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Editorial / 3 P.O.Box 302 East Aurora, NY 14052 716-830-0182 email@example.com Managing Partner Ian C. Woods firstname.lastname@example.org Vice President, Business Development Ned McDonnell Commish@wnyhockeyreport.com Publisher & Managing Editor Randy Schultz Randy@wnyhockeyreport.com Designer & Photographer Janet Schultz Janet@wnyhockeyreport.com Columnists Warren Kozireski Warren@wnyhockeyreport.com Janet Schultz Mike Mroziak Kyle Gunn-Taylor Kyle@wnyhockeyreport.com Contributing Writers James Fink Mike Haim Dave Ricci WESTERN NEW YORK HOCKEY REPORT No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopy and facsimile, without permission in writing from the publisher. WESTERN NEW YORK HOCKEY REPORT is an equal opportunity employer.
Dear Readers I think you are going to find our Late Summer issue of WNY Hockey Report very informative. Janet and I have taken a couple of drives down to the Jamestown area. As we found out in our conversation with Tom McFall, the hometown of Lucille Ball of “I Love Lucy” fame, is also one of the best kept hidden secrets in the WNY amateur hockey scene. Not only does Jamestown love Lucy, they love hockey as well. And the Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena is the crown jewel in symbolizing that. Janet also wrote a heartwarming feature on UB women’s hockey coach and the off-ice battle he has been dealing with for over a year. New columnist Kyle Gunn-Taylor has an excellent article on the new season for WNY Adult Hockey. This issue also has an interesting feature on a new relationship that has developed between The Buffalo Shamrocks and Canisius High School. Take a look at the story on the HPHD Hockey Academy, where athletes work to make their dreams come true. Koz also checks in with a report on the NHL Draft, as well as a few college hockey notes. Janet also has her monthly feature on Women’s Hockey. And we also have information on the Buffalo Jr. Sabres. Be sure to continually check out our web site at www.wnyhockeyreport.com for up-to-date hockey information from around the WNY hockey area. Until next time, enjoy the remaining days of summer. Autumn and a new hockey season are right around the corner. Best Wishes, Randy Schultz Publisher and Managing Editor WNY Hockey Report Randy@wnyhockeyreport.com
In This Issue... Rochester Amerks News....................5 Adult Hockey Preview........................6 Junior Sabres Report.........................8 Making Dreams Come True..............10 Shamrocks & Canisius.......................11 Jamestown Hockey............................12 WNY Men’s College............................15 Roller Hockey......................................17
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Contents 2012 Western New York Hockey Report. All rights reserved. WESTERN NEW YORK HOCKEY REPORT is published monthly, for $15 one year or $25 two years, by Western New York Hockey Report, P.O. Box 302, East Aurora, N.Y. 14052 Pending Periodical Postage Paid at Orchard Park and Additional Offices. Postmaster: send address changes to Western New York Hockey Report P.O. Box 302, East Aurora, N.Y. 14052
Women’s Hockey................................18 Hit That Saved a Life..........................19 Kirchberger Speed..............................20 Hockey Schools..................................21 NHL News/Notes................................21 Sabres Alumni Honored....................22
About the Cover: Goaltender at the McFall Brothers Hockey School, Jamestown. Inset: Adult Hockey League playing at First Niagara Center. Photos by Janet Schultz Cover Design: IC Woods
Amerks / 5
where he recorded 173 penalty minutes in just 36 games. He has he Buffalo Sabres and Rochester Americans have been stockpiling veterans to mix with the boatload of returning entry level played 245 NHL games with Tampa Bay, Nashville and Florida registerprospects to fill out the Rochester roster in preparation for the ing a total of 30 points with 297 penalty minutes. 2012-13 season which begins in early October. Mancari returns to the Sabres organization and Rochester after Williamsville native one year with Vancouver/Chicago Wolves. David Leggio was inked to He had 58 points in 69 games with Chia one year deal and secures his spot third on the Sabres cago with 30 goals. He previously played goaltending depth chart. The six seasons with Rochester, Portland and Clarkson University grad will Buffalo. enter his third season with Roy was signed as a free agent after finthe Buffalo organization. ishing his junior career by netting 27 goals He is coming off his best professional season with a and 65 assists in 64 games last season 28-24-2 record and a 2.63 goals against average in 54 by Warren Kozierski games. He led the AHL in total saves with 1,721 and with the Quebec Remparts. The 92 points email@example.com was Rochesterâ€™s Most Valuable Player. were fourth in the QMJHL. He finished Defensemen T.J. Brennan and Alex Biega also his junior career with 180 points in 188 signed one year two-way contracts. Brennan, a secgames. ond round pick by Buffalo in 2007, netted a career high 16 goals and Legault recorded 17 points (8+9) and 19 penalty min14 assists over 52 games in Rochester and played in a Sabres uniform utes in 62 games for the Amerks last season while also appearing in in 11 games. Biega was Buffaloâ€™s fifth-round pick (147th overall) in the 2006 three Calder Cup Playoff games. In 2010-11, Legault registered 12 NHL Entry Draft. He recorded 23 points (5+18) in 65 games with the goals, 12 assists and 83 penalty minutes in 67 games for the Portland Amerks. Pirates during his first full season in the AHL. Five forwards also signed with Nick Tarnasky, Mark Mancari He is expected to again fill the role of checking forward and Kevin Porter getting one year two-way deals and Frederick Roy and a key component on the Amerks penalty kill.a and Maxime Legault inking AHL only contracts. Tarnasky returns after a season in the Kontinental League
News from the Rochester Amerks!
WNY Adult HOCKEY / 6
2012 Fall WNY Adult Hockey Preview
he sweltering heat may not give Western New Yorker’s any indication that summer is coming to a close, but when the calendar flips to August, summer adult leagues will crown their champions and the dog day’s winners and losers will begin to gear up for the fall sessions. From Rochester down through the most eastern shores of Lake Erie to Fredonia and Jamestown, hockey is a way of life. Depending on where you stop on any given night throughout a fall week, there is a wide variety of competition levels and league formats that can be found. From former professional athletes to late bloomers and raw beginners, each league is filled with people who share a common passion for the game of hockey.
New This Season WNY Adult Hockey
Batavia Men’s Hockey League Falleti Ice Rink Steve Pies – Board Member of the BMHL The Batavia Men’s Hockey League is one of the most unique operations in WNY hockey. Before each season there is a pool of 104 players who are rated by an 8-member board. Based on these ratings the 8 teams in the league then conduct a yearly fantasy draft in order to determine the teams for each season. There is a 25-player waiting list to get into the league and players who wish to get into the BMHL must participate in a ratings skate in order to determine where they would fall in the ratings system. “The league does seem to get quicker every year,” said Pies, “If a guy is slowing down he could be re-rated.” If someone has played in the league within the past 3-years they will be placed at the top of the waiting list, but after the grace period expires, if a player wishes to return to the league, they must go through the application process again. The BMHL season format includes; 1 preseason game and 21 regular season games. Every team makes the playoffs, which are conducted as a 3-game round robin. The cost for a full season is approximately $365 Adults are playing hockey throughout the U.S. in rising numbers. (Photo by Janet Schultz)
Welcoming Columnist Kyle Gunn-Taylor Kyle@wnyhockeyreport.com
per player. According to Pies, the unique thing about the league is the age range. There are players from the age of 19 up through 65. The great part of the fantasy draft format is that it brings not just individual teams, but the league closer together, “There might be a guy you fought the year before, who’s sitting in the same locker room drinking a beer with you next season,” Pies said. Buffalo Police & Fireman’s League Cazenovia Rink Kris Krtanjek firstname.lastname@example.org 716-597-8899 The Buffalo Police and Fireman’s League used to be an exclusive skate that only allowed players to participate if they were a member of the Buffalo public safety community. However, a recent decline in interest from within Buffalo’s finest has made the common citizen a necessary component to the league’s operation. The BPFL is tentatively scheduled to begin the first week of October, but may be moved up a few weeks due to the availability of the ice at Cazenovia. For the first time ever, the Sabres bought the ice for players who stay in town to skate over the summer. With the ice up and running already, the league’s captains must meet to decide on a course of action. The season consists of 25 regular season games which typically conclude around April 1st, in order to accommodate vacation season. While anyone can join the league, the only catch is it operates in the morning. Last season the BPFL played every Friday morning, but this season they have moved to Wednesday mornings. There are 6 active teams in the league; NFTA, Erie County Sheriffs, Buffalo Police Department, Buffalo Firemen Green, Buffalo Firemen Red and Department of Corrections. The cost per team is $3,150 per season which includes ref fees and scorekeepers. In game play there are 15-minute periods including stop time. The top 4 teams make the playoffs where it is single elimination; just a semi-final and a final. There are some notable players who participate in the league; Mike Scheu (UMass-Lowell), Josh Heidinger (Canisius), Nick Catanzaro (Cortland), Mike Chase (Tulsa Oilers) and Gary Masocco (Fredonia).
“It’s a morning league, so we’re looking for more teams to enter,” said Krtanjek.
Erie Metro Hockey League Buffalo State Ice Arena Joe Kalczynski 716-684-7000 The EMHL has scheduled its annual pre-season meeting for September 11, 2012 at Mooney’s Sports Bar & Grill. The 26-game league schedule begins September 17, 2012. The league consists of 5 Divisions – Classic, Adams, Patrick, Norris and Smythe. Each division fields 5 or 6 teams and registration for each level is currently open. The EMHL plays 15-minute periods and utilizes stop time for every game. Should the game end in a tie, there is a 3-man shootout, followed by a 1-on-1 sudden death shootout if no shooter finishes. All teams are guaranteed to play at least one playoff game and the semi-finals and finals are both a best of three series. The cost to play is $400.00 per player, per season. The most unique aspect of the EMHL is an in-season tournament for each of the divisions that end at the midway point of the season. The winning team receives Sabres tickets. The PappasCerto Brothers-LP Indians have taken down the prized tickets in the league’s top Classic division for the past two seasons. The EMHL also features an All-Star Game/Skills Competition that occurs in February just before the conclusion of the regular season. “The one unique thing that we do is we make sure that the teams are highly competitive with each other,” Kalczynski said, “So all the hockey is competitive and each division has a playoff that is a lot of fun and equal competitively.” The top teams often do not win the league championships, because the competition is so close. Jamestown Adult Hockey League Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena Alan Maybach 716-397-7513 The Jamestown Men’s League typically begins around the 2nd or 3rd Sunday in September and runs through the 2nd to last Sunday in March, which equates to a 25 week season. Each team should compete in 24-games over that stretch, depending on how many teams are in the league. There are two different divisions players compete in; the open league and Bleague. The Open league consists of the most talented players, while the B-league fields a wide variety of skill levels. The playoff format is a round robin tournament consisting of two divisions. Each team plays each other twice then the top team’s crossover. It cost $350 last year, but this season the fee has risen to $410 per player, due to an increase in ice fees.
