Rubber Hockey - September 2023

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Colorado native Mastay to wear ‘C’ for USPHL’s Jets

As a rookie in 2021-22, Devon Mastay and the Metro Jets went to the USPHL national championship game.

Two years later, Mastay is a veteran defenseman with the Jets and will wear the ‘C’ for the team after recently being named captain for the Detroit-area club.

“I want to thank God and the coaching staff for the opportunity and honor to be named captain,” said Mastay, a Westminster native. “It is a blessing that I get to be in a leadership position for such a prestigious program. When it comes to playing at Metro, there is always a high standard. The coaching staff prepares us for all situations so all we have to do is rely on our training.”

When Mastay was a rookie, his older brother Cody, now starting his sophomore season at NCAA Division III Arcadia University, served as Metro’s captain, so lead-

See MASTAY on 5

FUTURE DECIDED: Fairfield native Ben Kevan recently committed to continue his hockey and academic career at NCAA Division I Arizona State University. Read more on page 3. Photo/Czech Hockey

Fifteen teams crowned champions at Inland Empire Sun and Surf Labor Day Tournament

The Inland Empire Tournament Series kicked off the 2023-24 season Sept. 1-4 with 70 teams competing at the Sun and Surf Labor Day Tournament at Ontario Center Ice.

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

8U A

Champion: Goldrush A1

Runner-up: Anaheim Jr. Ducks

The Goldrush team brought home the banner with a 4-1 win over the Jr. Ducks.

8U B East Champion: Bakersfield Jr. Condors Runner-up: Anaheim Jr. Ducks

This game was all offense as the Condors won it all with a 13-9 win over the Jr. Ducks in the title game.

8U B North Champion: Empire Hockey Club

See IE on 12


Fairfield native, Jr. Kings, Golden State Elite alum Kevan makes commitment to NCAA Division I Arizona State

Ben Kevan, a 2023 USHL Phase I draft pick of the Des Moines Buccaneers, has committed to play NCAA Division I hockey at Arizona State University.

The Sun Devils are an independent but will be joining the NCHC starting with the 2024-25 season.

Kevan is a 2007-born forward and native of Fairfield.

Last season with the Los Angeles Jr. Kings’ 15U AAA team, Kevan tallied 58 goals and 105 points over 71 games.

In international play, Kevan represented the United States at the Five Nations Tournament this past summer

Growing up, Kevan also skated for the Golden State Elite Eagles.

Ben Kevan represented the United States this past summer at the Five Nations Tournament. SEPTEMBER 2023 RUBBER HOCKEY To register for these TCS Hockey tournaments, visit!
Photo/Czech Hockey

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Words from the publisher...

Hockey season is here!

It’s like Christmas morning, right?

Is it just me, or did this summer seem longer than normal?

Last year’s hockey season seems like an eternity ago.

I digress.

The new season has started and from everything I have seen and been sent by associations, parents and coaches, the season is off to a great start.

Labor Day Weekend always seems to be the unofficial start of the season.

While many families use that weekend to get one last getaway before the school year begins, hockey families are already at the rink, cheering on their kids, win, lose or draw.

When I see photos from youth hockey tournaments, there is always one thing that stands out more than others. It’s not the tourna-

ment championship team pictures, though those are fun, but it’s finding game photos with kids smiling from ear to ear.

That’s what it’s all about, you know?

Sure, kids may remember winning games or tournaments, but it’s those lifelong bonds and passion for the game they are developing, whether they realize it or not.

I’m looking forward to seeing many more smiles over the next 6-7 months. In addition, junior hockey

has started in some parts of the country, college hockey is approaching, and the pro game is on the horizon.

And we’ll be here for it all. We can’t wait!

Just remember to keep smiling, kids.

