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FROM THE EDITOR Make it the most wonderful time of the year at the rink, at home


t’s hard to believe, but December means the lights are shining, the tree is lit, family get-togethers are planned, wrapping paper is everywhere and people seem to be smiling a little bit more than the other 11 months. Yes, the holidays are here. And while some teams at all levels of hockey may get a brief break, the game and the training that goes along with it, never stops. But take time to enjoy the goings on away from the rink and the gym. Enjoy your family, make those special memories, take selfies with ugly Christmas sweaters, plunk one another with snowballs, sit on Santa’s lap, keep smiling. Matt Mackinder If everything goes as planned, your joy will carry over into 2017 and back into your locker room and rink where the second half of many seasons will commence. From all of us with Colorado Rubber Magazine, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! A pair of Colorado Avalanche squads earned titles on Nov. 20 at the seventh annual USA Hockey Sled Classic. The four-day event that commenced Nov. 17 was hosted by the Nashville Predators at the Ford Ice Center in Antioch, Tenn. The field included a record 24 teams, each affiliated with an NHL club. The Avalanche won a pair of division titles by topping the Buffalo Sabres 6-2 in the Tier I title game and edging the Anaheim Ducks 4-2 in the Tier IV championship game. The event was part of the fifth annual Come Play Hockey Month, a joint effort between USA Hockey and the NHL. The U.S. National Sled Hockey Team then defeated Canada 5-2 in the championship game at the 2016 World Sled Hockey Challenge in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island on Dec. 10. Colorado natives on Team USA include Tyler Carron (Fort Collins) and Nikko Landeros (Johnstown).

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The Colorado Select Girls Hockey Association (CSGHA) has announced the appointment of Bryan Smith as the organization’s new director of hockey. For the past seven months, Smith has been leading the recreational hockey component of the association and will now take on the leadership of the tier hockey program as the association brings all hockey operations back under the leadership of a single director. Smith has been the owner of Rocky Mountain Hockey Schools for the past 12 years and for the past four years, has served as the first-ever hockey director for Summit Hockey in Breckenridge. St. Lawrence University (ECAC Hockey) junior goaltender Kyle Hayton was named the Hockey Commissioners' Association National Division I Player of the Month for November. Hayton led the Saints to a No. 19 national ranking last month and finished November tied among all of his Division I counterparts in games started (8), posting a 5-0-3 record. A Denver native and youth product of the CC Jr. Tigers, Colorado Hockey Club (now Rampage) and Colorado Thunderbirds, Hayton only allowed a total of nine goals, while making 232 saves for a .963 save percentage, which was fourth-best in the nation. He allowed two goals or fewer in all games, posting a 1.09 GAA, which was also fourth-best in D-I. He was also named ECAC Hockey's Goaltender of the Month for November. Former Colorado Select goaltender Nicole Hensley was chosen as one of the 10 recipients for the NCAA Top 10 award. The award recognizes former student-athletes for their successes on the field, in the classroom, and in the community. Recipients completed their athletics eligibility during the 2015-16 academic year and will be recognized at the Honors Celebration during the upcoming NCAA Convention in Nashville. Hensley graduated from Lindenwood University last spring and is now an assistant coach for the Division I Lions. The Lakewood native is a three-time winner of the Colorado Sportswomen of the Year for hockey and was inducted into the Colorado Sportswomen Hall of Fame in March of 2016.

Contact Matt Mackinder at 4

Colorado Rubber Hockey Magazine

The University of Denver has been a national powerhouse this season and junior goaltender Tanner Jaillet’s play has been a key component of the Pioneers’ success. More college coverage of the state’s three NCAA Division I teams on Page 12. Photo/Shannon Valerio/DU Athletics

ON THE COVER Members of the Colorado Springs Tigers 16U AAA and 18U AAA teams, pictured from left to right, are Hudson Cramer (18U assistant captain), Dalton Dosko (18U captain), Matt Moscati (18U assistant captain) and Karter Kovar (16U captain). Photo/Penni Figgins


Coaches, on-ice refs finding more ways to work together By Steve Stein


t's a scene that repeats itself in rinks throughout Colorado and across the country. A call is made -- or not made -- during a youth hockey game. The coach of the team on the receiving end of the call or non-call screams his disapproval, which often encourages the team's parents and fans to join in the yelling. The young teenage official who is the target of the abuse tries to diffuse the situation, but many times it's to no avail. "And after one season, a young, gung-ho official doesn't want to officiate anymore," said Brian Sutton, USA Hockey coach-in-chief for Colorado. Ron Groothedde, USA Hockey referee-in-chief for Colorado, is concerned about the same problem, especially because hockey associations are losing as many as half of their new officials each season. "It's so much fun for a young official to whiz around the ice with the players while enforcing the rules. There's no other hobby like it," he said. "But some coaches and parents can suck the joy right out of it." It isn't only young officials who get fed up with the behavior of coaches, Groothedde said. "Let's say you've been officiating for 25 or 30 years and you see yet another Bantam B or Midget C coach going postal about a perceived offside or a penalty that was missed," he said. "You wonder, 'Why am I doing this?"

Both Sutton and Groothedde want to put an end or at least slow down the quick exits of young officials. They have some solutions but first, they discussed the biggest problems. "There's an intimidation factor, really bullying, when an adult coach tries to impose his thoughts on a child who is officiating a

Ron Groothedde

Brian Sutton

game," Sutton said. dults forget these young officials are just kids. So many coaches have no self-control and they forget an official can make a mistake just like a player or coach." There's nothing that can be done after a call is made, Sutton said, so a coach needs to calm down and keeping coaching otherwise he's not helping his team.

Groothedde said for the most part, young officials have been taught to respect their elders so they have a difficult time dealing with an angry adult. It isn't easy to impose a bench minor penalty or toss a coach from a game, he said. "A young official isn't mentally prepared to get into an argument with an adult," he said. Sutton and Groothedde both say the solution to the problems lie in communication and education. On the ice, they suggest a calm discussion between a coach and official about a dispute after some time has passed, perhaps after several faceoffs, or even after the game so cooler heads prevail. Off the ice, they think it would be a great idea if hockey associations schedule a pre-season meeting with coaches and veteran officials to talk about ways coaches and officials can work together during a game. An even bigger need, both said, is for coaches to learn the rules, especially because they're not the same at each level of competition. "Most coaches think they know all the rules from watching NHL games," Groothedde said.


One Name, One Mission, One Vision After 40 years, CSAHA continuing its culture with a development-first philosophy across the board

responsible for not only the success of your business, but also in developing young men. or the Colorado Springs Amateur Hockey Association (CSAHA), change is Holmstrom began the season as solely the 18U head coach, but took over definitely a positive, good thing. the 16U team last month when Cody Campbell was hired as an assistant Branded as the Pikes Peak Miners for many years, the program adopted the coach by the USHL’s Cedar Rapids RoughRiders. Tigers AAA Hockey moniker for the 2016-17 season after joining forces with "We are extremely proud of Cody and are happy to have played a part in CSAHA. The Miners had a long history as the Tier I affiliate of CSAHA and this his development as a player and now as a coach,” said Copeland. “Cedar season, the Tigers AAA 18U, 16U and 15U teams compete in the North Amer- Rapids is fortunate to have a coach of outstanding ability and character join ican Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL). their organization for the second time." The Miners were one of the founding The oldest AAA association in the state, the Tigers began in 1976 as a members of the NAPHL back in 2009 junior team and then last decade, merged with CSAHA. Now with a constant and have been members ever since. philosophy in place and solid coaches at each level, Copeland wants to work Overall, the Tigers program on the intangibles. has numerous selling points and “First and foremost, we want to establish a culture here,” Copeland said. top-quality attractiveness. “This transition into one name, one mission, one vision for us was a really “We believe in three things good thing. We’re very happy that we were able to help get Cody a position and this is something we talk in the USHL. My job as executive director is player development, coach deto with our velopment, staff development. We want the club to have coacha culture of development from top to bottom.” es on a Copeland added that the commitment level of the weekly baclub’s volunteers, mirroring the philosophy that has everysis,” said one on the same page, “has been astounding.” C S A H A “Any time I reach out and look for people to help, there executive diare times I have to turn people away,” he noted. rector Brian Alumni wise, CSAHA has seen the Holmstrom brothCopeland. “We ers come through, with Ben playing for the NHL’s Philawant the kids treatdelphia Flyers during the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons, ed fairly, developed along with former Northeastern University defenseman and given opportunities. Colton Saucerman, Campbell, who also played NCAA Those are the three biggest things for us. We’re not the type of D-I at Niagara University, and current University of Denver association that’s going to roll one or two lines in a game just forward Colin Staub. to pursue a victory. Our responsibility is to treat every player Copeland noted that the alumni list is impressive, but fairly to the best of our abilities. We have the facilities and the people should take note of the program’s 15U AAA team coaches, so we’re going to develop these kids the best we this season. can. We give them exposure at the right levels. We’ve already “Of the 19 kids on the roster, 15 are from Colorado got North American Hockey League teams bringing our kids in Springs,” noted Copeland. “Those kids are playing and mid-season for practices. competing quite well in the NAPHL, so at this point of the “First and foremost, we do those three things, we see season, we’re happy with the development coming behind ourselves as a successful organization.” that as well.” The Tigers organization also offers adaptive hockey, Copeland has been part of CSAHA since 2007, asBen Holmstrom house hockey and a 20U team (still called the Pikes Peak suming the Jr. Tiger hockey director's responsibilities with Miners) in the Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League. the 2012-2013 season. With that, he was instrumental in the creation of Copeland said the current season has been one he’s very satisfied with. CSAHA's Skill Development Center, the association's 8,000 square-foot off“I’ve been very happy with the transition and the name change,” he said. ice training facility, and in early 2016, accepted the position of CSAHA's “Change is sometimes difficult, but we’re happy with where we are and the executive director. consistency within the club, all having the same name, top to bottom, from our In his time with the organization, Copeland has been immersed in improv8U all the way to our 18Us, they’re all known as Tigers. We’ve also seen a lot ing CSAHA of new faces this year with our coaching change (Kevin Holmstrom coaching on an almost both the 16U and 18U AAA teams) and the players all know each other, all daily basis. support each other. The same team rules are in place and from the start of this He said the year, I told the coaches that the two things I wanted them to focus on were program is “in a player development and character development. The competitiveness and the good place.” wins and losses will come behind that.” “With my perHolmstrom, whose sons, Josh and Ben, played in the organization years sonality, I’m also back and are now both playing for the American Hockey League’s Bridgeport a person who is Sound Tigers, the top affiliate for the NHL’s New York Islanders. never satisfied,” The elder Holmstrom returned to the Tigers this season after spending time admitted Copecoaching youth hockey with the Colorado Thunderbirds and Colorado Ram- land. “I’m always page. He was instrumental in the creation of the Thunderbirds. looking at what we “The program continues to grow with the number of options for players can do better. There’s of all levels. including high-level training options,” said Holmstrom. “Between a term out there ‘Kaizen’ excellent coaching experience to the off-ice facilities, players really have an (Chinese and Japanese opportunity to develop and excel. Our staff and athletes are so dedicated that word that means continuous the culture continues to drive the program’s success. improvement). As good as any part "As a hockey family, I have dedicated years to the development of young of our program is that we think we have, we’re always looking at what we can athletes and development of the game in Colorado Springs and its asso- do to take that next step. Where do we go from here? Where do we lay down ciations. All of my coaching and business background and success of not the next layer of the base? To get to the top of the pyramid, we’ve got to keep only our two sons, but many other players, gives me a unique understanding adding and building on top of that. of the work and dedication it takes young men to achieve their dreams and “I’m happy with where the program is at, top to bottom, but I’m always goals which I would like to be an integral part of in your organization and be looking for improvement.”

