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rienced a e p x e e v a h rs a e B lden yearly h it The California Go w d n a rs a e y ast couple lopment, e v rebirth over the p e d to t n e m it m a com rograms p th improvement and u o y p to ’s te e of the sta continue to be on FORMER NHLER ARMSTRONG TAKES REINS AS NEW LAKHSHL COMMISSIONER



THE RINKS ADDS TO COLLECTION WITH SAN DIEGO’S POWAY ICE ARENA Attracting the very best youth hockey programs under the bright lights of Los Angeles 2017-18

Tournament Series


FROM THE EDITOR The new season lends itself to renewal, confidence, optimism


s the 2017-18 is ready to get underway – or already here for some leagues and levels – it’s always a special time of year. And rightfully so. While the summer can be a blast with vacations, cookouts, time on the water and plenty of family time, there is always that countdown to the start of hockey season. This season also marks a change for myself on a personal note as I have taken over California Rubber Magazine from a mentor, good friend and previous publisher, Brian McDonough. I don’t plan on changing much as Brian built this publication from the ground up to what it is today. He deserves all the credit for making California Rubber Matt Mackinder Magazine a household name in this great state. What I do plan on doing is continuing the supreme coverage of all levels of the game and being a part of the growth of this great game here in California. It’s a win-win for everyone. I have met and come in contact with many association presidents, coaches and players at all levels and parents that just make you believe that hockey can not only survive here in California, but also thrive. So far, so good … and let the games begin! During this past summer, USA Hockey announced the roster for the 2017-18 U.S. National Sled Hockey Team. The group includes 13 returnees from the 2016-17 U.S. National Sled Hockey Team that claimed the 2016 World Sled Hockey Challenge title and a silver medal at the 2017 Para Sled Hockey World Championship. California has representation on the 2017-18 roster with 34-year-old defenseman Ralph DeQuebec, a San Pedro native. DeQuebec skated last season with the U.S. Development Sled Hockey Team. “We fell short of our goal last season, and with this being a Paralympic year, there was a hunger and drive at tryouts that we, as a staff, were extremely pleased to see,” said Dan Brennan, director of sled hockey for USA Hockey and general manager of the 2017-18 U.S. National Sled Hockey Team.

California Rubber Magazine is published by: Mackinder Media, LLC, P.O. Box 373 Goodrich, MI 48438, 10 times a year, once monthly September through May and once in the summer. Postmaster: send address changes to: P.O. Box 373 Goodrich, MI 48438 Ph. (248) 890-3944 Email: Subscription Rates: $49.95 USD * Single Copy: $3.95 USD Mail subscriptions to: P.O. Box 373 Goodrich, MI 48438 Subscriptions are non-refundable REPORT AN ERROR IMMEDIATELY California Rubber Magazine will not be responsible for more than one incorrect insertion Visit our Web site at: Like us on Facebook: Follow us on Twitter: @CARubberHockey

California Rubber Magazine is a production of:

Publisher/editor: Matt Mackinder senior designer: Julie Wilson


Over in the Western Hockey League (WHL), the Regina Pats have added Tommy Tartaglione to their scouting staff. Tartaglione, a goaltender by trade and a Torrance native, played three seasons in the WHL with the Regina Pats, Vancouver Giants and Prince George Cougars and was a member of the 2005-06 WHL champion Giants club. A coach within the LA Jr. Kings organization, Tartaglione will primarily scout players in California for the Pats. USA Hockey announced last month the 42 players who will compete in the sixth annual CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game set for Sept. 21 at KeyBank Center, home of the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres and site of the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship. Cypress native and Anaheim Jr. Ducks graduate Slava Demin has been chosen for the game. Demin is a University of Denver (NCHC) commit who will be starting his second season on the blue line with the Wenatchee Wild of the British Columbia Hockey League in 2017-18. Last season, Demin posted five goals and 27 points in 53 games with the Wild. Sad news from the state as Cal State Northridge player Isaac Breault passed away in late August. According to a GoFundMe page set up to help with finances, “Many of us knew Isaac Breault through the youth hockey community in Southern California through the Riptide, Titans, Heat, Newbury Park Panthers and Cal State Northridge. During his hockey career, Isaac was the biggest joy to watch, his passion for the game was unmatched. The smile on his face when he scored a big goal or setup an assist was priceless. He was a national champion, state champion and leading scorer in California in 18U AA.” To donate, visit A celebration of life is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 14, from noon-4 p.m. at Conejo Creek Park in Thousand Oaks.

Contact Matt Mackinder at 4

California Rubber Hockey Magazine

Nick Polydoros excels on the back end for the Newbury Park team in the LAKHSHL, but what’s equally as impressive is his work with the Boy Scouts, where he recently achieved the distinction of being named an Eagle Scout. It’s a balancing act few can manage, but Polydoros has done it. More on Page 18.

ON THE COVER Players from the California Golden Bears 14U AA team (pictured left to right) - Miles Brodey, Grant Kaplan, coach and Golden Bears director of hockey Peter Torsson, Brian Morse, J.T. Halliday and Madden Powers - are getting early-September work in anticipation of a successful 2017-18 season. Photo/ Deborah Schwartz


A ‘Bear’ Of An Organization Golden Bears continue to take strides, gain momentum in California youth hockey realm By Mark Torgove


ix years ago, the California Golden Bears Hockey Club was struggling, both on and off the ice. The Bears, one of the oldest clubs in California, was teetering on the brink of financial ruin when Todd Thomasy and Paul Kaplan took the reins. Thomasy and Kaplan were hockey dads whose initial goal was to ensure their young sons could finish out the season. They rallied the Bears community and with the support of fellow parents and their home rink, Pickwick Ice in Burbank, funds were quickly raised to keep the club afloat. With financial disaster temporarily averted, Thomasy and Kaplan shifted their focus to the future. They drew upon their respective backgrounds i n finance and marketing to create a new business model for the Bears organization going forward. Rebuilding from the ground up, the club would focus on intensive player development over a win-atall-costs attitude while fostering a family atmosphere. The first step, however, was to find a director of hockey who not only shared their vision, but could build upon it and, more importantly, execute it successfully. In Peter Torsson, the Bears found their man. Torsson was a native of Sweden where he played on the Junior National Team before signing a pro contract with Vasteras IK - home of Niklas Lidstrom, Patrick Berglund, Tommy Salo and Mikael Backlund, to name a few. He was later one of the first Swedes to leave the SHL for an NCAA Division I scholarship when he committed to play for St. Cloud State University in Minnesota. At St. Cloud, Torsson excelled in the classroom and was named an Academic All-American. On the ice, however, his collegiate career was plagued by injury and after a fifth knee surgery, Torsson hung up the skates and redirected his passion for hockey by embarking on a career in coaching. Over the next decade, Torsson developed a reputation as one of the most dedicated and innovative youth hockey coaches on the West Coast. His intelligence, knowledge of the game and natural leadership ability gave him all the attributes the Bears were looking for in a director of hockey. “We didn’t just want a figurehead,” said Kaplan. “We wanted a guy who could run the entire program with a consistent vision. In the past, it had been every coach for himself and there was a lot of politics and arguing over players. The idea was to get all of our coaches on the same page and working together. To make this happen, we needed a strong leader. Peter was definitely that guy.” Torsson recalled: “At the time, I was in conversations with a few programs and did not think the Bears were going to survive. Paul Kaplan called me and he came off as such a nice guy that I got an immediate feeling I wanted to help him save the program. It became clear to me they had the finances stabilized, but what they lacked was the ability to implement a hockey program, so they gave me a blank slate to proceed however I wanted. “At that point, it was an easy choice.” With a new Board of Directors in place, the club finances firmly in the black and Torsson on the job, the transformation of the Bears program had begun. Torsson immediately implemented on and off ice testing for players - with categories such as skating speed, endurance, shot velocity, push-ups, pullups and vertical jump. The idea was to develop a metric to track individual player development and create healthy competition. “We believe competition is very important and we infuse that into every 6

California Rubber Hockey Magazine

bone of a player’s body,” said Torsson. “They need to compete with themselves, their peers and together against opponents and in no different order. We test the kids so they compete with themselves to a point they can see the progress and they can train tangibly. We may not be better than some teams, but we do some things better and that is how we measure our success day in and day out. Keep success within your control. We lose, we work hard, we win, we work harder.” The next step was to find the right coaches to propel the program forward. In Torsson’s words: “If an aspiring coach tells me ‘I just want to get out there because I love the game so much,’ then I know he or she is not doing this for the right reason. Every Bears coach must love to teach and put the time in with the kids and the families. The game is actually a very small part of what we do when done right. I want the coaches to teach life through the game of hockey. Without that, I don’t think we, as a club, have a purpose. Most kids won’t become professional hockey players, but they will all be professional at something. And if we don’t teach them to be focused, goal oriented and ‘professional,’ then we are clearly not caring about most of our families. It’s that simple.” With enthusiastic new coaches and a determined leader, success came to the Bears quicker than anticipated. One year to the day after Torsson was hired, his Squirt A team won the CAHA state championship. It was the first state title for a Bears squad in over 15 years. In subsequent seasons, Bears teams have experienced big wins on the ice, but that hasn’t been the most important measuring stick for success. “We have had great success over the years, but I must differentiate winning from success,” Torsson said. “They don’t always go hand-in-hand and they certainly don’t mean the same thing. We have been fortunate enough to win CAHA, SCAHA and represent California at the USA Hockey Youth Nationals for the first time in club history, but we have been vastly more successful in other areas. “Last year, the amount of scholarship money we generated for our graduating players surpassed our entire annual budget for the club. Our ‘02s are now playing at prestigious prep schools and AAA programs on the East Coast and here locally. We sent five Bears kids to the United States Hockey League Combine and two of them were ranked No. 6 and No. 12 athletically out of 220 of the best players in the country. We had prepared them for that moment for a long time with our testing and training program. “In addition, we had two kids invited to the ’02 Pacific District Select Camp and five kids to the ’03 Western Regional Select Camp. With all this success, the club has still been able to maintain a tight-knit family environment. ExBears players come back to cheer on our teams, parents stay in touch and we can’t get enough of each other. All the credit goes to the volunteers at this club and our committed parents who’ve created a very special atmosphere.” When Torsson, Thomasy and Kaplan took over the Bears there were six travel teams and 72 players at the club, including in-house. As the Bears embark on the 2017-18 season, the club will field 11 teams with a total of 190 registered players.

CALIFORNIA GOLDEN BEARS Bears’ Garcia uses program to blaze path to prep school By Jonothan Martin


idan Garcia was a standout with the California Golden Bears for seven seasons. As a 14U AA player, he was a star on the Bears state championship team and invited to the Pacific District Select Camp. For the Bears organization, he was also a trailblazer. Last season, the club began an aggressive campaign to expose their players to East Coast prep schools. “When you play AAA hockey, it’s separate from your education,” said Golden Bears coach Peter Torsson. “To excel at one, often the other suffers. At prep school, you’re getting an incredible education on and off the ice. Why not have that as an option for our players?” This fall, Garcia will be attending The Groton School, a school just outside of Boston that is consistently ranked one of the top ten academic high schools in the country. “Aidan is beyond excited and we’re so proud of him,” said Garcia’s father, Ayong. “With all the hard work that he put in and the help we got from Coach Torsson and the Bears, it’s just an amazing opportunity for him.” With kids like Garcia as a shining example, the Bears look to place more players at top prep schools next fall. “For high-character kids who have the talent and work ethic, hockey can provide a wide range of options,” said Golden Bears vice president Paul Kaplan. “To me, a kid like Aidan Garcia represents everything that’s positive about youth hockey. He worked his butt off to be ready for whatever opportunity came his way. In the end, a Groton education might not get him into the NHL, but it might get him into Harvard. Who knows? Maybe one day he’ll own an NHL team.”