WNY Adult Hockey / 7 The JAHL plays 15 minute periods with stop time, regular season games can end in a tie, but in the championship game there is a 10-minute overtime to be followed by a shootout if the game is still tied. The league has had teams from Erie and Fredonia join the league, but a stipulation they must follow in order to maintain competitive balance is they are asked not to stack their teams. Labatt Senior Hockey League Holiday and Leisure Rinks Ron Nowakowski 716-665-3860 The LSHL is made up of 10-divisions and begins the week after Labor Day (second week of September). The league plays a running time style of game play and games run nightly throughout the week. One of the longest tenured adult leagues in the WNY area, the LSHL has many different skill levels spread amongst the various divisions. For more information please visit the league website at: http://www. holidayrinks.com/content/pages/senior-hockey-home Lakeshore Adult Hockey League Rob Kerbs www.lakeshorehockeyarena.com The 14-game LAHL season begins on the second week after Labor Day (September 13 or 14), and rolls through the winter playoffs. There is a different division made up of a different skill level set to take the ice on any given night from Sunday through Thursday. On Sunday’s C and D level play, Monday’s are B+ and D levels, Tuesday’s are C-, while C and C+ levels play Wednesday and Thursday. A lot of the ratings levels are based on team rosters submitted by the respective captains. No player known to be in the top two skill levels can play below a C+ league in order to maintain competitive balance. The playoff format is determined by how many teams are in the division. For instance, in an 8 team division the top 4 teams make the playoffs. Team registration cost is $3,760, with 16 players equates to $235 per player, per season. The league game play format consists of 15-minute periods with stop time, unless a team is up by 6-goals with less than 10-minutes left in the third, then it goes to a running clock. Overtime is 3-minutes, then a 3-on3 shootout, then a sudden death shootout. There are 52-teams scheduled to play in the Fall adult league, so essentially the leagues are full, except for individual registration and the Sunday night D-league, “We are looking for two more teams for the Sunday night D-league,” Kerbs, said. One of the local bars The Retreat sponsors two teams; a Sunday night and a Thursday night team which each have different players, but both consistently win their respective leagues. Former Sabres and Amerks defenseman Rory Fitzpatrick played in the B+ league last season. Niagara University Adult League Dwyer Arena Christian Glowinski 716-285-8782 The Niagara Adult League typically begins in late September or early October. The 2012 fall schedule is tentatively set to begin in early October, depending on the demands of the Niagara Jr. Purple Eagles. The league consists of an A and B division that are divided by skill level. Despite being comprised of a lower talent level, the B-division (6 - 10 teams) fields more teams than the A-division (4 – 8 teams). Each team will play approximately 24-games in a season, skating once a week over the span of the fall and winter months. According to league director Christian Glowinski, the A-division is a primary focus for his staff this season. “The A-league has lost a few teams,” he said, “We’re really looking to build that up.” The cost to play is $2400 per team along with an official’s fee of $36 per team on game day. In terms of format, the regular season games can end in a tie, but
come playoffs there is a lengthy overtime system should no winner be decided after regulation. Sudden death periods begin with 5 minutes of 5-on-5, and continue chronologically down through 1 minute of 1-on-1 until a winner is decided. The league tries to include each team in the playoffs and have at least the finals consist of a best of 3 series, if not the semi-finals as well. Tom Teeto is a staple within the league as he has run a team in the B-division for the past 8-years. “He started a team out of high school and it’s been the same guys here ever since,” said, Glowinski. Teeto’s Auto Center won a championship in 2008, but is currently considered to be in a rebuilding mode. *Iron Man Tournament Old Tyme Hockey League East Aurora Time Warner Winter Classic Rink IC – 716-830-0182 email@example.com or “The Commish” - 716-860-9835 firstname.lastname@example.org The OTHLEA website banner reads: “No ice princesses. No pirouettes. Not a lot of fans. Just Old Tyme Hockey played outdoors like it should be.” The brash, cut to the chase slogan speaks to the style of play and type of person the league is looking to attract as participants. The only outdoor adult league in WNY, OTHLEA operates out of East Aurora, NY where the rink is composed of the boards and glass used at Ralph Wilson Stadium when the Sabres hosted the Penguins for the inaugural Winter Classic in 2008. OTHLEA consists of 20 sponsored teams who play a 16-game regular season schedule and 4-playoff games (or match play for the consolation prize of team pride.) The cost to play is $375 per participant, per season. The price includes all ref and scorekeeper fees and a jersey. Continued on Page 22
Junior Sabres, Sabres / 8 Buffalo Jr. Sabres: Smaller League, Longer Schedule Await
opener against Burlington on Wednesday, September 12) includes a handful of occasions involving three games in three days. In December, they’ll play four games in as many days. It’s a schedule that tests even the game’s top pros. Peca is confident his team will be ready to handle it. “Every schedule at a high level will always present challenges,” Peca said. “I don’t foresee any problems with our group through those stretches due in large part to our depth at all positions. Conditioning will also be a strong point in our group so that will also allow us to hold up through tough stretches.” On the other hand, the team will get some relief during the Christmas holiday. The team will play at the Toronto Lakeshore Patriots on December 22 and will not have another game until they host the Milton Icehawks on January 2.
lthough the Buffalo Junior Sabres opened their Junior-A training camp August 13, General Manager and Head Coach Michael Peca was already getting regular looks at some of his players as early as mid-July, when the team began hosting voluntary skating sessions. Most of the locally based players were loyal attendees, with only summer jobs or family vacations preventing them from showing up. Others were still coming to the rink with the hopes that, even late in the summer, they might still get noticed. ***** “We have seen some NOTES: One forward guys in from out of town who is not expected to that have an interest in return is Andrew Poplaying on our team and turalski. After enjoying wanted to be evaluated,” a two-goal performance said Peca. “We have seen late last season with by Michael Mroziak some great players. Everythe USHL’s Cedar Rapids one has stood out and I RoughRiders, Poturalski think it’s due to the excitemade the RoughRiders ment for the upcoming season.” roster at their tryout camp but later suffered a It’s not just the players who are excited. It’s leg injury in a summer pickup skate. Peca anbeen known since last January that Peca would ticipated Poturalski, upon his recovery, would take over as head coach beginning with tryouts return to Cedar Rapids for his final year of for the 2012-13 season. Now that it’s here, the junior before enrolling at the University of New excitement has built even for the former NHL Hampshire next year. captain. …The OJHL abruptly cut itself from 23 teams “It’s a very exciting feeling. We have a great to 22 in early August when it group of kids and myself and the suspended operations of the entire coaching staff is very excited Markham Waxers for what the about getting started,” he said. league described as “circumstanc Assistants Alan Heerdt and Russ es that have arisen in the past 48 Certo will return as Peca’s assistants hours and the failure to comply with Brian Willison resuming his with various financial and operarole as goaltender coach. They’ll tional related obligations…” The have plenty of familiar faces returnsuspension of the Waxers does not ing to the lineup this coming seaaffect the Jr. Sabres’ conference or David Seward son. Most notably, two of the three schedule. It’s a sad turn of events forwards who last season commitfor the franchise, based north of Toronto, which ted to NCAA Division I schools will be back for has developed several former and current NHL their final years of junior hockey. It was expected stars including Steven Stamkos, Adam Oates, Josh Kielich would return before enrolling at Chris Tanev, Mike Liut, Charlie Huddy and Ron Canisius in 2013-14. The coaches got a pleasant Wilson, just to name a few. surprise, however, when David Seward informed …The Jr. Sabres introduced a video series over them that instead of skating with his USHL team the summer known as “Where Are They Now?” (Youngstown) he would instead come back to The series showcases former players from the Buffalo. history of the junior franchise, some of whom “They bring a lot to this group. For starters went far in hockey while others became imthey are terrific young hockey players,” said Peca. portant members of the local community. The “That, combined with their leadership ability and videos are also available on the team’s official genuine passion for the game, is what you want YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/buffawhen trying to build the right culture for your lojuniorsabres. Three episodes were released program. I expect both to have big seasons.” at press time, with at least two more pending. That experience and leadership will be need- It’s a production that will likely cease for the ed as the Jr. Sabres prepare to play a 55-game fall but then resume in the spring to offer fresh Ontario Junior Hockey League schedule. The content for the team’s website during the offschedule (which opens on Sunday, September 9 season.a at Toronto Jr. Canadiens followed by the home
Junior Sabres Report
Mammography Bus Unveiled
Making the bus a reality--Front: Stephanie Dulski, Diane Smith, Nancy Martin, Jayne Playfair; Back: John Koelmel, Rob Ray, Dr. Vivian Lindfield, Cliff Benson, Jody Lomeo and Larry Playfair. (Photo by Janet Schultz)
he Buffalo Sabres Alumni Association, Erie County Medical Center and First Niagara Financial unveiled a 45-foot bus that sports two stateof-the-art digital mammography machines that will travel throughout Western New York and service the under-served and never-served women of this community. As Former Sabre and Director of Alumni Relations Larry Playfair explained, eight years ago five special women began an event that would benefit breast cancer prevention. After seven years Playfair told the women it was time to put the event to rest. They had raised and donated thousands of dollars that would help find a cure for this disease. However, the Buffalo Sabres Public Relations Director Michael Gilbert called Larry about the same time to arrange a meeting with ECMC CEO Jody L. Lomeo. That meeting was to look at assisting women in the inner city to receive mammograms. The group thought about purchasing two vans, putting the Alumni Association logo on it and going out and picking up the women and taking them to the examination site. After a few weeks the group came up with another idea. “We met at ECMC and here are the vans,” said Playfair pointing to the pink bus. “Many players call Buffalo home and it’s an honor to raise our families here,” said Playfair. “Some of us met your women and married them. The Association wants to give something back and this is the most gratifying thing we’ve done as a group.” “The medical, financial and athletic community combined together to do something great,” said Cliff Benson, Buffalo Sabres Foundation. “Owning a hockey team is wonderful, but giving back to the community is great,” said Benson. “This is a huge WOW factor,” said First Niagara President and CEO John Koelmel. Dr. Vivian Lindfield of WNY Breast Health will oversee the clinical operations of the bus. “As a breast surgeon I see women when they have a problem,” said Lindfield. “Many women out there don’t take the first step until they have a mass, go to the emergency room and most times it’s too late.” “I started my practice to serve with more passionate and earlier care,” she continued. “Mammograms can save lives when cancer is found early. Now I can go to them in their backyard and direct them to the right care. “At the end of the day we will see the greater good; we will do a wonderful job,” said Lindfield. All women will be welcome for mammograms on the bus. This includes those with insurance or those covered by Medicare or Medicaid, as well as the uninsured. Exams will require a prescription, but women without a primary-care physician can obtain a script at the bus. Appointments will be necessary. To learn more about the bus and to schedule an appointment call 1-855-Go4-PINK (464-7465).a
