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The Littleton Hawks – a youth hockey association that has been in existence more than 50 years – has sustained the test of time due to a solid program mission and a dedicated staff doing things the right way COLORADO SPRINGS TALENT CARLO MAKES JUMP TO NHL REGULAR AT 19




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FROM THE EDITOR Feeling very thankful for life, family, friends and hockey


s we creep into late November and get set to delve into the traditional Thanksgiving feast here, I think it’s always important to be thankful for the blessings in life and yes, hockey is certainly on the list. Probably in the top half of the list. What’s most important in giving thanks is that we do this daily. Sure, Nov. 24 is when we’ll formally do it and maybe say it out loud, but life is too short to focus on the negative. When you do that, you’re taking time away from focusing on the positives life has to offer. And yes, hockey is for sure one of those positives. Being in this business for 20 seasons now, hockey Matt Mackinder gives us so many memories, so many reasons to want to go to the rink and indulge, whether as a player, parent, coach or a supporter. It can be a family affair and this Thanksgiving, those are two of the biggest reasons to be thankful. Happy Thanksgiving! From one end of the spectrum to the next as we have devastating news out of Utah. The Brighton High School hockey team is looking to raise funds for the Wight family. Tragedy struck the family as they were driving to a hockey tournament in Denver from Salt Lake City in mid-November. The family was in an auto accident and Bob and Dawn, the parents, both passed away from injuries sustained in the accident. Kyle and Karson both sustained injuries, but are expected to make a full recovery. They are currently in a hospital in the Denver area. The Wight family has made a huge impact on the Utah hockey community as the boys have played on several teams in the Salt Lake area for many years. Bob and Dawn were a staple in the stands and around the 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. A GoFundMe account has been created to help Kyle and Karson by taking care of some of the expenses that are sure to pile up while they make their way through this tragic event. All funds raised will go to the family to take care of medical expenses and help care for the boys. Donations can be made via GoFundMe at the-wight-family.

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In the college and pro realm, University of Denver freshman Henrik Borgström was named the NCHC Rookie of the Month for October, while Colorado Eagles forward Casey Pierro-Zabotel was selected the ECHL Player of the Month for October. In eight games for DU, which was ranked No. 1 in the national polls on Nov. 14, Borgström tallied nine points on four goals and five assists with his nine points leading all NCHC rookies and tying for fifth nationally among freshmen. Pierro-Zabotel scored three goals, added eight assists and was plus-5 in October for the Eagles. Colorado College alumnus Edward J. Robson has given the college $8 million to build a new on-campus hockey arena. The facility is part of a campus master plan the college’s Board of Trustees approved in 2015. CC’s hockey team will practice in the new facility and continue to play its games at the Broadmoor World Arena. The new facility, which will be named the Edward J. Robson Arena, is a $10 million project that the college will break ground on during the 2018-19 academic year. It will replace the Honnen Ice Arena, the college’s current on-campus facility, and include about 900 seats. The new arena will also serve intramurals, the college’s club teams, student life activities and community hockey leagues. Congrats to Rocky Mountain RoughRiders’ 16U AAA goaltender Andrew Miller on being named the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) 16U Goaltender the Month for October. The Boulder native appeared in three games, going 2-1-0 for the RoughRiders.

Contact Matt Mackinder at 4

Colorado Rubber Hockey Magazine

Brandon Carlo has made a seamless transition to the NHL as a 19-year-old, playing in the Boston Bruins’ top defense pairing and chipping in his share of points. More on the Colorado Springs native on Page 13. Photo/Steve Babineau/Boston Bruins

ON THE COVER Players from the Littleton Hockey Association’s Bantam A Black team celebrate on the ice after winning the CAHA state championship last spring. Photo/Cheri Anderson


Avalanche stepping up with officiating mentoring program By Steve Stein


ttracting, training and retaining officials for youth hockey games is a problem throughout the coun-


How bad of a problem? An estimated 40 percent of youth hockey officials quit each year, most after only a season or two. Colorado isn't immune to the dropout rate. But Ron Groothedde thinks a large step in the right direction has been taken in the state, partly because of the generosity of the Colorado Avalanche organization. Here's how. Groothedde is the referee-in-chief for USA Hockey in Colorado. Each year, 28 pre-season re-certification clinics for youth hockey officials are held across the state including eight in the Metro Denver area. It costs between $7,000-$9,000 annually to hold the Denver-area clinics. Ice time and meeting rooms are needed, and it costs big bucks to rent them. Funding for the clinics statewide comes from an annual $15 affiliation fee paid by officials. The money for the Denver-area clinics is no longer needed. The Avalanche -- through Jason Schofield, the organization's amateur hockey director who serves on the Colorado Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA) board with Groothedde -- is providing ice time and meeting space for clinics at the Pepsi Center in down-

town Denver for no charge. The arrangement began this year. "We're happy to do this as part of our organization's commitment to growing youth hockey in the state," Schofield said. "The decision was a no-brainer," he said. "We want to support youth hockey any way we can, we know there's limited ice time availability in the Denver area, and with recent upgrades at the Pepsi Center, our meeting rooms have state-of-the-art technology." The other side of the equation on the Avalanche's in-kind donation of ice time and meeting rooms also is important. Groothedde said the $7,000$9,000 saved each year will be used for USA Hockey's mentoring program for beginning officials in the state. In the program, a veteran official shadows a young official during games. "The mentor is right there next to the new official, in a track suit and a helmet, making sure the new guy or girl in the correct position to make a call, watching the right things, and dealing property with disputed calls," Groothedde said. "It's not easy to be a hockey official. You have to be a great skater, know the rules and know how to

apply them. That's why the mentoring program is so important. It teaches officials how to see the game better and not get frustrated by what the job entails." Groothedde said the money saved on the Denver-area clinics will radically increase and improve the mentoring that can be done for new officials. "Hopefully, through the mentoring program, we'll be able to better attract and keep officials, and improve training," he said. "What the Avs have done will make a huge difference in the future of officiating in our state. We'll have better trained and more experienced officials." About 800 officials are needed annually to work youth hockey games in Colorado. The re-certification clinics begin in August and end in late October. Groothedde, who lives in Golden, officiates games across the hockey spectrum from 10-year-olds through juniors and NCAA club teams. He's been an official for 20 years. Two of the newest NHL referees and linesmen are from Colorado, Groothedee proudly pointed out. Tom Chmielewski from Colorado Springs has been a referee since 2014. Linesman John Grandt from Denver has been working NHL games since 2013.


‘At a Different Level’

Since 1963, the Littleton Hawks program has focused on player development, enjoyment of the game By Chris Bayee


hen Grant Arnold was a young hockey player growing up in the Littleton Hockey Association (LHA), it’s unlikely anyone foresaw him helping the University of Denver to a Frozen Four. Or developing into one of just three two-time captains in the program’s nearly 70-year history. Arnold, who began his pro career this fall playing for the Quad City Mallards of the ECHL, learned first to skate through the Littleton program, then to play, over a decade. “I had a hard time there because for four or five years I was the last one cut every year,” Arnold said. “But that helped me as a player. I have to credit a lot of their coaches who kept working with me and pushing me until I did make it. “They have so much depth in their coaching, from AA down to A, B and C.”

