Rubber Hockey - May 2023

Page 1

AHL MVP, top goalie honors for Gilroy native, Jr. Kings grad Wolf

The AHL has announced that Dustin Wolf of the Calgary Wranglers is the winner of the Les Cunningham Award as the league’s MVP and also the Aldege “Baz” Bastien Memorial Award as the AHL’s outstanding goaltender for the 2022-23 season.

The awards are voted on by coaches, players and members of the media in each of the league’s 32 cities.

The 22-year-old Wolf becomes the first goaltender to win the Bastien Award in back-to-back seasons since its creation in 1984.

He is also just the eighth different goaltender in league history to win MVP honors, and at 22, Wolf is also the youngest AHL MVP since Jason Spezza in 200405.

Wolf followed his outstanding rookie season with another remarkable campaign in 2022-23, leading the AHL in every major statistical category including wins

Continued on Page 7

MAY 2023
Calgary Wranglers goalie Dustin Wolf put up solid numbers in the AHL this season in addition to making his NHL debut in a winning effort with the parent Calgary Flames. Photo/Phillip Brents MAY 2023 RUBBER HOCKEY

Jr. Sharks alum Celebrini bags trifecta of USHL awards for 2022-23 season

The USHL has announced that Chicago Steel forward Macklin Celebrini has been named the USHL Rookie of the Year, USHL Forward of the Year, and USHL Player of the Year for the 2022-23 season.

League awards are voted on by each member club’s general manager after each club nominates their players for awards.

Committed to Boston University, Celebrini led the USHL in with 86 points with 46 goals and 40 assists. His 46 goals were also a league high, as were his eight game-winning goals and 21 power-play goals.

Including a five-goal game vs. USA Hockey’s NTDP on Feb. 18, Celebrini recorded four hat tricks

during the course of the 2022-23 campaign. Named the USHL Forward of the Week on four occasions, Celebrini’s point and goal totals this year are the most ever by a U17 player in a single season.

He turns 17 on June 13.

The Vancouver, B.C., native, who is eligible for the 2024 NHL Draft, helped lead Canada to a bronze medal at the 2023 IIHF Men’s U18 World Championship.

Celebrini, who spent the 2019-20 season with the San Jose Jr. Sharks’ 14U AAA team, joins Manhattan Beach native Brendan Brisson (2020) and Alameda native Robby Jackson (2014) as Steel recipients of the USHL Rookie of the Year award.

Macklin Celebrini posted huge offensive numbers during 2022-23 season for the USHL’s Chicago Steel.

Wheat Ridge native Boettiger earns spot between pipes with USA Hockey’s NTDP

USA Hockey’s NTDP has had a slew of Colorado natives on its roster over the years.

Harrison Boettiger is the latest, having earned a spot on the U.S. Under-17 Team for the 2023-24 season.

“When I was first offered, I felt amazing and like a dream had been accomplished,” said Boettiger, a 2007-born Wheat Ridge native. “Everyone dreams to represent their country in any way. I have the opportunity to represent mine doing what I love most. Over the next two years, I am expecting to be challenged in every way possible. I know it will be the hardest two years of my life, and for that, I am excited to keep trying to reach my potential.”

Growing up, Boettiger played for the Arvada Hockey Association and Colorado Thunderbirds. He also spent a season in St. Louis before heading to Faribault, Minn., to play at Shattuck-St. Mary’s the past two seasons.

“There are a few coaches I had that were very important to me and my development through Colorado - Corey Wogtech, Justin Biehl, and Karl

Sellan,” Boettiger said. “Justin Biehl introduced me to high-level goaltending coaches, and Corey Wogtech was the high-level goalie coach. Karl Sellan was a great coach and a great person to have around and help me get to where I wanted to be.

“Coming from Shattuck, I have a lot of experience living away from home although I have never had the opportunity to billet. I look forward to the new experiences and being able to meet new friends and family (in Plymouth, Mich.). I decided to make the move to Shattuck as I saw how hard they work here and how important it is to develop, on and off the ice. There is really no place like Shattuck, and it has been a huge part of my life. I could not pick a better place to grow as a person and a goalie.”

Back home in Colorado, Boettiger said he started playing hockey at a young age as a mite at the Apex.

“My dad had always played, so he insisted that I give it a try,” said Boettiger. “From there, I fell in love with the game and every aspect of it.”

As a late 2007 birth year, Boettiger is finishing his freshman year and will be in 10th grade next year.

MAY 2023
RUBBER HOCKEY Photo/Chicago Steel Hockey Team Harrison Boettiger has fine-tuned his game in goal the past two seasons at Shattuck-St. Mary’s. Photo provided by Harrison Boettiger

Follow Rubber Hockey 24/7 online!


Facebook: ArizonaRubber

Twitter: @AZRubberHockey

Instagram: azrubberhockey


Facebook: CaliforniaRubber

Twitter: @CARubberHockey

Instagram: carubberhockey


Facebook: ColoradoRubber

Twitter: @CORubberHockey

Instagram: corubberhockey

Words from the publisher...

We got through the season, and now it’s time to relax, right?

To an extent, yes.

During the season, we’ve got games, practices, tournaments, workouts, road trips, flights, you name it.

And while many players choose to keep going with spring and summer hockey, others choose downtime.

For us that cover this great game, it’s a job that runs 365 days a year. We try to get away from it during holidays and our kids’ activities, and we do, but I always try to stay on top of the goings-on in the game at all levels.

Take for instance the recent junior hockey drafts. We saw numerous players from Arizona, California and Colorado chosen during the NA3HL, NCDC, USHL

and WHL drafts, and we’ll have all that in our June edition.

To be honest, we just ran out of time this month.

And that’s where I have learned some things over the 25 years and change I have been in the media realm. Nothing beats family. Nothing.

Yes, work is a big chunk of our time, and it provides for our family, but if I have a chance to spend a Sunday afternoon out by the pool grilling food, that is where I will be.

Every time. At least in the summertime here in Michigan.

Our oldest child graduates high school next week and it has been

an emotional roller coaster for my wife and I.