DRAFT NEWS / 9
TAMPA SELECTS AMHERST’S BLUJUS By Warren Kozireski
here were 77 defensemen selected at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft and the Western New York region again proved it is a source of hockey talent when Amherst’s Dylan Blujus was selected in the second round—40th overall in Pittsburgh. In fact he was the 15th d-man chosen as the draft went top-heavy in blueliners with 13 selected in the first round alone. “It’s great to be the first one off the board from Western New York so I definitely feel happy about that,” said Blujus in the media scrum in a back room under the arena immediately after his selection. “They (Tampa) just want me to be the player I am today—a strong right-handed defenseman with a shot from the point, so I’m just going to keep working on that. Right now is when the work begins. I just need to keep working because nothing comes easy.” Blujus entered the draft ranked 71st among North American skaters after his seven goal-27 assist season with Brampton of the Ontario Hockey League. That followed his first OHL campaign where he tallied four
goals with 22 assists in 67 games. He played for the Buffalo Regals in 2009-10 and netted 22 points in just 47 games and was also part of the Wheatfield Blades system. “Brampton offered me a great opportunity to come in and play top-four minutes every day as an underage player. I thought it was a great chance for exposure so I went with it and it has turned out great.” At 6’3”, 193 lbs., the 18-year old right shot is being touted as a player who can get his “heavy shot” through traffic, according to one scout quoted in The Hockey News Draft Preview. He also is being asked to toughen up his game and develop his shutdown defense to partner with his offensive abilities. “My confidence is probably the thing that has developed the most so it lets me be the player I am playing both ends of the ice. I’m always looking for competition and to push myself to the next level, so we’ll see what I can do with this.” Tampa Bay just changed their American Hockey League affiliate from Norfolk (who won the 2012 Calder Cup) to Syracuse beginning with the 2012-13 season. But Blujus has two more seasons to play in Brampton
as part of the NHL-Canadian junior hockey agreement before he could be signed to play with the Crunch. Until then, it’s either an NHL job or back to Brampton. “(Lightning General Manager) Steve Yzerman is a world class guy and has a great team with Steve Stamkos and everyone around him. They (Tampa were) as one of the few teams I talked to during the year before the combine and they showed a lot of interest in me. I didn’t want to get my hopes up too much, but in the back of my mind I thought I had a chance (of going there).” As for his development in the Buffalo region prior to going north, Blujus said “I always played up an age group so coming out of there I always knew I could play with older kids and I just wanted to show that I could and I think I did pretty well with that.”a
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TRAINING / 10
ew Era Park is located on Lake Avenue in Blasdell. From the outside the building looks like a former department store. But, as the old saying goes, you can’t judge a book, or in this case a building, by its cover. Inside of this building contains Western New York’s premier hockey training center: High Performance Hockey Development (HPHD). It is a building where sport science, state of the art technology and professional coaching come together to build the consistently better hockey player. The HPHD Hockey Academy is the ultimate in small group training with a year-round ongoing program. Through exciting drills and competitive games HPHD Hockey Academy gives the players of the Western New York hockey community the skills needed to develop their confidence and bring them closer to the hockey dreams. On this particular evening in late June, four girls are working out together, all trying to get closer to their hockey dreams. The four include Abby Cleary, Michelle Robilard, Bailey Lewczyk and Lexi Skibitsky. HPHD’s Steve Thomson explained what this program means to the four girls. “They have worked hard enough with their hockey skills to be recognized at the National level of USA Hockey,” said Thomson. “It’s not an easy road to get to that level and they’ve had to work hard to get there. “Sixty girls at the 14-U level of hockey participate in this camp. To be chosen for this is quite an honor. “They’ve had their regular teams that they could work out with. But with HPHD they spent up to three days a week working on their individual technique. “They’ve worked on things like the skating treadmill, the rapid shot shooting lane, as well as their off-ice training. We also do some strong mental training with techniques used at the professional and collegiate levels of hockey. “We just impart that knowledge to them a little earlier than usual. All four girls are between the ages of 14 and 15 and will be entering their freshman year in high school. And they are all teammates on the Buffalo Bisons girls hockey team. Besides the synthetic ice rink and off-ice training facility, HPHD also provides partici-
pants with classrooms, change rooms, digital media team rooms and general office space for quiet time.
Working out at HPHD were (f) Michelle Robilard, Abby Cleary (b) Baily Lewczyk and Lexi Skibitsky
Working to make their dreams come true! By Randy Schultz Portrait by Randy Schultz Action Photos by Damian Adams
Participants also have some of the finest hockey coaches and trainers available to them to work with. And age is not a factor. “We have participants in here who are four,” added Thomson. “And we also have them up to, and past, retirement age. “There are no limits. We have something for everyone. “We have amateur players in here at all ages. We even have those who are playing professional hockey working out with us. “And everyone in the end has their own success story to tell.” Cleary is one of those who has a success story
to tell. “I’ve dreamed about going to the Nationals since I was a little girl,” commented Cleary, a center. “I would one day like to play for the Women’s U 18 team and go on from there to play in the Olympics. “Working out here has really helped improve my play quite a bit over the past few months. I’ve really seen quite an improvement in my game. “People who have watched me play over the past year have seen quite an improvement in my play and have told me about it. I’ve gotten so much stronger and faster on my skates. “This place has really made a difference for me.” For Robilard, making the Nationals came as quite a surprise. “I never really expected to make it at this age,” remarked Robilard, a left winger. “I’m extremely happy and excited to have made it now. “I’ve been continually improving on my game over the past few months. I can actually feel the difference.” Like Robilard, Lewczyk was quite surprised when the announcement came that she was going to the Nationals. “There were quite a few goalies that I had to compete against,” said Lewczyk, a goalie. “So when I made it that was a nice surprise. “But after I made it, I knew I would have to work on a few things in my game to make me even better. I knew going to the Nationals that there would be a lot of other girls there that would be as good as me, if not better. “I continued working out at HPHD which helped improve my game. But the trainers and coaches here also gave me things to do at home which helped me even more.” Skibitsky’s reaction was the most interesting. “I was shocked when I heard I had made it,” stated Skibitsky, a right winger. “I went to tryouts thinking that I would simply do the best I could and have some fun. “I figured that if I did make it, it would be a great opportunity for me to continue going on with my hockey career. “HPHD really helped me quite a bit. My stride in my skating was really off. “I’ve worked on the treadmill which has made me a stronger and faster player. Even my stickhandling has improved quite a bit. “I know that HPHD has made a difference for me, not only as a player but as a person in general. It has been great for me, as well as for all of us here. “I think it is one of the best opportunities ever given to me. I’m glad I did it.”a
Feature / 11 “We have always been a good feeder program to Canisius, as well as other schools like St. Joe’s and Nichols, among others. The idea was planted. “Unfortunately we could never quite tie the laces together to bring the two programs under one umbrella.” Finally, about two years ago, Mike Broderick took over as Director of Hockey Operations for Canisius High School.
Coaches Jason Bridge and Mike Broderick with Shamrock’s CEO Tom Barnett (Photos by Janet Schultz)
Shamrocks & Canisius: Building Great Players Together! By Randy Schultz
am excited to share the news that the Buffalo “Mike immediately reached out to me with Shamrocks Hockey Club has worked very closely similar ideas that Father Jim had,” continued Barwith Canisius High School, the Department of nett. “We got to the finish line very quickly after the Athletics, and the Director of Hockey Operations Mitwo of us got together.” chael Broderick to create and establish our 18 U and 16 So what is so special about these two hockey entiU development squad program.” ties coming together? That was the opening paragraph of a letter that “With a high school program, kids usually try out Tom Barnett, founder and president of the Buffalo for the team and then have about a week together Shamrocks Hockey Club, sent to players and families before playing their first of players from the Canisius High game together,” answered School hockey team earlier this year. Barnett explained how this “... this new concept will give Barnett. “We wanted to put these kids into an groundbreaking idea got started. these kids an opportunity to environment where they “The basis of how this program play hockey and prepare for could play during the got started began six to seven years spring and summer times. ago when Father Jim Higgins of their upcoming season...” “They will work out Canisius High School came to me,” Tom Barnett, founder & and do things that won’t said Barnett. “His nephew played for be game driven. It will be the Shamrocks. president, Buffalo team chemistry driven. “He had come to team functions Shamrocks Hockey Club “Plus, we also and heard about our philosophies. It patterned our program was based on sportsmanship, team after what NHL teams do play and other character building during the off-season with their players. We are doing blocks. power skating and other drills like that. “It wasn’t about winning and losing. That would “They are basically coming to the Shamrocks to get take care of itself. better. And remember, even though they are Canisius “And Father Jim kept hearing about all of this while High School hockey players through and through, for his nephew was in our program. Finally he called me the spring and summer months they are Shamrocks. and asked how I would like to come to the school and “The bottom line is this new concept will give he would buy me a dinner. these kids an opportunity to play hockey and prepare “That night he bounced the idea of Canisius High for their upcoming season in a much different way.” School and the Shamrocks combining together. We For Broderick, a native of Buffalo, it was a homehad the same philosophies. coming of sorts. “I had spent five years coaching prep school in the New England area,” remarked Broderick, who is also head coach of the Canisius High School Federation hockey team. “When I came to Canisius, they had four teams that worked out together for a week during the summer. When I took the job I immediately began thinking of a plan where we could expand out off-season workout plan. “The Shamrocks program, which is an independent USA Hockey program, allows me the flexibility that no other program can provide me with. It allows us to practice once a week at the Amherst Northtowns Center.