By Matt Mackinder



Colorado Rubber Hockey Magazine

ASPEN JUNIOR HOCKEY AJH elated to join Finland’s ‘Players Decide’ initiative By Matt Mackinder


ith the recent partnership forged with the Finnish Ice Hockey Association (FIHA), Aspen Junior Hockey (AJH) is aligning its program with the world leaders in long-term athletic development. With the goal to create and implement a detailed annual plan for each age level (the first of its kind in the U.S.), AJH is intent to provide the tools and structure necessary to operate a world-class youth training program both on and off the ice. The coaching culture in Finland places a great emphasis on an athlete’s self drive and their perceptions of ownership, and the results are proven. By giving an athlete the ability to be creative and learn to make decisions on the ice without constant adult directives, skill development and conceptual awareness training are maximized. In Finland, this principle is promoted during the annual “Players Decide” initiative (Dec. 12-18), where athletes create all team practice and game plans, while coaches support and guide the process. “We are on a list of some extremely impressive international sport clubs participating in an exercise that has been proven to have positive results on player development,” said AJH executive president Shaun Hathaway. “As a small youth hockey association in Colorado, we are humbled and excited to join FIHA and others in the ‘Players Decide’ initiative.” To ensure that AJH takes full advantage of these opportunities, players must learn how to best motivate themselves to train, perform, compete, and manage adversity. Taking ownership of one’s effort and developing self-drive is critical to learning and harnessing intrinsic motivation. This season, the list of sport clubs participating in the ‘Players Decide’ awareness initiative has expanded to include clubs from Switzerland and Germany and now AJH, representing North America.


In November, a Utah hockey family was struck with the tragic loss of parents Bob and Dawn Wight. Please show your support for sons Kyle and Karson Wight via monetary donation or an online auction coming in early 2017.

Kyle and Karson Wight

For more information, please contact Fred Wilner at or 801-259-6322


PICTURE PERFECT Karsen Wight (brother Kyle behind him) joins Utah Grizzlies vice president Jared Youngman on Nov. 23 as he prepares to drop the ceremonial first puck Nov. 23 at the Maverik Center. Utah alternate captain Evan Stoflet is pictured right with Grizzlies mascot Grizzbee, and Spencer Asuchak from the Allen Americans at left. PhotoJosie Vimahi

On Dec. 11, the Rocky Mountain Lady RoughRiders’ 12U squad captured first place at the Adele Dombrowski Memorial Tournament in Steamboat Springs.

The Littleton Hawks’ Squirt team celebrated a Squirt Rec championship on Nov. 27 at the 45th annual Thanksgiving Tournament in Littleton. This was the first year the tournament had a Squirt Rec division.

The Boulder Hockey Club’s Pee Wee B Black team captured the International Silver Stick Rocky Mountain Regional championship on Nov. 27 at the Ice Centre at the Promenade in Westminster and advances to the Silver Stick Finals in Pelham, Ont., from Jan. 5-8, 2017.

The Colorado Thunderbirds' 13U AAA team went 7-0 and claimed its division championship at the 45th Annual Mile High Thanksgiving Day Tournament in Littleton on Nov. 27 at the South Suburban Ice Arena.

Colorado Avalanche forward Matt Duchene was one of several players who met Avalanche season ticket holders during an exclusive event on Nov. 27 at the Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum in Denver.

The Outliers Hockey Academy’s 12U team took home the championship banner in the 12U AA division on Nov. 6 at the High Mountain Shootout in Park City, Utah.

The Utah Golden Eagles came away with the Bantam AA championship Nov. 27 at the Wildcats Hockey Club's Fall Classic at LA Kings Icetown Riverside in Riverside, Calif.

The Cherry Creek High School 13-member senior class of 2017 takes time to pose recently at the school's home rink, the Family Sports Center in Englewood. Photo/Jeff Mielnicki

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Colorado Rubber Hockey Magazine

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Rampage grad Blandina staying involved at NCAA D-I level By Steve Stein


randon Blandina made a name for himself with the Colorado Rampage during his youth days. That success continued at NCAA Division I Robert Morris University, doing the dirty work that's crucial to a hockey team's success. "Brandon played with a lot of energy,” said RMU head coach Derek Schooley. “He was a hard-nosed defensive forward and a great penalty killer, and he grew into an effective faceoff guy.” Blandina played for Pittsburgh-based Robert Morris from 2008-12. His 11 goals and 27 assists don't raise eyebrows, but he was part of a Colonials penalty-killing unit that was ranked No. 1 in the nation among Division I teams at one point. After two seasons of professional hockey (2012-14) for the Elmira Jackals and Reading Royals of the ECHL, Blandina decided to retire as a player. The Denver native returned to Pittsburgh and opened his own business, Elite Strides Hockey. Using a synthetic ice treadmill, he teaches young hockey players proper skating techniques. This past summer, he moved from a gym into a space at the RMU Island Sports Center, Robert Morris' home rink. It was there that he joined forces again with Schooley. "It hit me one day. Brandon is here already. Maybe I can have him help our team," Schooley said. Two weeks into the season, Blandina became a volunteer assistant coach for the Colonials. He has two jobs

with the young team, working with players on faceoffs Robert Morris was 8-4-2 overall and 6-3-1 in the Atand penalty killing. lantic Hockey Conference in early December. That's not a surprise, and neither is Robert Morris' imSchooley said it hasn't been decided if Blandina will provement in those areas. return as a volunteer assistant coach next season. "We've gone from 40 percent to 50 percent in faceoff "We'll evaluate the situation after the season," he said. wins and from the low 70 percent to low 80 percent in "It will depend on the time commitment that's needed." penalty killing," Schooley said. While Blandina is not behind the bench for Robert "Brandon is adding a different voice to our coaching Morris games, he attends practice four times a week. staff. Because he was a college Blandina said the two seaplayer not long ago, he can resons (2004-06) he played for late to our players. If Brandon Andrew Sherman on the Ramwants to get into coaching, this page Midget AAA team were experience will be great for his beneficial to his development as resume. I think he'd be a good a hockey player. coach because he has such a "I was one of the young guys passion for the game." on the team when I got there,” he This is the first season that said. “The older guys helped me Blandina, 27, has been a coach. grow as a player by pushing me He's also coaching a 14U girls to evaluate my game.” Blandina said his decision to team in the Pittsburgh Penguins stop playing professional hockElite program. Brandon Blandina (left) and Robert Morris head coach "I've learned so much work- Derek Schooley observe Colonials players during a re- ey after 117 games in the ECHL ing with the Robert Morris cent practice at the RMU Island Sports Center in sub- (he had 15 goals and 30 assists) was a matter of priorities. coaches," he said. "It's been urban Pittsburgh. Photo/RMU Athletics He was engaged at the time and he and his then-fianvery interesting telling college and my U14 players what to do after being told what to do by coaches for so many cé bought a home. Plus, he knew he could stay involved in hockey through his business. years. "While I don't regret my decision to retire, I miss play"I'm glad I've been able to help the Robert Morris team. None of their coaches was a forward when he ing every day," he said. "Anyone who says he doesn't miss playing is lying." played, so I'm filling a need for them."


Seeing It Through

Legally blind in one eye, Soderberg battles past adversity to be key member of Avs lineup By Mike Chambers


n fighting adversity, no NHL player might have accomplished more for himself than Colorado Avalanche center Carl Soderberg, who is legally blind in his left eye. In his words, driving home from the Pepsi Center after a game is more difficult than playing hockey at its highest level. Making plays with one eye and avoiding an authentic blindside hit is easier than navigating Interstate 25 and finding the exit to his home. “Dangerous,” Soderberg said of driving at night. Soderberg will never see anything sharp and refined out of his left eye. A lifted stick and detached retina when he was a 21-year-old hockey player in Sweden changed his life forever. But it didn't end his hockey career – which has taken him to the NHL and playing for Sweden at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey in Toronto. "It's definitely interesting how someone can play with one eye," Avs center John Mitchell said. "Over time, you can evolve, I suppose, and get that one eye very strong and be able to see a lot more. But it certainly benefits to have two, for sure. Credit Carl for being able to do that." Credit Soderberg for relearning how to play hockey and becoming the player he was projected with complete vision. Now 31, Soderberg was a second-round draft pick by the St. Louis Blues in 2004, but he didn't play in the NHL until 2013 at age 28 with the Boston Bruins. Last season, his first with Colorado, he amassed a career-high 51 points and was named the Profes-

sional Hockey Writers Association Colorado chap- guess, if there's lights," he said. "It's blurry. I couldn't ter’s nominee for the Bill Masterton Trophy, which see anything without lights." goes to the NHL player who stands for perseverance, A centerman has more responsibility than a wingsportsmanship and dedication to hockey. er, but Soderberg feels more confident in the middle. Soderberg wasn't so dedicated to hockey in Wingers have to take passes off the wall, and some2006 after an opposing player in the Swedish Elite times opposing defensemen will skate down from League tried to lift his stick, but instead dug the toe the blue line and crush the winger. If Soderberg is of his stick into Soderberg's left eye. And yes, he was posting up for the breakout on the left wing, with his wearing a visor. The backside against the stick became lodged boards, he can’t see between his face and the defenseman to his the visor. left. If he was posting "At first you don't up on the right wall, he think about hockey – has problems tracking you just want to get the puck – usually from healthy," Soderberg a teammate’s up-ice said. "I was pretty pass from the corner. beat up for three, four "When I played months. Lot of surwing, it was very geries and I was at hard for me," he said. the hospital for three "When I played left months. The first thing wing and posted up you want to do is get (on a breakout) I never rid of the pain and get see the ‘D’ coming. It healthy. But suddenly feels more comfortable I accepted the injury to be in the middle of -- that's the first part, Carl Soderberg is playing his second full season with the Colorado Ava- the ice." accepting the loss of lanche after compiling a career-best 51 points last season. Photo/Michael Soderberg will revision -- and as soon Martin/NHLI via Getty Images main in the middle, as I accepted it, I started to think, 'Maybe I can come where his teammates and coaches know he belongs. back.’” "He's obviously a very intelligent player because it Soderberg didn't play hockey for a year. How bad would take an intelligent player to do what he's doing is the vision in his left eye now? with one eye," Colorado head coach Jared Bednar "If I had no vision in my other eye I could walk, I said.

