, $800 16U girlsvMarch 3-5 (Aspen), March 3-5, $800 18UvMarch 10-12 (Denver), March 10-12, $900 19U girlsv March 3-5 (Aspen), March 3-5, $800

CAHA.co CORubberHockey.com


Mac Attack

Four-time Stanley Cup champion McClelland joins Renegades, wants to see game grow in Utah “The thing is, these kids are still really green,” McClelland said. “To be honest, I think my experiences will be extremely valuable to the guys on the team. You know, you t’s quite often a player that shared the ice and dressing room and Stanley Cup cele- just want to share with these guys what it takes to be a pro, play junior or get a univerbrations in the NHL with the likes of Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Grant Fuhr sity scholarship, and just show them the ropes and how difficult this sport is in terms of and Jari Kurri lands a job in the game after their playing days are done. getting to the next level or making a career out of it.” Some players become NHL team executives, coach junior teams or college teams During his playing days, McClelland was drafted in the fourth round (71st overall) or simply fade out of the public spotlight. by the Hartford Whalers (now Carolina Hurricanes) at the 1980 NHL Draft, but never And some wind up in Utah coaching with an up-and-coming AAA youth organiza- suited up for the Whalers. Along with Edmonton, McClelland also skated in the NHL tion. for the Pittsburgh Penguins, Detroit Red Wings, Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Kevin McClelland won four Stanley Cups in the 1980s playing for the star-laden Jets (the first incarnation before the franchise moved to Phoenix and became the CoyEdmonton Oilers, serving as the grit and sandpaper on those teams that featured so otes). many future Hall of Fame players. A Stanley Cup winner in 1984, 1985, 1987 and 1988, McClelland’s most memoAfter his playing days ended with the 1994-95 season, McClelland coached in the rable playoff moment came in Game 1 of the 1984 Stanley Cup Finals when he scored Ontario Hockey League and Western the game's only goal in a 1-0 win Hockey League and then served as an over the New York Islanders. Mcassistant for five seasons in the American Clelland retired from the NHL after Hockey League (AHL) with the St. John’s playing 588 games and recording a Maple Leafs. total of 68 goals and 112 assists for Three of his next four stops were 180 points, and adding 1672 penalwhere not many consider hockey a prime ty minutes. location – Tennessee (Central Hockey “To be able to play with all those League’s Memphis Riverkings), Missisgreat guys, I came out of Pittsburgh sippi (CHL’s Riverkings) and Kansas and didn’t have a lot of confidence (CHL/ECHL’s Wichita Thunder). He also as a hockey player,” said McClelcoached the Colorado Eagles when the land. “Just to be a small piece to the franchise called the CHL home. puzzle was just amazing and to be Over the summer, the West Coast associated with that group in EdRenegades hired McClelland, now 54, to monton is huge. I’m not a big name, coach the organization’s 18U AAA team that’s for sure, but you’d never know for the 2016-17 season. He’ll also serve it from being in that room. That was as an assistant on the 16U AAA National such a great group of guys that reteam. ally made you feel special. I enjoyed “I wasn’t retained in Wichita, so I it and there are memories there that had to move back to Canada with my will last forever, that’s for sure.” family,” said McClelland, a native of OsAnd getting into coaching was hawa, Ont. “My family went back to St. in one sense McClelland’s way of John’s and I was in limbo, so I went back giving back to the to Ontario and sat around listening to a game that gave bunch of different coaching offers. I had him more than some offers in Europe and for some jumost, but it’s also nior teams in Ontario, but then a buddy a comfort zone in of mine in Utah called and mentioned this another sense. job here, which really interested me, and “I think when I took it.” you spend that McClelland said from his initial conmuch time in hockversations with Renegades owners Joe ey, even when and Lisa D’Urso and director of hockyou’re young, and ey operations Adam Bartholomay, he then you have a was immediately impressed with the vipro career, you sion and direction of the program. obviously want to “It’s all top shelf,” said McClelland. stay in the busi“The way they treat the kids here and the Former NHL player and minor league coach Kevin McClelland goes over strategy with ness you’re used facilities that the kids get to use here is West Coast Renegades players as he readies to start the 2016-17 season as head to,” explained Mcincredible. Joe and Lisa keeping the team coach of the program’s 18U AAA team. Photos/Sarah Marsh Clelland. “It’s hard running during the winter months is just as incredible because they love it for the kids to pick up a pencil or go work on computers, you know? I mean, I still have a tough and they want it first and foremost for the kids. They want to grow hockey in Utah and time sending text messages and learning all the technology. I think you just always want to be around people like that, it’s just so great to be a part of that.” to stay in the business you know best and that you have had some good success in.” To have prior experience in non-traditional hockey markets can only help McClelHis first season in Salt Lake City on tap, McClelland has some realistic expectaland adjust to the atmosphere in Utah. tions for his Renegades 18U squad. “Other than in Colorado, where it’s also top shelf and Chris Stewart runs a gem “We just want to go out and conduct ourselves in a good manner,” said McClelof an organization, I’m used to the challenges of being in places like Wichita and Mem- land. “And that’s both on the ice and off the ice. Obviously, when you throw a group of phis,” noted McClelland. “Like I said, you look at what they have here with the Utah guys together, you have to find out what the chemistry will be, but that’s your job as a Olympic Oval and Tyler Dabrowski, the Olympic trainer that trains our guys, and it’s coach. It’s almost like you’re more of a manager managing 20 different hockey players incredible. You’ve got no choice but to grow hockey in Utah and once it really gets go- with 20 different personalities. ing, I think it’s going to steamroll and you’ll see a lot more kids having success coming “You just want to get the most out of your players and establish the fact that we are out of Utah.” going to be a top-shelf hockey club, and that’s not going to happen overnight, but there Making the jump from coaching professionals to now coaching the youth game is is a lot of interest here and a lot of great kids and I see this as being very prosperous another challenge McClelland is anxious to knock down and get started. very soon.”

By Matt Mackinder



Colorado Rubber Hockey Magazine


Trip home to Russia reenergizes youth coach Krivokrasov By Matt Mackinder


ast month, Andrei Krivokrasov ventured back to his home country of Russia to visit his parents and to also serve as a guest coach and instructor for a 2008 birth year youth team. On his recent trip, he was able to compare and contrast youth hockey development in Russia, particularly in Krivokrasov’s hometown of Angarsk, with a focus on what development and training looks like for the youth hockey player in the Krivo School of Hockey Elite versus the youth hockey player in Russia. For Krivokrasov, the director of the program that bears his name, the trip home was a very positive experience. “All players in my hometown of Angarsk start their hockey season in the middle of July,” explained Krivokrasov. “The day usually consists of getting to practice an hour and half before the on- ice session. One hour is dedicated to dryland training prior to practice, 30 minutes on getting dressed after dryland, and an hour and half ice session. Mites are on the ice five days per week, older kids train six times per week. Older players spend almost half of the day at the rink, including the ice session in the morning, breakfast at the rink with the team, then dryland training for one hour, and then dedicate one hour to flexibility training, which I find very important for player’s body control.” As for the differences between Russia and the Krivo School, there are not many that Krivokrasov noticed. “The differences in development are not different at all

- 100 percent focus on skating and skills development,” Krivokrasov said. “My home town hockey school, Ermak Angarsk, has been producing solid talent and many players go on to play in KHL or in the NHL, so fundamentally building a solid player is based on the philosophy of skills development.”