Where did the time go?

Isn’t he still in kindergarten?

Why will he be 18 soon and making his own decisions?

If anyone knows the secret to slowing down time, I’d like to know.

We also have a high school sophomore and a seventh grader. Their time will come when we become emotional wrecks and wonder where the years have gone.

It’s inevitable.


I guess what I’m trying to say in a roundabout way is to enjoy every moment you have with family.

Some of you reading this might already have raised your kids and they are now on their own. It’s bittersweet, right?

I mean, you want to keep your

kids close, but you also want them to go out into the world and make a difference.

I know that’s how my wife and I feel right now.

Seeing Facebook memories pop up from past fun times and realizing certain events were like 10 years ago is just unreal.

That being said, instead of focusing on all the “lasts,” let’s focus on all the “firsts” yet to come.

Back on the hockey front, we’ll keep going through the summer months online and with this digital edition.

Remember to keep supporting Rubber Hockey!

Contact me any time at (248) 890-3944 (call/text) and by email at

Looking forward to hearing from you! MAY 2023 RUBBER HOCKEY

Pair of April IHAAZ events prepping teams for 2023 State Finals

As was the case in March, with a multitude of teams looking to compete in the 2023 IHAAZ season, the association split its April tournaments into two weekend combo events.

First, the season rolled on over the April 14-16 weekend in Queen Creek at the Barney Family Sports Complex for the fifth tournament of the season and then April 21-23 in Peoria at the Peoria Sportsplex for tournament No. 6.

“With all the teams in the series finally able to play at the same time, we got to see some exciting matchups, which livens things up,” said IHAAZ tournament director Nick Boyarsky. “We also got to welcoming some new teams and many new players to roller hockey, which is always great to see. Teams like the Imperials in 14U, the Bananas in 12U, and Lucky Charms in 18U gave us a bunch of new-to-roller faces.

“It’s always great to see the progress from their first game for the last of the tournament when they come in because the skating and control of the puck improve so vastly.”

Five champions were crowned at the Barney Family Sports Complex as the Arizona Jr. Wildcats won at 10U, AZ Outlaws Black at 12U Gold, Jr. Wildcats Silver at 12U Silver, TPH Knighthawks Green at 14U Gold and the Arizona Roughriders at 14U Silver.


The Jr. Wildcats knocked off the TPH Knighthawks 5-1 in the title game as Connor Hillegonds had three goals and Ben Van Houten netted the other two.

Ryland Scott finished with 14 saves in goal for the victory.

For the Knighthawks, Max Kramer scored and Owen Lukas turned aside 16 shots between the pipes.

During the round robin, Hillegonds led the way with 10 goals, while Carter Hardison of the Knighthawks had seven assists and 12 points. In net, Scott and Lukas each had three wins, and Lukas compiled an 0.67 GAA, a .867 save percentage and two shutouts.

12U Gold

The Outlaws ran away with the championship, downing the Jr. Wildcats Gold 9-1.

Marcus Hancock scored four goals, Shae Maunula had a goal and two assists, Robbie Anderson two goals, and Gavin Chytka and Jayden Maragh scored one each to back Gavin LaRose’s 11 saves in goal.

Gavin Molina scored the lone goal for the Jr. Wildcats and Keoni Weir played well in goal.

In round robin play, Maunula and the Roughriders’ Alec Bond each tallied six goals and seven points and Hancock registered four assists. Between the pipes, LaRose posted three wins, an 0.67 GAA, .926 save percentage and tied with Weir with one shutout apiece.

12U Silver

In a low-scoring game, the Jr. Wildcats defeated the Knighthawks 2-1 on goals from Hillegonds and Brayden Waychoff.

Scott finished with 12 stops in net for the win.

Nick Sowinski scored the only Knighthawks goal and Jack Bauer was solid in goal.

Leaders from round robin action were Natalie Yipp from the Blaze and the Bananas’ Dylan Young with six goals each, Carter Hardison and James Hardison from the Bananas with five helpers apiece, and Carter Hardison with 10 points.

Goalie-wise, Brayden Barnes from the Bananas collected three wins and Bauer had a 1.00 GAA, a .889 save percentage and one shutout.

14U Gold

A total of 15 goals were scored in the final game, with the Knighthawks

Green edging the Knighthawks Blue team 8-7.

For the victors, Brayden Willis went for two goals and four assists, Lucus Ishu added two goals, Joey Lepore and Landon Jans each had a goal and an assist, and Ethan Uster and Sam Koch scored one each.

In goal, Maddox Marshal took the win.

For the Knighthawks Blue, Ryder Cameron tallied two goals and two assists, Owen Smailys chipped in three goals, JR Zaino posted a goal and a helper, and Eli Simpson also scored. Lennon Mikkan fared well between the pipes.

During the round robin, Willis had 14 goals and 20 points and Jans, Cameron and Koch all recorded seven assists. Marshal led the way for the goalies with four wins, a 1.00 GAA, .867 save percentage and two shutouts.

14U Silver

Kellen Stulz was the overtime hero as his second goal of the game with 4:25 left in OT gave the Roughriders a 4-3 win over the Jr. Wildcats.

Stulz had tied the game with less than a minute left in regulation.

Levi Dunnigan also netted two goals for the Roughriders and Jonovan Wachter made 10 saves in goal.

Nolan Wilde registered two goals and an assist for the Jr. Wildcats, Ricky Skelly also scored, and London Simpson stopped 10 shots.

In round robin action, AJ Lange from the Juicers compiled four assists and seven points and Henry Shoun from the Jr. Wildcats scored six goals. Lange, Shoun, Stulz and Skelly all had seven points to boot. In goal, Wachter tallied three wins, a

1.33 GAA, .857 save percentage and one shutout. Simpson also posted a shutout.

Then back in Peoria, the AZ Outlaws Maroon captured the 8U title, Jr. Wildcats Gold secured the 12U championship, Yuma Blaze won the 18U Gold title and the Cereal Killer took home the 18U Silver championship.