“They are used to my voice, my system and my coaching staff. My assistant coach, Jason Bridge, has been working with me this summer and it has been great. I was used to coaching my boys every day. That’s what I did at the prep school I had been at. “The things we’re doing now during the summer I can’t get into practices during the regular season. This is a great way to keep the kids together during the offseason. “We have been going since the end of April. I think we can go almost until the first week of September. “In the long run, the community service part of this program is huge for us. I want our boys to get involved with coaching, teaching hockey and working with younger kids. This program will take care of that. “I want the Canisius hockey program to be a one stop shopping center and give the kids everything they want out of the school as well as the program. That includes academics and team building. That means exposure at the highest level. “I would like loyalty to be a big part of Canisius. I would like them to stay in our program for four or five years. I don’t want them to go off and have to play Junior A or Junior B hockey. I want our players to come in together and graduate together. “We want it to become an enjoyable experience and get everything hockey they need out of our program.” One player in the program is Max Capizzi. He explained what his experience has been like this summer. “The Shamrocks were very welcoming to me since day one,” remarked Capizzi, a senior and defenseman for Canisius. “The Shamrocks rules and traditions we have incorporated into our practices. We like them so much we will be adding them to our Canisius practices for the upcoming season. “We also learned how important it is for what we do outside the rink. We are learning how to be a better person, as well as being a better hockey player. “It is a great package. I know it will benefit me this season as well as the rest of my life. “That is what is important to me and to the rest of my teammates. It is a great combination that I hope will on for years to come.”a
Feature / 12
amestown, New York is best known for being the hometown of Hollywood actress Lucille Ball of “I Love Lucy” fame. It is just 70 miles southwest of Buffalo, located in the southwest corner of New York State. But Jamestown is also known for its amateur hockey programs. In the heart of the city is the crown jewel of Jamestown’s hockey world: the Jamestown Savings Bank ice Arena, a beautiful arena that houses two skating rinks. It is early on a Thursday afternoon in late July in downtown Jamestown. Outside the temperature hovers around the 90 degree mark. But inside the Ice Arena things are much cooler. Out on the Monster Energy Arena B ice a group of boys and girls, ages 8 to 10, are playing hockey. They are a part of the weeklong McFall Brothers Summer Hockey School. The school, which is in its 20th year of operation, is headed by Tom McFall. McFall has been involved in the Jamestown amateur hockey scene for over two decades. For more than 40 years the Chautauqua County Youth Hockey Association (CCYHA) has been a Not-For-Profit organization that provides area youth the opportunity to not only play, and learn about the game of hockey, but also teach the values of good sportsmanship, fair play, and respect to others. Standing at rinkside watching the kids play hockey on this particular July day, McFall took a few minutes to explain about his School and the CCYHA. “Back in the 1980s the Buffalo Sabres used to run a summer school down here,” remembered McFall, a teacher in the Chautauqua Lake Central School district. “By the time I moved down here in the early 1990s the school was gone. “I went to officials from the CCYHA and talked to them about having a school again. They simply told me to go for it. “And here we are, 20 years later, and the school is still going strong. When we first started I had about 70 kids. “Then when the Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena was built, I had a high of 185 kids. I had both rinks going at the same time.
Jamestown Loves Lucy... and HOCKEY!! By Randy Schultz Photos by Janet Schultz
“Today, I’m back down in the 65 to 70 range. Times have been tough. “The economy is not what it was back a few years ago. And kids have more choices of things to do. “Most of the kids that come to the school come from the Jamestown area. But I also get kids who come from Erie (PA), Olean and Fredonia. “We occasionally get kids from out-of-state who come with their families in the summer to Chautauqua Lake for vacations. They find out about the school and send their kids to it. “Currently we handle kids between the ages of 5 and 12. “It’s great to have my brothers working with me on this. John is a teacher, who grew up playing the game and Dan has a hockey business in Ver(Left to right) )Dan, Tom and John McFall; Coach comforting a player is part of the McFall School, Jamestown’s ice pad, NAHL Ironmen logo, ad for the Lucy/Desi Museum, Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena and (botton) the main arena ready for summer use.)
mont and played hockey at the NHL level for a brief time.” The McFall Brothers Summer Hockey School is just a small part of the CCYHA umbrella that covers amateur hockey in the Jamestown area. Over 250 players skate in the CCYHA program. There are over 20 teams competing through the age brackets of the USA Hockey structure. CCYHA programs range from the most introductory levels, where kids learn to skate and pick up the basics of hockey, to the highest level where Lakers teams compete for New York State championships. The CCYHA also offers a Sled Hockey program for physically challenged players. All home games and practices for teams are held at the Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena. Jamestown is also home for the Jamestown Ironmen, a Tier II Junior A hockey team in the North American Hockey League. There is also a senior hockey league in the area. “Jamestown is its own little city,” stated McFall. “The people here take pride in themselves and the city. “The amateur program here has come a long way since its beginnings. Back in the day there was an old arena located halfway between Jamestown and Bemus Point. “Half of the ice surface was inside the arena and half was outside. There were times that teams would have to sit on a snow bank as their bench. “Then came the Allen Park Ice Rink. That was nice, but we were beginning to outgrow that as (Continued on next page) well.
FEATURE / 13 “That is when the Gebbie Foundation came into the picture.” In 1998 the City of Jamestown “Jamestown is its own approached the Gebbie Foundation little city. The people for funding of a new skating facility. After reviewing their proposal, here take pride in the Foundation decided that it was themselves and the possible as long as revenue was not city.” -- Tom McFall forced to pay for debts, and if the facility would be downtown, where money was needed. By 2000 the Gebbie Foundation formed the Jamestown Center City Development Corporation in order to raise money for the arena. By May 2001 construction had begun. In 2003 Jamestown Savings Bank had bought the naming rights. The arena was completed three months ahead of schedule, with the first event ever held there being “Skate Chautauqua.” “It is a beautiful home for the CCYHA,” said McFall. “A lot of teams that come here to play us don’t realize how great a facility we have here. “But once they get here they want to come back again and again. We know it is a bit of a drive for teams coming here from the Buffalo and Rochester areas. “It is the same way for our travel teams. When we say travel, we mean travel. “For us to go to the Buffalo area, it is a two-hour drive one way. Figure an hour to hour and one-half for the game. “Then stop to eat and head back home again. It is a seven to eight hour day for us. “But the coaches and parents down here consider it quality time spent with their kids in a car.a
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Equipment Needed: Skates and a helmet (certified ice hockey only), with facemask. If needed, the rink will provide these at no charge. You will need to bring glove (winter mittens can be used) and a stick. We have Beginner Hockey sticks available for purchase in our Hockey Shops. (Note if you are BRAND new to skating you will not need a stick right away. You will use a walker skating-aid instead)
Instruction Provided by Coaches Jim Blair, Ron Nowakowski and Joe Wasik. Sessions held at Holiday Twin and Leisure Rinks. See schedule for dates and place!
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EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Skates and a helmet (certified ice hockey only) with facemask. If needed, the rink will provide these at no charge. You will need to bring gloves (winter mittens can be used) and a stick. We have Beginner hockey sticks available for purchase in both of our Hockey Shops. (Note if you are BRAND new to skating you will not need a stick right away. You will use a walker skating-aid instead.) INSTRUCTED BY: Coaches Jim Blair, Ron Nowakowski & Joe Wasik
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MEN’S COLLEGIATE / 15
efenseman C.J. Chartrain participated in the NHL’s Washington Capitals 2012 Prospect Development Camp. The Capitals development camp included week-long on-and off-ice workouts designed to help Capitals prospects improve their games and allow the Capitals to evaluate their progress. Chartrain is one of the most experienced Purple Eagle having played in 102 games in three seasons and accounting for 10 goals and 28 assists. Chartrain finished his junior campaign playing in a career-best 36 games while setting a career-high in goals with six and tying a careerbest in points with 14.