Glendora native, Wave, Jr. Kings California products pick up medals alum Miner-Barron retires at summertime Maccabi Games By Matt Mackinder

By Matt Mackinder



n what has become almost a common theme these days, a pro athlete has utilized social media to make an announcement. Alex Miner-Barron, a Glendora native and former youth player with the California Wave and Los Angeles Jr. Kings, announced his retirement from the game with a Facebook post earlier this month. “The decision to retire was by no means the easiest,” Miner-Barron wrote. “By doing so, I was letting go of a very comfortable and exciting lifestyle, a guaranteed paycheck, a free opportunity to see the world. Most importantly, I was letting go of something I have loved so deeply for the past 20 years. Hockey has brought me all across the world, introduced me to my best friends, taught me lessons no amount of money could buy, and to be brutally honest, it has saved my life.” After leaving youth hockey, Miner-Barron played three years of junior hockey with the North American Hockey League’s Bismarck Bobcats and United States Hockey League’s Indiana Ice and Waterloo Black Hawks. He then earned a scholarship to play NCAA Division I hockey at Alex Miner-Barron Quinnipiac University, going to the NCAA tournament four times, including two Frozen Four appearances, and winning an ECAC Hockey championship. The pro game saw him skate overseas in France last season. “When I was honest with myself and what my dream in this world was, it made the decision to not only quit, but make a seamless transition out of hockey into the real world a lot easier than expected,” continued Miner-Barron. “When I not only admitted to myself but to the world that my actual dream was to make a massive impact on this world by improving one life at a time, I finally felt free. “No matter who you are or where you are at in your career, it’s never too late to achieve your childhood dream. Your life, your career, who you want to be in this world and what you want to accomplish is entirely up to you.”

handful of Southern California players represented the United States this summer in Israel at the 20th Maccabi Games. Players from the state made rosters on the Open and Junior teams. The Junior team came home with gold, while the Open squad captured silver and a third team in the Masters division, claimed bronze. The Maccabi Games, first held in 1932, are an international Jewish and Israeli multi-sport event now held every four years in Israel. It is the third-largest sporting event in the world, with 10,000 athletes competing. The 2017 event took place July 4-18 in Jerusalem in a building normally used for basketball, but NHL owners donated monies to turn the facility into an ice rink, complete with ice-making equipment. It was the first time ice hockey was ever played in Jerusalem. The Open championship game was played in front of 10,000 fans and between the U.S. and Canada, there were 24 NCAA players on the rosters. The Junior team included Jacob Abene (Los Gatos, USC), Ben Buium (Laguna Niguel, Los Angeles Jr. Kings) and Aydin Schwetz (Thousand Oaks, California Titans). Abene said the experience at the Maccabi Games was surreal, and one he’ll not soon forget. “It was an honor to represent the USA, California, Bellarmine College Prep and the Jr. Sharks in an international tournament,” he said. The Open team had a slew of Californians in Max Blitz (Chino Hills, Jr. Kings, Fredonia State), Zachary Feldman (San Diego, Lake Forest College), Chad Goldberg (Agoura Hills, LA Selects, Tufts University), Carter Horwitz (Tustin, Endicott College), David Jacobson (Calabasas, Selects, Jr. Kings, Oswego State), Tyler Levine (Laguna Beach, Jr. Kings) and brothers Jacob Rivera (Pacific Palisades, Potsdam State, Jr. Kings), Luke Rivera (Pacific Palisades, Fredonia State, Jr. Kings) and Nick Rivera (Pacific Palisades, Minnesota State University, Jr. Kings). Dr. Anthony Abene, a team physician for the San Jose Sharks and San Jose Barracuda, was also part of the U.S. contingent that went overseas.

LMU confident on all fronts entering 2017-18 ACHA season started.” On the ice, LMU head coach Joe Trotta exor the past several years, the biggest problem plained that the onus will be on a core of returnLoyola Marymount University faced was adver- ing players – forwards Matt Boente and Athan sity. Tsokolas, defensemen Will Fraipont and David The team’s brass is optimistic that changes this Valencia and goalie Jake Blazier – to keep the season. improvement process gainTyler Goeckner-Zoeller ing full momentum. is the program’s general “Our chemistry will be manager and said the goals good,” said Trotta. “It is are high for the Lions as our job as coaches to crethe 2017-18 season is just ate a culture that allows around the corner. individuals to maximize “We have a much brighttheir development and ener outlook going forward,” joyment of the game. Our said Goeckner-Zoeller. “At foundation is a culture of the ACHA level, and with support, respect, accounta small university like LMU ability and unselfishness. (6,500 undergrads), it’s not It is a tremendous testaeasy to restock your team. ment to all our returning When you build and build, players that they have crebut then lose 19 kids over ated this foundation. This one offseason, it was tough will help the new players to get going again. I give Jake Blazier, a Bellarmine Prep School graduate and San transition into the college our team the last few years Jose native, enters his senior season at Loyola Mary- game because they enter credit for battling hard with mount University looking to help lead the Lions into the into a very healthy envishort rosters each season. ACHA postseason. ronment that has been es“However, now with 13 freshmen and a very tablished by the returning players.” young team, we only graduate four players over the That said, Trotta is very elated about the Lions’ next two years. We are in full build mode. I think the freshman class. team has the chance to gel this year and over the “As for the freshmen, at this point, I prefer to next couple of seasons, I’d expect the LMU team view them as a group that brings us strength in to be back at regionals and pushing for a spot at numbers,” Trotta said. “As the season progressnationals is the goal for this group that is getting es, some will take on higher roles and with the in-

By Matt Mackinder



California Rubber Hockey Magazine

crease in roster size and we can let that progression occur naturally. Right now, we are happy that each and every one of them chose to attend LMU. “My outlook for the upcoming season is very positive. The biggest reason for my optimism is the fact that our numbers will increase substantially from last year. Many games we were in survival mode playing with a short bench. This resulted in players playing out of position as well as taking on roles that weren’t a natural fit for the individual. This season with a full roster, we can place players in the lineup in roles that fit their strengths. This will certainly maximize each player’s skill set and place them in positions that will give them the best opportunity for individual and team success. A full roster also gives our coaching staff the ability to work more efficiently on team structure in practice, optimizing our ability to prepare for games.” When looking to the future, Goeckner-Zoeller can’t help but beam at the potential LMU has. “The short-term vision is obviously to use this surge to grow the program,” said GoecknerZoeller. “With our greatest successes being qualifying for regionals two seasons in a row, we want to do that over the next four seasons and beyond. When you’re playing against mostly schools that are four times as big as you, cheaper, and easier academically to get in to, the fact that our program has succeeded is a testament to our players and the desire to be a great hockey team. “Long term, the goal is to make LMU hockey an NCAA Division I program, which I personally see as a great fit. Time will tell.”

Rubber Hockey Magazines sold to longtime writer, editor Mackinder Good Sport Media, Inc., has announced the sale of its Arizona Rubber Hockey Magazine and California Rubber Hockey Magazine publications to longtime staff writer and editor Matt Mackinder and Mackinder Media, LLC. “Matt has been on board with us since Day 1, and I’m nothing but confident he’ll lead our publications with the same values, professionalism and enthusiasm we’ve built and championed over the last 10-plus years,” said Good Sport Media president Brian McDonough. “Matt is a tried-and-true hockey guy and I know with certainty he’ll grow and enhance the proud and longstanding relationships we’ve established over the years within the Arizona and California hockey communities and beyond.” Mackinder joined Rubber as a staff writer in 2006 and was promoted to senior editor prior to the 2015-16 season. He also contributed a number of feature articles each month and maintains both magazines’ Web sites ( and, as well as their Facebook and Twitter pages. A 2001 graduate of Wayne State University (Detroit), Mackinder has worked in the journalism field since 1997 and also in public relations for the Detroit Tigers and International Hockey League, as well as a number of junior hockey teams and leagues. He also serves as managing editor for the premier college hockey Web site, “I’m nothing but exited to transition into my new role as publisher and, along with our professional and dedicated staff of writers, including Chris Bayee, Greg Ball and Phillip Brents, and longtime designer, Julie Wilson, look forward to helping the sport continue to flourish in what are now impactful hockey markets at all levels,” Mackinder said. “I’ve worked closely with Brian over the years to get a handle on the print, digital and social media side of the business and he’s been a tremendous source of knowledge and support. “The new season can’t start soon enough and I’m very much looking forward to connecting with our existing advertisers and publishing partners – and future partners – as we continue to take our coverage of Arizona and California hockey to new levels on all communication platforms.” Mackinder, 39, resides in Mid-Michigan with his wife of 13 years, Stephanie; their three children, Ethan, Wyatt and Madelyn; three dogs, Eddie, Max and Georgie; and cat, Molly. Mackinder can be contacted at (248) 890-3944 and

Jr. Kings alum Yamamoto closer to NHL with Oilers deal By Matt Mackinder


ailer Yamamoto has always been a hockey player that plays bigger than his 5-foot-8, 148-pound frame. Size didn’t matter to the Edmonton Oilers, however, when they selected the Los Angeles Jr. Kings graduate in the first round (22nd overall) of the 2017 NHL Draft on June 23 in Chicago. “Words can’t describe the feeling that I have right now,” said Yamamoto on draft day. “It’s an unbelievable feeling and I’m really, really excited to be an Oiler.” Yamamoto registered a team-best 42 goals and 57 assists in only 65 games in 2016-17 for the Western Hockey League’s (WHL) Spokane Chiefs. This summer after being drafted. Yamamoto played for Team USA at the 2017 World Junior Summer Showcase in Plymouth, Mich. Last summer, Yamamoto took part in the U.S. National Junior Team evaluation camp, but was not part of the team that went to Toronto and Montreal for the World Junior Championship over the holidays last December and January and won gold. To add to the already-busy summer, the Oilers then went a step further on Aug. 10 and signed the 18-yearold native of Spokane, Wash., to a three-year, entry-level contract. And while the contract simply means Edmonton sees Yamamoto in the future, it’s unclear if that means the 2017-18 NHL season or down the line – it all depends on how well Yamamoto performs in the Oilers’ upcoming training camp and potential preseason games. Should Yamamoto wind up in the NHL at some point, he’ll be a rare breed of small-statured players, which by itself is not rare, but the fact he hails from Washington State is somewhat of a rarity.

Unless you look at the Tampa Bay Lightning. Tyler Johnson plays for the Lightning, skated for the Chiefs and is also from Spokane. He’s also 5-foot-8. “I started skating when I was 22 months old and I

Over a six-week span, Kailer Yamamoto went from being an NHL draft pick of the Edmonton Oilers to a signed prospect with a shot to play in the NHL this coming season. Photo/Matt Mackinder

was taught how to skate by Debbie Johnson (Tyler’s mother), so Tyler is one of the players that I’ve looked up to growing up,” said Yamamoto. “I first played hockey on a team when I was four and just liked the competition. I realized I wanted to play hockey as a career when

I was about 13 and moved to California to play for the Jr. Kings.” After his 16U AAA season with the Jr. Kings in 2013-14 where he put up 17 goals and 40 points in 34 games, Yamamoto joined the Chiefs the following season and posted 23 goals and 57 assists. He said choosing the WHL (Yamamoto was also selected in the third round of Phase I of the 2014 United States Hockey League Draft by the Dubuque Fighting Saints) was “complicated,” but ended up being the right decision. He was also invited to the U.S. National Team Development Program’s evaluation camp in the summer of 2014, but did not commit to the NTDP. The Chiefs drafted him in the fifth round of the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft. “The short version is that my brother’s positive experience with the Chiefs before I committed helped me make that decision and I’m really happy that I did,” Yamamoto said. “It’s been great playing for my hometown team.” Kailer’s older brother, Keanu, played the past three seasons with the Chiefs, but as a 1996 birth year, has aged out of the WHL. Keanu also played for the Jr. Kings. “It’s been unbelievable,” Yamamoto said. “He’s been my role model for a long time, especially since I joined the Chiefs. We hadn’t played on the same team since we were really young, so it’s been special.” During the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons, Yamamoto also played for the U.S. National Team Development Program’s Under-17 and Under-18 Teams and combined, totaled 21 points in 16 games. Will the production continue at the NHL level? Stay tuned.


