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Supporting the Growth and Success of Texas & Oklahoma Amateur Hockey

“Keep your kids out of hot water, put them on ice”


INSIDE Behind the Bench / For The Good of the Game / Blade Babe / MHOA / Life Lessons on Ice


Our Mission

“The Recreational Hockey League will develop and promote a positive playing experience for all participants in a fun, safe, sportsmanlike environment. The RHL is an alternative for all recreational hockey players with the primary focus to develop youth hockey players at the recreational level.” Join the Spring/Summer League Action Today! IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO REGISTER FOR SPRING/SUMMER CONTACT YOUR LOCAL HOCKEY DIRECTOR FOR MORE DETAILS. Inside The Parks Mall 3815 S. Cooper St Arlington, Texas 76015 Inside the Grapevine Mills Mall 3000 Grapevine Mills Parkway Grapevine, Texas 76051


972-874-1930 Inside Stonebriar Centre 2601 Preston Rd Suite 1235 Frisco, Texas 75034 Jeff Carlson Kay Yeager Coliseum, 1002 5th Street, Wichita Falls Texas 76301 Moose Panik

All RHL Participants are current USA Hockey members in good standing.

940.716.5587 522 Centennial Blvd Richardson, Texas 75081 Kevin Smith



BE PART OF THE COOLEST LEAGUE IN TOWN. 2 Keep your kids out of hot water – put them on ice!

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Six-year old, Ty Lechner, in his first Hockey Tournament in McAllen, TX. Ty is in the Mite Division and plays for the Corpus Christi Junior Ice Rays Youth Hockey League in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Carson Platt takes his game to the street as he prepares for tryouts

Meeting minutes and handouts of TAHA’s Annual Meeting held June 20th are posted on our website. 2009-10 TAHA Board members include: • President - Ted Skinner • Vice Pres. - Gary Fawks • Treasurer - Mark Shepheard • Secretary - Christine Burns

All Texas hockey fans are encouraged to visit USA Hockey’s website at to learn about the American Development Model and Long Term Athlete Development model announced in January this year.

• Adult Sect. - Jeff Stone • Disabled Sect. - James Dunham

2010 Planned Events

• High School - Keith Andresen

Aug 12-15 Sept TBD Sept 11-13 Oct 9-10 Jan 23 Jan 29-31 Feb 18-21 Feb 26-28 Mar 12-14 Mar 12-14 Mar 19-21 Mar 26-28 Mar 26-28 Apr 7-11 Apr 14-18 Apr 14-18 May 6-9

• House Sect. - Cesar Cepeda • Travel Sect. - Mark Servaes • Women’s Sect. - Tracy Servaes • ACE Director - Angie Vaught • Coach-in-Chief - Jouni Lehtola • Ref-in-Chief - Garry Pariseau • Registrars - Debra Lewis (T • Nancy Shost (DFW)

Level 5 Coaching clinic (MN) Level 4 Officials clinic (Dallas) Level 4 Coaching clinic (Denver) RMD ACE Workshop (Dallas) TAHA Winter Meeting (Dallas) Hockey Weekend Across America States: Tier I (Dallas) States: Tier II (Dallas) Districts: Tier Girls (Dallas) Districts: Tier 1 Youth (AZ) TAC Boys/Girls (Dallas) Texas Cup HS States (Dallas) Nationals: Girls/Womens (WI) Nationals: All Youth (Varies) High School Nationals (IL) HS Showcase (Pittsburgh) RMD Player Dev. Camp (SLC)

• Anne Hetrick (OK)


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My First Goal By Aaron Brown, #21 Squirt Panthers


y name is Aaron Brown and I currently play hockey at Polar Ice House at Grapevine Mills Mall. This is the story about my first goal scored while playing for my first team, the Grapevine Squirt Bluejackets. I was #9 and played left and right wing. It was my first season and first team, so I wasn’t expecting to even come close to scoring. About halfway through the long fall season, this game seemed a little different. Everyone on our team was really skating well and passing more than usual. I was close to the goalie as I saw the puck fly by and hit the post. I quickly hit the rebound as I skated past the net.  I heard everyone yell, but I had to move back around in front of the net to see it for myself. When I saw that black puck in the net, I yelled it again: “GOAL”!  My first goal and I was so very happy. I looked up in the stands and saw my family jumping up and down. They were proud of me and I was proud of myself. That goal was also the special for the team because we won the game 2 to 1. I think I smiled for the entire next week. ■

ISHL prep team “The Wild” win division and championship! Austin Bila is holding the trophy

4 Keep your kids out of hot water – put them on ice!

Look at the flex of that stick!