NIAGARA ACHA TEAM Submitted by Niagara University
2012-2013 Schedule The Niagara University ACHA hockey team is pleased to release their 2012-2013 schedule. The teams’ inaugural season in the NECHL will be among their toughest in team history. Niagara will open the season September 21st at Dwyer Arena against Slippery Rock University. The slate of home games to the Eagles is challenging to say the least. In early January, NU will host #15 University of Central Oklahoma* and #16 West Virginia University. The span between November 7th and 14th will go a long way in determining whom will be in the driver seat in the NECHL. Two pivotal home and home matchups against the University of Buffalo will likely make or break the Eagles season in league play. Niagara will begin their away slate of games with a trip to Springfield, IL to take part in the ACHA Showcase. The tournament which will run from October 4-6th will consist of three games in three nights. The showcase already has many top 15 teams slated to attend. In late November the team will travel to Ypsilanti, Michigan to take on Eastern Michigan University. January 18th-19th will find the team travel to Kingston, Rhode Island to take on #23 University of Rhode Island. Without a doubt the run of games from January 8th to 19th which has NU playing 6 games against top 25 teams will be a great mid season test for Purps. January 27th Niagara will travel to #20 Mercyhurst to take on the former league ECHL opponent in the first annual I 90 Cup . The newly minted series will feature a trophy and bragging rights to the winner each season as the teams vie for supremacy of the I-90 Thruway. The rest of the teams schedule will feature NECHL league match ups. The NECHL, similarly to the
WNY MEN’S COLLEGE HOCKEY REPORT by Warren Kozireski Warren@wnyhockeyreport.com
ECHL, offers an automatic bid to the ACHA National Tournament (Bensenville, IL) to the winner of the league in the regular season. “We are going to have a battle on our hands pretty much every weekend” Head Coach Larry Brzeczkowski said of the schedule. “We are very excited to have a lot of great teams come to our campus and play and as always we are going to be traveling to take on some very good teams. We feel that the NECHL is going to be a very good fit for us and just like the ECHL every game is going to matter#. With more league games and more meaningful league games than the last few seasons we are going to have to be sharp mentally and well conditioned. This is probably our most ambitious schedule in many years in both quality of the teams we are playing and the number of games we have.” Recruiting Commitments The Niagara University ACHA Hockey team is pleased to release their list of incoming players for the 2012-2013 season. This year’s recruiting class is eight players deep, six first year players and two players whom red shirted last year. Kody Helbig- Forward- 5’ 11” 185lbs – Freedom Pa. Hartford Wolfpack (AtJHL Jr. A) Kody joined the team during the second semester of last season. The forward immediately impressed the coaching staff in practice with his tenacity, speed, and hard shot. He is a two way player who can not only contribute offensively but be a very tough play to play against. “Kody is a great combination of many different attributes. He is a two way player who you can tell is competitor. He is an incredibly creative player and even in practices started to show a lot of great leadership qualities. We really think he can a 25-30 point guy for us during his career. He is the type of kid that other teams will absolutely hate to play against because he plays so hard. He can easily be a game changer at both ends of the rink.”
Jarred Mitrano – Forward- 6’ 0” , 190lbs- Boston Ma. Mass Maple Leafs CHA Jr. B Jarred, like Hellbig, joined the team in the second semester of last season. Although a red shirt, he was able to compete in 3 games last year accounting for two points. The physical, power forward put up over 100 points in his last year of juniors and will be poised to continue that output for Niagara. The forward has a strong desire to win and leaves it all on the ice during his play. In practices last semester Mitrano showed the coaching staff that he has the ability to not only produce points but can be a good penalty killer. Jarred will likely figure heavily in all three zones for the Purps during his career “Jarred, is another player that is a complete hockey player. We expected him to be a guy to get some points for us but during his game time last season he proved to be a great penalty killer as well. Jared has a great shot and can play a strong role in puck possession. Last season we lost some battles along the walls. Jarred is not only a player who we think can be in the top tier of scoring output for us but also give us more of a physical presence in front of the net and in the corners. We are going to look for Jared to use his great shot as much as possible and be one of the players we lean on a bit for production” Brad Beran-D- 5’ 10” 180lbs- Cleveland Junior Jacks (NA3HL Jr. A) Columbia Station, OH Brad will join the Eagles after a very successful career in junior hockey. Beran was the assistant captain for his junior A team last season. The stay at home defensemen figured for 11 points in 48 games in Cleveland. Beran played an impressive 88 games for Cleveland over the past two season. Brad will be looked upon to continue his role from juniors at his new home. Attention to detail, pride in his defensive zone, and valuable penalty killing time are all hallmarks of Brads on the ice make up “We drove to Cleveland a few times to see Brad play. Each time we were impressed with his play. He is a good skater and extremely strong. He is not the biggest kid on the ice but he works extremely hard off the ice and it shows. Brad was considered a leader on his team last year and will have a great chance to be a leader here at Niagara. Brad will be a great asset to our terrific defensive core. His transition will be very easy. The role for Brad and our team is exactly the role he had last year. Brad is very focused off the ice and takes his physical training very seriously. This should pay dividends next year for him and throughout his career.” Continued on Next Page
MEN’S COLLEGIATE / 16 Joseph DiBiase 6’ 0” 170lbs Palm Beach Hawks (EMJHL)/ LaSalle Academy; North Kingston, RI The newest Purp netminder is the first player in program history to be from the state of Rhode Island. That interesting tidbit aside, DiBiase first gained attention of the coaching staff during his play with the Walpole Express and later with the Palm Beach Hawks of the MJHL. Prior to his junior hockey experience DiBiase played for LaSalle Academy in Rhode Island. As a sophomore Joe led his team to the state finals. That same year he was named to 2nd Team All State (Rhode Island). “We felt it important to start looking towards the future of our goaltending this year. Dane and Jon [Anderson] played very well for us last year and matured on and off the ice. Joe is going to come into a good position where he will be able to get acclimated to the college game, learn from our two upper classmen goalies, and be eased into some action. Joe reminds us a lot of what we saw in Dane Wakefield coming into his freshman year. He has a desire to win and a desire to get better. We should be deep at netminder next year and it will make for some great competition. We expect all of our goalies to push each other and fight their tails off for starts” Patrick Gregory -F- 5’10” 180lbs- St. Louis Junior Blues (NA3HL Jr. A) St. Louis, MO The St. Louis, MO native is a dynamic forward who has shined offensively throughout his junior career. Splitting time in the NAHL and the NA3HL the swift skating threat put up 43 points (22g, 21a) in 41 games for the St. Louis Junior Blues. Prior to that the 5”10, 180lbs Gregory amassed 14 points in 30 games in the NAHL. Gregory was named as a top three star of the week in the NA3HL twice last season. During his teams long playoff run Gregory accounts for 5 points in 10 games. The newest Eagle won a national championship as part of the St. Louis Jr. Blues and was taken 27th overall in the 2011 NA3HL Draft. “Patrick is a game changer. We first identified him about six months ago. We had a lot of time to watch him play and perform during the season. He has a great shot and a great release that he can get off from each wing. Whether it is on the rush with a shot, a great pass, or a dirty goal in the paint he can score from various parts on the ice. It makes him a very difficult player to play against. He is a powerful skater and a player that has performed very well in juniors. We think Patrick will blend very well with our team and give us a great scoring threat. He will undoubtedly have a tremendous career and be a great asset to the University and our program both on and off the ice.”
Jacob Ledyard- F- 6’ 2” 203lbs-Buffalo Junior Sabres (OPJHL Jr. A) Clarence, NY Ledyard, one of two local players who will join the Purps, played his junior hockey locally for the Buffalo Junior Sabres. He was named to the OPJHL All Star Game during the past season. Over the past two years with the Junior Sabres Jacob
amassed 18g, 20a (38pts), and 247PIMS in 88 games on defense. Jacob will play forward for the Eagles to start this upcoming season. Should injuries or other players play warrant him to move back to the blue line the newest Eagle will be able to accommodate. “Jacob is a complete player and another guy who just plays the game right. He is a tough young man who I think will bring a bit more edge to our lineup. We are going to have Jacob play forward for us to add some size and physicality up front. You are going to see a bit of a theme in this year’s players, but Jacob is not a player other teams are going to want to play against. He can beat you on the score sheet and physically. When he is on his game there are not many guys who get the puck from him. Since Jacob is local we have watched him play for several years. He is great young man and will be a very valuable asset to our team. We have talked with Jacob and are going to start him this season at forward to add size up there, if we need him on the blue line he will be able to play there as well” Joseph Sheena –F- 5’10” 170lbs-Flint Junior Generals (NA3HL Jr. A) Waterford, MI Joseph Sheena, hailing from the great state of Michigan, is another player who played on a top team in the NA3HL. Sheena, who accounted for 8points in 24 games with the Generals, will add depth to the forward ranks. While not known for his scoring the newest Eagle will step right in and be a valuable addition. The Michigan native was nominated for the NA3HL Player of the Week three times during the 2011-2012 season. “Joey is another piece of the puzzle here. We set out this year to make sure we have a complete team. Joey is a player who makes us more of a complete team. He is not afraid to go into some tough places in the rink. He can kill penalties and I think will be able to really grow into a good role on the team. Flint is a very well run team with great coaching. The transition should be an easy one for Joe. He plays a type of game that coaches love. Joe is a very thoughtful young man off the ice and takes that same approach to the way he plays the game. We want Joe to develop into a guy who can be counted on in key defensive situations and on special teams.” Mike Skopinski- D- 6’0” 200lbs- Quad City Flames (NA3HL Jr. A) Lakeview, NY Mike, the second incoming local player, is a defenseman with a flair for offense. Starting the season as teammates with Brad Beran in Cleveland, Mike was traded to Iowa City in hopes of bolstering their defense for a playoff Skopinski run. Mike accounted for 22 points in 44 games. Skopinski attended St. Francis High School where he played hockey before leaving for his junior career. Mike will likely figure prominently in a system which has often had blue liners figure contribute good numbers in the offense. “Mike is a defenseman who can really hurt you at both ends of the ice. He has a great vision out there. Many of his assists in juniors started from a great break out passes. He is an ability to see the whole ice. Mike is a big body and is a really solid young man. We are looking for him to play strong and both ends of the ice. He can play in both type of systems. He has no prob-
