Rubber Hockey - March 2023

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PHF Isobel Cup championship coming to Mullett Arena

The Premier Hockey Federation (PHF) has announced that the 2023 Isobel Cup Championship, in partnership with the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes and OVG360, will be at Mullett Arena on the campus of Arizona State University in Tempe, on Sunday, March 26.

The league’s top two teams will battle in the desert for the ultimate prize in professional women’s hockey beginning at 6 p.m. MT (9 p.m. ET) and broadcast live on ESPN2 and TSN.

“Raising the Isobel Cup and celebrating a championship is what all PHF athletes commit themselves to achieve, and we can’t wait to see the moment unfold at Mullett Arena on March 26,” said Reagan Carey, PHF commissioner. “As we continue building momentum for our sport in the new PHF era, it’s important to strengthen relationships in different markets and

Continued on Page 13

GIVING BACK: San Diego-area native Jack Gates grew up playing youth hockey and developing his game in California before venturing to junior hockey in the NAHL and NCAA Division I college hockey. After graduating from Colorado College in 2021, he began to give back to the game of hockey with his Triumph Together nonprofit, an organization that connects kids facing long-term ilnesses to professional athletes. Above, Gates takes a group of cancer fighters to an Anaheim Ducks game at the Honda Center. See more inside on page 6. Photo/Triumph Together


Northglenn native, Team Colorado AAA star Paswaters advances career with NCAA D-III SUNY Canton commitment

Izzy Paswaters has played the vast majority of her youth hockey career in Colorado, but starting next season, she’ll be enjoying a new venture playing NCAA Division III college hockey in New York for SUNY Canton.

According to the Northglenn native, committing to the school was a privilege.

“It was my first tournament this season in Boston and my coach Hannah (Westbrook) sent me (head coach Kalie Grant’s) number and from then on, we started talking,” Paswaters said. “In January, I went out to tour the school and automatically fell in love with it. I loved the small campus vibe it gave out; you could walk to all the buildings in under five minutes. The academic side of it is so helpful, especially if you’re a student-athlete, as they have a lady there that helps you pick out all your classes for the four years and everything is all hands-on, which is super helpful.

“The hockey side of it has amazing opportunities. The program is partly sponsored by Bauer, so you get discounts on any Bauer gear. Their rink is only a few years old and it’s absolutely amazing. It’s very big and

colorful and makes you feel very welcome. Coach Kalie is also an amazing coach. Watching her run a practice without having to stop for a new drill was something different and beneficial to all.”

Paswaters is also looking forward to ramping up her academics and making them more of a focal point of her next journey once she arrives in New York.

“I wouldn’t say (academics) has been a priority in high school because I was a three-sport athlete, so I didn’t have very much time for it,” said Paswaters. “Especially traveling, my first thought wasn’t always school, which I kind of regret now, but I’ve learned how to balance them over the years.”

At Canton, Paswaters plans to major

in Psychology with a potential minor in Criminology.

Back home, Paswaters said she started playing roller hockey at the age of four at Skate City when she and her brother saw a flyer for ice hockey when they went on a field trip and wanted to try it out.

Once she was was eight, Paswaters made the move to ice hockey.

“I wouldn’t say the Avs played much of a role,” admitted Paswaters. “I wasn’t really a fan of them growing up.”

She then skated for the Boulder Bison for five years before moving to the Rocky Mountain Lady RoughRiders for a year.

“During that year, I had also been on the 14U NAHA tournament

team,” explained Paswaters. “Since then, I’ve played for Team Colorado AAA the last four years. One of my biggest influences for hockey has been Bobby Dominski. He brought me into playing boys hockey and even though I was a girl, that didn’t stop him from treating me differently.

“I would also say Karen Rickard has been a great influence. She brought me to play AAA hockey and saw potential in me and let be play 16U hockey as a 14-year-old.”

Moving ahead, Paswaters is excited to see what the future holds for her, on and off the ice.

“A short-term goal for hockey is that I want to be consistent for my first year or two (at Canton),” said Paswaters. “I want to be able to prove that I can play well all the time and not some of it. For school, I want to be dedicated to it and not just focus on hockey and cross country while I’m out there. My academics will be the thing I need further in life, so I want to make the most of the schooling I’ll be getting.

“A long-term goal for hockey would be to go play in Europe or somewhere out of the country for a few years. A long-term academic goal would be to either get a master’s degree for Psychology or possibly major in another field.”

Park University Gilbert men’s team to join ACHA ranks in 2023-24

As hockey at all levels continues to grow in the state of Arizona, that growth recently took a step forward with the announcement of a new men’s ACHA Division 2 program next season at Park University Gilbert.

The team will call Mesa’s Coyotes Community Ice Center home with Jeff Zimmel serving as the first head coach.

“It all started with a simple email I sent off to the athletic director (Jeff Fore) expressing the desire to start a program in Gilbert,” said Zimmel. “In that email, I expressed that hockey in Arizona is rapidly growing

and some kids were giving up on the sport when they were completing their youth hockey and high school hockey careers. There was really no place to go after juniors or ASU, GCU, U of A, or NAU. It’s simple supply and demand.

“That there is room for another college team speaks volumes to the fact hockey continues to grow in Arizona. High school programs fill up quickly as do 18U teams. We hope to grow the brand of Park University Gibert as well as hockey in the state.”

Coming in as new team from the ground up means Zimmel wants the Buccaneers to play a specific brand of hockey.

“The team we hope to have on the ice are some players who may have a chip on their shoulder,” Zimmel said. “Maybe they were overlooked or passed on by other organizations. We need kids who love the game and want to prove themselves, not only to themselves but to everyone who thought they were not good enough. We will be a

team that plays from our goalie out. We need to have a solid defensive game plan and try to keep the score low. We need players who want to play defense first and that will create offense if done correctly.”

Zimmel is currently a Level 4 USA Hockey coach. He was a high school coach in Minnesota for years at Coon Rapids High School and has coached in elite camps in Minnesota, He just moved to Arizona from Minnesota in April 2021.

“I played hockey at Coon Rapids and was going to be the next great player at St. Cloud State University but was told quickly coaching would be better for me,” laughed Zimmel. MARCH 2023 RUBBER HOCKEY
Izzy Paswaters has been a star player for the Team Colorado AAA program over the past few seasons. Photo provided

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Words from the publisher...

Is it really almost spring?

Crazy how fast time flies, you know?

In one sense, it’s the changing of seasons from winter to spring.

In another sense, it means the end of hockey’s regular season.

In scrolling social media this time of year, you see so many teams celebrating championships at all levels. The banners are unfurled, the plaques are handed out, and the players always seem to pose with their medals in their mouths.

What a glorious scene at the rinks when this happens.

The kids might not realize it at the time, but these celebrations could very well be the last time they are together as that particular team with those exact teammates.

It’s only when they look back that the memories come flooding back.

All good memories.

And time doesn’t stop.

You know the movie “A League of Their Own?”

That movie always gets to me, how it starts in present day (well, 1992) and we flash back to the 1940s and relive the women’s pro baseball league that started during World War II.

