Rubber Hockey - March 2024

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Ventura Vikings to join USPHL Premier’s Pacific Division for 2024-25 season

The United States Premier Hockey League is excited and proud to announce the addition of the Ventura Vikings to the USPHL Premier’s Pacific Division for the 2024-25 season.

The Vikings are the brainchild of three individuals with different backgrounds but a common goal of helping players from southern California and beyond make their college hockey dreams come true. Luc Beausoleil, Jeff Jarvis and Bill Bruininga are the co-owners of the Vikings, bringing together years of hockey experience on and off the ice in the hockey-rich locations of Quebec and Massachusetts.

Beausoleil, a former Quebec Major Junior Hockey League player who went on to a 13-year pro hockey career, has been for much of the last 20 years the general manager and hockey director at the Iceoplex in Simi Valley, Calif. During that time, he also ran the California Titans AAA program that fielded 16U and 18U teams. Jarvis, a former NCAA hockey player at Saint Anselm College,

moved within the past couple years from Massachusetts to California.

“The USPHL couldn’t be happier to welcome the Ventura Vikings and three great new owners into the league. We know they will build a fantastic organization in the Los Angeles area, forming exciting new rivalries with many of our established

organizations in the same area,” said USPHL Commissioner Bob Turow.

“A couple years back, the NHL teams went all in to support and run AAA hockey in California, so you have the Jr. Ducks, Jr. Kings and Jr. Sharks, so I no longer had the California Titans. Jeff moved out here from Massachusetts, and Bill had

been in our league in California for a while,” said Beausoleil. “We got together and agreed that AAA would not work, so let’s instead do a junior team.”

The trio went right to work, putting together a website, new e-mails, social media, working with the rink for ice times, preparing to overhaul the locker room, merchandise, ticket sales, “and all the way down to ingame entertainment,” added Jarvis.

“We were balancing everything that we could do right off the bat with that thought always of what if the league says ‘we went with someone else’” added Jarvis. That, of course, didn’t happen and the Vikings are now full USPHL members and are excited to hit the ice against some of the league’s top programs such as past Nationals participants like the Fresno Monsters and Las Vegas Thunderbirds alongside rising programs like the Ontario Jr. Reign, Bakersfield Roughnecks, Lake Tahoe Lakers and San Diego Sabers.

“Prior to this season, I had watched a part of an Ontario Jr. Reign vs.

MARCH 2024

Eagle native, Team Colorado AAA star Weatherred decides on next level with NCAA Division I St. Michael’s

Kyler Weatherred is heading to play NCAA Division I hockey starting with the 2025-26 season.

A Team Colorado AAA standout, Weatherred made her commitment to St. Michael’s College last month, choosing to play for the Vermontbased school in the NEWHA conference.

“The opportunity for me to commit to St. Michael’s arose through Carla Pentimone at Women’s College Hockey Recruiting,” said Weatherred, an Eagle native. “She connected me with the coach, and I was fortunate enough to receive an offer. Carla does amazing work connecting girls with coaches and helping them find the best college for them.

“I loved the small community that St. Michael’s has. The academics were great, and the school is located in Burlington, Vermont, which is a beautiful town that reminded me of Boulder. The hockey is up coming and I wanted to be a part of something special and what they are building at St. Michael’s is going to be special.”

Off the ice is just as important as what happens on the ice at SMC, said Weatherred.

“Academics have always been a priority for me,” Weatherred said. “I am not quite sure what I will be

majoring in yet, but I know it will be along the lines of business, engineering or anything involving math.”

Back home, Weatherred started playing hockey at the age of 11.

“I had wanted to play for almost a year before my parents said yes,” said Weatherred. “I wanted to play because my cousins played, and I always thought it looked so fun when I watched them. I started playing by learning to skate on my own and I would walk a few miles and pay for my own stick and puck at the rink in

Eagle to learn how to use my stick. I began by playing for my local club Pee Wee B team and my abilities grew tremendously from there.” Weatherred started with the Vail Mountaineers for two years, then played for Aspen’s 14U AA girls team before finding her way to Team Colorado’s 14U AAA team and staying with Team Colorado since that season.

“My first hockey coach, Pete Rudrud, has been the most impactful coach I have had,” said Weatherred.

“He was not only a great coach, he was a great person and helped me learn how to play hockey. He always made sure we were having fun while still teaching us hockey. He continues to support me to this day, and I will forever cherish the seasons I had him as my coach. Another coach that has had a positive effect on me is Roger Bradley. Roger was an assistant coach for me at TC for two years. Roger helped me not only grow as a hockey player, but as a person, and helped me learn so many valuable life lessons. He was also always one of my biggest supporters.”

Moving forward, Weatherred has several reachable goals at the top of her list with some on the ice and some away from the rink.

“My short-term goals for hockey are to make it to nationals (which Team Colorado did by winning districts last weekend),” Weatherred said. “My long-term goal for hockey is to continue to improve my hockey skills and have a great college career.

“My short-term life goal is to finish out my junior year strong with both lacrosse and school. My long-term life goals are to be the best teammate, sister, friend, and daughter I can be. These are all the people that have been there for me throughout my hockey journey, and I want to be the best person I can be for them and anyone I meet.”

Jr. Coyotes alum, Scottsdale native Burke commits to NCAA D-I Union

The NAHL’s Colorado Grit has announced that defenseman Bowen Burke has announced his commitment to play NCAA Division I hockey for Union College (ECAC Hockey).

“I am proud and honored to announce my commitment to play Division 1 hockey at Union College. I want to thank my family, friends, teammates, coaches and advisors who have helped me along the way. Excited for what the future holds!” said Burke.