As always, 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! SEPTEMBER 2023 RUBBER HOCKEY


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ership obviously runs in the family. “My leadership style is show don’t tell,” said Mastay. “I show up every day and hold myself to a high standard and try to make everyone around me better. I’ve learned a lot from my past captains. Josh German has an intensity and compete level that is infectious. Cody taught me how to lead with actions. It never mattered what the situation was. He was ready and willing to do whatever it takes to win.”

Over his two seasons with the Jets, Mastay has tallied seven goals and 24 assists for 31 points in 78 regularseason games. He has added three goals and seven points in 14 postseason games.

In 2021-22, Mastay earned a call-

up to the NCDC’s Twin City Thunder, picking up an assist in one game.

Mastay said he is definitely looking to add to those totals this season.

“My expectation for the team is to win our last game,” said Mastay. “Only one team does it every year and there is no team in hockey that has more to play for this season.”

Back in April, Jets teammate Braydin Lewis lost his courageous battle with cancer. The team is dedicating this season to Lewis.

“This year means a lot more than any other,” Mastay said. “We are playing for Braydin Lewis. Being side by side with him throughout his battle, he is my inspiration. There is nothing I want more than to get a big fat ring with his name on it.”

Growing up in Colorado, Mastay played for the Hyland Hills Jaguars, Boulder Bison, Colorado Evolution, and Colorado Springs Tigers. SEPTEMBER 2023 RUBBER HOCKEY
Westminster’s Devon Mastay will serve as captain this season for the USPHL powerhouse Metro Jets. Photo/G-Force Photography SEPTEMBER 2023 RUBBER HOCKEY FOR MORE INFORMATION: USPHL.COM USPHLNCDC.COM USPHLPREMIER.COM USPHLELITE.COM SEPTEMBER 2023 RUBBER HOCKEY

From the Trainer’s Room

Let’s go camping

No, I don’t mean it’s time for a trip out into the woods!

I’m talking about the upcoming training camps that will officially start the new hockey season. These final weeks of the summer will also bring about a batch of tournaments.

Are you prepared to perform at your best?

The offseason for a hockey player is getting shorter and shorter every year. As your time on the ice increases leading into the season, you need to be aware of your limitations. We have had all summer to train and get in good condition, but we can also run the risk of overtraining.

One key to being healthy on the first day of camp is deloading in the week prior. I’m not saying do not work out or skate, but you should reduce your overall workload to let the body recover. There may be some nagging injuries and soreness from the amount of work you have put into your offseason program.

Now is the time to go back to the basics of corrective exercise to ensure you don’t enter your first tournament or training camp already feeling less than 100 percent.

To maintain strength, athletes need a minimum dose of one strength training session per week. As ice time increases and games are added to the schedule, recovery becomes a critical factor to maintain optimum performance levels. There are many methods for recovery

that have been discussed in previous articles. Some modalities include foam rolls, percussion guns, pneumatic compression boots, and soft tissue massage, just to name a few. Seek out medical professionals such as athletic trainers who can help instruct you in these techniques.

Being intentional with self-care can go a long way in injury prevention.

Don’t let the added stress of an upcoming season cause you to overdo your training now. Tournaments are fun, but with the possibility of multiple games a day, they can be exhausting. Prevent injury and increase your performance by taking a step back to focus on feeling healthy prior to that first drop of the puck. Use multiple recovery methods to take care of the body now before it’s too late.

There is a lot of hockey yet to be played this upcoming season and it would be a shame to miss any of it.

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 mike@

Groin injuries in hockey

Groin strains are common injuries in the game of ice hockey.

Previous reports in the NHL have shown than up to 10 percent of all injuries sustained have been due to strains of the groin or adductor muscle group. In today’s NHL, it is a little tougher to note since these injuries are now classified as “lower body” and not specific.

The main groin muscles include the adductor longus, magnus and brevis and the gracilis. Their primary function is to bring the leg back towards the middle of the body or adduct the hip. Groin injuries can be debilitating as the muscle group is elongated on the skating stride and contracted on the recovery phase, so it is constantly being stressed.