Then as the movie goes on, memories are made between sisters Kit and Dottie.

As we get to the end of the movie, it gets back to present day set at the Baseball Hall of Fame in

Cooperstown, N.Y., where Kit and Dottie reunite.

I don’t like that time won’t slow down.

I mean, I have pictures on my phone that I swear are from last week but they are from 2013.


What makes it tough is having a high school senior. We’re been going through all the “lasts” since August and it doesn’t get easier as the days keep passing.

People have started to tell us to not focus on what has passed, but to look ahead to all the “firsts” that are in the future.

That really hit home.

I guess the part that I don’t like accepting is that as some things, like hockey, come to an end, there is no guarantee that players and cpaches will learn to live in the mo-

ment and not get caught up in wins and losses, goals and assists, stats and whatnot.

I remember growing up playing sports and now, not remembering the scores, but of the fun times and great experiences I went through with my best friends. The same applies for hockey. Enjoy the games, sure, but take time to enjoy the rides to and from the rink, the road trips, and being together for the joy of this great game.

And keep supporting Rubber Hockey. We are getting back to where we were, and that thrills me! Contact me any time at (248) 890-3944 (call/text) and by email at Looking forward to hearing from you! MARCH 2023 RUBBER HOCKEY

IHAAZ competition boosting talented players to WCRHL roller hockey game

Over the years, playing roller hockey for IHAAZ has proven to be a steppingstone for players to move on to college roller hockey in the NCRHA, specifically in the WCRHL. Those that have made the jump say that IHAAZ competition has prepared them for the rigors of the college game.

This season, Riley D’Antonio (Prescott Storm, Yetis) is skating for the University of Arizona, Logan Estes (Yuma Blaze) for Grand Canyon University, Austin Pacewic (Yuma Blaze) for Northern Arizona University, and Ethan Pieroni (Tucson Jr. Wildcats) at Arizona State University.

All four players cannot hype the impact IHAAZ had on rounding out their game to be college-ready.

“IHAAZ has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember,” Pacewic said. “I started with the Yuma Blaze at a very young age, which helped me grow and develop my skills. Playing IHAAZ always gave me something to look forward to. It gave me the want and drive to be a better player, during practice and during games. I was given the sportsmanship and skill to go on to play at the highest level and into collegiate roller hockey.

“When I first started, IHAAZ was relatively small, and there were only a few teams. To see what it has turned into now is mind-blowing. There are teams that come from other states to play and teams all across

the state now. This organization has grown tremendously, and I cannot wait to see where it goes.”

Pieroni echoed Pacewic’s statements.

“I played IHAAZ hockey for the Tucson Jr. Wildcats throughout high school and it prepared me to play college hockey in a variety of ways,” said Pieroni. “It started as a fun, extracurricular activity, but after I learned that ASU had a roller team, my goal for my last two years of

tive roller was all about,” he said. “There are many more teams in the higher divisions now, which makes competition more fun.”

Estes played for his hometown Blaze from age six to 18.

“Our team at GCU is putting in the work to make sure we are ready. Our team managers and coaches are providing applicable opportunities to better ourselves, on and off the rink. Our team practices three days a week, lifts two days a week, watches film one day a week, and plays in a men’s league one day week. GCU is working hard to be the best in the nation, and we plan on making our mark on the national championship tournament in April.”

Riley D’Antonio high school was to get good enough to make that ASU team. I would say that I used IHAAZ as a space to engage in high-level competition and measure myself against others so that I would know what work I needed to do on myself to match the level of those I was trying to compete with. I went to practice weekly and attended all tournaments, and by doing that consistently along with work on my own, IHAAZ prepared me for my bid at playing at ASU.

“In my last season, the IHAAZ 18U division had grown so much that two different subdivisions had to be made. More teams meant better competition, which meant a better league overall.”

For D’Antonio, IHAAZ was just what he needed to fine-tune his skills.

“Playing in IHAAZ with the Prescott Storm and Yetis prepared me for collegiate roller by giving me the opportunity to play tough competition and get a taste of what competi-

“Playing in IHAAZ during my childhood set the foundation for me to play hockey in college,” said Estes. “Those fundamental years during my childhood instilled in me a passion for the game and a desire to continue playing beyond high school. Being able to play in a competitive roller hockey league in Arizona for all those years allowed me to develop skills necessary to have what it takes to be a Division I athlete at Grand Canyon University.

“My family has been a part of IHAAZ since 2002. Over the last 20 years, my family has been at every tournament between my older brother Zach, myself, or younger brother Austin. Between the three of us, we have probably played in over 100 tournaments here in Arizona. The tournaments the league has put on have provided me and my brothers with a way to play the game we love. The league is currently making strides to become a more dominant sport in the state.”

Moving into the later part of the college roller hockey season, all four players have attainable goals within reach.

“This year at GCU, first and foremost, I want to take home a college national championship,” said Estes.

“Through my whole hockey career, I have gone through all of the ups and downs, and I have won at high levels and also lost at low levels,” added Pacewic. “My first hockey coach with the Yuma Blaze, Coach Johnson, always told us to ‘just have fun.’ That’s what it’s all about. My expectations for this year with NAU are to bond with my teammates and play our favorite sport while having the most fun possible.”

D’Antonio said he is “excited to play with my teammates and improve my game, and I’m grateful for the opportunity.”

For Pieroni, he sees the Sun Devils going on a deep run this spring with the AA division team.

“My expectations are that we win our regional tournament and standings and then go do the very best that we can at nationals,” he said.

All photos/Nick Boyarsky

For more info, visit MARCH 2023 RUBBER HOCKEY
Logan Estes Austin Pacewic Ethan Pieroni

Giving back to game of hockey top priority for California youth hockey alum, Oceanside native Gates

Jack Gates grew up in the San Diego area and developed his game at the youth and junior level where he was able to play NCAA Division I hockey for Colorado College.

Since graduating in 2021, the Oceanside native has continued to give back to the game that gave him so much with Triumph Together, a nonprofit organization that connects collegiate and professional athletes with kids at nearby children’s hospitals. Gates organizes getting kids tickets to games, signed gear, meet and greets with athletes, and videos of encouragement before surgeries, just to name a few of the initiatives.

“I started my senior year at Colorado College when I realized I probably wasn’t playing professionally after my collegiate career came to an end,” explained Gates, now 25. “I always enjoyed giving back to the community that showed me support and I wanted to continue even if I wasn’t playing any more. In the grand scheme of things, hockey is just a game that I grew to love, and it is something we often take for granted. I saw throughout my career how much of an impact I could make in a kid’s life when I threw a puck over the glass or signed an autograph or gave away a stick. I was fortunate to visit the Colorado Springs hospital and I saw how I could make a kid’s day when they were battling things that nobody should ever have to go through, especially a young kid.

“The majority of us wake up every morning and don’t think twice about our health, but these poor kids have to think about that every waking moment. I realized that If I was able to make them forget about that for just part of their day and give them hope, I was going to try and help as many people that I could. I heard a good quote that said, ‘We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.’”

Gates added that cancer and other long-term illnesses take away a big

part of a child’s life “when they did nothing wrong to deserve it.”