The Littleton Pee Wee A Black team brought home the championship hardware after winning its division Nov. 13 at the Vail Sportsmanship Tournament.

Arnold’s story might be unique but it illustrates a true strength of the LHA. Time and time again, the Hawks, who were hatched in 1963, have helped players learn and grow and enjoy the game. “We knew we were there to work on the ice, but we also had a lot of fun,” Arnold added. “It speaks to the organization that we always had good chemistry on our teams. The coaches create the culture, especially at those age levels.” If you play for LHA there is a good chance the person coaching you has been in your skates. That is an important aspect of the Hawks. “It’s cool growing up and playing there, and now I get to help out,” said Phil Patenaude, LHA’s director of player development. “We have a lot of Littleton guys who are coaches; they finish college and come back and want to help. We’ve built a strong culture, and we have a great tradition at Littleton.” The tradition is evidenced in the team accomplishments – notice the banners that ring the two rinks at South Suburban Ice Arena in Centennial and the trophies filling the lobby – and the individual ones, which are honored in LHA’s Hall of Fame on the rink’s west wall. In addition to a trio of USA Hockey Youth Nationals titles and countless Colorado state titles, the Hawks have sent more than 75 players and counting on to play in the NHL, minor pro, Major Junior, NCAA Division I and the U.S. National Team Development Program. Hundreds more played or are playing junior and other levels of college hockey. Colorado College senior Christian Heil has his photo on the wall. He played two seasons for Littleton and then one of AAA for the Colorado Thunderbirds, who are affiliated with LHA, then returned to Littleton for his first year of Bantam AA before going back to the Thunderbirds for his second-year Bantam and Midget seasons. “Littleton’s No. 1 strength is its coaching – it’s at a different level,” Heil said. “Coaches like Kent Murphy and Buddy Blom made it what it was. 6

Colorado Rubber Hockey Magazine

“The coaching makes the transition from AA to AAA hockey so much smoother, and the clubs have a good relationship.” The skill development is a hallmark of the program and the Hawks start it at Squirts. Every other Monday, the Squirts and Pee Weeks have skill practices with position-specific training. “The stick skills and all the other things I learned at those levels felt like they were more advanced that what my friends on other teams were doing,” Heil said. That aspect has only grown stronger, Patenaude said. “The biggest change since I played (starting in 1999) to now is the attention to skill development,” Patenaude said. “(Goaltending development coach) Payam Sami and Travis Finlay do a great job working with our goalies. (8U skill development coach) Kyle Hull makes practice plans to make sure everything is consistent.” Several parents who either played in the NHL or minors or in college hockey also volunteer their time, LHA hockey director Brian TenEyck said. “There are a lot who give back, and we’re very lucky to have them,” he said. The preparation isn’t only for the players, Patenaude said. The players have specialized skill development training, and the coaches – most of whom have been with the club many years – have theirs as well. The investment has likely helped the club’s high retention rate for coaches. “Many of our coaches have been in the club a long time,” Patenaude said, noting the consistency at the Squirt A, Bantam AA, 16U AA and 18U AA levels. “That is really important and something Former Littleton youth player Grant Arnold was we strive for. Kids know year to year who a two-year captain at the University of Denver, graduating in 2016, and is now playing in the is coaching what. ECHL with the Quad City Mallards. Photo/DU “We all work together. I coach Ban- Athletics tams and I know our Pee Wees are going to be working on the same things we do. The Midget coaches know what my players are getting taught. It’s more streamlined. “We’re doing a lot with mentoring coaches. We have a coaching symposium at the beginning of every season that Brian and I run. We have an NHL referee in our club who talks to the coaches about how to interact with refs. “We get on the ice with the coaches and show them the skills we want every team working on so everyone is on the same page.” Or pages. The Hawks have 21 travel teams and 10 rec teams this season. They also have 12 different 8U teams going. The girls hockey branch, the Lady Hawks, come from the rec teams. The affiliation with the Thunderbirds includes reserving ice slots for them as well for a handful of South Metro high schools. A club as successful as the Hawks doesn’t stay vibrant for 53 years and counting without a lot of work. Arnold and Heil, rivals in college, both mentioned the competitive nature of the club over and over. “It’s humbling to walk through the rink and see that wall,” Heil said. “Everyone there is so well coached, and a certain compete level is instilled. That’s what pushes you to the next level.” Added Arnold: “Every coach knows what they’re doing and they kept things competitive.” The club’s vision extends beyond hockey, Patenaude said. “We’re very proud of our three Pee Wee national championships, proud that our Midget Major (18U AA) team has won six state championships in a row and nearly won nationals in 2015,” Patenaude said. “Yes, we pay attention to skill development and we’re here to make kids better, but we want to teach them to compete at the highest level. That benefits them in sports and in life. It’s very important to teach them those skills, too.”

ASPEN JUNIOR HOCKEY AJH progressing, gaining steam with Finland partnership By Shaun Hathaway


inland currently leads the world in cutting-edge strategies that maximize the development of youth hockey players. Looking at the results of their long-term athletic development plan, there is no arguing their status as the best in the world. With a small population, their success on the international stage is staggering. Last season, Finland won the 18U and 20U IIHF world championships and finished second to Canada in the men’s world championship. In the NHL Draft, three of the first five picks in the first round were from Finland. Over the past decade, the Finnish Ice Hockey Association (FIHA) has been sharing its program with USA Hockey to help guide the American Development Model. (ADM). The ADM provides youth programs like Aspen Junior Hockey (AJH) a template and support on how to execute a long-term athletic model for all players. At the source (Finland), this model is dialed from years of research and results, and being executed by a national youth program (FIHA) that has 10,000 less players than the state of New York. In an unprecedented agreement, AJH has partnered with FIHA and their manager of youth hockey, Kalle Valiaho, is in Aspen for the season to evaluate and help align the Leafs program (6U-20U) with the Finnish model. Valiaho’s experience and results make him one of the most influential leaders in youth hockey development. With similar communities, the partnership between Finland and Aspen makes sense. AJH will benefit by institutionalizing an annual training plan and 10-year action plan aligned with FIHA. In only three weeks, players have improved remarkably, ice time is maximized, and the development of critical skills, speed and pace is impressive. Mental skills have already been sharpened through simple and complex on- and off-ice exercises where athletes are required to independently problem solve, leading to more self-aware and well-rounded athletes. “Progress is impossible without change.” – Walt Disney