Groll, Johnson guide U.S. to Five Nations championship By Chris Bayee


alifornians Josh Groll and Ryan Johnson proved the international stage wasn’t too big in Ostrava, Czech Republic. The duo, who is playing for the Anaheim Jr. Ducks 16U AAA team this season, helped Team USA win the U17 Five Nations Tournament for the sixth time in seven years during the last week in August. The Americans went 4-0 and outscored their opponents by a cumulative 26-5. Groll scored in three of four games and finished with a total of four goals, while Johnson added a strike against Slovakia. Team USA coach Pat Ferschweiler, whose day job is assistant coach for the Detroit Red Wings, lauded the pair’s contributions. “Josh was a kid that showed elite character and work ethic all tournament, and he had an ability to score some goals,” he said. “He led by example – he was part of the engine that drove our team to the win. “Ryan is an elite, elite talent whose game is still maturing. He thinks the game exceptionally well, and he also has elite offensive skills.” Groll is a forward who had played for the San Diego Jr. Gulls and SDIA Oilers until this season, and he relished playing – and winning – with Johnson, a defenseman. “It was definitely special since we’re new teammates,” Groll said. “It was great to bond with the entire team, but it was special having another Californian to share it with.” Added Johnson: “It was awesome to win it with him and share that on the ice. We’re looking forward to bringing what we learned home to our team this season.”


California Rubber Hockey Magazine

Both players said the challenge of coming togeth- is USA Hockey’s director of youth hockey. “He’s a er as a team was eased by the players’ cooperative very exciting player between his skating and his skill and inclusive spirit throughout their two weeks to- set. gether. “I didn’t know a lot about Josh coming into this “We made sure everyone got to know everyone tournament, but he plays much bigger than his size else,” Groll said. “We didn’t (5-foot-11, 170 pounds), he have separate groups. There plays hard and has an underwas a real team atmosphere.” rated skill set. He wins a lot of “I can take from (their leadpuck battles.” ership),” Johnson noted. “They That two Californians were led by example, and that was a regulars in the top summer big part of our success. (Josh competition for their birth year and I) need to do it for our (2001) speaks well of what’s team.” taking place in the state, FerThe tournament consisted schweiler said. of four games in four days. “Back in the day, we saw Team USA defeated Switzerskilled roller hockey players land (8-1), Slovakia (7-1), Gercoming from California and many (6-0) and the Czechs (5now, they’re skilled over2) in succession. all hockey players,” he said. Johnson, the highest-draft“Those two kids and the Caled Californian ever in the ifornia kids I was lucky enough USHL Futures Draft (No. 3 to coach at Western Michigan overall to Sioux Falls) and have great approaches – they Groll, who was selected by listen and they’re trying to get Omaha in the same draft, were better every day. They’re built chosen for the U17 team affor long-term success.” ter their performances at USA Josh Groll (left) and Ryan Johnson will be teammates Johnson said the overall Hockey’s Select 16 Player De- with the Anaheim Jr. Ducks 16U AAA team this sea- experience was overwhelmvelopment Camps. Johnson son and helped Team USA to a Five Nations title in ingly positive, from seeing late August. previously was invited to the other parts of the world for the U.S. National Team Development Program’s top-40 first time to playing against European teams. Player Evaluation Camp earlier this year. “It was a great experience – being far away and “Ryan has been exposed to this type of thing a bit winning,” Johnson said. “It could be a once-in-a-lifemore,” said team manager Kenny Rauch, who also time experience.”


Ex-NHLer Armstrong on board as LAKHSHL commissioner By Greg Ball


sport of hockey, and when I was approached about it, I said I’d love to take on this new role,” Armstrong said. “I enjoy growing the game and being around the rink, and I think I have a pretty good grasp of what’s going on in the league.” Last season, Armstrong’s duties involved overseeing coaching for the league’s 15 varsity and junior varsity teams. He visited each team at least once for on-ice coaching sessions that

s the LA Kings High School Hockey League (LAKHSHL) heads into its third season, the growing league will be doing so under a new commissioner. Fourteen-year NHL veteran Derek Armstrong has taken over the role from Jim Fox, who had led the Kings league in its first two years. Armstrong serves as the director of hockey programming and curriculum for the Kings and has been part of the high school league since it began in 2015. “Derek has been heavily involved in the high school league since its inaugural season, and he really knows the ins and outs of the league,” said Emma Tani, the coordinator of league and rinks, hockey development for the Kings. “That, in conjunction with his extensive players and coaches found invaluable NHL career, his success running a CHL Derek Armstrong in adding to their understanding of the team and his overall passion for the game, made him an game. His drop-ins with teams consisted of him getting obvious choice. on the ice with the players, working on new skills and “Not only is ‘Army’ great with the players, but he bringing a fresh and different approach to practices. is passionate about growing the game, which is the He’ll continue to do that moving forward, but will objective of our department. His upbeat attitude and also play a key role in decision-making and shaping the hockey IQ is truly unparalleled.” direction of the league. Armstrong said he was thrilled to be assigned to his “The biggest reason I took on this job was to help new post Sept. 1, and would approach it with the same grow the game of hockey,” Armstrong said. “The high passion he displayed during his playing career. school age group is a tough one for hockey, and it’s “’Foxy’ did an amazing job as the league’s first com- turned into such an expensive sport that I think the high missioner and is such an incredible ambassador for the school league is a really great option for a lot of players.

It keeps kids loving this great game and teaches a lot of great life lessons.” Tani said Fox stepped aside because his commitments as a Kings broadcaster and to some other projects left him with less and less time to dedicate to league. His role in getting the league off the ground as its first commissioner and the positive impact he had on the league, however, can’t be understated. “We are incredibly grateful that he was able to remain commissioner for two seasons,” Tani said. Armstrong, who has two high-school aged children of his own, knows that the decisions he makes as the commissioner of the LAKHSHL can having lasting impacts on the lives of countless student-athletes. “I don’t want to change my role too much because I really enjoy getting on the ice with the kids and teaching them the game,” Armstrong said. “But I’ll be in a position to make some more decisions and help kids continue to develop as hockey players and people. I think the biggest responsibility with this role is to continue stressing the progress of the league. It’s not a AAA league - it’s for kids to have fun playing hockey. It’s intended to be a similar experience to what kids get playing other sports for their high school teams.”

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Jr. Kings’ Mite contingent packs plenty of promise By Brian McDonough


eeping the cupboards stocked with eager and enthusiastic players at the youngest levels is paramount when it comes to solidifying the longstanding strength and success of any youth hockey program, and no club recognizes that fact better than the Los Angeles Jr. Kings. This season - thanks in part to the organization’s influx of coaching and financial resources to enhance the players’ experience, along with condensing rosters in an effort to get the kids more ice time and puck touches - the club was able to lift six Mite teams into action this season - three each at the A and B levels. “The stronger we can be at those first couple of entry-level years in terms of participation, the stronger our entire program becomes across the board,” said Jr. Kings general manager of hockey operations Nick Vachon. “Once you have a great base and a great foundation, the entire program benefits.” That foundation is cultivated in large part by the club’s coaching staffs, and Vachon firmly believes the Jr. Kings have some of the best at the Mite levels. Heading up the Mite A squads are Jamie Storr, Joe Consolazio and Brett Beebe; Dimitri Voulelikas, Jeff Bain and Stephan Desjardins lead the Mite B teams. “All of these guys do a great job both teaching and getting the kids excited to learn and have fun,” said Vachon. “And the kids are going to become better hockey players when they get to Squirts and Pee Wees because of our coaches’ knowledge and way they conduct themselves in front of this particular age group, on and off the ice.”

Beebe, who coached Midget 16U AAA last season, is excited to make an impact mentoring some of the youngest Jr. Kings. “Coaching Mites couldn’t be more different, but I absolutely love it,” said Beebe, a former Jr. King. “These kids are attentive, they want to be coached and they have so much passion for the game. “Our goal as a staff is to get these kids to make plays

The Los Angeles Jr. Kings are icing six Mite teams this season, including their A1 squad which celebrated the championship in its division at this year’s Jr. Kings-hosted Tinseltown Labor Day Festival, which was showcased earlier this month at El Segundo’s Toyota Sports Center.

while moving their feet, learn how to play away from the puck, and most importantly have fun and understand the game better.” And along with the new American Development Model (ADM) boards the Jr. Kings invested in this season as per USA Hockey’s recommendation - they’re smaller, lighter and more manageable for coaches and administrators to


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set up and tear down - Vachon is most excited about the Southern California Amateur Hockey Association-mandated use of intermediate-sized nets. “I think that really makes a big difference,” said Vachon. “Goaltenders are able to make more saves so they’re having more fun, and it’s going to help the skaters become more accurate shooters; now you don’t have one player scoring 5-6 easy goals because the nets are big; they’ve got to work for some goals, and the games are definitely closer.” “These kids are learning so much more now with the smaller rinks and smaller nets thanks to the ADM,” Beebe added. “Now the kids have to work together to score and prevent goals if they want to have success as a team.” James Gasseau is the youth hockey director at El Segundo’s Toyota Sports Center. Many of the Jr. Kings Mites are graduates of the facility’s “Learn to Play” and “One Goal” programs. “Kudos to USA Hockey for getting involved, especially at the 6U and 8U levels; making the playing areas smaller and smaller nets are game-changers,” said Gasseau. “It allows for the kids to touch the puck more, and it’s much more exciting and beneficial from a skill-development standpoint.” And in the end, grooming the kids in a fun, healthy learning environment is what’s most important both for the player and the long-term vitality of the club. “We’re not interested in wins and losses at these age groups; we want to make sure these kids get better,” said Vachon. “(Winning and losing) may count at 15-16 years old; not at six.”


San Jose hosts successful USA Hockey Development Camp By Matt Mackinder


raditionally, Labor Day Weekend is the jumping-off point for the upcoming hockey season and this year, Solar4America Ice in San Jose hosted a USA Hockey AAA Development Camp for select 14U and 15U youth teams. Hockey season is indeed here. At the 2002 birth year, the LA Jr. Kings, San Jose Jr. Sharks, Anaheim Jr. Ducks and Phoenix Jr. Coyotes took in the camp, while the 2003 contingent was made up of the Jr. Kings, Jr. Sharks, Jr. Ducks and the Coloradobased Rocky Mountain RoughRiders. “It was a super great weekend here to kind of get teams going without the kids having to worry about the game results,” said Jr. Sharks operations manager Tyler Shaffar. “The bigger focus was on doing the right thing, practicing correctly and creating the atmosphere we want to create. One example was during practices where it’s one thing going against your own guys, but suddenly, you have a Jr. Shark going against a Jr. King and you’re battling, but you’re doing it in a competitive and a healthy manner that really shows the sportsmanship. “The games were kind of a topper to everything, but overall, the coaches and kids learned new drills and to top it all off, CAHA was there for a AA jamboree, so now you have all these AA teams that now see what AAA has to offer and what steps are needed to play at that level. Just a great weekend from all perspectives.”