“They don’t get to do things we take for granted or things that are part of our everyday life, and that includes sports,” said Gates. “Sports aren’t just about hitting a jumper, or throwing a ball, or shooting a puck. Sports give people a sense of community, a sense of hope, and something to believe in. That is what these kids need right now. They need something to look forward to, something to believe in, and to know that someone is thinking of them and has their back during those long tough days when it feels like they’re alone.”

In recent months, Gates said NHL players such as Matty Beniers, Jack Eichel, Clayton Keller, Trevor Zegras, and Noah Cates have joined with Triumph Together to give children memories Gates hopes they’ll never forget.

Back home, Gates said he was fortunate enough to play for some amazing teams and coaches who have helped him get to where he is today, and there’s no way he’s in this position without any of them.

“Ed Radley and Craig Sterling with the SDIA Oilers helped me fall

in love with hockey and made it fun for me,” said Gates. “They were great role models and instilled life lessons in me that I still look back on. I played for Noah Babin with the San Diego Jr. Gulls, and he took my hockey skills to the next level. He taught me the details of the game and was a mentor that I looked up to at a young age. He helped me navigate the hockey world and my personal life. He was a great teacher on the ice as well as off it and helped me take the next step as a hockey player and a young man.

“Alex Kim and the Anaheim Jr. Ducks helped me really evolve into a college athlete. He taught me the business side of things and played a major role in my commitment to Colorado College. I learned how to really train and compete at a high level, and he really helped shape my hockey game in order to be successful.”

After youth hockey, Gates skated two seasons for the NAHL’s Janesville Jets before heading to Colorado College to start the next chapter of his career in 2017.

Gates explained that growing up, his parents didn’t play hockey “and

we really knew nothing about the sport.”

“My sister Tanner and I started roller hockey at the park down the street from our house and it just grew from there,” he said. “Growing up in a family where we played hockey at a high level really helped us both. We were able to hold each other accountable and push each other to be the best we could be. There was also an overwhelming amount of support we had for one another because we were able to see firsthand how hard we worked to get to where we were. My parents and other sister were great supporters for both of us. There were a lot of long car rides to Los Angeles or Anaheim and a lot of holidays spent at hotels or in airports and I am extremely appreciative of everything they did for us.

“They pushed us to be the best we could be on the ice but especially off the ice and that helped us all be successful wherever our paths took us.”

Tanner is two years younger than Jack and is finishing up her NCAA D-I career this season at Colgate University.

Overall, Gates said Triumph Together has helped over 50 kids meet their favorite players or teams the past two years and that he works with all different sports and kids from all over the country.

“I know every player wants to help and wants to give back to their community, but they don’t have time or don’t know how,” Gates said. “I try and bridge that gap and make it as easy as possible for everyone involved.

“Right now, it is still new, and we can use all the help we can get, whether that is just spreading the word, giving any amount of donations, following us on social media, or connecting us with kids that need help or athletes who are willing to help.”

For more information, to donate, or to contact Gates, visit and follow on Instagram at @triumph_together_. MARCH 2023 RUBBER HOCKEY
Jack Gates takes Cooper Tippett, who is diagnosed with MPS ( a rare incurable disease as of now), to a recent Anaheim Ducks game at the Honda Center to meet Ducks star player Trevor Zegras. Photo/Triumph Together MARCH 2023 RUBBER HOCKEY

From the Trainer’s Room

Simple to complex – Building a program from the ground up

When building a sports performance program, rehab protocol, or even a sports practice, there has to be a start and finish. Where does it start? How does it progress? What are the goals?

These are only a few questions that need to be answered when establishing proper protocols. Compete Sports Performance and Rehab has always been committed to building the athlete first and then fine tuning the athlete. Just like the old adage, you walk before you run.

The first thing to look at when putting a program together is to evaluate the athletes. What are their strengths, weaknesses, abilities, etc. The demands placed on the body in competition may be greater than the body is ready to accomplish. For instance, a hockey player may be asked in practice to skate on one leg in a squatted position.

If the athlete can’t maintain a onelegged squat on solid ground, how can we ask him or her to balance on a skate blade on ice?

number of sets. Once basic exercises are mastered, then a load can be applied. This load can be anything from dumbbells, medicine balls, weight vests or any other outside force.

As simple exercises are mastered, the program can be progressed to be more complex. Do this by tweaking exercises to make them harder. For example, convert squats to lunges, then change the angle of the lunge, perform the lunge on an unstable surface. Modified sit ups can be progressed to sit ups on a physioball and then sit ups on a physioball with the hands overhead. Progressing a program can be infinite, the designer just has to be innovative and stick with quality over quantity.

Chris Phillips

Designing a program can be put simply: “begin with the basics.” Use simple bodyweight exercises such as squats, push ups, pull ups and modified sit ups, for example. Begin performing a couple of sets of each exercise at low repetitions. As the training sessions continue, increase the number of repetitions and then the

Every training program, rehab or practice must have goals. There should be short term goals and long-term goals. What results do we want now and what results are we looking for in the future? Goals can be as simple as build strength and endurance to being quicker and more powerful to increasing core stability and reducing injury. Goals should be dependent on the athlete’s abilities and the demands placed on them by their sport or activity. Exercise prescription should again be progressed toward obtaining the goals being set, as long as it is in a safe manner and that exercises are being performed properly.

Successful programs are based on progression. Begin simple and challenge the athlete to master an exercise. Once the athlete succeeds, challenge him or her with something

more demanding to obtain your goals.

Post-season rest, recovery in hockey

As many junior, college and youth hockey seasons come to an end, it’s time to step back and take a look at the year, recover from the harsh demands both physically and mentally, and set goals for the coming offseason.

Hopefully, you are playing in the USA Hockey National Championships, NCAA Frozen Four or junior playoffs, but if you aren’t, sit back and enjoy watching the games.

See what those players are doing and what you need to improve on to get there next season.

As you look back at your season, look at both the positives and the negatives. Break these things down into a team aspect and personal aspect. Although you may not be re-

turning to the same team next season, look at how you made an impact on your teammates.

Think about what you did to make the team better. This could be anything from working hard on the penalty kill that led to high PK percentage rate or scoring goals not only in numbers, but important goals that changed the game.

Look at your leadership off the ice. Did you focus in meetings, work on the little things to make yourself and your team better?

Hockey seasons can involve anywhere from 25-80 games. The physical demands of playing tournaments, showcases, travel, practices, lessons can not only take a toll on your body physically, but also emotionally.

Take some time off the ice and out of the gym to let your body recover and to be a kid or young adult again MARCH 2023 RUBBER HOCKEY
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The importance of post-season rest, recovery in hockey at all levels

Continued from Page 8

and focus on a few other things that make you happy. This is a great time to address nagging injuries as well, so when it’s time to get back at it, your body feels good again.

It’s also a time to work on some of the small things that aren’t too demanding, but may not have been addressed as well during the season. This may include flexibility, mobility and strengthening of small stability muscles to aid in injury prevention.

Hopefully, you had an exit interview with your coach at the end of the season to get his/her opinion on what you need to improve to get the next level.