The Outlaws Maroon downed the Outlaws Black by a 6-4 count as Kasen Pusateri posted two goals and two assists and Kellen Pusateri added two goals and a helper.

Maxwell Betti and Nash Piche added goals and Theo Brooks claimed the win in net.

For the Outlaws Black, Bentley Ritenour went for three goals plus an assist and Sibani Shabalala had a goal and an assist. Bryson Weres made 15 saves between the pipes.

During the round robin, Talon Ducharme had 15 points (all goals) and Kasen Pusateri compiled eight assists. In goal, Weres and Brooks each grabbed four wins and two shutouts, and Brooks added a 0.90 GAA with a .700 save percentage.


The Jr. Wildcats Gold took a 5-3 win over the Outlaws Black to win the championship.

Molina had two goals and two assists, Sam McCloud two goals, and Ryan Neutel one goal to back Weir’s 14 stops between the pipes.

Maragh, Max Suter and Kylar Tinsdale scored for the Outlaws and LaRose made 14 saves in goal.

In round robin play, Molina, Shoun and McCloud had eight goals each, McCloud rang up 13 points, and McCloud and Maxx Begdorian of the Jr. Wildcats Gold both had five assists. Between the pipes, Weir had four wins and a 1.80 GAA and LaRose had two shutouts with a .778 save percentage.

18U Gold

Gunnar Kershaw and Brandon Ott each posted two goals and an assist to lead the Blaze past the Outlaws 10-4.

Austin Estes added three goals, MAY 2023 RUBBER HOCKEY
Continued on

Arvada native Jackson utilizes strong season with Team Colorado AAA to earn NCAA D-III commitment to MSOE

Lexi Jackson spent five seasons with the Rocky Mountain Lady RoughRiders before joining the Team Colorado AAA program for the 202223 season.

Next year, the Arvada native will be on the move again, starting her NCAA career with the Division III Milwaukee School of Engineering program, a team that will be starting its first season in 2023-24.

“I first got into contact with MSOE when Coach Hannah (Westbrook) was talking with the coach at the school (Chad Davis),” Jackson said. “He came to a few games and reached out to me personally. From there, I decided to go visit the school and I loved it and the opportunities it had to offer, so it really wasn’t a hard decision to commit.

“This coming season will be the school’s first year with an NCAA girls hockey team, and this was something I found very interesting and something that attracted me to the school because of the opportunity to build a brand-new program. The school is really nice and provides a lot of hands-on work and internships that students can get even after their

freshman year. I think this is something that will provide me with many opportunities outside of hockey.”

Admittedly, college hockey wasn’t on Jackson’s radar until recently.

“Academics have always been a priority for me because, up until a year or two ago, I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to play in college,” said Jackson. “Even after I decided that I did, I still made sure to stay on top of my schoolwork, even on hockey trips.”

In the classroom at MSOE, Jackson said she plans to major in Mechanical Engineering.

On the ice, Jackson found her love for the game at a young age.

“I was born in Arvada, but we moved pretty often when I was younger,” explained Jackson. “After watching my dad and brother playing hockey in Aspen, I decided that I wanted to do the same. I didn’t truly find my love for the game until my family moved to Florida. We ended up back in Colorado because of my dad’s work. I grew up watching the Avalanche and they will always be my favorite team.

“I played for the Lady RoughRiders for five years where my favorite coaches were Chris Lockrem and Molli Mott because of how they

coached our teams to success and still had fun with us along the way. I moved to Team Colorado this year and I loved playing for Hannah Westbrook because she has given the girls on the team this year so many opportunities.”

Down the line, Jackson’s goals are simple.

“My short-term goal is to prepare for college,” Jackson said. “My longterm goal is to do well in school and carry lessons from hockey into the world with me.”

San Ramon native, Tri Valley, GSE grad Love commits to NCAA D-III New England College

The NA3HL’s Texas RoadRunners have announced that forward and captain Tyler Love has committed to play NCAA Division III hockey for New England College beginning with the 2023-24 season.

Love, 20, was a two-time NA3HL Top Prospects selection was fifth overall in NA3HL scoring during the 2022-23 season with 77 points (34 goals, 43 assists) in 45 games.

“Tyler will be missed here to say the least and we hope that he enjoys his new school and hockey program and shows why he was a great choice for head coach Tom Carroll,” said

RoadRunners head coach Mike Beavis.

The native of San Ramon led the RoadRunners to a 35-9-2-1 record and the first regular-season title for the program in the South Division.

Love, who came to the RoadRunners for the 2021-22 season from the Tri Valley Blue Devils and head coach Mike Holmes, instantly became a top player in the NA3HL, capturing the South Division Rookie of the Year honors.

Back home, Love also played youth hockey for the Golden State Elite Eagles. MAY 2023 RUBBER HOCKEY
Lexi Jackson spent the 2022-23 campaign with the Team Colorado AAA program and will head to play college hockey in 2023-24 at the Milwaukee School of Engineering. Photo/Be Feral Media Tyler Love finished fifth in NA3HL scoring in 2022-23 after posting 34 goals and 77 points with the Texas RoadRunners. Photo/NAHL

Video game-like numbers propel Wolf to pair of AHL awards for 2022-23 campaign

Continued from Page 1

(with a record of 42-10-2), save percentage (.932), goals-against average (2.09) and shutouts (seven).

Wolf also played more minutes (3,238), faced more shots (1,653) and made more saves (1,540) than any other goaltender in the league, backstopping the Wranglers to the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy as the AHL’s regular-season champions.

In addition to the Bastien Award, Wolf captured the Harry “Hap” Holmes Memorial Award, given to the goaltender(s) on the team that allows the fewest goals in the regular season.

Also named a First Team AHL All-Star for the second year in a row, Wolf has compiled a record of 7720-6 with a 2.24 GAA, a .927 save percentage and seven shutouts in 105 AHL appearances. The Gilroy was a seventh-round choice by the Calgary

Flames in the 2019 NHL Draft and made his NHL debut with the Flames on Apr. 12, stopping 23 shots in a 3-1 win over San Jose.