Recently journeying home to Russia to visit family, Krivo School of Hockey Elite director Andrei Krivokrasov was asked to run a skills session with a local youth hockey team in his hometown of Angarsk.

The attitudes of the youth players in Russia and Colorado are also similar. “Youth players’ love for the game is the same and they all have hockey dreams in Russia like the players in the United States,” said Krivokrasov. “Players are disciplined and very eager to learn, same as what I learned when I played in Ermak. Discipline is a core for learning, growing

and retaining skills every day on and off the ice.” Krivokrasov noted that parental dedication in Russia also mirrors what he has seen in the U.S. “One thing is saw in Russia is that parents sit together in the stands way above the bench about 20 rows back and let the coaches do their job,” said Krivokrasov. “Even if they get excited and yell at their kid to work harder or do something better, the kid can’t hear and keeps focus on the ice. In my opinion, players at Krivo School of Hockey Elite developed in line with Russian players, but in my opinion only, in many instances our players are better. Way better skaters. “In comparing programs, I’m proud to say that we go above and beyond to do a superb job on how we develop our players. Our players are getting the best. It’s reassuring thing for our program and our coaching that we are on the right track of player growth. We are doing it right, but not content on where we are. One very big thing I learned that in Russia – many drills are dedicated to growing hockey IQ. I’m not going to elaborate how they do that, but it’s something I will be implementing more in our practice regimen, to give an edge to our players at Krivo School of Hockey Elite.” New Krivo coach Ivan Benevelsky is from the same Russian hockey system, so his coaching philosophy aligns well with Krivokrasov. “Ivan is very creative and that is something I look for in a coach,” said Krivokrasov. “He sees what I see and has the ability to modify on the fly, to make players achieve a desired skill or a team play.”


Air Force grads now have immediate pro hockey options By Chris Bayee


he dream of playing professional sports for service academy athletes, including Air Force hockey players, was breathed new life earlier this year when a U.S. Department of Defense policy changed. The shift allows the possibility of joining a pro sports team after graduation instead of waiting two years. It will ease one recruiting disadvantage all service academies have faced, but it won’t be a magic pill for the athletic programs, Falcons hockey coach Frank Serratore said. “Before, players who played a sport their entire life with the dream of playing at the highest level had to essentially abandon that dream if they went to a service academy,” Serratore said. “Now, they don’t. “It’s a great thing. We’re already recruiting the best and the brightest for academics and leadership potential. This enables us to recruit some of the best athletically as well.” Still, the winnowing process from college hockey to the NHL is dramatic. “A lot of athletes feel they have high-level pro potential,” Serratore said. “The reality is very few do. To me, a higher number of good college athletes isn’t to going to affect the bottom line that much because a very small percentage become high-level pros.” The possibilities are intriguing for the hockey program, which has had a handful of players with that type of pro potential. Defenseman Greg Flynn developed into an All-American and played a handful of games in the American Hockey League in 2009-10 while stationed near Boston. Goalie Andrew Volkening was a two-time all-Atlantic Hockey pick and a two-time all-NCAA Tournament team pick. And center Brian Gornick was selected by Anaheim in the 1999 NHL Draft and played nearly 90 AHL games. Athletic director Jim Knowlton told The Gazette in Colorado Springs in July that, though graduates can apply to serve on reserve status instead of active duty, the Air Force would make decisions on a case-by-case basis. An AFA athlete also would need a contract or binding commitment from a sports team, and the athlete’s obligation to fulfill his or her service requirement remains unchanged.

ASPEN JUNIOR HOCKEY Leafs partner up with Finland youth guru Valiaho for ’16-17 By Matt Mackinder


spen Junior Hockey (AJH) has taken giant leaps leading into the 2016-17 season to quickly become a world-class leader in youth hockey player development and that has started in earnest with the program partnering with the Finnish Ice Hockey Association (FIHA), employing Finland’s manager of youth hockey operations Kalle Valiaho. Valiaho, who is one of the most influential coaches in international youth hockey, plans to take a six-month sabbatical from his position in Finland and immerse himself exclusively in Aspen for the season. He will work with AJH executive director Shaun Hathaway strengthening the age-appropriate curriculum and long-term athletic development plan offered by the Leafs. This unprecedented partnership between FIHA and AJH has also resonated on an extremely positive note with USA Hockey. “Being the Rocky Mountain District ADM regional manager, one of the best parts of the job is helping youth hockey programs become world-leading programs within their community,” said USA Hockey’s Joe Bonnett. “I have watched Shaun Hathaway and his staff work with conviction and excellence to improve Aspen Junior Hockey significantly over the past three years and become leaders of youth sport in their region. By adding a mentor coach and FIHA coach in Kalle Valiaho, AJH again has demonstrated a commitment to continual improvement and continues to raise the bar for their athletes.” FIHA organizes and operates youth hockey in Finland and had 72,176 registered players last season, compared to 542,583 registered U.S. players. Since 2009, Valiaho has worked as a regional coach, responsible for two of eight FIHA regions. He has been an International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) mentor coach since 2007 and his youth coaching experience includes time in Finland, Hungary and China. In 2006, Valiaho graduated from the prestigious Haaga University in Vierumaki, Finland, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Sports and Leisure Management. In December 2016, he is expected to complete his Master’s degree in Sport Studies.

AspenJuniorHockey.com CORubberHockey.com


Outdoor youth tournament set for Bakersfield this winter By Greg Ball


t’s no secret that outdoor hockey has taken off in popularity over the last few years. The NHL’s Winter Classic and Stadium Series have been overwhelming successes, bringing the game back to its pond hockey roots and delivering added visibility for the sport. This winter, youth hockey players from across the Western United States and beyond will get to experience the thrill of bringing the game outdoors, as International Hockey Events will bring an outdoor tournament to Bakersfield. Produced by Golden State Hockey Rush and hosted by the American Hockey League’s (AHL) Bakersfield Condors as part of their Three-Way Chevrolet Condorstown Winterfest, the USA Hockey-sanctioned event will run from Dec 21-Jan. 7 and will be punctuated by an outdoor game between the Edmonton Oilers affiliate Condors and L.A. Kings affiliate Ontario Reign on its final night. “We’ve had an overwhelming response already from kids, parents and coaches,” said Barry Sherer, president of International Hockey Events. “The uniqueness of getting to play hockey outdoors is definitely going to be the biggest drawing card. “It’s a great location just north of L.A., and it’s driving distance from San Diego and Northern California. It gives all the California players an opportunity to experience this. Bakersfield also has direct flights from Phoenix and Colorado, and it’s close to Nevada and Utah, too. We’re hoping to get representation from all those statParents and coaches can find more information about the tournament at www.InternationalHockeyEvents.com and can register there through