USA Hockey also had officials in attendance for supervision and for daily presentations to the players and coaches. One official, American Development Model (ADM) technical director Ken Martel, said having the camp in California can only help grow the game, especially in a market where hockey is not only growing, but thriving. “USA Hockey has run this type of American Development Model event with a number of Tier I programs out East and we wanted to create the same kind of

development opportunity for players in the West,” said Martel. “San Jose and Anaheim are USA Hockey Model Associations and the Kings are actively pursuing Model Association status, so it was a logical step for us to do the event in California.” Martel also noted numerous positives coming out of the development camp. “Our goal was for the teams and players to directly

benefit from some early-season competition and training,” Martel said. “It’s a bit of a team camp environment where there are practice sessions involved with an opponent, so that increases the intensity level in practices. And then the short, single-period games provide the coaches an opportunity to see their kids in action without the pressure to win games that would affect rankings for the season. “There were several important additional benefits that were highlighted by the parents and other coaches who were in the facility. First, we had one parent tell us that it was great to see the players on the ice practicing together. Sometimes, teams and parents reinforce a mentality that ‘opposing teams hate us and we hate them’ in order to increase competition. That was not the case in this development camp environment and, in fact, the parent said it was great to see the players compete, but also fist bump each other after good plays in practice. The respect for your opponents and fair-play aspect was a deliberate byproduct of the environment we created.” The upward trend in growth of the game in the Golden State is also statistically sound. In the past three seasons (2014-15 through 201617), only Minnesota has added more new youth hockey players (ages 18 and under) than California. Overall, California now ranks No. 9 among all U.S. states in total youth hockey players.

Visit the Jr Sharks website to register


PICTURE PERFECT The Pama Labeda Golden Knights celebrate their Women’s Division championship at this year’s State Wars 13 United States Roller Hockey Championship tournament, which was held earlier this summer. Photo//World Inline Hockey

At this year’s Los Angeles Jr. Kings-hosted Labor Day Festival, which was showcased earlier this month at El Segundo’s Toyota Sports Center, the Jr. Kings took home the top prize in the Squirt BB division.

In the middle of going 4-0 on the weekend at the CAHA Labor Day Tier II Jamboree, the San Jose Jr. Sharks 14AA boys team still found time to have an early-season party and enjoy some team bonding.

Back in mid-August, the San Diego Jr. Gulls 14U AAA team volunteered to better the community by helping out for a day at Feeding San Diego.

The 1st Annual BattleKing 3 on 3 hockey event at LA Kings Icetown Riverside, which was showcased over Labor Day weekend, saw the Ontario Jr. Reign’s 12U Red Wings entry take home first place in its division.

Los Angeles Jr. Kings graduate Kailer Yamamoto signed his first NHL contract with the Edmonton Oilers back on Aug. 10 and has a chance to stick with the club this coming season.

The California Wave 19U girls team took third place at last month’s USA Hockey Youth Nationals in suburban Detroit and to boot, have six players from that team moving on to play NCAA Division I and Division III college hockey in the fall.

The Ontario Jr. Reign’s 10U Leafs team brought home first place at the 1st Annual BattleKing 3 on 3 hockey event at LA Kings Icetown Riverside, which was held over Labor Day Weekend.

Las Vegas Valley Firefighters, in conjunction with current and former professional hockey players, participated in the fifth annual charity hockey game on Aug. 12 at the Sobe Ice Arena and the ceremonial puck drop featured (left to right) local talent Danny Ramos, fire chief Willie McDonald, city councilman Michele Fiore and Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Deryk Engelland.

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Tahoe Hockey Academy progressing nicely into Year 2 By Greg Ball


eptember is upon us and as summer winds down, those in the hockey world know that things are ramping up for the season. With a full year under its belt, the Tahoe Hockey Academy (THA) has been busy gearing up for Year 2 of development and building a program on a national scale. THA is currently California’s only full-time residential boarding school dedicated to hockey, and the program’s model seems to be resonating with plenty of hockey families. “It’s been a busy summer further establishing our program and introducing ourselves to a larger hockey community,” Tahoe Hockey Academy president Leo Fenn said. “We’ve talked to many people throughout North America, from Canada to Boston and everywhere in between, and the response we’ve received really validates what we believe in and what our program stands for.” As things are moving forward, it’s hard to believe that just a few years ago THA was only a concept in the founders’ brains. Their idea was geared toward youth hockey players who craved more ice time, more training, more exposure and more time spent in class than in traffic. A sound concept is great, but it only matters if others believe that it’s beneficial to them. If the number of new students is any indication, Tahoe Hockey Academy

is onto something with its vision of player development. Entering its second year, THA seems to be making all the right moves to become bigger and better. “Last year, we fielded one team and through a lot of hard work, we were fortunate enough to add a second team this season,” THA athletic director Michael Lewis said. “Our goal is to stay the course and do things that are in the best interest of our players’ development. That means more attention to building better skaters, stick handlers and overall players rather than systems-type players.” The philosophy appears to be taking hold, as more players from more states are flocking out West to the program in South Lake Tahoe. “Everyone has a goal, but sometimes there isn’t enough time in the day to truly pursue that personal ambition,” said Lewis. “I’ve had countless conversations with parents and players from all over who have a desire for more in this sport, but spend more hours traveling to practice than actually practicing. There had to be better way, and it’s rewarding to be able to offer what we do as an option to those seeking it.” A quick glance at some of the additions this year shows a program that is backing up what it believes in.

“We wanted to craft a program and schedule that was challenging to our athletes,” Fenn said. “In saying that, we’ve partnered with the Potomac Patriots of the USPHL to create an affiliation so our players can travel, train and play in junior games to get a taste of what’s at the next level.” There’s no question that this outside the box thinking is keeping Tahoe Hockey Academy at the forefront of developing and exposing its players. “We want to train our athletes to a higher plane and give them things that they wouldn’t receive with a traditional program,” Fenn said. “We’re on the ice every morning, in the gym every evening, and in between providing video, yoga, nutrition and high-quality academics to ensure our players can obtain their goals. The next step is to get our players to events like the NAHL Future Prospects Tournaments and USPHL showcases so they can network and expose their game to scouts.” Tahoe Hockey Academy continues to push the envelope on what can be achieved at the youth level. The concept has taken hold, and as new students begin to report to the academy, it’s safe to say that they, as well as THA, have many positive things in store for 2018.



Ducks add Poway ICE to THE RINKS Development Program By Anaheim Ducks /


Diego Gulls, Anaheim’s primary development affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL). Poway ICE will offer youth and adult hockey programs, figure skating, a learn-toskate program, public skating and broomball. In addition, the facility will also host group events, fund-

he Anaheim Ducks announced Sept. 1 that the club has added Poway ICE to THE RINKS Development Program. Formerly known as Poway Ice Arena, Poway ICE becomes THE RINKS’ first facility in San Diego County. Poway ICE is part of a program that includes facilities in Anaheim (THE RINKS - Anaheim ICE), Westminster (THE RINKS - Westminster ICE), Yorba Linda (THE RINKS - Yorba Linda ICE), Lakewood (THE RINKS - Lakewood ICE), Huntington Beach (THE RINKS - Huntington Beach Inline), Irvine (THE RINKS - Irvine Inline) and Corona (THE RINKS - Corona Inline). The Ducks now operate eight local skating facilities, consisting of five ice rinks and three inline facilities. The Ducks originally launched THE Poway ICE is the official practice facility of the AHL’s San Diego Gulls and will offer RINKS Development Program on Feb. youth and adult hockey programs, figure skating, a learn-to-skate program, public skating and broomball. 13, 2009. “This is great day for THE RINKS Development Pro- raisers and birthday parties. gram and hockey in San Diego,” said THE RINKS vice For additional program information for all RINKS facilipresident Art Trottier. “Poway ICE will be a significant ties, visit addition to THE RINKS and become a destination for local Poway ICE is located east of the 15 freeway off the hockey players throughout San Diego County.” Scripps Poway Parkway exit in Poway, serving residents Poway ICE is the official practice facility of the San throughout all of San Diego County.


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Below is a list of all eight RINKS locations:

• THE RINKS - Poway ICE: 12455 Kerran Street, #100, Poway, 92064 • THE RINKS - Anaheim ICE: 300 West Lincoln Ave., Anaheim, 92805 • THE RINKS - Lakewood ICE: 3975 Pixie Avenue, Lakewood, 90712 • THE RINKS - Yorba Linda ICE: 23641 La Palma Ave., Yorba Linda, 92887 • THE RINKS - Westminster ICE: 13071 Springdale St., Westminster, 92683 • THE RINKS - Huntington Beach Inline: 5555 McFadden Ave., Huntington Beach, 92649 • THE RINKS - Irvine Inline: 3150 Barranca Parkway, Irvine, 92606 • THE RINKS - Corona Inline: 4325 Prado Rd., #101, Corona, 92880

(See also Page 17 for more information on Poway ICE.)

ANAHEIM JR. DUCKS THE RINKS expands, makes its first play into San Diego County By Chris Bayee


he flock of RINKS is flying south. On Sept. 1, the Anaheim Ducks announced the acquisition of the former Poway Ice Arena, making THE RINKS-Poway ICE the first facility in San Diego County and the eighth overall in THE RINKS Development Program. The Poway rink houses the practice facility of the Ducks’ top affiliate, the San Diego Gulls of the American Hockey League (AHL). “We’re excited – the building is about two years old and is in fairly good shape,” said Art Trottier, vice president of THE RINKS. “With our footprint in San Diego with the Gulls, it made a lot of sense to pursue another rink in that area.” Trottier assembled a transition team comprised of managers and leads from various other RINKS facilities and expects Poway ICE to be running full tilt by mid-September. The purchase keeps with the Ducks’ vision of growing participation in throughout Southern California. “Hopefully, this will help grow not only hockey, but figure skating, recreational skating, everything,” Trottier added. “We don’t talk about doing things, we do things, and it’s all because of Henry and Susan (Samueli, the Ducks’ owners).” Having a facility in San Diego County brings a collateral benefit to the flourishing Anaheim Ducks High School Hockey League as well. Nine of the circuit’s 49 teams are based in San Diego County. “They will play some games there, and it gives the league another building to farm out practices to,” Trottier said. “We have a pretty good handle on Orange County. Now with the Gulls’ popularity, we’re trying to expand into San Diego.” The Gulls averaged the third-highest attendance in the AHL last season (8,876). THE RINKS’ other facilities include ice rinks in Anaheim, Lakewood, Westminster and Yorba Linda, as well as inline rinks in Corona, Huntington Beach and Irvine. A planned foursheet ice rink and training facility, which will house the Anaheim Ducks’ practice facilities, is under construction at the Great Park in Irvine and is slated to open in fall of 2018.