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For the Good of the Game By Keith Andresen

Break Time E

veryone needs a break. Coaches, players and parents need time to re-energize or burnout becomes a very real possibility, especially in younger players. Now that tryouts are over and fall hockey does not begin for almost two months, it’s time to step back and enjoy the summer. If you play in a summer league that’s great, but do it for fun. There will be plenty of time to work on your game in the fall. I have seen many promising young hockey players leave the game because they played hockey 12 months a year beginning at a very young age. Now we all know parents that push their child because they see some talent and hope their child will be the one-tenth of one percent that can get a college scholarship. But in most cases burnout was not because the parents “pushed” little Johnny to come to the rink but instead because little Johnny wanted to come to the rink. This is when parents have to be proactive if they want their child to have a life-long passion for the game. All of us have passion for things in our lives. Church, family, friends, sports, and hobbies are all things that are very important to many of us. However it’s the balance of these passions that make each one special. As much as I love to play golf I think I would lose my passion for the game if that’s all I did. As an adult I have learned how to balance my activities so that I can remain passionate about the things that are important to me. Unfortunately children have not yet learned that balance. It’s important to expose children to as many different activities as possible. I was very fortunate to have parents who understood this. I was exposed to baseball, football, golf, hockey, music, theater and many outdoor activities growing up, and I still enjoy many of those activities today. You’ll find that by exposing your child to a variety of


activities they will develop a passion for several and the variety will allow the passion for each activity to remain strong. If you’re one of “those” parents who believe that your young hockey player is headed for an NHL career then I have another reason for you to insist on variety in your child’s life. Talk to any NCAA D1 or Major Junior coach and ask them if they prefer to recruit athletes who only have played hockey or athletes who have played multiple sports. All of the coaches that I have spoken to prefer what I like to call ”total athletes.” Total athletes have developed their footwork, handeye coordination and strength through participating in multiple sports. In order to insure a well rounded individual – and make sure that the passion for hockey remains strong – there are times when a parent must say, “No!” Limit the amount of time your young hockey player comes to the rink for a couple of months during the summer. Sign them up for baseball, take them camping or fishing. Many times you will not see burnout coming. One day your child will just say I don’t want to go to the rink. So it’s very important to make sure you take charge so that when the season begins your child is excited and ready to go. As for me, I’m heading to the golf course….

puck as many times as possible each time they hit the ice. It’s a great philosophy and once some of the “kinks” are worked out you’ll be hearing more about this innovative program. The conversation then turned to something I’m very passionate about and that is “checkbook hockey”. I made the comment that anyone who wants to play travel hockey may do it as long as they have a bank account that can handle it and we should take a hard look at making skill the most important factor in making a travel team, not money. A representative from one of the local DFW travel associations took exception to my statement and stated that, “I will spend my money however I choose and if I want my kid to play travel hockey then that’s where I’m going to spend my money”. Unfortunately that’s the problem. There is a travel team for anyone who has the money. Tryouts last month proved that. Many associations offered spots to anyone who walked in the door. Teams were collecting 7-8 year olds for programs costing several thousand dollars, selling parents on the philosophy that training kids to be hockey players is the right thing to do. I saw mite-aged players that were fresh out of mini-mites get offered spots