Nov. 15 or until the event sells out. While the AHL game will be the centerpiece of the 18-day hockey festival, event organizers knew there was a great opportunity to get youth hockey players involved and make the most of the resources it will take to build a temporary outdoor rink in Memorial Stadium, the 20,000-seat home of Bakersfield College football. Sherer is expecting 120-130 teams to participate. Teams will be guaranteed four games, with at least two of those outdoors and all division championship games outdoors (weather permitting). In addition to the Memorial Stadium rink, games will be played at the home of the Bakersfield Jr. Condors, the SJCH Ice Center. The tournament will feature divisions for nearly every age and skill level, with many offering two separate sessions, which Sherer said was designed to accommodate different school vacation schedules. ACHA Divisions II and III will take the ice first from Dec. 21-23. There will also be a 16U AA tournament on those dates, and a second tournament for that division Jan. 2-6. An 8U track tournament will be offered from Dec. 26-28 as well. From Dec. 26-28 and Jan. 2-6, the event will fea-

ture tournaments for 10U A, BB and B; 12U A, BB and B; and 14U A and B. From Dec. 29-Jan. 1, the event will offer tournaments for 12U AA, 14U AA; high school varsity D-I/18U AA, D-II and D-III/18U A; and high school junior varsity/16U A. While International Hockey Events has put on youth and adult tournaments dating back to 1994, this marks the first time the company will organize an outdoor tournament. Sherer said he’s looking forward to the experience, especially since many of the participants will be playing outdoors for the first time in their lives. Condors president Matt Riley said the Winterfest will include all types of activities to keep players busy and families entertained between games - public and family skates, obstacle courses, a kids play area, a zip line, snowman building area and more. “We used to joke that it would be cool to have an outdoor rink here in Bakersfield,” Riley said. “It was half in jest, but we kept it in the back of our minds, and then when we saw the Kings and Ducks play down at Dodger Stadium, we started to think it was a real possibility here. We’re excited for the AHL game and for the opportunity to host a large-scale youth tournament.”

International Hockey Events

2016-17 TOURNAMENT SERIES 5th Annual Orange County, CA Thanksgiving Hockey Festival November 24 - 27, 2016 (no games after 2 PM on Thanksgiving Day) U10 A through U18 - A & AA, High School JV

Condorstown Winterfest Outdoor Tournament Series at Bakersfield Memorial Stadium December 21, 2016 - January 7, 2017 U8 thru U18- Track 1 & 2, AA, A, BB & B divisions Adult and ACAHA divisions

Best of West Invitational, Orange County, CA January 13 - 16, 2017 Compete against the top U12 AA, U14 AA & U16 AA competition from the Pacific and Mountain Districts

2017 Orange County, CA Presidents’ Day Hockey Classic February 17 - 20, 2017 U10 thru U18 - AA, A, BB , B, High School Varsity & JV divisions

For more information and to register, visit

www.internationalhockeyevents.com 8

Colorado Rubber Hockey Magazine


Renamed Monument Ice Rinks continue to serve local youth By Steve Stein


t was a busy summer at the Monument Ice Rinks. That's right, the Monument Ice Rinks. That's the new name of what was formerly the Colorado Sports Center in Monument, a town located between Denver and Colorado Springs. The name switch was made in August, and has been a hit on social media. "We wanted to make the name of our facility more specific to our community. Colorado Sports Center could be anywhere in the state," said Andrew Sherman, who has owned the facility since 2012. It opened in 2006. "The new name has been received very well," Sherman said. "Our Facebook 'likes' have gone through the roof. We're now close to 1,100 and climbing. We had about 400 six months ago." Two full-sized ice rinks used mainly by Colorado Rampage youth teams are the facility's focal points. Each rink was repainted this summer. Coming soon to the 10-acre complex, according to Sherman, are fields and teams for lacrosse, baseball and soccer that will operate under the Rampage banner. "We'll start with lacrosse in 2017," he said. There's new signage for the newly named facility. A sign along Old Denver Road is up. A building sign that will be visible from Interstate 25 will be installed this fall.

The building sign will have a message board with LED lighting that will be a great marketing tool for Monument Ice Rinks. Another marketing tool is the facility's No. 1 ranking in the state in the Colorado Avalanche's new Mile

Andrew Sherman has owned Monument Ice Rinks, formerly known as the Colorado Sports Center, for the past four years and said the name change has been “received very well.�

High Mites program. More than 120 youngsters ages 4-8 signed up to participate in the program at Monu-

ment Ice Rinks, more than double any other facility in the state. For $160, the fall program includes six tickets to an Avalanche game at the Pepsi Center in Denver, six practices on the participant's home rink and a complete set of equipment. "It's a great program," Sherman said. "Because of it, more than 1,000 kids are going to be introduced to the great game of hockey." In a final bit of Monument Ice Rinks summer news, $15,000 worth of hockey equipment from the National Hockey League Players Association's (NHLPA) Goals & Dreams Fund were delivered last month to the home of Al Pedersen, the facility's general manager and youth director. The equipment will be used for the facility's extensive entry-level hockey programs for youths run by Pedersen, a former NHL player who competed in more than 400 games during an eight-year career (1986-1994). Shoulder pads, shin guards, elbow pads, gloves, pants, skates, sticks, helmet/cages, garters/jocks, jills, neck protectors, socks, jerseys and bags were ordered from the NHLPA.


Hockey Director Adam Bartholomay Phone (818) 264-9167 wcradam@gmail.com

18U Tier I Head Coach Kevin McClelland

14U Tier I Head Coach Jon Solomon hattrick08@gmail.com

14U Tier I Assistant Coach Bryce Mannek 13U Head Coach Sean Wilmert


18U Tier I Assistant Coaches Adam Bartholomay Rich Teece rkteece@gmail.com

16U Tier I Head Coach Adam Bartholomay




Strength & Conditioning Coach Tyler Dabrowski Tdabrowski@usspeedskating.org

Power Skating Coach Mariko Rollins

16U Tier I Assistant Coaches Kevin McClelland Rich Teece

www.westcoastrenegades.com CORubberHockey.com


‘Everybody Is Excited’