Strains of this nature can cause an athlete to miss significant time off the ice. When a strain of a muscle occurs, the force placed on the muscle is too great and causes the fibers to tear. The severity can differ from one injury to another and usually affects either the muscle belly, near the middle of the inside of the thigh or the origin up near the pubic bone where the muscle turns into a tendon and attaches to the bone.

Two noted factors that pre-dispose an athlete to a groin injury include decreased flexibility of the groin, hip flexor and glutes and weakness of the adductors/groin muscles.

When a groin injury occurs, it is important not to play through it and to seek medical advice from a qualified physician, athletic trainer or physical therapist who works with athletes with these types of injuries. If a strain affects

your stride, speed, or power on the ice, it will typically get worse if you continue to play with the injury.

Normal treatment will include rest, flexibility exercises of the adductors, glutes and hip flexors which should all be painfree and strengthening of the adductors and hip flexors as they aid in the recovery phase of skating. A slow, gradual return to skating followed by return to practice is also a key to the recovery before returning to games.

Once the pain has subsided, it is still important to maintain the flexibility and strength in your hips to help prevent future injuries.

Chris Phillips is an athletic trainer and strength and conditioning specialist with over 20 years’ experience in professional sports. Chris has worked in the NHL with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and Washington Capitals and was also the head athletic trainer for the 2002 USA Hockey Men’s National Team. He is the founder of Compete Sports Performance and Rehab in Southern California. Chris can be reached at

Heat illness

With the new fall sports season just around the corner, we want to discuss the important topic of heat illness, or Exertional Heat Illnesses (EHIs).

EHIs can be a very serious medical emergency that can cause serious damage to your body and even lead to death. The risk of EHIs are ever present during SEPTEMBER 2023 RUBBER HOCKEY
See COMPETE on 10
Mike Hannegan Chris Phillips SEPTEMBER 2023 RUBBER HOCKEY


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exercise in the heat but can also occur in “normal” environmental conditions. It is important to understand how EHIs occur and how to spot the signs and symptoms of EHIs in order to prevent emergency medical conditions and/ or death.

There are five classifications of EHIs according to the National Athletic Training Associations (NATA) position statement:

— Exercise-Associated Muscle Cramps (EAMCs) – they are sudden or sometimes progressively and noticeably evolving, involuntary, painful contractions of skeletal muscle during or after exercise. The signs and symptoms of mild EAMCs are tics, twinges, stiffness, tremors, or contracture, and may or may not be painful. Although causes are not fully confirmed, proposed factors and conditions include dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, altered neuromuscular control, fatigue, or any combination of these factors.

— Heat Syncope – orthostatic dizziness (fainting). Often occurs in unfit or heat-unacclimatized persons who stand for a long period of time in heat or during sudden changes in posture, especially when wearing a uniform or insulated clothing that encourages and eventually leads to maximal skin vasodilation (more blood near the skin). The factors that can lead to heat syncope are dehydration, venous (vein) pooling of blood, reduced cardiac filling, or low blood pressure with resultant cerebral ischemia (inadequate blood supply to the brain). Heat syncope usually occurs during the first 5 days of unaccustomed heat exposure (e.g. during preseason training), before the blood volume expands and cardiovascular adaptations are complete, and in those with heart disease or taking diuretics.

— Heat Exhaustion – the inability to effectively exercise in the heat, secondary to a combination of factors, including cardiovascular insufficiency, hypertension, energy depletion, and central fatigue. This condition occurs when the core body temperature is elevated (105ºF) and is often associated with a high rate or volume of skin blood flow, heavy sweating, and dehydration. It occurs usually in hot or humid condi-

tions, but it can also occur in normal environmental conditions with intense physical activity.

— Heat Injury – is a moderate to severe heat illness characterized by organ and tissue injury associated with sustained high body temperature resulting from strenuous exercise and environmental heat exposure. (Body temperature is not always greater than 105ºF.