Burke, 19, is playing his first season in the NAHL and first in junior

hockey. The Scottsdale native leads all blueliners on the Grit roster in offensive production, tallying 19 points (seven goals, 12 assists) in 41 games this season. Those 19 points also place him second overall on the Grit roster.

So far this year, he has recorded four multi-point performances, highlighted by his three-point night against the Corpus Christi IceRays on Nov. 24. Burke was recently selected to participate in the 2024 Top Prospects Tournament, where he represented Selects Silver alongside his teammates Wilder Jacober and Payton Miller. He tallied an assist on Silver’s second

goal against Selects Gold on Feb. 5. Prior to playing in the NAHL, Burke spent three seasons develop-

ing his game with the Shattuck-St. Mary’s program and also played youth hockey for the Jr. Coyotes. MARCH 2024 RUBBER HOCKEY
Eagle native Kyler Weatherred has played for and developed her game with Team Colorado AAA since her 14U season. Photo/Be Feral Media Bowen Burke is excelling in his first NAHL season with the Colorado Grit. Photo/NAHL

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Words from the publisher...

How are we already at the end of the 2023-24 hockey season?

It doesn’t seem possible, but like they always say, time flies when you are having fun.

Coming full circle, the current season basically begins when teams hold tryouts to build teams for the coming season.

Now. we’re pretty much at that same point of the calendar.

There isn’t really an offseason any more, you know? Teams play deep

into the spring if they keep winning and then we get into spring and summer hockey and then spring and summer workouts.

What I have seen is that those that put in the extra work generally go farther in the game and have a stronger game going forward.

That said, I’ve heard stories of players that use the offseason for rest and

recharging and they still develop their game to an above-average level.

Every hockey player is different.

As we start to move in to the traditional offseason and start to prepare for the 2024-25 season, there is always room to let us know about all the good news happening in your organization and joining up with Rubber Hockey as an advertising and publishing partner.

As we are 100% digital these days, costs have come

way down from several years ago.

And that’s good news for you!

I believe we still put out a great product on our websites and social media and in the pages of this digital edition 12 months a year, most months seven days a week.

Contact me any time at (248) 890-3944 (call/text) or shoot me an email at I’ll get back to you ASAP. Looking forward to hearing from you! MARCH 2024 RUBBER HOCKEY
Matt Mackinder

Lafayette native, Thunderbirds, RoughRiders product Morton rounds up 2023-24 CCHA Player of the Year honors as captain for Minnesota State

The CCHA has announced that Minnesota State graduate student Sam Morton has been voted CCHA Player of the Year.

The CCHA Forward of the Year and All-CCHA First Team selection was one of three finalists for the honor.

Morton, a Lafayette native, paced all CCHA skaters in goals (15), goals per game (0.63), power-play goals (8), shots (102), face-off wins (292) and face-off wins per game (12.2). Adding six assists, he was fourth in points (21) and face-off percentage (56.3%). The CCHA Forward of the Month in January after totaling six goals and three assists for nine points, he had four multi-point games, including three points on three different occasions. He opened

the Mavericks’ CCHA schedule with a five-game point streak (six goals, four assists) and added a six-game streak in January (four goals, two assists).

Through 36 games, Morton has 24 goals and 10 assists for 34 points. His nine power-play tallies rank eighth nationally, and he also has one gamewinner. Totaling 149 shots on goal, he has blocked 27 shots defensively and won 55% of his face-offs (415 of 754). He has nine multi-point games to his credit, with a five and sevengame point streak. The CCHA Player of the Month in January, he paced all conference skaters in goals (6), goals per game (0.75), shots (38), shots per game (4.75), power-play goals (2) and plus-minus (+6).

Morton has appeared in 101 career

games for Minnesota State, registering 44 goals and 32 assists for 76 points. He has 17 tallies while on the man advantage and six game-


Back home, Morton played for the Colorado Thunderbirds and Rocky Mountain RoughRiders. MARCH 2024 RUBBER HOCKEY
Sam Morton wears the ‘C’ this season for MSU. Photo/Perry Laskaris MARCH 2024 RUBBER HOCKEY

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

The Inland Empire Tournament Series’ fourth and final event of the 2023-24 season, the IE Presidents Day Open, ran Feb. 16-19 with more than 80 teams competing at LA Kings Icetown Riverside and Ontario Center Ice.

A total of 15 teams brought home championship banners at the conclusion of the exciting weekend.

8U Bronze

Champion: Las Vegas Ice Warriors



Runner-up: Las Vegas Ice Warriors

MVP: Jackson Beltram

In a battle of two teams from the same program, the Vegas 1 team downed the Vegas 2 team by a 6-2 count to bring home the division title.

8U Silver

Champion: Mission AZ

Runner-up: Stockton Colts

MVP: Miles Regnier

The Mission AZ offense was on full display as the squad defeated the Stockton Colts 8-1 to bring home the championship banner.

8U Gold

Champion: Los Angeles Jr. Kings

Runner-up: Jr. Reign Riverside

MVP: Andrew Sharma

The Jr. Kings scored early and often, taking an 8-1 win over the Jr. Reign for the division championship.

10U Bronze

Champion: Mission AZ

Runner-up: San Jose Jr. Sharks

MVP: Avery Burton

Mission AZ took the title with a 4-1 win over the San Jose Jr. Sharks on the strength of two goals from Colin Moore and singles from Avery Burton and Ryder Smith. Ryder Wareham netted the lone goal for the Jr. Sharks.