Keith Andresen, Senior Director, Hockey Programs Dr Pepper StarCenters Dallas Stars Hockey Club

on “travel or prep” teams. These kids need to just have fun. They do not need to “train.” Playing hockey needs to be a passion and a love before it becomes a job. The coaches in some of these programs collect a hefty paycheck each month and some of these programs depend on the revenue f rom these young kids to foot the bill. While some associations are sincere and try to develop passion in young players, there are associations that have turned into hockey factories and just want to collect your fees. If you’re a mite parent make sure fun is the priority. If your child is having fun, he or she will develop skills faster than if it’s a chore to go to the rink. ■

Just a Thought…

At the recent TAHA meetings there was a long discussion about the new USA Hockey American Development Model (ADM) adm/. The ADM is a new initiative that includes progressive training and teaching hockey to players of all ages. It promotes lots of fun cross-ice play for young players so they can touch the

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Advertise in the ONLY amateur Hockey magazine in Texas and Oklahoma!

On the Cover July 2009 On The Cover: Carson Platt spends his hockey ‘break time’ honing his shooting skills for the new season. Photo sent in by Mark Platt

Want to be our next cover shot?

Visit our website at and click on “send pics.”

Cover Shot Contest!

PARENTS: Send in your picture and if it makes our Cover Shot of the Month you will win a gift certificate to YOU SHOOT. YOU SCORE… THE KEG!

Monthly Columns For The Good of the Game . . . . Life Lessons on Ice. . . . . . . . . . Blade Babe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . From The Stands . . . . . . . . . . . Behind the Bench. . . . . . . . . . . Metroplex Hockey Officials Assn.

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

.5 .8 10 19 20 22

Professional Photographers! Send in your shots for credit listing.


Find Doright somewhere in the magazine. Be the first reader to email us his location to: contest@ May’s Winner was JORDAN SUMMERS Congratulations! Contact us for your prize.

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Advertise in ICE TIMES MAGAZINE! 888.878.8465 Ice Times Magazine is distributed within the first week of each month and is entirely supported by advertising revenue. Please spend your money with the businesses that advertise with us. It is their advertisements that make this publication possible. Thank you!

Kim Tinkham, Editor Publisher. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Tink Ink Publications Business Development . . . . . . . . . . Laura and Francois Lemay

Look for the Hockey Parent-Owned Business Seal

Special Thanks to Connie Holubar for lending us a hand in the Editing Department Advertising Opportunities . . . . . . . 888-878-8465 To submit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . • Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .click on “send info” • Photographs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . click on “send pics”

Ice Times Magazine is published monthly by Tink Ink Publications, LLC & distributed free of charge at ice rinks and pro-shops. Copy and Photographs are welcome and must be submitted by the 20th of the month prior to publication. ITM reserves the right to edit, reject or comment editorially on all material contributed. Reproduction in whole or part without express written consent of the Publisher is prohibited. 6 Keep your kids out of hot water – put them on ice!

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Duncanville Canadiens Bantam. Guarding the net are Grayson Ridge and Cameron Wagner.

Euless Mini Mites during a scrimmage


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Life Lessons On Ice W

“Oh! The good old hockey game, Is the best game you can name; And the best game you can name, Is the good old Hockey game!” Stompin’ Tom Connors

ell, here we are … July. The regular hockey season is over. Most tryouts have come and gone and the rinks are taking advantage of the lull by getting their pre-season facelifts in preparation for another busy season. Most of the hockey parents of younger age players are cleaning out hockey bags, resizing gear and just trying to wrap things up from the previous hockey season. Isn’t it amazing how many balls of old tape can be found when cleaning out a hockey bag? Ice Times Magazine is doing just that very thing this month. We are cleaning out our files, dumping things that are no longer needed and getting ready for a new season of TAHA hockey. Somewhere in between all of this reorganizing we are actually going to try and take a break. Each season seems to be more exciting than the previous one. We saw a few changes in associations and teams. We witnessed teams win championships who had never won before and we saw past champions struggle to end the season. That’s hockey. Ice Times Magazine will be going into its fourth year with the beginning of this new season. Once again we are asking our readers to support the magazine by sending in their photos