If not, you can always contact them to get some ideas on what you will need to do to prepare for next season. Compare yourself to others at times and ask yourself, “What am I better at than others? What are others better than me at?”

Look at where you want to play next season and see what you need to improve on. This could be things like skate faster, shoot more accurately or be stronger on the puck. Take views from different angles to help you decide what you will need to do to be successful at the next level.

There is no perfect offseason plan as the summer seems to change at almost every level. The length of the season can change if you run deep into the playoffs, some seasons begin earlier than others, and some summers are filled with showcases and camps that are necessary. With this in mind, each individual’s plan may be different and even your own plan may differ from year to year.

The goal is to maximize the offseason so you are best prepared when training camp opens.

Chris Phillips is a certified athletic trainer and strength and conditioning specialist with over 30 years of experience in professional sports, including the NHL, 2022 Winter Olympics, and men’s and women’s professional soccer. He can be reached at chris@ or via

What is a separated shoulder?

Can you tell me what a separated shoulder is?

It’s not the same as a dislocated shoulder and you may be surprised to know how many professional players have sustained this injury.

In fact, when I recently spoke with Joe Huff, the head athletic trainer for the Anaheim Ducks, he said it may be one of the more common injuries he has seen at the NHL level.

A separated shoulder is a sprain that occurs at the acromioclavicular (AC) joint of the shoulder complex. This is where the collar bone and shoulder blade connect to form a joint that supports the glenohumeral (GH) joint, or the ball and socket joint of the shoulder.

When ligaments that hold the AC joint together are damaged, there may be a visible bump on top of the shoulder depending on the severity of the sprain.

Symptoms include pain at the top of the shoulder, often following a fall onto the shoulder or on an outstretched arm.

The pain may be widespread throughout the shoulder initially but later on more localized to a bony point on the top of the shoulder.

One grading system of AC joint injuries uses three grades. Grade I has very little, if any, tearing. Grade III is a complete rupture of the ligaments.

Based on the severity, the rehabilitation time will also vary. A Grade I can take around 1014 days, whereas a grade III takes six to eight weeks. A Grade II takes somewhere in between.

If you sustain an AC sprain, seek out a sports rehabilitation professional who can guide you through a proper shoulder strengthening program dependent on the severity of

your injury.

Several components factor into a good rehabilitation program.

Huff adds that good quality and proper-fitting protective equipment assist the strengthening shoulder program in preventing AC separations. Isometric exercises for the shoulder are a great place to start. The athlete can then progress to resistive band exercises to increase the strength of the supportive muscles. These include internal/ external rotation of the GH joint, rows, lateral raises, and abduction raises.

Seek out a sports rehabilitation professional, such a certified athletic trainer, who can guide you through a proper shoulder strengthening program.

Mike Hannegan is an athletic trainer and strength coach with 10 years’ experience in the NHL with the Anaheim Ducks and St. Louis Blues. He is currently the director of the Compete Sports Performance and Rehabilitation facility inside The Rinks-Yorba Linda Ice, located in beautiful Orange County, Calif. He can be reached by email at mike@

How do I create a workout program for myself?

Have you ever wanted to start working out and getting in shape?

Once you were motivated, did you have a hard time figuring out what to do for your workouts? Did you ever give up when you were confused?

In this article, the goal is to give you a general roadmap to design your own programs.

Please keep in mind that this isn’t the only way to design a workout. And keep in mind, a program is only as good as your consistency! So make a program that YOU will enjoy doing.

Step 1: Determine your goal. Keep it simple.

(Lose fat, gain muscle, sleep better, have more energy, etc.)

Step 2: How many days a week can you commit to?

For most people who are starting out, I recommend at least two days a week to start. This will help avoid burnout and help you stay committed in the long run. Once you are consistent with two days a week, try three, then four, and so on.

Step 3: Write it down.

Write down your goals. Write down your plan. Write down the workouts you’re doing and how you feel afterwards. Write down where you struggled and what you enjoyed

Continued on Page 11 MARCH 2023 RUBBER HOCKEY
Mike Hannegan

What are the steps to creating your own workout routine?

Continued from Page 10

in the workout. Write down how you feel the next day and any adjustments you might make in response. Write down whatever you feel is going to help you. The plan should be fluid and allow for you to tweak it as you go. It doesn’t have to be a novel, but seeing your plan in writing can help you stick to it and make informed decisions as you progress.

Step 4: Start with full body workouts.

A full body workout is a workout that targets every muscle group in the body. Two full body days are a great way to introduce you to fitness. It also teaches you how your body will feel. Once you get more experienced, you can do different workout splits including push/pull, upper body/ lower body, and so on. But for the purpose of this article, let’s stick with

full body.

Step 5: Determine how you’re going to progressive overload.

Progressive overload is a way of your body getting a new stimulus so you can get the adaptation you’re looking for. You should try and progressive overload every week in your workouts. In order to progressive overload, you can add more weight to exercises, do more reps, do more sets, decrease your rest times in between sets, increase the days you’re coming into the gym, and many more. Our bodies are pretty adaptable, so we always need to new stimulus. Keep in mind you don’t necessarily have to change exercises all of the time; as long as you change other things first, you should be good!

Step 6: Don’t try to do too much too fast.

This might sound like common

sense, but don’t push yourself too hard at first.

For one, you may hurt yourself. Second, you will mentally burnout and give up. When looking to progress an exercise, only change one variable at a time.

For example, if you’ve been doing three sets of 10 body weight squats, add 10 pounds but keep the sets and reps the same. If you’ve been sedentary for a while, give yourself rest days in between workouts.

Find a fun and effective way to actively recover, such as going for a walk, hiking, swimming, yoga, or playing with your kids and pets.

Exercise should be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be high intensity seven days a week for it to be effective. In fact, doing too much too fast can actually hinder your progress!

In the end, find a program that

works for you. If you like having the freedom to choose what exercises you’re doing and it gives you a sense of ownership over the program, then follow the steps above and get after it. If you are someone who likes more structure and needs guidance, find a strength coach that can help you put together the plan that’s right for you.

Either way, remember that exercise should be enjoyable, you should have a goal you are working towards, and it’s a process that will take time. Keep it simple and have fun!

For more information visit www.

With spring on the horizon, the Arizona Hockey Union still has ONE more tournament left on the schedule for the rest

of the 2022-23


Interested in playing junior hockey for the BCHL’s Wenatchee Wild? MARCH 2023 RUBBER HOCKEY

Isobel Cup champ to be crowned at Mullett Arena

Continued from Page 1

grow the game by showcasing professional women’s hockey to more fans throughout North America. The support from the Arizona Coyotes and OVG360 is instrumental in helping us achieve these goals and will provide a special experience and environment for both teams to compete for their place in history.”

The Isobel Cup Championship will take place following the Coyotes’ afternoon game against the visiting Colorado Avalanche at Mullett Arena. During championship weekend, the PHF will also team up with the Coyotes and Lyndsey Fry, president of the Arizona Kachinas Girls Hockey Association, to host activities for local youth.