Renegades building momentum in Utah youth hockey By Matt Mackinder


irst, the West Coast Renegades (WCR) brought aboard former NHL Stanley Cup champion Kevin McClelland to coach in the program. Then it was David Imonti as the organization’s hockey director. Furthering the trend of adding high-quality staff members was the recent addition of Steve Metcalf, Zach Hale and Derek Porter in various roles. The Renegades will also work with Cedar City’s house/rec program and Rick Henrickson’s high school select team this season. Metcalf will oversee several free clinics for 10U, 12U and 14U age groups that the Renegades will offer in the coming months. The clinics will focus on basic skills – skating, passing, shooting and small-area games. “We are dedicated to advancing all levels of hockey in Utah,” said Metcalf. “Upon accepting the position as director of youth development for the WCR program, one of the first steps we took was setting up our free youth hockey clinics. Because of the generosity of Joe and Lisa D’Urso, we have been able to set up three clinics each month for the next six months. The focus of these clinics is to have the house/recreation player come out and see how we run our practices and give the players the opportunity to interact with our Tier I coaches.” There is no cost for the players to attend the clin-

ics. The clinics are held at the Cottonwood Heights Ice Center and are held three Saturdays per month. The clinics are one hour in length from 4:15-5:15 p.m. The clinics have been sanctioned by USA Hockey and the Utah Amateur Hockey Association (UAHA). Players can pre-register on the WCR website (www.westcoastrenegades. com). With the Cedar City deal, Kerry Fain, president of the Youth Enthusiasts Together for Ice (YETI) program in Southern Utah, said the partnership with the Renegades is a win-win all around. “Without the help of WCR stepping up to house our rec league players of all ages, we would see our promising future and growth quickly shrivel and die, thus ending the hopes of making Southern Utah the next big boom area for hockey,” said Fain. “The WCR stepping in to help a team like the Salt Lake Rebels is just another such case. Thanks once again to WCR, we are able to find a place for these kids with the Rebels being housed under WCR, so that each of these players are still able to play and nurture their natural talent in hopes to doing something promising in their future with hockey. “The WCR is a shining star in our state, not only

in helping to restructure how hockey is in Utah, but in looking for the communities who are on the cusp of something big and need not a handout, but a hand up so that our state can start to generate the talented players I know we are capable of having here and help the level of play in our state grow.” Hale and Porter join the WCR coaching staff after solid backgrounds in the game as players and coaches. “I decided to join the WCR coaching staff because it was a career goal for me to develop our youth hockey players within the state of Utah, which is the place I started playing hockey when I was five years old,” Hale said. “I feel I want to give back to the hockey community because it did so much for me from the ages of five to 15. It's so amazing to see this sport develop the way it has in this state.” “WCR has an excellent reputation, both in the hockey community as well as among players and parents,” Porter added. “WCR offers an elite-level program for Utah kids without them having to leave the state. It's a great opportunity to work with other professional coaches and I'm proud to be a part of the organization.”


PICTURE PERFECT Colorado Avalanche forward Joe Colborne (also a University of Denver product) shows off his hat trick of pucks after notching his first NHL three-goal game on Oct. 15 against the Dallas Stars in the season opener at the Pepsi Center. Photo/Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images

Current Rocky Mountain RoughRiders’ 16U AAA forward and Westminster native Nikita Krivokrasov has signed with the Western Hockey League’s Prince Albert Raiders and will likely join the Raiders for the 2017-18 season.

The Colorado Select came home with the girls 14U AA championship at the Western Regional Silver Stick event, which concluded Oct. 30 at the Ice Centre at the Promenade in Westminster. Photo/

Aspen Junior Hockey captured the girls 14U A championship at the Western Regional Silver Stick event, which concluded Oct. 30 at the Ice Centre at the Promenade in Westminster. Photo/Scott Cattelino/Colorado Hockey Hub

The Utah Jr. Grizzlies’ 10U Selects team captured the Squirt A banner at the Silver State Tournament back on Oct. 23 at the Las Vegas Ice Center.

Scott Cattelino/Colorado Hockey Hub

The Evolution Elite Hockey Academy’s Squirt B team gathers for a quick photo before taking on Arapahoe on Oct. 15 at the Family Sports Center in Englewood. Photo/Tiffany Haase

The Western States Hockey League’s Ogden Mustangs recently held a coat and blanket drive and were able to donate 313 coats, 151 blankets, 44 pairs of socks, 27 pairs of gloves, 23 hats, 19 shirts, five scarves, four pairs of pants and two pairs of boots to Ogden's homeless shelter, the Lantern House.

The Utah Jr. Grizzlies’ 10U Select team brought home the championship banner at the High Mountain Shootout, which concluded Nov. 6 in Park City.

The Utah Golden Eagles’ Bantam AA team claimed the 14U AA division championship, allowing just one goal in five games in winning the High Mountain Shootout on Nov. 6 in Park City.

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Colorado Rubber Hockey Magazine

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Colorado College a homecoming for Rampage alum Halloran By Steve Stein


ick Halloran's hockey career is on a fast track. That's an appropriate way to describe the ascension of the speedy forward, who has gotten off to a great start in his freshman season at Colorado College and attracted the attention of a handful of NHL scouts. Halloran had four goals and four assists through the Tigers' first eight games and was named the NCHC Rookie of the Week for Oct. 17-23 after scoring three of his team's five goals in a two-game weekend, all on the power play. The 19-year-old Draper, Utah, native scored Colorado College's lone goal in a 4-1 loss at Boston College and two goals, including the game winner, in a 4-3 victory at New Hampshire. Halloran played for the Colorado Rampage 16U and 18U AAA teams before spending last season with the Trail Smoke Eaters in the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL), leading the team in scoring with 45 points (21 goals, 24 assists). He had 67 points (19 goals, 48 assists) in two seasons with the Rampage. His 16U coach was Pat Bingham, while Andrew Sherman coached him at the 18U rung. "I'm not surprised Nick is doing so well at Colorado College," Sherman said. "He's a great competitor and a dynamic, elite skater with fantastic agility and mobility." Halloran's coach at Colorado College is Mike Haviland, who also isn't surprised that Halloran has adjusted to Division I hockey so quickly. "As you progress from one level of hockey to the next,

your time and space to do what you need to do is taken came calling. away," Haviland said. "Because of Nick's speed and his "I'm very comfortable with the coaching staff, the acahockey IQ, he can separate himself from opposing players. demics are second to none, and I'm close to home," Hallo"We needed more speed up front. That's why we re- ran said when asked why he decided to play for the Tigers. cruited Nick and now that he's here, we have high expecHalloran said his time with the Rampage helped pretations for him. We've gotten him to shoot more, which is pare him for Division I hockey. making him even more danger"I learned to use my speed ous offensively." and quickness to my advantage Offense is great, but Halloran there," he said. "And Coach needs to be a 200-foot player, Sherman showed me the imporHaviland said, and his defense is tance of playing with passion and improving. heart, to feed off those things." "Nick didn't have any points Sherman was glad to hear against Nebraska-Omaha (in that. a two-game weekend split in "I want my guys to play with league openers Nov. 4-5), but I enthusiasm and be grateful for thought that was his best weekthe opportunity to play hockey," end for us all season because of he said. "I also want my guys to his defense," Haviland said. treat their teammates well and be a good person and citizen." Halloran is quite aware that Halloran also learned those defense is as much a priority as Utah native Nick Halloran played his formative years offense for him. with the Colorado Rampage and is now emerging as an lessons. Just ask his current "Coach wants to me create impact freshman at NCAA Division I Colorado College. coach. "Nick always has a smile on offensively, but he also emphasiz- Photo/Colorado College Athletics es defense," he said. "We can't win games if we're giving his face," Haviland said. "He's personable and has great charisma. He'll be a success in life whatever he decides to up a lot of goals." Halloran was planning at one time to attend the Air do because of who he is." Halloran is the first former Rampage player to play for Force Academy and play hockey there like his brother, Alex, who was a defenseman for the Falcons for four years. Colorado College and he's one of only five Utah natives But he decommitted in fall 2015 and Colorado College playing Division I hockey.