— Exertional Heat Stroke (EHS)

– this is the most severe EHIs!! it is neuropsychiatric impairment and a high core temperature, typically above 105º F. This is due to the combination of the body’s increase in core temperature caused by metabolic heat production and environmental heat load. The thermoregulatory system becomes overwhelmed due to excessive heat production and/or inhibited heat loss (i.e., decreased sweating or decreased ability to evaporate sweat). The first sign of EHS is central nervous system dysfunction which includes: collapse, aggressiveness, irritability, confusion, seizures, and altered consciousness. EHS can progress to a systemic inflammatory response and multi-organ system failure unless promptly and correctly recognized and treated.

WARNING: The risk of morbidity and mortality increase the longer an individual’s body temperature remains elevated above 105 degrees.

Prevention and Treatment of Exertional Heat Illness

Each exertion heat illness is not treated the same.


• Pre-participation medical screening before the start of the season to identify risk factors of heat illness.

• Acclimatized to the heat gradually over 7-14 days.

• Athletes who are currently sick with viral infections or other illness or have a fever or serious skin rash should not participate until the condition is resolved.

• Maintain hydration and appropriately replace fluids lost through sweat during and after games and practices. Eat or drink sodium-containing foods.

• Get proper sleep and rest (at least 7 hours a night).

• Eat a balance diet to replenish energy reserves.

• Rest breaks during physical activity should be planned.


• Exercise-Associated Muscle (Heat) Cramps

• Treatment – Stop exercising, provide sodium-containing beverages

• Recovery – Often occurs within minutes to hours

• Heat Syncope

• Treatment – Lay patient supine and elevate legs to restore central blood volume

• Recovery – Often occurs within hours

• Heat Exhaustion

• Treatment – Cease exercise, remove from hot environment, elevate legs, provide fluids

• Recovery – Often occurs within 24 hours; same-day return to play not advised

• Exertional Heat Stroke

• Treatment – Immediate wholebody cold-water immersion to quickly reduce core body temperature and call 911

• Recovery – Highly dependent on initial care and treatment; further medical testing and physician clearance required before return to activity

Knowing what to look out for and how to treat exertional heat illnesses could be lifesaving. Planned ahead and be aware of environmental conditions during physical activity. Environmental conditions do not need to be at extreme levels for EHIs to occur. Be prepared and be ready to act if needed. When in doubt, sit out.

For more information, visit NATA. org.

Ryan Ramirez is a certified athletic trainer at Compete Sports Performance and Rehab in Orange County.

Three key areas to increase performance during the school year

As athletes begin the school year, a very hectic schedule begins to build.

As the school year unfolds and homework loads, along with activities and sports practices beginning to increase, it is easy for an athlete to get caught up in the craziness of the year. This leads to less sleep, less hydration, and greater training loads for athletes, which all decrease an athlete’s ability to perform.

Here are three practical tips on how to increase your performance this school year.

1) Time Management/Sleep



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It is a very common occurrence to see athletes studying late at night after they have gotten home from their late-night practices. While this is important for athletes to maintain good grades, it is often an indicator of poor time management if the athlete is staying up into the late hours of the night every night. As an athlete, it is vital that you utilize every portion of free time to either sleep, eat, or get your schoolwork done. Utilizing your free time will in turn help you increase your amount of time to sleep, rest, and recover. Athletes are recommended to sleep a minimum of seven hours and on top of that spend time recovering in between or after practices (ice, foam roll, stretching, etc.).