“We are thrilled to host the Premier Hockey Federation’s Isobel Cup Championship at Mullett Arena,” said Coyotes president and CEO Xavier A. Gutierrez. “The Coyotes are extremely proud of our support for women’s hockey and our Arizona Kachinas program, and we look forward to watching the league’s top teams compete for the cup! Mullett Arena has proven to be an incredible

venue for NHL hockey, and we are confident that the arena will be rocking for the Isobel Cup final.”

“The Mullett Arena is truly an amazing facility for hockey as we have seen with the ASU Sun Devils and the Coyotes this year,” added OVG360’s Joe Sheridan, general manager, Mullett Arena. “An event like this inspires the future generation of women’s hockey players, and we

look forward to working closely with the PHF and the Coyotes in showcasing our beautiful arena. It will be great for hockey in the desert.”

The Boston Pride, Toronto Six, Connecticut Whale, and Minnesota Whitecaps all remain in contention for the prestigious Isobel Cup. Best-of-three semifinals are slated for March 16-20 and will be hosted by the Pride at the Bentley Arena at

Bentley University and T6 at Mattamy Athletic Centre.

In addition to managing and operating the Mullett Arena in Tempe, OVG360 also manages and operates the Mattamy Athletic Centre.

The Pride are the two-time defending Isobel Cup champions and were also crowned the league’s inaugural winner in 2016. Minnesota claimed the 2019 title in their expansion season and were also finalists against Boston in 2021 and the 2020 series that was canceled because of the pandemic. Connecticut was a finalist for the first time last season, and Toronto is pursuing its first championship appearance after semifinal losses in their first two PHF seasons.

This will be the first time the Isobel Cup Championship will be played on official NHL game ice, and the second straight season for a neutral site NHL host outside of traditional PHF markets following the 2022 playoffs in Florida in partnership with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Tickets for the final are on sale at

For more information about the 2023 Isobel Cup Playoffs, visit MARCH 2023 RUBBER HOCKEY

Windsor native, RoughRiders grad Gordon using NAHL success to make NCAA D-I Arizona State commitment

Cole Gordon has had a sucecssful NAHL career with the Minnesota Wilderness, and NCAA teams have taken notice.

Earlier this month, the 20-year-old Windsor native announced his commitment to NCAA Division I Arizona State, where he’ll skate for the Sun Devils starting next season.

“I’m proud to announce my commitment to play Division 1 hockey at Arizona State University. I would like to say thank you to all my friends, coaches, teammates, and family that have helped me along the way,” said Gordon on social media.

Gordon is currently playing in his third and final season of junior hockey in the NAHL, which has all been spent with the Wilderness. He is having his best season to date as the co-captain has put up 18 points (eight goals, 10 assists) in 48 games.

He was also selected to and played

in the 2023 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament for the Midwest Division team, where he had a goal in two games.

“As an organization, we are proud of Cole and excited to watch him continue his career at ASU,” said Wilderness head coach Brett Skinner. “Cole has worked very hard this season to continue to improve, and ASU will not only be getting a good player, but a high-character individual who will be a part of continuing to grow their program.”

Over the course of the past three seasons, Gordon has appeared in 133 career NAHL regular-season games and recorded 27 points on 11 goals and 16 assists.

Prior to coming to Cloquet, Minn., Gordon spent two seasons playing in the NAPHL for the Rocky Mountain RoughRiders’ 15U and 16U teams from 2017-19. MARCH 2023 RUBBER HOCKEY
Cole Gordon has been a consistent contributor for the NAHL’s Minnesota Wilderness over the past three seasons. Photo/NAHL MARCH 2023 RUBBER HOCKEY

Arapahoe, LHA, Thunderbirds alum Lacroix decides on NAHL’s Grit for junior hockey destination

The Colorado Grit won’t join the NAHL until the 2023-24 season, but the team has been busy signing players to tender contracts for next season.

After Fort Collins native Marek Thompson was the first to sign in January, Castle Pines product Max Lacroix soon followed and signed as well.

“(Grit owner) David Clarkson coached me my 16U year with the Colorado Thunderbirds and we’ve had a great relationship since then,” Lacroix said. “Coach (Steve) Haddon reached out to me a few weeks ago expressing his interest, and I was obviously very excited to be able to play near home and in such a strong league so it was a no-brainer for me. To be one of the first tenders was super cool considering the team is brand-new, and I’m looking forward to the opportunity next year.”

“Colorado hockey has grown tremendously since I was born and a high-caliber junior team is something that has been missing, so to have it here now presents an incredible opportunity for players in Colorado, like myself, to have a place to play in our backyard.”

Growing up, Lacroix played for the Arapahoe Warriors, Littleton Hawks, and Thunderbirds before going to

prep school (The Governor’s Academy in Byfield, Mass.), where he been for the past few years.

“My favorite highlight from youth hockey would be playing at Pepsi Center (now Ball Arena) my 15U year with the Thunderbirds,” said Lacroix. “I had grown up going to practically every Avs game, so to finally play a real game on the same ice as my dad (former Avalanche player Eric Lacroix) and some Colorado legends was really special. All of my coaches growing up were a positive influence on myself and the teams I played for. Specifically, my dad coached a lot of my teams growing up, and David Clarkson has been a great influence and help for me in my development to this date.”

Lacroix’s grandfather Pierre Lacroix served as the Avalanche general manager when the team won Stanley Cups in 1996 and 2001. He passed away in Dec. 2020.

Looking ahead, Lacroix has ambitious goals in mind as next season inches closer.

“I want to continue my development next season with the Grit en route to pursuing my goal of playing college hockey and dreams of one day playing professionally,” Lacroix said. “For now, I’m looking forward to representing the Grit in a professional way, on and off the ice, coming up here shortly.” MARCH 2023 RUBBER HOCKEY Sign up for summer tournaments at!
Max Lacroix is a captain this season for the Governor’s Academy. Photo provided

Nine teams crowned division champions at Inland Empire Tournament Series’ Presidents’ Day Open

The Inland Empire Tournament Series, created and hosted by the Jr. Reign, continued its 2022-23 season Feb. 17-20 with the Presidents’ Day Open at Icetown Riverside and Ontario Center Ice.

A total of nine teams brought home championship banners at the conclusion of the exciting weekend.

8U South Champion: Jr. Reign RV2

Runner-up: Stockton Colts

The offense was out on full display for the Jr. Reign in bringing home the championship banner with a 12-5 win.

8U North Champion: Henderson Silver Knights

Runner-up: Jr. Reign RV2

Defense and scoring took the title for the Silver Knights in an 8-0 shutout to claim the championship.

10U South Champion: Jr. Reign Carlsbad

Runner-up: Mammoth Stars

In a tight game throughout, the Jr. Reign won the title with a 7-6 win, getting three goals in the third period to get the job done. Roman Cournoyer went for two goals and an assist, Sean McManus added two goals, and Kiril Ignatev, Sawyer Ormeno, and

Jaxson Jonas scored one each to back Elias MacDonald’s effort in goal. For the Stars, Noah Geffre scored four goals with an assist, and Grant Duff and Blaise Pondella chipped in goals.