The Great Debate

Avs’ MacKinnon cites differences in Major Junior hockey versus NCAA hockey By Mike Chambers


he argument might never end: NCAA or major junior, the two most prominent paths

to the NHL. The college game isn’t for everyone, and it certainly isn’t for Nathan MacKinnon and his son, if he has one in the future. MacKinnon, the Avalanche’s explosive 21-year-old center, said Colorado’s recent college-like schedule is a reminder why he supports the Canadian Hockey League’s (CHL) Major Junior system over the NCAA. “My kid’s going to junior – 100 percent,” MacKinnon said. The Avs had five days between games Oct. 22 at Florida and Oct. 28 against Winnipeg, then played at Arizona on Oct. 29 for a consecutive-night stretch. That’s a typical college schedule — a week of practices and two games on the weekends. “We’re here to play games,” said MacKinnon. “I like getting into a rhythm; I feel like I play better when I play more. In Phoenix (a 3-2 win) — and I think the whole team could speak on it — we felt a lot better in our second game than our first after five days off.” Beginning Nov. 1 against Nashville, the Avs will have played at least three games per week through Jan. 6. The busiest stretch is Nov. 11-23, when they will have a game every other night. Like MacKinnon, Avalanche coach Jared Bednar didn’t enjoy the recent “college” schedule. “I wouldn’t think that many players like it; they want to play games,” Bednar said. “That’s the most fun thing to do in this profession is compete. That’s what

we like as coaches. That’s what we like as players. CHL is 16 to 20. The NCAA doesn’t allow CHL transThey may think the coaches like practices – and we fers, so a Major Junior player could see his professioncertainly like to get some practice time in – but every- al hockey dream end at age 20. one in the room is excited to get competing on game But as MacKinnon noted, the CHL offers its playnight. That’s what it’s all about.” ers future university scholarships, however limited. MacKinnon, who played in the CHL and won the “I don’t like the attitude ‘what if it doesn’t work Memorial Cup with the Halifax out?’ – I don’t like that menMooseheads in 2013, said he tality,” MacKinnon said. “My develops his skills more from best buddy in Halifax was a a game than from a practice. fourth-liner and has an unreal Major junior typically offers a school package. He’s making 68-game regular season, while money. He’s going to school most college teams play half in Halifax, in business (school) that amount before the postand playing hockey on the season. side.” “That’s the reason I didn’t MacKinnon was drafted want to go (NCAA) – you play by the Omaha Lancers of the 30-some games,” MacKinnon United States Hockey League said. “Junior is double that, (USHL), the top Junior A feedplus playoffs, plus Memorial er league to college hockey, Cup (if applicable), plus World and he was attending an OmaJuniors (if applicable). That’s ha camp in 2011 when he was like 100 games. Way differselected No. 1 overall in the ent.” Quebec Major Junior Hockey The University of DenLeague (QMJHL) draft by the Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon ver played 41 games (seven starred in junior hockey with the Quebec Major Junior Baie-Comeau Drakkar. MacKpostseason) en route to the Hockey League’s Halifax Mooseheads, winning a Me- innon wanted to play for homeNCAA Frozen Four semifinals morial Cup in 2013. Photo/Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty town Halifax and used the last spring. National champion Images Omaha/college hockey route North Dakota played 44 games. as leverage for his trade to the Mooseheads on July NCAA hockey offers an education in a college en- 13, 2011. vironment and significantly more off-ice training than So in looking at his situation, Major Junior hockey Major Junior. College players also have more time to was beneficial to MacKinnon. And his story gives othdevelop, with an age span of 17 to 25, whereas the ers insight about what’s best for them.

Thornton native Salazar enjoying New Grizzlies forward Cuddemi return home with ECHL’s Eagles ‘fits the mold’ for ECHL club By Matt Mackinder

By Matt Mackinder


t’s come full circle for Luke Salazar, who grew up in Thornton and later played NCAA Division I hockey at the University of Denver. After graduation in 2012, Salazar played four years of pro hockey overseas before returning home this season to play for the ECHL’s Colorado Eagles. “I came to the decision that I wanted to stay in the States pretty early on in the summer,” said Salazar. “The first few weeks have been great and I'm having a blast playing in the States again. Europe is a little different with language barriers and foreign places, foods, etcetera, so being back home and playing has been awesome. Having a blast skating with the Eagles. Playing with Jesse Mychan and Casey Pierro-Zabotel on a line has been great.” A 2007 graduate of Legacy High School in Broomfield, Salazar rang up 88 points in 140 games with the Pioneers and was also named to the WCHA All-Academic Team on three different occasions. He grew up playing for the Hyland Hills Hockey Association. He said making the decision to play overseas the past four years was truly memorable. Salazar lived in Sweden, Austria, England and Norway and traveled to and vacationed in Italy, Greece, Germany, Czech Republic, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Ireland and Scotland. “I recommend it to any player,” beamed Salazar. “You get to see different parts of the world that a lot of people would never get the opportunity to do. You get the chance to travel and vacation while you're over there as well. Experiencing all the different cultures, foods, people and way of life is something everyone should try and do. There are times when you miss home and family for sure, but when I look back on it, it was an amazing experience I'll never forget.” These days, Salazar is pursuing a Kelly Cup with the Eagles. “The depth of our team is very good and we have plenty of guys who can jump in and fill any position,” Salazar said. “We want to win as much as possible and expect nothing less.” 10

Colorado Rubber Hockey Magazine


hen the Utah Grizzlies acquired forward Ralph Cuddemi from the Florida Everblades earlier this season, Utah coach-GM Tim Branham knew he was getting an offen-

sive talent. After all, Cuddemi posted 57 goals and 113 points over his final three seasons at NCAA Division I Canisius College (Atlantic Hockey) from 2013-16 before signing with the Everblades at the end of last season, where he recorded five points in nine ECHL contests. He came to the Grizzlies on Oct. 24 in exchange for forward Jordan Samuels-Thomas. “This trade is a win-win for both teams,” said Branham. “Ralph Cuddemi fits the mold for our program in Utah both on and off the ice and Jordan Samuels-Thomas expressed interest in going to Florida for personal reasons.” A two-time member of the Atlantic Hockey All-Academic Team, Cuddemi, a native of Concord, Ont., served as Canisius’ captain in 2015-16. “Leadership is critical to any successful team,” Canisius coach Dave Smith said when announcing Cuddemi and Geoff Fortman as captains last year. “The combination of Ralph and Geoff provides our program with that A-plus leadership. Both are elite citizens, ultra-competitive and have a major influence on the rest of our team. We listen to the captains as a voice of the players.” A two-time All-Atlantic Hockey Second Team honoree, Cuddemi is one of only three Griffs in the program’s Division I history to collect all-conference honors twice during his career. He finished his collegiate tenure ranked fifth in program history with 123 career points, second with 61 career goals and second with 24 career power-play tallies. During his senior campaign, Cuddemi totaled 42 points on 20 goals and 22 assists. Over his four years at Canisius, Cuddemi helped the Griffs to three straight trips to the Atlantic Hockey Final Four for the first time in program history, including the school’s first conference title and NCAA tournament appearance in 2013. He was a Senior CLASS Award finalist last season as well.