This marks the fourth consecutive year in which Wolf has won his league’s top goaltender award. He earned the Del Wilson Trophy playing for the Everett Silvertips in the Western Hockey League in both 2019-20 and 2020-21.

The AHL’s most valuable player award honors the late Les Cunningham, a member of the AHL Hall of Fame who was a five-time league All-Star and three-time Calder Cup champion with the Cleveland Barons.

The Aldege “Baz” Bastien Memorial Award, which was first presented in 1984, honors former Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Baz Bastien, who played four seasons in goal with the AHL’s Pittsburgh Hornets (1945-49) before suffering a career-

ending eye injury.

Bastien would go on to serve as head coach and general manager of the Hornets, leading them to the 1967

Calder Cup championship. During his youth hockey career, Wolf played for the Los Angeles Jr. Kings. MAY 2023
Dustin Wolf bagged two AHL awards this season. Photo/Phillip Brents

From the Trainer’s Room

Balancing your offseason

We have reached an exciting time of year.

The NCAA Frozen Four produced wonderful games. Major inline tournament circuits are in full swing. The NHL playoffs are into the conference finals, and the draft is just around the corner.

Unless you are living under a rock, every hockey fan probably knows who is expected to be drafted first overall. Memes are going viral over the skill set that this kid has. “Toe drag release like Bedard!”

Now every hockey player is out there doing forearm workouts and shooting hundreds of pucks to try to recreate his shot. But what is the consequence of this if left unchecked?

Muscular imbalance is the answer.

I was fortunate enough to work many great players while working for professional teams. One such player was Paul Kariya. I was always amazed when he would grab a stick of the opposite hand (he was a lefty and grabbed a righty). He would spend several minutes every practice doing stickhandling drills with the non-dominant hand until he could do them just as well as his dominant side.

Why? Balance.

If we spend hours on the forehand shooting slap shots, snap shots, and wrist shots without just as many backhands for balance will create a muscular imbalance that can leave a player in a twisted posture of the upper body to the forehand side. A common side effect of this can be low back pain and/or a lateral tilt of the spine towards the bottom had side of the body and a rotation of the spine towards the top hand side of the


Immediately following the end of the season is a great time to begin the process of correcting this imbalance. For the younger athletes, hide the hockey bag and go play another sport. This does not mean switch to roller hockey from ice or vice versa. Go play a totally different sport for a while to develop athleticism and balance.

For those players old enough to train in the gym, we use many unilateral exercises. This means using the extremities in isolation instead of together. An example of this is the dumbbell bench press instead of the barbell bench press. Or think of the single-legged squat. We use these exercises so that the non-dominant and dominant limbs must carry the same load and do the same amount of work. The core is also trained with a series of belly press exercises and medicine ball throws with focus on the mechanics of the “backhand” side to restore balance.

bit hole of stick technology… Train properly to add strength and stability. Balance the workload between the dominant and non-dominant sides of the body. Train the core for rotary strength to both the forehand and backhand.

A stronger and faster shot is possible without doing so many wrist curls and extensions that you get the forearms of Popeye (if you don’t know who this is, look him up and eat your spinach)!!

It’s all in the hips

I once heard a world-famous sports coach tell his pupil, “It’s all in the hips.”

Mike Hannegan

We also use corrective and rehabilitative exercises in the athletic training room to treat any dysfunctions that might be found so that the athlete has the proper foundation to train in the gym.

There is a myriad of ways coaches will tell you how to improve your shot. Technique and accuracy are not we are addressing here today. And don’t get me going down the rab-

Of course, this was fictional golf legend Chubbs Peterson during the movie “Happy Gilmore” in 1996.

Although a comedy about golf, these are wise words when it comes to hockey skating performance.

The hockey player’s hips are their engine, but sometimes can also be their detrimental issue. An understanding of proper hip mobility can go a long way in enhancing performance and possibly preventing injury.

Many people confuse flexibility with mobility. Flexibility is the ability of a muscle or muscles to lengthen passively through a range of motion. Mobility is the ability of a joint to move through desired a range of motion.

The hip joint is a ball and socket

joint that allows for joint movement in all three planes of motion. Although flexibility is a part of joint mobility, our goal is to train the hockey player to enhance active mobility, which is the ability of the athlete to control the joint through a range of motion.

Working with the hockey player, we understand the importance of mobility/range of motion for the hip, as deficits can be risk factors for pathologies such as femoroacetabular impingement (FAI), groin pulls, and core muscle injury.

Research shows that most hockey players have some degree of bony impingement in the hip joint. Program design must take great care not to force increases in range of motion that may not be realistic due to anatomical restrictions. Diagnostic imaging may be required if an injury or dysfunction is reported. We can then instruct in manual or self-joint mobilization exercises.

Please note that those athletes with a hyper mobile hip (excessive range of motion) should be training with hip stability exercises to control MAY 2023 RUBBER HOCKEY
Page 10
Continued on MAY 2023 RUBBER HOCKEY

Remember to note that it’s all in the hips

Continued from Page 8

their range of motion. Muscle groups trained should include the adductors, hamstrings, hip flexors, and low back.

When programming mobility circuits, take the following factors into consideration: time constraints, time of season, goal of the current training, and compliance to the program.

Strengthening the muscles of the groin and hip flexors is usually a large focus during the off-season to help prevent the risk of injury for our hockey athletes. Finding ways to address this issue during the season can be much more difficult. Time should be made daily for hip joint mobility exercises. The suggested routine should include 2-3 exercises and last 5-7 minutes based on the additional workload of ice time and/or gym workout for that day.

Find a skilled professional such as a certified athletic trainer to evaluate the hip joint of the athlete prior to beginning any program to ensure the appropriateness of the application.

Rotational power, how it applies to hockey

The ability to produce rotational power is critical in nearly all sports, including ice hockey.

You need rotational power to shoot, take faceoffs, change direction, and manage body contact of all types. There are many modalities that can be used to train “core” strength such as cables and bands.