After Roy resigns as coach, Avs bring in Calder Cup champ Bednar to refuel squad for ’16-17 By Mike Chambers


atrick Roy was a players' coach, a man virtually everyone would run through a wall for. Roy may not be on the Christmas-card list of former Colorado Avalanche forwards P.A. Parenteau and Daniel Briere, among others, but it appears that Colorado's returning cast will miss the Hockey Hall of Fame goalie who abruptly ended his three-year stint behind the Avs' bench Aug. 11. "I enjoyed playing for Patty," Avs forward Blake Comeau said Sept. 7 before teeing off at the 19th Joe Sakic Celebrity Classic at Sanctuary Golf Course. "I thought he was fair, held everybody accountable and to a high standard." Comeau played in Sakic’s tournament along with Avalanche teammates Jarome Iginla, Francois Beauchemin and Cody McLeod. Roy's successor, Jared Bednar -- who was hired Aug. 25 and introduced to Denver media Aug. 31 -- did not participate. His first NHL training camp as a player or coach begins next week with the start of the Sept. 15 rookie camp. The veterans report Sept. 22. "I enjoyed my time to get to know Patty and obviously he's a very successful and passionate guy -- and a very interesting guy to play for," Iginla said. "I wish him well." Beauchemin said about Roy: "He obviously has his reasons and you have to respect his decision. Everybody thinks it's weird timing, and we're a little shocked and disappointed with his decision, but you have to respect it and move on." In the end, a new head coach could turn around a

non-playoff team that generally returns intact. The Avs made no major trades or free-agent splashes during the summer after missing the playoffs for the second consecutive year. "We obviously all know we have to do something different because it wasn't working last year," Beauchemin said.

After leading the Lake Erie Monsters to the AHL’s Calder Cup title in 2016, the Colorado Avalanche hired the 44-year-old to be the NHL team’s new bench boss. Photo/Michael Martin/Colorado Avalanche

Said Comeau: "Jared is going to bring his own approach. He obviously has had some success with winning the Calder Cup last year. I haven't heard much about him, but he's a young guy. It sounds like past players have enjoyed playing for him, so I'm excited. I think everybody is excited. I think everyone is looking forward to moving forward." "You look at different coaching changes over time

with different teams, different years, different sports, whatever it is -- the coach has a big impact on the team," Iginla added. "I don't know what the new systems, the new styles, will be, but we'll find out soon enough. But guys here are hungry and not happy about the last two years.” Limiting shots against and improving offensive possession usually begins with an effective break out of the defensive zone. The Avalanche was poor in breaking the puck out under Roy. But Bednar is confident his systems will work. Bednar, who was a journeyman minor-league defenseman as a player, said he and former Avalanche defenseman Nolan Pratt will introduce ways to lower shots against — which typically increases offensive possession. Pratt was hired in July, before Roy's surprise resignation, from Bednar's staff with the Lake Erie Monsters (now Cleveland Monsters) of the American Hockey League. Bednar and Pratt worked together the last four seasons with the Columbus Blue Jackets' affiliate. "Nolan and I see the game on the defensive side of things with the way we coach – we've been together for a long time and we see it the same way," Bednar said at his introductory news conference. "The plan that we're going to put in place can help elite defensemen or up-and-comers. It's all about support and knowing what you're trying to do with the puck before you get there under different sets of circumstances. "That clarity, that detail, I'm hoping we can put in place will help those guys. Breaking out of your zone and exiting with possession — that's a five-man job, that's a community job, not one defenseman who's going back to get the puck under duress. That's the mentality I have."

New Eagles coach Schneekloth Impact player signings starting to take shape for Grizzlies ‘the best person to take over’ By Matt Mackinder

By Matt Mackinder


hen longtime Colorado Eagles head coach Chris Stewart stepped down in July to focus more on the administrative side of the ECHL club’s operations, he already had his replacement in mind. Aaron Schneekloth, who played seven years for the Eagles and has been an assistant coach the past three, will assume his new role for the 2016-17 season. Stewart has decided to shift his focus to his existing roles of governor, president and general manager of the organization as the Eagles have also become the ECHL affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche. “Watching Aaron transition from player to coach over the past three seasons has reinforced my firm belief that he is without question the best person to take over control of our bench,” said Stewart. “We received interest from a huge number of candidates, including several with NHL experience on their resume, but at the end of the day, I know that Aaron is the one who can take us where we are looking to go.” In addition, former Eagles forward Ryan Tobler will serve as Schneekloth’s assistant coach. For Schneekloth, the upcoming year will be his first-ever head coaching position. Prior to moving behind the bench, the Calgary native enjoyed a professional career that spanned 11 years and a Central Hockey League championship in 2007 with the Eagles. “The standard of excellence that has been set by Chris is a challenge I accept and look forward to maintaining at this level,” said Schneekloth. “It’s rare and humbling to know that I not only had the opportunity to play for the best fans and organization in this league, but I now get to lead it on the bench.” Tobler retired from professional hockey in 2010 after spending seven seasons with the Eagles, winning a pair of championships with Colorado in 2005 and with Schneekloth in 2007. Most recently, he served as the head coach of the Bentley Generals of the Chinook Hockey League, leading the team to the the Allan Cup in 2016. 10

Colorado Rubber Hockey Magazine


efore the Utah Grizzlies open the 2016-17 ECHL season Oct. 14 at the Maverik Center against Idaho, the squad must be created based on free-agent signings and players assigned to Utah from the parent Anaheim Ducks. As of late August, Utah coach-GM Tim Branham had inked a number of high-impact players that should see significant roles for the team this season, including forwards C.J. Eick, Erik Higby, Brandon McNally and Jon Puskar and defenseman Mike Banwell. Puskar had two goals and four assists for six points in eight playoff games last year and finished his first regular season with the Grizzlies with nine goals and seven assists for 16 points in 44 games. "Jon was a very versatile player for us last season, and his commitment to our community is tremendous,” said Branham. “We are excited to have him back." Last season, McNally split time between the Montreal Canadiens’ American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate in St. John’s and their ECHL affiliate in Brampton. He had seven goals and six assists for 13 points in 48 games with St. John’s and had one goal and one assist in seven games with Brampton. “Brandon plays the puck possession-style game that we are looking for,” said Branham. “He is big, tough, and plays hard. We are happy to have him.” Higby and Eick received qualifying offers from Branham on July 1 and signed for the coming season. Both played in Utah last year. On the back end, Banwell should be a welcome addition to the Grizzlies. Banwell has played in 228 professional games, including 132 in the ECHL and 68 in the AHL and time in the New Jersey Devils, San Jose Sharks and Columbus Blue Jackets minor league systems. “Mike is a great leader and will play in all situations,” Branham said. “We are fortunate to add someone with as much experience as he has.”