by Kim Tinkham, Editor

and information. We want Ice Times to be a reflection of what’s happening in amateur hockey in our area and hope that you will continue sending in your photos, info and comments. I want to mention that one of my favorite tournaments will be taking place at the Ice Training Center in Richardson from July 9th -12th. It is the 7th ANNUAL BRING YOUR BEST TOURNAMENT. This ‘adult open division’ 4 on 4 hockey tournament has become the BEST in Texas. You will see former pro and college players as well as current Junior A, NCAA and pro players competing. It is great hockey to watch; all in fun, non-checking, no icing and very competitive. It’s also a great tournament to take your young players to and show them what really good hockey looks like up close. Check out the tournament this year. It should prove to be very entertaining and will take care of that ‘what am I going to do with myself during the hockey break’ blues. For more information visit www. If you haven’t done so already please make sure that you sign up for our SLAPSHOT eBlast that comes out once a month. It gives you updates on what’s going on in our hockey area as well as reminders to send in your

photos for the next issue. Just visit our website at www.icetimesmagazine. com and look for the box that says ‘join our SLAPSHOT eBlast’. You can also follow us now on twitter at www. I wanted to take this opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to all of the great writers who contribute each month to the magazine and also to those who have contributed in the past. They do it because they care about amateur hockey and because they hope that the information that they share with you will help you to enjoy hockey even more. ‘Thank You’ to YOU, our reader, for picking up the magazine each month. Thank you for sending in your photos and information. A huge THANK YOU goes out to our advertisers! Without them we couldn’t produce this magazine each month. Also, thank you to all the places that allow us to distribute the magazine. Well, that’s it. Enjoy the break. We’ll be back in the stands in August with more information that will get you ready for the season to come. Enjoy the break and enjoy this issue! ■

Team Teal went unbeaten for four games and won the 2009 Elite Edge Hockey Showcase Championship

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Daniel Kazewych of the Euless Mini Mites (in light colored jersey) controls the puck against the Duncanville Mini Mites

Need More Money For Your Teams? Visit and click on “Fundraising Info.”

Raise up to $10,000 in as little as 4 weeks.

C/FB Hebron High School Hockey Club Needs

Collin Hesse of the Dallas Stars AAA U16 flexes some muscle from the blueline


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If you live in Carrollton, Farmers Branch or Lewisville (Grade 8-12) come join our hockey club for the 2009-10 season Contact Mike Boate – 214.335.7914 or Keep your kids out of hot water – put them on ice! 9


Blade Babe

By Scarlett Chambers


Mitch Gnatowsky

rowing up in Chicago, Mitch Gnatowsky, like most boys in his neighborhood, spent his winters playing hockey on just about any surface that could be iced over. Tennis courts, baseball fields, construction sites, you name it. However, he did not play competitively. “There was always that one guy that played travel who went away to Canada for a camp and came back and blew everyone away. There was a lot of skating but for the most part, we just skated outdoors.” In 1981, when Mitch moved to DFW, ice was scarce so he began playing roller hockey. When his son , Jordan was 7, he picked up roller hockey, too. In those initial roller years, Mitch would take his son skating on the ice at the Tandy Center in downtown Fort Worth. Eventually, the Gnatowsky’s became a part of the Dr Pepper Star

Center hockey family at Euless. Mitch laughed, “I’ve played on the same ice as Jordan but he never really wanted to play with me, only against me.” Mitch now skates on a rec league team, the Warriors, where he has developed close friends over the years and with whom he has vacationed on several occasions. As for Jordan, he will be skating with the Tornado AAA Midget Major 18U team. I sat with Mitch during the tryouts and witnessed first hand one of the most dedicated hockey dads. He’s a dad truly passionate about his son’s achievements. One time Mitch spent two days in the hospital for surgery. With hospital band on his arm, he made it in time to be in the stands for Jordan’s tournament. So what’s next for the Gnatowskys? Jordan hopes to make the Tornado Jr A next year and possibly play on a Division 1 or Division 3 college team after that.