lem playing shut down defense when that is required and doesn’t mind looking for a bit more offense if that is what is being asked of him. He got a great start here in Buffalo at St. Francis and playing for the Buffalo Stars. Last year Mike took his game to next level. Mike makes very good decisions with the puck. I think the forwards will enjoy having Mike passing them the puck” Austin Wharry –F6’1” 190lbs- Vermont Academy Prep School (NEPSHL) Canandaigua, NY Sometimes the good players find you. Shortly after the season began Austin contacted the coaching staff expressing in interest in Wharry joining the team. After scouting Austin, the forward visited NU and practice with the team. During his time on the ice Wharry impressed not only the coaching staff but other players on the ice.Wharry is a big body with a good set of hands. The coaching staff is excited to watch him grow. “Austin comes to us from just down the thruway. We have not had a true 18 year old freshman in a few seasons. Austin is going to be given a chance to contribute right away. He is very mature for his age and another big imposing forward. He is 6’ 1” now and we don’t think he is done growing. Austin has the size and skill to have a very bright career for us. He is really going to grow physically once he starts our weight program. Austin has a very good upside and most of all has an eagnerness to improve and contribute. These days it is rare for a player to pick college right out of high school when there are a lot of Junior A opportunities for that young man. Sometimes it is better to be lucky than to be good. We are lucky Austin found us and thrilled to have him a part of our family.” “After the season I think we all took a long hard look at what we had to do to be a championship type team. If you look at some of our losses we just weren’t tough enough in critical points. It was pretty important to make sure that we complimented the guys on campus well. At the end of the day we are bigger team, a more physical team, and I think have a group of guys that will be committed to all aspects of the rink.,” said Overall thoughts by Associate Coach & Director of Recruiting Clay Miller “I think what helped us a lot was that we knew we had Kody [Helbig] and Jarred [Mitrano] already for next year early in the season. With those two guys you have a lot of fire power. Knowing we had that firepower allowed us to focus on other aspects, types of players to make us more of a complete team. Having two players redshirt allowed us to take some different paths in recruiting this year and allowed us to be more selective. We have a lot of points to replace with graduation this year. I think with guys coming back and our incoming players those points will be accounted for. We really believe in this group of guys from last year. We knew we weren’t going to replace some of the pure goal scoring from last year but I think what we have is a deeper more balanced team. We really paid attention to how these guys play in crunch time, when the game is on the line, and how they handle pressure. I think that we were able to fill most of our needs.” a
Roller Hockey / 17
ith the Summer 2012 Season about to be a thing of the past, the WNY Roller Hockey League has begun to turn attention to the Kenan Center in Lockport, as preparation for the Fall 2012 Season is underway. We are currently accepting registrations for the Fall 2012 Season, however with only 3 nights in operation, space is extremely limited! Despite a more condensed schedule, all ages and skill levels will be represented throughout the fall and winter
seasons. Our Sunday league will include Adult Iron, Copper and Bronze divisions, Mondays will include a Youth Beginner League, 35 and Over Skate, and
ual awards for Top Scorer, Top Goalie and Championship MVP, and Player of the Month awards. Registration for the Fall 2012 Season is now open, and a $100 deposit is due upon team registration to solidify your spot. For further registration inquiries and details, please contact Eric Haak at (716) 903-2658 or via email at Eric@wnyrh.com. Donâ€™t miss out on your chance for fast paced, high energy action with exciting and intense competition, register today! a
WNY Roller Hockey Takes Over Lockport! Adult Bronze and Silver divisions, and rounding out the week with Tuesdays to include Youth Skills and Drills and Adult Iron and Copper divisions. Staying true to our reputation, prizes will be awarded to all 1st and 2nd place winners, individ-
WOMEN’S HOCKEY / 18 On Campus... Cornell Five members of the Big Red were named to the Canadian 2012 U22 Development Team Selection Camp in Calgary. They include Senior Laura Fortino, Juniors Brianne Jenner, Hayleigh Cudmore, Jessica Campbell and Sophomore Jillian Saulnier. They are playing in a three-game series against Team USA U22’s at press time.
Buffalo State College This year’s Most Valuable Player Award went to Brianne Murphy who had 11 assists and 4 goals. Named Rookie of the Year was Jeyna Minnick; Unsung Hero: Lauren Mallo; Most Improved: Jessica Garland. The Bengal Award went to Mallo. Mallo will serve as captain for 2012-13 and assisting her will be Rio Flynn and Melissa White.
2012-13 Captain Lauren Mallo
RIT Coach Scott McDonald has received a three-year extension to his contract. McDonald led the Tigers to their first NCAA DIII Women’s Ice Hockey Championship in 2012 after finishing the season with a 28-1-1 record. In his sixth season, McDonald is 135-22-10. RIT has moved to NCAA Division I for the upcoming
season. There are five new additions to the RIT women’s ice hockey team. Katie Hubert, Burlington, Ont. And the Burlington Barracudas; Jess Paton, Woodstock, Ont.,/Kitchener-Waterloo Rangers and Carly Payerl, Kitchener, Ont./Kitchener-Waterloo Rangers have been brought in as forwards. Kristina Kleshko from San Diego is a defenseman. She played for the Junior Russian National Team and the LA Selects U16. Also on defense is Casidhe Kunichika of Fullerton, California. Kunichika also played for the LA Selects and will be familiar because her sister Courtney is a current member of the RIT women’s team. RIT has also announced that The Gene Polisseni Center will be located south of the Student Alumni Union as the College begins construction on the new ice arena. Fundraising for the facility continues with the Tiger Power Play halfway to its goal of $30 million. Cost of the facility is estimated between $30M and $35M.
Other College Notes:
...Batavia’s Tori Salmon is playing for Amherst College. The Forward played for Nichols School in Buffalo.
Women’s Hockey Report by Janet Schultz Janet@wnyhockeyreport.com Photos by Janet Schultz
...Nikki Kirchberger of West Seneca will play for Buffalo State College. ...Jennifer Godin, Clarence Center, has been recruited to play for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She has been playing at Tabor Institute. ...Tara Barnhardt. St. Mary’s High School, Lancaster will be trying out for the Mercyhurst College women’s ice hockey team. Tara played for two years with Monsignor Martin on the WNY GVIHL.
Abby Cleary takes a face off at the 2012 NAPS Tournament at Northtowns Center
Around WNY and Beyond...
...The Buffalo Bisons U19 team took part in the Annual Women’s Beantown Classic in Boston in July. In addition, U14 players Abby Welch, Bridgette Prentiss and Rachel DePerio played on the New Jersey Boardwalk All-Stars that made it to the finals. They actually played against the East Congratulations the Class of 2012! Coast Selects which included their Bison teammate, Abby Cleary. East Coast won 3-1. ...Kate Miller, Kenmore Girl’s Varsity Ice Hockey ...Northtowns Center Amherst was the site for the Team will attend Syracuse University and study music. She plans to keep hockey in her life by play- 2012 Girls North American Prospects Showcase in July. The East Coast Selects took the championship ing pick-up or coaching. in the 98 NAPS Elite Division and the West Coast ...Laura Pavone, also of the Kenmore GVIH team took the championship in the 99 NAPS Elite Diviwill attend Niagara County Community College in sion. Playing in the NAPS from Buffalo were Abby audio production. Cleary for the East Coast 98’s; Ellie Cleary and ...Jill Schrader, Nikki Kirchberger, Emily O’Shei, Maureen Murphy for the 99’s. All three are from Jenna Lettieri from West Seneca West. the Buffalo Bisons. Abby had an overtime goal in ...Jess Dolac, Hailey Glynn, West Seneca East. the finals and was named Tournament MVP, along ...Jocelyn Rizzo, Niagara Junior Purple Eagles and with the East Coast Goalie Claire Marshall. Buffalo Regals. She will attend Xavier University ...WNY women who took part for accounting. in the 2012 Women’s National ...Sarah Higgins, Williamsville South. Festival were from Victor, Jen...Emily Koestler, Juliet Holme, Elena Hingston, nifer Ryan (North American Williamsville North. Hockey Academy White) and Getzville’s Emily Pfalzer (Boston College). In addition Cornell’s Lauren Siebodnick was Emily Pfalzer selected for the at Worlds Over-18 roster. (Donated photo) U10...The Finger Sept 8/9 the Bisons are hosting a two day tournament at Tacoma Lakes Area and Nichols with Pittsburgh, Syracuse and Stoney Creek Girls League (FLAG) is looking for October 12, 13, 14 – Erie PA with Scarborough A, Ohio Flames, teams to play in their league. They Glenview Stars (Chicago), Pittsburgh and Syracuse have 10U, 12U, 14U and 16/19 Nov 2 – 4th – Bauer Girls World Hockey Invite – Detroit, MI divisions. Any interested teams Jan 18-21 – Pittsburgh Midwinter Girls Classic should email fingerlakeshockey@ U12- pending gmail.com U14, Stoney Creek Showcase in September, Bauer World Hockey ...The Webster Youth Hockey anInvite in Detroit in November, Connecticut Polar Bear in Decemnounced new Girl’s 14U and 16U ber teams for the upcoming season.a U16- Cleveland Ignite in September, Manon Rheume in Detroit in November, Connecticut Polar Bear in December Wanted: U19- NAHA Showcase in Vermont in September, Stoney Creek Showcase in September, Toronto CanAM in October, Connecticut Women’s/Girl’s Hockey Polar Bear in December, News The U12 team will be participating in the Cleveland Ignite Janet@ the Ice Tournament in September and the Bauer in Detroit in wnyhockeyreport.com November.a
Bisons Announce Tournament Schedule
p until last year Jody Rosen played hockey, coached hockey, watched hockey; you might as well say the only time he wasn’t involved with hockey is when he slept—some of us may say he dreams about hockey. During one of the last games in his adult league of the 2010-11 season he went into the corner for the puck and was hit with what he determined was a cheap shot. He had a slight skirmish with the other guy and then went to the bench. “As a coach I knew I had a mild concussion,” said Rosen. It started with mild headaches, but since he had a history of migraines he put off going to the doctor feeling that they would go away. But the headaches became more constant and did not go away. After two weeks with no improvement he attributed the pain to his back and went to his chiropractor. After a third adjustment and no improvement the chiropractor ordered an x-ray. “He thought there was a small crack in my vertebrae so I went to see my family doctor,” said Rosen. “He ordered an MRI and called me two days later with good news and bad news. “The good news -- they found two bulging discs and a torn disc in my neck; the bad news -they saw something on my brain but didn’t know what it was. “The doctor felt the bulging and torn discs would heal themselves and surgery wasn’t ordered,” continues Rosen. “However, they felt that since the spot was where the brain and spine connect I should see a neurologist.” The neurologist reviewed the x-ray and told Rosen that the chance of cancer was less than five percent. A second doctor agreed with the diagnosis and they fitted Rosen with a neck brace to aid in the healing process. “They told me they could do a biopsy if I wanted but they didn’t know if I really needed it. It was a complicated procedure,” explains Rosen. The delicate procedure called for them going through the nostril to obtain the tissue sample which would be very painful for Rosen. At this point it was mid-May, the hockey season had ended in March and Rosen and the doctors felt summer was a good time for the biopsy for everyone. However, for Rosen it meant putting off the exam, diagnosis and treatment, if needed, even longer. Knowing that if it was cancerous time was of the essence, Rosen decided to obtain another opinion. So off he goes to an Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist who told him they couldn’t schedule him for a biopsy until August and it was now mid-June 2011. The injury had occurred in January. Uncomfortable with that doctor Rosen left and decided that since the headaches were subsiding he might be okay. However, on July 12, 2011 while at working second shift at National Fuel Rosen noticed his eyes didn’t seem right. He thought it was because
WOMEN’S HOCKEY / 19 he was over-tired from not getting enough sleep or a reaction from the medication he was on for the headaches. “I went to my boss about midnight and told him he might want to replace me for the week,” said Rosen. “He said ‘why, what’s the matter?’