One of my favorite methods is using rotational medicine ball throws in a series of progressions. Be sure the ball is the appropriate weight and the wall is sturdy enough to handle the contact. I still encourage younger athletes to get out and play other sports such as baseball, golf, and racquet sports to work to enhance these same qualities and gain a healthier athleticism. These throws are to be of maximum effort by physically mature athletes.

Exercises with bands such as the Pallof press and/or holds are a great way to activate the core for rotational

training. We then move into single arm cable pulls and pushes. The next step would be to move into rotational throws with your feet stationary. When you keep your feet stationary you are left with limited hip rotation. The primary power generation is initiated from the upper body and core musculature. A split stance can also be used to increase the difficulty. This movement sacrifices stability to place a greater demand on “core” musculature. The primary focus of this movement is the deceleration/acceleration component, and having the ability to change direction quickly while unstable.

The second level of progression has a lateral step towards the wall as you perform the throw. Initiate the movement with your lower body and step towards the wall, which allows you to open your hips toward the target. By doing so, it require the athlete to coordinate the lower body and upper body to produce higher levels of power. This coordination is very similar to hockey movements such as the slap shot, for example.

The third level of progression begins with a lateral hop away from the wall before stepping back towards the wall to perform the throw. The goal here is to plant the back leg to decelerate and explode off that leg to produce power and drive towards the wall. Coordination and technique are very important to reduce the risk of injury. The intensity is high, so the number of repetitions should be kept low. Emphasize quality over quantity and include plenty of rest.

Within most of these drills, you can adjust several variables based on different goals. Examples include your stance, distance of hops, speed of hops, and distance from wall. Have fun and be creative. Talk with your local athletic trainer/strength coach about ideas for set and rep schemes suitable for you.

Mike Hannegan is an athletic trainer and strength coach with 10 years of 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. He can be reached at MAY 2023 RUBBER HOCKEY

IHAAZ roller stars readying for May State Finals

Continued from Page 5

Matthew Boelts two goals and Cole Genhart one. Luke Freeman tacked on a pair of assists and Jackson Gebhart turned aside eight shots in goal. For the Outlaws, Jackson McCutcheon scored two goals, Daniel Madia and Sam Borzone one each, and Keegan Tinsdale finished with 16 saves between the pipes.

Round robin action saw Eli Shulman of the Serial Grillers post 10 goals and 13 points, while the Peoria Desert Scorpions’ Kade Pareja tally six assists. For the goalies, Tinsdale had three wins and the Yetis’ Dallin McShane recorded a 2.00 GAA and a .882 save percentage.

18U Silver

The Cereal Killers rallied from a 4-2 deficit late in regulation to beat the Black Magic 5-4 in overtime as Brody Payne won it with 11:20 to go in OT.

Payne also notched an assist for a multi-point game, Austin McPherson had a goal and an assist, and Nick Wolf, Caden Shafer and Cooper O’Mahoney all scored to back Connor Blondel’s 16-save effort in goal. Ashton Sherstobitoff had a goal and an assist for the Black Magic and Braden Hordichuk, Gavin Fine and Cade Savoini all scored one

each. Everett Payie finished with 12 saves between the pipes. During round robin play, Payne had six assists and nine points, while the Cereal Killers’ Brady Ishu posted five goals. Blondel was the top netminder with three wins, a 1.50 GAA, .920 save percentage and one shutout.

Up next is IHAAZ State Finals, held May 6-7 and then May 20-21, at The Wheelhouse in Prescott


“Each season, we attempt to pick a weekend for State Finals that we hope won’t fall on one of the 3-4 ice hockey tryout weekends that get used each summer,” Boyarsky said. “When we originally set our State Finals dates for 2023, we did so blindly as these tryout dates are never announced until the tail end of the previous ice hockey season. The result of the dates for this year’s tryouts have forced us to split our weekends for State Finals into two, or risk multiple teams not being able to attend, preventing us from even holding some age groups.

“The easiest path was to hold our younger divisions (8U, 10U, 12U) earlier in May when the older age group ice tryouts are, and run our older divisions (14U and 18U) on the original dates as they are during the younger division ice hockey tryouts.” MAY 2023 RUBBER HOCKEY

Tigers grad French makes last junior season count, tabbed 2023 NA3HL Goaltender of Year

The NA3HL has announced that Helena Bighorns netminder Keaton French has been named the True Hockey Goaltender of the Year for the 2022-23 season.

French, 21, began the season with the Minnesota Loons and was traded to Helena in late January.

The Alaska native ended up with a 13-13-0 record in 27 games played during the regular season, which included a 2.62 goals-against average and a .919 save percentage with five shutouts.

While with the Bighorns, French was lights-out with a 7-1 record during the regular season, a 1.03 goals-against average and .962 save

percentage and four shutouts.

French was also tabbed the NA3HL Goaltender of the Month for February, putting together a 4-1 record and turning away 142 of the 146 shots he faced over the course of five games.

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

As the season went on, French led the Bighorns to the Frontier Division title and a spot in the Fraser Cup Championship where he was named to the All-Tournament Team.

During his youth hockey days, French spent three seasons with the Colorado Springs Tigers AAA program. MAY 2023 RUBBER HOCKEY
Keaton French was the answer between the pipes this season for the Helena Bighorns. Photo/NAHL

Team Colorado AAA star Sawyer heading to NCAA D-III Albertus Magnus

Aliyah Sawyer has played hockey at a high level her whole life in Colorado.

Her skill set had NCAA coaches taking notice and next season, the Colorado Springs native and Team Colorado AAA standout will head to New Haven, Conn., to help start the first-ever women’s hockey program at Albertus Magnus College.

“Hannah (Westbrook), the 19U AAA coach for Team Colorado, reached out to Albertus for me and after talking to Hannah, Coach (Stephen) Novodor emailed me offering me a spot to come play for him,” said Sawyer. “I really liked the coaching style and how he approaches the game of hockey. I was excited to a part of the inaugural team for Albertus and to be able to start new traditions with the team.”

Sawyer said she will be majoring in Secondary Education with a focus in Math in the classroom.