10U North Champion: Stockton Colts

Runner-up: OCHC

Owen Colao tallied four goals and two assists for the Colts in the 7-1 victory. Dalton Lenhardt added two goals and two assists and Jeremy Mayes scored the other. Joshua Brown took the win in goal. For OCHC, Anthony Durka scored and Landon Miller was between the pipes.

12U South Champion: AV Avalanche

Runner-up: Jr. Reign Carlsbad

The Avalanche took the 7-3 win on the strength of a Zain Saleh hat trick

and single goals from Mason Murphy, Lyric Taylor, Luke Thurston-Defelice, and Neo Kholev Mukhin. Mateo Erceg-Kopkind had a goal and an assist for the Jr. Reign, while Graam Lindsay and Brooks Arnold also tallied goals. Rocco Mascloveccio played well in goal.

12U North Champion: Goldrush BB Runnerup: Jr. Reign RV BB Timofey Purvins had three goals in a 4-3 win for the Goldrush. Adam Burke added a goal and an assist and Gavin Ramirez chipped in a pair of assists. Richard Whitehead scored two goals for the Jr. Reign and Oleksandr Kyrylenko added a goal with an assist.

14U Champion: SF Sabercats

Runner-up: Stockton Colts

Marc Borzoni and Ethan Ngo each scored twice in a 5-1 win for the Sabercats. Cooper Lewis added a goal and an assist and Trevor Luhning contributed three assists and David Cuperstein two helpers with Carlos Ayon taking the win in net. Donovan Soliven scored for the Colts and Miles Cooper was solid between the pipes.


Champion: Bishop Broncos

Runner-up: Corona Norco Stingrays

Ryan Mojarro scored a pair of goals to pace the Broncos to a 4-2 win and the JV championship. Aden Arndal added a goal and an assist in the victory. For the Stingrays, Jason Beckman and Jacob Pacillas scored.


Champion: Capistrano Coyotes

Runner-up: Stockton Colts

The Coyotes led from buzzer to buzzer and skated away with the title after a 6-0 shutout.

The next IE Tournament Series event is the Memorial Day Showdown, which is scheduled for May 26-29.

For more information or to register, visit

Scottsdale native, Bobcats grad Hastings commits to NCAA D-I Stonehill

The NAHL’s New Mexico Ice Wolves have announced that Top Prospects forward Hunter Hastings has committed to play NCAA Division I hockey for Stonehill College.

Hastings, 21, is in his fourth and final season playing junior hockey, two seasons of which have been spent in the NAHL. The Scottsdale native is currently tied for fourth in team scoring with 34 points (nine goals, 25 assists) in 50 games.

“I’m very excited to announce my commitment to play Division 1 College Hockey and further my education at Stonehill College! Thank you to my teammates, coaches, friends and family for helping me get to this

point,” said Hastings on social media. Hastings was recently selected to and played in the 2023 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament for the South Division team where he had a goal and assist in two games played.

Hastings, who is also an NAPHL grad, made his NAHL debut with the Minnesota Wilderness during the 2020-21 season, appearing in 10 games and recording three points. During the 2017-18 season, Hastings played in the NAPHL for the Arizona Bobcats’ 16U team, where he recorded 27 points in 21 NAPHL games and also was selected to and played in the 2017-18 NAPHL 16U All-Star Game. MARCH 2023 RUBBER HOCKEY
Hunter Hastings has been a standout player for the NAHL’s New Mexico Ice Wolves this season. Photo/NAHL

Eight teams bring home division titles from IHAAZ Yuma event in early February

The 2023 IHAAZ season continued over the Feb. 10-12 weekend in Yuma for the second tournament of the season.

Eight champions were crowned at the Kennedy Memorial Park as the Yuma Blaze Black won at 8U, Arizona Jr. Wildcats won 10U Gold and Konixx Tritons 10U Silver, Jr. Wildcats Gold at 12U, TPH Knighthawks Green at 14U Gold and Arizona Outlaws Black at 14U Silver, and Yuma Blaze at 16U/18U Gold and O’Faaz at 16U/18U Silver.

“The Yuma Blaze organization takes so much pride in hosting their IHAAZ event and like always, they provided a fun and welcoming atmosphere for our Arizona roller hockey community,” IHAAZ tournament director Nick Boyarsky said. “This year, we also got to host the Tritons teams from San Diego, which made the event even more exciting for our Arizona teams. It always takes the visiting teams a game or two to get used to the Yuma rink but once everyone settles in, the hockey gets pretty exciting.”


Talon Ducharme posted six goals in the final as the Blaze downed the Arizona Roughriders 11-3.

Everett Jones netted three goals and Collin Graham two goals and an assist to back Colton Murphy’s eight saves in goal.

For the Roughriders, Micah Hilton scored all three goals and goaltender Oliver Hansen finished with 20 saves.

In round robin play, Hilton led all players with 14 points (all goals), while Cole Maschner of the TPH Knighthawks has four assists. Between the pipes, Murphy collected four wins, two shutouts, and a 1.50 GAA and Hansen recorded a .816 save percentage.


Ben Van Houten went for five goals as the Jr. Wildcats knocked off the Knighthawks 6-3 in the Gold final.

Connor Hillegonds added a goal and an assist and Ryland Scott earned

the win in goal with 14 saves.

Carter Hardison netted a pair for the Knighthawks, Amelie Des Rosiers the other, and Brayden Barnes made 11 saves in goal.

The Tritons took home the Silver title with an 8-3 win over the Roughriders.

Gavin Germain registered three goals, Ryan Montanez two goals and an assist, and Maverick Wirt, Vincent Brooking, and Asher Klaff all had a goal and an assist apiece.

In goal, Wyatt Amos finished with 10 saves.

The Roughriders were led by Isaac Simpson’s two goals. Juliette Bond added a goal and an assist, and Hansen stopped 20 shots in net.

During the round robin, Hardison led all players with nine goals and five assists for 14 points. Barnes was tops among goalies with a .900 save percentage and a 0.33 GAA. His two shutouts tied with Scott, as did his three wins.


The Jr. Wildcats took home the championship with an 8-2 victory over the Roughriders.

Sam McCloud had two goals and an assist, while Samantha Beutel and Drake Martell scored two goals each. Van Houten and Gia Alvarez scored one apiece, Henry Shoun chipped in four assists, and Gavin Molina tacked on three helpers.

Between the pipes, Keoni Weir collected 14 saves for the win.

Alec Bond and Megan Bond scored for the Roughriders, and Mason Hilton turned aside 24 shots in goal.

In round robin action, Molina led the way with nine goals and 10 assists for 19 points. Weir led the netminders with four wins, a 0.50 GAA, .889 save percentage, and two shutouts.


Two Knighthawks teams battled in the Gold finale, but it was Green over Blue by a 5-4 count.

Joey Lepore’s three goals paced the offense, while Brayden Willis had two goals with Sam Koch, Jaden Perea and Landon Jans tacking on two assists each.

In goal, Maddox Marshal made 13 saves.

On the Blue side, Aidan Wise had two goals, Owen Smailys a goal and an assist, and Jr. Zaino the other goal.

Lennon Mikkan was sharp in kicking out 29 shots.