Class is finally in session at the Tahoe Hockey Academy By Greg Ball


he date of Sept. 12 will mark an important day in Tahoe Hockey Academy’s history. After years of conceptualizing and months of planning, the academy will officially open to its first class of student-athletes. Academic lesson plans have been prepared, games have been scheduled, and the hundreds of other details have been put in place to set the foundation for the first hockey prep school in the state of California. While it has been a long and winding road to reach this point, the staff at the school couldn’t be more excited to get its inaugural team on the ice and in the classroom. “We’ve had a tremendous response from players interested in Tahoe Hockey Academy, and we’ve been fortunate enough to sign some really high-end talent in just our first year,” said J.J. James, the academy’s vice president and head coach. “To see players who’ve competed at some of the top AAA programs in the Western United States call THA home this year is a testament to our focus on player development.” As with building any successful program, getting the Tahoe Hockey Academy from concept to opening its doors has been all about attention to detail. The academy’s leadership feels that careful planning and its overarching focus on long-term stability should have lasting results for the program. Mike Lewis, the academy’s athletic director, said that from the beginning, the staff’s goal has been to de-

velop an on-ice curriculum that emphasizes player development, which will in turn enhance team success. “We may be a first-year program, but by no means is this our first year in creating a program,” Lewis said. “We want to focus on developing better players, first and foremost. We believe that if we make that our emphasis, and we provide the necessary tools to reinforce and promote the concepts that we teach our players on a daily basis, our approach will have huge benefits for these young men down the line.”

The Tahoe Hockey Academy, after many months of planning getting each and every detail finalized, will officially welcome its first class through the doors on Sept. 12. Photo/Joe Naber

And Tahoe Hockey Academy won’t be shy about putting its best foot forward from the start. Armed with a schedule that will feature 60-plus games during the 2016-17 season, the team will play a highly-competitive league schedule and will supplement that by participat-

ing in a number of top-level tournaments across the country. The academy’s team will play in the Anaheim Ducks High School Hockey League (ADHSHL). The league’s full 2016-17 schedule hasn’t been released yet, but THA will play in Division I with JSerra, Santa Margarita, Orange Lutheran and Bellarmine Prep starting in midSeptember. “We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished so far, but I doubt we’d be this far without the support of so many people and leagues,” said Leo Fenn, the academy’s president and chief operating officer. “We’re very thankful for the assistance of and the opportunity presented to us by Art Trottier and Matt Blanchart of the ADHSHL, as well as Tom Hancock and William Stone from CAHA and NorCal.” From Day 1, the coaches will be tasked with bringing players from multiple states and styles to come together to compete as one. With trips to the Bauer World Invite and Silver Sticks, as well as events planned in Manitoba, Colorado, Calgary, Minnesota and Southern California on the horizon, work will need to begin in earnest on opening day. “Competing in the Western Prep Hockey League and the Anaheim Ducks High School Hockey League, as well as the top tournaments in the U.S, will let us challenge ourselves and see where we stand,” Lewis said. “We’re proud to call Tahoe home for our academy,” Fenn added. “The people and the city are great, and we’re excited to represent the community.”




Department of Defense

Air Force sophomore blueliners Bailey, Koch look to be impact players in ’16-17 “When the team got on its roll in January and February, I didn’t play much.” Added Koch: “It was tough to not play for long stretches after Christmas.” With that in mind, the duo went to work this summer. “My biggest weakness is trying to catch up strength-wise,” the 6-foot-1, 175-pound Bailey said.

doing Olympic-style lifts like squats. It’s really working. I’m faster, and I should be more durable.” an Bailey and Matt Koch If the two emerge as Serratore expects, not only went into the summer with will the Falcons’ defensive depth improve, but the blue specific sets of orders. line should emerge as a strength the next few years. Should they execute their assignments, the sophFive other returning defensemen played more than 30 omore defensemen could see additional ice time and games, and only Johnny Hrabovsky (15 points last responsibilities for Air Force this coming season. season) is a senior. “The biggest jump, especially for defenseHrabovsky is joined by juniors Phil Boje men, comes between freshmen to sophomore (15 points), Kyle Mackey (11), Jonathan years,” Falcons coach Frank Serratore said. Kopacka (10) and Dylan Abood (9). “We’re expecting those two to not just chalBailey and Koch have the credentials to lenge for spots in the lineup, but to go toe-tocrack the lineup more frequently, however. toe with the upperclassmen.” Koch arrived at the Academy fresh off winIt wouldn’t be a stretch for Bailey and Koch ning North American Hockey League (NAHL) to step up. Both have the ability to be impact Defenseman of the Year honors after putting offensive players at the college level, but they up 51 points during the 2014-15 season for weren’t there yet last season. Wichita Falls. The fleet Bailey excelled for “Both have great front sides, they just need Wenatchee of the NAHL. to get better defensively,” Serratore added. “Danny would have been one of the “Matt has to improve his footspeed and Danny top-scoring D (in the NAHL) had he gone needs to improve his strength.” back, but we chose to bring him in,” Serratore. When called upon, the duo performed fair“He was the youngest guy on the team.” ly well. Koch played in 18 games, picking up Bailey and Koch went through the acadfive assists, while Bailey added three helpers emy’s grueling Expeditionary, Survival and in 11 appearances. Evassion Training (ESET) course over the They largely were spectators as the Fal- Dan Bailey (left) and Matt Koch both sat out parts of last season with Air Force, but summer, in addition to lifting copious amounts cons went on a 14-4-3 roll after the Christmas the duo figures to be in the Falcons’ lineup on a more regular basis this coming year. of weights. break that culminated with a trip to the Atlantic Photo/Air Force Athletics Both are good students, and their coach Hockey semifinals. While thrilled with the team’s suc- “My lifting program is targeting upper, lower, every- has no doubts they have the makeup to step up for the cess, sitting out so much wore on their competitive thing.” Falcons this season and beyond. natures. Koch’s assignment was different. “College hockey is a man’s game,” Serratore said. “Last season started off well and I played at least “I have been working out a lot for legs,” the 6-foot- “Everyone has challenges, but these two have what it once every weekend until Christmas,” Bailey said. 1, 195-pounder said. “They have me focusing on legs, takes to play key roles for us.” By Chris Bayee


Pioneers’ losses open doors Tigers look for returning quartet for youth to solidify top spots to step up as veteran leaders By Chris Bayee

By Chris Bayee


alf of the University of Denver’s top-six forwards are gone, as is its No. 2-scoring defenseman from a season ago. In addition, the Pioneers lost two key components of their penalty kill and energy lines in captain Grant Arnold and Gabe Levin. Early departures to sign with NHL teams by forwards Danton Heinen (Boston) and Trevor Moore (Toronto) mean DU enters the season down 92 points from its top line. The graduations of center Quentin Shore and defenseman Nolan Zajac remove 48 more points, or 140 in all. This begs the question: Who will need to step up their games this season to account from some of the lost production? “The guys that come to mind are (forwards) Jared Lukosevicious, Logan O’Connor and Troy Terry,” DU coach Jim Montgomery said. “On defense, we expect continued development from Blake Hillman and Adam Plant and on the back end, Evan Cowley.” The first four will be sophomores, while Plant is a junior and Cowley a senior. Terry, a 2015 Anaheim Ducks draft pick, played in all 41 games, had 22 points and was especially strong down the stretch. Lukosevicious had 10 points in 34 games, while O’Connor played in 23 games, but was in and out of the lineup in the second half when DU commenced its run to the Frozen Four. “For the forwards, it’s just being a factor in every game and being more confident players in whatever role they’re in,” Montgomery said. “We saw what Terry can do. Logan is an energy player who can contribute points. ‘Luko’ was brought in to score, but he can bring a lot of energy.” Hillman and Plant each played in 39 games and saw special teams time. Hillman, who was selected the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA West Regional, was taken in June’s NHL Draft by the Chicago Blackhawks in the sixth round (173rd overall). Cowley, a 2013 pick of the Florida Panthers, went 8-5-1 with a 2.07 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage. 12