Niwot native, Eagles d-man Sdao Grizzlies a huge component of back home after 12 years away Wight brothers’ grieving process By Matt Mackinder

By Matt Mackinder


lot has changed since Michael Sdao was last in Colorado playing competitive hockey, but that will happen when more than 10 years elapse between appearances in your home state. Sdao, a 27-year-old Niwot native in his first season manning the blue line for the ECHL’s Colorado Eagles, spent the last three seasons in the American Hockey League (AHL) after four NCAA Division I years at Princeton University (ECAC Hockey). Traded to the Buffalo Sabres from the Ottawa Senators last season, Sdao did not sign a new NHL deal and decided to look at his options. “I know the Eagles have created a winning culture in Northern Colorado and the new affiliation with the Colorado Avalanche made it an exciting opportunity,” said Sdao. “It is great to be back. I haven't played here in 12 years, so it's nice having family and friends at the games. We have an electric atmosphere and a good group of guys.” “He’s an imposing figure and he plays with that same mentality,” noted Eagles coach Aaron Schneekloth. “He’s an intelligent player that sees the game well and has a proven track record in the American Hockey League.” Growing up in Colorado, Sdao played for Boulder Hockey Club from Mites until Bantams (winning a Mite state championship in 1996), then skated for the Colorado Outlaws for two seasons before heading to Culver Military Academy for his last two years of high school before skating two seasons in the United States Hockey League with the Lincoln Stars and then ultimately, at Princeton. Sdao was a seventh-round pick of the Senators in the 2009 NHL Draft and spent three seasons with the AHL’s Binghamton Senators before the trade to the Buffalo organization last season. “I am happy with aspects of my game, but think I can provide more offensively,” said Sdao. 10

Colorado Rubber Hockey Magazine


dmittedly, Jared Youngman didn’t even hear about the accident. But once a fan from Colorado called the Utah Grizzlies vice president back on Nov. 10, Youngman and the team quickly took action. Bob and Dawn Wight tragically lost their lives that day in an auto accident while traveling with their sons, Kyle and Karsen, to a hockey tournament in Durango, Colo. Kyle and Karsen survived the wreck and were later invited to the Maverik Center on Nov. 23 to meet the team and partake in the ceremonial faceoff, as well as watch pregame warmups from the Utah bench. “When those boys were in the locker room before the game talking to our guys, it really hit home and was very emotional,” said Youngman. “The younger boy (Karsen) told the team to go out and win and the older boy (Kyle) said he knew that even if we didn’t win that it was just a game and there will be more. That really brings you back and puts the game in perspective.” Youngman said that while the Grizzlies are but one of many organizations that have connected with the Wight brothers to help with their grief during such a terrible time, it’s really all about coming together. “We just want to do what we can to help these boys,” said Youngman. “I’ve told them that any time they want to come back, the tickets are on the organization. Like I said, I wasn’t even aware until I got a phone call at 6:50 before our game at 7 (on Nov. 11). I didn’t even know these kids, but I knew we had to help. Once the news got around, everyone started to pitch in and do what they can. “The fact they came and enjoyed a hockey game with us, despite all they are going through, I hope was a good coping mechanism for Kyle and Karsen.”


Tahoe Hockey Academy boasts solid marks at halfway point By Greg Ball


s 2016 draws to a close, the leadership at Tahoe Hockey Academy is taking some time to reflect on the trials and tribulations of starting a hockey academy from the ground up, and the many successes they’ve encountered since opening their doors to their first class of student-athletes on September 12. “Our goal from Day 1 was to build a hockey academy that rivaled what could be found in most junior and NCAA Division I programs throughout the country,” said academy president Leo Fenn. “This entailed more than just booking ice and scheduling games, and although it hasn’t been an easy task, we feel like we’re taking the right steps to build a foundation for lasting success.” Lake Tahoe is an amazing location for athletic training. The U.S. ski team and recent winter Olympic medalists such as Jamie Anderson, Maddie Bowman and Hannah Teter made it their training base, and Fenn is fully aware of what makes it such an ideal area. “We’re proud to be members of the Tahoe athletic community, as we understand the benefits of sportspecific, high-altitude training,” he said. “Lake Tahoe allows us the proper training environment that enables our student-athletes optimum results. Factor in a curriculum that mimics USA Hockey’s American Development Model, and the product on the ice is beginning to reap the rewards.” Those rewards seem to be turning a few heads in the process. The team was recently invited by North

American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) director Lucas Trombetta to compete in a NAPHL tournament. Tahoe went 3-1 in round robin play and lost by one goal to the eventual tournament champion, and head coach Michael Lewis felt that the results spoke volumes for the quality that Tahoe is already putting on the ice. “To be in front of junior, college and NHL scouts as well as compete against some of the top high school and club teams in North America is all you can ask for,” Lewis said. “To see our team compete at such a high level with roughly two months of development under our belts was extremely rewarding.” Of course, there’s more to Tahoe Hockey Academy than simply hockey, as academics play a huge role in the daily lives of the academy’s studentathletes. While plenty of time is spent developing better hockey players, an equal amount of time and energy is focused on producing excellence in the classroom. “When we opened our doors in September, we started with students in grades 9 through 11, with each student having the opportunity to enroll in a number of advanced classes,” Fenn said. “Partnering with U.S. Performance Academy (USPA) to serve as our educational component has allowed our

athletes a chance to train, travel and compete while staying on top of their studies. “We would be hard pressed to provide the weekly hours of on-ice and off-ice training in a traditional club hockey environment. USPA was pivotal in taking our program to the next level, and helping our students increase their grade point averages to our 3.0 requirement speaks volumes about our program’s success so far.” With 2017 right around the corner, the natural question for all those involved in this startup academy surrounds what’s next. The academy has a load of hockey development planned for the upcoming months, with an individual testing combine, a full slate of games in the Anaheim Ducks High School Hockey League and their THA future prospect tournaments. “We’ll be busy, and we’ll be spending considerable time fine-tuning each player’s development,” Lewis said. Although it’s still a brand-new program, the leadership at Tahoe Hockey Academy is working hard to put itself on the map with the most prestigious academies in the country. It won’t be an overnight venture, but based on the past, present, and the future, those that call the academy feel like they’re right where they need to be.


Net Gains

Calm, cool and collected, Jaillet has been model of consistency for the Pioneers this season age and a .923 save percentage. While the latter figure closely tracks last season’s number, his GAA is down by a third of a goal. That makes a big difference for a DU lineup that didn’t score in bunches during the first two months. He’s also making life on the ice easier for his teammates, senior defenseman Matt VanVoorhis said. “His communication has gotten really, really good,” the assistant captain said. “It helps when you’re a de-

a lot better, too. He almost doesn’t move, which makes it hard for shooters to score because they can’t read atch Tanner Jaillet what he’s going to do. He just stands there and smothplay or spend any time ers pucks.” around him and you’d wonder if Jaillet deflects attention as easily as most of the maybe he was an inspiration for the increasingly popushots that reach him. lar “Keep Calm” T-shirts. “It’s not only our ‘D’ core, but our forwards in the The University of Denver junior has emerged as one ‘D’ zone have been amazing,” he said. “It’s making my of the nation’s top NCAA Division I goaltenders this job easier. All I have to worry about is making that first season, and he’s done it in a steady fashion. save and they’ll clear everything out for me. It helps Behind the calm exterior, a keen hockey mind when everyone’s doing their part in the ‘D’ zone.” resides, his Pioneers coach says. That DU was allowing just 1.94 goals and 25 “His No. 1 strength is his hockey sense,” DU shots per game speaks to the overall team decoach Jim Montgomery said. “He reads plays fense, which Jaillet said was good to start with. really well and when he has to break pucks out, “Last year, they were good, too, and this year, he makes great decisions. Another one is his pathey’ve been incredible,” Jaillet said. “The one tience or poise as a goalie. He doesn’t move unthing I think has been noticeably different is their necessarily. He reacts to the puck and because of commitment to blocking shots and that’s not only that, he makes difficult saves look easy. our defense, but our forwards, too. I really appre“The way he is off the ice, personality-wise, is ciate that.” the way he is on the ice. He doesn’t get rattled by VanVoorhis said the Pioneers have made a much.” conscientious effort to turn the slot into a no-fly Added sophomore defenseman Blake Hillzone. man: “Watching him and watching what he does, “We’re good at protecting the middle right I think he’s calmer than he was last year. He’s alnow, and when we do give up the middle, TJ’s ways been a rock. This year, he’s off to a great coming up with the big saves he needs to make,” start, and that doesn’t surprise me because he al- Junior Tanner Jaillet's play in net is one reason the University of Denver said VanVoorhis. ways works hard in the weight room and does ev- has remained at or near the top of the national rankings all season. Fellow blueliner Adam Plant added that JailPhoto/DU Athletics erything he can off the ice to get better on the ice.” let’s play has helped everyone else’s game. As the Pioneers closed in on the holiday break, they fenseman going back for the puck. He can communi“The confidence we’ve gained through the season, built a 14-game unbeaten streak and Jaillet played bril- cate what you have open or what he wants you to do and just knowing we have him back there really helps liantly in it, going 10-0-3 (senior Evan Cowley won with the puck, which makes it much easier to break the our mindset,” the junior said. “If there’s a breakdown, the other game) and allowing more than three goals puck out. we know he’s back there and will make unbelievable just once. Overall, he had a 1.91 goals-against aver“His confidence and patience in the net has gotten saves to bail us out.”