Preparing for puck drop – that time is fast approaching W

hat you need to know to be ready for the season: Pre-season Shift – That exciting time of year when hockey season is finally back. New teams are formed, players and coaches are turning the switch back on from the summer break, and all Jerry Hotarek hit the ground running with pre-season preparation. From a physical standpoint, hockey is indeed an interesting sport with a physiological profile containing aerobic endurance, anaerobic power and endurance, muscular strength, and skating speed. Athletes at the highest level of the game have all recently agreed that hockey has evolved in such a way that if you are not continuously improving peak athleticism, you will not last. Before the puck drops, your expectation as a coach is that your players have spent their off-season training the right way with properly periodized strength training, loosening of skating muscles, and developing fluid and sound movements with power and speed. Pre-season Conditioning – Phasing into the season, the focus should include sport-specific condition-

ing, developing skating muscles and injury prevention. Every coach’s program on and off the ice should have injury prevention in the front of their mind for the simple fact that if your players are not healthy, they cannot play. As an energy system, hockey is characterized by high-intensity intermittent skating with rapid changes in velocity and duration. Pre-season conditioning should be parallel with these characteristics. At the older age groups and elite levels, VO2max testing is a requirement to determine the athlete’s anaerobic threshold. A common test seen in hockey is the 300-yard shuttle run test (two cones 25 yards apart, run back and forth six times as fast as possible). Conditioning is typically seen in the forms of sprint drills and plyometrics, stationary bike intervals, and skating with work-rest ratios around 1:2 (work time = 30-60 seconds, rest time = 60-120+ seconds). The most common misconception I see is the implementation of long distance running. Physiological studies have shown that a large percentage of the sport has anaerobic demands. Therefore, your conditioning should primarily promote anaerobic power and endurance. Work Smart – Do not mistake hard work for achievement. All athletic programs must be carefully designed at each phase for athletes to perform at their optimal level. Each phase has a different intention and purpose. The pre-season shift should be intentional

and purposeful with preparation in mind without the risk of burnout early in the season. While the pre-season is short, much can be achieved in just those few weeks. Coaches can effectively condition their athletes in as little as 2-3 weeks while preparing their bodies for in-season demands with injury prevention. Off-ice conditioning protocols can be performed 2-3 times per week in conjunction with the on-ice schedule and will be effective as long as it is balanced well with recovery methods and injury prevention through mobility, myofascial release, stretching and loosening. Conclusion – In-season requirements include maintenance in muscular strength, mobility and muscle recovery. The primary goal for every athlete is to stay healthy and consistently perform at their highest level. Older age groups can perform workouts 2-3 times per week (pending schedule) with the approach of strength and movement reinforcement. Younger age groups (Mite-Pee Wee) train within their trainability window. Conditioning protocols can still be implemented with the focus of motor skill improvement and speed (at the Pee Wee level). Remember, at these younger ages, it is critical to avoid early youth sport specialization. Even while coaching hockey, we want to encourage players to develop overall athleticism. With that being said, the key to in-season maintenance at these levels is to never turn down the dial on the fun meter.

Jerry Hotarek is a certified strength and conditioning specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association with over 10 years’ experience as a coach on and off the ice. For any questions or inquiries on training regimens or programs, visit or email

Interested in being a Chalk Talk columnist? E-mail Matt Mackinder at


Balancing act no problem for Woodland Hills’ Polydoros By Matt Mackinder


t’s one thing to be a high school student and focus on all that comes with that responsibility. Nick Polydoros takes that one step further – and excels. A Woodland Hills native, Polydoros is in his senior year at Chaminade High School and will play this coming season on the blue line for the Newbury Park team in the LA Kings High School Hockey League (LAKHSHL). And one more thing. Polydoros recently attained the rank of Eagle Scout as a member of the Boy Scouts. So how does the 17-year-old manage two of his top priorities? “As I started to get older and had a heavier load at school and a busier hockey schedule, this became more of a challenge,” said Polydoros. “But over time, I figured it out and was able to continue doing both without short-changing one or the other most of the time. Sometimes, my mom would help me decide which commitment was more of a priority whenever I had a conflict. Now that I am an Eagle Scout, I plan to stay involved with the troop, but the conflicts will be much more manageable.” Polydoros first joined the Boy Scouts in 2010 after he finished fifth grade. A friend of his was bridging into a troop from Cub Scouts. “I was never a Cub Scout, so this was all new to me,” Polydoros said. “At first, Boy Scouts was a way for me to keep in touch with some close friends that were going to a different school, but then it evolved into something more for me after

I discovered that I love hiking, backpacking, and other things that Boy Scouts offers.” Now as an Eagle Scout, Polydoros has achieved something that only five percent of Boy Scouts

ick Polydoros competes hard on the ice in the LAKHSHL and keeps equally busy off the ice as a newly-minted Eagle Scout.

ever accomplish. “To attain the rank of Eagle, you need several years of participation, leadership roles, community service, a minimum of 21 merit badges and the successful planning an execution of a sustainable Eagle project that helps your community,” ex-

plained Polydoros. “My project was building and installing wooden storage cubbies for kids to store their backpacks at a local child care center for lower income families. Achieving this rank is special to me because it takes years of dedication and commitment and is not easily reached by the majority of Boy Scouts.” Growing up, Polydoros tried other sports such as karate, baseball, basketball and soccer for a few years, but his uncle had always loved hockey and got him skating lessons at the local recreation center when he was just six years old. “A couple of years later, when I didn’t want to play the other sports, my dad told me I had to pick a sport or he would pick for me,” laughed Polydoros. “I told him I wanted to play hockey and never looked back. I started playing in Panorama City in 2009. “Hockey is an exciting and fast-moving sport, and it’s unique in California. After skating for the first time, I was hooked. It takes thought, skill, and working with your teammates, which all appealed to me.” With the LAKHSHL season right around the corner, Polydoros wants to cap his high school career on a successful note and then keep the momentum going. “I look forward to playing well and bonding as a team,” he said. “I hope we will be able to take on any other team in the league and come home with the championship. I hope to continue playing hockey in college on a club team and in life, I hope to get involved in the business world, maybe something with stocks.” 18

California Rubber Hockey Magazine

NEVADA REPORT NA3HL’s Wolves to feature Vegas New City National Arena will be connection of Fehlig, Zucker ‘for all Las Vegans to enjoy’ By Matt Mackinder

By Matt Mackinder



he state capital of Michigan is a bit different than the hot, humid atmosphere of Las Vegas. And Brenden Fehlig and Cameron Zucker will find out firsthand as the Vegas products have signed with the North American 3 Hockey League’s (NA3HL) Lansing Wolves for the 2017-18 season. Fehlig, a Michigan transplant, is a Nevada Storm youth graduate who played junior hockey last season for the Las Vegas Storm in the Western States Hockey League (WSHL). Zucker also played for the youth Storm in 2016-17. “It sure is exciting to be playing back in Michigan for the Wolves and in front of my extended family again,” said Fehlig. “Brenden came here out of the blue and earned his stripes,” said Lansing coach-GM Mark Lawrence. “We see great things moving forward.” Fehlig scored six goals and had 11 assists for the Storm in the WSHL and was part of a Storm junior team that posted its best record to date with 23 wins under coach Gabe Gauthier. Zucker popped 10 goals and 11 assists for the Storm 16U AAA team last season. Micah Sanford coached Zucker during the 2016-17 season. “He is exactly the kind of kid we want here with our program in Lansing,” added Lawrence. “Add to the fact that he and Brenden are best pals and this is a great stepping stone for the kids and we will make sure of that.” For Zucker, he comes from a very elite pedigree as his father Scott, runs, coaches youth hockey in Las Vegas and is the president of the Nevada Amateur Hockey Association. Cameron’s older brother, Jason, is a star forward in the NHL for the Minnesota Wild. And with the NA3HL being a premier development spot for many high-end players, perhaps two of Vegas’ finest prospects will lend further credibility to the league and to the Wolves. “With high-caliber kids like these two, needless to say, we think we struck gold,” said Lawrence.

he Vegas Golden Knights’ practice facility finally has a name – City National Arena. The rink, which is situated in the Summerlin community west of the Strip, is a winwin for all involved. The terms of the arrangement between Golden Knights and City National Bank include center ice logos on both NHL-sized ice sheets, a patch on the Golden Knights practice jerseys and additional signage at the facility. City National Bank will also receive exposure and branding in T-Mobile Arena, the home of the Golden Knights. “Our practice facility was designed to be the official home of the Vegas Golden Knights, but also a state-of-the-art community ice center for all Las Vegans to enjoy,” said Golden Knights owner, chairman and CEO Bill Foley. “We are thrilled to partner with City National Bank on this endeavor, as City National shares in our vision of growing the sport of hockey in Southern Nevada and has a strong commitment to the community. City National Arena will provide best-in-class amenities and programs for all skill levels and experience, regardless of age or gender.” City National Bank’s chairman and CEO Russell Goldsmith highlighted the partnership in his own words. “City National is proud to become the official bank of the Vegas Golden Knights and to put our name on the team’s outstanding new City National Arena across the street from our Nevada banking headquarters,” said Goldsmith. “Since City National has been providing outstanding business and private banking and investment management here in Las Vegas for over a decade, we are very enthusiastic about Bill Foley and the Golden Knights ushering in a new era of major league sports for Nevada. The Knights will add to the attraction of Las Vegas as a world class tourist destination, create many jobs and help grow the economy of Southern Nevada in many ways. “We are also very pleased that the beautiful new City National Arena will be a great resource for the whole community to enjoy.”

FROM THE TRAINER’S ROOM Keeping it simple when it comes to training = success T

oday’s social media blitz shows top athletes performing extraordinary exercises and drills that almost look impossible, but are they beneficial? I recently spoke at a seminar and the common notion was “master the simple stuff.” This is true not only for amateur athletes, but professional athletes as well. Minor defects in mechanics can lead to asymmetries in strength, stability and flexibility. A quality professional will know how to progress an athlete Chris Phillips from simple to more complex exercises and drills that will benefit the development of the athlete. Squat – Common error: Sitting back on heels too much to not allow the knees to go over the toes. The knees actually do go slightly over the toes in a proper squat. Attempting to keep the knees from going over the toes can cause either too much trunk flexion or leaning back too much, causing a feeling of falling backwards. In an ideal squat, the trunk and shin angles should be parallel. Lunge – Common error: When lunging forward, the foot steps more towards the midline (beneath the belly button) instead of under the hip. By stepping more laterally, beneath the hip, there will be more activation and strengthening of the hip muscles. Box Jump – Common error: Using a box that is too high. The goal of a box jump is to create power with the legs and jump up and land on a box. When the box is too high, an athlete will attempt to just try and get their feet on to the box instead of getting extension at the ankle, knee and hip, which is what creates power more efficiently. If the athlete is not getting the triple extension or struggling to get to the box, lower the height. The last thing an athlete wants to do is miss the box and tear up their knee or shin. Chris Phillips is an athletic trainer and strength and conditioning specialist with over 20 years’ experience in professional hockey, football and soccer and is owner of Compete Sports Performance and Rehab.


Developing the Future

Millar a student of the game, enjoys passing knowledge on to goalie prospects junior college hockey in North Dakota and NCAA Division III hockey at Bethel University in Minnesota. He skated in Kings summer development camps several times, yet that ensured nothing for him. “My last year of college I didn’t play very much; I was behind two Minnesota kids,” Millar recalled. “What’s interesting is they didn’t get along well, and the coach called me in and said, ‘I think you’re important to our chemistry. Can you work with these guys and help them?’ “My last year of playing turned out to be my first year of coaching. I really enjoyed that year, helping things run well. It was fun to learn about people I was coaching, to apply techniques. I got more enjoyment seeing them improve than out of my own improvement.” After a few seasons helping at Bethel and working various goalie camps, Millar took an assistant