2 TeXas LoCaTions:


1330 West Campbell Rd Richardson, TX 75080 (972) 808-9991

If you want to contact Scarlett please emil her at bladebabe@

And for Mitch, “I’ll be in the ‘Euless Instructional-having fun-hanging with my friends league’. That’s where I make my money.” He joked. To learn more about Tornado Hockey, please visit TornadoHockey. com and the North American Hockey league at ■


3000 Grapevine Mills Pkwy Grapevine, TX 76051 (972) 874-1937

www.PlayersBench.Com 1-877-428-8745


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Hanging out on the dock after a pond hockey game in Detroit are Ice Jets Colin Whitt, Gray Riatti, and Michael O’Reilly

Play the COOLEST game on ICE! S ME GA HL R . VS ERS MB ME

Youth Hockey


Be Part of the Recreational Hockey League Registration Starts in August League Starts in September

TUESDAY NIGHT I-LEAGUE THURSDAY NIGHT D-LEAGUE New Session Begins August 11, 2009 12 Weeks of Practice & Game Play $189/player + USA Hockey Membership

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Team and Private Ice Rentals Drop in Hockey, Stick & Puck, Private Lessons, Hockey Clinics, Broomball, Lock-ins, Public Skating, Birthday Parties


817-419-0095 Don’t miss out CALL Today !! Visit us on the web at

3815 South Cooper Street Arlington, Texas 76015 inside “The Parks at Arlington” Mall - I-20 & Cooper Street

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James Chegwidden of the Euless Mini Mites (yellow) fighting for the puck during a game with the Duncanville Mini Mites (green)

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Tony Girard was selected ATT High School League goalie of the year. Tony with Frisco assistant coach Jon Weidenbach, and head coach Dave Doucette


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Thanks Dad! Steven Jones “Dad” has been the assistant coach to his two sons (Jacob and Zachary) since they both started playing hockey.

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Mitchell Anderson: DSEHC 98 and Andre Gusmonov: Moscow, Russia 98 at Valley Ranch playing friendlies against DSEHC 97

A team from Moscow, Russia made up of 97/98/99 aged players was in Dallas to play some friendlies against the DSEHC 98 and 97 teams. A few of the boys from the DSEHC 98 team filled in with the Russian team against the DSEHC 97 team. Pictured left to right: Mitchell Anderson: DSEHC 98, Alex Frye: OKC Blazers 98, Mitch McCoy: DSEHC 98.

It was a great season!

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Dakota Azulay poke checks away one of the many shootout efforts to assist in the win for Team Teal and the 2009 Elite Edge Hockey Showcase Championship

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Tim Skupien, with Mansfield Hockey, slides the puck under the goalie’s pads even as he gets sent flying through the air

Hockey Wellness – Coach’s Q&A by Lita Regala


s we all know, skating is a very important part of playing hockey. One way to have a more effective skating technique is by participating in power skating. To get some insights on power skating, Scots power skating coach Ramil Sarkulov answered a few questions.

To contact Coach Sarkulov: 817-805-0002 or e-mail: 1. What are the benefits of power skating for a hockey player? The benefit is to correct skating techniques. This is done by demonstrating how to make skating faster and more powerful using edge work which requires strong ankles and knees. 2. Is power skating beneficial to other athletes outside of hockey? Power skating is beneficial to athletes in any sport who have good physical conditioning; any skater should do dry land training to gain power on the ice and speed. 3. How important is form and technique in skating and why? Hockey players are fast, but weak in sharp turns or unusual moves. Power skating helps to strengthen and develop these leg muscles that are used in edge work. This allows the hockey player to be a stronger skater during the game. 4. Your training is strengthening muscles to enhance not only skating ability, but balance, speed and endurance as well. This uses a lot of energy. Is it important for athletes you train to have a proper nutritional diet? I am really not a nutritional expert. I believe that athletes should eat right and use good supplements to maintain energy for their training sessions and games.

Find out how you can get the proper fitness and energy supplements. Get more information at or call 1-888-238-2591 and ask about special offer.