Managing Sport Workload

As the school year begins, the practice load for most athletes begins to ramp up. So it is important that the athlete takes the time to figure out how they will approach the coming school year to train at a high volume

but not over reach or over train. Most coaches preach that more is better, but sometimes that isn’t the case. For most sports, the human body cannot handle 30-plus hours a week of repeating the same motions. Now, this doesn’t mean that you should skip practice or not work hard. But rather it is recommended that athletes take a look at their training schedules with their coaches/ trainers to see if there is any way that they can adjust the work to rest ratio for the athlete. Most elite athletes spend 25-35 hours a week training, however most elite athletes have built up to this amount of time and spend nearly just as much time recovering. So if you plan on training at a high volume, then you need to recover just as much. If you find yourself training 30-40 hours a week, it is recommended that you drop a small amount of time from that training and use that time to focus on another part of your sport. (An example of this for a football or soccer player would be to maybe take a couple hours a week of training and use them to watch film and break it down, instead of using that time to hit the weight room for the fifth time

of the week). This allows you to better your game but also physically rest.

3) Diet

Often people underestimate the power of your diet and hydration and how it can affect your performance. When it comes to diet during school, it is important for most athletes to be consuming a diet of more calories and protein than a normal person. In order for an athlete to properly prepare for workouts and to heal any damaged muscles from workout sessions, it is imperative that the athlete be eating

consistent meals of good nutritional value. Eating balanced meals with all food groups included is what will benefit many athletes in their performance. In order to perform at a high level, you need to take the time as an athlete to consider many of these aspects. This will increase your likelihood of high performance and therefore help you have a better season as an athlete. Tanner Smith is a strength coach at Compete Sports Performance and Rehab in Orange County.

For Centennial product, Arapahoe, Cherry Creek graduate Gruenther, EHL’s Seahawks next stop on advancement ladder

Kai Gruenther played for the Arapahoe Warriors up until the 202021 season, when he joined the Cherry Creek High School team for his last three years of high school.

Next season, the Centennial native will again be on the move after recently signing to play junior hockey for the EHL’s Seahawks Hockey Club.

“I was able to gain an opportunity to join the Seahawks roster through the CCM Showcase (in Colorado),” Gruenther said. “I am excited to leave home and see what opportunities lie ahead in front of me. The game is only going to become quicker, which presents more opportunities for me to become a better player.

“I’m very excited to be playing in the EHL. They have a very strong reputation when it comes to moving players on to the next level. This motivates me to strive for greatness and

the potential to play NCAA hockey.”

Gruenther said playing for Cherry Creek was a turning point in his career and “the coaching staff helped push me to reach my potential.”

“There are many great coaches in Colorado, including Neil Ruffini and the Creek coaching staff,” said Gruenther.

Moving ahead, Gruenther’s goals include more than what may happen on the ice.

“My short-term goal for hockey is to have a good season in the EHL and to potentially make the jump to a higher league in the future,” Gruenther said. “I hope to make many friends along the way. A long-term goal for me is to play NCAA hockey. It’s always been a big dream of mine. I aim to be successful in the classroom so that I can be successful on the ice.”

For more, vsit CO.Hockey SEPTEMBER 2023 RUBBER HOCKEY
Kai Gruenther was a standout player during his last three years of high school in Colorado for Cherry Creek. Photo/Steve Abeyta


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Runner-up: Anaheim Jr. Ducks

Empire was crowned champs with a 15-9 offensive barrage over the Jr. Ducks.

8U B South

Champion: Empire Hockey Club

Runner-up: Anaheim Jr. Ducks

Offense was the name of the game here as Empire picked up the championship by downing the Jr. Ducks by a 13-6 count.

10U A

Champion: Empire Hockey Club

Rubber-up: Ventura Mariners

In a tight game, Empire secured the championship with a thrilling 5-4 overtime win over the Mariners as Odell Jackson completed the hat trick for the winner.

10U B

Champion: Santa Clarita Flyers

Runner-up: Jr. Reign


The Flyers defeated the Jr. Reign 5-3 on the strength of two goals from James Szajiner. Emersyn Glines posted a goal and an assist for the Jr. Reign.

12U A

Champion: Jr. Reign Riverside Runner-up: Jr. Reign Carlsbad

This battle of Jr. Reign teams went to the Riverside club in an 8-0 win over the Carlsbad team in the championship final. Jayden Kehrier earned the shutout in net and Spencer Wills registered a hat trick in the win.