Tahoe Hockey Academy finding elusive ‘path to success’ By Greg Ball


t has been more than two months since the Tahoe Hockey Academy opened its doors to its first class of student-athletes, and the progress being made on and off the ice has the administration feeling extremely optimistic. “The goal from Day 1 was to implement a program that provided an extensive athletic and academic curriculum,” Tahoe Hockey Academy president Leo Fenn said. “We want to give our players the tools and framework to succeed, but we also want to allow them to build their own path to success.” It didn't take long before the academy’s first team found itself facing some stiff competition on the ice as it headed off to Pilot Mound, Manitoba, in early September to compete in the Western Prep Hockey League (WPHL). As California’s only Division I prep league representative, Tahoe faced an uphill battle competing against highly established prep hockey programs from Colorado, Calgary and Manitoba. “You really don’t see that type of hockey in California,” THA captain Erik Larsson said. “The players and teams in the WPHL are big, fast and physical. You really have to be on top of your game in order to compete every shift, but it’s great to be in that environment because it makes you better. We’re on the ice two hours every day, and I can already tell in such a short period of time how much I’ve improved. It allowed me a chance to compete and succeed against the older players.” The school’s foundation is built not only hockey and

academics. Developing respectful and responsible young men is also a primary focus at the Northern California academy. “We want to instill the ideals of accountability, consis-

After months of planning and scheduling, the Tahoe Hockey Academy is coming together on and off the ice and will face tough competition in the WPHL and ADHSHL ranks this season.

tency and discipline in our student-athletes as they conduct their everyday lives,” associate head coach Chris Collins said. “From the way they practice, to the way they interact with their peers, staff and community, we want to build a foundation for lasting success both on and off the ice.” As with any boarding school, it can be a challenge for students to be separated from their parents for the first time. Having a program that emulates family values goes a long way in calming the fears that parents may have being so far away from their sons.

“Being able to visit Tahoe Hockey Academy for three days and witness first-hand the way the school operates speaks volumes to their professionalism and attention to detail,” said Wynette Birceki, whose son, Jack, attends THA. “You can see it on the ice, in the classroom and the way the staff interacts with the students, to know how much they care.” Added Larsson: "The program pushes you to be better. It shows in the way we train, compete and develop every day." The Tahoe Hockey Academy program consists of daily ice sessions, strength and conditioning workouts and structured academic classes. “We're designed for the dedicated student-athlete who's looking to pursue a higher level of self-improvement,” Fenn said. “That relates to their overall hockey game, individual skill, physical development and academic growth. We're not here to focus on the wins and losses, and we'll always measure our success on our ability to build better hockey players, students and young men.” While the Tahoe Hockey Academy is still in its infancy, players, coaches and staff are bullish on what the future holds. The tea, will be tested as it continues WPHL play as well as scheduled trips to the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) Showcase, Bauer World Invite and University of Notre Dame, as well as league play in the Anaheim Ducks High School Hockey League (ADHSHL). A schedule of 60-70 games dictates a steady dose of hockey - and judging by the development of the program thus far, the boys in purple will be ready for the challenge.


Youth Movement

While young, Colorado College showing character, leadership that starts with captains growing pains and there were some situations he was learning what it took to be a captain at the collegiate arn everything. level,” Tigers coach Mike Haviland said. “Sam’s an Colorado College’s extremely hard worker on and off the ice. He leads by players know there won’t be example and is not a real rah-rah guy. any freebies in the tough NCHC. It’s a message the “The way he competes and the way he plays is the coaching staff and the leadership core are constant- way we want our team to be known.” ly stressing to the youthful Rothstein finished with Tigers, 23 underclassmen 15 points and has scored strong. as many as 20 in a season “(Captain) Sam (Rothat CC. His hockey lineage is stein) and the staff created impressive. His father, Tom, that motto: ‘Earn everything,'” was a two-time captain for said senior goaltender Derek the University of Minnesota, Shatzer, a Highlands Ranch while his uncle, Bill, played at native. “We know nothing will the University of Notre Dame be given to us in this league. and his uncle, John, played We won’t get the benefit of at the University of Minnesothe doubt that some teams ta-Duluth. might.” Rothstein’s persistence in If the Tigers are to make a the face of the team’s strugleap from their six-win season gles left a big impression, of a year ago (and through Shatzer said. the season’s first month, they “Just because he’s quiet were off to a good start) it will doesn’t mean he won’t nip be due in large part to a trio problems in the bud,” Shatzer that utilizes a diverse set of said. “Especially last season, leadership methods. it would have been easy to Rothstein, who is in his Colorado College senior forward Luc Gerdes is a cap- give up, but he didn’t. He was second season as captain, is tain this season for the youthful Tigers and “holds the glue that held us accountassisted by fellow senior for- players accountable,” according to CC head coach able.” ward Luc Gerdes and soph- Mike Haviland. Photo/Colorado College Athletics That experience is paying omore defenseman Andrew Farny. dividends already this season. “Sam, like the rest of the team last year, had some “He understands how to handle certain situa-

By Chris Bayee


tions,” Haviland said. “He’s way more relaxed and there’s less pressure on his shoulders. He tried to figure out how to help everybody, and I think it hurt his game.” Gerdes, the Tigers’ leading returning scorer (18 points), adds a different dimension, his coach said. “Our staff felt Luc really emerged as a leader last season,” Haviland said. “He’s more of a guy that holds players accountable and is going to stay stuff in the locker room and on the bench to let guys know where they stand. He and Sam play off each other pretty well.” Farny is the lone underclassmen wearing a letter. He’s a player of few words, but loud actions. “’Farns’ is a warrior,” Haviland said. “He blocks shots, takes hits. He plays Sam Rothstein against the other teams’ best lines, but has offensive ability. He’s the hardest working guy on and off the ice.” The large number of underclassmen on the roster makes it imperative to integrate players as quickly and completely as possible, Rothstein said. “You try make everyone feel like they have a role on the team,” he said. “Whether you’re first line, fourth line or you’re in the stands, you’re still part of the team and the program. You have a role to play. “That’s one of the biggest things we’re trying to emphasize coming into the year. Wherever you are, you’re important and we need you to work and be as positive as possible to move this thing forward.”

Air Force leaders bring different Pioneers rely on Butcher, fellow approaches to winning culture seniors to stay the course By Chris Bayee

By Chris Bayee


he U.S. Air Force Academy is full of leaders and the hockey team is no exception. Still, this year’s group faces a tall task in replacing the graduated Max Hartner and Ben Carey, who led a youthful team to second place in Atlantic Hockey and nearly into the NCAA tournament last season. The Falcons tabbed senior defenseman Johnny Hrabovsky and junior defenseman and Centennial native Dylan Abood as co-captains and senior forward A.J. Reid an assistant. “You usually have a good handful of leaders to pick from, and we have a phenomenal group leading our team this year,” senior forward Tyler Rostenkowski said. “It’s a little different from last year when Max Hartner and Ben Carey had a very structured hierarchy. This year, you see with Johnny, A.J. and Dylan three guys who really balance each other out. They all bring different things to the table.” The dependable Hrabovsky plays big minutes in every situation for the Falcons. “Johnny is the most consistent person I’ve ever met,” Rostenkowski said. “You know what he’s going to bring to practice or games every day because of his work ethic. It’s awesome to have that consistency in a leader and know you can depend on him no matter what.” While Reid, who sustained and then returned from a serious leg injury last season, adds a scorer’s touch and physicality up front, his interpersonal skills are notable, too. “A.J. is an awesome guy who bridges the gap between hockey and friendship,” Rostenkowski said. “He’s always there for guys. He’s a fun, easy-going guy that is intense when the time calls for it, but he’s a good friend to guys.” Abood has battled an upper-body injury to start the season, and his presence on the ice has been missed. “Dylan, I don’t even know if the guy’s human,” said Rostenkowski. “From grades to max effort, if I can work as hard as ‘Boody’ out there, then I’ve had a good practice. He’s intense when he needs to be intense and he’s there for everybody no matter what.” 12