By Chris Bayee


Falcons find strength in net with talented sophomore duo

With three capable goaltenders, Colorado College in good spot

By Chris Bayee

By Chris Bayee


ne of the more positive developments for Air Force this season has been the emergence of sophomore Billy Christopoulos as a second viable option in net. That’s great news for the Falcons, who already had reigning All-Atlantic Hockey and All-Rookie Team selection Shane Starrett between the pipes. The 6-foot-5 Starrett took the league by storm a season ago, leading it in goals-against average (1.68) and finishing second in save percentage (.931). His overall numbers (1.92 and .924) were second- and fourth-best in the nation among freshmen, and Air Force won 20 games and came within an overtime goal of playing for an NCAA tournament berth. “Shane’s strengths are his size and athleticism, and he’s got a good feel, very good instincts,” Falcons coach Frank Serratore said. Starrett has received the bulk of the starts approaching the holiday break this season and began the campaign 7-3-2, but his other numbers (2.84 and .910) are off from his torrid freshman pace. That’s where Christopoulos comes in. His numbers (3.48 and .897) don’t reflect how well he played in November, when he allowed a total of eight goals in eight periods against powerhouses Western Michigan and Denver. “Billy’s not as athletic as Shane, but technically, he is very sound,” Serratore said. “He’s a competitor, and he finds ways to make saves.” The masked man tag team brings different soft skills to the Falcons, too, the coach added. “Shane’s personality is more loose and he plays better when he’s loose,” Serratore said. “Billy’s better when he’s dialed in.” As has been the case for many of the Falcons who were forced to play a lot as underclassmen last season, the goaltending duo benefited from the experience. “Both have improved their physical strength and gained a lot of experience,” Serratore said. “You can buy everything at Walmart but experience.” As Air Force heads toward the meat of its conference season, the Falcons are the ones with a great deal in goal. 12

Colorado Rubber Hockey Magazine


olorado College has had to have a backup plan to its contingency plan in net at times this season. Expected starting goaltender Jacob Nehama returned to the lineup in early November after having hip surgery at the end of last season only to go down with an upper-body injury. His return date is uncertain. That forced the Tigers to turn to a freshman for the second season in a row, in this case Alex Leclerc, to carry the mail between the pipes. At times, senior Derek Shatzer, a Highlands Ranch native, has stepped in, and the former Colorado Thunderbird picked up his first NCAA win and made a career-high five appearances as the schedule moved into December. Nehama, who had a 3.89 goals-against average and a .894 save percentage in 2015-16, returned on Nov. 4 and gave up just one goal in a victory at Nebraska-Omaha. After struggling the next night and the following Friday, he didn’t play again before the holiday break. In his absence, Leclerc stepped in and played progressively better in his NCHC starts. His goals-against average was 3.37 and his save percentage was .899 in his NCHC starts through the first weekend in December, when he made a total of 56 saves in two 3-1 losses to Denver. “Alex played great for us again tonight,” coach Mike Haviland said after game Dec. 3. “It’s a good sign for our hockey team. He is coming into his own and getting more and more comfortable.” In between, Shatzer made 39 saves on Oct. 22 to help the Tigers defeat New Hampshire, and he held powerhouses Massachusetts-Lowell and Boston College to a goal in extended relief appearances. Whoever is in net can take some comfort in the Tigers’ offense is scoring almost a half goal per game more this season than last (2.36, up from 1.97). During the 201516 season, Nehama saw action in 26 games and was the goaltender of record in all six games the Tigers were victorious.

Monument native, T-Birds alum Mantaro decides on Air Force By Matt Mackinder


eegan Mantaro is coming home. After plying his trade as youth with the Colorado Thunderbirds and Jr. Tigers in his youth days and then making the jump to the United States Hockey League (USHL), the 18-year-old Monument product the last three seasons, Mantaro will come home soon to play NCAA Division I hockey at Air Force (Atlantic Hockey). It will be a homecoming in more ways than one for Mantaro, currently playing for the Sioux City Musketeers. “I have attended the Air Force Hockey Camp for the past four years, allowing the coaches to understand my strengths and abilities as a player,” said Mantaro. “This built a relationship that evolved into the opportunity for me to play for the Academy. I know Air Force is the school for me because not only will it offer me a world-class education, but the chance to fulfill my goal of playing D-I hockey.” Military life also runs in the family, Mantaro explained. “My father (Jason) graduated from the Air Force Academy and played hockey during those four years (1988-92),” he said. “Both my grandfathers (John Mantaro, Jim Rick) were in the Navy and I currently have a sister (Elysia) in the Army.” His youth days in Colorado were when Mantaro started to realize he had the potential to have a future in hockey. “My Jr. Tigers Squirt coach, Bob Nollete, showed me how to be a smart defenseman,” said Mantaro. “I began playing for the Thunderbirds as a Pee Wee. During my two years playing with the 16U Thunderbirds, I was coached by Angelo Ricci and Adam Foote. They made me into the player I am today. They taught me all the little details of hockey and how to be a leader. I owe most of my success to them.” The Musketeers atop the USHL standings, Mantaro has aspirations to hoist the Clark Cup at the end of the season. Further down the road, he has plans to serve his country. “Ultimately, I would love to be a pilot for the Air Force,” Mantaro said.


‘About the kids:’ Foothills captures 18U Tier II state title Foothills opened the event Dec. 4 with a 4-1 win over DU, followed by a 4-1 victory over Littleton the next night. The Jr. Pioneers edged Littleton 4-3 on Dec. 6 and then DU was again victorious Dec. 8, 5-3 over Foothills. Jentz said his team is a pleasure to coach and work with, both on and off the ice.

players, but this team doesn’t shine if each guy on the team does everything they can at every practice and in or the past six years, the Littleton Hawks claimed games, especially this time of year. All these kids are the Colorado Amateur Hockey Association’s 18U the best players on their high school teams and they Tier II state championship. have to find a way to cycle through two teams and give The Foothills Flyers started a new streak with a coneverything they can to what we’re doing at Foothills. vincing 3-1 win over the Denver Jr. Pioneers on Dec. That’s not easy, but these guys have friendships and 11 at the South Suburban Ice Arena in bonds that allow them to support one Littleton to win the 2016 crown. Max another and our stars to shine.” Engle scored twice, while Jacob GomThe 2016-17 Flyers squad is combos and Charles Huang posted two prised of forwards Josh Hellem, Diego assists each to back Nicholas Scott’s Lovato, Nicholas Marchese, Josh 33 saves in goal. Pusar, Bradley Render, Jonathan Foothills coach head Jeff Jentz said Tanji, Nathan Weiss, Ryan Whannel, seeing the players celebrate was very Engle, Gombos and Huang; defensesatisfying. men Jack Bonniwell, who also serves “It’s just great,” said Jentz. “I’ve as team captain, Corey Box, Lane coached a lot of these kids for the past Levine, Alexander Solzman, Camerthree seasons and we’ve always been a on Suchomel and Brendan Williams; pretty decent team during that time. For and goalies Alex Karas and Scott. Joinme, it’s always been about this group of ing Jentz on the bench are assistant kids and seeing get to what I have alcoaches Aaron Bain and Skylar Elisways believed is their potential. Going berg, while Jennifer Weiss is the team into the tournament, I wanted to make manager. sure we were full of confidence and to Moving ahead, the USA Hockey do that, we just needed to take it as the With a 3-1 win Dec. 11 over the Denver Jr. Pioneers, the Foothills Flyers celebrated at the South Subur- Youth Nationals is set for next spring, first step in a journey, rather than any- ban Ice Arena as CAHA 18U Tier II state champions. but being superstitious, Jentz won’t thing more than that. “This season is about the kids and I think we have budge on how his Flyers team will be preparing from “It’s that tricky place you find yourself in at the end some incredible individual talents,” said Jentz. “That now until March. of the year in almost any sport, especially in amateur said, these guys have done a really nice job this year “I’ve been fortunate in that this isn’t my first state title hockey, where you need to take your next opponent se- supporting one another. One thing I said to them after and prior to this, I have never engaged in what we’d be riously while also understanding that there is more than we won (the state title) was, ‘My heart is full of love doing afterward to any extent of playing,” said Jentz. “In one next opponent and more than one important team and joy for you guys and I know how meaningful this is the back of my mind, I guess I have some idea, but like I coming up. I thought our kids handled that really well.” for each and every one of you.’ We do have some star said, I’ve always believed these kids could do this.” In the tournament, which featured three teams, By Matt Mackinder



Utah hockey showering Wight family with endless support rink. They were friends to all the other parents and players, always ready to shake your hand with a smile and share a crazy laugh. There will be a space in the stands and our hearts that can never be filled.” Short term custody has been granted by the Third Judicial District Court of Utah to Brenda and Derrick Pond. Another hearing, which may result in a longer