10U Silver

Champion: Stockton Colts

Runner-up: Jr. Reign Riverside

MVP: Carter Sanders

Carter Sanders and Roman Voylov each scored twice to lead the Stockton Colts to a 5-4 win over the Jr. Reign. Nicholas Vanyushkin also

scored in the win. For the Jr. Reign, Hunter Jackson netted a pair of goals and Parker Quisenberry and Brody Estes scored one each. Jaydon Ashton chipped in two assists.

10U Gold

Champion: Mission AZ Red

Runner-up: Goldrush A2

MVP: Colin Rituper

In a closely contested game, Mission AZ secured the title with a 5-3 win over the Goldrush A2 team.

12U Bronze

Champion: Mission AZ White

Runner-up: San Francisco Sabercats

MVP: Kason Stewart

This back-and-forth game saw the Mission AZ White team come out on top with a 5-4 win over the San Francisco Sabercats. Gianni Tumbarello and UD Elston IV each had a goal and an assist, while Beckham Brainard, Kason Stewart and Gunnar Frazee scored one each. Edgar Louis scored two goals for the Sabercats, Alexander Krepkiy had a goal and two assists, and Koa McGoldrick added a goal with an assist.

12U Silver

Champion: Stockton Colts

Runner-up: Goldrush

MVP: Johnny Longo

The Stockton Colts showed off their balanced offense and won the division title with a 5-1 win over the


12U Gold

Champion: Jr. Reign Riverside

Runner-up: California Heat

MVP: Hamilton Barrett

Gavin Ordaz collected a hat trick to lead the Jr. Reign to a championship banner with a 5-2 win over the California Heat. Enzo Buscaglia and Shane Scott also scored and Trevor Lester contributed three assists. Jayden Kehrier finished with 21 saves in goal. Connor Mitchell and Enzo Serrano scored for the Heat and Parker Slaten was sharp in goal.

14U Bronze

Champion: Las Vegas Ice Warriors

Runner-up: Jr. Reign Carlsbad

MVP: Cash Johnson

Paymon Shahrestani scored two goals and Cash Johnson pitched the shutout in goal to lead the Ice Warriors to a 5-0 win over the Jr. Reign to bring home the championship banner. Brayden Schuebel, Luca Stoppa and Kyle Diaz also scored.

14U Silver

Champion: Las Vegas Ice Warriors

Runner-up: SDIA Oilers

MVP: Liam Bartlett

The Las Vegas Ice Warriors brought home another banner after doubling up the SDIA Oilers 4-2 to win it all.

14U Gold

Champion: Littleton Hawks

Runner-up: Los Angeles Jr. Kings

MVP: Ben Purchase

Logan Chang scored twice and Lucas Jordan made 17 saves in goal to guide the Littleton Hawks to a 6-2 championship win over the Los Angeles Jr. Kings. Christian Romine added a goal and two assists, and Ben Purchase, Christian Caby and Jonah Frum each registered a goal with an assist. RJ Mitchell and Maksim Tkachenko scored for the Jr. Kings and Weston Brough and Hunter Nord combined to stop 30 shots between the pipes.

High School Bronze Champion: Bishop Broncos

Runner-up: Las Vegas Ice Warriors

MVP: Birch Ray Birch Ray stopped all 18 shots

he faced in goal to lead the Bishop Broncos to a 4-0 title victory over the Las Vegas Ice Warriors. Kobe Carpenter scored two goals, Aiden Scott tacked on a goal and an assist, and Brayden Morley also scored. Lincoln Noahr stopped 16 shots in net for the Ice Warriors.

High School Silver

Champion: Las Vegas Ice Warriors

Runner-up: Santa Clarita Flyers

MVP: Jackson Burgess

The Ice Warriors used two goals and an assist from Dominic Messa and 24 saves in goal from Jackson Burgess to take the division crown with a 3-1 win over the Santa Clarita Flyers. Zachary Machado-Welch also scored for Vegas. Kolsen Miller scored for the Flyers and Jacob Lundolh finished with 27 saves between the pipes.

High School Gold

Champion: Jr. Reign 18U

Runner-up: Capistrano Coyotes

MVP: Carson McDonald

Troy Smith’s two goals helped lead the Jr. Reign to a 4-1 win over the Capistrano Coyotes to bring home the banner. Ethan Dang and Jeremy Loosemore each had a goal and an assist in the win, while Nicholai Rubio earned the win in net. For Capistrano, Caden Taylor played well in goal.

Registration is now open for Monarchy Hockey spring hockey events at tournaments.

Monarchy has also partnered with the Sports Illustrated Cup in Toronto. MARCH 2024 RUBBER HOCKEY

Arizona, California standouts chosen for monthly USPHL player awards

The NCDC and USPHL have announced their monthly awards for February, with several California and Arizona natives earning the honors.

On the California side, Pueblo Bulls forward Hunter Hayes is the NCDC Mountain Division Forward of the Month, Seattle Totems forward Seth Morris is the Northwest Premier Forward of the Month, Fresno Monsters’ Steven Blengino is the Pacific Premier Defenseman of the Month, Las Vegas Thunderbirds goalie Sam Peterson is the Pacific Premier Division Goaltender of the Month, Northern Cyclones forward Josh Bruno is the New England Elite Division Forward of the Month, and WilkesBarre/Scranton Knights defenseman Page Jones is the Atlantic Elite Division Defenseman of the Month.

Hayes, an ‘04 from Lodi, just never stops getting the job done for his team as they push hard to win a playoff spot in an ongoing duel with the Idaho Falls Spud Kings as we get into the low single digits in games remaining. Hayes has a current scoring streak of 8-8-16 in his last eight games, including his first couple in March.