and the other eye the other way. “I saw two of every single player. It was as if Kylie (daughter) had a twin. “I’m thinking this is really weird, my equilibrium was okay; I wasn’t going to fall, I just saw two of everything.” While at the rink his cell phone went off. It’s the doctor’s office telling him the doctor would call him the next morning at 9 a.m. Remember now, 24 hours will pass from his initial call to his doctor’s office, and a good 33 hours since he left work. When the doctor called the next day, Rosen by Janet Schultz was instructed to Janet@wnyhockeyreport.com go immediately to Gates Circle Hospital because it “I told him ‘I can barely see,’” said Rosen. sounded like something, most likely the tumor, had “Maybe it’s a allergic reaction or something with shifted. He still hadn’t been seen by a doctor. this brain tumor they found. Virtually blind at this point, Rosen checked “He asked me if I wanted someone to drive me into the emergency room and the hours pass as he home and I said ‘No, I’ll head right home.’” waits for the doctor, who is in surgery. The hospital Rosen arrived at home and went to bed. He called his doctor’s office at 9 a.m. the next morning and when the doctor hadn’t called back by the time his daughter had to leave for hockey practice, he went to the rink. “It was her first practice and I didn’t want to miss it,” said Rosen, who went on to explain that he secretly put his hockey bag into the truck, just in case they needed help on the ice. “My wife (Megan) said ‘you’re not going on the ice you can barely see’ and I replied that ‘I’d call it when I saw it,’” said Rosen smiling. Being one of the hottest days that month, they walked into a rink full of fog, similar to the 1975 Buffalo Stanley Cup game. He decided right away that he would lace up and assist with the practice. That’s when things really started to get unnerving for Rosen. “The freakiest thing happened. I had clear vision but it was very, very defined double vision. It was as if one eye was going one way,
A Hit That Saved A life
WOMEN’S HOCKEY / 20 staff took him for an MRI which lasted a half an hour, rolled him out in the hallway for 45 minutes and then finally moved him back to his area in the ER where he continued waiting. “I haven’t eaten, hours pass and I’m not allowed to leave,” he continues. Finally at 10:30 p.m. the doctor’s assistant comes out and says the doctor, who had been in surgery all day, had to leave—without seeing Rosen. The assistant ordered a steroid shot and scheduled an appointment with the doctor for two weeks later. In the meantime his sister-in-law had been kept informed of what was happening and she was making inquiries at other agencies. Finally she tells Rosen to take all his x-rays, go home and go to Roswell Cancer Institute. She had gotten him an appointment for the next morning. He followed her orders and things started happening quickly. “The doctor at Roswell took one look and told me the chance of it being cancer was above 85% and the tumor was growing rapidly, especially near my optical nerve causing the vision problem,” Rosen explains. “The steroid shot was the right thing to do; but I needed a biopsy and they did it almost immediately.” Ten days later, on his 40th birthday, Rosen found out that he had Plasmacytoma, a rare form of cancer that only about 25 people in the entire world had. However, the radiation treatment was successful 23 of the 25 times. “I can’t win the lottery, but I can get a cancer that no one else gets,” he says. Rosen had planned a hockey trip to Lake Placid and the doctor agreed he could go to that but treatments would begin as soon as he arrived back home. In this situation chemotherapy was not an option, nor was surgery; it had to be radiation. The radiation was scheduled for five days a week for a month and a half and lasted about 10 minutes. There were side affects, some known and some unknown. In addition he would be on an oral medication. “I gained 46 pounds in a month, I was unrecognizable,” said Rosen. “I had hockey coming up and I wasn’t going to let this slow me down.” Rosen, true to his word, would go to UB girl’s early morning practices, take his radiation, go home and sleep and conduct his boy’s team practices at Amherst in the evening. “At times I’d go off the ice for a few minutes and let the assistants take over because I would get sick,” he explained. “I couldn’t skate the way I used to. I could glide around but I couldn’t even do cross-overs, but I was able to keep going.” Rosen met with the parents of his team and explained the situation giving them the option of him or them telling their sons about his illness. They let him. His handling of the situation with his teams led him to becoming a very inspirational person for players, parents and others around him. He went public through Facebook as well. “I went on Facebook because I figured all the prayers and positive thoughts out there would help,” he continued. However in that time he only missed one of his
University of Buffalo Girl’s Ice Hockey Team and a tournament with his Amherst team. Rosen finished his radiation in one month, rather than the month and a half originally scheduled. While that might seem like a good sign, after letting it rest for eight weeks and then testing, the doctors told Rosen it hadn’t worked. In addition the side affects had stepped up and he was super tired and sick. Chemo still wasn’t an option. With the tumor still there he had to move forward with another option, Gamma Knife Surgery. This is a direct laser, painless, no sound and targets the radiation right on the tumor. It’s done using a machine similar to an MRI. They scheduled it for the end of January 2012. “It was the creepiest thing ever,” said Rosen. “Just your head goes in. But before that they drill four holes in your head and attach a bracket to the head to keep it in place and target the tumor.
Coach Rosen coaching his Amherst Knights while being treated for cancer. (Photo by Janet Schultz)
They numb the area but you still feel it when the drill hits the bone.” The treatment lasted for an hour and a half. Inside the machine there was dead silence and he was locked in place.
Continued on Page 21
ikki KIrchberger stands out on the ice as a defenseman for the West Seneca Girls High School Varsity Ice Hockey Team and Buffalo Regals. She’s tall, lean, skilled and fast. She digs in the corners, shoots the puck down the ice with authority and can put it in the net. But she’s even more competitive and fast elsewhere. She also explains that The Go Kart Race Track! she’s learned a lot from both “I started racing because hockey and racing. They taught my Uncle used to race and her responsibility and that both my cousins were involved,” sports and in life you need help. she explains. “I loved to “Sports is an aspect of life watch him and he wasn’t that shows you can’t do anya dirty racer or one that thing by yourself, you have to cheated.” work together.,” she continues. “He always has a smile on “People think I’m racing the car his face and he let me drive so I’m alone. There are so many his race car,” said Kirchbergpeople that help me.” er, who has played hockey When the racing season since she was four years old. ends, Kirchberger is off to Buf She remembers one mornfalo State College to play for the ing about 5 a.m. when they Bengals. decided to do a burnout and “I’m so excited to be playwoke everyone up. ing hockey there,” said Kirch “That is my favorite memberger, who hopes play defense Nikki always has her teammates with her, on ory,” remarks Kirchberger. as she studies the sciences the ice and off the ice! (Photo by Janet Schultz) leading to a career in veterinary She raced a four-cylinder Kart at Holland Raceway medicine. Her caring shows in last season and this year her career field choice. . she spends her Thursday nights at Ransomville “I see how expensive it is to treat animals,” she Speedway. explains. “It’s not the animals fault they got sick. I “I’d like to race at other tracks but my Kart isn’t want to open a veterinary clinic that is affordable as strong as we’d like it to be,” she explains. for people.” Karts are divided off for races by the motor size Her caring is an aspect of her life that her parof the Kart and for very young racers, by age. ents, Edd and Robyn, are very proud of. Kirchberger races in the Senior Clone class with Athletics has not only made Nikki Kirchberger karts that go about 40 to 55 miles per hour. more competitive but also gave her the drive to While there are generally no major wrecks in never give up and always stay in shape. It also kart racing, there is one danger that isn’t usual to taught her respect and responsibility. the stock car, dragster and road racers. If that’s what our children can take away from Kirchberger explained. hockey, racing, or any other activity we have them When there’s a caution, you have to wave your involved in, we can’t ask for much more.a hand and slow down. She raised her hand, slowed down and another kart drove up the back of her Story and Photo by Janet Schultz head. “My helmet was holding the other kart up,” she laughs.