Colorado Rubber Hockey Magazine


t’s no stretch to say every position has room to improve for Colorado College this season. The silver lining for Tigers fans after a 6-29-1 campaign is two-fold: several underclassmen gained valuable experience as lineup regulars and the team appears to have taken the coaching staff’s offseason admonishment to get stronger seriously. “We talked about conditioning with the guys after the season,” coach Mike Haviland said. “We wanted even more commitment in the weight room, and based on what I saw (when school started Aug. 29), several players look bigger and stronger.” Haviland noted four players he expects to take on greater roles this season as the Tigers seek to go from prey to predator in the NCHC jungle. Up front, two sophomores could take big steps, the coach said. “Trey Bradley (16 points) had a pretty good freshman year, but we need him to get his game to another level,” Haviland said. “Not only producing points, but leading us. “Mason Bergh (13 points) has the ability to take that next step. He’s a skilled guy who put up big numbers in the USHL, but like a lot of players, he found the college game is more of a challenge. He got better as the year went on and was one of our better players at the end of the season.” On defense, junior Teemu Kivihalme, who led Tigers blue liners with 15 points, has the potential to be an all-conference-type of player, his coach said. “He has to take that next step,” Haviland said. “He has had OK years, but he’s a junior and he was a high pick by Nashville (fifth round in 2013).” Kivihalme was the lone non-freshman defenseman most nights in 2015-16. In net, sophomore Jacob Nehama displayed plenty of promise – often keeping the Tigers in games – as tried to battle through a hip injury before ultimately needing surgery for it. “He feels 100 percent better and is ahead of schedule in his rehab,” Haviland said. “He is looking great, and that’s a good sign for us.”

PICTURE PERFECT Windsor native and Colorado Thunderbirds grad Bryan Lockner signed with the Western Hockey League’s Regina Pats on Sept. 1. Lockner, a forward, was drafted by Regina in the third round (58th overall) of the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft.

Squirt and Pee Wee players participated in the Krivo School of Hockey Elite’s Power Skating, Skills & Combat Camp from July 18-22 at the Ice Ranch in Littleton and posed for a group photo on the camp’s final day.

Thornton native and University of Denver grad Luke Salazar, after playing overseas the past three seasons, has returned to his home state for the 2016-17 season after signing with the ECHL's Colorado Eagles in August. Photo/DU Athletics

Former Littleton Hockey Association goaltenders Evan Smith (left) and Hayden Hawkey took part in the LHA goalie camp in early August. Both Smith and Hawkey have been drafted by NHL clubs - Smith by Nashville in 2015 and Hawkey by Montreal in 2014.

New Colorado Eagles head coach Aaron Schneekloth (right) and former coach and current president, governor and general manager Chris Stewart shake hands during a press conference at The Summit in Windsor on July 18 announcing the coaching transactionPhoto/Colorado Eagles

Two teams that represented the Colorado Rampage organization took part in the Avalanche Street Hockey Classic on Aug. 7 at the Pepsi Center. The kids were all smiles after the event.

Players from the Colorado Springs Tigers’ 16U AAA and 18U AAA teams take time to pose for a group photo during training camp last month at Red Rock Canyon Open Space. Photo/Brian Copeland

The Palmer High School alumni game was held on Aug. 26 at Honnen Arena. Pictured, from left to right, are former Palmer teammates Alexi Sarchett, Jeff Gaddis, Shaun Hathaway and Ryan Chase. Former Palmer coach Mike Provenzano organized the event as over 60 alumni players and coaches from the early 1970s to the present participated in two games. The event reflected 50 years of Palmer hockey tradition.

TMembers of the Avalanche Ice Girls took part as over 16,000 pieces of equipment and $6,000 in cash donations were collected at the Pepsi Center on Aug. 20 at the fifth annual giveSPORTS Equipment Drive. All items benefited "A Precious Child," which provides sports equipment and scholarships for sports-related registration fees for children in Colorado. Photo/Michael Martin/ Colorado Avalanche

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UTAH REPORT Pair of Utah high school products WSHL’s Moose change team’s to skate for USPHL’s Flyers identity, morph into Utah Outliers By Matt Mackinder

By Matt Mackinder



n a move that lends to the fact that Utah hockey, specifically high school hockey in the state, continues to grow, two former standouts have signed to play junior hockey for the 2016-17 season. The Alpena Flyers of the United States Premier Hockey League (USPHL) recently inked forward Ben McCleery and defenseman Brett Armstrong to skate for the Northeast Michigan-based team. McCleery, a West Valley City native, will be a senior in high school this year and carries a 3.70 grade-point average. He put up 22 points in 21 games during the 2015-16 season, which was split between Hunter High School and the Salt Lake Rebels. He said making the jump to the USPHL is ideal for his type of game. “I chose the Alpena Flyers to play junior hockey because I believe the team best fits me,” said McCleery. “It will help me develop into a better hockey player so that I will be able to play in college." On the back end, Armstrong played 21 games a year ago for Copper Hills and posted eight goals, six assists and 50 penalty minutes. Going 6-foot-5 and weighing nearly 220 pounds, Armstrong will add size and depth to the Flyers’ blue line. “You can always teach players different system or develop a player however you want,” said Alpena head coach Russ Anderson. “Having size is something you can't teach a player. Brett is a big kid and with hard work, he will be a great addition to our defensive core.” The Flyers are entering their third junior hockey season, having played in the Midwest Junior Hockey League in 2014-14 and the USPHL last season. Their home rink is the Northern Lights Arena, a two-sheet rink in Alpena. “Ultimately, our goal is to be a stepping stone for young athletes to move on to either higher junior leagues or the collegiate level,” said Anderson. “To be able to do that and make the experience here in Alpena great for them is what we truly strive for. We are hoping to grow our fan base and pack the rink each night."