“Albertus has a good education program that I am looking forward to getting involved in,” Sawyer said. “I have always taken my education very seriously and have taken both hon-

ors and aAP classes throughout high school. I take a lot of pride in getting good grades and being academically focused throughout my high school experience as a student-athlete.”

Back home, Sawyer was hooked on the game of hockey at a young age.

“I was introduced to hockey by attending Colorado College Tiger games since I was a newborn,” said Sawyer. “My older brother started playing hockey at the age of four and I followed suit and started my career at the age of four with the Jr. Tigers program. I have grown up watching the NHL with my family and have gone to multiple Avs games with my family cheering on my hometown team making me want to play at the highest level I can play.”

In addition to the Jr. Tigers and Team Colorado AAA, Sawyer also played for the Colorado Rampage and Pine Creek High School growing up.

“My two coaches from Pine Creek, Ed Saxer and Hal Jordan, coached me all four years of high school and have built me into the player I am,” said Sawyer. “They have taught me discipline, both on and off the ice, and have made me a tough player

Aliyah Sawyer will be part of the first-ever NCAA hockey program at Albertus Magnus College this coming fall. Photo/Be Feral Media

by teaching me that when I make a mistake how to own up to it and fix it. Hannah Westbrook and Taylor Gross coached me at TC and were both instrumental in giving me the opportunity to play at the collegiate level. They were very encouraging about my ability to play at that level and helped me reach out to coaches and have me advise on how to make that dream a reality.”

Down the road, Sawyer has aspirations to reach her goals in hockey and academically.

“I am excited to play hockey at the collegiate level and to be a leader, on and off the ice,” sawyer said. “I have been accepted into the honors program at Albertus and want to prove that I can be both a great athlete and a great student. After college, I want to continue being a part of the game of hockey by coaching with the hope of impacting the young girls like my coaches have impacted me.

“As an educator, I hope to be able to encourage my students to love to learn.” MAY 2023

San Ramon native, Tri-Valley, GSE alum Ivanov chosen 2023 NA3HL Rookie of Year

The NA3HL has announced that Texas RoadRunners forward Matvey Ivanov has been named the NA3HL Rookie of the Year for the 2022-23 season.

Ivanov, a 19-year-old San Ramon native, finished second in NA3HL scoring during the 2022-23 regular season, putting up 85 points (39 goals, 46 assists). His 39 goals tied for second overall in the NA3HL as did his 12 power-play goals.

He was named the South Division Star of the Week on Feb. 28 and was runner-up for Forward of the Month in February.

In January, Ivanov signed an NAHL tender with the Odessa Jackalopes.

“I had been speaking with members of the Odessa scouting staff that were in attendance of the NA3HL Showcase about Matvey and they made the decision along with the Jackalopes head coach to take him off the table as several NAHL teams were gaining interest and offering to affiliate him at the event,” said RoadRunners head coach Mike Beavis. “

Back home, Ivanov skated for the Tri-Valley Blue Devils, Tri-Valley Bulls, and Golden State Elite Eagles. MAY 2023 RUBBER HOCKEY
Matvey Ivanov lit up the scoresheets this season for the Texas RoadRunners. Photo/NAHL

Minnesota junior hockey career keeping Parker native Whitmore in state for NCAA Division III career with Hamline commitment

This season, Jack Whitmore played for the NAHL’s St. Cloud Norsemen and NA3HL’s Alexandria Blizzard, two junior hockey teams in Minnesota.

For the 2023-24 season, the Parker native will be back in Minnesota after recently committing to play NCAA Division III hockey for Hamline University, a MIAC school in St. Paul, Minn.

Whitmore arrived in Alexandria in January and compiled 16 points (six goals and 10 assists) in just 13 games. In the Fraser Cup Playoffs, he had eight points (four goals, four assists).

“This opportunity arose through just playing junior hockey in Minnesota and knowing multiple kids who went on to play there my rookie year,” Whitmore said. “Being able to visit towards the end of this season and get a feel for the campus and

atmosphere around the university, I knew shortly after my visit that it is where I wanted to be next season.

“The atmosphere I felt on campus as well as with some of the people that I met on my visit heavily persuaded me. It is a good school and has a good hockey program, and is where I felt I would fit in best.”

In the classroom, Whitmore will be pursuing a Business degree.

Prior to playing for Alexandria, Whitmore made his junior hockey debut in the NAHL during the 202021 season with the New Mexico Ice Wolves, recording six points (three goals, three assists) in 30 games played.

During the 2021-22 season, he played in six games for the Ice Wolves, recording two assists, and 27 games for the Norsemen, going for

five goals and two assists for seven points.

He began the 2022-23 season with St. Cloud, appearing in five games.

“I feel like just playing junior hockey in Minnesota helped me get in front of the right people for this commitment,” said Whitmore. “Hockey is king in Minnesota, and there are always eyes on you no matter where you are playing. I’m glad I was able to be seen and have an opportunity at such a good school.

“In terms of academics, I’m excited to get back into a classroom setting whereas during junior hockey it was a few online courses here and there. I am excited to do well in school as well as get on the ice and be an impact player as well. I’m just excited to play another season of hockey and make as much out of it as I possibly can.”

Back home, Whitmore played for the Arapahoe Warriors, Krivo School of Hockey Elite and the Colorado Thunderbirds.

Former Jr. Ducks standout, Huntington Beach native Green commits to NCAA D-III St. Olaf

The NAHL’s El Paso Rhinos have announced that forward Tyler Green has committed to play NCAA Division III hockey next season for St. Olaf College.

Green, 20, is a Huntington Beach native who came to the Rhinos in December in a trade with the Austin Bruins.

In 35 games for El Paso, Green tallied seven goals and six assists for a total of 13 points. Overall, Green played in 48 games and had 15 points in his lone NAHL season.

St. Olaf is located in Northfield, Minn.