The two, who never played against each other growing up, quickly realized their California connection. One rowing up, Matt Millar was just as apt to be thing led to another and former Dubuque coach Matt playing floor hockey or roller hockey in El Shaw hired Millar, who stayed on board when Jason Segundo with his friends as he was to be helping out Lammers took over when Shaw took an assistant his father in the Los Angeles Kings locker room. job at the University of North Dakota. Things came Millar’s range of experiences is unique even full circle this summer when David was hired after among the California hockey cohort, where lengthy Lammers took the Niagara University head-coaching and winding journeys aren’t unusual. As he enters job. his fifth season in Dubuque, Iowa, where he is an “This was the best thing that could have happened assistant coach for the Fighting Saints of the United to me,” Millar said of Dubuque. “There are times you’re States Hockey League, he took time assess where disappointed you didn’t get what you wanted but he’s come from and his passion for helping masked you’re given what you need. I can’t be more thankful men. to Oliver for recommending me, Matt for hiring me and “My experience was different than a lot of guys’ Jason and Oliver for keeping me.” from California because of my dad (longtime Kings Another part of Millar’s post-hockey education – equipment manager Peter Millar),” said Matt, who one he points to as important as any of the hockey was Dubuque’s goalie coach and director of hockey specific learning he’s done – came in his role as the operations until being Fighting Saints’ director promoted in June. “I spent of hockey operations. He a lot of time around pro honed soft skills while athletes and a lot of time dealing with dollars and traveling with my dad to cents. NHL cities, then I’d come “We’re given home and play roller resources to build hockey outside with guys relationships,” he said. who had never picked up “Go buy a lunch or a a stick. breakfast, spend that “I went from one end of time away from the rink the spectrum to the other.” to understand where Today, Millar is making guys are at. Make sure his mark in helping we’re open so we can goalies, often overlooked have a relationship with or rejected ones, jump them. start their careers in junior “These guys don’t hockey. care what you know His protégés include until they know you care. Christian Frey, a Texan Even though they’re who played for Ohio State kids, they’re smart, University before signing they’re watching you. with the Iowa Wild of the We put the time, effort American Hockey League, and money into people. Jacob Nehama, another Matt, Jason, Oliver – Texan, of Colorado they’ve all wanted to do College, Hunter Miska, that.” who led the University of That was further Minnesota Duluth to the Matt Millar grew up learning the game in Los Angeles and now works with up-and-coming goaltenders, including Arizona State commit reinforced, Millar and Arizona native Jaxon Castor with the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the USHL. Photo/Dubuque Fighting Saints NCAA final before signing said, during a chance with the Arizona Coyotes, and now, Arizona native coaching job at Murray Hill High School in Minnesota opportunity to work on the ice with Kings goalie coach Jaxon Castor. – which won a state title – and began helping as a Bill Ranford at a development camp a few years ago. “Every year he’s been in Dubuque, the goalie has goalie mentor for USA Hockey under Mike Ayers. “That really changed how I approached things exceeded expectations,” said Fighting Saints coach He also did some scouting work for the Coyotes and and coached technically,” Millar said. “To hear Bill Oliver David, a native Californian who worked with served as a consultant for USHL franchises in Omaha Ranford – who has won Stanley Cups as a player and Millar as an assistant for three years and then again and Fargo, where he mentored Coyotes draft choice a coach – share his approach, it made me realize how when he became head coach in June. “All of them have Mike Lee. important your relationships are, how you connect. different backgrounds and all of them were cut at one “Seeing Bill and (goaltender development coach) “All these experiences helped,” he said. “I got to time or another. We brought Frey and Nehama in on see first-hand how a high-end Minnesota high school Dusty Imoo work with prospects at development tryouts after their previous USHL teams released them. team ran. Once Mike went to Boston College, I worked camp and seeing that how they are as people is how They made the team and set records. (Matt) really is with Kevin Reiter. I worked festivals, I worked with they are as coaches helped me. No matter how good quietly doing something special with these goalies.” or bad a player was doing, they worked with him with (NHL goalie coach) Mitch Korn.” One of Millar’s secrets might surprise you. Millar’s work for the nation’s governing body the same effort, the same detail, the same attention to “My playing career was not as illustrious as a lot for hockey continued the past few years with get their point across as they would an NHL starter. of people’s and that’s good because I’ve had to be a his involvement in the sport’s two major summer That was a big changing point for me.” student of the game,” he said. “My mom is a teacher tournaments. He was on staff for last season’s Five Add it up and Millar has plenty to pass along to and always loved learning and understanding things. Nations tournament team that won gold at U17, his charges. I’ve always been curious, a lot like Oliver. “All of the coaches (in Dubuque) wanted goalies and he was on the Under-18 coaching staff for this “That helped me build my observation skills – I summer’s Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. to have their time,” he said. “I want to put effort into might see a lot of things others don’t because of the Through working at a Pacific District camp in practice so when kids play it’s their time. experiences I’ve had.” “I can’t say I played 28 years of professional Alaska, Millar met David, who had just gone from After playing youth hockey for the Marina Cities coaching a North American Hockey League team in hockey, but I like my past and I want to develop the Sharks and the Bay Harbor Red Wings, Millar played Kenai, Alaska, to taking an assistant’s job in Dubuque. next level of goaltenders.”

By Chris Bayee



California Rubber Hockey Magazine


NARCh Finals wrap eventful summer for Golden State teams her award while Rackleff recorded a .897 save percentage. Sanders also won the fastest skater award in the dihe North American Roller Hockey Championship tour- vision’s skills competition. nament series (NARCh) is about to reach a milestone The San Jose Inline Sharks recorded a gold medal in with the upcoming 2017-18 campaign – its ground-break- the Bantam Club Division and a silver medal in the Pee ing 25th anniversary season. Wee Gold Division. “We’re ramping up for a big year,” NARCh president The Sharks’ Rashi Patel captured the high scorer Daryn Goodwin explained. “It’s crazy.” award in the Bantam Club Division with 15 points (seven The ending to the tournament series’ 2016-17 cham- goals, eight assists). pionship season continued to set the standard for the Jaisal Patel of the Sharks received the top goaltenorganization, which is widely conder award in Pee Wee Gold sidered to be the premier inline with a .908 save percentage hockey tournament series in the and also grabbed the top goalworld. tender award in Bantam Club NARCh wrapped up its sumwith an .866 save percentage. mer championships with two reFellow Northern California gional national finals – the NARCh rival NCR Konixx Elite won the West Coast Finals June 16-25 in Men’s Silver Tier 2 Division as San Jose and the NARCh East Cameron Houde posted a Coast Finals July 13-23 in Missis.823 save percentage to win sauga, Ont., Canada. the top goaltender award in It proved to be an eventful the division. summer. NCR Konixx Elite teams Fourteen teams from the Goldalso finished third in the Midgen State made the long trek to The Labeda Jets captured the Women’s Platinum et Gold Division, fourth in the suburban Toronto for one last fling Division championship at July’s NARCh East Coast Pee Wee Gold Division field Finals while representing California in the Canaat securing a NARCh medal and da-based tournament. Photo/NARCh and recorded a sixth-place finmany of those teams were rewardish in Bantam Gold. ed with shiny hardware: The Verbero Voltage, another Northern California enThe Labeda Jets, braced by division high scorer trant, finished sixth in Junior Platinum and ninth in Men’s award-winner Kyla Sanders and division top goaltender Gold Tier 2, while the PNHL Penalty Killers, yet another award-winner Jetta Rackleff, won the Women’s Plati- team from California, finished fifth in the 30-Over Division. num title. Chico’s Charlie Robinson won the top goaltender Sanders collected nine goals and 12 points to earn award with a .841 save percentage in Men’s Gold Tier

By Phillip Brents


2 while playing for the National Collegiate Roller Hockey Association Coast-2-Coast all-star team.


Twelve teams participated at this year’s top tier event at the NARCh East Coast Finals, including three teams from California. Missouri’s RPD defeated Long Island’s Labeda Snipers in the championship game. A pair of Californians helped key the Snipers’ silver medal showing. Whittier’s Matt White earned the high scorer award in the division with 12 goals and 18 points, while Brea’s Troy Redmann took home the top goaltender award based on a .915 save percentage. Both White and Redmann won a gold medal with Team USA at the 2017 International Ice Hockey Federation Inline Hockey World Championship tournament June 25-July 1 in Bratislava, Slovakia. California’s Verbero Cypress finished third in this year’s NARCh Pro field and the Pama Labeda Golden Knights placed fifth. The Konixx/RV E.L.E., also representing California, finished sixth.

NARCh nuggets

The two NARCh regional finals attracted a total of 369 entrants – 186 to the NARCh West Coast Finals and 183 to the NARCh East Coast Finals. The Bend (Ore.) Bullets generated quite a bit of success at the NARCh West Coast Finals by collecting two gold medals (Squirt Club, Pee Wee Club) and one silver medal (Mite Gold). The Oregon program sent three agegroup teams to the NARCh East Coast Finals, earning two medals. The Arizona-based Konixx Outcasts finished fourth in Junior Platinum and eighth in Division I.

Corona Bulldogs finish strong to end productive season By Phillip Brents


he Corona Bulldogs inline hockey program had a great finish to the 2016-17 travel tournament season. It started at the NARCh West Coast Finals June 16-25 in San Jose when the program captured gold medals in the 10U Club, 14U Silver and 16U Gold divisions. Bulldog teams also skated to silver medals in the 6U, 8U Silver, 10U Silver and 12U Silver divisions. Parker Stout earned the top goaltender award in the 8U Silver Division with an .803 save percentage. The Bulldogs kept the momentum going by capturing gold medals in the 6U, 8U-AA, 10U-A Tier 2 and 10U-AA divisions at the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Junior Olympic Games July 6-16 at The-Rinks Corona Inline. Carter Murchison of the Bulldogs White team led all 12U-A Tier 1 scorers with 11 points. “It was a great way to finish the season for the entire program,” Bulldogs program director Ken Murchison explained. “I think it was one of the strongest finishes in years for the Bulldogs and we are very proud of all the teams on how they played all season but especially at the end of the season for the bigger set of tournaments. We are already looking forward to the 2018 season.”

AAU honor roll

Skills competitions took place in the 8U, 10U-AA/ AAA, 12U-A, 12U-AA/AAA and 14U AA/AAA divisions at the AAU Junior Olympic Games. Hudson Cordell of the Bulldogs won the 8U 22

California Rubber Hockey Magazine

Josh Bentley of the Edmonton Hitmen took fastest skater award (18.80 seconds), while Caden Abarquez of the Tehachapi Falcons won the hard- home the 14U-AA/AAA fastest skater award (15.98 est shot competition (44 mph). seconds) and Logan Gallaher of Militia won the Liam Freeman of the Bulldogs won the 8U hardest shot competition (89 mph). breakaway competition and Sage Legaspi of the Anthony Yu of Pama won the 14U-AA/AAA Cyclones won the goaltender shootout competition. breakaway competition before Kevin Moore of Aidan Yi of the Jr. Ducks won the 10U AA/AAA Pama won the shootout goaltender competition. fastest skater award (16.97 seconds) and then Tyler King of the Rink winners included The Bash Bros McGowan of the Renegades won the hardest shot (Grant Erling, Blake Ford and Riley Schmitz) in competition (66 mph). the 8U Division; the Jr. Ducks (Chase Kardosh, Yi McGowan also won the and Trevor Connelly) in the 10U-AA/AAA Division; The 10U-AA/AAA breakaway comBoys (Adrian Ortega, Carter petition, while Jack SalverMurchison and Joshua Reid) son of the Quakes won the in the 12U-A Division; AKS 04 shootout goaltender competi(Sean Smer, Kyle Isenberg tion. and Philippe Lalonde) in the Max Ellgell of the Silicon 12U-AA/AAA Division; and Valley Quakes won the 12UMalibu’s Most Wanted (Evan A fastest skater award (16.50 Pawlur, Ty Murchison and seconds) and Matthew SherAidan Hreshuek) in the 14Uman of the Delta River Rats AA/AAA Division. won the hardest shot competiTy Murchison captured top tion (69 mph). The Corona Bulldogs captured the Bantam Gold scorer awards in both the 14UTyler Shields of the River (16U) Division championship at June’s NARCh AA/AAA Club and 14U InternaRats won the 12U-A break- West Coast Finals in San Jose. Photo/NARCh away competition before Kiera Tallas of Notion won tional divisions. He racked up 15 points in five games in the club division while playing for the L.A. Winterthe shootout goaltender award. Josh Armbruster of the Jr. Ducks won the 12U- hawks and 18 points in five games in the InternationAA/AAA fastest skater award (16.81 seconds), while al Division while playing for Team USA Red. Christian Kim of the Pama Cyclones won the hardFord, playing for Team USA Red, led the 8U Inest shot competition (71 mph). ternational Division in scoring with 23 goals and 31 Yi also won the 12U-AA/AAA breakaway compe- points in five games while Kim, also playing for Team tition and Aidan Comeau of AKS won the shootout USA Red, led the 12U International Division in scorgoaltender competition. ing with 24 points.