Kirchberger Has Speed On and Off Ice
Hockey School News / 21 Paul Grundtisch Hockey Schools: 28 Years and Counting By Michael Mroziak
ince 1984, he has hosted a hockey school where players ages 6 through 13 could work on skating, shooting and other individual skills. On their way to professional careers, Patrick Kane, Tim Kennedy, Brooks Orpik, Lee Stempniak and Chris Mueller trained here. Kane even came back to work as an instructor a few years back. The Paul Grundtisch Hockey Schools entered its 28th year this summer. Its founder, Paul Grundtisch, received his own hockey training at the Can-Am School and later worked as an instructor at the Buffalo Sabres and Hamilton Hockey schools. Western New York Hockey Report met with Grundtisch in his office at Leisure Rinks in Orchard Park. Sitting at his desk, years of mementos rest on his walls, including autographed jerseys of the previously mentioned students who would later turn pro. Grundtisch himself was a talented hockey player in his youth. After standing out at the former St. John High School, he played two years of college hockey for Canton Tech where in 1981 he helped the school win a national championship. With his academic playing career finished, Grundtisch still had teaching in his blood and enough experience to become a credible source of instruction for younger players. “John McFall and I worked together for several years running our own school, some power skating clinics at Holiday and Leisure Rinks,” Grundtisch recalled. “Then John went on his own and started working with the McFall Brothers school, and I started my own Paul Grundtisch Hockey School.” That was in 1984. It didn’t take long for his
own school to secure a place in the Western New York hockey landscape as a popular school for young players. “It really took off immediately. I had a lot of repeat people that had been through Can-Am with me, the Buffalo Sabres Hockey School, so it got a good start. We had a good name and I had excellent instructors who worked for me.” “Our schools are specialized schools. They come in here with the idea of trying to improve in a skill. We have power skating schools, specific shooting and stickhandling schools. We had checking school up until last year when they changed the age. That was actually our most popular clinic.” Grundtisch’s clinics have no less than six coaches on the ice at all times, he says, with the young players divided into stations. This creates a student-to-instructor ratio that is designed to create more interaction and involvement. “We work these small stations with pucks and without pucks, and then we have a full ice game, breaking the teams up by half,” said Grundtisch. “That’s always a fun part for the kids at the end of the day.” Some of those kids who once looked forward to having fun at the end of a session are now having fun living out the dream of a professional hockey career. As the messages on their autographed jerseys hanging from Grundtisch’s wall indicate, they still today appreciate the training they got in their youth. In addition to a signed jersey, Grundtisch displays a photograph of Patrick Kane on the ice as an instructor a few years back. “He comes to see me each summer,” said Grundtisch. “He would come out and spend a half-hour or 45 minutes on a couple of sessions
Continued from Page 20
Coach Rosen Fights On “After it was over the doctor gave me a cup, takes out the screws and says ‘you had a couple of loose screws,’” laughs Rosen. “He was great.” Another eight weeks pass to find out the results of the gamma surgery. In April Rosen has another MRI and it looked as if the surgery had done its job. The tumor was turning to fatty tissue. If the tumor didn’t turn to fatty tissue and just went away it would leave a hole in the brain, Rosen explained. Eight more weeks pass and it’s now June While doing this interview, Rosen was keeping an eye on 2012, his blood numbers are good and it his daughter on the ice. looks like he’s on the right track. Rosen’s next blood work will be September 2012. “I’m not officially clear, but it’s on the way down (referring to his blood count),” said Rosen. He still has some side affects which include some joint pain and losing the weight he gained from both the steroid and the radiation. “The hockey community has been great,” said Rosen. “Last year I would get dropped off at the arena and someone would have to drive me home because I wasn’t able to drive. There was always someone there to do it.” He isn’t able to return to work yet, but he has been able to skate,
Players have learned the hockey basics at Grundtisch Hockey Schools for 28 years. (Photo by Grundtisch Hockey)
with me. It was great to see the kids’ faces when he came on the ice.” As pleased as he sounds with his track record and his history of clients, Paul Grundtisch maintains a sense of modesty. During his conversation with WNY Hockey Report, he wouldn’t promote his own clinic by putting another program down. Nor does he think of his school as the end-all, beall, only destination to where a young player must come. “I might have been one person who was helpful in his (Kane’s) career, but there was many more that I’m sure were helpful in that facet.” Still, when an estimated 300 players are filling his various time slots each summer and his clinics are typically sold out, it’s a sign that the greater hockey community finds this one person a very important one for their development. For more information on Paul Grundtisch Hockey Schools, call 716-675-8992. Or, you can visit the internet at www.holidayrinks.com and follow the “Hockey Camps” link. a
swim and ride his bike, which he did in the Ride for Roswell. “I wanted to give back to Roswell, they saved my life,” said Rosen. “They caught it early enough and it looks like through the monitoring it’s on its way down.” Through all of this Rosen remained active in the hockey community coaching the Amherst Knights AAA team, the UB Lady Ice Bulls and helping at his children’s, Kylie, 11 and Patrick 13, practices. His lifelong passion for the game, beginning with a house team at Cazenovia and moving through his collegiate hockey at Erie Community College, saw him through this rough stretch in his life. Rosen looks back on that day in January when he took a hit and realizes that it was that hit put him on the road to finding and treating his cancer in time. Truly a hit in hockey that saved a life!a
NHL News and Notes ...The Buffalo Sabres have signed Drew Schiestel to a one-year, twoway contract. Schiestel was selected by the Sabres with the 59th overall pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. Through three seasons in the AHL, he has appeared in 156 professional gams, tallying 52 points (8+44) and 71PIM. ...The CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game will be held in Buffalo on September 29. This Inaugural Game will feature 40 of the top American prospects eligible for the 2013 NHL Entry Level Draft. Among players being showcased are WNY nativers Justin Bailey (Williamsville/Indiana Ice USHL); Matt Lane (Rochester/US National U18 Team) and Sean Malone (West Seneca/Nichols School).a
Continuing Stories / 22 Continued from Page 7 WNY Adult Hockey Leagues
Individual players or groups of players are welcome to join, all skill level, men and women. The league operates on team parity, with an equal number of A, B and C level players. Players must be over 30 years of age to be eligible to participate, unless they are grandfathered into the league. In March, the league holds an A-Line All-Star Game, C-Line All-Star Game along with the Molson IceDome 4-on-4 Tournament. (The IceDome Tournament is not included in league fees, plays 3-on-3 with a goalie and is more of a party than a hockey tourney.) For more information on the OTHLEA please visit their website; www.OTHLEA.com. For more information on the IceDome 4-on4 tournament visit; www.MolsonIceDome4on4. com. Performax League Northtowns Center Frank Albert www.performaxhockey.com The Performax League plays a 20-week regular season beginning in September and concluding in the early spring. The cost is $4,950 per team with an initial deposit of $250 and a $43 referee fee paid directly to the refs each game. The league consists of eight skill divisions which are aligned after the fourth game of the season. The playoffs are a best of three championship series. More information on the Performax Hockey League can be found at: www.performaxhockey.com. Scottsville Ice Arena James Hoffman Adult League Coordinator 585-259-5293 email@example.com The Scottsville Adult League is set to begin August 28th 2012. The league will run 16 weeks, through December. There is one league game scheduled a week. The SAHL is divided into two separate divisions, based on player’s ability level. There are eight teams in the league and the cost is $240 per skater. According to Hoffman the league is consistently made up of the same teams every year, with a few new players sprinkled in. “We monitor the games very closely to ensure that they don’t do too much,” Hoffman said, “It’s about the fun, the hot wings and the beers afterwards.” The top 4 teams make the playoffs and Hoffman believes the league contains a team that embodies the true essence of adult hockey. “Miller Mulletheads are a team of the same guys every week,” Hoffman added “They don’t argue, they don’t fight and they’ve played together for at least 12 years.” The Scottsville Adult Hockey League also takes pride in the ideals of “adult” hockey, as they do have one woman who is a consistent
competitor in the league. *Ironman Tournament - On the night of Saturday, September 22nd and into the early morning of Sunday the 23rd we will be hosting the 1st Dwyer Iron Man Challenge. This new “iron man” tournament format will be the first of its kind in the area, and should make for some great fun and competition. - USA Hockey Sanctioned Tournament - Check in will be between 9:00pm and 10:00pm on Saturday,
September 22nd; Games begin at 10:30pm sharp - 2 – 15 minute run clock periods – 3-on-3 play, maximum roster size will be 6 skaters, 1 goalie Must be at least 18 years of age - $250 **To have your arenas adult league included in future WNY Hockey Report articles please contact Kyle Gunn-Taylor at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sabres Honor Alumni and French Connection!
Rene Robert poses with the photo that will be created in bronze as a tribute to The French Connection. (Photo by Janet Schultz)
he fans asked, the ownership answered and now the Alumni of all Buffalo Sabres teams and the most famous line in Buffalo hockey history, the French Connection, will be immortalized. “The history of the franchise means a lot to fans,” said Ted Black president of the Buffalo Sabres. “One of the first things you learn about is Gilbert Perrault, Rene Robert and Rick Martin—the French Connection.” In that light, the French Connection will stand outside First Niagara Arena cast in bronze and surrounded by plaques listing the names of every player to have skated for the Buffalo Sabres. The area was renamed Alumni Plaza and a dedication is scheduled for October. Pegula insisted that the statue be made from an actual point in the history of the group. The Sabres only have two photographs in their archives that feature all three in one pose. The photo selected is by Photographer Ronald Moscati and was taken during the April 1975 playoff game between Buffalo and Montreal in which all three of the French Connection scored a goal in the win. The Sabres have commissioned American sculptor Jerry McKenna, Boerne, Texas, known for his sports statues. He was named the All-American Football Foundation 2003 “Sports Sculptor of the Year” for his 17 portrait busts in the Pro Hall of Fame. HHL Architects of Buffalo will construct the pedestal, which will feature an integrated lighting system and illuminated informational panel. This will provide the base for the statue. “It’s the greatest honor a line can have,” said Rene Robert, representing the French Connection. “It’s a shame that Rico couldn’t be here. Rico gave so much to this community and his hockey and I’m sure he’s looking down on us.” “I think it’s great,” said former Buffalo Sabre Danny Gare. “Ever since Terry (Pegula) has come here the alumni has been a big part of what he wants to incorporate into this team. “The guys have given their heart and souls to this organization and who better than the French Connection to start it off.” “It’s obvious that Perrault is the face of the team,” said Sabres Alumni Association President Rob Ray. “What the line did can be comparable to what lines have done since, but it’s their names that are connected to that. “When you have history, use it and people will enjoy it,” said Ray. “The younger guys can see that the older guys are around and they will want to be part of it and be one of those guys with their name on a plaque.” More information about Alumni Plaza and the French Connection statue can be found at www. sabres.com/alumniplaza.a