Scots Coach Ramil Sarkulov with Students

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IceTimesMagazine Dallas Stars Midget Major Player Anthony Hamburg Selected in NHL Draft The Dallas Stars Midget Major Tier I Hockey Club experienced an NHL draft “first” when Anthony Hamburg (1991) was selected by the Minnesota Wild as the twelfth pick in the seventh round on the second day of the NHL draft. Though several Stars players preceding have been selected in the NHL draft, Anthony is the first Stars player to be drafted following a season as a player on the Stars team. The selection of Anthony by Minnesota capped off a “dream month” for a hockey player as Anthony was earlier selected by the Omaha Lancers in the USHL draft and committed to play college hockey at Colgate University. Stars head coach Adam Robbins, commenting on Anthony’s selection, “Anthony’s development and success

as a player in the Stars Midget Major program and the recognition and accomplishments he has experienced in the past couple of months represents what is possible for every young player out there who is willing to make the sacrifice it takes to reach goals like this. We are proud that the Stars organization and our players played a part in Anthony’s success.” Anthony, whose hometown is Phoenix , AZ, has played the past four years in California and Dallas. The last two years Anthony was a major contributor in the 2007-8 season as the Stars made it to the quarter-finals of the USA Hockey National Championship in Buffalo, NY and last season’s appearance in the National Championship game in Pittsburgh, PA assisting on all three goals the Stars scored in a 4-3 overtime loss to Detroit Little Caesars. ■

McKinney Midget Major goalie, David Kendall, saves a goal under extreme conditions


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Send your tryout and camp pictures for the August issue to McKinney’s Matt Raimondi reflects on the season before leaving the ice for the summer

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From the STANDS

IceTimesMagazine hears from its readers.

The Rant of an Old Hockey Mom in Between Hockey Seasons! “No coach has even won a game by what he knows; it’s what his players know that counts.”


ear Ice Times Magazine: One day prior to tryouts beginning, I overheard some young hockey parents talking about the various teams that they (their players) would be trying out for this next season. They spoke of how long the associations had been around, the teams that had gone on to win banners this past season and the fact that their players had friends trying out for the same teams. I leaned in to ask who the coach was of the team that they were speaking about. Much to my dismay, they weren’t really sure. I walked away wishing them good luck for the season and began toying with the idea of this column. Here it is! It’s not about the team - It’s about the coach. Don’t look at the association. Don’t look at the team. Take a really goodlong-hard look at the coach. Teams and associations are important but you can be part of a well known team and association and your player can still have a lousy year because the coach is more excited about winning the championship than he is about improving players and helping them move up to the next level. Surprised? Don’t be. Unfortunately, coaches oftentimes are judged by their banners and trophies, not by the improvement of their players. Let’s face it, in the Mites through PeeWees your player could virtually be a part of a winning team and never really improve through the season. How? Because the team has a couple of players that are better than their years and they are the team’s GO TO guys. These players may be bigger, stronger, faster for their age than their teammates and most of the players on the opposing teams. Don’t believe me? Go pick up a copy of The Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. It will give you a whole new perspective of the ability to succeed in hockey and in life. In defense of coaches they do have a lot to do; what with practice plans, keeping up with new rules and making sure that their players know when their ice times are and whether or not the team needs to bring home or away jerseys for a game. I feel for


Paul Bryant

There are great coaches out there who really care about the future of young hockey players and who will make them better, faster, stronger more knowledgeable players. Not every player will be able to play for one of these coaches. But isn’t it your responsibility as a parent to find out which coaches those are and then find out what it will take for your player to play for them? Signed, An Old Hockey Mom who loves the game but needs to rant

coaches, I really do. They have a lot of responsibilities. The most important of which is that the player they get at the beginning of the season should be a better player at the end of the season. Sometimes this gets lost in the shuffle. It’s not just about loving the game and wanting to ‘give back to the game’ that matters. It’s about communicating with parents. It’s about communicating with players. And it’s about communicating with other coaches in order to help a young hockey player become a better hockey player and a more rounded individual. A coach’s main responsibility to young players (mite through peewee) is to teach them the game. To show them how to skate, to stick handle, to play the position, to read a play and to work as a solid member of the team. If those players don’t learn that in the first few seasons of play they will be left behind. Once they get into bantams (and I am stretching the age range on this one) many coaches expect players to have the fundamentals down and they aren’t going to take the time to explain them to them during tryouts much less during practice. What did your player learn last season? Did they improve? I know there are some of you parents out there that are saying, “He/she had fun, that’s all that matters.” To those parents I say, that’s great. I’m glad your child had fun. I’m glad it doesn’t matter to you if he goes to tryout for a team and doesn’t make it. He’s having fun. Maybe you should