During February, the scope of this award, he put up 7-6-13 in eight games for a 1.63 points per game average. He started his current scoring streak on Feb. 9. He is also dynamite in the circle for the Bulls, winning 106 of 172 draws last month for a 62 percent success rate.

Back home, Hayes played for the Golden State Elite Eagles and St. Mary’s High School.

Morris, a 2006 birth year out of Rancho Cucamonga, was all over Totems opponents during February, ringing up 10 goals and adding 14 assists for 24 points, good for a division-leading 2.4 points per game average. His February success ended up being just a portion of a 13-game point streak that included 12 goals and 17 assists for 29 points that started on Jan. 19 and which he carried into the postseason, scoring three points in two games in March.

He was also plus-18 to rank second on the Totems in February, and he was the faceoff ace for Seattle, winning 128 of 203 for a 63 percent success rate. He finished his rookie junior season with 64 points in 41 games.

Back home, Morris skated for the California Wave, Empire Hockey Club and Damien High School.

Blengino, an ‘03 from Martinez, racked up three goals and added 12 assists for a 15-point month in his 11 February games, giving him ultimately 84 points in 44 games this season, good for fourth in the USPHL Premier among defensemen.

His two-year total amounts to 100 assists and 141 points in 84 games. The Vacaville Jets alum led the Monsters in ice time per game at 25:37 during February.

Peterson, an ‘03 Scottsdale native and Jr. Reign grad, was unbeaten during the month of February, going 4-0 with 200 saves on 207 shots for the month, giving him a .966 save percentage. The secondyear T-Bird went 15-5-0-0 with a .924 save percentage. The four-game winning streak was his second of at least that length, as he also went 5-0 between Dec. 9 and Jan. 12.

In Arizona, Peterson played for the Jr. Coyotes, Arizona Bobcats and Brophy High School.

Bruno, an ‘04 out of Glendora, was on a goal-per-game tear to end the regular season for the USPHL Nationals-bound Cyclones. He put up nine goals in nine games and added 12 assists for 21 points, good for a 2.33 points per game average.

After putting up 68 points in 42 games last year, he came back with 63 points in just 33 games this year, and he also skated up in five Premier games early in the season. Bruno finished the regular season with a 13game point streak of 15-15-30.

During his youth hockey career, Bruno skated for Empire, Orange County Hockey Club and Los Angeles Jr. Kings.

Jones, a 2004-born native of Los Angeles, played 22 games with the Elite Knights this year, while also getting eight games up with the Premier Knights, with six of those coming in January and February.

During the month of February, the Jr. Kings product put up a 2-3-5 line in six games for the Knights, which helped them ride a 10-game winning streak to the end of the season and seal up that No. 1 seed in the division. In his 22 games, Jones put up 11 points and he added a 1-1-2 line in his eight Premier outings.

Idaho Falls Spud Kings goalie

Tucker Inabinet is the NCDC Mountain Division Goaltender of the Month.

Inabinet, an ‘03 from Phoenix, had another fantastic month in Idaho. He went 6-2-0-0 with a .958 save percentage, stopping 254 of 265 shots. He stopped all 30 shots that he faced on Feb. 9 against Utah, one game before stopping 45 of 46 against Ogden, and then he stopped 34 of 35 against Provo for three outstanding performances in a row. In 10 games between Jan. 27 and March 1, he only allowed more than one goal twice.

Back home, Inabinet played for the Jr. Coyotes. MARCH 2024 RUBBER HOCKEY
Tucker Inabinet Clockwise from top left, Hunter Hayes, Seth Morris, Steven Blengino, Page Jones, Josh Bruno, Sam Peterson.


Continued from Page 1

Long Beach Shredders game, and it was pretty good hockey. At that time, I wasn’t thinking of owning or creating a junior hockey team, but it struck me – especially the Shredders uniforms, which were just crazy,” said Jarvis. “From there, it was checking out the teams and their social media accounts. We all went to this year’s USPHL Las Vegas Showcase and got to talk to the other teams’ owners and coaches. I realized upon seeing these players that they were better than the players I had played with and against just over 20 years ago at Saint Anselm. All of these kids I was seeing at the showcase would have been great NCAA Division II players then – that’s how much faster and more skilled players have become.”

Building The Viking Ship

The Ventura Vikings Junior Hockey Club stands out not only for its dedication to athletic excellence but also for its strategic geographical location and commitment to holistic player development. Located strategically in the heart of the division, Ventura offers a unique advantage to its players. Nestled amidst picturesque landscapes, it minimizes travel time and allows athletes to stay closer to home, ensuring they remain wellrested and focused on their training. This proximity also enables players to maintain consistency in their daily routines, including sleeping in their beds, which contributes to their overall well-being and performance

on the ice. Additionally, Ventura’s proximity to Malibu and some of California’s most stunning beaches provides players with the opportunity to unwind and recharge amidst the natural beauty of the region.

However, what truly sets the Ventura Vikings apart is their philosophy centered around comprehensive player development. The club not only emphasizes skill enhancement on the ice but also prioritizes the personal and academic growth of its athletes.

“Our players aren’t just athletes; they’re active members of the community. From mentoring youth to participating in charitable causes and local events, our Vikings embody the values of compassion and social responsibility beyond the rink. Education is paramount to us. We’re dedicated to supporting our players in reaching their academic goals, offering assistance and opportunities for educational advancement to ensure their success both on and off the ice,” added Beausoleil.

“The Vikings program isn’t just about honing athletic skills; it’s about opening doors to future opportunities. Through connections with collegiate and professional scouts and exposure to high-level competition, we pave the way for our players’ success beyond junior hockey,” Beausoleil said. “Our structured daily schedule is designed to optimize performance on and off the ice. From practices and training sessions to academic support and community responsibilities, we help our athletes manage their commitments effectively.”