The Silver title game saw Antonio Bras-Taylor stop all 19 shots he faced as the Outlaws Black blanked the Outlaws Maroon 4-0.

Gavin Helvik, Cavin Ryder, Natalie Lipp and Parker Kuntz all scored in the win.

For the Maroon squad, Gavin Larose made 10 saves in goal.

During the round robin, Jans posted nine goals, and Koch had nine assists and 15 points. Marshal was the top goaltender with four wins, a 0.75 GAA, and a .893 save percentage. Marshal tied with Mikkan with a pair of shutouts.


Brandon Ott’s four goals and an assist lifted the Blaze to a 5-1 win over the Serial Grillers in the Gold

championship game.

Trevor Dicori also scored and Gunnar Kershaw had two assists to back Jackson Gebhart’s nine saves in goal.

Dominik Barber scored for the Grillers, and Nathan Graybill finished with 25 saves.

In the Silver finale, O’Fazz downed the Jr. Wildcats 5-4 as Nick Maffeo went for two goals and an assist and Kody Brunson scored two of his own. Blake Jankunas also scored in the win.

Zach Follo made 14 saves for the win in goal.

For the Jr. Wildcats, Ryder popped two goals, Aidan Blondel added a goal and two assists, and John Knott added a goal. TJ Rivera stopped 14 shots in goal.

During the Silver round robin, Brayden Hormann of the Oops All Berries had four assists and seven points, and the Roughriders’ Gavin Nebekber scored five goals. Rivera and Follo each recorded two wins and a 1.67 GAA, and Follo had a .906 save percentage.

On the Gold side, Barber collected seven assists and 13 points, while the Grillers’ Liam Wilde had seven goals. In goal, Blondel and Gebhart each posted two wins, Blondel a .863 save percentage, and Gebhart a 2.00 GAA and the only shutout.

The next IHAAZ event is scheduled for March 10-12 at the Peoria Sportsplex with another one the following weekend, March 17-19, at the Barney Family Sports Complex in Queen Creek.

“With the Arizona ice hockey season wrapping up, and teams from out of Arizona looking to come participate, IHAAZ is about to switch into high gear with multiple new teams and players jumping in,” Boyarsky said. “For the March and April events, we’ll be splitting weekends to meet demand and ensure we’re putting on the best events possible leading up to State Finals.”

For the most up-to-date coverage of the IHAAZ events, visit and all social media.
For more, visit MARCH 2023 RUBBER HOCKEY

California, Arizona, Utah stars collect monthly USPHL honors

The USPHL has announced that a quartet of California natives have garnered monthly honors for February.

Ogden Mustangs forward Jake Meure (Fremont) is the Mountain Division Premier Forward of the Month, Vernal Oilers netminder Antonio Tarantino (Fremont) is the Northwest Division Premier Goaltender of the Month, Palm Beach Typhoon forward Brayden Curry (Torrance) is the Florida Division Elite Forward of the Month, and Northern Cyclones forward Nick Stevens (San Clemente) is the North Division Elite Forward of the Month.

Meure finished the regular season with a flourish and became the first 100-point scorer in Mountain Division history while setting the all-time league scoring mark in his secondto-last game. Meure had at least one point in all but one of his 10 February games, finishing the month with 19 points (7-12-19). Meure saved his best for last; the third-year ‘Stang notched a scorching 11 points (5-611) in his final three games, bringing him up to 30 multi-point games on the season.

During his youth hockey days, Meure skated for the San Jose Jr. Sharks.

Tarantino was a busy man yet again in February, posting 199 saves on 215 shots over 304 minutes in net in February. He came out of the month with a 3-1-1-0 season and a .926 save percentage. Tarantino stopped all 25 saves he faced from Rogue Valley on Feb. 18 for his second shutout of the season, and he earned a shutout against Rogue Valley again in the playoffs.

Back home, Tarantino played for the Golden State Elite Eagles and Jr. Sharks.

Curry more than doubled his points from his 2021-22 rookie season. He put up a 16-37-53 line after posting 26 points last season, the inaugural year for the Typhoon. He pulled off the double by picking up two goals and 17 assists for 19 points in eight February games. His 17 assists were a league-high for the month.

The Cyclones are already headed to the USPHL Nationals thanks to a 2-0

playoff sweep of the Springfield Pics. Towards the end of the regular season, Stevens was absolutely on fire as he posted 11 goals and helped out on four others for a 15-point total in 10 February games. With that outburst, he brought his points per game to an even 1.00 to close the campaign with 43 points in 43 games.

In California, Stevens skated for JSerra Catholic High School and the Anaheim Jr. Ducks.

In addition, Vernal Oilers blueliner Cole Bisson is the Northwest Division Defenseman of the Month and Springfield Pics goaltender Chase Ebeyer is the Elite North Division Goaltender of the Month.

Bisson found his true groove in Vernal, and that continued with a 4-10-14 line in 11 contests in February. The Vermont native was plus-15 (best among Northwest defensemen) over the course of the month and the Oilers also made good on their top seed by advancing to the championship series this coming weekend against the Seattle Totems.

During his youth hockey days, Bisson played for the Utah Outliers, West Coast Renegades, and Skyline High School.

Ebeyer and the Pics took 10 points in their final month, and the goaltender finished up with a 2-2-0-0 record and a .926 save percentage in playing 284 minutes.

The Scottsdale native gave up 15 shots out of the 204 he faced, including a 26-of-27 performance against the Boston Jr. Bruins and 29 of 31 against the New York Aviators, both wins.

Even in losses, he was strong –witness him stopping 41 of 44 in a relief spot against the Islanders Hockey Club, and 47 of 50 against the Cyclones on Feb. 11.

Back home, Ebeyer played for the DYHA Jr. Sun Devils and Pinnacle High School. MARCH 2023 RUBBER HOCKEY
Clockwise from top left, Jake Meure, Antonio Tarantino, Nick Stevens, and Brayden Curry - California players earning USPHL monthly honors.
For more, visit
At left, Cole Bisson was born in Vermont but played his formative hockey years in Utah, while above, Chase Ebeyer is an Arizona native who developed with the DYHA Jr. Sun Devils and at Pinnacle High School.

USPHL NCDC Combine dates announced for Detroit, Chicago

The United States Premier Hockey League, and its tuition-free National Collegiate Development Conference, are proud to announce their 2023 USPHL NCDC Combines, set to take place in Detroit, Mich. (April 28-29) and in Chicago, Ill. (May 13-14).

Players born between January 1, 2003, and December 31, 2007, will be eligible for the Combines.

Between the NCDC, the USPHL Premier and the USPHL Elite, the USPHL as a League has more than 3,100 alumni playing in college hockey per year.

That number is sure to increase with the creation of the Tier II NCDC West, set to open in Colorado, Utah and Idaho in 2023-24.

The NCDC West will feature high-level hockey in front of packed houses in some of the most naturally beautiful locales in the United States. All teams have extensive staffs dedicated to each player’s on- and off-ice development as the NCDC expands from 14 to 20 teams nationwide.