Colorado Rubber Hockey Magazine

he Salt Lake City Moose are no more. Well, in name only. The Moose have rebranded into the Utah Outliers and will skate the 2016-17 Western States Hockey League (WSHL) season under that new name. Utah Outliers president Scott Farrell believes the new name and branding reflect a new chapter for the organization, offering a more progressive mentality and innovative spirit. “Since the end of last season, our management group has had several conversations about rebranding our hockey club,” Farrell said. “With our league becoming more global and targeting athletes ages 16-20 from all over the world, we wanted to move into a more modern identity and brand for the organization. We also thought it would be a good idea to use a name similar to the youth hockey academy we run so we can give our athletes a pathway to junior hockey.” The Outliers will continue to play at the Acord Ice Center in West Valley City with games beginning this month. Paul Taylor will serve as the WSHL club’s head coach and will pull double duty as he is also the youth program’s director of hockey operations with a heavy focus on player and coach development. His responsibilities include hiring coaches, implementing training systems, designing performance metrics, recruiting and communicating the programs vision and mission. Taylor is also excited about the future of the Outliers. “I believe our new name and logo better reflects our values and mission as an organization,” Taylor said. “We have seen several programs in Colorado, Idaho and Nevada using a similar branding model with their youth and junior teams and we thought it would work great for us as well.” The word “outlier” was popularly termed by author Malcolm Gladwell, who wrote the book Outliers: The Story of Success. An outlier can be defined as a person or thing that differs or stands out from all other members of particular group or set.

ROCKY MOUNTAIN ROUGHRIDERS Behind the scenes, Millar does it all for the RoughRiders

COLORADO SPRINGS AMATEUR HOCKEY CSAHA’s Miners rebrand, now known as Tigers AAA Hockey

By Chris Bayee

By Matt Mackinder



ow would you like to arrange travel and accommodations for 20 Rocky Mountain RoughRiders hockey players, a manager and a handful of coaches – 35 times combined for six teams during a seven-month span? If you’re up for that, how about ordering jerseys, socks, bags, pant shells, off-ice training gear and jackets and more for 118 players, dozens more coaches and untold family members? There is some paperwork – USA Hockey registrations, club forms that include a code of conduct and consent to treat, as well as every player’s insurance card. Once you’re done with that, check in with the four other managers you oversee and see if they need help. And there are seven players who need housing, so please set up billets for them, too. Then you can resume your administrative work for the club. Debbie Millar is the RoughRiders’ jack of all trades, and her hard work is one reason the club functions as well as it does, director of hockey operations Derek Robinson said. “Their family does a lot for our program,” Robinson said. “I’m not sure where I’d be without her. She goes well above and beyond what her titles and duties are.” Millar is registrar, travel coordinator, billet coordinator, admin guru and above all, a hockey mom starting her fifth season with the RoughRiders. Her sons, Joe, Adam and Jack got hooked on the sport more than a dozen years ago thanks to a next-door neighbor who played. Joe was a captain at Ralston Valley High, while Adam (18U) and Jack (16U) are 6-foot-4 defensemen for the RoughRiders. “I am an organizer by nature and I like to keep busy,” said Millar. “I work with a great group of people and I enjoy being involved with my sons.” Added Robinson: “She’s been a huge help in the program’s growth, and a title doesn’t do her justice.”


he Pikes Peak Miners are changing the name of their youth program, but not the philosophy that has made them a top youth program in Colorado. The Miners, members of the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) and the Colorado Springs Amateur Hockey Association (CSAHA), announced recently that they have joined forces to create Tigers AAA Hockey. The program's junior team will remain the Miners.The Miners have a long history as the Tier I affiliate of CSAHA, the premier youth hockey association in the Pikes Peak region. “Our mission is to provide elite youth hockey players the opportunity to develop advanced hockey skills in a program that places emphasis on sportsmanship, integrity, discipline and character,” said Tigers executive director Brian Copeland. “Our goals are to run the most ethical and honest Tier I hockey program in North America, to prepare as many players as possible to progress and succeed at higher levels of hockey, and to create positive lifelong hockey citizens who benefit tremendously from their time in the Tigers organization.” Through 40 years of operation, CSAHA and the Miners have led youth hockey development in the state of Colorado, and bringing both under the Tigers flag will solidify a top to bottom development model for all players in the association centered on long-term athlete development. The Tigers AAA 18U, 16U and 15U teams will compete in the NAPHL. The Miners were one of the founding members of the NAPHL back in 2009 and have been members to the present. As one of the original USA Hockey Model Associations, CSAHA will continue to operate world-class development programs for players of all ages. With close proximity to three Division I college hockey programs (University of Denver, Air Force Academy and Colorado College), Tigers AAA hockey certainly benefits from an unparalleled amount of exposure for its players.





Colorado Rubber Hockey Magazine

Success a trait shared by Aurora’s Hawkinson brothers about the future. It’s been three years of injuries, but to be able to have these degrees will set me up for success, which is a motivating factor for me.” Brad’s contributions to the Pioneers are vast, coach Jim Montgomery said. “’Hawk’ is a great Pioneer – he bleeds crimson

family pattern of service. In 2001, Chris and Linda Hawkinson sold rad and Brian Hawkinson’s names don’t fill up their house in Arizona as Chris approached what he hockey scoresheets, but what the brothers from thought was his retirement from the Air Force. Then Aurora bring is intangibles with a capital ‘I.’ 9/11 happened, so it was six more years flying fighter So their hockey teams’ successful 2015-16 seajets and searching for another house. sons shouldn’t come as a surprise. When the Hawkinsons arrived in ColBrad (a 1994 birth year) was part orado in 2007, hockey helped the brothof the University of Denver’s run to the ers assimilate. Brad had played house Frozen Four. The Pioneers bounced league before trying out for the Coloraback from a 7-7-2 start to go 18-3-4 afdo Thunderbirds Bantam AAA team. He ter that, including an 11-game winning didn’t make it, but the consolation prize streak. wasn’t bad. He joined a Littleton Hawks Brian (a ’98) played a key role in the Bantam AA team that included Jaccob Tri-City Storm’s run to the United States Slavin (Carolina Hurricanes), Christian Hockey League (USHL) Clark Cup Heil (Colorado College) and Landon championship. His role wasn’t as much Smith (Quinnipiac University). Brad reflected in points as preventing them. later played for the T-Birds and Lincoln “I’m not going to score 50 goals (USHL) before choosing DU and I’m not the biggest guy, but I like “When we lived in Arizona, I started to throw a lot of hits and be a pest,” he coming up for George Gwozdecky’s said. “When I block shots, it’s the highhockey camps at DU,” Brad said. “It was light of my game. I want to be known as all I knew. It was always a place I wanted a two-way forward.” to go. I was looking for what the academHe made enough of an impression Brian Hawkinson (left) raised the Clark Cup with the USHL’s Tri-City Storm last spring, while older ic side had to offer.” that he caught the eye of several univer- brother Brad was part of the University of Denver’s run to the Frozen Four in April. Photos/Tri-City Storm Brian played Squirts for the Front sities before committing to Miami Uni- (Brian), DU Athletics (Brad) Range Panthers, then Pee Wees through versity in Oxford, Ohio. and gold,” Montgomery said. “He always supports Midget 16U with the Thunderbirds. While Brian was a regular for the Storm, Brad has his teammates whether he’s injured or healthy. He’s a “I had really good coaches throughout; I had Anplayed sparingly because of injuries during his three fantastic teammate, extremely bright.” gelo Ricci my last two years and he really got me seasons with the Pioneers. After the 2016-17 school year, Brad will be one prepared for the USHL style and speed,” Brian said. “The only part I’ve been healthy was during that quarter away from graduating with a diploma hat trick “Cal Foote is a good friend of mine, and his dad (for(second-half) run,” Brad said. “When your team is – majors in Russian language, international studies mer Avalanche defenseman) Adam also coached. ranked that high, you can’t complain. You have to stay and history. That could lead to doing intelligence work Every practice I’d learn something different to try to positive and look at the big picture and be realistic or possibly becoming a military pilot and continuing a transfer to our game.” By Chris Bayee