Of course, one of the major jobs ahead for the Vikings will be to fill

a roster that they certainly expect to be competitive within the Pacific Division and at league events from the get-go. Each of Beausoleil, Jarvis and Bruininga have great networks of coaches, players and advisors that they will work with to put some of the foundational pieces in place.

“We have formed relationships with different advisors, and now that we’re 100 percent officially in the USPHL, we can utilize those connections,” said Jarvis. “Here in Simi Valley, there is no elite spring or summer league, and we’re looking to set one up, and we can then recruit from that. We have two development camps planned as well. My son, who is now 16, has played AA and AAA out east, so I’m going to be reaching out to former teammates of his and educating them on our program. For instance, we’ll have two hours of extra ice after every practice so players can go out and work on skills, goaltenders can get extra shots, they can

use that ice however they’ll need.”

For information on the Ventura Vikings, go online to the website Also check out the Vikings on social media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook. com/

Instagram @VenturaVikings: venturavikings?utm_source=qr Tik Tok (@VenturaVikings):

Twitter/X (@VenturaVikings):

Ventura Vikings

Open Prospects Camps

The Ventura Vikings Jr. Hockey Team (USPHL Premier) Open Prospect Camps will be open to players with birth years 2004 through 2008.

Camp #1: April 27-28, 2024

Camp #2: July 13-14, 2024 MARCH 2024 RUBBER HOCKEY
For more info on the USPHL, visit!

Aspen native, Colorado College netminder Mbereko earns pair of monthly honors for play in February

Colorado College sophomore netminder Kaidan Mbereko has been named the NCHC Goaltender of the Month for the third month in a row.

He was also tabbed the Hockey Commissioners Association National Goaltender of the Month for February.

Mbereko continued his stellar play while backstopping CC to a 3-2-1 record last month.

The Aspen native led the NCHC with a .939 save percentage and 168 saves during the month, averaging 28.00 saves per game. His 1.79 goals-against average was second in the NCHC in February, while he allowed two goals or fewer in five of his six starts and no more than three in any game, with all six games coming against ranked competition.

Mbereko eased into February with back-to-back 22-save showings in a split against then-No. 16 St. Cloud State, dropping a 2-1 overtime deci-


sion on Feb. 2 and earning a 5-3 win the next night. Two weekends later, Mbereko was even better, totaling

66 saves and surrendering only three goals in a sweep of then-No. 2 North Dakota to earn NCHC Goaltender of

the Week. He then made 23 saves in a 7-1 win on Feb. 16, before making a career-high 43 stops against UND in a 6-2 victory a night later. Mbereko closed February with a bang as well, giving up only three goals in a series at then-No. 19 Omaha, while racking up 58 saves, including 41 stops in a 1-1 tie to close the series Feb. 24.

On the season, Mbereko leads the NCHC with a .920 save percentage, which ties for 11th nationally, while ranking second in the NCHC with a 2.37 GAA. His 814 saves on the year are also tops in the NCHC. Mbereko has compiled an 18-10-2 record in net this year, with the 18 wins tied for second in the conference.

Back home, Mbereko played for the Aspen Leafs and Rocky Mountain Snow Kings.

Check out more from the Colorado Hockey Hub online at!

Scottsdale’s Gauthier chosen Hockey East, national player of the month for February MARCH 2024 RUBBER HOCKEY
Boston College sophomore forward Cutter Gauthier has been named the Hockey East and Hockey Commissioners Association Player of the Month for February. Gauthier led the NCAA in goals (10), points (16), game-winning goals (3), and shots (49), while leading BC to a 7-1-0 record in February. He had at least one point in seven of eight games and multiple points in five outings, including three games of at least three points. The Scottsdale native accomplished his nation-best offensive output without taking a single penalty. Photo/Brody Hannon Mbereko has been a wall in net this season for the Tigers.

After junior hockey journey, Craig native Beckett heading to NCAA Division II Post for ‘24-25 season

Holden Beckett moved around during his youth hockey days in Colorado and has played for three USPHL junior hockey organizations since 2021.

Next season, the Craig native will be on the move to college hockey after recently committing to NCAA Division II Post University, a school located in Waterbury, Conn.

“General manager Frank Scarpaci Jr. and the Florida Eels do a great job of reaching out to coaches and promoting prayers to the next level with both the ACHA and NCAA,” said Beckett. “Frank had contacted Post about me and gave me the information to apply and contact info for head coach Tim Richter. Coach Richter and I had a couple conversations after they viewed some games and highlights. After a few weeks and completing my application and sending Coach Richter my transcripts to make sure I qualified with the NCAA Eligibility Center, I was offered a spot for the 2024-25 season.

“My goal since I can remember has always been to play NCAA hockey and after playing juniors in Boston (Boston Advantage) and New York (PAL Jr. Islanders), I knew I wanted to find a school on the East Coast to continue my education and hockey career.”

Beckett added that playing in the

Holden Beckett is wrapping up his USPHL junior career this season with the Florida Eels.

USPHL helped his game turn a corner to be ready for the NCAA level.

“I played on three different teams over my three seasons,” said Beckett. “Not many 20-year-olds can say they have lived in Boston, Long Island and Florida. Each one brought improvements to both my skills and maturity, but it wasn’t until this season with the Eels that I was able to improve to what I would call ‘college ready.’

“From the day I got to Florida, the atmosphere was different from the time commitments, workouts, film sessions, and on- and off-ice training.