account until permanent custody is finalized, a trust is established, or additional requests are made by the Ponds he day Nov. 10 began like any other day for Bob and pursuant to a custody order. Dawn Wight and their two sons, Kyle and Karsen. On Nov. 23, Kyle and Karsen attended the Utah GrizThe Sandy family was on the road, heading to a youth zlies-Allen Americans ECHL game at the Maverik Center hockey tournament in Durango, Colo., when tragedy and met the Grizzlies players, watched warmups from struck. the Grizzlies bench and took part in a ceremonial faceoff. A semi-truck, driven by Charles Gibson, reportGrizzlies vice president Jared Youngman said edly crossed the center line on the highway and hit that night was more than just his franchise helping the Wights near Laramie, Wyo. Bob, 57, and Dawn, out. 46, were killed. According to friends of the family, “As a hockey community, we always come to16-year-old Kyle suffered a broken arm and broken gether in times like this,” said Youngman. “We want leg and 13-year-old Karsen was treated for internal to help them cope with life as how they now know injuries. it. It’s our human nature. When something like this The Wyoming Highway Patrol believes driver fahappens, it really hits home. This was a crazy accitigue on the part of the semitrailer driver was a condent and it could have been anyone out there. We tributing factor. Gibson, 58, of Midwest City, Okla., just want to show that we genuinely care about these was not injured, but was arrested and charged with kids and we are always here to help. vehicular homicide. “With all the negative happening in the world, the Players and staff from the ECHL’s Utah Grizzlies surround Kyle and Karsen Karsen plays this season for the West Coast Ren- Wight in the Maverik Center locker room prior to the Grizzlies-Allen Ameri- outpouring of support from not only the Utah hockey egades’ 14U team after skating for the Outliers Hock- cans game on Nov. 23. Photo//Josie Vimahi community, but from all of the surrounding states ey Academy last season. Kyle plays for Brighton High grant of custody, is set for this month. In the interim, the as well, just shows that there is still a lot of good in the School. Karsen attends Eastmont Middle School. Ponds have expenses relating to transportation getting world, and that’s what we need to focus on.” A GoFundMe page was quickly established to take the boys home, final expenses for Bob and Dawn, dayAt a Colorado Jr. Eagles game on Nov. 19, fans raised care of Kyle and Karsen and as of early December, the to-day expenses of the boys, and other ancillary costs. $502 for the Wight family, which the team matched. Five goal of raising $100,000 was nearly reached. To facilitate these needs in the short term, the creator days prior, Los Angeles Kings forward and Salt Lake City “The Wight family has made a huge impact on the of the GoFundMe campaign has asked Brenda Pond for native Trevor Lewis visited Kyle and Karsen at a Denver Utah hockey community as the boys have played on sev- an assessment of immediate necessary expenses. Once hospital. eral teams in the Salt Lake and Boise areas for many received, the creator will withdraw necessary funds and On Dec. 16, “A Night of Love for the Wights” fundyears,” read the GoFundMe page’s description. “Bob forward them directly to her for the benefit of the boys. raising dinner was held at the Snowbird Resort - Banand Dawn were a staple in the stands and around the The balance of the funds will remain in the GoFundMe quet Room at Cliffs Lodge.

By Matt Mackinder



Colorado Rubber Hockey Magazine

ROCKY MOUNTAIN ROUGHRIDERS COLORADO SPRINGS AMATEUR HOCKEY ‘Riders alum LaRocque coming Current Tigers Knutson, O’Hearn home with Air Force commitment make plans with NAHL franchises By Chris Bayee

By Matt Mackinder



he Rocky Mountain RoughRiders continue to serve notice to NCAA Division I college hockey. Former RoughRiders goaltender Zack LaRocque committed to play for the Air Force Academy (Atlantic Hockey) in late November, becoming the second Rocky Mountain player to commit to the Falcons in the past two months. Midget 16U AAA defenseman Jonathan Morrison committed to AFA in mid-October. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound LaRocque, who plans to join AFA in 2018, is in his second season with the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders of the United States Hockey League (USHL). “The academic programs are great and the hockey program is outstanding at Air Force,” LaRocque said. “The coaching staff was very supportive. It felt like a good fit when I visited.” LaRocque, who never played AAA hockey until he joined Rocky Mountain in 201415, was called up to the USHL last season and played eight games, going 4-2. He helped the team clinch an Anderson Cup playoffs berth with a 3-2 win over Waterloo on the final weekend then shut out Sioux City the next night. This season got off to a rough start after a battle with bacterial meningitis, which hospitalized LaRocque. “I thought it wasn’t that bad, but I realized it was when I couldn’t remember the first two days of being in the hospital,” he said. LaRocque’s trajectory has come as no surprise to RoughRiders director of hockey operations Derek Robinson, who said, “Zack has worked very hard both on and off the ice to get where he is now. The opportunity to play and attend school at the Air Force Academy is an unbelievable opportunity for him. “Zach is a great representative of the RoughRiders Hockey Club, and we wish him the best of luck in his academic and hockey career.”

hen next season rolls around, two Colorado Springs Tigers AAA players will have junior hockey opportunities staring them down. Last month, 18U forward Zaccheaus Knutson (Minnesota Wilderness) and 16U forward Collin O’Hearn (Odessa Jackalopes) signed tender agreements with North American Hockey League (NAHL) teams for the 2017-18 season. “I am very excited and humbled by this experience and the opportunity to move to the next level,” said Knutson, a native of Tea, S.D. “I would like to thank my family, teammates and coaches for supporting me. I am looking forward to continuing to grow as a player and person.” “Zac has grown a lot both on and off the ice since joining our program, and I am confident he will be ready to make an impact with the Wilderness club,” said Tigers 18U coach Kevin Holmstrom. “Zac is one of those guys that players like to play with. His high compete level and ability to make plays makes everyone around him better.” Collin, a native of Coppell, Tex., becomes the first-ever 16U AAA player in the Colorado Springs Amateur Hockey Association organization to sign an NAHL tender. “Collin is a big, strong kid who does a great job of protecting pucks and getting to the scoring area,” noted former Tigers 16U coach Cody Campbell, who is now an assistant coach with the United States Hockey League’s Cedar Rapids RoughRiders. “His size and grit will allow him to compete in the very tough South Division of the NAHL. Having coached for Odessa under current head coach Greg Gatto, I feel Collin will be a great fit for a program that is committed to winning and moving players on to the Division I level.” “I had the opportunity to go down and skate with them for a week of practice and felt right at home,” added O’Hearn. “When Coach Gatto offered me the tender, it was a no brainer. Everything just felt right.”

Making history: Foothills’ Pee Wee AA squad off to Quebec Heading into the championship final, Klee said his team was confident, having already defeated the Hawks earlier in the season at the Silver Stick Rocky Mountain Regional championship in Westminster. “Our kids knew that they had been there and had gotten the job done once,” said Klee. “They were excited to get the opportunity to do it again.”

with Washington, Toronto, New Jersey, Atlanta, Anaheim, Phoenix and Colorado (2006-07), said watchhen the Foothills Flyers Pee Wee AA team deing the Pee Wee players celebrate tops anyfeated the Littleton Hawks Pee Wee AA squad thing he accomplished in the NHL, which at the Pepsi Center on Nov. 21, it not only entitled the included a trip to the Stanley Cup FiFlyers to take a February road trip to Quebec, but it nals in 1998 with the Capitals. made history as well. “It’s definitely a thrill, getting to After the Flyers downed the Hawks 2-1 at the coach and teach and watch these kids home of the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche, Foothills now brings me joy and when they have earned the organization’s first berth in the Quebig moments, it’s certainly exciting as a bec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament, player, a coach and as a parent,” said an event that spans nearly 60 years. This year’s Klee. “It’s exciting to be a part of it.” tournament runs Feb. 8-19 at various rinks in and In Quebec, the Flyers players will live with around Quebec City and as winners of the Quehost families, or billets, and will take in the culture bec Qualifier, the Flyers will don Avalanche jeroff the ice that the province has to offer. seys at the event. “The experience is extraordinary, from what I “It’s very exciting,” said Foothills head coach have heard,” Klee said. “We’ll definitely be talkKen Klee. “It’s exciting for our team and our asing about everything before we get up there.” sociation to be able to go and represent the AvaLooking at the Pee Wee team overall, Klee lanche in such a prestigious tournament.” said he “has a special group of kids here.” The Colorado Thunderbirds’ 12U AAA team, “We have a thin team (in terms of numbers), led by head coach Zach Blom, assistant coachbut we have a really hard-working team,” exes Curtis Duffus and Milan Hejduk and goalie plained Klee. “We only carry 13 skaters, so evcoach Buddy Blom, will also join Foothills in The Foothills Flyers’ Pee Wee AA team celebrates its Quebec Qualifier cham- eryone is counted on to contribute and try to help Quebec. pionship victory Nov. 21 at the Pepsi Center. The Flyers edged the Littleton the team as best they can. I think it’s been a really In the Quebec Qualifier championship final af- Hawks 2-1 in the tournament final. nice fit as far as the kids chipping in at differter a scoreless first period, Holden Spence gave the The Flyers roster includes forwards Christian ent times and just being a really solid team to play Flyers a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal, but Kristo- Carter, J.C. Carter, Evan Criswell, David Klee, against. Our three returning skaters – Conn, Klee and pher Apple-Duncan knotted it up for Littleton going Nathaniel Patasse, Tyler Riegle, Mason Ripley Spence – are a big part of our team, and we also rely into the third period. and Spence; defensemen Boston Crone, Jonah on solid goaltending with our returning goalie (OsThe Hawks were whistled for a penalty with five Frederick, Dominick Pharris, Tyler Twinam and olinski) and our newcomer (Lane). minutes remaining and just four seconds into the man Conn; and goaltenders Liam Lane and Tanner Os“We’re pushing up towards our ceiling. Our team advantage, Reid Conn buried the game winner and olinski. is on a high right now and it’s really fun to be a part of the Flyers held off Littleton the rest of the way. Klee, who skated more than 900 games in the NHL this.”

By Matt Mackinder



2016-17 COLORADO/UTAH ALUMNI E-mail all additions, deletions and corrections to


Colin Staub (Colorado Springs) – University of Denver Troy Terry (Denver) – University of Denver