During his youth hockey days, Green played for the Anaheim Jr. Ducks and also had a stint with Edison High School. MAY 2023 RUBBER HOCKEY
Jack Whitmore averaged better than a point per game with the Alexandria Blizzard during the 2022-23 NA3HL season. Photo/NAHL Tyler Green used his lone NAHL season in 2022-23 to gain an NCAA commitment to St. Olaf College. Photo/NAHL

Sign up for summer tournaments at

Aspen product Dolan uses strong USPHL season to earn NCAA commitment to D-III Anna Maria

Larkin Dolan made the rounds in junior hockey, eventually finding hs fit this past season with the USPHL’s Motor City Gamblers.

Next year, the Aspen product and talented goaltender will head to college hockey after recently committing to NCAA Division III Anna Maria College in Paxton, Mass.

“I knew a few guys that had committed there and they had a lot of good things to say, so I sent an email asking if they needed goalies for next season,” Dolan said. “It seemed like the hockey program has grown a lot in the last few years and talking to the coach (David McCauley), I realized it could be a great place to grow. Academics are definitely a priority. It’s part of the dream of playing college hockey, to leave with a degree. I think I’ll go with a Business major, but I’d love to maybe explore something else if the opportunity is there.”

This past season, Dolan went 112-0 with a 2.53 GAA, a .919 save percentage and two shutouts.

“I was playing a lot in Motor City and was able to build consistency,” said Dolan. “We were a younger team, so I learned how to lead better.”

Before Motor City, Dolan saw previous time in USPHL circles with the Lake Tahoe Lakers and Charleston Colonials. He also played for the NA3HL’s Missoula Jr. Bruins and the EHL’s New York Applecore.

Back home, Dolan played for the Aspen Leafs, Vail Junior Hockey, Colorado Thunderbirds and Rocky Mountain RoughRiders.

“I grew up in Aspen and there was a really strong youth program there,” Dolan said. “A few of my friends started playing pretty young and by the time I was seven, I was obsessed and finally started in the Mite program in Aspen. The Avalanche defi-

Continued on Page 17 MAY 2023 RUBBER HOCKEY!
Larkin Dolan made a name for himself in 2022-23 playing for the USPHL’s Motor City Gamblers. Photo provided by Larkin Dolan

Denver’s Mahoney adds to Team Colorado AAA commitments, off to Grand Canyon University


Lauren Mahoney has only been playing hockey less than 10 years, but the Denver native and Team Colorado AAA standout has improved her game to the point where it is college-ready.

Next season, Mahoney will head to Arizona to skate for Grand Canyon University.

“(Team Colorado AAA 19U coach) Hannah Westbrook helped me reach out to Natalie Rossi, the (now former) head coach of the GCU women’s hockey team and after chatting with her, I was offered a spot to play for the team,” Mahoney said. “Coach Rossi is also the state girls hockey representative for the Arizona Amateur Hockey Association. This is one of the many reasons I am very excited to be coached by her and play for her team.

“I was attracted to the school’s hockey program because of the competitive level of play and the opportunity to develop my skills as a player. In terms of academics, GCU has a strong reputation for excellence and offers a wide range of programs that align with my interests and career goals. I also appreciate the emphasis on faith and values, which align with my personal beliefs. Academics have definitely been a priority for me throughout high school.

“I believe that doing well in school is just as important as playing well on the ice.”

Away from the rink at GCU, Mahoney plans on majoring in Biology with an emphasis in Pre-Physician


Back home, Mahoney noted how her love for the game was instant.

“I was first introduced to hockey from my older brother Jon, and I started playing when I was around 10,” said Mahoney. “The Avs definitely influenced my hockey career as I further started playing, I had the opportunity to teach kids how to play hockey and skate through Avs programs as well as able to participate in Girls Hockey Night at Avs games. All of those experiences really helped me grow as a person and love hockey and the community even more.”

Growing up, Mahoney started playing hockey for the Colorado Select from 2015-20, the Colorado 14ers from 2021-23 and Team Colorado AAA’s tournament team this season. She also played for the Black Widows from 2020-23.

“A coach that has really helped me grow as a player on and off the ice is Hannah Westbrook,” said Mahoney. “She has coached and supported me through all of the teams I have played on over the past eight years and I am very thankful for such an admirable coach.”

Going forward, Mahoney has both short-term and long-term goals in both hockey and off the ice.

“In the short term, I would like to focus on school, staying motivated, and developing as a player and teammate,” said Mahoney. “In the long term, I wish to earn my degree at GCU and move on to PA school. For hockey, I wish to make a positive impact on GCU’s team make memories with my teammates and have fun.”

season vaults Colorado youth hockey grad Dolan to NCAA game

Continued from Page 16 nitely played a role. Just having an NHL team so close fueled the passion for the whole youth hockey community here.

“Mark Sample is my goalie coach

and definitely the most positive influence for me. I started working with him at 11 years old and he whipped me into shape and made sure I had the tools to play hockey for as long as possible.”

Looking ahead, Dolan has a list of

reachable goals, on and off the ice.

“The only short-term goal on my mind right now is to grow as much as possible durning the next year,” said Dolan. “I’m ready to go back to basics and learn a lot and just work and compete. A long-term goal would

be to continue with the game whether I’m able to play after school or not, I’d like to stay in it. I’m very open to everything right now and want to experience and grow as much as I can over the next four years and see where it takes me.” MAY 2023 RUBBER HOCKEY
Lauren Mahoney grew up developing her game in the Colorado girls hockey ranks with the Colorado Select and Colorado 14ers before landing with the Team Colorado AAA program. Photo/Be Feral Media

Behind the Bench: Work hard and smart, get results

Years ago, I was helping a young athlete with an off-ice workout program.

Part of the training was running a course we did at Notre Dame called the Gauntlet. It’s brutal.

Run 1 mile in under 6 minutes.

3-minute break

Run ½ mile in under 3 minutes.

1:30 break

Run ¼ mile in under 1:15. Done.

It’s tough.

If you’re a good runner, you can get it done, but if you’re not, that quarter-mile will become your torture chamber and demise.

The athlete I was training said he was willing to put in the work, and I believed him. So I added this special little treat to his workout once a week. Just to get a feel for his conditioning compared to Division I athletes.