For the Children Give Blood Play Hockey fundraising event is ‘good ‘till the last drop’ By Phillip Brents


he Give Blood Play Hockey inline charity tournament reached a milestone last year by celebrating its 10th anniversary. The 11th annual tournament is scheduled for Oct. 19-22 at The Rinks-Irvine Inline. It’s not too late to reserve a spot in this wildly popular event. Registration is open through Oct. 10 at www. “We would love to encourage people to register their teams early, as always, we will sell out as we did last year,” tournament co-founder Mary Quayle Korus said. The fundraising focus, as always, remains on eradicating pediatric cancer. Kocus noted that more than 13,500 children under the age of 19 are diagnosed with cancer each year in the United States. That amounts to 37 children per day. She said that’s why the tournament is directing 100 percent of funds raised to help find a cure. Last year’s event featured a field of 116 teams. Tournament organizers donated just under $150,000 to Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC), which has been the event’s primary beneficiary. That number was up from $125,900 in 2015. The tournament is closing in on its goal of raising $1 million for CHOC. In 10 years, donations to CHOC have totaled $751,482 — just $248,518 short of reaching the magic mark. Equally as impressive, the total blood donation count has reached 2,573 pints – the event collected 481 pints in 2016, up from 418 in 2015. “Each pint of live-giving blood can save three lives,” Korus explained. The four-day carnival-like event encompasses a smorgasbord of activities, ranging from the competitive hockey tournament (ages six through adult) and onsite blood drive to festive face-painting and other family-friendly activities. The event annually attracts thousands of visitors, who can partake of generous servings of live entertainment throughout the day as well as rave food vendors, product vendors, a raffle and silent auction. You don’t have to be a player to have an enjoyable experience at Teams play for the perpetual Blood

Cup. The tournament’s theme this year is Good ‘Till The Last Drop -- referring to both the puck drop and the idea that every drop counts when collecting blood, according to Korus. Korus said that each blood donor will receive a free custom-designed T-shirt. Starting with this year’s event, Give Blood Play Hockey will include the TGen Foundation as a cobenefactor with CHOC with the sole purpose, Korus said, “of staying true to our mission – give blood, play

Niko Greco and Scarlette Tipton have been touched by cancer and touch the lives of all supporters of the annual Give Blood Play Hockey inline charity tournament. Photo/GBPH

hockey, fight cancer.” “Give Blood Play Hockey is excited to support the TGen Foundation though awareness and contribution of money raised at the Give Blood Play Hockey event in the honor of Casey Strale,” Korus elaborated.

“Since 2007, Give Blood Play Hockey has been donating funds to CHOC Children’s and we are well on our way to completing and exceeding our $1 million pledge. We will continue to be committed to supporting clinical trials and research into the genomics of diseases like cancer and blood disorders at CHOC Children’s.” Participants continue to play for friends, teammates and relatives who have been touched by cancer. Many continue to play for the memory of Strale, an avid youth hockey player and hockey fan who became synonymous with the Give Blood Play Hockey tournament as its ambassador during his own personal battle with a rare form of cancer. He passed away in June 2013 at 16. His courageous fight inspired tournament-goers and forever placed a human face on the tournament. One of the rinks at Irvine Inline now bears his name. Two other rinks at the Irvine facility are named after a pair of young cancer patients: Niko Greco (Rink Niko) and Scarlette Tipton (Rink Scarlette). Nine-year-old Niko returns as the 2017 featured cancer warrior for the tournament. GBPH staff first met him in 2014 while he was battling leukemia. Korus is happy to report that Niko finished threeand-a-half years of chemotherapy this past May. “He is considered ‘done with cancer,’” Korus noted. “May 5 is now considered Cinco de Niko by the city of Laguna Hills and its mayor.” Scarlette, who was born with cancer, had to have her left arm amputated at the shoulder when she was 10 months old in Oct. 2014. Her cancer is so rare that she is the only person so far diagnosed with it. As of last year’s tournament, she had undergone 19 surgeries. These personal stories continue to inspire tournament staff and participants. Give Blood Play Hockey continues to give back to the community by granting two major scholarships: the Casey Strale “Who Do You Play For?” scholarship and the Peter Clauss “Bleed By Example” scholarship, named in honor of Korus’ late grandfather. Both carry $500 awards. Scholarship applications are due Oct. 14. For more information, visit http://givebloodplayhockey. org/category/scholarships/ So, the question is … who do you play for?

Team USA has ‘amazing experience’ at World Roller Games C

ampbell’s Dave Inouye has traveled the world the roster, finished seventh out of 17 countries with a in the three years he’s had the privilege to serve 4-3 tournament record. as head coach of the United Team USA defeated States Junior Men’s National Australia, Chinese Taipei and Inline Hockey Team. New Zealand by a combined This year’s World score of 13-5, then dropped a Roller Games/FIRS world 6-4 matchup against the Czech championship tournament Republic to place second in its took place Aug. 28-Sept. 3 in pool. Nanjing, China. Inouye called The U.S. team lost 6-0 to the adventure to the far side Italy in the quarterfinals, lost of the planet “an amazing to Sweden 9-5 in a placement experience with a great group game and ended tourney play of players and families.” with a 6-5 win over Switzerland. Dave Inouye Players rode mass transit, “The boys went to battle ate in local restaurants and took in sightseeing every game for each other and represented the USA opportunities besides making new friends on the well,” Inouye explained. “I was so proud to be on the playing court. bench with them. Aside from the hockey, it was a The U.S. team, which featured five Californians on great life experience, making lifelong friendships and

memories that are as important as any medal won or lost.” Team USA’s California contingent included Noah Aulerich (Yorba Linda), Daniel Cascarano (San Jose), Joey Cascarano (San Jose), Brayden Kohler (Corona) and goaltender Roman De La Torre (San Jose). Kohler finished third in team scoring with six goals and seven points. Las Vegas native Cody Printzen finished second on the team with seven goals and nine points. Steven Boddy served as an assistant coach on the trip. Inouye credited Boddy, who serves as the marketing coordinator at The Rinks-Corona Inline, for making the trip such a success. “Everyone benefited from his energy, knowledge and experience as a former player,” Inouye noted. - Phillip Brents


CALIFORNIA/NEVADA ICE RINK DIRECTORY E-mail all facility and contact updates to


Aliso Viejo Ice Palace 9 Journey Aliso Viejo, CA 92656 Phone: 949-643-9648 Web site: Bakersfield Ice Sports Center 1325 Q St. - Suite 100 Bakersfield, CA 93301 Phone: 661-852-7400 Web site: Center Ice Arena 201 South Plum Ave. Ontario, CA 91761 Phone: 909-986-4231 Web site: Citizens Business Bank Arena 4000 Ontario Center Ontario, CA 91764 Phone: (909) 244-5500 Web site: Desert Ice Castle 68-600 Perez Rd. Cathedral City, CA 92234 Phone: (760) 324-0400 Web site: Dublin Iceland 7212 San Ramon Rd. Dublin, CA 94568 Phone: 925-829-4445 Web site: East West Ice Palace 11446 Artesia Blvd. Artesia, CA 90701 Phone: 562-809-6200 Web site: Gateway Ice Center 2473 North Marks Ave. Fresno, CA 93722 Phone: 559-277-2233 Web site: Honda Center 2695 East Katella Ave. Anaheim, CA 92806 Phone: (714) 704-2400 Web site: Ice Center Cupertino 10123 North Wolfe Rd. Cupertino, CA 95014 Phone: 408-446-2906 Web site: Ice in Paradise 6985 Santa Felicia Dr. Goleta, CA 93117 Phone: 805-879-1550 Web site: Iceland Ice Skating Rink 14318 Calvert St. Van Nuys, CA 91401 Phone: 818-785-2172 Web site: Iceoplex Escondido 555 North Tulip St. Escondido, CA 92025 Phone: 760-489-5550 Web site:

Iceoplex Simi Valley 131 West Easy St. Simi Valley, CA 93065 Phone: 805-520-7465 Web site: Ice Station Valencia 27745 North Smyth Dr. Valencia, CA 91355 Phone: 661-775-8686 Web site: Icetown Carlsbad 2283 Cosmos Ct. Carlsbad, CA 92011 Phone: 760-893-8219 Web site: Icetown Riverside 10540 Magnolia Ave. Riverside, CA 92505 Phone: 951-637-3070 Web site: KHS Ice Arena 1000 East Cerritos Ave. Anaheim, CA 92805 Phone: 714-422-1236 Web site: Kroc Center Ice 6845 University Ave. San Diego, CA 92115 Phone: 619-287-5762 Web site: Lake Forest Ice Palace 25821 Atlantic Ocean Dr. Lake Forest, CA 92630 Phone :949-305-9658 Web site: Nazareth Ice Oasis 3140 Bay Rd. Redwood City, CA 94063 Phone: 650-364-8090 Web site: Oak Park Ice Arena 3545 Alvarado Ave. Stockton, CA 95204 Phone: 209-937-7433 Web site: Oakland Ice Center 519 18th St. Oakland, CA 94612 Phone: 510-268-9000 Web site: Ontario Ice Skating Center 1225 West Holt Blvd. Ontario, CA 91762 Phone: 909-986-0793 Web site: Paramount Iceland 8041 Jackson St. Paramount, CA 90723 Phone: 562-633-1171 Web site: Pasadena Ice Skating Center 300 East Green St. Pasadena, CA 91101 Phone: 626-578-0800 Web site:

Pickwick Ice Arena 1001 West Riverside Dr. Burbank, CA 91506 Phone: 818-845-5300 Web site:

The Rinks-Anaheim Ice 300 West Lincoln Ave. Anaheim, CA 92805 Phone: 714-535-7465 Web site:

Poway Ice Arena 12455 Kerran St. #100 Poway, CA 92064 Phone: 949-697-4246 Web site:

The Rinks-Lakewood Ice 3975 Pixie St. Lakewood, CA 90712 Phone: 562-429-1805 Web site:

Rabobank Arena 1001 Truxtun Ave. Bakersfield, CA 93301 Phone: 661-852-7777 Web site:

The Rinks-Westminster Ice 13071 Springdale St. Westminster, CA 92683 Phone: 714-899-7900 Web site:

Redwood Empire Ice Arena 1667 West Steele Lane Santa Rosa, CA 95403 Phone: 707-546-7147 Web site:

The Rinks-Yorba Linda Ice 23641 La Palma Ave. Yorba Linda, CA 92887 Phone: 714-692-8776 Web site:

San Diego Ice Arena 11048 Ice Skate Place San Diego, CA 92126 Phone: 858-530-1825 Web site:

Tri-Valley Ice 661 Preston Avenue - Suite D Livermore, CA 94551 Phone: 925-606-6900 Web site:

SAP Center 525 West Santa Clara St. San Jose, CA 95113 Phone: (408) 287-7070 Web site:

Toyota Sports Center 555 North Nash St. El Segundo, CA 90245 Phone: 310-535-4400 Web site:

Sharks Ice-Fremont 44388 Old Warm Springs Rd. Fremont, CA 94538 Phone: 510-623-7200 Web site:

Vacaville Ice Sports 551 Davis St. Vacaville, CA 95688 Phone: 707-455-0225 Web site:

Sharks Ice-San Jose 1500 South 10th St. San Jose, CA 95112 Phone: 408-279-600 Web site:

Valley Skating Center 8750 Van Nuys Blvd. Panorama City, CA 91402 Phone: 818-893-1784 Web site:

Skating Edge Ice Arena 23770 South Western Ave. Harbor City, CA 90710 Phone: 310-325-4474 Web site:

Valley View Casino Center 3500 Sports Arena Blvd. San Diego, CA 92110 Phone: (619) 224-4171 Web site:

Skatetown Roseville 1009 Orlando Ave. Roseville, CA 95661 Phone: 916-783-8550 Web site:

Yerba Buena Ice Skating Center 750 Folsom St. San Francisco, CA 94107 Phone: 415-777-3727 Web site:

STAPLES Center 1111 South Figueroa St. Los Angeles, CA 90015 Phone: (213) 742-7100 Web site:


Stockton Arena 3545 Alvarado Ave. Stockton, CA 95204 Phone: (209) 937-7433 Web site: Tahoe Ice Sports Center 1176 Rufus Allen Blvd. South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150 Phone: 530-544-7465 Web site:

Las Vegas Ice Center 9295 West Flamingo Rd. Las Vegas, NV 89147 Phone: (702) 320-7777 Web site: SoBe Ice Arena 2400 North Rancho Dr. Las Vegas, NV 89130 Phone: (702) 631-7000 Web site: Entertainment/SoBe-Ice-Arena.aspx T-Mobile Arena 3780 Las Vegas Blvd S. Las Vegas, NV 89158 Phone: 888-929-7849 Web site:

Interested in extended promotion of your facility and its hockey and skating programs in California Rubber Magazine and on

Contact Matt at (248) 890-3944 or e-mail for details!