Colorado Rubber Hockey Magazine


he University of Denver has a senior-heavy roster and a strong leadership core within that group, something that has helped soften the blow of losing two-time captain Grant Arnold and three other graduates who played key roles on the ice and in the locker room. The fulcrum for this season’s quartet of letter wearers is captain Will Butcher, who was an assistant in 2015-16. An all-America candidate and 2013 Colorado Avalanche draft choice, Butcher leads by example and plays heavy minutes in every situation. The assistants are forwards Evan Janssen and Matt Marcinew and defenseman Matt VanVoorhis. All three are key penalty killers. Coach Jim Montgomery, who also coached the speedy Janssen with the United States Hockey League’s (USHL) Dubuque Fighting Saints, has called him his security blanket because he always is in the right position and can adapt to any line seamlessly. Marcinew is the Pioneers’ top faceoff man, plays in front of the net on the power play and has emerged as the second-line center in the season’s first month. VanVoorhis, who plays forward on the penalty kill, has been credited with helping mentor ‘D’ partner Blake Hillman, one of the Pioneers’ most improved players from the start of last season until the finish. The Chicago Blackhawks took note, drafting Hillman in June. “They have everything – it’s a big group, but we’ve got some great leaders,” junior defenseman Tariq Hammond said. “They’ve been in the program four years and know Coach Monty, what he likes and dislikes, and they’ve been doing a great job bring the younger guys up and showing them the ways.” Quickly on-boarding the newcomers to NCHC play (DU routinely plays five of its seven freshmen) is pivotal to continuing the Pioneers’ success, Butcher said. “A lot of it has to do with our team culture,” he said. “It’s not too hard with the amount of culture we have and the great group of guys we have. It’s pretty easy to integrate guys when they see what the older guys do. They follow that example and it all flows together.”

NHL dreams turn to reality for Colorado Springs’ Carlo By Chris Bayee


elieve it or not, Brandon Carlo does get nervous. You just wouldn’t realize it from watching the composure he’s played with as a 19-year-old on the Boston Bruins’ top defensive pair early this season. Carlo turns 20 on Nov. 26. “We had a team dinner when the team told us we’d broke through camp,” he recalled. “A couple of us were in the same position. Our hearts were breaking through our chests. It was one of the most exciting moments of my life. “Then there was the first game (on Oct. 13) – that’s when it really hit me.” The Colorado Springs native not only made the Bruins, but he’s played a key role for them early in the season, being paired with future Hall of Famer Zdeno Chara against the opposition’s top lines every game. “It’s the role you go into with ‘Z’ as a shutdown guy,” Carlo said. “Every game, we’ve developed more and more chemistry. “Every game is a challenge. The Rangers were super fast. Other teams are harder on the body. Every team has strengths and weaknesses.” Carlo’s rapid ascent to the NHL came after playing just eight games in the American Hockey League (AHL) at the end of last season, following the conclusion of his third junior season in Tri-City of the Western Hockey League (WHL). That capped a season in which Carlo was a force for Team USA’s bronze medal-winning

team at the IIHF World Junior Championship. He and Zach Werenski (now of the Columbus Blue Jackets) were dominant, going plus-19 over seven games. Just three seasons after leaving Colorado,

Colorado Springs native Brandon Carlo needed just three games to net his first NHL goal, and it was a big one, helping the Boston Bruins defeat the Winnipeg Jets on Oct. 17. Photo/Boston Bruins

where he played first for Colorado Hockey Club (now the Colorado Rampage) and then the Colorado Thunderbirds, Carlo finds himself in the world’s top league. His rise is due to a combination that’s equal

parts size, skill and elbow grease, said Thunderbirds director of hockey operations and 16U AAA coach Angelo Ricci. “Brandon has always been a student of the game and has a strong work ethic,” Ricci said. “He reads the game very well, had a good hockey IQ and has really good feet for a 6-foot-5 defenseman. He makes the smart, safe and simple plays with the puck, which all they want him to do. He has shown a great ability to make a nice outlet pass.” As an added bonus, Carlo led all Bruins defensemen in scoring with two goals and four points through 12 games. To put that in context, he never scored more than four goals in a 72-game WHL season. “He is also showing a nice offensive touch, which isn’t expected of him, but it’s great to see,” Ricci said. “He will only get better with that side of his game.” His taste of pro hockey last spring further motivated Carlo to put in extra work over the summer. “I came into camp knowing I was prepared,” he said. “I set my goals high.” He made a strong impression on his future teammates, fellow Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller said. “You could tell he had matured a lot since camp last season,” Miller said. “You see it in how he carries himself. “He’s soaking everything in, and playing with Z, who is the ultimate pro, helps.” The 6-foot-9 Chara, who at 39, is a generation Continued on Page 14


Colorado Springs’ Carlo finds immediate niche in Boston

Ex-DU standout Heinen makes Bruins out of training camp

Continued from Page 13

By Chris Bayee

older than his defense partner, has become another big brother of sorts to the rookie. “The first time I saw him, I was almost in shock with how big he is,” Carlo said. “I can’t put into words how much he has helped me. He’s so talkative and not afraid to share his knowledge. His leadership shows throughout our (locker) room. You can see how much he wants to help everyone in there. “I’m also fortunate we have a lot of older guys who are great leaders – Patrice Bergeron, David Backes to name a few – who will take time to sit down and share what they’ve learned through their experiences.” Carlo was emphatic that he would not be where he is without the support of two families – his own, including parents, Lenny and Angie, as well as three older siblings – and his Colorado hockey family. “My mom and dad went to my first game in Columbus, but we weren’t sure if I’d be in the lineup,” he said. “It was really cool to have them there to share with me. My mom has been to Boston to see a game, and I’m sure she’ll be out more. She loves that. “My two older brothers and older sister have been supportive, too, especially on social media. “And the Colorado hockey community has been incredible. So many from the Rampage and the Thunderbirds have reached out. Angelo keeps in contact and reminds me where I’ve come from. I appreciate them all.” They walked alongside Carlo as a youth, encouraged him when he left home at 16 and celebrated with him when Boston made him a secondround pick (37th overall) in the 2015 NHL Draft. Not even 16 months later, he is playing more than 22 minutes per game in the NHL. Ricci is convinced Carlo’s willingness to continue learning bodes well for the future. “He has shown that if he continues to mature as a player, he will have a very long NHL career,” Ricci said. “I am extremely proud of him.”