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ask your player how it feels to go out on the ice with other players that seem to know a secret that he wasn’t let in on. The others may know how to work the drills and how to read the puck and how to play the game. They too, are having fun, but it’s a different kind of fun. It’s a good time mixed with confidence in their abilities on the ice. Parents, why not take the time to do a little research on the coaches that your player is planning on trying out for this season. Ask parents of players who were on that coach’s team last season. Did they feel that their player became a better player because of what they learned from the coach? Did they develop confidence in their abilities? Or did they skate around a lot, monkey around in the locker rooms, and end the season sitting on the bench while their teammates brought home the trophy?

P.S. Parents, in more advanced hockey levels the coach’s responsibility is to move players to more advanced levels of play. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard of a coach holding on to a player who was ready for the next level to insure another good season for his own team. The old ‘he’s just not ready yet’ excuse comes to mind on this one. If your player has a choice as to which team he chooses to play for, then for goodness sake take a look at the number of players who have gone on to higher levels of play ‘directly’ from the coach’s team that you are considering. Some players make it to higher levels in spite of the coach, not because of him. Many coaches won’t ‘make the call’ for a player. Many coaches go so far as to not even accept calls from higher level teams looking at a particular player. Those coaches should not be coaching, but that’s a rant for a future issue. ■

The University of Oklahoma® Hockey Club will hold its 4th Annual Golf Tournament fundraiser on Monday, Augut 24 at the gorgeous Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club in Norman. The tourney is the perfect complement to the beginning of the Fall 2009 semester at OU and the OU HOckey training camp/tryouts, both of which get underway the day after the golf tournment. To sign up to play in the tournament or for more information, please click on the link for the golf tournament entry form at or call OU Hockey General Manager Larry Donovan at 405-631-3307.

Keep your kids out of hot water – put them on ice! 19



hat ’s the number one thing parents dread most about their kids playing sports? Driving to and fro at all hours of the day/week?  Close, that’s number 3.  Cost? That’s second for hockey.  The number one concern for parents whose kids play sports is: the coach!  Scores of parents have shared their anxieties with me about leaving their little bundle of joy with someone they don’t know for those few hours a week .  What, pray tell, could they possibly be distressed about?  It’s pretty obvious, really.  They simply don’t know anything about you. This lack of intel is not unlike the angst one feels about one’s first college roommate.  Will s/he be a royal pain in the tushy or will we be simpatico? Will we like the same music, respect each other’s space, and not fry chicken on a hot plate every stinkin’ Sunday in our dorm room with five of his buddies! Sorry, flashback. When it comes to the coach, there’s no pre-season interview.  Parents don’t know how your practices will be run.  A coach’s game strategy (i.e., equal playing

By Mark Dyslin

time) is a mystery. Until the season starts, no one knows if the coach is a screamer or meditative; they aren’t sure which is better anyway.  It all boils down to just not knowing who the coach is, and wanting to make sure their children have a positive experience.  That’s the coach’s goal too. You coach hockey because you know it is the greatest game in the world.  You want every one of your families to discover the same thing.  It’s up to us to show our familial units the light.  By showing, I mean the way you approach your job will help each family reach their verdict about the greatness of hockey. A sure fire way to help mumsy and popsy feel better about you is to make yourself available.  Decide the best way(s) for you to interface (70’s word alert!) with your parents and document your plan.  You may want to encourage a progressive communication process.  For instance, the first step could be email.  If that doesn’t resolve the matter, try a phone call.  If those don’t do the trick, then

schedule a face-to-face meeting. Email can be a good starting point, but keep in mind that electronic conversations can make anthills into Himalayans.  Depending on the seriousness of the situation, you may skip right to a phone or sit-down meeting.  You’ll have to be the judge of that.  Just don’t hide behind a monitor for everything.  Face-to-face meetings can be extremely productive.  But you have to be the one to maintain a professional tone, even when Attila the mom goes medieval on you.  Set down meeting rules ahead of time with the aim of keeping emotions in check.   I implore, nay beseech, you to establish a 24-hour rule.  Let your team know that trying to talk about a serious issue before or after a practice/ game is a terrible idea.  You need to fully concentrate on your job and you owe it to the kids to stay focused, no matter what level you are coaching.  Not to mention everyone will be a bit more mature and cooled down after a good nights sleep. Lack of communication will sour