California Rubber Hockey Magazine

CALIFORNIA/NEVADA INLINE RINK DIRECTORY E-mail all facility and contact updates to

CALIFORNIA Antioch Indoor Sports Center 1210 Sunset Dr. Antioch, CA 94509 Phone: (925) 778-6363 Web site: Central Coast Sports Arena 937 S Thornburg St. Santa Maria, CA 93458 Phone: (805) 739-0920 Web site: Dry Ice Inline Hockey Rink 210 Hegenberger Loop Oakland, CA 94621 Phone: (510) 638-9097 Web site: Escondido Sports Center 3315 Bear Valley Pkwy. Escondido, CA 92025 Phone: (760) 839-5425 Web site: High Country Sports Arena 18960 Waylon Way Sonora, CA 95370 Phone: (209) 588-0776 Web site:

NorCal Indoor Sports 1460 Tanforan Ave. Woodland, CA 95776 Phone: (530) 406-1100 Web site:

The Rinks-Huntington Beach Inline 5555 W McFadden Ave. Huntington Beach, CA 92649 Phone: 714-901-2629 Web site:

North Valley Hockey and Sports Complex 250 Walsh Ave. Hamilton City, CA 95951 Phone: (530) 826-3510 Web site:

The Rinks-Irvine Inline 3150 Barranca Pkwy. Irvine, CA 92606 Phone: 949-559-9949 Web site:

Ripon Power Play Sports Arena 1043 S Acacia Ave. Ripon, CA 95366 Phone: (209) 599-2479 Web site:

Silver Creek Sportsplex 800 Embedded Way San Jose, CA 95138 Phone (408) 225-1843 Web site:

Skate San Diego 165 Denny Way El Cajon, CA 92020 Phone: 619-562-0323 Web site:

Stockton Indoor Sports Complex 3251 Ad Art Rd. Stockton, CA 95215 Phone: (209) 931-8300 Web site:

The Rinks-Corona Inline 4325 Prado Rd. #101 Corona, CA 92880 Phone: 951-279-7465 Web site:

NEVADA Las Vegas Roller Hockey Center Village Square Commercial Center 800 Karen Ave. Las Vegas, NV 89109 Phone: (702) 349-6526 Web site:

Interested in extended promotion of your facility and its hockey and skating programs in California Rubber Magazine and on

Contact Matt at (248) 890-3944 or e-mail for details!

Californians rack up honors, medals at State Wars 13 By Phillip Brents


he State Wars United States Roller Hockey Championship tournament aspires to match players by birth year. The format remains popular and the event, now in its 13th year, annually draws the top inline hockey players from the United States and Canada. At any age group, California players – and teams – rank near the top of the list. This year’s event took place July 26 to Aug. 6 in Taylor, Mich. Teams from 23 U.S. states, three Canadian provinces and a total of six countries participated. Teams representing California skated home with 22 medals: 10 gold, six silver and six bronze. Southern California captured 12 of those medals: seven gold, three silver and two bronze. Northern California did not lag far behind with 10 medals: three gold, three silver and four bronze. A horde of players from the Golden State earned selection on the tournament’s honor roll and all-star teams as well as earning division high scorer, top goaltender, best defensive and MVP awards.

Parade of champions

Southern California teams collected gold medals in the 6U AAA, 2006 AAA, 2002 AAA, 2008 AA, 2006 A and 2001 A birth-year divisions. Northern California teams mined gold medals in the 2003 AA, 1999 AA and 2003 A birth-year divisions. Southern California birth-year teams captured silver medals in the 2009 AAA, 2004 AAA and 2001 AAA divisions and bronze medals in the 2007 AA and 2000 AA divisions.

Northern California birth-year teams claimed silver medals in the 2000 AAA and 2001 AA divisions and skated home with bronze medals in the 2002 AAA, 2001 AAA and 2005 A divisions. Additionally, the Savage (Senior AA Division) and RV Revolution (Junior AA Division) earned silver and bronze medals, respectively, while representing Northern California. The Pama Labeda Golden Knights won the Women’s Division while representing Southern California.

Top individuals

Most Valuable Player award-winners included Team SoCal’s Lucas Abarquez (6U AAA), Aidan Yu (2008 AA), Aidan Yi (2006 AAA/AA), Xander Tucker (2006 A), Clay Bozanich (2002 AAA/AA) and Kyla Sanders (Golden Knights) and Team Nor Cal’s Zachary Nolte (2003 A) and Christian Acosta (1999 AAA/AA). Colin Kim (6U AAA), Ethan Xu (2009 AAA), Seth Morris (2006 A) and Anthony Yu (2004 AAA/ AA), all from Southern California, and Nor Cal’s Jaden Guzman (2001 AAA/AA) joined Nolte as division high scorers. Morris paced his division with 22 points. Guzman put on a showcase performance at the tournament by also capturing the best defensive player in the 2001 AAA/AA division while winning fastest skater awards in two skills competition divisions (2001 AAA/AA and 2000 AAA/AA). Most Valuable Goaltender award-winners included Matthew Lewis (6U AAA), Nathan Danna (2006 A) and Wyatt Jones (2004 A) from Team SoCal and Marisa Trevino (2001 AAA/AA) and Ethan Bach (1999 AAA/AA) from Team Nor Cal.

Danna posted a .884 save percentage to top that group. Best defensive player award-winners also included So Cal’s Brandon Grant (2004 AAA/AA) and Nor Cal’s Jeremiah Dolmo (2002 AAA/AA) and Joe Fordyce (2000 AAA/AA).

Team North America Southern California

6U: Colin Kim, Lucas Abarquez, Matthew Lewis 2009: Ethan Xu, Sebastian Buckhalter-Girvan, Lincoln Galligan, Kaeden Tate 2008: Aidan Yu 2007: Carson Woolcott, Brady Witkin, Tyler Kraynek 2006 AAA/AA: Brendan Vincent, Aidan Yi, Bryer Cagle 2005 AAA/AA: Christian Yi 2004 AAA/AA: Anthony Yu, Jimmy Mastrosimone, Brandon Grant, Aidan Comeau 2002 AAA/AA: Joey Barraza, Clay Bozanich 2001 AAA/AA: Cody Vadeboncoeur, Grayson Yada 2000 AAA/AA: Cody Vadeboncoeur

Northern California 2002 AAA/AA; Jeremiah Dolmo, 2001 AAA/AA: Jaden Guzman, Derek Le, Evan Generella, Marisa Trevino 2000 AAA/AA: Joe Fordyce, Ethan Bach 1999 AAA/AA: Cooper Haar

Skills competition winners Fastest skater: 2004 AAA/AA – Anthony Yu (SoCal); 2003 AAA/AA – Joey Mataviesko (SoCal); 2001 AAA/AA – Jaden Guzman (NorCal); 2000 AAA/AA: Jaden Guzman (NorCal) Sniper: 2005 A – Reanna Ettlebrick (NorCal/2005 A); 2003 A – Cameron Green (NorCal); 2001 AAA/AA – Nathan Durrans (NorCal); 2000 AAA/AA – Nolan Mahaney (NorCal) Goaltender: 2002 AAA/AA – Danny Tasigeorgos (SoCal); 2000 AAA/ AA – Ethan Bach (NorCal)



Position: Captain and forward, U.S. National Inline Hockey Team Hometown: Thousand Oaks Youth Teams: Ventura Mariners (ice), Roller Dome and VC Vipers (inline) California Rubber: You won your second gold medal in five appearances with Team USA at the IIHF World Inline Championship this summer. Does one of those stand out as your favorite roller hockey memory? Travis Noe: It’s hard to say which gold medal at IIHF I enjoyed more. Scoring a hat trick against Sweden to win my first gold medal (in 2013) and having my parents and grandparents both there in Germany was great. Winning the gold medal, being named tournament MVP and looking up at my grandparents, who at 80 years old made a flight over to Germany to see that is an experience I will never forget. The gold this summer, going over to Slovakia, would compete with that. I didn’t have as much of an impact as a player as in 2013. This year, I was captain of the team and played a big leadership role. At 27 years old, realizing I don’t know how many more shots I have to do this made it special. The maturity standpoint versus winning it at 22, I enjoyed it more this year, so that’s probably my favorite memory. The only other one I could think of was winning the regional championship in college (at UC Santa Barbara) with my best friends from school who weren’t the best roller hockey players in the world, but they really bought into how to play roller hockey the right way. We won it my senior year in a dramatic game. I remember how exciting it was to celebrate that with guys whom I’m now standing up in their weddings five years later. It’s pretty cool. CR: When you’re not playing for Team USA or in the pro division at major summer tournaments like NARCh or the Pama Pro, what are you up to? TN: I love what I’m doing. I manage all the distribution in the state of Wisconsin for Kendall-Jackson wines - we have four distributors throughout the state. I’m driving around, selling wine and managing sales teams. I still play ice hockey in a league in Milwaukee. CR: Who were some of your biggest hockey influences? TN: When I was kid, Rhett Rakhshani was the guy. He’s the reason I wear No. 9. He was two years older and played for the OC Blades growing up. I remember my first travel tournament, watching him play and he was unbelievable. He’d score at will when we were in our youth. He stopped playing roller at one point because he was so good at ice, but he’s a name that I’ll always remember. My dad (Lindy) coached me my whole life, so I never had any formal coaching until IIHF. Joe Cook’s been a great influence on me. He hired me at Alkali Hockey. I learned some sales and marketing skills under his mentorship. He’s been the coach of our IIHF team all five years I’ve done it. Joe is a great coach, great guy. He taught me a lot about the game for sure. CR: You’ve been on inline skates since you were five, but did you play other sports growing up? TN: I did. I was a strong basketball player – I actually quit ice hockey to play that for a while in high school. I played football and ran track as well, but nothing drew me to a sport quite like hockey did, and I went back to roller. I grew 11 inches in one year, going from 5-foot-3 to 6-2. CR: When you’re in California, where do you like to go skate? TN: Either Irvine or Huntington Beach. Those are the places with best competition, so I’ll either play in a men’s league or go to a pickup there if I don’t go up to Santa Barbara to play at my old school. CR: Where do you like to go eat post-game? TN: I’d probably be dragging the guys to sushi, go get some fresh fish. Go out to a nice sushi dinner or steak dinner. Photo/ Lindy Noe


California Rubber Hockey Magazine

- Compiled by Chris Bayee

Attracting the very best youth hockey programs under the bright lights of Los Angeles!


September 1 - 4, 2017

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