Along the East Coast, the current NCDC organizations will continue to promote players to NCAA Division I schools out of deep and highly-tiered youth and junior organizations that put a priority on promotion from within up to the NCDC and on to college hockey.

No other league at both the Tier II and Tier III level sends more players to college hockey than the USPHL.

Registering for these Combines will put you as a player in front of coaches at all levels of USPHL Ju-

nior Hockey, allowing you to set Your Path To College Hockey!

Non-refundable* registration is $295 for each Combine.

The USPHL provides a great value to prospective players to show their skills in front of NCDC and USPHL Premier coaches and begin new relationships that will lead you on your own individual path.

Players will be guaranteed a minimum of three scrimmage games, and there will be goaltender-specific

training sessions at each event.

There will also be an informational seminar at each Combine about the United States Premier Hockey League and its unparalleled USPHL Development Model.

The USPHL NCDC Detroit Combine (April 28-29) will be held at the Mount Clemens Ice Arena at 200 North Groesbeck Highway, Mount Clemens, Mich., which is a 50-minute drive from the Detroit Wayne County Airport.

The USPHL NCDC Chicago Combine (May 13-14) will be held at the Fifth Third Arena at 1801 West Jackson Blvd., in Chicago, Ill. Fifth Third Arena is the practice facility for the Chicago Blackhawks. Located in downtown Chicago, it is just over 30 minutes drive from O’Hare International Airport, and under 30 minutes from Chicago Midway International Airport.

Combine Offerings

The cost for each two-day combine is $295, with a three-game guarantee as well as off-ice activities, and player evaluations.

Also included: accredited on-ice officials, and medical staff on site.

There will also be a Q&A/information seminar during each combine, where players and their parents, if in attendance, can ask questions directly of NCDC coaches and USPHL League officials.

The USPHL and its tuition-free division, the NCDC, are providing an unparalleled, comprehensive onand off-ice recruiting opportunity for players from throughout the world.

Sign up today, as registration will be limited.

* = Refunds will be available for those registered players who medically cannot attend the Combines, with a doctor’s note.

To register for the Combines or for more information, visit www.

Gauthier, Ghantous take home monthly college hockey honors

Boston College freshman forward Cutter Gauthier has been named the Hockey East Rookie of the Month for February.

Gauthier led all Hockey East rookies with 10 points on three goals and seven assists in eight games during the month. He had at least one point in seven of his eight games with a pair of multi-point outings, including a three-point night at Maine.

The Scottsdale native ranks second in the league in both goals per game (0.57) and power-play goals (seven).

Northern Michigan senior Andre Ghantous has been named the CCHA Forward of the Month.

The Glendale native led all CCHA skaters with 11 points in eight February contests, scoring a league-best seven goals with four assists..

He closed out the month with a four-game point streak in which he collected five goals and eight points.

Back in California, Ghantous skated for the LA Hockey Club, Los Angeles Jr. Kings, and Anaheim Jr. Ducks. MARCH 2023 RUBBER HOCKEY
Scottsdale native and BC forward Cutter Gauthier. Photo/John Quackenbos Glendale native and NMU forward Andre Ghantous. Photo/NMU Athletics

Team Colorado AAA standout Waugaman takes next step, commits to NCAA D-III Lebanon Valley

Ava Waugaman is from Utah but has seen her game take off playing across state lines for the Team Colorado AAA program.

Recently, Waugaman committed to play NCAA Division III hockey next season for Lebanon Valley College in Annville, Pa., a situation that presented itself nearly a year ago.

“I got the opportunity to commit to LVC because they’ve seen me play many times in the past few seasons,” said Waugaman. “My billet sister from last season committed there, so they asked her for my contact information and got in touch with me. I started talking to them at the beginning of this season.

“The school is known to have high academic expectations. I was interested in their psychology majors and became even more interested in the school itself when I learned about all the academic recourses and opportunities they provide for their students. Their hockey team is a growing NCAA D-III program that just had

the best season they’ve had so far. I’ve always heard great things about their coaches, which good coaching is always something I’ve valued on a team.”

Waugaman said academics have always been a priority in her life away from the rink.

“In high school, I played two fulltime sports and worked a job on top of going to school, so I always made sure to make time for my academics,” she explained.

Starting playing hockey in Utah when she was seven because her dad coached and both her brothers played, Waugaman said she started to strike an interest in the sport as well since she was always at the rink watching them.

The only youth program Waugaman has played for in Colorado is Team Colorado AAA.

“Chris Lockrem is the reason I’ve been able to improve my play a significant amount,” Waugaman said. “He also moved me up from defense to wing when I started playing for him, which is now my preferred po-

Tigers alum French chosen NA3HL Goaltender of the Month

The NA3HL has announced that Helena Bighorns netminder Keaton French is the NA3HL Goaltender of the Month.

French was fantastic in net during the month of February, finishing with a 4-1 record.

The Alaska native turned away 142 of the 146 shots he faced over the course of five games for the Bighorns.

Overall, French combined for a .670 GAA and a .937 save percentage with three shutout wins in February.

During his youth hockey days, French spent time with the Colorado Springs Tigers.


Ava Waugaman has fine-tuned her game playing for the Team Colorado AAA organization. Photo/Be Feral Media

sition and what I will be playing in college. Hannah Westbrook has been a very positive influence for me this season. She pushes me to do my best and gives me opportunities to prove myself on the ice. She has also been a major help with college recruiting.”

Going forward, Waugaman has her goals set, both on and off the ice.

“My short-term goals for hockey are to work on getting a quicker shot off and fixing my form when skating,” she said. “My long-term goal

was to play in college, and with being committed, I will get that opportunity. My short-term goals academically are to be on top of my schoolwork freshman year in college, not let my grades fall below Bs or Cs, and work towards internships for what I will major in. My long-term goal is to work towards a master’s degree.

“Overall, my goal in life is to put in the foot work, and just work for what I want, and not wait for things to come to me.”

Phoenix native, Jr. Coyotes grad Hein signs NAHL tender with Warriors

The NA3HL’s Texas RoadRunners have announced that goaltender Hunter Hein has signed an NAHL tender agreement with the Oklahoma Warriors.

Hein, 19, has appeared in 20 games with the ‘Runners this season and has posted a top-five league-leading 2.19 goals-against average, a .933 save percentage. and is 13-5-2 on the season. The Phoenix native was also recently selected to and played in the 2023 NA3HL Top Prospects Tournament for the South Division team.

Hein has also appeared in one game with the NAHL’s Odessa Jackalopes..

This is Hein’s third season play-

ing in the NA3HL for the RoadRunners. He has appeared in 52 career regular-season games with a 30-17-5 record.

Back home, Hein played for the Jr. Coyotes. MARCH 2023 RUBBER HOCKEY
Hunter Hein in goal. Photo/NAHL

Tryouts are fast approaching next month for Wenatchee Wild Tier I youth teams!

The Wild has AAA teams at the 12U, 14U, 16U and 18U levels, with the 16U and 18U teams the newest members of the Canadian Sport School Hockey League for the 2023-24 season.

For more info and to register, visit MARCH 2023 RUBBER HOCKEY MARCH 2023

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