12U AA

Champion: Los Angeles Jr. Kings

Runner-up: Bakersfield Jr. Condors

Jack Leibowitz’s hat trick powered the Jr. Kings to the title in a 5-3 win.

Liam Melinko scored two goals as well in the win and Gavin Reskey made 14 saves in net to pick up the victory. For the Jr. Condors, Liam Wilsey scored twice.

12U B/BB

Champion: Bakersfield Jr. Condors

Runner-up: Jr. Reign Riverside

The Jr. Condors doubled up the Jr. Reign 4-2 as Luke Blattenberg scored the last two goals for Bakersfield. Nick Spinelli added a goal and an assist in the win. Brayden Natividad and Bentley Porche scored for the Jr. Reign.

14U A

Champion: Goldrush

Runner-up: Jr. Reign Carlsbad

Gregory Harris stopped all 14 shots he faced as the Goldrush secured

the banner with a 2-0 win over the Jr. Reign. Blake Lagestee and Logan Alsing scored for the Goldrush. Jayden Peterson made 19 saves between the pipes for the Jr. Reign.

14U AA

Champion: Anaheim Jr. Ducks

Runner-up: Bakersfield Jr. Condors

Five different players scored for the Jr. Ducks in a 5-2 win over the Jr. Condors in the title game. Gunnar Turner and Wes Waites each posted a goal with an assist and Chase Romero notched the win in goal. Tyler Racette made 10 saves in goal for Bakersfield.

14U B

Champion: Ventura Mariners

Runner-up: Santa Clarita Flyers

In a close contest, the Mariners took this one in overtime by a 4-3 count. Gavin Campbell’s second goal of the game win it for the Mariners. Christopher Deveau added a goal plus a helper in the win. Mason Mills


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contributed a goal and an assist for the Flyers.

JV East

Champion: Rose City Pats

Runner-up: Jr. Reign Vychodil

For the Pats, scoring was spread out as seven different players found the back of the net in the 7-2 win in

the championship game. Jordan Marquez picked up a goal and two assists, Patrick Durka and Ethan Foster a goal and an assist, Sarkis Zhamkochyan three assists, and Dylan Hazuka a pair of assists. Finn Moision finished 17 saves in goal. For the Jr. Reign, Markus Mineck and Travis Holmes scored, and Matthew Day made 31 saves in goal.

JV West Champion: West Ranch

Runner-up: Las Vegas Ice Warriors

Dominic Caglia was a rock in net for West Ranch, making 19 saves in a 5-0 shutout over the Ice Warriors to claim the championship. Varsity Champion: Anaheim Jr. Ducks

Runner-up: Rose City Pats

Chase MacArthur’s two goals lifted the Jr. Ducks over Rose City, 3-1. Jackson Courtier made 19 saves for the win in net. Kamil Ibashev potted

the Pats’ goal and Eric Vargas made 26 saves between the pipes.

Registration is now open for the remaining 2023-24 IE Tournament Series events, including the IE Fall Classic, which runs Nov. 24-26. The event is hosting divisions in Riverside/Ontario as well as Carlsbad/San Diego, is one of the biggest IE events of the year, and is already nearly full. Visit for more information and to register.

After pro season in Switzerland, Select graduate Wuthrich taking year off to coach girls hockey with 14ers in ‘23-24

Emma Wuthrich has quite literally traveled the world to play hockey.

An Alaska native, Wuthrich moved to Colorado when she was 14 and later called Vermont and Massachusetts home for various levels of the game.Last year, she played her first professional season in Switzerland and will sit out the 2023-24 season as she coaches with the Colorado 14ers girls hockey program.