PROFESSIONAL HOCKEY NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE Brandon Carlo (Colorado Springs) – Boston Bruins Seth Jones – Columbus Blue Jackets & Trevor Lewis – Los Angeles Kings @ Gustav Olofsson – Minnesota Wild # Nick Shore (Denver) – Los Angeles Kings Jaccob Slavin (Erie) – Carolina Hurricanes AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE Darik Angeli (Lakewood) – Tulsa Oilers Richard Bachman – Utica Comets & Mat Clark (Lakewood) – San Antonio Rampage Josiah Didier (Littleton) – St. John’s IceCaps Ben Holmstrom (Colorado Springs) – Bridgeport Sound Tigers Josh Holmstrom (Colorado Springs) – Bridgeport Sound Tigers Dominic Turgeon (Cherry Hills Village) – Grand Rapids Griffins ECHL Grant Arnold (Centennial) – Quad City Mallards Austin Block (Denver) – Orlando Solar Bears Daniel Doremus (Aspen) – Manchester Monarchs Ryan Massa (Littleton) – Orlando Solar Bears Sean O’Rourke – Kalamazoo Wings * Tyler Ruegsegger (Lakewood) – Alaska Aces Luke Salazar (Thornton) – Colorado Eagles Colton Saucerman (Colorado Springs) – South Carolina Stingrays Michael Sdao (Niwot) – Colorado Eagles Quentin Shore (Denver) – Manchester Monarchs Sean Zimmerman (Denver) – Colorado Eagles SOUTHERN PROFESSIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE Kyle Brodie (Northglenn) – Columbus Cottonmouths Cody Dion (Colorado Springs) – Peoria Rivermen Phil Tesoriero (Boulder) – Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs FEDERAL HOCKEY LEAGUE A.J. Tesoriero (Boulder) – Danville Dashers Daniel Turgeon (Centennial) – Danville Dashers EUROPE Collin Bowman (Littleton) – Austria Drayson Bowman (Littleton) – Germany Drew Shore (Denver) – Switzerland Mike Testwuide (Vail) – South Korea COLLEGE HOCKEY NCAA DIVISION I – MEN ATLANTIC HOCKEY Dylan Abood (Centennial) – U.S. Air Force Academy Jackson Barliant – Sacred Heart University @ Sammy Bernard (Lafayette) – Sacred Heart University Alec Butcher – Sacred Heart University @ Jason Cotton – Sacred Heart University # Adam Durkee (Nederland) – Sacred Heart University Evan Feno (Morrison) – U.S. Air Force Academy Sean Giles (Colorado Springs) – Robert Morris University Tyler Ledford (Colorado Springs) – U.S. Air Force Academy Ian Mansfield (Lakewood) – U.S. Military Academy Kevin Patterson (Colorado Springs) – Niagara University Tyler Pham (Fort Collins) – U.S. Military Academy Logan Smith (Littleton) – College of the Holy Cross ECAC Jared Fiegl (Parker) – Cornell University Will Graber (Longmont) – Dartmouth College Kyle Hayton (Denver) – St. Lawrence University Sam Rappaport (Aspen) – Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Dean Shatzer (Castle Rock) – Dartmouth College Austin Shaw (Denver) – Princeton University Brendan Smith (Centennial) – Cornell University Landon Smith (Greenwood Village) – Quinnipiac University Cam Strong - Dartmouth College * HOCKEY EAST Kris Carlson – Providence College # Matias Cleland (Longmont) – University of New Hampshire Hayden Hawkey (Parker) – Providence College Garrett Metcalf – University of Massachusetts-Lowell * Cale Morris (Larkspur) – University of Notre Dame Rob Nichols – University of Connecticut # Jacob Townsend (Highlands Ranch) – University of Mass.-Lowell NCHC Evan Cowley (Arvada) – University of Denver Mikey Eyssimont (Littleton) – St. Cloud State University Andrew Farny (Steamboat Springs) – Colorado College Dylan Gambrell – University of Denver # Nick Halloran – Colorado College * Brad Hawkinson (Aurora) – University of Denver Christian Heil (Westminster) – Colorado College Rudy Junda (Denver) – University of Denver Evan McCarthy (Castle Rock) – Miami University Scott Moldenhauer – Western Michigan University # Fredrik Olofsson – University of Nebraska-Omaha # Austin Ortega – University of Nebraska-Omaha # Evan Ritt (Lakewood) – University of Denver Derek Shatzer (Highlands Ranch) – Colorado College


WCHA Evan Anderson (Littleton) – Michigan Tech University Dan Billett (Highlands Ranch) – Bemidji State University Cole Huggins (Centennial) – Minnesota State University Nick Kossoff – Lake Superior State University # Matt Meier (Highlands Ranch) – Bowling Green State University Tyler Poulsen (Arvada) – University of Alabama-Huntsville NCAA DIVISION I – WOMEN ECAC Brooke Ahbe (Centennial) – Dartmouth College Nikki Friesen – Harvard University % Ali Peper (Arvada) – Harvard University Ava Reynolds (Aurora) – Union College Val Turgeon (Denver) – Harvard University HOCKEY EAST Ariana Buxman (Glenwood Springs) – Providence College Katie Shannahan (Colorado Springs) – Boston University Kyra Smith (Littleton) – University of New Hampshire

NEHC Kat Armstrong (Boulder) – University of Massachusetts-Boston Rebecca Brown (Steamboat Springs) – Norwich University Kristen Embrey (Highlands Ranch) – University of Mass.-Boston Tatum Gietl (Littleton) – University of New England Emily Harris (Littleton) – University of Massachusetts-Boston Taryn Harris (Morrison) – Manhattanville College Maura Kieft (Littleton) – St. Anselm College Sydney Linnick (Highlands Ranch) – Plymouth State University Lanie Matsumoto (Fort Collins) – Franklin Pierce University Julie Matthias (Thornton) – College of the Holy Cross Caley Mueller (Littleton) – St. Anselm College Kelsey Roy (Fort Collins) – Plymouth State University Lizzy Saxer (Colorado Springs) – University of Massa.-Boston Taylor Shrode (Craig) – Plymouth State University Kayla Trujillo (Pueblo) – Franklin Pierce University Jensen Wurm (Arvada) – Nichols College NESCAC Kylie Davis (Superior) – Hamilton College Caroline Godfrey (Aspen) – Bowdoin College Jamie Meroz – Hamilton College % Hannah Oganeku (Castle Pines) – Trinity College JUNIOR HOCKEY

NCAA DIVISION III – MEN COMMONWEALTH Pippen Weisbeck (Golden) – Endicott College ECAC WEST Jacob Gerson (Colorado Springs) – Utica College Oliver Janzen (Denver) – Nazareth College MASCAC Quinn Wold (Aurora) – Fitchburg State University MIAC Reid Brown (Superior) – Gustavus Adolphus College Ryan Cagnoni (Arvada) – Augsburg College Jake Hebda (Firestone) – St. Mary’s University Dylan Meier (Highlands Ranch) – Augsburg College Trevor Stewart (Highlands Ranch) – Augsburg College Chris Wilhite (Colorado Springs) – St. Mary’s University NCHA Justin Gregory (Franktown) – Lawrence University Reed Gregory (Franktown) – Lawrence University Josh Racek (Colorado Springs) – Northland College Alex Sanchez (Crested Butte) – Aurora University Zach Simpson (Parker) – Milwaukee School of Engineering Jerad Tafoya (Highlands Ranch) – Milwaukee School of Engineering Brett Wagner (Centennial) – Milwaukee School of Engineering NEHC Kyle Arenson (Fort Collins) – New England College Colin Biebel (Roxborough Park) – St. Michael’s College Michael Washington (Denver) – University of Southern Maine NESCAC Mark Knowlton (Colorado Springs) – Trinity College Sage Marshall (Telluride) – Wesleyan University NORTHEAST-10 William Bailey (Highlands Ranch) – Stonehill College SUNYAC Ryan Bochert (Denver) – Morrisville State University Philip Middleton (Vail) – Plattsburgh State University Jimmy Morgan (Highlands Ranch) – Fredonia State University Max Ross (Arvada) – Fredonia State University Nate Werhane – Buffalo State University ^ Jared Young (Pueblo West) – Morrisville State University

ALBERTA JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE Nolan Carothers (Castle Rock) – Lloydminster Bobcats Demetrius Kambeitz (Parker) – Okotoks Oilers Nicholas Leeseberg (Parker) – Fort McMurray Oil Barons BRITISH COLUMBIA HOCKEY LEAGUE Scott Allan (Thornton) – West Kelowna Warriors Alex Bates (Highlands Ranch) – Wenatchee Wild Ty Pochipinski (Colorado Springs) – Cowichan Valley Capitals Jackson Ross (Denver) – Surrey Eagles A.J. Vanderbeck (Monument) – Wenatchee Wild CANADIAN PREMIER JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE Avery Albert (Arvada) – Seaforth Generals EASTERN HOCKEY LEAGUE Holden Biebel (Denver) – Walpole Express (Premier) Blake Bosick (Highlands Ranch) – Philadelphia Jr. Flyers (Premier) Blake Bride (Broomfield) – Boston Jr. Rangers (Premier) Tanner Broschat (Castle Pines) – Vermont Lumberjacks (Premier) Noah Cunniff (Colorado Springs) – Walpole Express (Elite) Keegan Davis (Superior) – Connecticut Oilers (Premier) Eli Hernandez (Parker) – New England Wolves (Premier) Tyler Hinchcliffe (Boulder) – Connecticut Nighthawks (Premier) Sylas Kalyan (Lyons) – New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs (Premier) Michael Karas (Parker) – Vermont Lumberjacks (Elite) Nicholas Kukuris (Littleton) – Connecticut Oilers (Premier) Jacob Morgan (Littleton) – New England Wolves (Premier) Joe Morgan (Highlands Ranch) – New England Wolves (Premier) Brady Nelson (Arvada) – Philadelphia Jr. Flyers (Premier) Ben Roberts (Centennial) – Vermont Lumberjacks (Premier) Jackson Shanley (Vail) – Northern Cyclones (Premier) Casey Shannahan (Boulder) – Connecticut Nighthawks (Premier) Kirk Underwood (Littleton) – Connecticut Nighthawks (Premier) Jacob Weatherly (Castle Rock) – New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs (Premier) Austin Wheatly (Castle Rock) – New York Applecore (Premier) Carter Yang (Littleton) – Boston Bandits (Premier) GREATER METRO HOCKEY LEAGUE Calvin Gosser (Denver) – Bradford Bulls Justin Simon (Hot Springs) – Almaguin Spartans Aidan Westbrook (Aurora) – Parry Sound Islanders GREATER ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE Tyler Hawk (Colorado Springs) – Fort Erie Meteors

WIAC Jono Davis – University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point *

KOOTENAY INTERNATIONAL JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE Brennan Conner (Castle Rock) – Grand Forks Border Bruins Donny Nordstrom (Denver) – Kelowna Chiefs Anders Saarela (Denver) – Princeton Posse

D-III INDEPENDENT John Drummond (Littleton) – Post University Dylan Kaufman (Larkspur) – Post University

MANITOBA JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE Sean O'Leary (Windsor) – Steinbach Pistons Stephon Perreault (Greenwood Village) – Swan Valley Stampeders


NORTH AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE James Crossman (Denver) – Minnesota Wilderness Brendan Doyle (Colorado Springs) – Topeka RoadRunners David Fessenden (Denver) – Northeast Generals Trystan Isenhour (Loveland) – Aberdeen Wings Matt Nehls (Boulder) – Amarillo Bulls Kevin Ness (Broomfield) – Bismarck Bobcats Nicholas Ness (Broomfield) – Bismarck Bobcats Jared Resseguie (Arvada) – Bismarck Bobcats Matthew Thielemann (Highlands Ranch) – Kenai River Brown Bears Alex Truscott – Amarillo Bulls *