Colorado Rubber Hockey Magazine

anton Heinen wasted little time making a strong first impression on the Boston Bruins at his first pro training camp. The former University of Denver star, who helped spark the Pioneers’ run to the Frozen Four in April, scored three goals during the preseason and made the opening night roster along with defenseman Brandon Carlo of Colorado Springs (see Page 13). Heinen piled up 93 points in 81 games at DU over the past two seasons. He was selected the NCHC’s Freshman of the Year in 2015 and selected the conference’s Forward of the Year this past spring. He teamed with Dylan Gambrell and Trevor Moore to form the dominant Pacific Rim Line. Gambrell, who lived with Carlo’s family when both played for the Colorado Thunderbirds, introduced Heinen and Carlo. “We stuck together through the camp, and it was awesome to go through that experience with him,” said Carlo, adding that Heinen’s skill set stood out. “He is a guy who is very poised with the puck. He has a lot of confidence with the puck on his stick, and he can make plays at the right time. His playmaking ability is pretty special.” Veteran Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller also noted that Heinen brought a mature demeanor. “When I first saw him in camp, I was impressed with how he carried himself,” Miller said. “He was very workmanlike and more of a quiet guy. You can tell he has the skill to make plays. He’s got a good combination of speed, skill and vision.” Heinen played seven games for the Bruins before being sent to Providence of the American Hockey League (AHL) earlier this month. During his first weekend in the AHL, Heinen had a goal and an assist in back-to-back games on Nov. 5-6. “He’s a smart player that sees the play well,” Bruins coach Claude Julien told “He seems to be in the right place and understands the game. The hockey sense is something that you either have or you don’t, and I think he has great hockey sense.”

ROCKY MOUNTAIN ROUGHRIDERS COLORADO SPRINGS AMATEUR HOCKEY Slew of RoughRiders standouts Tigers alum Swayman lands USHL roster spot, NCAA commitment making plans for WHL, NAHL By Chris Bayee

By Matt Mackinder



he junior hockey world is taking note of the Rocky Mountain RoughRiders’ course of development. Since mid-October, four RoughRiders players signed tenders with North American Hockey League (NAHL) teams and a fifth, Midget 16U AAA forward Nikita Krivokrasov, signed a Western Hockey League (WHL) standard player agreement with the Prince Albert Raiders. “All of these players are great representatives of the RoughRiders Hockey Club and it is great to see their hard work paying off,” RoughRiders director of hockey operations Derek Robinson said. "As an organization, we are very proud of these five players.” Krivokrasov, a Westminster native, played two games for the Raiders at the beginning of the season. He had 19 points (nine goals) through 13 North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) games and 10 points (seven goals) through seven CAHA games. RoughRiders’ Midget 18U AAA forward and Highlands Ranch native Jacob Marti signed with the Bismarck Bobcats. Marti had 22 points and 12 goals through 13 NAPHL games. His points and goals totals were second most in the league. Marti also had four points (two goals) in seven CAHA games. Midget 18U AAA defenseman Noah Kiemel signed his tender with the Amarillo Bulls. The Colorado Springs native had seven points (six assists) in 13 NAPHL games and two assists in seven CAHA games. The Odessa Jackalopes then signed Midget 16U AAA forward Ty Black, a Texas native who had registered 17 points (five goals) in 13 NAPHL games and 13 points (five goals) in seven CAHA games. Midget 18U AAA goaltender and Boulder product Cisco Clark-Silva signed a tender with the Topeka RoadRunners. Clark-Silva went 4-3 with a 2.18 goals-against average and a .899 save percentage through seven NAPHL games and 2-3-0 with a 1.53 GAA and a .927 save percentage through seven CAHA games.

eremy Swayman came from Alaska to join the Pikes Peak Miners’ (now Colorado Springs Tigers) 18U AAA team prior to last season and made an immediate impact between the pipes. This season, he’s doing the same with the United States Hockey League’s (USHL) Sioux Falls Stampede and recently secured an NCAA Division I commitment with the University of Maine (Hockey East). “My goals for this season are to commit to a D-I college and get drafted in the NHL,” said Swayman. “I'm proud to say I have knocked off one of my personal goals already and am 100 percent focused on attaining the next one.” Sioux Falls is also hosting the annual USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game later this season and Swayman said “I want to play in front of my home crowd in that game.” It’s been a roller coaster year for Swayman, who said the Maine coaching staff first approached him in September in Omaha at the USHL Fall Classic event. Being a part of the Stampede has also been a positive situation. “I am loving everything about it from the community, school, billet family, coaching staff and team,” said Swayman. “I feel that I am fitting in well and still have a lot more to offer. I'm learning a lot from the older guys and my mental game has excelled from playing back-to-back weekend games and going right back to practice on Monday to get ready for the next games.” Swayman added that he wouldn’t be in the position he’s in today if not for last season in Colorado. “The teammates I had on that team will always be brothers to me,” Swayman said. “The lessons I learned on and off the ice will be with me for life and I cherished every moment I had with them. Also my billet family there (Bob Nolette, Beth Nolette, JP Nolette, Dalton Dosko) had a huge impact on my off-ice environment and gave me a perfect opportunity to succeed.”


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 @ Nick Shore (Denver) – Los Angeles Kings Jaccob Slavin (Erie) – Carolina Hurricanes AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE Darik Angeli (Lakewood) – Norfolk Admirals 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 Gustav Olofsson – Iowa Wild # 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 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 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 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) 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 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 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

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


Red Grizz focusing on ‘skills gained,’ ‘friendships made’ By Matt Mackinder


hinking outside the box is something Eric Capps obviously excels in doing. Back in 2015, Capps, Jeff Tilk and Connie Tilk wanted to find a way to “do something more than what high school offers, but less time, travel and expense than what the other 16U teams were offering.” After a successful 2015-16 season, the Red Grizz program, with Capps as head coach, Jeff Tilk an assistant coach and Connie Tilk the team manager, is back in full force for 2016-17, again with the sponsorship of the Utah Jr. Grizzlies youth organization. “This team is meant to complement what the respective high school teams are offering,” Capps said. “We feel that we have a good niche where we keep costs low, but offer an opportunity for kids to continue to travel and play in a few tournaments throughout the season. We wouldn't have a team without the Jr. Grizzlies sponsorship. The Jr. Grizzlies were kind enough to offer sponsorship last year. At first, we thought all that was needed was just their name on paper to make us legal. They have provided so much more, from scheduling our practice ice to helping out with jerseys last season.” The current Red Grizz team is made up of highly-motivated former Salt Lake Lightning, Jr. Grizzlies and Utah Golden Eagles players. “Most of these kids battled either with or against each other all the way through 14U,” explained Capps. “Initially, I was nervous because I wasn't sure if a few of them could

get along. I was wrong. I love watching the Red Grizz players play against each other during the local high school games. They still go hard at each other in the corners, but will at least apologize or laugh about it afterwards.” The 2016-17 Red Grizz team is comprised of Connor Allen, Carson Angeroth, Alex Brown, Marcus Capps, Nolan Carpenter, Cade Casto, Sam Flores, Zac Graham, Jeremiah Iba, Jordan Jaramillo, Jeff Kain, Burke Larsen, Tate Larsen, Dylon Pearson, Maxwell Pereira, John Teynor and Trevor Tilk. Capps is joined by fellow coaches Mike Brown, Ryan

The 2016-17 edition of the Red Grizz team is a 16U-level group that partakes in local high school tournaments and 18U A-level tournaments to find healthy competition while keeping costs low. Photo/Sharon Kain