I have developed the work ethic it takes to play at a high level consistently and that has led to me being able to process the game quicker and play at the same speed I can think while fitting my skills into a team and a system that puts us as a team in a position to win hockey games.”

Admittedly, it wasn’t until high school that Beckett started to take academics as seriously as he was taking hockey.

“Like a lot of kids, academics was second to hockey until I found out that you had to have good grades to even play at the NCAA level,”

Beckett said. “That really helped me focus on my schooling and between classes at Chatfield and Warren Tech, I started to become a better student and think more about what my career after hockey would look like.

“Post offers a bachelor’s degree in Sports Management. I plan to continue with hockey in some form once my playing days are done. I am also interested in the Emergency Management and Homeland Security program, so my plan is to focus on core classes the first two years and explore those programs.”

Heading to college in late summer after his junior career wraps in March, Beckett has his eye on what he wants his future to look like, both now and down the road.

“My short-term goal would be to continue to improve over the remainder of the season, compete at the USPHL Nationals, and enjoy my last season of junior hockey,” said Beckett. “Juniors has been an amazing experience and going into next year, I want to be ready to compete at the next level and have a positive impact on the team.

“My long-terms goals are the same today as when I was a kid, play hockey as long as I can but prepare for life after by completing my education.”

In addition to Chatfield, Beckett also played for Steamboat Springs, the Craig Cougars, Littleton Hawks and Hyland Hills Jaguars as part of his youth hockey career.

Lomita native, Jr. Kings alum Sansbury keeps racking up honors, earns monthly Atlantic Hockey accolades as conference defensive player of month for February

Sacred Heart junior defenseman Hunter Sansbury has been named the Atlantic Hockey Defensive Player of the Month.

Sansbury blocked an AHA-best 22 shots across seven games in February. The Lomita native’s effort on the defensive end moved him into ninth place on the AHA career blocked shots list with 215.

He also chipped in on the offensive end with a goal and a pair of assists,

with the goal being the game winner against AIC on Feb. 3. He blocked at least four shots in four of the month’s seven games, including seven against AIC on Feb. 3 to match his career high. It was his third seven-block performance of the year.

This is his third career Atlantic Hockey monthly honor and second in a row.

In California, Sansbury skated for the Los Angeles Jr. Kings. MARCH 2024 RUBBER HOCKEY
Hunter Sansbury has been exceptional on the back end for Sacred Heart this season. Photo/Josh Gee

Team Colorado AAA standout Mullin decides on future, commits to NCAA Division III Marian

When looking at college hockey programs for next season, NCAA Division III Marian University had it all for Summer Mullin.

The Colorado Springs resident recently committed to the Fond du Lac, Wis., school for the 2024-25 season. She’ll join another Colorado native, Aurora’s Samantha Brennan, with the Sabres next season.

“In my recruitment process, Marian rose to the top of my list for both skill and academics,” said Mullin, originally from Canada. “One thing that truly stood out about Marian’s hockey was the fact that they sit in a good conference, and I felt like the coach and I shared the same view on how this next season will hopefully transpire. After having a visit in January, I was inspired by the way the professors know players as their names other than a student number. The small class sizes were really appealing for my academic learning atmosphere.

“Having a familiar face from Colorado will help having a home-awayfrom-home feeling.”

Mullin said hockey and school

have always gone hand in hand.

“My academics in high school were very important to me with the balance of playing Tier I hockey,”

Mullin said. “I’ll be majoring in radiology.”

Growing up, hockey was a part of Mullins’ life as long as she can re-


“I guess you can say because I was born in Canada that I have hockey in my blood, but I actually didn’t start playing hockey until 2018,” Mullin said. “ I was always a rink rat due to my parents both playing and coaching. When we moved to Colorado, I had an opportunity to play hockey, so I jumped on it. In my younger years, I moved around a few times but Colorado Springs is my hometown now.”

Mullin started playing her Bantam year with the Woodland Park Hockey Association, then the Colorado Select, Colorado 14ers, and the last two years with Team Colorado AAA.

“By far the best coach I’ve had is my dad,” said Mullin. “We are always talking, watching, or on the ice practicing together.”

Moving ahead, Mullin is excited for what the future will bring.

“My short-term goal is to finish off the season ending on a good note with hopes to make it to nationals,” Mullin said. “Long-term goal I’m hoping for is to be a contributing factor on the ice with Marian. Education wise, Marian provides great job opportunities both on campus and in the town itself.”

Jr. Kings graduate, Hermosa Beach native Sholl takes home honors as CCHA Goaltender of the Year for ‘23-24

The CCHA has announced that Bemidji State junior Mattias Sholl has been voted Goaltender of the Year.

He was named to the CCHA First Team earlier this week.

The Hermosa Beach native led conference netminders in goalsagainst average (2.03) and winning percentage (.786), going 10-2-2 with a .924 save percentage in 14 games for the Beavers. Posting one shutout in conference play, he had 342 saves, including a season-high 46 in a 2-2 tie with Michigan Tech. Allowing two goals or fewer in 11 of his 14 starts, he made 25 or more saves in

seven league contests.

Through 22 total games this season, the Los Angeles Jr. Kings grad is 13-7-2, with a 2.56 goals-against average and a .909 save percentage, making 557 saves over 1310:30 of action. He has three shutouts to his credit, which have all come since Feb. 1.

Over that same stretch, he is 9-1-1 with a 1.98 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage.