Mark Dyslin has been coaching youth sports for over 15 years and coaching youth hockey since 1999. He is currently one of the coaches for St. Mark’s Junior Varsity Hockey Team.

the parent/coach relationship faster than green grass through a goose (not sure what that means, but my neighbor likes saying it). Being approachable and helpful will put you in good graces for life.  Not to mention your families will discover hockey rocks the universe!

McKinney’s Andy Weyrens stops just short of the goalie

20 Keep your kids out of hot water – put them on ice!

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Keepout yourof kids outwater, of hot water put them ice! 21 your kids hot put–them ononice! 1

IceTimesMagazine Metroplex Hockey Officials Association By Ken Reinhard


McKinney’s Alec Heger celebrates his goal with teammates

t is summer and the Texas heat has finally arrived. With fall hockey just around the corner, we are already in the planning stages for the 2009-10 season. USA Hockey has completed their annual congress and the upcoming season will feature some rule changes. The one rule change that everyone has been focused on is “tag up offside.” Once again, it has been defeated and will not be utilized for any youth hockey except for High School play. Kim doesn’t allow me enough space to go into all the pros and cons from an officiating perspective, but suffice to say, after all the studies; tag up offside does not speed up the game. The players adjusted very nicely when it was removed from the rule book and every study shows that immediate offside generated only one or two additional whistles per game. Also defeated was the “no icing permitted when man down.” Most felt that rule change would alter the character of the

game. The rule change I would like to focus on is the change in sizes for goalkeeper’s equipment. You can read the detail in the current rule book, but the size of leg pads, the blocker and trapper are all smaller. This may require ( for equipment that does not conform) the purchase of new conforming equipment. Let me assure all: the referees, when asked, will measure the equipment, and apply the appropriate penalty. Do not expect the officials to ignore the rules just because “it is a house league game” or “it’s squirts” or any other compassionate reason you can think of. We have to enforce the rules, and the officials will be instructed in that regard during their upcoming seminars in the fall. I expect there to be other rule changes yet to come. As of this writing, I haven’t seen the complete list. As always, if you have a rule question, please contact me at ■

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22 Keep your kids out of hot water – put them on ice!

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Grapevine Blues Mite team played a fun filled game against their parents. Here’s a dad being ‘roughed up’ by his kids

Parents! Coaches! Camp Directors! Send us pictures from your events Deadline for the August issue is July 29th!

Dates: July 26 - 31 Cost: $610 Location: College Station, TX Arena: Arctic Wolf Ice Center Residence: The Cambridge Register online at: For more information: or 713-882-1784




TERRY RUSKOWSKI Head Coach Laredo Bucks – CHL


Christian Hockey Camps International are organized and operated by Hockey Ministries International. Since 1977, Hockey Ministries International has been active in every area of hockey: players, coaches, families and fans – through camps, chapels, clinics and conferences. HMI is committed to the message of hope that is found in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and shares this message through its programs. Combining high quality hockey instruction and practical training in Christian living has proven to be a winning combination in preparing young athletes for challenges, both on and off the ice. Drills from seven countries create an international hockey program: Campers are introduced to practice drills that are drawn from Canada, USA, Sweden, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Russia and Switzerland. For more details visit our website: 30 OTHER LOCATIONS ACROSS NORTH AMERICA AND EUROPE!


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Keep your kids out of hot water – put them on ice! 23

Ice Times Magazine July 2009  

The only amateur ice hockey magazine for Texas and Oklahoma