Larsen and Tilk. “We had a relatively small team last season that was heavy on the 2000 birth year,” explained Capps. “We were very young, trying our best to compete against players 3-4 years older. It was a bit rough, but the team battled hard and

gained some valuable experience last season.” This year, the Red Grizz features nine returning players and has added eight new team members. “We are still a young team, and we only have a couple of players that aren't eligible to play 16U, but I feel with the talent and experience these kids have that we will do well this year,” said Capps. As far as which high schools are represented on the Red Grizz, Capps said, “We have the Salt Lake Valley covered” with players from East, Olympus, Alta, Bingham, Brighton, Murray, Skyline, Stansbury, Bountiful, Oquirrh and the Salt Lake Stars. The coaching staff for the Red Grizz represents four different high schools – East, Olympus, Bingham and Brighton. As far as the schedule for the season, Capps reiterated that playing high-level, local competition is the top priority. “One of our goals is to keep costs as low as possible, so we try to stay as close to home as possible and play in either high school tournaments or 18U A-level tournaments,” said Capps, whose club will play at the Grizz Cup in January. After this season, Capps noted that there will “absolutely” be another Red Grizz team in 2017-18. “We are in for next season no matter what,” said Capps. “Determining if a season ‘goes well’ isn't completely about wins and losses, even though a pile of wins is nice. Wins and losses are forgotten over time. “Skills gained and friendships made are the only things that matter.”


Remember that there are always three teams on the ice A

s most people in the hockey world know, the game of hockey would not occur without the officials. With that stated, “good ice hockey officials” are rare and more than likely will not be officiating your youth game. There are some exceptions, but that is Kristopher Schoech the fact when it comes to youth and junior hockey in the Rocky Mountain Region. Good officials, like good players, move on to better leagues and most of these leagues are outside the state of Colorado or Rocky Mountain Region. I know this from my own experience in officiating and scheduling officials for higher levels of hockey. There is not only a shortage of officials, but there is a shortage of good/experienced officials in the region. Why? There are a few reasons. Young officials quit due to the verbal abuse that takes place from parents and coaches and officials are getting burned out by working too many games

and/or the individual is not cut out to be an ice hockey official. On the bright side, the money associated with ice hockey officiating is pretty good, especially for teenagers looking for work. I know referees that officiate youth/adult hockey for a living. Most do an OK job, but their attitude towards important youth games may not be what it should be. Many have short fuses with coaches or lack good communication skills from the onset. This plays out with frustration with coaches and players on the ice. Officials are seen as arrogant or non-communicative to coaches and players. In reality, most of the time, it is officials who have worked too many games or they feel the game level they are working is beneath them. What you have in Colorado and the Rocky Mountain Region is some officials are scheduled to work games that may be above their ability. My hope is that those officials will learn on the fly or have a qualified partner. Compile this issue with those officials who are burned out and now you have a problem with the growth of youth hockey in Colorado. On the other side of this issue, you have coaches who have very little coaching experience and feel the need to let the official to know that they are

in charge. You know the ones – always raising their arms and yelling constantly at the officials. Let me give those coaches some advice – when you raise your voice once or twice a game with a request for an interpretation, my ears are wide open/receptive and my respect for you and your team has elevated. When you are yelling at me all the time, I usually ignore you and laugh inside. If you are trying to intimidate, embarrass or show me or the other officials up in front of your players or fans, you will lose any and all lines of communication with officials. As a former collegiate athletic administrator who employed over 70 coaches, I asked them to pick their spots when speaking with officials regarding a certain play or incident. Be direct with your comments and do not drag the conversation out. No one wants to see the officials and coaches arguing over a judgment call. Coaches need to be respectful and know that officiating is very difficult, especially in close games. You can still get your point across, as long as it is presented in a short respectful manner. Believe me, your short comments do not go un-noticed and if the comment is the only thing you have stated to me over the course of a 60-minute game, then you probably have a good point.

Kristopher Schoech is a working official and scheduler/supervisor for the Colorado Ice Hockey Referee Association and currently works for the National Hockey League as a video goal judge for the Colorado Avalanche. Interested in being a Chalk Talk columnist? E-mail Matt Mackinder at 17

Colorado Rubber Hockey Magazine


Hometown: Centennial Position: Goaltender, Minnesota State University (WCHA) Youth teams: DU Jr. Pioneers, Littleton Hawks, Colorado Thunderbirds Colorado Rubber: What was your favorite hockey memory growing up? Cole Huggins: Probably when I played in the Pee Wee tournament in Quebec. I thought it was the coolest place ever. They spoke French, their culture was different. That whole trip was really fun. CR: What is your favorite memory in the game since leaving Colorado? CH: Probably going to British Columbia (to play in the BCHL with the Langley Chiefs in 2011-12). That was a big decision because it was so far away from home – and a different country. I had only played in Colorado (until he was 18). It took a lot to get to main camp because I didn’t get any invites from NA (North American Hockey League) or USHL teams. Langley had an open camp in Colorado and I went two years in a row. Their assistant invited me to the main camp. Once I got there, they had 40 goalies on the ice at the same time. CR: Now you’re doing something you had always dreamed of. CH: I always wanted to play college hockey. That was my dream because I grew up watching DU games. I just took it one step at time. It wasn’t the end of the world if I didn’t make a junior team. CR: Who have been the biggest influences on you on and off the ice? CH: Littleton’s Brian TenEyck, all of his camps. I actually helped him later. Buddy Blom was the goalie coach when I was a Pee Wee. They taught me a lot when I was getting started. Kevin Whalen was an assistant for one of my teams and he was a big goalie guy as well. CR: What advice would you give young hockey players? CH: Just work hard and don’t expect anything to be given to you. Take it one day in a time. It goes really fast even if you don’t realize it at the moment. I feel like just yesterday I was just starting juniors and now I’m a senior in college. You can take it for granted sometimes. CR: Are there are any pieces of gear you’re particular about? CH: I’m not too picky. I like my pads more flexible. I just got some new pads and they’re pretty stiff right now. I don’t really care too much about tape jobs or anything. CR: What are essential items to take on a road trip? CH: I’m a bare essentials guy. I have to have something to read. I load up the iPad with books. Usually I have to take homework with me on the road. Other than that, I pack lightly. CR: When you’re back in Colorado, do you have a favorite meal or restaurant? CH: My mom always cooks nice filet mignon and twice-baked potato. I miss those a lot. CR: Did you have a favorite player growing up? CH: It was probably Patrick Roy. His younger son, Frederick, played on a team one year up from me at Littleton. When we had joint practices, his dad would come to help out from time to time. CR: What is your major? CH: Earth science with a geology emphasis and a math minor. A lot of jobs require graduate school. I want to get into mining or maybe something with hydrogeology. CR: What is the most challenging aspect of playing college hockey? CH: I’d say the mental grind. Every weekend is more important than the weekend before. You know the team you’re facing is going to bring it as much as you are. It’s so hard to sweep. You’re preparing for the two games all week. There are fewer games than junior so you’re more ready for them. It’s hard to win. Photo/Minnesota State Athletics 18

Colorado Rubber Hockey Magazine

- Compiled by Chris Bayee

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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 - November 2016  

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

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