Sholl has played in 78 career games for the Beavers, going 37-33-7 with four shutouts. He has posted a 2.50 goals-against average and a .907 save percentage. MARCH 2024 RUBBER HOCKEY
Summer Mullin has enjoyed a fantastic season in 2023-24 playing for the Team Colorado AAA organization. Photo/Be Feral Media Mattias Sholl has had a solid 2023-24 season for Bemidji State. Photo/Brent Cizek

Chandler native, Bobcats, Hamilton alum Manning makes commitment to NCAA D-II Saint Anselm

Brendan Manning, a forward for the EHL’s Vermont Lumberjacks, has committed to Saint Anselm College for the fall of 2024.

The ‘03 native of Chandler is in his second season with the Lumberjacks, and first at the Eastern Hockey League level. After beginning his junior hockey career in the Eastern Hockey League Premier (EHLP) last year, Manning has finished the climb up to NCAA hockey.

Vermont’s captain is a prime example of a player that begins in the EHLP, moves up to the EHL, and commits to an NCAA program.

“Brendan has been a leader in our program from his first day with the Lumberjacks, serving as a captain in both the EHLP and EHL,” said Lumberjacks EHL head coach Seth Gustin. “He embodies the characteristics that will allow him to be successful in anything he does. His will and desire to continuously improve his game earned him All-Star recognition and now the opportunity to continue his career at Saint Anselm. We are extremely proud of Brendan’s growth as a player and person, and are looking forward to the bright future he has in front of him.”

As Gustin mentioned, Manning’s

development was recognized early on this season when he was selected to the North/East All-Star Team that faced-off against Rivier University and Southern New Hampshire University back in October.

As for this upcoming fall, Manning is one of four EHL players that has chosen the Hawks for the next step in their respective careers. Upon

his arrival on campus, Manning will team up with Conor Kelly of the New Hampshire Avalanche, Connor Peet of the Boston Jr. Terriers, and Nick Theodos of the New England Wolves.

“I am excited and humbled to announce my commitment to Saint Anselm College,” said Manning. “My family has supported me immensely

over my hockey journey, and I would not be the man or player I am today without them. One of the best decisions I have made was to become a Lumberjack. I would like to thank Coach Gustin, Coach (Jack) Lowry, and the Rosales family for helping develop me within such a well-run program. I have had a wonderful two years here, with some of the best teammates you could ask for. Also, a special shout out to Coach Lavallee, Coach Kappelmann, Coach McNaughton, and all my Maine Moose U18 teammates as well for an amazing two years before junior hockey. The work is only just beginning, but I am honored to be joining Saint Anselm hockey in the fall. Roll Jacks.” Manning is also part of a strong core of players in the EHL whose roots take them back to Arizona, a state that is growing into a ‘hockey hotbed.’ The EHL is set to head out to Arizona, and in particular, Manning’s hometown of Chandler this May. Space is still available for the EHL’s first-ever combine in Arizona, so be sure to sign up today, and become the next Brendan Manning. Back home, Manning skated for the Arizona Bobcats and Hamilton High School.

Manhattan Beach native, Jr. Kings grad Shane bags ECAC Hockey Goaltender of the Month honors for fourth time during ‘23-24 season

Cornell junior goaltender Ian Shane has been selected as ECAC Hockey’s Goaltender of the Month for the fourth time this season.

Previously named the conference’s top goaltender in October, November and January, Shane backstopped the Big Red to a 5-1-2 record in February while compiling a conference-leading 1.47 goals-against average and posted the third-best save percentage of any ECAC Hockey netminder (.929), only behind Princeton’s Arthur Smith (.942) and Yale’s Jack Stark (.935).

Over his first six games of the month, the Manhattan Beach native allowed a combined six goals and made 100 saves while aiding Cornell

to increase its unbeaten streak to 14 games (10-0-4).

In a 3-0 shutout of Brown on Feb. 16, Shane posted his 11th career shutout to match David LeNeveu and Mitch Gillam for the fifth-most shutouts by a Cornell goaltender in program history. Shane is just two shutouts shy of tying Cornell Athletics and Hockey Hall of Fame goaltender Ken Dryden for fourth on the Big Red’s all-time shutouts list.

After Cornell’s unbeaten streak was snapped at 14 games with a 4-3 overtime loss to Clarkson on Feb. 23, Shane stopped a season-high 36 shots as Cornell scored two extra-attacker goals in the final 1:31 to lead the Big

Red to a shootout victory over St. Lawrence at Appleton Arena on Feb. 24.

Across his 78 career appearances between the pipes for Cornell, Shane has amassed a 44-20-10 record with a 1.70 goals-against average and a .922 save percentage.

Shane’s career goals-against average currently stands as the fourthbest figure in NCAA Division I hockey history, trailing LeNeveu (1.29), former Michigan State standout Ryan Miller (1.54), and Cornell Athletics and Hockey Hall of Famer Ken Dryden (1.59).

In California, Shane played for the Los Angeles Jr. Kings. MARCH 2024 RUBBER HOCKEY
Brendan Manning starred for the EHL’s Vermont Lumberjacks this season and also donned the ‘C.’ Photo/Dan Hickling/Hickling Images Ian Shane has led Cornell to many wins this season. Photo/ Lexi Woodcock/Cornell Athletics

Illinois native, Team Colorado AAA star Schmidt heading home in ’24-25 with commitment to NCAA D-III Aurora

Keilana Schmidt is following in the footsteps of her older sister Samira.

Both have played for the Team Colorado AAA program and next season, they’ll be teammates again at NCAA Division III Aurora University.

My sister is a freshman at AU and that sparked my interest in attending there,” said Schmidt. “My coach Karen Rickard and I reached out to the head coach, Jackie Kooistra, and it went from there. Something that really influenced me about AU was the coaching style and team dynamic.