COLONIAL HOCKEY Julia Johnson (Littleton) – Becker College Madison Maloney – Becker College % ECAC WEST Emily Coope – Utica College % Elizabeth Dohner (Highlands Ranch) – University of Mass.-Boston Taylor Osowski (Highlands Ranch) – Utica College Natasha Steinle (Morrison) – Buffalo State University Nicole Watson (Highlands Ranch) – Potsdam State University MIAC Margeaux Cohen (Aspen) – St. Olaf College Drue Engleman (Denver) – St. Olaf College Jessica Jones – St. Mary’s University % Jena Kosley (Colorado Springs) – Hamline University Kacee Medved (Littleton) – College of St. Benedict NCHA Sara Martin (Durango) – Finlandia University

Colorado Rubber Hockey Magazine

NORTH AMERICAN 3 HOCKEY LEAGUE Michael Ballard (Loveland) – Louisiana Drillers Cade Boreing (Littleton) – Gillette Wild Bryce Dirscherl (Highlands Ranch) – Missoula Jr. Bruins Andrew Garcia (Thornton) – Texas Jr. Brahmas Sam Gartner (Denver) – Point Mallard Ducks Jeremy Hamerquist (Woodland Park) – Toledo Cherokee Andrew Hanson (Loveland) – Gillette Wild Austin Knoebel (Arvada) – Euless Jr. Stars Dillon Lindholm (Westminster) – Glacier Nationals John Meakins (Colorado Springs) – Point Mallard Ducks

Liam Miller (Durango) – Bozeman Icedogs Connor Moore (Colorado Springs) – Gillette Wild Tyler Myers (Thornton) – Texas Jr. Brahmas Josh Perez (Parker) – St. Louis Jr. Blues Cody Pisciola (Broomfield) – Point Mallard Ducks Dylan Plsek (Denver) – Jersey Shore Wildcats

Bronson Sudberry (Denver) – Superior RoughRiders Andre Talarico (Broomfield) – Las Vegas Storm John Tower (Fort Collins) – Colorado Jr. Eagles Dylan Van Leuwen-Hall (Boulder) – Superior RoughRiders Tim Van Tuinen (Longmont) – Colorado Jr. Eagles Cade Warner (Windsor) – Colorado Jr. Eagles

SUPERIOR INTERNATIONAL JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE Garrett Graham (Pueblo) – Dryden GM Ice Dogs Cameron Jones (Colorado Springs) – Thief River Falls Norskies Austin Storm (Colorado Springs) – Thief River Falls Norskies

PREP SCHOOL Nate Clurman (Boulder) - Culver Academy Jordan Finney (Boulder) – Tahoe Hockey Academy Noah Prokop (Highlands Ranch) – Shattuck-St. Mary’s Zack Savarise (Golden) – Tahoe Hockey Academy

SASKATCHEWAN JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE Zach Goberis (Arvada) – Estevan Bruins UNITED STATES HOCKEY LEAGUE Colby Bukes (Littleton) – Muskegon Lumberjacks Bryce DeFazio (Colorado Springs) – Waterloo Black Hawks C.J. Dodero (Highlands Ranch) – Sioux City Musketeers Jack Doremus (Aspen) – Sioux Falls Stampede Anea Ferrario – Sioux City Musketeers # Bo Hanson – Muskegon Lumberjacks * Brian Hawkinson (Aurora) – Tri-City Storm Garrett Klee (Morrison) – Waterloo Black Hawks Phillip Knies – Sioux City Musketeers # Zack LaRocque (Arvada) – Cedar Rapids RoughRiders Ben Lown – Omaha Lancers # Keegan Mantaro (Monument) – Sioux City Musketeers Austin Park (Highlands Ranch) – Omaha Lancers Dayton Rasmussen – Tri-City Storm # Baker Shore (Denver) – Chicago Steel Josiah Slavin (Erie) – Tri-City Storm Jeremy Swayman – Sioux Falls Stampede @ Bryan Yoon (Parker) – Tri-City Storm UNITED STATES PREMIER HOCKEY LEAGUE Colton Crabtree (Brighton) – Florida Eels (Elite) Gabe Eccher (Longmont) – Seattle Ravens (USP3) A.J. Giordano (Westminster) – Florida Eels (USP3) Blake Hoffman (Centennial) – Florida Eels (Elite) Keegan Lewis (Louisville) – Palm Beach Hawks (Elite) Gavin Medina (Lakewood) – Florida Eels (USP3) J.P. Nolette (Colorado Springs) – Syracuse Stars (Premier) Tyler Seltenreich (Littleton) – Syracuse Stars (Premier) Kyle Smith (Broomfield) – Wisconsin Rapids Riverkings (Elite) Ethan Solat (Centennial) – Syracuse Stars (Premier) Jeremy Solat (Centennial) – Syracuse Stars (Premier) Cam Spicer (Erie) – Islanders Hockey Club (Premier) Charles Stewart (Littleton) – Forest Lake Lakers (Elite) Daniel Stoneberg (Crested Butte) – Islanders Hockey Club (USP3) Nick Vitale (Denver) – Carolina Eagles (USP3) Travis Volmert (Parker) – Hampton Roads Whalers (Elite) VANCOUVER ISLAND JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE Brandon Fushimi (Thornton) – Saanich Braves Branden Tangney (Denver) – Westshore Wolves WESTERN HOCKEY LEAGUE Scott Eansor (Englewood) – Seattle Thunderbirds Cal Foote (Englewood) – Kelowna Rockets Nolan Foote (Englewood) – Kelowna Rockets Max Gerlach – Medicine Hat Tigers # Jake Gricius (Colorado Springs) – Portland Winterhawks Caleb Jones – Portland Winterhawks & Brian King (Golden) – Everett Silvertips Bryan Lockner (Windsor) – Regina Pats Quinn Martin – Red Deer Rebels # Alex Overhardt (Cherry Hills Village) – Portland Winterhawks WESTERN STATES HOCKEY LEAGUE Hampus Akesson (Erie) – Superior RoughRiders Danny Armstrong (Littleton) – Butte Cobras Jensen Baehr (Evergreen) – Lake Tahoe Icemen Paden Clark (Loveland) – Colorado Jr. Eagles Dakota Coleman (Aurora) – Arizona Hawks Nick Davidson (Fort Collins) – Colorado Jr. Eagles Cooper Davis (Castle Rock) – San Diego Sabers Sean DeKramer (Aurora) – Superior RoughRiders Isaac Diasabeygunawardena (Denver) – Butte Cobras Davis Dryden (Denver) – Arizona Hawks Reiker Edstrom (Fairplay) – Arizona Hawks Jacob Felser (Castle Rock) – San Diego Sabers Trent Fleming (Broomfield) – Superior RoughRiders Cameron Gardner (Longmont) – Superior RoughRiders Zachery Hargis (Highlands Ranch) – Las Vegas Storm Ryan Heck (Aurora) – Superior RoughRiders Trent Hines (Fort Collins) – Colorado Jr. Eagles Matt Jung (Aurora) – Colorado Jr. Eagles Mark MacDonald (Greeley) – Bellingham Blazers Cameron Madrid (Fort Collins) – Seattle Totems Damon Maruska (Elizabeth) – Colorado Jr. Eagles Vincent Mastrandrea (Frederick) – Colorado Jr. Eagles Duncan McIntosh (Denver) – Superior RoughRiders Alex Meisner (Arvada) – Superior RoughRiders Jack Nevicosi (Breckenridge) – Springfield Express C.J. Nitchen (Pueblo) – Superior RoughRiders Ben Novy (Lafayette) – Superior RoughRiders Cody Oakes (Aurora) – Superior RoughRiders Ashton Opperman (Littleton) – Superior RoughRiders Mattijs Ossorio (Lafayette) – Superior RoughRiders Reilly Quinn (Parker) – Colorado Jr. Eagles Colby Schaeffer (Brighton) – Colorado Jr. Eagles Austin Shea (Thornton) – Ogden Mustangs Jordon Stone (Parker) – Utah Outliers

UTAH PROFESSIONAL HOCKEY NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE Trevor Lewis (Salt Lake City) – Los Angeles Kings AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE Richard Bachman (Salt Lake City) – Utica Comets COLLEGE HOCKEY NCAA DIVISION I – MEN ATLANTIC HOCKEY Jared Pike (Sandy) – American International College Nash Worden (Kaysville) – U.S. Military Academy HOCKEY EAST Garrett Metcalf (Salt Lake City) – University of Mass.-Lowell NCHC Nick Halloran (Draper) – Colorado College WCHA Daniel Brickley (Sandy) – Minnesota State University NCAA DIVISION III – MEN ECAC WEST Jordan Haskell (Stansbury Park) – Hobart College NCAA DIVISION III – WOMEN DIVISION III INDEPENDENT Samantha Griswold (Park City) – Post University JUNIOR HOCKEY ALBERTA JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE Angus Scott (Salt Lake City) – Camrose Kodiaks GREATER METRO HOCKEY LEAGUE Cameron Arsenault (Layton) – Seguin Huskies NORTH AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE Ryan Solomon (Salt Lake City) – Aston Rebels Alex Truscott (Draper) – Amarillo Bulls NORTH AMERICAN 3 HOCKEY LEAGUE Landon Anderson (Murray) – Gillette Wild Lindros Beard (Copperton) – Glacier Nationals Robbie Brennan (Sandy) – Gillette Wild Chayo Goodwin (Hyrum) – Billings Bulls Kody Goodwin (Hyrum) – Billings Bulls Dallas Paxton (Sandy) – Gillette Wild Cody Thomson (South Jordan) – Helena Bighorns Dustin Truex – Great Falls Americans = Spencer Vockel (Layton) – Glacier Nationals Riggs Zeidler (Centerville) – Glacier Nationals SUPERIOR INTERNATIONAL JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE Logan Jackson (Riverdale) – Thief River Falls Norskies Sheamus Stoyle (Herriman) – Minnesota Iron Rangers UNITED STATES HOCKEY LEAGUE Anea Ferrario (Ogden) – Sioux City Musketeers UNITED STATES PREMIER HOCKEY LEAGUE Brett Armstrong (Sugar House) – Alpena Flyers (USP3) Ben McCleery (West Valley City) – Alpena Flyers (USP3) Julian Miranda (Salt Lake City) – Charlotte Rush (USP3) Kory Palmer (Salt Lake City) – Eugene Generals (USP3) WESTERN STATES HOCKEY LEAGUE Brayden Mannek (Salt Lake City) – Colorado Jr. Eagles Matt Psaras (Salt Lake City) – Lake Tahoe Icemen Andrew Pyper (Salt Lake City) - Utah Outliers Alex Randazzo (Eden) – Ogden Mustangs Austin Tautfest (North Ogden) – Utah Outliers PREP SCHOOL Trace Farr (Springville) – Lake Forest Academy