“After growing up and living in Alaska for 14 years, going into my freshman year of high school, my family moved due to my dad taking a new job based out of Colorado,” Wuthrich said. “From the start, I played boys hockey and had yet to transition to girls hockey. Our move to Colorado presented the perfect time to make the switch. There weren’t many options for girls hockey programs in Colorado but eventually landed on the Select because it was the closest team to where I lived.

“My first season in Colorado and playing girls hockey ended up being very important to me as it gave me an introduction to what girls hockey was like and led me to make important connections in the hockey world. My coaches during that season were Eric Mayhew and his sister Kerry Mayhew, who are still involved and positively contribute to Colorado girls hockey. I also met Hannah Westbrook that year who is now an integral part of growing the game within Colorado. After that first year in Colorado, I would train on the ice with Hannah a few times a week during the summer,

immensely in growing my hockey skills and prepared me for each upcoming season.”

One year later, Wuthrich was on the move again.

“After my freshman year at Select, I decided to go to NAHA (North American Hockey Academy), located in Stowe, Vt. At NAHA, we traveled to tournaments almost every single weekend where college coaches would come to scout,” said Wuthrich.

“I talked to several coaches from my sophomore-senior years, but it wasn’t until my junior year I began communications with Boston University.

I eventually visited the campus and met the coaches and fell in love with the school and knew that was where I wanted to play for the next four years. Due to BU’s high academic standards, I needed to meet testing

requirement scores on my ACT/SAT. For an entire year, I studied for the tests and had a tutor to help me get the score I needed to get into BU. The coaching staff was patient and forgiving with me during that year of testing and I officially committed the the school right as my senior year of high school began.”

Once she laced up the skates for the NCAA Division I Terriers, it was all systems go for Wuthrich.

“The highlight that stands out the most was during my freshman year when we won the Beanpot during the 2018-19 season,” Wuthrich said. “This was the first time in program history as a varsity D-I team that we had won so it was a special moment for our team and school.”

The Beanpot is a historical tournament held in Boston between Boston

University, Boston College, Harvard, and Northeastern that happens during the first two Tuesdays in February.

Wuthrich received her degree in Advertising from the College of Communications as well as a minor in Hospitality Administration from the School of Hospitality.

After graduating, it was on to the next adventure, this time in Lugano, Switzerland.

“The biggest adjustment overseas wasn’t necessarily related to hockey but living in an entirely different country with a different culture and different language in Switzerland,” Wuthrich said. “I learned so many things living abroad and got to travel and experience things that I never would’ve been able to without hockey which I am extremely grateful for. The team mainly spoke Italian as Lugano is located in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland, so adjusting to that was difficult, but I made Google Translate my best friend. Women’s hockey in Switzerland is still developing and growing so coming from NCAA D-I hockey to the Swiss league was a smooth transition.

“Overall, the season was very fun and left me with so many great memories and relationships.”

This season, Wuthrich will be an assistant coach for the 14ers’ 14U team.

“After the season ends, I will reevaluate and see if I want to play again in a U.S. league,” said Wuthrich. “Hockey has given me so many special and rare opportunities. There is no set timeline on when I plan to stop being involved with the game.” SEPTEMBER 2023
Emma Wuthrich spent the 2022-23 season playing professional women’s hockey across the pond in Switzerland. Photo/ Lorenzo Gianettoni which helped

Aztecs preparing for improved 2023-24 season in ACHA play

The 2023-24 American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) season is just about here, and coaches have obviously been working hard over the offseason putting together training camp rosters.

San Diego State University had tryouts Aug. 26-29 at the Kroc Center Ice Arena. Aztec head coach Phil Bateman is hoping his team’s second season at the Division 1 level is more prosperous than last season’s 1-20-1 inaugural foray into the division.

“Ultimately, it’s a field of dreams scenario,” Bateman said. “As painful as last year was on the ice with our results, we needed to ‘build it’ so this year they would all come. The collection of incoming, extremely talented players this year are so excited to take on this challenge and be a part of the upward trajectory.”