It looked like something I wanted to be a part of.

“My sister and I have always been super close, so we were super excited when the opportunity to for me play there arose.”

Schmidt also said going to Aurora will be the perfect blend of school and hockey.

“I view academics as a very important part of being a student-athlete,” Schmidt said. “Balancing it can be difficult, but performing well in school is something I take seriously. My major will be health science.”

Keilana Schmidt has rounded out her game this season in the Team Colorado AAA program. Photo/Be Feral Media


Continued from Page 14

Growing up, Schmidt said she started playing hockey at the age of seven in Williston, N.D.

“My dad got my brother and sister into it, and I found it super interesting, so I joined as well,” said Schmidt. “My hometown is McHenry, Ill., which is another reason why AU was my top pick. I’m excited to return to my home state and live close to my family.”

In addition to Team Colorado AAA, Schmidt has also suited up for the NCYH Jr. Eagles and Rocky Mountain Lady RoughRiders.

“A coach that stands out to me is Chris Lockrem,” noted Schmidt. “His coaching style is admirable, and he’s made a huge impact on my development as a hockey player. Winning nationals in 2021 is mainly because of the influence his coaching and developing had on our team.”

Looking to the future, Schmidt has attainable goals in mind.

“My short-term goal for hockey is preparing myself for NCAA hockey and being the best student-athlete I can be,” Schmidt said. “A long-term goal would be to develop as a hockey player and as a person at Aurora, along with making new friends in college.”

For more, visit the Colorado Hockey Hub at! MARCH 2024 RUBBER HOCKEY MARCH 2024 RUBBER HOCKEY

Hyland Hills, Rampage, RoughRiders alum Gutierrez enjoying first junior season with NA3HL’s Rhinos

Joseph Gutierrez was looking for the right fit to play junior hockey this season.

He found all that he was searching for with the NA3HL’s El Paso Rhinos.

“In 2022, I received a camp invite from the Rhinos coach and at the camp, they held an event for St. Baldrick and I participated by shaving my head for the charity,” said Gutierrez, born in Albuquerque, N.M., now living in Arvada. “In 2023, I was chosen in the NA3 draft by Coach (Ed) Fritz. While I had offers with other teams, I chose to play in El Paso because of the people and the atmosphere. The fans are amazing and really create the ideal place to play.”

Being away from home has been another positive for Gutierrez.

“I have enjoyed living away from home,” Gutierrez said. “I miss my family sometimes, but I like hanging out with my billet brothers, Jaden and Brady, and I have no problem helping my billet parents, Molly and Ben, out with stuff around the house. El Paso is not the most exciting city, but with daily practices, team functions and work, there isn’t a lot of free time.”

Back in Colorado, Gutierrez played for the Hyland Hills Jaguars from his second year of Squirts through Bantam, then 15 Only with the Colorado Rampage and 16U and 18U with the Rocky Mountain RoughRiders. He also said coaches CJ Yoder, Doug Smail and Tyson Davis stand out as

positive influences during his youth hockey days.

“I idolized CJ since I first met him at a roller hockey tournament,” said Gutierrez. “Fast forward a few years later and he is my coach for roller hockey and then ice coach when I played for the Rampage. We were also teammates for a season when I played on the Thunder. He’s just an awesome guy and I enjoy laughing with him. Doug Smail taught me how to work hard and that nothing is ever given, but always earned. He was a tough coach, but I respect him and appreciate him for never letting me take the easy route.”

As far as memories go in Colorado, Gutierrez said those are plentiful.

“We had a tourney in Prince

George, B.C., and we couldn’t afford to fly so we took a road trip,” remembered Gutierrez. “Coach Tyson (Davis) said it was a beautiful drive. We stopped a few times along the way, but the last stop was in Calgary. When we left the next day, it was a seven-hour drive to Prince George, but it was winter and with avalanche clearing and blizzard snow, the drive took almost 18 hours. Longest car ride ever. We arrived just in time to get to the game, and I ended up scoring a hat trick that game. We laugh to this day that Tyson is correct, it is a beautiful drive, but should be taken in July not December.

“Winning the state championship with the RoughRiders my final year of 18U is another memory. It was a

rough season with a lot of unknowns and doubt, but the boys and I rallied together to end the season on a high note.”

Gutierrez said it was a simple situation in how he got started playing hockey, but that since that time, he’s been motivated to stay on the ice as long as possible.

“I brought home a Skate City flyer from school when I was in second grade and my parents signed me up to play roller hockey even though I had never skated before,” said Gutierrez. “I fell in love with the game, and with the help of my dad, I quickly learned how to skate and play hockey. When I was nine, I decided I wanted to try ice hockey and I joined a rec-level team for the New Mexico Ice Wolves where I played one year before moving to Colorado and joining the Hyland Hills Jaguars. I still play roller hockey in the summer and during season breaks, but my main focus has been on ice hockey for the past several years.

“Hockey has been a huge part of my life since I was nine. It is just a part of who I am. I am motivated by the constant grind and high expectations that come with it. My parents and my sisters have sacrificed so much to allow me the privilege of playing. I always strive to do my best.”

Moving ahead, Gutierrez said he wants to finish this season averaging better than a point per game. His long-term goal is to play college hockey, ice and roller. On the school side, Gutierrez is hoping to study law and/or criminal justice. MARCH 2024 RUBBER HOCKEY
Joseph Gutierrez has found his niche playing junior hockey this season for the NA3HL’s El Paso Rhinos. Photo/Michelle Carrasco
For more news as it happens, visit, &! For more Colorado news and features, visit the Colorado Hockey Hub at! MARCH MARCH 2024
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