His first-session results:

1-mile time: 11:30. Fail

½ mile time: 6:15. Fail

¼ mile time 3:00. Fail

But it was his first time. That was expected. He kept working.

Eventually, with time and effort, he did REALLY well. He improved his times.

1-mile time under 9:00

½ mile time under 4:00

¼ mile time under 2:00

MAJOR improvements. I was proud of him. He worked really hard and saw results. Exactly what we are all after.

I had never met this player in person or seen him physically, just phone calls. Since he was actually doing the work, I got interested. I looked him up online. He was fit, slender, and athletic.

How on earth is this kid only running a nine-minute mile? He is 16 years old. He should be crushing this. I need to dig in.

I give him a call. “Hey, next time you run, send me a video. I want to see what’s up with your stride.”

I get the video, and my mouth drops.

The kid is running… Backward.

What? Why? How? Who, would do that?

A phone call is made.

Me: Hey you know you’re running backward right?

The kid: Huh?

Me: Yeah, buddy, next time you run, turn around. Run with your face going toward your direction. See how that works out for you.

The kid: OK… sounds weird, but I will try it.

His times:

1 mile: Under 6

½ mile: Under 3

¼ mile: Under 1:15

All because he didn’t know the proper way to do it.

Crazy story, right? Who would do such a stupid thing?

I see it every day at the rink.

The fastest mile forward is about 3:40. Almost 2:00 faster. Crazy. Moral of the story: work smarter, not harder.

Over the years, I have come to realize the value of mentorship (coaching) is worth almost any price of admission if the mentor is good enough. They should be able to share detailed tactics, why these tactics will work, and give multiple examples of them working. They need to sell you on their process and it should have worked for other people. If that hasn’t occurred, run away.

this stuff so I thought it must be legit. Plus, I was learning in Canada, so it is definitely good. I am from Florida so anything and anyone from Canada was a hockey genius to a 13-year-old me.

After I learned this stuff, I had a model. Now, time to test that model.

I went back and watched Bobby Orr, Brian Leetch, Gordie Howe, Paul Coffey, Sergei Fedorov, and every great player in between.

What I learned was almost all those guys did similar (not exact) things Jari was teaching. There was a bell curve of normal movement that most of those top guys mirrored. Voila!

Mirror the top guys I should be able to be a top guy. So that is what I did.

A player wants to become a better skater but continues practicing using bad skater habits.

A player wants to become better at stickhandling but doesn’t use proper technique.

A player wants to become better at passing but continues to pass improperly.

And so on…

You can get better at running a mile backward. The best can do it in about 5:30.

Pretty fast.

Or you can look around. Gain knowledge and do it in the most efficient way.

There are no certifications for teaching hockey. Anyone can hang up a shingle and say, “Learn from me.” Be sure you’re learning the right things the right way.

How do you tell?

Here is what I did.

When I finally wised up, I was fortunate to learn from a guy named Jari Byrski (He is the guy in the middle of the picture). At the camps with me were Jason Spezza, Brett Burns (left in the picture, Nate Kallen at right), Steven Stamkos, and a ton of STILL PLAYING! (insane) NHL superstars.

We learned EXACTLY how to skate, stickhandle, move, and (sort of) shoot. I had the benefit of watching (at the time) NHL players learn

That is what I now teach. The amalgamation of years of study on the top guys. The best part is that model can change and mold if I get new information. Like a late-night conversation with a friend who just attended a camp while breaking into the NHL that was solely focused on quick starts. He blew my mind. Model updated…

The point is to verify the knowledge you are learning and then act.

Gain the knowledge and mentorship from someone who ACTUALLY KNOWS what they are doing, verify what they are telling you by watching the best in the world, and make sure they are doing that.

If you are being told to do one thing but Connor McDavid does it differently, you might want to ask questions.

Then you can be sure you’re doing and practicing the right things.

Run your mile forward from the start. Don’t run backward and try to improve.

You’re going to get better, but you will surely never beat the best forward runner!

Work hard and smart. Not just hard.

Noah Babin played NCAA Division I hockey at the University of Notre Dame and currently coaches with the San Diego Jr. Gulls youth hockey program. MAY 2023 RUBBER HOCKEY
From left, Brent Burns, Jari Byrski, and Nate Kallen. Photo provided by Noah Babin MAY 2023 RUBBER HOCKEY MAY 2023 RUBBER HOCKEY

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook

Articles inside

Behind the Bench: Work hard and smart, get results

pages 18-19

season vaults Colorado youth hockey grad Dolan to NCAA game

page 17

Denver’s Mahoney adds to Team Colorado AAA commitments, off to Grand Canyon University

page 17

Aspen product Dolan uses strong USPHL season to earn NCAA commitment to D-III Anna Maria

page 16

Former Jr. Ducks standout, Huntington Beach native Green commits to NCAA D-III St. Olaf

page 15

Minnesota junior hockey career keeping Parker native Whitmore in state for NCAA Division III career with Hamline commitment

page 15

San Ramon native, Tri-Valley, GSE alum Ivanov chosen 2023 NA3HL Rookie of Year

page 14

Team Colorado AAA star Sawyer heading to NCAA D-III Albertus Magnus

page 13

Tigers grad French makes last junior season count, tabbed 2023 NA3HL Goaltender of Year

page 12

IHAAZ roller stars readying for May State Finals

page 11

Remember to note that it’s all in the hips

page 10

From the Trainer’s Room

page 8

Video game-like numbers propel Wolf to pair of AHL awards for 2022-23 campaign

page 7

San Ramon native, Tri Valley, GSE grad Love commits to NCAA D-III New England College

page 6

Arvada native Jackson utilizes strong season with Team Colorado AAA to earn NCAA D-III commitment to MSOE

page 6

Pair of April IHAAZ events prepping teams for 2023 State Finals

page 5

Words from the publisher...

page 4

Wheat Ridge native Boettiger earns spot between pipes with USA Hockey’s NTDP

page 3

Jr. Sharks alum Celebrini bags trifecta of USHL awards for 2022-23 season

page 3
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.