Bateman expected 45-50 players at tryouts, an impressive number as the team continues to build its Division 1 base.

SDSU remains the lone Division 1 ACHA team in California and offers a steppingstone to higher levels of play in the sport.

The team continues to draw interest both inside and outside of the Golden State.

SDSU players celebrate a goal during the ‘22-23 season. Photo/Phillip Brents

“The 2023-24 Aztecs will be a completely new-look team compared to last season, with only eight to nine returning players,” Bateman said. “We expected 45-plus bodies at tryouts, with a talented group from within the state, out of state and international players trying out.”

A highlight of SDSU’s inaugural Division 1 season in 2022-23 featured a road trip to Buffalo, N.Y., to participate in the annual Canisius tournament.

The other highlight was obviously

its first Division 1 win in team history.

The Aztecs entered their final home stand Feb. 17-18 against George Mason University with a numbing 0-191 record. SDSU pulled out a thrilling 5-3 victory with late third period goals by Nolan Conrad and Luke Desmarais to snap a 3-3 tie.

Shane Ege, Ian Stentz and Michael Eng also scored for the host team while Isaiah Tano and Kim each picked up two assists. Michael Pellegrino, the team’s season scoring

leader with 22 points (three goals, 19 assists) in 22 games, also drew a helper in support of Parks Owensby, the winning goaltender, who made 26 saves on 29 shots.

“The guys celebrated like they had just won the Stanley Cup,” Bateman recalled.

But the celebration was mixed with a dose of reality as GMU took the season-ending game by a 9-3 count.

Aztec opponents for the upcoming season include Colorado Boulder, Colorado State, George Mason University, U.S. Naval Academy, Arizona State University, University of Arizona, Grand Canyon University, UNLV, University of Utah and University of Oregon.

SDSU will once again compete as an independent.

Home games remain at the Kroc Center Ice Arena.

Bateman remains optimistic about the upcoming season with a much larger and deeper recruiting class to take on Division 1 opponents.

“I don’t think anyone in the division wanted us to go through the season without a win,” the SDSU bench boss said. “After we beat George Mason, I received emails from 12 programs congratulating us.

“That was good to get respect.”

Monument Hockey Academy grad Evans moving up ladder, signs with USPHL’s Spacemen for ‘23-24

Trevor Evans was born in Southern California, but since 2019 has honed his game in Colorado with the Monument Hockey Academy.

For the upcoming 2023-24 season, Evans will play junior hockey for the USPHL’s Fort Wayne Spacemen.

“I got the opportunity to sign with Fort Wayne because one of my best friends, Noah Takitani, who is also from Colorado (Thornton), asked if I would want to play there next year and would get me in contact with the coaches so they could see if there would be an opportunity for me,” said Evans. “They gave me a shot

and I have been working my hardest to prove I deserve it.

“What appealed to me was that they were a great team last year going pretty far at nationals and I have heard nothing but great things about the coaching staff and players.”

Joining Evans and Takitani in Fort Wayne will be another Colorado product, Broomfield’s Joe Richardson.

“I knew Noah and got opportunities to meet some of the guys over summer,” Evans said. “One of my other best friends Joe Richardson will also be there, too.”

Evans, who calls Castle Rock home, said he started playing hockey

in 2011 because he watched a lot of hockey on TV, would frequently go to Anaheim Ducks and LA Kings games with his dad, “and decided it was something I really wanted to try,” said Evans.

“In 2019, I got the opportunity to move and billet in Colorado playing 16U AAA for the Monument Hockey Academy. I never left as my family moved not too long after I did,” said Evans.

Looking forward, Evans has simple and reachable goals.

“My main goal with hockey is to play at the collegiate level and get a good education in the process,” he said. SEPTEMBER 2023 RUBBER HOCKEY
Trevor Evans played the last four seasons for the Monument Hockey Academy. Photo/Cory Rogers SEPTEMBER 2023 RUBBER HOCKEY
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