The road to junior hockey is not easy, but is rewarding A

s young players are growing up, they are working towards playing at high levels of hockey through their youth days. When these players succeed at these levels, their new goal then becomes junior hockey. The junior Cam Clemenson hockey level is one of the hardest levels for a young hockey player to adapt to. A lot of them have to move away from home, which can be hard. As these young players move up in the ranks of hockey, it just gets more difficult and intense. The players get better and the coaches get more demanding. I hate to say it, but it becomes a job at the junior level for these athletes. These young athletes need to know that nutrition, the mental aspect and off-ice training is just as important as the on-ice ingredients. Players need to be great athletes. There is so much, but so little when you think about hockey players. The first thing that comes to

mind is that they’re athletes, as that is fact for a lot of great hockey players. There are some players out there that think by being skilled this will get them to the level that they want to be for juniors. These young players need to know that they just can't rely on being a hockey player with skill – they also need to be an athlete. This is where off-ice comes in, which doesn't mean that you need to be big and bulky, but lean. Off-ice is where a player is made. The training that it takes to become an affective junior player is difficult, and it takes dedication and time. Off-ice is one of the tools that is missed when developing into an elite-level hockey player. When moving up in the ranks, you need to be aware of nutrition, and you need to take care of your body. Your body is your biggest tool. With the on-ice and off-ice training that you’re putting your body through to play at high levels, nutrition comes in to play. The schedule that a junior hockey player has is hard, practicing at least three, maybe four days a week, and 2-3 games a weekend. This can be a lot on the body, but if you’re able to take care of your body, you as a player will be more effective. Nutrition is what feeds your

body. If you’re eating and drinking right, your body will do wonders for you. This is also key because taking care of your body will also help lessen the risk of injury. Mentally, the junior hockey level will be hard, but the successful athletes are mentally tough. Just like I talked about earlier, the schedule of a junior hockey player is unforgiving. The ups and downs of a hockey season are hard, the coaches ask more of you, and so do your teammates. That is where being mentally strong is crucial. Being a junior hockey player, you’re also gone from home, so you don't have the support of your family and loved ones to help you through any obstacles. This is where you as a player need to become a young adult, which can be a lot to ask of a 16 to 20-year-old, so being mentally strong is probably tops on the list to be prepared to get to the junior hockey level. As young players, you all need to know that hockey can be a demanding but a very fun sport. This game, in my eyes, is the closest thing to the real world. As a coach, our job is to give you as a player the best opportunity to grow into young adults on and off the ice. Good luck to everyone's hockey season this year, work hard and have fun!

Cam Clemenson is the goalie coach and 20U head coach for the Colorado Thunderbirds. Interested in being a Chalk Talk columnist? E-mail Matt Mackinder at matt@rubberhockey.com. 17

Colorado Rubber Hockey Magazine


Position: (2015-16) Forward, Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL)/ Missouri Mavericks (ECHL) Hometown: Colorado Springs Age: 27 Last Amateur Team: University of Massachusetts-Lowell (Hockey East) Youth Teams: Pikes Peak Tigers, Colorado Thunderbirds, Colorado Rampage Colorado Rubber: What is your favorite hockey memory growing up? Josh Holmstrom: My first few times skating at the old Broadmoor Arena before it got torn down. The ice was below the level the stands were on. To get on the ice as a four- or five-year-old, you had to crawl off the ledge and jump down two or three feet. I enjoyed going to the rink and learning to skate and play the game. I fell in love with doing that right off the bat. CR: What is your favorite memory in the game since leaving Colorado? JH: I got to play with my older brother, Ben, last season (in Bridgeport). That was the first time we got to play on the same team. That situation was a lot of fun, getting to spend time together. He is a couple years older than me and always was in the next age group up. We trained and skated together during the summers, but to be able to play together last year was a lot of fun. Not a lot of guys get to do that. The first time I was called up was right before Christmas, and my parents were flying out anyway, so they got to see the first game we played together. CR: Who have been the biggest influences on you on and off the ice? JH: My family. On the ice, I looked up to my brother because he was older. I saw what he did to be successful. At U15 and U16 my dad (Kevin) was a coach, so I had him pushing me. And my mom (Michelle) was always supporting us and getting us to and from the rinks. I would not be where I am without my family. CR: What advice would you give young hockey players? JH: Everybody’s path is different. Some guys make it to junior when they’re 16. I didn’t make it until I was 19. I tell them to continue to work hard and the rest takes care of itself. A lot of it is the attitude they bring to the rink. CR: Other than hockey, do you have a favorite sport to play? JH: Growing up, I played baseball until I was 14. Now during the summer when I’m not training or skating, I like to play golf. CR: Are there are any pieces of gear you’re particular about? JH: As long as nothing’s broken, I’m pretty easy with my gear. CR: What are essential items to take on a road trip? JH: Usually my iPad and a pair of headphones. If there’s Wi-Fi on the bus, I can scroll through and look up different things. The headphones allow me to throw some music on if I don’t like the movie that’s playing. CR: When you’re back in Colorado, do you have a favorite meal or restaurant? JH: Anytime I’m back, it would be anything my mom cooks. A nice homecooked meal just brings you back to when you grew up. CR: Did you have a favorite player growing up? JH: Joe Sakic. I watched the Avalanche when I was just getting into things, and he led the way on those championship teams. He was fun to watch. CR: What is the most challenging aspect of playing pro hockey? JH: It’s not quite as glamorous as it appears. It’s the same as everything else. Work in the morning and prepare yourself every day. Sometimes those bus trips get a little long. I love what I do and I enjoy going to the rink, so I’m fortunate to do what I do. Photo/Puck Stopper Photography 18

Colorado Rubber Hockey Magazine

- Compiled by Chris Bayee

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Profile for Rubber Hockey Magazines

Colorado Rubber Magazine - September 2016  

The September 2016 Issue of Colorado Rubber Magazine, Colorado's & Utah's Authoritative Voice of Ice & Inline Hockey!

Colorado Rubber Magazine - September 2016  

The September 2016 Issue of Colorado Rubber Magazine, Colorado's & Utah's Authoritative Voice of Ice & Inline Hockey!