* former Colorado Rampage & former Littleton Hawk @ former Pikes Peak Miner # former Colorado Thunderbird

% former Colorado Select ^ former Rocky Mountain RoughRider = former West Coast Renegade $ Former Utah Jr. Grizzly

Edson discovers alternative flight path with Air Force academics in case I got hurt. So I guess it worked out in that sense.” Edson’s Air Force career began – and ended – after five games in 2012. “It was a fluke accident in practice,” he recalled. “I stepped on a stick, fell and hit my head on the boards.” Edson passed a concussion test and resumed playing, but something wasn’t right.

symptoms and I realized I couldn’t put myself in that situation again,” he said. “I’ve never fully gotost-concussion symptoms have kept Max Edten over it, but I’ve learned how to manage it. Some son from taking a regular shift for four years, medical devices have helped me out, but exercise but they haven’t prevented him from contributing still bothers me.” to Air Force’s hockey program. Yet Edson missed the parts of hockey that most The 24-year-old has displayed perseverance fans don’t get to see. while carving out an important niche as a video co“We have a close-knit group at Air Force, and I ordinator. wanted to get back into it,” he said. “I started help“He’s a great young man,” Falcons coach ing with video as a way to stay close to the guys. Frank Serratore said. “It was unfortunate the “It kept me in a routine and kept my mind off concussions ended his hockey career, but he’s of what I’d lost. I didn’t want to let myself go, so going to be a great Air Force officer, and he’s I kept busy and tried to stay as active as possigoing to do great things in life.” ble.” Edson experienced several plot twists in his Falcons senior forward Tyler Rostenkowshockey career. ki and Edson are economics majors who study After playing several years of AAA hockey in together. Rostenkowski says his friend remains Southern California, he went to Salisbury School an integral part of the team. in Connecticut for his last two years of high “When I go on the ice and see him, I tell him, school before two seasons with Waterloo of the ‘Today is for you, Eds,’ because I know how United States Hockey League (USHL). much he wishes he could be out there,” RostenAir Force approached him before his senior kowski said. “His skills and the abilities to see year at Salisbury, but he passed. the ice and stickhandle might be the best on the “I had bigger hockey aspirations at that time,” team if he could play. Edson said. “We want him around as much as possible. After a concussion cost him his playing career, Max Edson decided to Injuries during his second USHL season remain part of Air Force’s team by filling a valuable role providing video We definitely appreciate the insights he has bechanged his outlook, and AFA’s continued pur- support. Photo/Chris Bayee cause he has a different perspective and he’s a suit eventually made it a match. “I thought my allergies were causing pressure skilled guy. He’s always there to help guys, wheth“I liked how it’s right on the mountain side, and on my head,” he said. “I played for a month and it er academically or on the ice. “ (former Falcons goalie) Jason Torf was a longtime got worse and worse. I finally had to tell them, ‘I’m Edson’s help includes providing data to help the friend who always had good things to say about it,” not doing this.’” Falcons’ present, as well as their future. In addition Edson said. “I realized it was somewhere I could His hockey season finished, Edson wondered if to clipping games as Air Force plays to provide play immediately. I knew it was a way different ex- his hockey career might be over when he returned footage the coaches can utilize to make in-game perience than just being at a normal school. to Southern California for the 2013-14 school year. adjustments, he provides video scouting reports “I also wanted to go somewhere that had good “I wanted to resume my education, but I still had on upcoming opponents and potential recruits. By Chris Bayee



Player development - following all the recent research H

ockey has fallen victim to the “quick fix” and “instant results” mentality that seems to be increasingly dominating our culture. The new norm is parents spending countless amounts of money for private lessons and private trainers to accelShaun Hathaway erate the player development process, while overlooking the actual science behind long- term athletic development. Parental expectations for success continue to rise while the overall level of patience falls and as a result, adults are forgetting that our hockey players are developing children. Research and practice has proven that athletic development is a long-term process, a marathon and not a sprint. It requires movement away from early specialization and constant adult directives towards an active multi-sport lifestyle guided by self-drive and intrinsic motivation. Multi-sport lifestyle Numerous studies have provided research indicating that children who specialize in sports at young ages (meaning roughly 14 and younger) suffer from higher rates of adult inactivity, more overuse injuries and early burnout. In recent studies around the world, benefits of early sport specialization have only shown evidence in gymnastics and some evidence for diving and figure

skating. Conversely, the benefits of multi-sport participation include (among others) improvement in skills and ability, increased motivation, better decision-making, stronger pattern recognition skills and higher levels of creativity A multi-sport lifestyle is an active lifestyle. During a week, a youth athlete has 168 hours to fill. If a child spends 8-10 hours per night for sleep, 30-40 hours per week for school, and time to eat 5-7 meals per day, the time spent on health-related fitness should be 20 hours per week. For the younger ages, less than half of the 20 hours per week should be used for team/hockey club-specific activities. • 6U – 10U: 5-8 hours run by club, 12 – 15 multi-sport on their own • 10U – 14U: 8-10 hours run by club, 10 – 12 multi-sport on their own • 15U – 19U: 10-15 hours run by club, 5 – 10 hours multi-sport on their own The multi-sport activities during a sport season include any type of non-structured (self-motivated) sport: skiing, biking, hiking, walking, running, playing tag, and much more. At young ages, supplemental private lessons and extra practice time run by adults should not be included in multi-sport activities. Like a properly run off-ice training program, engaging in other activities that use different muscle groups and enhance agility, balance and coordination can actually accelerate the player development process.

Self-drive Research has always exposed the benefits of inner-motivation and self-drive (intrinsic motivation) as the vehicle to maximize player development. As opposed to being motivated through rewards and avoiding punishment (extrinsic motivation), athletes experience better long-term development success when the desire is to become competent and self-determining. To get the most out of practices and competition, players must learn how to best motivate themselves to train, perform, compete and manage adversity. Intrinsically-motivated players are usually self-starters that experience consistency in practices and games. Taking ownership of one’s effort and developing self-drive is critical to learning and harnessing intrinsic motivation. The coaching culture in Finland places a great emphasis on an athlete’s self-drive and their perceptions of ownership, and the Finnish results are proven. By giving athletes the ability to be creative and learn to make decisions without over-reaching adult directives, they better learn skills and conceptual awareness. The days of spending precious practice time on the ice with long lines and robotic drills should be over. During practices, coaches should design drills with a purpose that keeps the players moving and solving problems. Practices that encourage creativity, free movement, and fun have a much stronger impact on long-term development compared to spending time on the ice teaching the game robotically through rote x’s and o’s training.

Shaun Hathaway is the executive director for Aspen Junior Hockey. Interested in being a Chalk Talk columnist? E-mail Matt Mackinder at 17

Colorado Rubber Hockey Magazine

PATRICK WIERCIOCH Position: Defenseman, Colorado Avalanche Hometown: Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada Age: 26 Height/Weight: 6-foot-5, 202 pounds Last amateur team: University of Denver (then WCHA) Acquired: Signed as a free agent on July 1, 2016

Colorado Rubber: What was your favorite hockey memory growing up? Patrick Wiercioch: I've told this story a bunch of times, and it's a Christmas memory, too. I wanted an Easton Z-bubble shaft stick, and I ended up seeing another aluminum shaft under the tree. I was disappointment and I remember thinking, 'It's not the exact stick I want. It's not the same color.' My dad kept saying, 'Are you sure that's everything under the tree?' And sure enough, there it was in back of the tree. It was a green stick taped inside the tree; I couldn't see it with the branches. So I ended up getting a road stick and a (Z-bubble) stick that year for Christmas. CR: What advice do you have for a young hockey player and his or her parents? PW: Have fun. You have to enjoy it. You can't fake loving the game. Growing up, you have to find ways to enjoy practice, enjoy working on those skills, whether it's getting outside on the pond, playing shinny hockey, pickup, road hockey or whatever it is. CR: Who has been the biggest influence on you, on and off the ice? PW: It's got to be my dad (Andrew). My entire family has been supportive, but above and beyond, he's been there since Day 1. CR: Other than hockey, what's your favorite sport? PW: I'm not really good at other sports. I appreciate other sports. Getting the chance to see other professional sports live, the older I get, I appreciate a lot of other sports. I wish I was better at golf, basketball, football -- any of those sports -- but I'm just a fan of all of them. CR: What piece of equipment are you particular about? PW: Sticks and skates would be the two. Everything else will break in at some point, but it takes me a while to get into a new pair of skates and I'm probably pretty finicky about my sticks. CR: What are your essential items to take on a road trip? PW: Gotta have a laptop, iPad or something like that. Lately, I've been getting into books and reading on flights. With the extended travel out West, you have to find other ways to stay busy on the flights. CR: What's your favorite restaurant in Denver and what are you ordering off the menu? PW: Elway's. No question. That was one of my favorite restaurants on the road when I was with Ottawa. If you're really ambitious, (order) the porterhouse (steak). CR: Who was your favorite hockey player growing up? PW: I was a (Nicklas) Lidstrom (Detroit Red Wings) fan, from a defenseman's standpoint. So many great players you looked up to and followed their careers -- 'Iggy' (Avalanche teammate Jarome Iginla) even being one of them. To see him hit 1,500 games is incredible. CR: What's the most challenging aspect of playing in the NHL? PW: The everyday, the grind of it. It's a long season, 82 games. It wears on you and you have to try to be consistent for as many as those 82 as you can. When someone says you have a bad game, you have to put it in perspective. To be elite, to be great 82 times and beyond is a challenge. Photo/Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images 18

Colorado Rubber Hockey Magazine

- Compiled by Mike Chambers

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November 24 - 27, 2016 September 2 - 5, 2016 . Bantam AA, A, B . Pee Wee . Midget 18U AA/A - Midget 16U AA/A High School



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Colorado Rubber Magazine - December 2016  

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

Colorado Rubber Magazine - December 2016  

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


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